Spice Up Turkey Day with Thanksgiving Tips and Recipes

Some Pasadena cooks offer turkey suggestions, plus a spin or two on a traditional meal and the best chicken casserole recipe you'll ever try.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It's time to hit the kitchen again and make some magic happen.

Here are a few suggestions to spice up your turkey day.

Local Tips

Pasadena mom Kylie Carver said it's important to measure out how much turkey you'll have for each guest.

"We usually try to have a pound and a half of turkey available for each person," Carver said. "Not everybody eats that much, but almost everybody loves leftovers. That way, there's always some available."

Another local mom, Mary Ortega, said she's prepped turkey and other dishes in advance during previous holiday seasons.

"We usually salt and spice the turkey in advance, for instance," she said. "You really don't want to have more work than what's absolutely needed on Thanksgiving Day, so little things like that can go a long way."

Turkey Preparation Tips

For many families, the turkey is the hallmark of a Thanksgiving dinner. For something that's so important, though, it's easy to make some mistakes in preparing it.

Here are some turkey preparation tips.

Make sure you've thawed your turkey before you start cooking it. It may seem obvious, but it's easy to forget this sort of thing during the hectic pace of the holidays.

RecipeTips.com suggests two different thawing processes—using the refrigerator or using cold water. Cold water tends to be faster, but use whatever works for you.

Be careful when you're handling the turkey. It's easy to inadvertently contaminate your food. The USDA has some advice for safe turkey preparation, such as avoiding fresh pre-stuffed turkeys.

Some families stuff their turkey, some don't. If yours does, try some of these tips from Better Homes & Gardens: cook the stuffing separately, mix the stuffing just before you stuff and roast the turkey and loosely spoon stuffing instead of packing it.

Shake Up Your Old Thanksgiving Recipes

Sure, Thanksgiving is a holiday steeped in tradition, but that doesn't mean you have to go with the same old recipes year after year. Try some of these recipes from Good Housekeeping to mix it up!

Orange Scented Roasted Turkey

Acorn Squash with White Beans and Sage

Cherries and Cream Rice Pudding

Spinach and Jack Cheese Bread Pudding

Thanksgiving in a Slow Cooker

Courtesty of Pasadena mom Jennifer Davis, here's a recipe that makes a variety of Thanksgiving favorites with minimal fuss.


4 chicken breasts
2 cans Campbell's Creamy Chicken Soup
1 box Stove Top stuffing
2 cans carrots
2 cans corn
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper


Put ingredients in a slow cooker and stir occasionally so the stuffing doesn't burn.

The Greatest Chicken Casserole Recipe Ever

Here it is, folks. My mother's recipe that is the greatest chicken casserole you will ever taste. Use this recipe with care, for with great power comes great responsibility.


4 to 6 chicken breast halves, skinned and bones
1 10 3/4 ounce can undiluted mushroom soup
1 10 3/4 ounce can undiluted cream of chicken soup
1 13 ounce can evaporated milk
1 8 ounce package herb seasoned stuffing mix
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup chicken broth


Cook chicken until tender. When cooked, cut into bite-size pieces and set aside. Combine soups, milk and 1/2 cup chicken broth in medium saucepan. Cook until thoroughly baked. Stir well and set aside.

Combine stuffing mix and butter. Spread half of stuffing mixture in a greased 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Layer chicken on top of stuffing mixture, pour soup mixture over chicken. Top with remaining stuffing mixture. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Yields 5 servings.


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