This week, these delicious Thanksgiving recipes from come to goop a day early to give us time to brine the turkey and make preparations.

    I am grateful for all of you, my goop readers.


    Thanksgiving recipes from weelicious:

    Maple Brined Turkey

    Makes 10-12 Servings

    • 1 Cup Maple Syrup
    • 1 Cup Salt (preferably kosher)
    • 1 12-14 Pound Turkey (defrosted if frozen)
    • 1 Orange
    • 1 Onion, quartered
    • 10 Cloves
    • 20 Peppercorns
    • 3 Star Anise
    • 1-2 Tbsp Vegetable or Canola Oil

    1.Place the maple syrup and salt in 4 cups of hot water. Stir until the salt dissolves.

    2.Place the maple syrup mixture in a large stock pot with a gallon of cold water, the juice of the orange, the orange halves (once juiced, of course), the onion, cloves, peppercorns, and star anise and stir to combine.

    3.Wash the turkey inside and out (putting aside the neck and liver to make gravy) and place breast side down in the stockpot with the brine (you want the brine to just cover the turkey).

    4.Refrigerate 18 hours to 2 days. (Or, you can set it in a cool safe place outdoors as long as it’s below 55 degrees F outside).

    5.Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

    6.Take the turkey out of the brine and rinse inside and out with cold water, discarding brine.

    7.Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a wide, low pan and blot the turkey with a paper towel.

    8.Tuck back the wings (or cover with small pieces of foil) and rub the skin of the turkey with the oil.

    9.Roast on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes and then place a piece of foil just over the breast of the turkey to cover (the breast cooks faster than the legs and wings so this process helps it to cook more evenly).

    10.Pour 1 cup of water in the pan, reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to roast 1 hour.

    11.Remove the foil from the breast, turn the pan so the other side of the breast is towards the back of the oven (most ovens' heat comes from the back, so turning the pan prevents overcooking) and cook for another hour to 90 minutes. Insert a meat thermometer into the deepest part of the thigh (avoiding the bone) until you reach a temperature of 160-165 degrees F. The turkey will actually continue to cook a bit more even after you take it out of the oven (the total cooking time in the oven will be 2 1/2 to 3 hours total).

    12.Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes (this is an essential step to allow the juices to redistribute and settle).

    13.Slice and serve.

    Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Lemon & Poppy Seeds

    Makes 6 Servings

    • 1 Lb. Brussels Sprouts, stem ends trimmed
    • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
    • 1 Tbsp Oil
    • 1 Tbsp Butter
    • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
    • 1/2 Tsp Salt
    • 1/2 Tsp Lemon Zest
    • 2 Tsp Poppy Seeds
    • 1/4 Cup Chicken Stock

    1.Finely chop the Brussels sprouts with a knife (or in a food processor) and into small pieces.

    2.Place in a bowl with lemon juice and toss to coat (this should prevent the leaves from losing their bright color). At this point you can cover the Brussels sprouts and refrigerate for several hours until you’re ready to cook them.

    3.Heat butter and oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Saute the Brussels sprouts for 2 minutes. Add the salt, garlic, lemon zest and poppy seeds and continue to cook an additional 2 minutes.

    4.Pour in the chicken stock and cook 1 more minute.


    Sweet Potato Biscuits

    Makes 6 Servings

    • 2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
    • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
    • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
    • 1 Tsp Salt
    • 1/4 Cup Butter, chilled and cubed
    • 1 Cup Sweet Potatoes, cooked & mashed
    • 1/3 Cup Milk
    • 2 Tbsp Honey
    • Cooking Spray

    1.Preheat oven to 400 F.

    2.Place the first 4 ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.

    3.Add butter and pulse till it resembles coarse meal.

    4.Add sweet potatoes, milk and honey and pulse till dough comes together.

    5.Place dough onto parchment paper and knead 5 times together and shape into a flat disk.

