Modern Thanksgiving

by Hannah Amburn, Turner Carter, and Maddie Cowan

Over the years families have gathered food traditions from all over the country and world, and incorporated them into their Thanksgiving feast. Most families eat a typical, standard dinner on Turkey Day. This consists of a roast turkey, gravy, casserole, pumpkin pie etc, but it’s always fun to change things up a bit and start new food traditions.

Here are a few fun recipes to spice up your dinner table!

Main Dish: The holiday would feel incomplete without a Thanksgiving Turkey. Serving turkey has become a tradition that has been passed down since the beginning. This year, gather the family around and enjoy a new twist on the classic turkey with Martha Stewart’s’ Roast Turkey with a brown sugar and mustard glaze.

Brown Sugar and Mustard Turkey. Photo courtesy of
Brown Sugar and Mustard Turkey.
Photo courtesy of

Roast Turkey with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze



1 whole turkey (about 12 pounds), thawed if frozen, rinsed and patted dry (neck and giblets reserved, liver discarded)

Coarse salt and ground pepper

4 cups Pecan Cornbread Dressing 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/4 cup spicy brown mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in lowest position. Place turkey on roasting rack set in a large roasting pan. Season inside of turkey with salt and pepper. Loosely fill neck and large cavity with dressing; fold skin over, and secure with skewers or trussing needles, if necessary. Bend wing tips forward, and tuck under neck cavity. Using kitchen wine, tie legs together securely. Rub turkey all over with butter; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add neck, giblets, and 3 cups water to roasting pan. Cover turkey loosely with aluminum foil. Roast 1 hour, and then baste with pan juices every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh (avoiding bone) registers 125 degrees, 1 to 2 hours more.
  3. Remove foil; increase heat to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and mustard; brush turkey with glaze. Rotate pan, and continue to roast turkey, brushing with glaze 2 to 3 more times, until thermometer registers 165 degrees, 45 minutes to 1 hour more (tent with buttered foil if browning too quickly; add more water if pan becomes dry).
  4. Transfer turkey to a platter; reserve pan with drippings for gravy (opposite). Cover turkey loosely with foil, and let rest at least 30 minutes (or up to 1 hour). Before serving, remove dressing, and carve.

Side dish: When the Pilgrims first invited the Native Americans over, the Native Americans brought all kinds of new foods that the Pilgrims had not seen yet. Such vegetables were carrots and peas. Some fruits they brought were plums, grapes, and cranberries. This year, start a new tradition and cook like the Native Americans with this recipe.

Carrots and Parsnips. Photo courtesy of Southern Living Magazine
Carrots and Parsnips.
Photo courtesy of Southern Living Magazine

Balsamic-Roasted Carrots and Parsnip Recipe

from Southern Living magazine


1 (4-oz.) package feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup chopped dried sweet cherries

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 1/2 pounds carrots

1 1/2 pounds parsnips

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Toss together first 5 ingredients and 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a small bowl.
  2. Cut carrots and parsnips lengthwise into long, thin strips.
  3. Whisk together brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a large bowl. Toss with carrots and parsnips, and place on a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Sprinkle with desired amount of salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. Bake at 400° for 40 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned, stirring every 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and gently toss with feta cheese mixture.


A huge trend this fall is anything pumpkin spice flavored. Starbucks has their famous Pumpkin Spice Latte, Oreo has come out with a pumpkin spice flavored cookie, Candy Corn now comes in a pumpkin spice flavor, the list goes on and on. So this Thanksgiving, why not combine the the pumpkin spice trend and everyone’s favorite, the chocolate chip cookie?

Martha Stewart has a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares, combining the best of both words for a perfect Thanksgiving dessert.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares. Photo courtesy of
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares.
Photo courtesy of

Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares  



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice,baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
  4. Lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). Peel off foil, and use a serrated knife to cut into 24 squares.

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