Random Links Because It’s the Day Before Thanksgiving, and You Aren’t Paying Attention to Work Anyway

The Christmas cactus I got from a clipping of WooWoo's has bloomed for the first time in it's 7 years here! Rivermont is magic.

The Christmas cactus I got from a clipping of WooWoo’s has bloomed for the first time in it’s 7 years here! Rivermont is magic.

Happy Wednesday! At this time tomorrow you’ll be snuggled up on the couch watching Al kick off the parade at 77th & Central Park West. But today? Today you’re stuck in your cubicle counting down the minutes until you can make a run to the grocery store for (insert random item here). So I thought it would be fun to share few random links I found as well as a few pictures from Rivermont.

Husband got to work when he came home! #newoldhouse #rivermont #kitchen #reno #diy

A photo posted by Hannah B. (@hb_belle) on

I posted this instagram the other night so I thought I’d share a few more pictures. Basically, we’ve decided that the kitchen is going to be a long process, but we’re determined to go ahead and start redoing it little by little. First up, we’ll be switching out the old appliances for some used ones that we bought. Then, we’ll be moving the laundry from a small room in the kitchen to the second level. Since we plan on taking down the walls anyway, I came home to this set up the other night.

Kitchen demo begins | Hannah & Husband

Why yes, that is my husband in a sweatshirt. Demo is one of the few household activities with such a loose dress code.

Cooking dinner during some kitchen demo. | Hannah & Husband

The ladder made cooking dinner a little hilarious. But demo has begun, and I’m so excited! There’s a plumber here this morning running a gas line to the kitchen. Huzzah! So here’s the view from today’s workspace. That dog always manages to find the sunshine.

Dexter sunning in the parlor at Rivermont | Hannah & Husband

And now the links…

Words of Wisdom from Julia Child | Hannah & Husband

I didn’t think it was possible to love Julia Child more after reading My Life in France, but this article by Julia Moskin in the New York Times did just that. It recalls how the Childs’ phone would ring incessantly on Thanksgiving with strangers that had questions about their turkey.

“But Mrs. Child refused to unlist her number or turn off the phone; instead, she embraced the role of national Thanksgiving commander in chief.”

The Times also tweeted out this 1971 snippet…

Finally, we are watching West Wing again. (YES, AGAIN! Don’t judge me!) So here’s a little Thanksgiving clip to remind you that while Julia is no longer with us, someone is still waiting by the phone to assist with your Thanksgiving questions and concerns.

Happy day before Thanksgiving!

Tunes To Bake To Playlist

With only 2 days to go before the big day, I’ll be spending my evening prepping pie crust and polishing silver. With that in mind, I made a new playlist yesterday suitable for all your baking, cooking, and dancing in the kitchen needs. Listen below or click here to follow this playlist on Spotify.

Stories from the Kitchen: Liz’s Cranberry Thanksgiving Jello

We all have those talented friends that make us envy their style as well as their DIY prowess. Today, I’d like to introduce you to one of mine. Liz Gray has impeccable taste, and she is always up for a party. She also happens to be a senior editor for HGTV.com and is one of the lovely ladies behind the blog I Heart HGTV. Liz always manages to bring a little sunshine wherever she goes so when she sent me the recipe for Cranberry Thankagiving Jello with the note that it is usually made in “Grandma Pat’s copper chicken and lobster molds,” I couldn’t help but smile. Of course it is. This retro sparkly dish is delicious, and will also give you an excuse to add a new character to the Thanksgiving table. 

Stories from the Kitchen | Hannah & Husband

My first memories of cookbooks are of my Grandma Pat’s 1950s cookbooks, from Julia Child’s the Art of French cooking to the 1955 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Each member of my family had their own section they gravitated to: My dad and sister were the bakers, making piled-high fruit pies. I loved the fashion and the almost lacquered look of the food in the photos — have you ever seen a ham shine like that in real life? My mom, though, was all about the aspic chapter. Tomato aspic. Beef consumme. They were all good jelled, she assured us.