    6.Place another parchment paper on top and roll out 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick and cut into biscuits.

    7.Place biscuits on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

    8.Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.

    9.Cool and serve.

    Individual Pumpkin Cheesecakes

    Makes 8 Individual Ramekins

    • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softened (I soften mine on a plate for 20 seconds in the microwave)
    • 1 15 oz Can Pumpkin Puree
    • 2 Eggs
    • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
    • 1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
    • 1/2 Cup Agave or Honey
    • Accompaniments: Crushed Gingersnap Cookies or Graham Crackers, whipped cream or ice cream

    1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    2.In a mixer or in a bowl with beaters, beat the cream cheese until creamy and smooth.

    3.Add the pumpkin and mix until smooth and combined.

    4.Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined.

    5.Add the remaining ingredients and combine.

    6.Pour into 8 ramekins and fill 3/4 full.

    7.Bake for 25 minutes.

    8.Cool and serve.

    Interview with Catherine McCord of weelicious

    Q: Did you always cook or did you start when you had kids?

    Catherine McCord:

    A: I've been cooking since I was a kid. My mother tells stories of me at a very young age doing everything from trying to toast pumpkin seeds by myself at 8 years old, to coming into the kitchen to find me and a little friend melting butter on the stove, to making cookies at age 4, to almost burning the house down at 5. My grandparents loved farming and taught me a ton about the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables, so those lessons were ingrained in me from an early age too. Still, even though I attended culinary school I had a very hard time trying to find my place professionally within the culinary world. Having my kids and starting weelicious changed all that and I finally discovered my calling!

    Q: How did you decide to start weelicious?

    A: When I had my son, Kenya, I knew that I wanted to make homemade baby food for him. I just didn't know where to start. Surprisingly, there was a real dearth of information on the internet as to what to do. I began educating myself as to what to feed a baby and committed myself to making fresh and delicious foods in simple and interesting ways that would inspire Kenya’s taste buds. I started blogging and posting a different baby food recipe everyday as a resource for other parents and, kind of organically, it turned into weelicious. I started out with baby food, but as Kenya and Chloe got older, it naturally evolved into toddler recipes and now into food for the whole family.

    Q: You post a new recipe every day and a video every week, how do you do it all with a husband and two young kids?

    A: It’s a real challenge at times, but I’m lucky because my office is our kitchen, so I don’t have to commute to work and it allows me to be with the kids every day. Also, since I have to feed my family three meals a day, what I make for work every day becomes dinner every night. And in turn, my husband and kids are my in-house taste testers, which makes perfecting recipes easier for me. They love me, but they are also my toughest critics, so when they approve of what I make, I feel confident putting it out into the world.

    Q: What are the top three most popular videos/recipes you have posted?

    A: That's a tough one. After over 3 years of recipes there are a few that I still consistently get feedback from my readers on. I would say Breakfast Cupcakes, Banana Bites, Pumpkin Apple Muffins, Graham Crackers  and Spinach Ricotta Bites are all really popular.

    Q: What, in your opinion, is the most important thing about feeding your family? Togetherness? Nutrition? What is it for you?

    A: All of it! There are so many things, it’s hard to pick just one. To me, understanding food is a great way for kids to learn about themselves and the world around them. It teaches them about family, health, values and self-respect in addition to nature and their relationship to the earth. On the smallest level, it reinforces what family is to me. Some of my favorite childhood memories are rooted in food. We ate as a family every night and my husband and I try to do that with our kids too. And it's not just about eating together. It's the entire process, from shopping, to cooking, to consuming. At the end of the day, it's about balance and finding that place where everyone in the family can be together to share their love of great food! We buy about 80% of the food we eat at our local farmers market from the cheese, bread, fruits, fish and more. We make a family affair out of shopping together, getting the kids to taste everything as we go and even allowing them to help in the kitchen so they can develop independence and have ownership over the food that goes in their bodies.

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