Thanksgiving Special!

I am averaging about about 5 phone calls and text messages a day with Thanksgiving food questions.  Because of years passed I know its only going to get worse the closer we get to Thanksgiving… so to hopefully make it easier for all I am going to post my entire menu with recipes between now and Thanksgiving!  Enjoy… xoxo


Apple Cider Bourbon Brined Garlic Herb Butter Turkey  –  Spicy Tomato Braised Brisket  –  Macaroni & Cheese  –  Caramelized Shallot Mashed Potatoes  –  Traditional Pan Gravy  –  Paleo Gravy  –  Sourdough Stuffing  –  Paleo Cauliflower Stuffing  –  Green Bean & Bacon Casserole  –  Glazed Carrots  –  Sweet Potato Soufflé  –  Mason Jar Sourdough Dinner Rolls  –  Hummingbird Cake  –  Shortbread Pumpkin Cheese Cake  –  Deep Dark Chocolate Cake  –  Apple Pie –  Persimmon Cranberry Sauce  –  Cranberry Mule Cocktail

My turkey recipe is very very special to me.  I will be sharing it only because its that awesome!  Please take care of this recipe and love it as much as I do!  My ears better be ringing on Thanksgiving!!!

Apple Cider Bourbon Brined Garlic Herb Butter Turkey

8 cups apple cider
2 cups bourbon
½  cup sea salt
½ cup sugar
6 fresh sage leaves
6 bay leaves
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons juniper berries
2 tablespoons coarsely crushed peppercorns
4 large Granny Smith Apples, cut into large cubes

Herb Butter :
1 block salted Kerrygold Butter, softened
6 garlic cloves
2 fresh sage leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt & 1 teaspoon ground pepper

12-15 pound organic turkey, thawed or fresh if possible

Bed : 2 onions, quartered  –  8 carrots, chopped in half  –  1 fennel bulb, quarted  –  fennel fronds  –  1 whole garlic bulb, sliced in half crosswise  –  4-6 cups chicken or turkey broth

  • To prepare brine, combine all of the brine ingredients EXCEPT THE BOURBON in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool completely. Add the bourbon and set brine aside.
  • Remove giblets and neck from turkey and toss.  Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry.  Place a turkey-sized oven bag inside another bag to double the thickness. Place bags in a large stockpot or a clean 5 gal Home Depot bucket. Place turkey inside inner bag. Add cider mixture and 10 cups of ice.  Secure bags with several twist ties. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.  I roast 2 turkey’s so I actually double the brine recipe and place my 2 turkeys, brine, and ice in a clean ice chest.  When I’m done I wash it with bleach and soap.  Air dry.
  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Remove turkey from bags, and discard brine and bags. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry with LOTS of paper towels.  Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Place the butter, garlic, sage, thyme, oregano, salt & pepper in food processor and pulse until all ingredients are well incorporated. Gently separate the skin from the breast.  Place ½ of the garlic herb butter in between the skin of the breast.  Smoother the rub remaining herbed butter on the outside of the turkey… I mean everywhere, give that turkey a butter massage!  Place roasting rack in pan. Arrange the bed ingredients.  Bake at 400º for 35 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350ºF. Baste turkey every 30 minutes, this is VERY VERY IMPORTANT! Add more chicken or turkey broth if pan dries out during baking process.  Bake at 350º for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 170º. Cover the turkey with foil if it starts to browns too quickly. Remove turkey from oven; let it rest covered with foil at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!  BTW… don’t throw away whats left in the pan!  2 recipes are coming from what’s left!
Thanksgiving Special!

Harissa & Tomato Oxtails

I found something amazing at Trader Joe’s yesterday.  I cried tears of joy when I brought it home and tasted it!  Harissa Paste ! It’s beautifully spicy.  But that really good, savory spicy.  I went back to Trader Joe’s this morning and bought 3 more ! This recipe was made in an Instant Pop but can absolutely be made in Slow Cooker. 

Harissa & Tomato Oxtails

4 pounds grassfed pasture raised oxtails

1 large onion sliced 

8-10 carrots, diced 

2-4 heaping tablespoons Trader Joe’s Harissa Sauce 

2 teaspoons sea salt 

1 teaspoon ground pepper 

1 15-oz can tomato sauce 

  • Pour everything in instant pot and cover. 
  • Set at Meat for 60 minutes 
  • Garnish with cilantro or parsley 
  • If you would like to make a delicious gravy with the carrots, onions, and sauce … place the solids in blenderand add half of the liquid, blend until smooth and enjoy!!!

Harissa & Tomato Oxtails

Fergie’s Asian Noodles 

I discovered kelp noodles a while back and have been obsessed ever since … they add a delicious texture to gluten free noodle dishes like no other.  I am always searching for ways to make my families meals more nutrient dense ! Here is my take on a scrumptious meal that will sure to become a favorite in your home! 

