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Turkey options, plenty of side dishes, and dessert.
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Let's Talk Turkey

OK, we are approaching the weirdest Thanksgiving in our collective lifetimes. I’m not going to sugarcoat it—things are feeling anything but normal.
 
For my family, there will probably (hopefully) be more than one small Thanksgiving. Maybe. Each one will have safety at the forefront—social distancing guidelines in place, masks on, and while I can’t give up Thanksgiving with my family, I also am hoping not to give it up with close friends. So there will (hopefully—we’ll see) be two separate dinners with longtime friends, and another in CT with my family, all of which will span several weeks to allow for as much testing and quarantining as possible. I guess it’s clear how much Thanksgiving means to my crew—but everything is written in pencil for now.
 
Regardless of who else can come to the table, I will be cooking the traditional foods over the course of the next few weeks. Let’s talk turkey.

Whether you are cooking your very first traditional Thanksgiving turkey, or your 50th, it’s always good to have a primer (or a refresher) on turkey roasting best practices. Here is all you need to know to get a perfectly roasted, moist, and tender turkey on the table. And even if your gathering is small, you can make so many different things with the leftovers, it’s worth serious consideration to buy and cook a whole bird. (This recipe is for a 12-pound turkey—but there are instructions for scaling cook time up or down if you have a different sized bird.)

Click here for the recipe.

If you are looking at a smaller gathering this year, then a turkey breast might be the way to go. This recipe could not be simpler; you may well have all of the ingredients in your home at this very moment (minus the turkey breast, which clearly you can find at any market).

Click here for the recipe.

Making sure your turkey breast is moist and tender, not at all dry, is the biggest goal, and in this case, you couldn’t ask for a better friend than the set-it-and-forget-it slow cooker. Finding one dish to make in the slow cooker frees up precious oven space during the holidays. And turkey breast is tailor-made for slow cooking. You also end up with wonderfully flavorful cooking juices that can turn into the best gravy ever. I’ve been a roaster all of my life, but now I’m sold that there is more than one way to make a great turkey breast.

Click here for the recipe.

Got an Instant Pot? You can have a cooked, moist turkey breast in about 30 minutes. A few more minutes will get you gravy, all made in one single appliance!

Click here for the recipe.

OK, so there are some turkey options for you. Now let’s continue with even more side dish options.

This salad has so much going on in terms of color, flavor, and texture, and it has a definite fall/winter/holiday vibe.

Click here for the recipe.

Tender with crispy edges and a pop of salty cheese and fresh parsley, these savory sweet potatoes are an easy but festive side dish.

Click here for the recipe.

This belongs on any holiday table, and then some.

Click here for the recipe.

This substantial and satisfying vegetarian dish can serve as a main course or a side.

Click here for the recipe.

Yes, mashed potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving side, but if you want to change things up, this is a pretty darn fine way to go. Or, keep them in mind for December holiday meals to come.

Click here for the recipe.

Did you think we weren't going to get to the pies? Pshaw. I have made at least two of these apple pies with a thick blanket of streusel every Thanksgiving for over 20 years, and it's one of the things my family most looks forward to every year. A slice of this for breakfast the next day is a gift.

Click here for the recipe.

Sometimes I made a pumpkin pie, but sometimes I make this, and it's hard to pick a favorite. And please, please, please—do not forget the whipped cream.

Click here for the recipe.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE . . .
See More Recipes on TheMom100.com
If you have meal-planning gripes, questions, or things you want to suggest, come hang out with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

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