Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Tursgiving 2014

24 Nov

We have had the pleasure of making some great foodie friends, and one of our favorites was a former coworker of Mike’s who started a Supper Club when they were working together.  We all get along very well, and bond over our fondness for food.  In the past few years, we have done many a dinner at a brand new restaurant opening together and have hosted many a dinner party with Mike’s friend (who also happens to be Mike) as executive chef.  It never disappoints.

Last year around Thanksgiving, our friendship was just forming but Mike invited us to Tursgiving, his annual Friend Thanksgiving dinner where he cooks for about 100 people (though there are only about 20 of us).

This year, we walked in to find hand-made gifts from our host: a wooden appetizer board with a wine glass holder, and a wine glass.


And each was personalized for us.


They worked incredibly well to be able to maintain eating and drinking at the same time (two things that should never be separated).



Here is our host, Mike, showing off his handiwork (both the board and the food).


Last year we didn’t know what we were in for, but this year we came prepared with empty stomachs.

The first thing out of the oven were these macaroni and cheese bites made by one of the guests.  They were a great way to star the meal.


We also enjoyed mini wienies in crescent rolls.


And my favorite part of the meal, short ribs on pita crisps with fontina cheese and pickled red onions.


These were absolutely gourmet and could be served in one of the finest restaurants in NYC tomorrow. (They were also enjoyed by a fellow food blogger we befriended at Tursgiving, Maggy, who wrote about them with a recipe here)


And don’t forget about the big platter of shrimp cocktail.


And the stuffed mushroom caps.


After all the nibbles, introductions, and friend-making, it was time to sit down to Part 1 of the main event.


This was the Italian part of the meal, which started with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella with a basil vinaigrette.


And then the homemade lasagna and meat balls.  This was second only to the short rib bites.  These were both awesome and bursting with flavor.  Mike really knows how to make Italian food.


And as if that wasn’t enough food yet, it was on to the full Thanksgiving feast, including a 26 pound turkey that was herbed and covered in bacon for a full roast.

Here is the bird pre-cook wrapped in bacon.


And here is the bird ready to be carved.


Our carver went at the bird and we all looked on.

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Then there was a (really delicious) string bean casserole.




Creamed spinach.


Mashed potatoes.


Brown sugar and butter roasted sweet potatoes (so good!)


But by this time, my stomach had no more room. So I literally had one single bite of everything.  This was the most pitiful plate, but it was the best I could do.


We had to leave before dessert, sadly, due to a family obligation, but we did get a homemade panna cotta with berry coulis (which was awesome) and I stole some of my contribution to the party: Grandma’s Meringue Chocolate Chip Kisses. (still one of my all-time favorites)



I am still blown away that Mike prepares such a huge, extensive, and delicious meal for all of his friends.  We had a great time, with great food, and met some new great friends.  What an awesome day.  Can’t wait for next year!

Mike has graciously offered to share his recipes for his awesome turkey (which is based on his Grandmother’s recipe but with a twist) and the meatballs.  Turkey in this post. Meatballs in the post tomorrow.

Tursgiving 2014: Mike's Turkey


  • 24 lb Turkey
  • salt / pepper
  • 2 sprig rosemary,
  • 2 stems of sage,
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 onions
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 leek stalks
  • 1 large seedless orange
  • 6 tbsp butter separated
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • 1 pack of bacon


    Day before...
  1. Take the turkey the night before roasting and with 4 tbsp of butter and the parsley and thyme salt and pepper and stuff in between the skin and flesh of the breast meat
  2. Lather the rest of the mixture on top of the bird and cover it all with the bacon (layer strips, intersecting and woven if possible)
  3. Cover and let sit in fridge over night
  4. Morning of...
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  6. Salt and Pepper the inside of the bird and stuff with some of each of the vegetables and the rosemary and sage... whatever doesn't fit throw into the roasting pan along with your liquids
  7. Cover with aluminum foil and cook bird for an hour
  8. Then uncover and baste then cook for another hour until bacon cooks
  9. Baste every half hour
  10. After an hour (hour 2 of cooking) take the bacon off and leave it in the pan and try and stuff some into the cavity of the bird.
  11. Cook for another 2 hours and keep basting every half hour
  12. When 4 hours is up, take the juices out of the pan with your baster and remove the turkey from the oven
  13. Quickly cover with aluminum foil and place on the counter on top of a towel and cover with heavy towels so the turkey slowly cooks for the rest of the day until you are ready to carve it (do all of this swiftly as to not let too much heat escape)
  14. Tips:
  15. I like to put the bird in the oven at 730 so it's out by 1130 then carve by 5... it gives you the whole day to have the oven on for your sides or lasagna or whatever dessert you may want!
  16. When you uncover to carve take the juices and throw them into your stock pot so you have a flavorful broth to make your gravy
  17. After bird is carved throw some of your gravy onto the bird and serve!

Happy Thanksgiving Week!




A Photo Tour of Thanksgiving 2013

22 Jan

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, as mentioned a few times before.  This post is a collection of my favorite pictures from Thanksgiving 2013.

This year I paid special attention to the pies, with a new crust, which I didn’t like the taste/flake enough to recommend, though it sure rolled out well and made for a great lattice top.





And since Thanksgiving fell on Chanukah this year, we did a special themed pie. (and boy do I love the color the apples turn after soaking in red wine).


I had leftover dough and made some mini pecan pies.

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One part of the adventure for us is that we have to get from our apartment in midtown west to Grand Central Station in midtown east… which means crossing through the parade route at the very time that the parade is wrapping up.

It is always a harrowing trip, but this year I got creative and used my cupcake transporter as a double-decker pie transporter. Worked like a charm (though I did tape the entire thing together out of fear that it would break open).


Upon arrival, we were greeted by more appetizers than anyone could ever imagine (amazing what happens when you feed 40 people every year as a family).

My dad makes these guacamole shrimp toasts which I always enjoy.


And our hosts make some delicious figs with blue cheese and almonds.


These mini meatballs are always a star of the day, served in the same copper pot every year since I can remember (and maybe even since my father can remember).



The table settings are always beautiful.


And we always know where to sit.



Our hosts’ double oven sure comes in handy when we are reheating 8 different dishes at once.


And this year, they made the turkeys themselves! (We usually have them made for us)


Two big, beautiful birds.


With two odd birds assigned to carving each year (that’s my cousin Eric and aunt Linda).


Drum sticks (I dove in last year and they weren’t great… so I chose not to this year and heard they were fantastic… damn)


A beautiful carcass.


And once everything is carved, the full spread comes out.  This year we had new brussels sprouts, macaroni and cheese, and a bourbon pecan kugel to celebrate Thanksgivukkah.



And my zany father… showing off the spread.



Our incredible hosts, Uncle Mark and Aunt Wanda.



Plates of joy.



And then it was time for dessert.

Out came the pies.


And all the other wonderful sweet things (including a pavlova for the first time… awesome)


Some more contribution from the Nom Nom house: meringues and brownies.


And then the next day, we hosted the annual leftovers party… and managed to balance a whole lot of groceries on the self-check out scale.


’til next year!


Happy Thanksgivukkah!

28 Nov

Nom Man- Thanksgivukkah



May your day be filled with lots of delicious food!  Thanksgiving and Chanukah will never overlap again in our lifetime, so eat it up!