Recipes for a Delicious Thanksgiving

November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving turkeyIf you're looking for some fantastic family-friendly recipes for Thanksgiving, then we're here to help! We've decided to list all our recipes for Thanksgiving favorites here in one place for easy reference this week. We've included two different recipes for turkey, as well as a variety of sides and desserts. Enjoy! And we hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends.

The Main Event

Chef Daddy Barbeques the Thanksgiving Turkey

November 19, 2015

Thanksgiving turkey on the barbequeThis year, as I've done for several years now, I'll cook our Thanksgiving turkey on the charcoal barbeque grill. This is, in my humble opinion, the best way to cook a turkey, hands down. And it frees up the oven for more important Thanksgiving fare, like pie.

Cooking the turkey on the grill has long been my family's favorite way of doing so. I know a lot of people like to deep fry their turkeys in one of those turkey fryer contraptions, but as Captain Kirk shows in this cautionary video, it can be hazardous to life and limb.

Here's what you'll need to cook up your turkey on the grill. My method is optimized for your standard 22-inch Weber charcoal grill, so your mileage may vary with other kinds. I have no idea if this will work on gas grills, so if you try it and it doesn't work don't blame me.

Easy Asian Dumpling Soup

November 16, 2015

Easy Asian Dumpling SoupThis hearty soup hits the spot on a cool night and couldn't be easier to make. The kids love dumplings in all their forms, too, so this soup is a hit in our house.

Use quality frozen potstickers or wontons; the vegetables you use can vary depending on what you have on hand and what you and your family like. We used chicken gyoza from Trader Joe's, but you can use vegetable ones and veggie broth for a vegetarian/vegan version of this recipe.


  • 1 16-ounce bag frozen potstickers or wontons
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 3 cups chopped bok choy, napa cabbage, or spinach

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy for Thanksgiving

November 9, 2015

Herb roasted turkey breastWhen we crave those classic holiday dinner flavors, we often grab a turkey breast roast from the market and make this easier, smaller scale, and faster version of a Thanksgiving feast. It's perfect for a nice family meal or Thanksgiving dinner if your family is smaller and you don't want to deal with cooking and storing a whole turkey. Another bonus when just cooking the turkey breast: you're less likely to overcook it since it's all you're dealing with.

I grab a handful of fresh herbs from the kitchen garden and use them in a compound butter to season the turkey breast bother under and on top of the skin. Not only does this give the turkey an amazing flavor, but it makes the skin extra crispy, too.

Put the roast in a cast iron skillet or roasting pan, pop it in the oven, and you'll have dinner in no time. I love using a cast iron skillet because it makes it easy to make gravy out of the pan drippings.

Thanksgiving Side Dish: Spiced-Cider Braised Winter Squash

November 9, 2015

Apple cider braised squashThis delicious Thanksgiving side dish has the flavors of fall—winter squash and spiced apple cider. It's easy to make, and looks pretty on the holiday table, too. If you use Delicata squash, those orange- or green-striped cream-colored oval winter squash, you don't even need to peel them, and the colors look great, too. You can also make this with cubed butternut squash or pumpkin.

I adapted this from a recipe in the New York Times but used the spiced apple cider from Trader Joe's. The spice flavors are subtle and really enchance the flavor of the squash. Feel free to substitute regular apple cider.

Weeknight Recipe: Easy Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

November 2, 2015

Mexican chicken and rice soupAt this time of year, my family and I love making a warm pot of comforting soup for dinner. The kids love chicken soup in all its forms, so I created this Mexican-inspired version of chicken and rice soup to mix things up a bit.

This definitely isn't your run-of-the-mill bowl of chicken soup—it's simple but delicious and everyone loved it. Filled with chicken, rice, and vegetables, you can also mix in garnishes to personalize your bowl.

While the "right" way to make this is probably to simmer a whole chicken for a long time, this weeknight one-pot-meal is easy and quick to put together with boneless skinless chicken breasts and good quality chicken broth.


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or tenders (frozen is OK)
  • 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth

Three Deliciously Spooky Halloween Treats

October 27, 2015

Mummy hot dogsIn October, my kids and I love to make fun Halloween-themed treats for parties, snacks and school lunches. Not only are most of these healthy, but they’re fun to make and eat, too.

These recipes also make a great playgroup or play date activity or girl scout or cub scout project. Feel free to vary the recipes as you see fit.

Hot Dog Mummies


Halloween Candy Corn Fruit Parfaits

October 26, 2015

candy corn fruit parfaits I love candy corn, that quintessential fall candy. Wouldn't it be great if it was actually good for you? My kids and I made these cute "candy-corn" style fruit parfaits, with layers of yellow pineapple, orange mandarin slices, and white whipped cream. They're perfect as a sweet but healthy treat for a Halloween party or autumn snack.

You can use either fresh or canned fruit. We tried making these with both fresh mandarins and canned mandarin oranges, and the kids like the sweeter and more tender canned version better. You can also substitute thick vanilla Greek yogurt for the whipped cream.

Easy Individual Chicken Pot Pies

October 25, 2015

individual chicken pot pieUse up leftover rotisserie chicken in these quick, easy, and delicious individual pot pies. The kids love getting their own little pies, and they really like both helping make them, too! Topping each pie with a square of frozen puff pastry dough makes this really easy to make any night of the week. It's classic comfort food that's especially welcome on a cool fall evening.

If you don’t have any leftover chicken you can just cook up a couple boneless skinless chicken breasts for an equally tasty dish. Full of vegetables, they're meals in themselves.

Feel free to adapt this recipe to whatever you happen to have on hand—other vegetables you can use include broccoli, cauliflower, and sliced mushrooms, and you can use any kind of leftover meat (it's a great use for Thanksgiving turkey), or none at all for a vegetarian version (substitute veggie broth for the chicken broth). Dried herbs may be used instead of fresh—use half the amount indicated in the recipe.

If you don’t have ramekins, you can make one large pot pie in a casserole dish and place the puff pastry dough over the top; cooking time may vary from that indicated.


  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
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