I can’t say I’m a fan of either of those, but I am most definitely a fan of her annual Thanksgiving Jello mold, always made during the dead of night on Thanksgiving Eve. Think of an apple-cranberry salad suspended in cranberry jello; it’s equal parts jello mold and cranberry sauce. To bring it full-circle, my mom always uses Grandma Pat’s copper chicken and lobster molds. It tastes better than chicken or seafood gelatin and is much more dramatic with its deep cranberry hue atop lettuce leaves. Here is the recipe, as written by my mom.

Stories from the Kitchen: Liz's Cranberry Thanksgiving Jello | Hannah & Husband

Cranberry Thanksgiving Jello


3 packages strawberry Jello (3 oz each)
Two apples
3/4 bag of cranberries
1 cup of pecans
Cranberry-raspberry juice
5-6 tablespoons sour cream

Boil water. Dissolve Jello in 3 cups boiling H2O.
Put 1 tray of ice cubes in measuring cup. Cover with cranberry-raspberry juice to make 3 cups. When ice dissolves, add to Jello mixture. Set about 1/4 of the Jello liquid aside and leave out of fridge.

Put the rest of the Jello into 2-3 molds and place in fridge for 1- 1.5 hours, until somewhat thickened. In the meantime, pulse the food processor to chop apples, cranberries and pecans until finely chopped. Add 3 teaspoons of sugar to this mixture and stir.

When jello is thickened slightly, add the cranberry/apple pecan mix. ( I just blend it in to the top in the mixture, rather than all through it, to leave some plain Jello on the bottom.) Mix the reserved jello with the sour cream (or yogurt) and pour a layer over the top of the fruit and nuts in the Jello.

Return to the fridge for about 4 more hours, or until firm. To unmold, dip mold into lukewarm water  just until sides loosen… but not until liquid:-( Unmold quickly on a bed of greens.

VOILA!! There you are!

Stories from the Kitchen: Liz's Cranberry Thanksgiving Jello | Hannah & Husband

To reduce recipe: For each packet, you need one cup of boiling water and 1 of cold liquid. The ice is not necessary, but helps it to gel faster. Decrease your additions accordingly. Last year I used too much stuff, so be careful. A nice even layer spread over the top of the jello is best. Then mix in slightly.

Click here to follow Liz’s posts on HGTV.com

Stories from the Kitchen: Joe Garcia’s Leftover Turkey Gumbo

Last week, I introduced you to our friend Joe Garcia. Today, he’s sharing a recipe inspired by his days as a rogue culinary freshman in Louisiana. Warning: I will most definitely be instagramming this dish when I make it next weekend! Here’s Joe’s recipe for Leftover Turkey Gumbo.
Stories from the Kitchen | Hannah & Husband

There is one thing I love, that signals the handoff from Thanksgiving to Christmas (or Chanukah, we don’t leave anyone out) and it is Leftover Turkey Gumbo.

We don’t do much on Black Friday, since my beloved is up like an overcaffeinated Amish with a gnawing conscience, and she stays gone all the livelong day, as does most of the distaff side of our friend roster. So Black Friday is spent in social hibernation, plotting and scheming regarding weighty matters potable and edible.

This recipe was cobbled together with the influence of a dear college friend’s mother many, many epochs ago. As a 17 year old freshperson away from the comfort of a Miami home, Louisiana cuisine possessed both an insanely exotic appeal, as well as approachable and recognizable aspects to someone from southernmost Florida. The real big difference was the flavor profile, relying more on chile heat to counterpoint richness than with citrus/vinegar acid as I had known until then.

In no time at all, I was gumbo-ing up a storm, in an electric wok (!) which was useless as a wok, but ideal for this purpose and easy to conceal from the prying eyes of the dorm’s R.A., he of the suspicious and distrusting nature, and saddled with a zeal for confiscation of the implements of civilized nourishment. This skill stood me in good stead, especially on quiet weekends on campus (when cafeteria fare was especially limited) and I could put out a couple of wooden crates and lawn chairs and hand gumbo off to girls passing by.

Anyway, lazing around on a particular Black Friday pondering what to do, I remembered a certain “leftover chicken and sausage soup” which I loved when I visited our family in Northern Spain. So I thought:

1- Turkey is, in certain relevant and applicable respects, a big chicken.

2- Gumbo is, for our purposes, soup.

3- Andouille is sausage.

4- I have eleventy squillion pounds of leftover turkey.