Fergie’s Asian Noodles 

1 spaghetti squash, roasted or steamed, cooled and threaded

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced 

3 carrots, sprilaizied or cut into match sticks 

3 green onions, thinly sliced 

1 package kelp noodles 

1/4 cup Tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos 

3 teaspoons fish sauce (omit if making vegan) 

2 teaspoons sesame oil 

1-2 teaspoons Asian hot sauce 

3 eggs 

4-6 tablespoons avocado or olive oil 

  • Heat oil and sautée onions, green onions and carrots. 
  • In separate pan, or if your pan is big enough, scramble eggs. 
  • Add the spaghetti squash and kelp, and spinach mix well. 
  • Add Tamari, fish sauce, sesame oil and hot sauce 
  • Combine well and serve nice and hot! 

Fergie’s Asian Noodles 

Cinnamon Sesame Hemp Granola 

I ordered a pound Raw Organic Sesame seeds and I just about fell over at how huge the bag was!!!! So I’ve taken advantage of my current over abundance of Sesame Seeds to experiment ! This Granola is delisicous! So crunchy and tasty. 

1 cup raw oats 

1/2 cup sesame seeds 

1/2 cup Hemp seeds 

1/2 cup slivered almonds 

1 heaping tablespoon ghee 

1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil 

1 tablespoon Cinnamon 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

1 tablespoon maple syrup 

1 tablespoon coconut sugar 

  • In a large bowl combine oats, sesame seeds, hemp seeds and almonds. 
  • Melt the coconut oil, ghee, coconut oil, cinnamon, sea salt and maple syrup in a small saucepan. 
  • Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. 
  • Spread on a parchement covered sheet pan. 
  • Bake at 250 degrees until golden brown… turn and mix every 10 minutes … it usually takes around an hour or so.
  • Once completely cooled sprinkle coconut sugar and pour into large mason jar and store on counter for up to 7-10 days 

Cinnamon Sesame Hemp Granola 

Green Chile Chicken Cassoulet 

This dish is amazing! A one pot wonder! Seriously so simple anyone could make it! 

15 organic chicken drumsticks

1 large onion, diced 

8 garlic cloves, minced 

6 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks 

1 Serrano pepper, minced 

1 cup hatch Chile, roasted, peeled and chopped 

4 cups chicken stock (I used homemade) 

1/2 cup white beans, sorted and rinsed 

1 tablespoon sea salt 

1 teaspoon ground pepper 

1/4 cup fresh cilantro 

  • Combine all ingredients except cilantro in large Dutch oven. 
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for 1 1/2 hours. You can also cover and place in a 350 degree oven for 1 1/2hour. 
  • Sprinkle with cilantro before serving ! 
  • You can also prepare in crock pot or instant pot! 

Green Chile Chicken Cassoulet 

Cashew Chia Cinnamon Pudding 

I make chia pudding often but my daughters needed something a bit more nutrient dense… a bit more filling with a bit more texture.  This turned out just as thick and rich as I was hoping it would… don’t forget to check out the Cinnamon Sesame Hemp Granola recipe. 

1 cup raw cashews 

1 can coconut milk (canned and full fat only) 

1/2 cup maple syrup 

1 tablespoon Cinnamon 

1 tablespoon vanilla 

1/2 teaspoon sea salt 

5 tablespoons Chia Seeds 

  • Boil 3 cups of water
  • Pour boiling water over cashews and allow to soak for at least 20 minutes 
  • After 20 minutes drain water and pour cashews into high power blender 
  • Add 1 can of coconut milk, maple, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt. 
  • Blend until smooth
  • Pour into container and whisk in Chia seeds.  
  • Refrigerate overnight 
  • Serve topped with Granola and some fruit ! 

Cashew Chia Cinnamon Pudding 

Simple Enchilada Sauce 

Once you learn to make this you will never ever buy nasty canned Enchilada Sauce ! This taste perfect! You can make it as mild or as hot as you want! 

Fergie’s Simple Enchilada Sauce 

15 dried Anaheim or New Mexico chiles, stems removed 

10-20 dried Serrano peppers (the more you add the spicier), stems removed 

1 gallon water 

1 tablespoon granulated garlic 

2 teaspoons sea salt 

1 teaspoon oregano 

  • Bring gallon of water to a boil. 
  • Once the water boils turn off heat and add the chiles. 
  • Weigh them down with a plate and cover the pan (see pictures) 
  • Allow for chiles ro reconstitute at least 3 hours. 
  • Reserve 5 -6 cups of the chile fluid 
  • Strain the chiles and place into blender with 5 cups of reserved liquid, granulated garlic and sea salt. 
  • If using a Vitamix or Blendtec you only need to blend about 2 minutes … if you using a traditional less powered blender blend for 4-5 minutes with the 6 cups of reserved liquid. 
  • Strain and use or store in containers and freeze 

Simple Enchilada Sauce