picture from Williams-Sonoma web site

Lately I’ve received a slew of emails requesting ideas, recipes, and menus for Thanksgiving so I thought it might help if I posted a list of recipes and ideas from some past meals and some of my favorite chefs and resources. This first set is courtesy of Williams-Sonoma who can always be counted on for good, solid recipes and copious amounts of alluring accessories that one simply must have in order to cook that recipe. So if you can resist the lure of that ridiculously overpriced copper pot, I’m sure your stuffing will be just as delicious. Cheers!

Williams-Sonoma 50th Anniversary Thanksgiving Menu

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Herbes de Provence Roast Turkey

Sausage, Corn Bread and Chestnut Dressing

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts

Molded Cranberry Sauce

Classic Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Abondanza

These Thanksgiving recipes are courtesy of one of my favorite Napa Valley chefs, Michael Chiarello. Before I ever dreamed of donning a chef’s jacket and clogs, I volunteered to work in the back kitchen of Michael’s KQED cooking show Casual Cooking. He immediately made me feel welcome and his ease and confidence in the kitchen was remarkable. His philosophy and approach to food and la dolce vita is nothing short of inspiring. Here are a few of his specialties. One of my favorite pans is his cocorico. This is the coolest thing ever! When I’m in San Francisco, I use it all the time (it’s too big to fit in my suitcase) and I’ve convinced most of my friends to buy one too.  Tutti a tavola e mangia bene!

Roasted Pears with Cinnamon-Spiced Whipped Cream

Whole Roasted Turkey with Fennel Spice Rub

Pumpkin Ravioli with Turkey Scallopini and Cranberry Brown Butter

The Definitive Mashed Potatoes and Variations


Panettone Stuffing (my favorite!)

Cranberry Citrus Relish

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Yams with Toasted Spice Rub

Lasagna of Roasted Butternut Squash

Whole Roasted Turkey on the Cocorico

Pan Roasted Vegetables with Fennel Spice

Thankgiving Deja Vu

2005 was a year of many things to be thanksful for as well as many Thanksgivings – THREE in fact! Needless to say I haven’t been able to look at turkey since then but here are a few killer, cholesteral-inducing, absolutely delicious recipes from last year that left everyone swooning. One involved a hammer….


Salt encrusted Turkey stuffed with Foie Gras and Port


Spiced Pumpkin Soup


Bresse Chicken stuffed with Foie Gras and Spice Bread


and the Thanksgiving Tree…my friends Kendall and Bob put this up and we all added leaves written with things we were most thankful for. A lovely tradition and a wonderful, creative way to remind us just what exactly we were celebrating, though it’s not hard to forget when you are 6,000 miles from home…


<!–Thanksgiving a la Martha

And why not go to the diva of divine entertaining, Martha Stewart herself. She is prominently featured on Yahoo! Food but I thought it best to go direct to the source. So without further ado… Martha’s Official Thanksgiving Menu 2006. It’s a good thing….

Turkey-Tail Rolls

Mushroom Soup

Maple-Glazed Turkey

Chestnut and Apple Stuffing

Cider Gravy

Cranberry Grape Compote

Brussels Sprouts Vinaigrette

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Apples

Cauliflower Gratin with Endive

Pan-Roasted Balsamic Onions

Pecan Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Even the austere, sober Wall Street Journal took a break from wire taping scandals, option-price fixing, boardroom blow-ups and merger mania to get in on the festivites. Clare Ansberry reminisces, “Everyone can have a few dozen cookbooks and a subscription to Gourmet or Southern Living, but it’s something else to have a handwritten bourbon-laced pudding recipe from a thrice-married wild great aunt.”

Amen and pass the gravy!

Thanksgiving Round-up 18 November,2006Cucina Testa Rossa

  • Anonymous

    I’m going to have to borrow some of Michael Chiarello’s recipes for my next Thanksgiving dinner. Too bad I didn’t see this post in time for this year’s meal. Although, I have to say, our menu wasn’t too shabby either.

    I’ll pass on the turkey (Yay for Tofurkey), but the pears, yams, stuffing, veggies with fennel, mashed potatoes, and the cranberry brown butter (I’m trying to think of what I’d use this for, as I’m not a big fan of pasta on Thanksgiving) must be in my repertoire starting next year.


Cucina Testa Rossa

After a decade in Silicon Valley, Laura traded her keyboard for a cutting board and moved to New York City to immerse herself in food and wine studies and restaurant operations. She graduated from the French Culinary Institute where she studied under Master Chefs Jacques Pépin, André Soltner, Alain Sailhac, and Master Sommelier Andrea Immer. While in New York, Laura cooked with some of the world’s most highly acclaimed chefs including Mario Lohninger (Danube), Morimoto, Mark Franz & Emily Luchetti (Farallon), Michael Romano (Union Square Café), Mario Batali, Marcella Hazan, Jonathan Cartwright (White Barn Inn), Martin Heierling (Bellagio), Dave Pasternack (Esca), Richard Reddington (Redd, Auberge du Soleil), and the legendary Alice Waters (Chez Panisse).

After working as the Back Kitchen Chef of Jacques Pépin’s PBS cooking show, “Fast Food, My Way”, Laura moved to France to cook her way around the country. She cooked at the Cannes Film Festival, then to the northwest corner of France, to Britanny, to cook on a lobster boat, then east to Paris to the world famous Pierre Hermé Patisserie where she made thousands of his macarons every day! Laura cooked for the fabulous Olivia de Havilland and interned at 3 Michelin Star Le Cinq under Chef Philippe Legendre and Pastry Chef Fabrice Lecleir. Laura was the executive chef and cooking instructor at the DaVinci Code chateau outside of Paris where she was on set during the filming of the movie.

In Fall 2007, Laura worked on Jacques Pepin’s most recent PBS television series as prop and food stylist. “More Fast Food, My Way” should air in the Spring of 2008. “My Keyboard for a Cutting Board ~ Adventures in a French kitchen v1.0”, Laura’s first book highlights her first three months cooking in France, was published in Summer 2006. Convivialité is her second book and will hopefully be published in the fall.

Laura now splits her time between Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area doing private chefing, teaching cooking classes and leading market tours when in Paris. Bon Appetit!

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