5- I live in sunny, tropical So. Florida, basically the factory outlet for fresh shrimp.

So I came up with this. Now, the beauty of this recipe is that even with a substandard moisture-free turkey, you can still make your tastebuds “do the Wave” and if you are the sort of person saddled with an obsessive kitchen streak, even burly men will weep openly in joy.

Leftover Turkey Gumbo

Generously serves 4 Miamians or 6 normal persons

¼ c. peanut oil (or vegetable oil, if you are allergic to peanuts)

¼ c. all-purpose flour (unbleached if at all possible)

1½ lb head-on medium (31-40 count) shrimp, or 1 lb. headless

2 quarts water

1 c. diced onion

½ c. diced celery

½ c. diced bell peppers (I like the red ones; any non-green — heresy, I know — peppers will work. You do whatever.)

2 tablespoons garlic, minced as finely as your patience will allow

½ c. peeled, seeded and diced tomato (packaged will do in a pinch, in which case I suggest the Pomi ones in the carton, keeping in mind those are UNsalted)

1 T. coarse salt

½ t. freshly ground black pepper

1 t. fresh thyme, chopped

¼-½ t. cayenne pepper

2 bay leaves

1 T. filé powder

½ lb. andouille sausage (I prefer Aidell’s, but Amy Lou’s is good too. Otherwise get what they have where you live.), sliced at an angle into ¼” thick pieces

½ lb. leftover turkey (do NOT fuss over the dark/light meat ratio, just make sure you have no gristle/skin included) chopped or shredded up into bite-size pieces

Preheat the oven (!) to 350F.

Put the oil and flour into a 5 to 6-quart pot (a Dutch oven is great if you have one) and stir together. Place on the center rack of the oven, uncovered, and cook for 90 minutes, whisking every half hour. All right-thinking Louisianans consider this step to be outright heresy. Embrace and live with it.

Decapitate, peel and devein the shrimp. Stash the shrimp in a ziplock bag with a light brine in the refrigerator. Place the heads and shells in a saucepan along with the water, set to boil. Drop the heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and strain the liquid into a container, discarding the solids. If you do not have head-on shrimp available, use a couple of bottles of clam juice in place of +/- pint of water. If you only have peeled shrimp, use the turkey carcass to make turkey stock. Let cool to room temperature. (Hot stock will gelatinize the starch in the roux too quickly.)

Once the roux is done (it will look like semisweet chocolate), carefully remove it from the oven and set over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic and cook, stirring maniacally for 7 to 8 minutes or until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves and stir to combine. Dribble the shrimp/turkey/whatever stock as you whisk nonstop. Drop the heat to low, cover and simmer for 35 minutes. Add the sausage and filé powder while stirring constantly.

Off the heat, add shrimp and turkey to pot, cover and allow to sit until the shrimp JUST turns pink, about 5-7 minutes. Toss the bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper and serve with some Louisiana-style hot sauce to provide additional heat to those who like it that way. This is traditionally served with white rice, I like something along the jasmine/basmati spectrum…just mound it on a shallow soup plate and spoon the gumbo around it.


Click here to follow Joe on Twitter, and add his blog, Basic Civilization, to your reader.

Stories from the Kitchen: Mallory Viscardi’s Holiday Cranberry Sauce

I work for a huge company and never is this more apparent than when people come up and say, “Oh, you work for Scripps. Do you know ____?” *sigh* “No.” Nine times our of ten my answer is no. But when a friend heard I’d be traveling to NYC on a more regular basis in 2012, she was kind enough to set up an introduction with a coworker in New York named Mallory Viscardi. Our first meeting consisted of tacos on the High Line and lots of talk about food and husbands. I don’t think I’d ever met anyone who cared so much about cookbooks and the perfect cookie recipes but there she was, and I wanted to be her friend. Three years later, I’m happy to say that thanks to the power of the internet, that worked out quite nicely. She and her husband moved to Nashville, have the cutest little baby girl (who is the star of her Instagram), and the food on her blog, Country Mouse Confessions, is more swoon-worthy than ever. So needless to say, I was thrilled when I received her story.

There’s something about this time of year in the kitchen that makes me miss my own grandmother so much while feeling closer to her at the same time. Mallory’s story reminded me of that, and also reminded me why I love the internet so much. I love that Mallory can share this recipe with all of us so that we can share in her memories of Mimi. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be going cinnamon shopping today!


