Monday, December 15, 2008

Thanksgiving dinner take 2: Curtesy of Kelsey Nixon

A few weeks ago now I took a cooking class with my mom from Kelsey Nixon who made it to the final four of last seasons "The Next Food Network Star". She is as fun and bubbly in person as she is on tv and will definitely do very well in life. She did a class featuring a quick and easy Thanksgiving meal and after tasting how delicious it was wanted to give it a wack myself.

So let's begin with the Turkey: Instead of a whole turkey she did a turkey breast then made an herb compound butter with lots of garlic, fresh thyme and rosemary. Then she sprinkled it with some Italian sesasoning. Fabulous! It turned out very moist and super flavorful. This was the first turkey dish I had every made and it turned out pretty good which means that this is definitely a full proof recpe!

Now for the cranberry sauce: Let's just put it this way, I have never eaten cranberry sauce on my turkey till this recipe came along. It is wonderful, the orange and the cinnamin pair so perfectly with the cranberry that anyone will love it.

Sweet potatoes: So don't laugh but I just found out that yams and sweet potatoes are two completely different things. I am not a yam fan but I loved how she prepared her sweet potatoes. Roasting them with the garlic and thyme was very delicious. So delicious that I have made them since.

So if you are wanting to make a wonderful turkey for your family dinner and want to go even further and pair some cranberry sauce with it and sweet potatoes, try these recipes out! They are most definitely full proof and very flavorful.


½ cup butter, softened
¼ cup garlic, minced
½ bunch rosemary, chopped
½ bunch thyme, chopped
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 (6-8) lb turkey breast bone in

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a small bowl, mix the butter, garlic, rosemary and thyme; set aside
3. Wash the turkey inside and out; pat dry. Remove any large fat deposits. Loosen the skin from the breast. This is done by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose, being careful not to tear the skin.
4. Using your hands or spatula, spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin. Rub the remainder of the butter mixture over the outside of the breast. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat. Season the outside of the Turkey breast with Italian seasoning, paprika, black pepper and kosher salt.
5. Arrange the carrot, celery and onion inside the bag to create a base for the turkey to sit on. Place the turkey on top of the vegetables breast side up. Roast in the preheated over 1 ¼ to 2 hours, or until the internal temp of the bird reaches 170 degrees.
6. Allow turkey to rest in bag for 10-15 minutes before removing from bag and carving.

yield: 6-8

(sorry! I can't believe I didn't take a pic of the potatoes! Guess you will have to make them and see how they turn out yourselves!)

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minces
1/3 c. fresh thyme leaves, plus 6 thyme psrigs for garnish
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 450. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Arrange potato slices in single layer on heavy weight rimmed baking sheet.

Place on top rack of oven and roast until tender and slightly browned, about 25-30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp, garnish with thyme sprigs.

Cranberry Sauce
yield: 2.25 cups

1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
1 12-oz package fresh or frozen cranberries
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine sugar and orange juice in a med saucepan. Bring to boil' add cranberries and cinnamon, return to boil. Reduced heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temp. Refrigerate until serving time.


  1. Hey Carly,

    You are so lucky. I liked her so much on the food show challenge. I have the same bad habit she does when I say stuff like, when I was in Grad School.... lol.... Or, when I was interning... lol.....

    Oh well, she is so cute and I think she could have her own show for sure, just like I think you could too.

    Hey have you ever made a black vevlet cake? Any ideas on it? Its my aunts' favorite and i want to make it for her for Christmas. I could even do a cupcake variety? What do you think? lol....

    Love ya girl and you look so cute...

  2. i went to this class too and LOVED IT! everything tasted so lovely and fresh. I made the cranberry sauce and roasted thyme sweet potatoes for our thanksgiving.

    kelsey really was fantastic.