Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year, when family and friends come together and eat!
As a culinary scientist, I love to geek out in the kitchen, and I can’t live without my cooking tools. (My trusty instant-read thermometer follows me wherever I go. I’m like the food-safety enforcer in the house!) I want my guests leaving well fed, happy and assured that their food has been prepared and served properly.
When I’m planning my menu for our holiday feast, I like to mix classic tried-and-true recipes with some new, healthy items for balance. My honey-cornbread muffins baked to golden perfection are must-haves, along with a homemade cranberry-orange sauce that’s incredibly easy to make — and, of course, pumpkin pie!
Side dishes are my favorite to make, because I can get creative with flavor combinations. This year’s meal will have a colorful farro salad with roasted root vegetables, honey orange-glazed Brussels sprouts, crunchy citrus green beans, and some fresh whole-wheat dinner rolls.
The best part of the day is the hustle and bustle of the kitchen as everyone works together to cook a beautiful hot meal together. I love to have festive holiday music playing to get energized and excited.
This Thanksgiving is extra-special for our family with the recent arrival of our daughter, Olivia, who will be six weeks old. I’m also thankful that my three-year-old son James is already being a caring big brother: He likes to help place the pacifier in Olivia’s mouth when it falls out.
My extended family will be joining us this year, and I plan to have a bottle of chilled sparkling apple cider for the kids and champagne for the adults as we go around the table sharing what we’re all thankful for before we dig in. I look forward to continuing this tradition each year!