Stories from the Kitchen: Mallory Viscardi's Holiday Cranberry Sauce  | Hannah & Husband

Mimi & Mallory on her first Thanksgiving | photo courtesy of Mallory Viscardi

In my (big, Irish) family, as soon as the clock strikes midnight after Halloween, The Holiday Season officially begins. And that means feasting. Now my father’s mother, my Mimi, was magical. She was special every day, but there was something about the dishes she made for the holidays that really made the wonder of the season dance to life. It took years after she passed away for the holidays to feel special again. She ran the house from her kitchen, a place where some of my earliest culinary memories live: the magical way flour floats through the air like fairy dust when you knead bread, the way cookies rise and brown in the oven, the way the whole house smelled when her signature spice blend was used in anything she made (cinnamon, cloves, citrus).

It’s with that signature spicy scent in mind that I make this cranberry dish each year, in my Mimi’s honor. Just a whiff of the cloves, cinnamon, and citrus take me back to those special days I spent perched on a chair at her counter, face smudged with molasses or chocolate, watching her create magic one ingredient at a time. I’m not going to lie to you… Everyone in the family grumbled the first year I made this cranberry sauce, being loyal to the gelatinous glob that comes from a can and tastes something like sugary paste. “Don’t mess with tradition,” they whined. Your family might whine, too. But I promise you, fight the good fight against bland, flavorless cranberry sauce and within a bite or two of this dish even the most grumbly of holiday guests will come around.

Stories from the Kitchen: Mallory Viscardi's Holiday Cranberry Sauce  | Hannah & Husband

photo courtesy of Mallory Viscardi

The bright, aromatic flavors in this dish celebrate cranberries as they were always meant to be enjoyed at the holiday table. I know most home cooks don’t stock more than one type of cinnamon in their pantry, but I strongly encourage you ahead of this holiday season to explore the nuances between Ceylon and Cassia. Each has its own signature scent and flavor, and you’ll find using the right cinnamon (or a combination of both) will take your holiday dishes to a whole new level of extraordinary. I’ve included a note about where I order mine at the end of the recipe for you. Additionally, if you’re feeling fancy or adventurous, you can also swap meyer lemon in for the orange (using zest and juice from 1½ meyer lemons) and you’ll get a dish that more acutely plays up the natural and delightful tart-sweet flavor of cranberry.

Stories from the Kitchen: Mallory Viscardi's Holiday Cranberry Sauce  | Hannah & Husband

photo courtesy of Mallory Viscardi

Holiday Cranberry Sauce

makes 8-10 servings


1 12-ounce bag of fresh cranberries
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses (blackstrap if you have it)
zest and juice from one orange (or from 1½  meyer lemons)
¼ teaspoon ground cassia cinnamon (Chinese is the most common)
¼ teaspoon ground ceylon cinnamon (Vietnamese is the most common)
pinch of ground cloves

In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients plus 1½  tablespoons of water.

Cook over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and combine the spices, juice, and water into a syrup, until the cranberries soften, around 10 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium and cook further until the cranberries burst, another 10-12 minutes (depending on how chunky you want it, cook longer for more burst cranberries / a smoother overall texture). I smash mine down with a spatula toward the end of cooking because my family prefers it more like a sauce; poke at it until you find a texture that looks delicious to you.

Let cool to room temperature, and you’ll notice the liquid thickens up as the natural pectin in the cranberries works its magic. Now all you have to do is try to keep from eating the whole bowl of cranberry sauce before guests arrive.

Make-ahead tip:

You can make and store this in the fridge in an airtight container up to a week in advance. I like mine best after 2-3 days, when the flavors from the cinnamon and cloves and orange have really bloomed.

And you can find the cinnamons I use from Savory Spice Shop online: Ceylon, Cassia.


