By Marian Pierson


Holiday season has officially begun! Whether you're welcoming relatives to your Raleigh home or visiting extended family in Durham, having enough Thanksgiving food to feed everyone can seem like an impossible task.


No worries. Carolina Woman is here to make your cooking more manageable. Each of the following recipes serves about 10 people and can easily be doubled, tripled or even quadrupled.


While your sizeable celebration may appear daunting, it's nothing a few large dishes can't solve. After all, 'tis the day to be thankful for food, family and holiday cocktails!



Della Fattoria Bread
63 Foolproof Recipes for Yeasted, Enriched & Naturally Leavened Breads
Kathleen Weber
Artisan Books









Spicy Cheddar Crackers
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons fine gray salt
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, cold
16 ounces cheddar cheese (preferably half white and half yellow), grated
2 tablespoons cold water


Put the flour, salt and red pepper flakes into a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and mix until you have a crumbly mixture. Add the cheese and mix until the cheese is broken down and completely incorporated. With the processor running, stream in the water, processing until the dough comes together.


Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.


Divide the dough in half. (The dough can be worked with right away or wrapped individually in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month; if frozen, defrost completely in the refrigerator before using.)


Dust the work surface with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll one piece of dough into a rectangle, slightly larger than 12 by 16 inches, adding flour as needed to the work surface and rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking. Turn the dough as you roll it to keep it at an even thickness. Dock (pierce) the dough with a fork. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, trim the edges to form a 12 by-16-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 1-inch-wide squares.


Using a spatula or a palette knife, transfer the squares to one of the lined sheet pans. Repeat with the second piece of dough and the second pan. (The pieces will all fit on the sheet pans, but they will be close together. You can also spread them farther apart on the pans and bake in batches as needed.)


Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating the pans once from top to bottom and front to back midway through baking. The crackers will puff up as they bake, but you will know they're done when you smell the cheese. The crackers will look more golden brown, but they will not be firm at this point. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet pans. If the crackers are not completely crisp once cool, they can be popped back into the oven for a few minutes.


Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. (If the crackers soften, they can be popped back into the oven to crisp them up.)


Makes 384 small crackers




Stir My Soul

Recipes to Nourish and Inspire
Roxie Kelley
Andrews McMeel









Canopy Salad
1 (1-pound) bag mixed greens, such as spring mix
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 apple or pear, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese or 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Creamy balsamic dressing of your choice


Combine the mixed greens, cranberries, pine nuts, fruit and cheese in a large chilled bowl. Add the dressing at the last minute and toss before serving.


Makes 8 to 10 servings




Streusel-Topped Sweet Potatoes
12 large sweet potatoes
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the sweet potatoes and prick them with a fork in a couple of places. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until fork tender.


Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar and flour together until crumbly. Add the pecans, marshmallows, salt and cinnamon. Stir to combine.


Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise down the center and push the ends toward the middle to open them up. Stuff the potatoes with the streusel topping and return to the oven. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and brown. Serve warm.


Makes 12 servings



Green City Market

Great Recipes From Chicago's Award-Winning Farmers Market
Midway Books









Roast Turkey With Spice Rub and Beer Gravy
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons paprika
1-1/2 tablespoons freshly ground block pepper, plus more to taste
2-1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste

1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-1/4 teaspoons ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (10-pound) fresh or thawed turkey
1 (12-ounce) bottle ale or beer
1/2 pound cipollini (small purple) onions
1 stalk celery, cut into thick slices
1 large carrot, cut into thick slices
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup all-purpose flour mixed with 1/2 cup cold water
Savory sprigs (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, thyme and cumin. Stir well.


Rinse and thoroughly dry the turkey inside and out. Place the turkey on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Rub the spice mixture all over the turkey, including inside its cavity.


Pour the ale into the bottom of the roasting pan. Arrange the onions, celery and carrot in the ale around the turkey. Add enough water so that there are about 1-1/2 inches of liquid in the bottom of the roasting pan. Cover the turkey loosely with aluminum foil. Roast the turkey for 2 hours.


Check the temperature of the turkey breast at the deepest part (taking care not to touch the bone) with an instant-read thermometer. Once the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees, increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees and brush the turkey with some of the melted butter.


Continue roasting and basting the turkey with butter every 15 minutes until the turkey's internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. At this point, the turkey's skin should be roasted to a rich brown color. Remove from the oven, transfer the turkey to a carving board, and cover with foil. Let stand for at least 25 minutes before carving.


