No Stress Thanksgiving + December Class Schedule
7 simple recipes (plus a thorough timetable + a grocery list for paid subscribers!) + the rest of my 2023 teaching schdeule!
Before I jump into today’s mega Thanksgiving newsletter, I wanted to let you know I’ve posted the rest of my teaching schedule for 2023 (and if you’re wondering, yes I will continue to teach next year because I love teaching!!).
Don’t forget — if you ever want to sign up for a class and $ is a barrier, just let me know and I’ll get you sorted.
All info/FAQs about my classes lives here!
Classes make for wonderful holiday gifts! All gift info is here.
Sunday Nov. 26th / 2 - 3pm EST: Kids Cooking Hour! Spaghetti + Meatballs!
I have loved to cook since I was a little kid. Feeling empowered in the kitchen has made a big difference in my life. I hope to share this feeling with young cooks in this special Kids Cooking Hour! For this class, we’ll be making Spaghetti + Meatballs! Depending on age, experience + kitchen confidence, an adult might be needed to help (grocery shopping, turning on the stove, draining the pasta, etc.). We will walk through every single step slowly and answer questions. This is going to be FUN!!!!! SIGN UP HERE!
Sunday Dec. 3rd / 2 - 3:30pm EST: Holiday Season Drinks + Appetizers
Join me for this helpful holiday season class where we'll make two different drinks each of which can be made non-alcoholic (Cranberry Whiskey Sours — easy to make 1 or a big batch!, plus Spiced Mulled Wine) and three different holiday appetizers (easy Pork + Pineapple Bites, make-ahead-friendly Smoky White Bean & Pimentón Dip and Kinda Deviled Eggs which are way simpler than actual deviled eggs). We'll take about make-ahead tips, party planning, and more. This one will be very fun! SIGN UP HERE!
Sunday Dec. 10th / 2 - 3:30pm EST: Basic Knife Skills! (with a bonus soup!!)
Join me to review basic knife skills so you can be more confident and at ease in your kitchen. We will slice, dice + chop together! We'll work through common vegetables that are used in so many dishes (onions, garlic, carrots, etc.) and also talk about chopping leafy things (kale, herbs, etc.), and how to best use a serrated knife (tomatoes, bread...). For a fun bonus, we'll turn everything we chop into a great pot of soup! We'll talk preferred brands, how to keep knives sharp, and more. This is going to be so informative and helpful. Knife recommendations offered in the class PDF. SIGN UP HERE!
Sunday Dec. 17th / 2 - 3pm EST: Kids Cooking Hour! Creamy Tomato Soup + Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!
I have loved to cook since I was a little kid. Feeling empowered in the kitchen has made a big difference in my life. I hope to share this feeling with young cooks in this special Kids Cooking Hour! For this class, we’ll be making Creamy Tomato Soup + Grilled Cheese Sandwiches! Depending on age, experience + kitchen confidence, an adult might be needed to help (grocery shopping, turning on the stove, flipping the sandwiches, etc.). We will walk through every single step slowly and answer questions. This is going to be FUN!!!!! SIGN UP HERE!
Okay, onto today’s Thanksgiving newsletter!
Last year I offered a ‘No Stress Thanksgiving’ class and I heard from so many people how helpful it was. Today I’m offering 7 recipes from that class. For paid subscribers, I’m also including a detailed timeline + a grocery list. Every recipe (except the turkey) can be easily adapted to be vegan + the recipes include notes for those substitutions. All recipes will serve eight people generously but can easily be multiplied (or cut in half or whatever you need!).
Something to nosh on that doesn’t require cooking: nuts, cheese, olives, etc.
Drinks: wine/stuff for cocktails if you want/non-alcoholic options like seltzer + apple cider
Ice for drinks!
Pie(s) + ice cream
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SIMPLE ROAST TURKEY (just think “it’s a big chicken, it’s no big deal”)
One 12 pound turkey (defrosted if frozen)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
Stalks from 1 head celery
Whatever sage is left that you didn’t use for the gravy + stuffing
1 lemon, cut in half
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
Up to one day ahead, pat the turkey completely dry with paper towels and rub all over with the salt and pepper. If you can store it in your fridge overnight, uncovered, great. If not, no worries.
Four to five hours before you plan to eat, take the turkey out of the refrigerator so it can come to room temperature (if you haven’t seasoned it yet, now’s the time).
Preheat your oven to 450ºF.
Place the celery stalks on the bottom of a roasting pan large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey on top of the celery stalks (they are your roasting rack). Stuff the sage and lemon halves inside of the turkey.
Pour the water in the pan, being careful not to pour it directly on the turkey.
Put the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the honey or maple syrup and rub this mixture all over the surface of the turkey (your hands are a good tool for this job).
Roast the turkey for 30 minutes (the skin will start to brown beautifully during this time!), then turn the oven down to 350ºF and continue to roast the turkey until it is firm to the touch and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each breast registers 165ºF. This will take about 1 1/2 to 2 additional hours for a small 12 pound turkey. Start taking its temperature after an hour and then test again every half hour until it’s done.
