Make this Feast the Least of Your Worries 7

These tried-and-true recipes are easy to do 
and will satisfy your holiday guests.

In a few weeks guests will gather in homes all around town for several hours of good food and fun. If one of these homes happens to be yours, all you have to do is clean, set the table – and plan and prepare the meal!

The task can be daunting for novices and veterans alike. But there are people around town who have had similar experiences. Now they’re here to share some recipes that could help make your feast a success!


Recipe courtesy of Guy Fieri.

Prepared by Gigi Spires

1 fresh turkey (14 to 16-pounds)

1 T dry rubbed sage
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp granulated onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 lemon, zested
1 T canola oil

For Brine
6 quarts water
8 cups ice cubes
1 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
7 fresh sage leaves
1 T black peppercorns

Remove the legs and wings from the turkey, or have your butcher do it. Reserve for stock. Put turkey breast into a large pot or doubled-up clean plastic bag. When brine mixture is completely cooled, pour over turkey and place in refrigerator for 12 hours.
Rinse under clear cool water for 5 minutes, drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
In a small bowl, combine dried spices and lemon zest. Rub turkey with canola oil, lightly sprinkle rub on turkey, any extra rub can be placed in cavity. Cover loosely, refrigerate for 4 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let rest on counter for 15 minutes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees while turkey is resting. In a large, deep baking pan, fitted with a rack, place turkey breast side down and roast for 35 minutes. Carefully turn turkey over and reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Continue to roast turkey for 1 hour 45 minutes or until temperature at the deepest part of the breast reads 170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Make sure to check bird every 15 minutes after first hour has passed.
Remove from oven, loosely tent with foil, let rest in pan for 10 minutes. Carve and serve immediately.

For Brine
In a large stock pot, combine 3 quarts water, 1 cup kosher salt, brown sugar, molasses, sage leaves and peppercorns. Heat until salt dissolves, remove from heat. Add 3 quarts cool water and 8 cups ice.
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Jamie Atlas

From the Chef

I first had this salad at a summertime dinner party and it was perfect for that occasion. It has great color, flavor and is easy to make. That also makes it ideal and practical for Thanksgiving. It goes right onto guests’ plates with the rest of the meal so if you want to serve a salad, try this. It’ll minimize the number of dishes and clutter on the table. Variations of this recipe are available on many name-brand websites. This particular version is from


1 (15 ounce) can peas, drained

1 (15 ounce) can shoe peg corn, drained

1 (15 ounce) can green beans, drained

1 (2 ounce) jar pimentos

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup white wine vinegar


Mix together the peas, corn, green beans, pimentos, celery, bell pepper and onion. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, black pepper, salt, oil and vinegar. Bring to a boil and pour over salad; mix well to coat. Refrigerate for 24 hours.


Chris Chaney

From the chef

I have always known this dish to be on our Thanksgiving table. My Aunt Linda made it when we gathered to celebrate with my dad’s side of the family. It became such a favorite among my mom, sisters and me. I remember the first time mom brought it to my grandma’s house. My grandma was none too happy to have an unexpected dish on her table. She let it be known that no one would eat that dish. And … it was the first dish empty that day! As a new bride, I had a similar experience when taking it to my in-laws’ home. Now, as our family spends Thanksgiving with my husband’s side of the family, I am certain to have this dish in tow. But ultimately, mom still makes it better than anyone!


1 cup raw white potato, peeled and grated

1 cup raw sweet potato, peeled and grated

1 cup apple, peeled and grated

1 cup carrots, peeled and grated

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)


Grease a 2-quart casserole dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Adjust oven rack to middle. Sift together the flour, baking soda and spices. Stir together the white potato, sweet potato, carrots and golden raisins. Add brown sugar. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Fold in the melted coconut oil. Pour into greased casserole dish. Smooth top. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake covered for one hour. Remove foil. Sprinkle the top evenly with chopped nuts. Bake an additional 15 minutes until golden brown on top. Let sit for 15 minutes and serve.


Dominique Hawkins

From the Chef

This cake is great for any occasion and any time of day! Thanksgiving is one of my Favorite Holidays and I get asked every year to make “The Cake.” I enjoy baking with my four-year-old daughter, Danielle.


3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar

5 whole eggs, room temperature
1 T lemon extract

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

8 ounces 7UP Lemon Lime Soda, room temperature
3 cups cake flour (Recommend: Swan’s Down Cake Flour)
Additional butter & cake flour to coat the inside of the Bundt cake pan


1 cup powdered sugar
2 T 7UP Lemon Lime Soda (or ginger ale)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl using a hand mixer or stand mixer, blend the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Next, add the eggs to the batter one at a time until each is thoroughly blended. Add the lemon and vanilla extracts, mix well.

Add the cake flour and 7UP to the batter alternately beginning and ending with flour. Be sure to stop periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl. (Here’s the order: 1 cup flour, mix; ½ cup 7UP, mix; 1 cup flour, mix; ½ cup 7up, mix; and the last cup of flour, mix.) All of the batter should be well incorporated.

Finally, using your hand or clean paper towel, rub the inside of a Bundy, or angel food, cake pan with room temperature butter, just a thin even coating. Then put about a ¼ cup of cake flour into the pan and roll it around allowing it to stick to the butter in the pan, again, just a thin coating. Shake out the excess flour. Pour the cake batter into the cake pan evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or just until a wooden skewer comes out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, remove and place it on a plate or cooling rack to finish cooling for about an hour. If desired, add the icing after the cooling process. In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar and soda. Whisk until combined and then pour evenly over the cake.