Pour the juices from the roasting pan through a strainer into a small saucepan. Discard the solids from the strainer and discard the vegetables from the pan. Skim and discard the fat from the juices. Whisk in the mustard and then the flour mixture until smooth. Bring to a boil.


Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. (For thicker gravy, simmer longer until it reaches the desired consistency.) Taste the gravy and season with the salt and black pepper if needed. Remove from the heat.


Carve the turkey. Transfer the gravy to a serving pitcher and serve separately with the warm turkey garnished with the savory sprigs (if using).


Makes 8 to 10 servings




Not Your Aunt Ruthie's Brisket
1 whole (5-pound) beef brisket, untrimmed
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 cup ketchup
1 quart (4 cups) whole milk
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 orange, quartered
2 teaspoons fish sauce


Trim most of the fat from the brisket, leaving only a thin layer.


In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, paprika and ginger. Rub the spice mixture over both sides of the brisket.


Wrap the brisket tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least for 12 hours.


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.


Place the brisket on a rack in a large, deep roasting pan.


Spread the ketchup over the top of the brisket. Roast for 1 hour. (You may wish to open a window, as roasting the brisket for this long at that high a temperature could generate some smoke.)


The top should appear caramelized when it's ready. Remove the brisket from the oven, transfer it to a baking sheet, and set it aside to rest.


Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees.


Add the milk to the drippings in the roasting pan and mix well. Add the onion, orange and fish sauce to the pan and mix well. Place the brisket in the roasting pan with the liquid and cover the pan lightly with foil.


Return the roasting pan to the oven and continue roasting for 2 to 3 hours, until the brisket is fork tender. Uncover the pan and let the brisket stand in the liquid until it cools to room temperature. Transfer the brisket to a carving board and discard the liquid.


Slice the brisket against the grain into thin slices. Serve on a serving platter.


Makes 8 to 10 servings



Anne Byrn Saves the Day! Cookbook

Anne Byrn
Workman Publishing








Karen's Molten Chocolate Cake
Vegetable oil spray for misting the ramekins or muffin tin
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1-1/3 cups (8 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
5 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Fresh raspberries and blackberries, for garnish
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly mist eight 6-ounce ramekins or 8 muffin tin wells with vegetable oil spray. Set the ramekins or muffin tin aside.


Place the butter and chocolate chips in a medium-size microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave on high power until melted, 2-1/2 to 3 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir the chocolate mixture until smooth. Set the chocolate mixture aside.


Place the eggs, granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Beat with electric mixer on medium-high speed until the mixture lightens in color and texture, about 1-1/2 minutes. Fold in the chocolate mixture and the flour by hand, until well blended, about 30 seconds. Scoop or spoon 1/2 cup of batter into each ramekin or muffin well. Bake the cakes until they puff up well but are still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes.


Remove the cakes from the oven, carefully lift them out of the ramekins or muffin tin, and set them on dessert plates. Serve the warm cakes with small scoops of vanilla ice cream, fresh berries, and a dusting of confectioners' sugar.


Makes 8 individual cakes



John's Little Fried Apple Pies
1 cup dried apples or peaches
2 cups (about) water, or to cover the fruit
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or more to taste
2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent roll dough
About 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Place the dried fruit in a saucepan and add water to cover. Add the granulated sugar and cinnamon and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until the fruit cooks down and is soft and the water has evaporated, about 30 minutes. Set the fruit filling aside to cool for at least 1 hour.


Unwrap the crescent roll dough and place it on a flat surface. Using the rim of a clean soup can or a round cookie cutter, cut the dough into 2- to 3-inch circles. You will get 8 to 10 circles per can of crescent dough, depending on the size. Spoon a teaspoon of the fruit filling into the center of each circle, fold the dough over to form a half-moon shape, and using a fork, press the cut edges of the dough together to seal them.


Pour enough oil into a heavy skillet to fill it to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Place the skillet over medium-high heat. Watch it carefully. The oil needs to be hot before adding the first pie. You can pinch off a piece of the crescent dough and place it in the skillet to test the oil. When the dough sizzles and browns, you are ready to cook the pies.


Carefully slide 4 to 6 pies into the hot oil at a time and let them brown on one side, about 1 minute. Then, using a slotted spoon, turn the pies over to brown them on the second side, about 1 minute. When the pies have browned, transfer them to a paper bag or paper towels to drain.


Repeat with the remaining pies.


Sprinkle the pies with powdered sugar and serve warm.


Makes 16 to 20 pies