All You Need for a Nourishing Thanksgiving Dinner

We’ve assembled our best Thanksgiving dinner advice here to take the “frazzle” out of your feast. For 2 full-color e-books (including one for stress free “other” meals); a 5-step Surthrival Guide; hands-on daily checklists and more, get our Holiday Surthrival Kit!


Before the Feast

Test Your LeavenersBefore you start baking, run your baking soda and baking powders through these simple tests so your desserts won’t fall flat.

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Desserts – Five delicious, seasonal options that you can make at least two to three days ahead and savor throughout the holidays.

All About Heritage Turkeys — What they are, why you’d want one, how they’re different and how to cook them.

Talking Turkey — A decoder for all the terms out there, from “fresh” to “natural” to “free-range” to “kosher” to help you decide what’s right for you.

Why Brine? — A primer on brining for a succulent bird.

What to Serve with the Thanksgiving Bird — Expert advice from Jill Hough on pairing wine with the Thanksgiving meal.

During the Feast

Slow Down and Savor the Feast — These three tips will help ground you in the ‘thanks’ and ‘giving’ part of the holiday meal.

After the Feast

Love Those Leftovers! — Five ways to make the most of the extras. Plus another bonus three.




Our Nourishing Thanksgiving Menu!

For many, the Thanksgiving feast is the biggest meal of the year, both in the scope of the menu and size of the guest list. Our nourishing, high-flavor Thanksgiving menu serves 12, and you can do much of the work ahead of time.


Even though guests know they’re in for a hearty meal, you’ll still want to greet them with a little something. Set out a bowl of Lia’s Spanish Leaning Spinach and Chickpea Dip with crackers, carrot sticks and celery spears. Make a 1.5x batch to serve this crowd.


Ginny’s Wild Rice Salad with Pistachios and Golden Raisin Vinaigrette adds a lovely, fresh note to the spread (you’ll need to make a 1.5x batch of this, too). Even better, it’s designed to be made in advance to save you time on the big day. Be sure to check out her tips for planning a stress-free feast.

Main event:

Lia’s six-ingredient Miso and Herbed-Rubbed Applewood-Smoked Turkey boasts huge flavor. Even better, it’s smoked on the grill, which frees up oven space on Thanksgiving.

On the side:

If you’re like me, you love the Thanksgiving sides best of all! Our “Sans Pan” Cider Gravy is designed to go with our grilled bird, and you can make it in advance. Round out the buffet with our interpretations of all the traditional trimmings: Green Beans with Frizzled Shallots (prep a triple batch for this menu), Susie’s Breadcrumb Stuffing (1.5x batch), Sweet Potato Puree with Honey and Crispy Shallots and Grandma Friese’s Whole Cranberries.

Sweet finale:

Pumpkin Tart with Maple Whipped Cream and Toasted Walnuts or Apple Pie with Chinese Five Spice and Hazelnut Crumb Topping? I say, make both and keep everyone happy.

To sip:

Pairing wine with a widespread menu like this can be tricky. Lia’s advice: Let the flavors of the bird be your guide. In this case, the turkey’s miso and smoky notes lead her straight to Gewurztraminer.

All of us at wish all of you and yours a happy, healthy and nourishing Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Roundup

It’s been a fun month, pondering traditions, forging new paths and sharing some of our favorite recipes. In fact, we’ve accumulated so much good stuff that we thought it worth creating a roundup before the Big Day.

tgiving-1Gratitude: We kicked the month off, appropriately, with a piece by Kurt Michael Friese on gratitude. And I know more than a few people who are thankful for his Mom’s Wild Rice Dressing recipe that he shared.

Remixing Tradition: Next up was a remake of an old family stand-by for my daughter’s third birthday. The result is a healthier, tastier Remixed Chex Mix that would make a great munchie for post-feast football.

Just Say No: Need a little inspiration to reign in your appetite? Here’s just what you need, along with a recipe for a simple Edamame Spread that would make a colorful start as a Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvre.

A Welcome Thanksgiving: Probing the traditions further, Jacqueline Church told us about her practice of opening the doors wide for the holiday, and shared tips for making every guest feel welcome. Her Boozy Chocolate Truffles don’t hurt.

tgiving-2A Story of Heritage Turkeys: Mid-month, talk turned turkey. Lia researched the story behind the heritage birds, and includes a recipe for Miso-Herb Rubbed Applewood Smoked Heritage Turkey.

Carving New Traditions: Ironically, though, Lia also shares that she won’t be featuring a turkey on her table for Thanksgiving. her family’s tradition centers around a Guatemalan staple, in honor of their daughter, with an Avocado Salad with Arugula and Chile-Lime Dressing as a side.

Le Beaujolais Nouveau Est Arrive: We can’t escape the hype, but Kurt did dig up the story behind this iconic wine to weigh in on whether we should care at all. Whichever way you fall on the wine, don’t miss Kurt’s Grandmother’s Whole Cranberries.

tgiving-3Wherever You Are, There’s the Feast: Cheryl Sternman Rule looked back on her time in Eritrea to uncover the essence of Thanksgiving, and shares this delicious Lentil Soup with Roasted Pumpkin in honor of the experience.

Turkey Time: In preparation for the holiday turkey-buying rush, Lia and Jacqueline put together a primer on what means what in turkey talk. Our “Sans Pan” Cider Gravy is a great option if you’re going to be grilling a bird.

Pair the Bottle to Your Bird: In Thanksgiving preparations, you can’t forget the wine. Here, Lia matched up four wines with four “mock” menus to illustrate basic pairing principles. Don’t miss her Pumpkin Curry if you have a bottle of Gewurztraminer left over after the feast.

Keep Your Eyes on the Sides: Alison Ashton admitted to being smitten with the sweet potato sides. And we’re glad she came clean; her mini Sweet Potato and Kale Bread Puddings are simple, stunning and satisfying.

For all of the great work by our contributors, and for all of you, I am so truly grateful. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!