Let’s Talk Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is on its way.   It’s T-will be here before you know it days until the first leg of the holiday season.  Speaking of a holiday leg, are you thinking Thanksgiving turkey yet?  Local grocery stores are preparing large areas in the freezers for the arrival of  this traditional dinner star, and I’ve got my eyes out for the sale circulars.  Timing is a big consideration in regards to the Thanksgiving turkey.  We time the purchase, defrosting, roasting and serving of the bird.

Thanksgiving turkeyBetter Homes & Gardens

In this pre-Thanksgiving dinner calm before the storm period, I am utilizing my time to gather the roasting pan, carving set, kitchen essentials and necessary information.  I thought I might offer a few suggestions to lend a holiday helping hand.  Let’s talk turkey.

Roasting the Bird

Roast/bake the turkey at 325 °F using the chart as a guide for approximate roasting times.  The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F.  Use a food thermometer to check the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.  The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 °F for safety.


I’m a fourth generation fan of the granite ware oval roasting pan. Traditions rule in the Places In The Home holiday kitchen, and roasting a turkey like my great grandmother, grandmother and mother did requires a granite ware oval roaster.

granite-oval-roasterGranite Ware Oval Roaster

It speaks holidays to me, but I could be swayed by this copper roasting pan beauty.

copper-roasting-panSur La Table

Time saving multitasking marvels of kitchen efficiency are my kind of holiday helping hand!  Equally as important as a well-stocked holiday pantry is a well organized holiday baking, cooking and entertaining kitchen.


A cook is only as good as the kitchen and cooking essentials, tools and accessories he or she uses.

Love your style!




I Saw, I Prepared & I Love! Southern Living Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad

The summer salad season has officially kicked off !  Southern Living is required reading at Places In The Home, and my late week digital discovery impressed me so much I posted it to our Facebook page.  The more I thought about this week’s recipe, the more my culinary thoughts turned to Southern Living’s Grape, Broccoli and Pasta Salad.  The cupboards and refrigerator were well stocked with the necessary ingredients, it was raining cats and dogs out, and my calendar was clear of obligations. Perfect!  Let’s copy, print and create summer salad magic.


Southern Living~ Photo: Jennifer Davick

Grape, Broccoli and Pasta Salad


1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 (16-oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta

1 pound fresh broccoli

1 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup diced red onion

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups seedless red grapes, halved

8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled


Preheat oven to 350°.  Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through.  Prepare pasta according to package directions.


Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, separating florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife.  Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.

592px-Broccoli3 via

Whisk together mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and grapes, and stir to coat.  I used bacon ranch salad dressing instead of mayonnaise and also added extra bacon. Cover and chill 3 hours.  Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.