Tasty Thursday does Thanksgiving, badass-style

As is often the case, these recipes are inspired by Cooks Illustrated. All recipes are mentioned on today’s Tasty Thursday video!


  • Butternut squash
  • 3 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS brown sugar or maple syrup (optional)
  • 3 TBS milk or half-and-half or almond milk


  • Peel squash and cut into chunks. No added water needed! Put in a microwave-safe dish (I use the same dish I’ll serve from) and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  • Microwave at high power for 6-10 minutes, stirring halfway through and checking to see if it’s done
  • Pour off accumulated water, then put squash into a food processor. Pulse 6-8 times.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Process until smooth.
  • Put back into serving dish and cover.
  • To reheat, microwave on high for 3 minutes or so (until hot) or put in hot oven for 30 minutes.


Your choice of pies. Given my choice, I’d make apple and pumpkin (for the purists), then chocolate pecan pie (yes, chocolate pecan pie) and key lime. No, I don’t eat them all. But this is one time of year I go a little nuts on the pies!

STUFFING (serves 12)

  • 3 loaves of sandwich bread (for heaven’s sake use white bread here . . . maybe one of the loaves can be whole wheat but this is not even pretending to be a health food extravaganza), cut into cubes. (You can sub 3 bags of dried bread cubes, unflavored.)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 medium stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 medium onions, chopped fine
  • 1 large apple, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth (this is 4 cans, roughly) You might need a little more.
  • ½ c white wine


  • Spread bread cubes out on 2 rimmed baking sheets and dry them in a 300 degree oven – takes about an hour, stirring occasionally.
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the vegetables and apple until soft, then stir in the spices.
  • Pour into a large bowl, and add rest of ingredients (including bread cubes). Toss to combine.
  • Put into a large buttered baking dish (9X13 or larger, or 2 smaller containers) and cover, then refrigerate.
  • To serve – heat up in hot oven for 30-45 minutes. IF YOU WANT IT IN THE BIRD – microwave the stuffing so it is HOT HOT HOT before you put it inside the turkey! (yes, before baking it)

MASHED POTATOES ahead of time (serves 12)

  • 12 large russet potatoes
  • 4 c heavy cream (hot)
  • 2 c half and half (hot) (combine these 2 dairy products in one bowl)
  • 1 stick melted butter


  • Heat oven to 450
  • Microwave potatoes on high for 16 minutes – you can stack potatoes on top of each other in the microwave
  • Put potatoes directly on oven racks and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until you can poke them easily. Better to overcook than undercook.
  • Cut each potato in half lengthwise (THEY WILL BE HOT). Scoop all the flesh out into a medium bowl.
  • Mash potatoes with a potato masher.
  • Put half the potatoes into another bowl. Mash mash mash until smooth. Add 2 cups of the cream mixture, followed by 3 TBS of butter, and mix well. Add salt and pepper. Fold in more of the cream mixture (up to 3 c total) until the potatoes are really loose.
  • Repeat with other batch of potatoes.
  • Combine the 2 batches, cover, and refrigerate.
  • TO REHEAT: Microwave on medium-high for 30-45 minutes.


  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 c sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • orange zest from 2 oranges
  • 2 bags cranberries
  • ¼ c oj from those oranges . . .


  • Dissolve sugar and salt in water in a medium-size pot, then bring to a boil.
  • Stir in cranberries and zest. Reduce heat, and simmer until the berries are popping open and the sauce is thickening, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, stir in orange juice, and cover in the fridge until serving time!
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