Turkey-ish Delights (aka The Best Thanksgiving Wine)

I very distinctly remember when I got hooked on Twitter and it is due, in part, to today’s guest. The interwebs are the perfect place to meet your tribe–people that share your tastes and passions. I imagine if Julia Child and Avis DeVoto were pen pals today, their relationship may have started because of a twitter exchange. We have bonded with Joe Garcia over dinner menus, font selections, and menswear. His Boxing Day Brunch is a legendary feast I hope to attend one day. So who could be better to teach us about the perfect wine to pair with our Thanksgiving feast? Without further ado, Joe Garcia…

Turkey-ish Delights: Pair the Right Wine With Your Thanksgiving Dinner | Joe Garcia for Hannah & Husband

Thanksgiving is nearly at our throats and, as this is the one holiday dedicated to the principle that one ought freely engage in lucullan self-abuse and be grateful for the opportunity, the motto of “What ought we drink?” is heard echoing throughout the top floors of JMG Tower in ringing baritones.

Passersby accost me, women of a certain age and lurid disposition sidle up to me in the produce section of our local supermarkets, and incomplete foodies look upon us pleadingly. They all are aware of the searing need for vinapedic guidance.

Which brings us – calloo, callay! — to today, your day of potable deliverance.

In order for us to tell you what you ought drink, we must first start with what you must specifically not drink: Beaujolais Nouveau. This is not some sort of atavistic Francophobia or anti-Gallic editorial policy or viticultural jingoism. It is based on the hard fact that Beaujolais Nouveau simply doesn’t make sweet, sweet music with the typical Thanksgiving Day menu. The marketing wizards will tell you Beaujolais Nouveau “goes with everything.” Which is a yes-and-no proposition. It is simple enough and fruity enough and et cetera enough to not stand athwart the groaning board hurling vile abuse at your palate.

But that’s hardly a rousing endorsement, is it?

Mind you, this isn’t limited to Beaujolais Nouveau; the Usual Suspects (even when they avoid the dreaded International StyleTM) are all in trouble with the foodstuffs of gratitude. There is only one wine that has the muscle to cope well with the sage and pepper inflected turkey’s dark meat and white meat, and the cornbread, and the sausage bedecked stuffing/dressing, and the gravy and the cranberries and even that thing with the green beans and the canned fried onions and condensed soup your least favorite aunt brings every year. We’re talking about Zinfandel.

Sadly, most Zinfandel gets recognition for “white Zinfandel” which is a role for which it is catastrophically ill-suited, i.e., to become a wine that is little more than a wine cooler without training wheels. No, no, no. We’re talking real Zinfandel. It even has the happy characteristic of not being one of those grapes that has been planted up one continent and down the other. It’s a cheerfully American thing, this Zinfandel.

Now, if you are having a Thanksgiving bash with 50 of your closest friends and family some of whom might be considered, in technical terms, philistines, you’ll want to pick a more accessible and affordable Zinfandel than if the party consisted of 20 or 8. Basically you want something with soft tannins, cherry-berry fruit, decent acidity and a good spice backbone. Here are the choices depending on how colossal your festivities are, from largest to smallest.

2012 Ravenswood Winery Zinfandel Vintner’s Blend California ($9 street price)

If you had to pick a Zinfandel with exactly zero research – blind, if you will – your safest bet is to reach for something from Ravenswood. At any price, this is a great wine. At $9, it’s practically pointing a Pilgrim’s blunderbuss at you and demanding to be taken home. The color is a standard red, not purple and not any of that rust/brick either. It has a berry brightness that is adorned with very notable spicy and mineral-ly characteristics, with a hint (just a hint, but I’m not crazy here) of citrus. Around this time you notice how deliciously unobtrusive the tannins are, lending just enough support to keep things smooth and sleek. The closer you get to the finish the more pronounced the berry thing becomes, which wraps up with a delicious cherry/spice character. Given that my Thanksgiving will consist of a medium-sized horde, I bought a case of this very thing. With the case discount, it really is an stunning bargain and will also pair up fantastically with grilled steaks. (You’re welcome.)

2012 Sandler Wine Company Zinfandel Buck Hill Vineyard Sonoma County ($23 street price)

Yes, it’s another zinfandel. I know. But this serves to underscore my point that, if you wanted the closest thing to a “foolproof” choice, Zinfandels are among the finalists. This one is clear scarlet, with the usual blackberry/raspberry aromas, with a smoky/herby edge. It has a gleeful acidity and a crisp minerality. Amazing finish, with a bit more tannin than its kid brother above. Good bet for cellaring. (If you can find the 2004, grab it and run, the extra year will have made it even more stellar.)

