Thanksgiving is all about pleasing a crowd, so why not offer a few different options for all ages including kids, grown-ups, and babies? With Thanksgiving only two days away, here are three ideas to keep everyone at your Thanksgiving table happy.
Dean’s Thanksgiving Turkey
A classically oven roasted turkey is always and forever, but sometimes it’s nice to put a modern twist on a old favorite. That’s what my hubby Dean will be doing this Thanksgiving…
Dean’s Trois Layered Turkey
- Whole Turkey
- Fresh Sage
- Canola or sunflower oil
- Preheat oven to 350
- Remove skin from turkey and set aside. Try to keep in one piece. Then remove breasts and set aside. And, finally remove dark meat from all bones and set aside. Discard bones.
- Lightly oil the bottom of your largest casserole / baking dish.
- Place turkey skin in bottom of dish. And lightly dust with meat glue (transglutaminase), a naturally occurring enzyme in plants and animals that reacts with protein to form a “glue.” FDA approved and all-natural, you can buy it online at Modernistpantry.com)
- Then lay the dark meat on top of the skin as a second layer. Lightly dust dark meat with meat glue.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and finely chopped sage.
- Place turkey breast as the third layer on top of dark meat.
- Cover dish with Saran wrap.
- Place another empty casserole dish on top of your Saran wrapped dish and add weight to it such as soup cans.
- Place in refrigerator overnight
- When ready to cook, remove weight and casserole dish and Saran wrap.
- Flip onto cutting board. Skin side will now be facing upward
- With a very sharp knife cut into 2 1/2 x 4 inch rectangles
- In a hot pan, add sunflower or canola oil (they have a high smoke point – the point at which your fat starts to burn).
- Lightly season your turkey rectangles with salt, pepper, and finely chopped sage.
- Place skin side down in hot pan. Cook until skin is crispy, approximately 8 to 12 minutes (time varies with different stoves).
- When skin is nice and crispy, flip and cook other side. This side is your white meat and cooks quicker (approximately 5 to 7 minutes)
- When done, place in a 350 degree oven uncovered to finish the cooking and keep warm. Cook until internal temperature is between 170 and 180 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can just cut into the center to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.
- Serve with cranberry ginger orange sauce (recipe to follow)
Cranberry Ginger Orange Sauce
- 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Zest of one orange
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook on medium heat for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, or until liquid is reduced.
- Stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat and serve over Trois Layered Turkey.
I will post a pictorial of this next week, so stay tuned!
If your kids are like mine, they are all about boycotting turkey on Thanksgiving because…well it’s just not chicken nuggets. While I agree mashed potatoes are yummy, I do want them to get their protein too on this holiday. Every kid likes hot dogs, so why not “turkey” dogs for them and enter… The Thanksgiving Turkey Butt!
I used turkey dogs, mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, a dinner roll and ketchup for dipping. I used sides that we have at our Thanksgiving dinner, so be creative depending what you are serving.
Put your warm mashed potatoes into a zip lock bag. Press air out and zip the bag.
Squish the potatoes into a bottom corner and twist top of bag. Using scissors cut the corner tip. Ta Da! You’ve got a DIY pastry bag.
Using your DIY pastry bag make your turkey feathers on the plate
Have fun drawing your turkey feathers
Decorate with your dinner roll, cut up turkey dogs (2), peas, and carrots – or whatever veggies you serve at your dinner. Using a squeezy bottle with ketchup write “Gobble Gobble” or your child’s name for hot dog dipping!
And you have your child’s Thanksgiving dinner aka Turkey Butt. If you create, they will eat! Or if nothing else, laugh at a turkey’s butt on their plate.
Roast Turkey Costume
Ok, this one isn’t edible, but if you have a baby at home, here’s a fun Thanksgiving craft project you can make for what will be very memorable holiday photos. Your older kids will love helping to make this for their baby bro or sis – Stella loved gluing the faux veggies on the faux platter.
Disclaimer: Sorry to future 18 year-old Hattie. It was too cute an idea to pass up. If it’s any solace, you wore turkey well!
- Tools and Materials
- Muslin fabric
- Roast turkey template
- Sewing machine
- Needle and thread
- Cotton stuffing (acrylic or plastic bags also work)
- One 6- to 8-inch piece of Velcro
- Acrylic paint (light brown, darker brown, yellows, beige, and orange)
- Lace trim
- Sponge paintbrush
- Old toothbrush
- Fake vegetables
- 1/2 yard 1-inch-thick foam
- 1/2 yard pant weight fabric
- White onesie
- RIT brown dye (non-toxic)
- For the breast: Trace the roast turkey template. Cut out, creating two heart shapes of equal size. Place finished sides of fabric facing each other. Pin pieces together. Sew all around leaving a 2-inch opening. Turn inside out. Fill with stuffing or plastic bags. Sew the opening closed by hand.
- Using a sewing machine, sew a straight line from the pointy end of this heart-shaped piece to the point at which the two curves meet, straight down the center. Using a needle and thread, tuck the point under about 1-inch to make this end less pointed. This finishes the main turkey breast, creating an indentation.
- From a doubled piece of 8×8 inch pant-weight fabric, cut out two 8×8 inch tabs (see template). Sew the rectangles onto the middle of each side of the breast; these will hold the top of the costume to the base.
- For the drumsticks: Trace a drumstick shape from the template on a piece of muslin fabric folded in half. Repeat. Cut out and sew together, leaving a 1-inch opening. Turn inside out, stuff, and hand-sew the opening. Hand-sew these drumsticks to the body.
- Paint the turkey deep brown. Use more than one color to add texture, such as orange, yellow, or beige. Dilute the paint with a little bit of water and apply paint with a sponge or old toothbrush. Flick some paint from the toothbrush tocreate speckles on the breast. Let dry overnight. Attach lace trim around the skinny end of each drumstick for added realism.
- For the platter: To create the foam platter base, cut 1-inch thick foam into an oval shape, about 16×24 inches, which will serve as the padding for the baby. With the pant-weight fabric, cut two of the same oval shapes, each about 1 inch in size around.
- Cover the back of one of the pieces of fabric with Fari-tac glue, leaving one inch around on the fabric with no glue. Applly this piece to the foam. Let dry.
- With the second oval fabric piece, pin it to the foam-fabric glued piece, right sides facing. Sew all around, leaving 4 to 6 inches open so you can turn out, inside out. Iron the piece to flatten. Hand-sew closed. Paint the plate the color of your choice, or paint a design on it.
- After all parts of the turkey are complete, measure your baby to determine how to fit the top of the turkey breast to the base. Make sure that the baby’s head sits comfortably on the plate. Sew one of the two square tabs to the platter. Sew one piece of Velcro onto the tab with the opposite side of the Velcro running vertically.
- Decorate the plate with fake vegetables, which can be applied with glue.
- Dye your onesie with non-toxic RIT brown dye and let dry, then wash.
- Dress your baby in the brown onesie before placing in turkey.
Note: Be sure to use nontoxic paint and glue in this project, as some babies like to chew on the costumes. When placing your baby on a table, be sure that the sides of the table are protected, and always watch that your child does not roll. When using berries and other garnishes, be aware of any choking hazards.
(Craft courtesy of Martha Stewart)
How do you plan to prepare your turkey? Share your recipes and craft ideas in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Design Dump, Bing.com
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