Before I head up north to spend Thanksgiving with Josh’s family, I have some aggressive plans to relax:
1.I’m visiting my friend Nicole’s new bakery if you live in LA, GOO!!!) 2.I’m getting a facial, which I haven’t done in like a year or so. 3.I also have a laundry list of things to do like make cranberry sauce, edit photos, and pack up Amelia’s bones so she lets us eat Thanksgiving dinner in peace!
Do you ever do a menial task and then write it on your to-do list only so you can then immediately cross it off? It’s one of my favorite things to do, tbh. If you haven’t done it, try it, it makes you believe you’re more productive than you are! T
Did you know that The Instant Pot was the counter kitchen with the highest sales in 2018?! Isn’t that wild?!? That information blew my mind. And yet whenever I spoke to someone, they told me that someone had gifted them an Instant Pot but it was just sitting in a closet somewhere because they didn’t know what to make with it. Or it intimidated them and they didn’t know how to use it. I’m here to tell you: this is normal. It really is.
For a while, I was kinda annoyed at Instant Pot recipes because they seemed like Pinterest trap lol but honestly they’re pretty incredible. I had borrowed Billy’s for a few recipes but it wasn’t until a month or so ago that I actually got one and it has been a life-changer. I use it ALL the time. And on a day like Thanksgiving when the ovens are full and stoves are all busy, this can come in handy.
Even though I was born in the South (hi Fulton county), my love for biscuits didn’t begin until I went to high school and would leave my four hour tennis practices depleted and hungry. Luckily there was a Popeyes right by the courts, but I never wanted to ruin my dinner completely so instead of getting chicken and a whole plate, I’d just order two biscuits with a side of butter and honey. Oh man, they were SO good.
That experience turned me into a hardcore biscuit-loving human. I love biscuits of all kinds but to be honest, ones made with shortening are it! And guess what, I’ve never baked them. I’ve always opted for full butter. And yes, they’re good, delicious even, but they’re not like this. I’m here to say that if you’re shy to bake with shortening, so was I but we’re here together, let’s do it!!
Last week I had the pleasure of going to lunch with Carla Hall and she was so amazing. We talked for a few hours about all sorts of things. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little nervous before, but once I sat down I was like, why was I so stressed?! She’s such a beautiful person, even better in person than what you see and know from TV.
I am SO excited about this post because if I’m being completely honest, I never cook the turkey for Thanksgiving. Josh is super passionate about brining, roasting, blah blah and I just let him do it and I concentrate on the sides and desserts.
BUT, when ALDI reached out about hosting a Friendsgiving with some of my bestest blog friends–Geri, Teri + Jenny, Naomi, Jeanine, Ashley and Claire–I decided that it was time to figure out how to make and share a proper recipe for Thanksgiving turkey. I like to think that this post forced me to learn how to spatchcock a turkey. I’m so glad I know now!
One of the most popular recipes this fall has been this Mojo Sheet Pan Chicken and there’s good reason for it! It’s so flavorful and the lemon/orange and heavy garlic flavors work so well together. I thought that maybe it would be delicious on turkey and boy was I right!
If you’re unfamiliar, mojo is a Cuban marinade that is wildly simple but oh so good. In Cuba they have sour oranges, which are sort of a cross between a lemon and an orange. They aren’t readily available in the United States and most Cubans/people trying to achieve mojo, simply combine lemons and oranges—it’s a good solution!
I went to ALDI where I picked up a gorgeous, hormone-free turkey at a super affordable price, along with the organic dried oregano and organic lemons and naval oranges.
Thanksgiving is undoubtably the most popular pie holiday of the entire year.
And I happen to love, LOVE pie. I love eating pie, but I’m pretty sure I love making it even more.
Here are some tips that I find helpful:
Common Problem: Dough Shrinkage
Dilemma: Have you ever rolled out the most perfect pie crust, crimped the edges to only be super bummed out after it comes out of the oven that the whole thing shrunk??!?!
Solution: Shrinkage happens for two reasons.
The first is too much water in the dough. When you wrap up the dough in plastic wrap, it should never be sticky. If it’s sticky, roll the entire thing in a few tablespoons of flour and knead it one more time AND then wrap it.
The second possible problem is that it didn’t have enough time for the gluten to relax. Most pie crust recipes will tell you to rest it in the fridge for an hour. Well, if you only let it rest for an hour, most likely it will shrink. Ideally it’ll rest for an entire night in the fridge. This also breaks up some of the work and makes pie-making a bit easier.
Common Problem: Pumpkin (or any custard) Pie Cracking
Dilemma: You make a pumpkin pie (or cheesecake) and it looks perfect when it come out of the oven and then BOOM! A DAMN CRACK! Many people will tell you that you probably baked it too long and this could be true. But if there was no crack in the oven then you probably baked it just right, but it was the drastic temperature change when you took it our of the oven that did you in.
Solution: First of all, cracking isn’t the worst thing that could happen—it’s totally edible and delicious. To avoid it from happening, turn the oven off, prop the oven door open and allow the pie to cool slowly, rather than taking it from the very hot oven to often times chilly (it’s November after all!) kitchen counter. I usually let it cool for about 30 minutes to an hour this way and then take it out and place it on the counter. If you have kids or dogs, have them avoid the kitchen for that time.
Common Problem: Being Flustered
Dilemma: If you’ve never made pie, the first time may stress you out so much that you may never want to make it again. It requires a good amount of steps. There are multiple components. The idiom “easy as pie” could not be further from the truth. But it’s not hard.
Solution: Make the pie crust the day before. This will allow you to concentrate on just the pie crust, which if you’ve never made it before, can be a confusing. You’ll have to have a bit of focus but I swear you can do it!
Make the filling, stick it in the fridge and then roll out the pie crusts. Organization helps a whole lot of pie-making. AND if all else fails, Tweet me and I’ll try and help! Also, if the pie turns out to be not the prettiest, top it with a scoop of ice cream and no one will care!
Now, here are some of my favorite pies to make for Thanksgiving!