2012 Ridge Vineyards Geyserville Sonoma County ($36 street price)

Ridge is another of the realibly excellent Zinfandel producers. This one is a purple-red, with a huge bouquet of blackberries and cherries, assorted mineral-ness and herbes de Provence, with hints of star anise and pepper. The body is less than you’d expect from a Zinfandel, but it’s lush and supple and the tannins just poke their heads out to say “hi.” (This is also sometimes available in half-bottles at about $20.)

 Click here to follow Joe on Twitter, and be sure to check out Basic Civilization during the month of Decemeber! 

Our HOA Meetings Are Better Than Yours

When we moved to Rivermont, I was admittedly a little nervous when I heard there was a homeowners association. I’d heard horror stories about HOA meetings in friends’ neighborhoods, in which neighbors got up in arms about paint colors and flower choices. But we’d heard our organization was not a normal HOA. They were not kidding. I love our neighborhood even more now. The topics were the usual suspects, but peppered into the discussion of the neighborhood were little gems and adorable characters. The whole thing felt very Pawnee-esque so what was I to do? Naturally, I live-tweeted it. Here are just a few of the highlights:




Stories from the Kitchen: Jess Marcum’s Turkey

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. You may have guessed Christmas just because of the influx of glitter and Andy Williams songs, but alas it is Turkey Day that has my heart. I have such fond memories of days spent in the kitchen with several generations of family preparing a meal for guests with thankful hearts. In the past, this holiday has been celebrated on the blog with DIY decor, a game plan for beginner hosts, and even a Charlie Brown style spread. But this year, we’re doing something extra special!

stories-from-the-kitchen-logo-1I’m calling this series Stories from the Kitchen, and I’ve asked friends from around the country (& the interwebs) to share a favorite Thanksgiving recipe as well as the story behind it. The food we serve, especially around the holidays, always seems to have a little history–why not share!

Stories from the Kitchen: Jess Marcum's Crisp Maple Glazed Roast Turkey | Hannah & Husband

To kick things off: this lovely lady! Meet Jess Marcum, a kindred spirit who currently resides in California with her handsome husband and two little girls. (Go look at their Halloween costumes right now; we’ll wait.) I have read Jess’s blog for long enough now that I have no idea when I started, but I feel like we were destined to be friends. Jess helped me discover the magic of apples & brie on crusty bread, shared the hot fudge recipe that has saved more than one Saturday night, and, like me, believes fresh flowers on bookshelves can brighten even the gloomiest day. The picture above was taken at the Marcums’ annual Fall Feast, which I confess has occupied my Pinterest boards (and brain) ever since–isn’t it just lovely? When I sent her an email about this little project, I was so thrilled when she said Yes! So without further ado, here’s Jess’ story…

My father in law is famous for his hazing tactics. Hazing that is, for new members of the family. The stories my brothers in law could tell! My oldest brother in law once had to hand squeeze orange juice for the whole family (10 people in total). Needless to say I was nervous about entering the family, but as it turned out he was really quite civil to me. There were jokes made about his son marrying up, I even got a few hugs, it was quite a comfortable experience.

Then came my first Thanksgiving with the in laws….less than a year after we were married. The dish assignments went out and I was landed with the turkey. THE TURKEY. It was in this moment that I realized he hadn’t let me off the hook, he was just biding his time for something good.

Let me just back up and say that first, my father in law is a top notch chef in his own right and second, I had never cooked any kind of whole bird in my life. The pressure was on. To say I was stressed would be an understatement, but luckily my dear old father in law did provide me with a recipe to go off of, bless him. I soaked the bird in Pioneer Woman’s turkey brine the night before and did a buttery maple syrup glaze to roast (I can’t remember where this recipe came from, I’ve done it so many times since I’ve probably completely changed it anyway).

I really have to thank my father in law for this experience (I can only say that because the bird turned out beautifully), being in charge of the turkey completely cured me of my fear of cooking whole birds and gave me my go-to turkey recipe for years to come! I make this at least twice a year, I’m one of those people who have to have “leftover” turkey sandwiches more often than the week after Thanksgiving, they’re kind of my jam. So without further adieu…the recipe.

