Our Thanksgiving 2018 meal was inspired- literally- by a recent “Table Tour” to hear Ina Garten speak on her Cook Like a Pro tour, followed by a trip to Oklahoma to visit the Pioneer Woman’s prairie! I included dishes from both famous cooks on the menu and they were amazing enough to recommend.

If you follow the Barefoot Contessa, you know of her famous roast chicken – Jeffery’s favorite! Her recipe for roast turkey is very similar, yet one person changed it up slightly and took the dish to a whole new level. Apparently, the cook began roasting the turkey at a blistering 450 degrees before realizing what she had done. She finished the bird off at 325 degrees and the result was perfect! It’s called Ina’s Accidental Turkey and it’s phenomenal! 

For our meal, I chose a 10-pound turkey and was a little bit worried that we wouldn’t have enough meat, but the amount was perfect for 10 diners (two who are vegetarian) with just a day of left-overs.  No turkey tetrazzini for us this year. I followed Ina’s steps for a dry brine, which I had never done before, and who knew that rubbing herbed salt over a turkey would work? Ina did! I followed the recipe for accidental turkey and I have to say, I will never prepare a turkey any other way! Absolutely the best roast turkey ever!

Our family follows a fairly traditional Thanksgiving menu. We rounded out the table with mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, carrots, crunchy coleslaw, mashed sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, cornbread dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and homemade rolls with butter. Dessert is always pecan and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

Now I’ve set a goal to gather all the recipes and instructions together into one file for future reference, if not for me, for my kids. Highly recommend getting them into the kitchen with you and passing along the goods! Your recipes, food, and cooking tips are part of creating family traditions.