Here's to Gathering - North Shore Living®

November 9th, 2019


Here’s to Gathering

Well folks, the holidays are here! During this season of leaves turning and warmth filling our homes we wanted to share some of our favorite recipes for your Thanksgiving gathering and a few things we have learned over the years to help this season run smoothly.

First things first on the list of things to tackle: the turkey. This is the showstopper, and you have to get it right. We remember cooking our first turkey… and the second… and the third. Somehow every year when you step up to the plate it feels like the most daunting task. What we have come to learn is that it’s all in the prep. Getting enough turkey to feed your guests (and have leftovers, yum) and making sure your bird is completely defrosted are two simple, yet huge hurdles to overcome.

Oh, and also, make sure your pan & turkey combo fits in your oven – we’ve miscalculated that before, not good!

A good rule of thumb when trying to decide just how big of a turkey you really need is counting on about ¾ to 1 lb of turkey per person. The larger the bird you get, the longer it’s going to need to defrost. Seriously, can you even believe how long it takes? Depending on the weight, you could be looking at 2 to 3 days! Like we said, it’s all in the prep.

Now, how are you going to cook that turkey? We worked on this Brined Turkey recipe to add flavor and moisture to your bird this year. Keep in mind that this is going to add a lot of time to your cooking process! Brining is basically sitting the turkey down in some salty, herb-seasoned water and letting it absorb those flavors and moisture. Once you have completed the brining you can go ahead and prep your turkey as you normally would. We really like using this recipe. You just can’t go wrong with lots of butter and herbs!

Now that you’ve got the turkey covered, it’s time to plan the rest of the dinner. While the turkey is important, the sides can add flavor, texture, and depth to your meal. A staple side dish is stuffing. We have a great recipe for a Ciabatta, Sausage, & Herb Stuffing – and when we say great, we mean so good you’ll wish you made two batches. Potatoes are also a must; these Creamy Herbed Mashed Potatoes are a twist on a classic. For something a little different in this category, we love these Crispy Roasted Rosemary Yams.  Or if you are looking for something almost decadent and just plain ol’ yummy we’ve just created these Scalloped Sweet Potatoes. This one just might make our top 5 recipes on our website –  they are SO GOOD!

Okay, now time for the veggies. You can’t go wrong with simple – tossing your favorite veggies in some olive oil and finely chopped Roasting Mix is as easy as it gets and so delicious. If you are looking for something a little more sophisticated, we’ve got you covered. Another new recipe we worked on for this holiday season are these Roasted Brussel Sprouts. We admit, we took something healthy and kind of ruined it, but man are they good! Savory and sweet meets crispy and crunchy. You’ll have everyone eating their veggies this year.

Once you’ve nailed down all the dishes that you want to serve and you’ve figured out exactly how you’re going to cook your turkey, it’s time to create an oven schedule. Think through what can sit and rest well and what needs to come hot out of the oven, crispy and crunchy. Once you have dishes cooked, set them aside on a towel, cover with foil, and then cover with another towel. This will keep your food insulated and warm longer. Also, don’t forget to utilize all your appliances. Toaster ovens, crock pots, electric skillets, and your stove are all good tools to keep in mind when you are creating your schedule.

Another great tip that we can’t help but mention is just how easy it is to cook during the holidays with our Roasting Mix blend. Not only is it the perfect combo of Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme, but our living herbs are young and tender, meaning these bad boys are super easy to prep. No need to de-stem your rosemary and thyme! Who has thyme for that? Sorry, we couldn’t help it. We love herb puns. Anyways, save time on your busy day and just snip what you need right out of the clamshell and chop. It’s that easy!

We hope that this season fills you with thanks, love, and so much tasty food! Happy cooking!

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