Thanksgiving Recipes and Tips


Thanksgiving is just around the corner.    Everyone seems to have their own opinions on what method makes the perfect bird.   Brining (both wet and dry), roasting, grilling, frying……. The list goes on.   And can be overwhelming for a “first timer.”

Take solace.   My “First Thanksgiving Menu” article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will provide with a complete menu along with tips to make your first Thanksgiving Day dinner perfect.   Remember, don’t try to go full Food Network on your first time.    Prepare a simple but delicious menu with lots of items that can be prepared ahead.

Don’t forget to check out my Turkey Day tip section in the article.    Beyond the menu you will need to remember decorations, place settings and kitchen items you may need.

Don’t know the difference between fresh and frozen, heritage and organic?   Fine Cooking Magazine has a great article explaining everything you need to know when selecting turkey.

Need more tips?    Here is a list of “hot line numbers” from turkey prep to cranberries.   A lot of them are open help on Thanksgiving!

To get you started, here are some photos and quick links to my “First Thanksgiving” menu.



Herb Butter Roasted Turkey


Quick Cranberries with Grand Marnier

close up dressing

Simple Dressing

pumpkin mousse

 Pumpkin Mousse with Gingersnaps



 Sheet Pan Roasted Vegetables

Don’t forget the appetizers.   Cheese balls (yes cheese balls!) are making a comeback.    Since Thanksgiving and foot ball seem to go hand in hand, why not serve an edible “pigskin” by creating a cheese ball encased in crispy bacon.   Shape the cheese ball like a foot ball, complete with edible mozzarella laces.


Additional recipes for Thanksgiving Entertaining
Cast Iron Skillet Buttermilk Cornbread
use this terrific recipe as a bread for your Thanksgiving dinner or as part of your dressing/stuffing


Pigskin Cheese Ball

For an edible centerpiece, create my pine cone cheeseball.    Use toasted whole almonds to create the pine cone effect.   Present your cheese ball on a cake pedestal with fresh rosemary greenery and bright red cranberries.


Pine Cone Cheese Ball

Whole toasted almonds create the perfect edible centerpiece – a cheese ball pine cone!



Easy Appetizers – six in sixty minutes

Don’t have a lot of time for any extra appetizers?   Check out how to make six appetizers in sixty minutes.


Triple-Layer Pumpkin Cheese Pie
Layers of cream cheese, chocolate and pumpkin make a pie to please all!


Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls

A switch-up on a traditional yeast roll.   Use sweet potato in the dough with a touch of cinnamon.

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