Once the turkey is cooked, cover it with foil and let it sit at room temperature. The cooler it is, the easier it is to carve!
Once you’re ready to serve, transfer the turkey to a cutting board. Pour all of the pan drippings into the gravy pot and stir them in and let the gravy simmer.
To carve the turkey, watch this (this is exactly how I do it).
GRACE’S MASHED POTATOES
5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, coarsely chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces (divided) [if vegan, use vegan butter]
One 16 ounce container sour cream [if vegan, use vegan sour cream]
In a large pot, combine the potatoes, 2 tablespoons of salt, and water to cover by an inch. Set the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender (test with a paring knife), about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander.
Place the drained potatoes back in the now-empty cooking pot and add half of the butter and sour cream. Use a potato masher to crush the potatoes and mix the dairy into them. Season to taste with salt. Don’t be shy.
If *not* making ahead, use all of the butter and serve immediately.
If making ahead, about half an hour before serving, place the potatoes in a baking dish and dot the top with the remaining stick of butter. Warm in a 400ºF oven until the butter melts and the potatoes are hot, about half an hour. Stir the melted butter into the mashed potatoes and serve.
SHEET PAN STUFFING
adapted from Now & Again
1 loaf country bread or sourdough bread, torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, diced
4 medium celery stalks, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
12 large fresh sage leaves, tough stems discarded, minced
1 pound frozen spinach, defrosted, squeezed dry, and roughly chopped
3 eggs [if vegan, make 3 flax eggs using vegetable broth instead of water]
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, finely diced [if vegan, use vegan butter]
A few days before making, tear the bread into cubes and let it dry out on a sheet pan (if you don’t have time to do this, toast the bread cubes in a 400ºF oven— no biggie).
Place the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, garlic, and salt to the pot and turn down the heat to medium. Cook the vegetables, stirring now and then, until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and stock and turn the heat to high. While the mixture is coming to a boil, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Once it is at a boil, turn off the heat. Stir in the spinach. At this point the mixture can be stored in a container in the refrigerator for a few days.
When you’re ready to finish the stuffing, whisk the eggs together in a large bowl and then stir in the vegetable base and the dried bread cubes. Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined sheet pan and spread it out so that it’s in an even layer. Dot the top with the butter. Bake in a 400ºF oven until the top is browned and the edges are a little crispy, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
BUTTERED GREEN BEANS
Up to a day or two before, top and tail 2 pounds green beans. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it generously. Add the beans and cook, stirring, until they’re bright green and just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse with cool water. Store in a plastic bag or container in the fridge. Right before serving, place them in a large skillet or pot, add about 1/2 cup of water, and some butter cubes (about 3 tablespoons or so cut into small pieces / if vegan, use vegan butter). Cover with a lid, turn the heat to high, and then steam until heated through and the butter melts. Stir them to coat with butter and serve hot.
KALE SALAD WITH MUSTARD DRESSING
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
The juice from 2 lemons
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 bunches fresh kale (curly or lacinato), tough stems removed, roughly chopped
Optional toppings: toasted pumpkin seeds or any toasted, chopped nut / diced apples / dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots / cheese
Whisk or blend all of the ingredients except for the kale together. Store in a container in the refrigerator for up to a week. I like to make the dressing directly in a deli container with an immersion blender. I’ll show you! Bring the dressing to room temperature before using.
Place the kale in a large serving bowl and drizzle with half of the dressing. Use your hands to scrunch it all together. Really get in there. Don’t be shy! This will help make the kale easier to eat. Once the kale is massaged, add however much more dressing you’d like and whatever toppings you’d like. The salad can sit for at least an hour or so before serving.
APPLE CIDER + SAGE GRAVY (makes about 4 cups)
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed [if vegan, use vegan butter or oil]
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups [480 ml] apple cider (like what you drink — *not* apple cider vinegar!)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic, sage, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring now and then, until the aromatics are just softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the flour and stir well to combine. Let the mixture cook, stirring quite a bit, until it turns the color of a milky cup of coffee, a solid 5 minutes. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the stock and the cider. It will seem very loose at first but trust in the power of flour. Bring the mixture just to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer, stirring now and then, until thickened and the flavor is nice and rich, about 10 minutes.
You can keep the gravy warm over the lowest heat for up to an hour, or you can make it ahead, refrigerate it, and then just warm it over low heat. You can also add drippings from your roasted turkey and let the gravy reduce until it’s the consistency you like. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper before serving. If you’d like a more refined, smooth gravy, strain it through a mesh sieve before serving (I don’t ever bother doing this, but then again I’m not super refined).
ROASTED CRANBERRY SAUCE (makes about 2 cups)
One 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Stir together all of the ingredients in a baking dish. Roast, stirring now and then, until saucy and the sugar is dissolved, about 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature and store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Okay friends, I hope your weekend + next week is full of great food and hopefully sweet times with loved ones.
FOR PAID SUBSCRIBERS! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! KEEP SCROLLING FOR A COMPLETE GROCERY LIST + A DETAILED TIMELINE THAT ELIMINATES STRESS AND LETS YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE NEARLY EVERYTHING AHEAD….