Friday, November 2, 2012

Thanksgiving Treats and Fall Fun Link Party

Welcome to the


Thanksgiving Treats and Fall Fun Link Party!

November is here and that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner so it is the perfect time to share all your delicious Thanksgiving dishes and decor, along with your fun Fall-themed treats and projects.  

Help get us inspired!

Claiming Our Space has joined up with Love and Laundry, House on the Way, One Creative Mommy, Mamal Diane, Jane's Adventures in Dinner and 4 You With Love to bring you our own Thanksgiving Treats and Fall projects!  Make sure to visit each of the hosts to see what they have created for the party after you have linked up your post.

I am sharing what I think is the best ever turkey recipe.  This is my absolute "Go To" recipe when I am in charge of the turkey.  I have made it three years in a row (for turkeys ranging from 10 to 26 pounds) and it hasn't gone wrong yet.  Everyone raves at how moist the meat is and how brown and crunchy the skin is.  The secret is the 30 minutes at 500 degrees - it seals in the juices.  The only problem with 500 degrees is that if you don't have a clean oven, you WILL set off the smoke detectors. (Ask me how I know.) Plus, the repeated success of this recipe just reaffirms my crush on Alton Brown.

Alton Brown's Brined Turkey
Source: Alton Brown, also featured in Food Network Magazine

    1 (14 to 16 pound) thawed turkey

For the brine:
    1 cup kosher salt
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 gallon vegetable stock
    1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
    1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
    1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:
    1 red apple, sliced
    1/2 onion, sliced
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 cup water
    4 sprigs rosemary
    6 leaves sage
Canola oil

  • In a large stockpot, combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve solids.  Bring to a rolling boil. Remove brine from the heat and cool to room temperature. Note: This can be made in advance and refrigerated for a couple of days.
  • The night before you will cook the turkey:
  • Line a large bucket (we used a clean 5-gallon bucket from Home Depot) with a kitchen garbage bag.  
  • Pour the brine, water and ice into the bag in the 5-gallon bucket. 
  • Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine.Close the bag. If necessary, weigh down the bird with a plate and a large can of soup to ensure it is fully immersed. Refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining. We put our in the garage since it is chilly here in Michigan in November. Let brine overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Note: Make sure your oven is clean since heating it to 500 degrees will make things smoke - a lot.
  • Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.
  • Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan.  Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Pour mixture into the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. 
  • Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.
  • Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast.  Place the turkey on the lowest level of the oven and roast at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. 
  • Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • Roast the bird until it reaches 161 degrees.
  • A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting.
  • Once it reaches 161 degrees remove from oven and let it rest, loosely covered with foil for 15 minutes before carving.

Now that you have seem my go to turkey recipe, it is time for you to share your projects, crafts, recipes, whatever you have come up with that is Thanksgiving or Fall related via the linky tool below.  

Your project will show up on all the host's blogs so you only need to link up once but, remember, all of us have different things we are sharing for the party. So make sure to visit Love and Laundry, House on the Way, One Creative Mommy, Mamal Diane, Jane's Adventures in Dinner, 4 You With Love and Claiming Our Space to check them all out.

The party will be up until Thursday, November 15 and then on Friday, November 16, each host will pick their favorite two link ups. So mark your calendar to check back to see if you were feature. 

Just a few guidelines

1. We would be appreciate if you would follow all the hosts.
2. Link ups should be Thanksgiving or Fall related. (No shops or other link parties please)
3. Try to visit some of the other link ups and leave a comment. Everyone loves visitors!
3. You don't need to link back but we would appreciate it if you would display the button on your blog or in your post tolet your own readers know about the party.

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With that, it is time to party!!


  1. I am so glad you shared a brine recipe! Last year I used the brine from William Sonoma, which was great, but I really wanted a good recipe!
    House on the Way

    1. This brine recipe is amazing. I won't make our turkey any other way. Thanks for being a great co-host!

  2. That's the recipe we use too! It's totally amazing!

    1. I love how it is so easy. Mix stuff in a pot, pour it in a bucket, and, BAM great turkey. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Thanks for hosting! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and linking up! I always love your link ups!

  4. What a great idea for a linky party! I've started my "Countdown to Thanksgiving" and I'm sure to find more recipe ideas here. Thanks for hosting!

    1. I saw that in my Reader. Can't wait to see what you come up with(the potato rolls look tasty, btw.)

  5. I've never tried turkey this way... intriguing. Thanks for sharing and for hosting!

    1. Oh, it is so darn good. Even the white meat stays moist and doesn't need to be drowned in gravy. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Love your party! I mentioned it today in my blog post about bloggers uniting to share link parties and other events. I will be sharing your party on twitter and fb through the site also :)


  7. Thank you so much for co hosting this fun party. I did Alton Brown's brine turkey a couple of years ago and never looked back. It's incredible!

    1. Thanks for linking up! And AB is a cooking deity for sure!

  8. I have used this Alton Brown recipe for years and love it too -- it is the BEST! Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. I can't even remember what I did before I found th AB recipe. I think I just threw the turkey in the oven not knowing any better. Thanks for linking up!

  9. Thanks for hosting! Is there anyone better than Alton Brown? No way! :-)

    1. Nope, AB is the best! Thanks for linking up!

  10. gave our party a shoutout. Thanks again for including's been so amazing!



Thanks for your comments. We always love to hear from our readers!