Crisp Maple Glazed Roast Turkey


1 whole turkey
1 stick of salted butter softened
1 1/2 cups grade B pure maple syrup (I love the Trader Joe’s brand)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Wash your bird and remove the gizzard and any fun packages your butcher left in the cavity for you. (Set aside if you want to make gravy.)

Set the bird out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pat her dry with paper towels then set in your roasting pan. While she’s sitting melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the maple syrup, cook on medium heat and let it come to a simmer. Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Baste the bird in the syrup reduction and salt and pepper liberally (make sure to get the syrup in all the crevices). Make a tin foil tent over her and stick her in the pre heated oven.

Continue to baste every 30 minutes until her internal temperature reads 155 degrees. (If your syrup solidifies just heat it up again.) Then remove the tin foil and cook on the middle rack until her breast temperature reaches 165 degrees.

A viola! A very yummy turkey! I should mention that I only do the brine on special occasions….like Thanksgiving. Normally I leave out the brine entirely and I’ve found it tastes just fine, so that’s your call!

some bonus recipes…

maple turkey gravy:

fill a pot with water and boil down the gizzard of the turkey
put the turkey drippings in a sauce pan (first, skim off the fat) and add the gizzard water and flour until it reaches your desired consistency (whisking constantly)
salt and pepper to taste

left over turkey sandwiches:

leftover turkey
toasted whole wheat bread
cranberry sauce
apples slices sprinkled with cinnamon

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines, 1953 | Hannah & Husband

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for vintage, and one of the things I love to find are food pamphlets and small paperback cookbooks from the 1940s and 50s. These little treasures not only offer an array of recipes, but often a little peek into the era–admittedly my favorite part. So today, kicking off our Thanksgiving festivities here on the blog is this little gem from Woo-Woo’s collection: 1953’s How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines. As you’ll see it was distributed by local Gulf stations to patrons all over the country.

And, look at that man. Isn’t he just precious? I’d take that well-suited man with his winking eye at my table any day of the week!

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines, 1953 | Hannah & Husband


The family and guests gather around the table, admire the bird, join in the prayer of thanks, and settle back in pleasant anticipation of a delicious meal and a good show–the ritual of carving the turkey. Unfortunately, the head of the house, meanwhile, has all too often been suffering the pangs of stage fright and the feeling of being faced with a long, unpleasant carving chore.

When you know how, carving is not difficult, and it is fun to put on the expected show.

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines, 1953 | Hannah & Husband

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines, 1953 | Hannah & Husband


Many people have decided preferences and the thoughtful host will inquire what they desire and serve accordingly. When no preference is expressed, the helping should be equal parts of light and dark meat. In all cases, a spoonful of stuffing should first be put on the plate. Serve neatly, as appearance aids appetite.

I just love that line!

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines, 1953 | Hannah & Husband

Woo-Woo had 7 children. As you may imagine, there were many things that acted as a canvas to a young artist. 


Related Posts:

A favorite this time of year: Woo-Woo’s Recipe for Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Or, if you’re hosting this year: Thanksgiving Game Plan: 8 Days Out 



Monday, Monday…

Monday, Monday. 
Can’t trust that day…

But no, seriously. This morning started out with coffee, makeup, and a little on-camera chat with Abby Ham. It quickly turned into the dog having a little party in our absence, and me writing this email to my coworkers: “Dexter made some bad decisions this morning. I’ll be in ASAP.”

Dexter | Hannah & Husband

Dog ownership is not for the faint of heart, people. You’d never know as he sits there so stoically that he had been a little tasmanian devil just moments before. I’m bringing realism today, folks!

Now onto the fun stuff…

I instagrammed this pic last night so I thought I’d better share a link to Alton Brown’s hot cocoa mix. It is delicious, and we always have some on hand.


This weekend, Husband did a ton of work outside including building us a little wood shed! Isn’t it cute? He is going to add shingles to the roof, and we’ll paint it white to match the house come Spring.

Husband built a wood shed | Hannah & Husband

I’ll show you a pic of my own weekend project later. It’s getting there.

Finally: This morning we talked Christie Brinkley, Aziz Ansari, and Luke Skywalker on Mornings with Fox 43. Watch the segment below!