Thanksgiving Recipe Homeruns


Thanksgiving Recipe Homeruns


Part of the pleasure of cooking Thanksgiving dinner is knowing exactly what you’re going to make versus the usual racking your brain to come up with inventive dishes to impress your dinner guests.  For my family and close friends, there’s something comforting about knowing that each year they can expect to eat my carrot soup or creamed spinach gratin. God forbid I drop something from the menu, as I once made the mistake of doing. The revolt was shocking: “what do you mean no carrot soup? But you always make carrot soup,” said my teary-eyed son who was 8 years old at the time.  So I’ve learned my lesson and am sure to whip up the usual suspects.  That’s not to say that I don’t try new things every year because I do.  My rule of thumb is try one new recipe every year. If any of the food is left on the plate, then I know it’s not a keeper.  The hard part is figuring out what to cut out to make room for the new.

But there are certain dishes that are “off the table” from ending up on the butcher block, like obviously the guest of honor–the turkey, or my sweet mashed potatoes, cornbread-sausage stuffing, cranberry relish, creamed spinach gratin, roasted brussel sprouts with pancetta and tarragon and creamed carrot soup.  I know what you’re thinking: I must be feeding an army. Well, no only a party of 17 but since my greatest fear is not having enough food, I overcompensate with having too much.


Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, but it’s also a time chock full of traditions, something kids tend to love and hang onto year after year. Some of our family favorite traditions include;

Thursday morning Turkey Bowl Soccer Game with 10 families at Binney Park in Old Greenwich. It’s kids vs. adults. . Followed by showers, cocktails and Thanksgiving dinner and more cocktails!

Friday brunch with turkey sandwich and all the fixins.

Friday night dinner is always pasta with leftover turkey, shallots, sundried tomato, cream and basil. Yum!

Saturday we always go out for sushi.

What are your family traditions? We’d love to hear from you.


If you’re looking to try out some new recipes for Thanksgiving, here are two of my all time faves that your family and friends are sure to love:


Carrot soup (My Mom’s Recipe)


5 medium-sized carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

½ cup water

½ teaspoon each salt and sugar

1 tablespoon chopped onion

¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter

4 tablespoons flour

1 cup veal or chicken stock

1 ¼ cups milk

2 egg yolks

salt and ground white pepper to taste

½ cup heavy cream

grated carrot (I substitute with chopped parsley)


Place sliced carrots, water, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Cover and cook slowly 15 minutes or until carrots are soft.  Cook onion in butter until onion is soft, remove from heat, and blend in flour.  Stir and cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat and stir in stock, 1 cup of the milk, and the carrots.  Cook 10 minutes over moderately low heat, stirring frequently. Mix egg yolks with the rest of the milk and add to the soup.  Heat.  Strain through a fine sieve or blend in a blender, a little at a time.  Add salt, pepper, and cream. Cook only until soup is hot enough to serve.  Serve in soup plates, garnish with a little grated carrot or parsley. Makes 6 serving ( more like 4, so be prepared to double or even quadruple)


Creamed Spinach Gratin (Barefoot Contessa Recipe)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick )

4 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large)

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 cup heavy cream

2 cups mil

About 3 pounds frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (5 10-ounce packages)

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup grated Gruyere cheese


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.


Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat.

Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 15 minutes.  Add the flour and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes.  Add the cream and milk and cook until thickened.

Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach and add the spinach to the sauce.  Add ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Transfer the spinach to a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup Parmesan and the Gruyere on top.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.  * I cook it longer, about 35 to 40 minutes.


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