How to Cook a Turkey and More Family Traditions

By: Jaden Hair
Related To:
Steamy Kitchen Thanksgiving Inspiration Board

When planning the same holiday year after year, how do you keep your celebration fresh and interesting while maintaining a sense of tradition? We asked our favorite bloggers and food people to share what's inspiring their Thanksgiving planning this year. From ancestor's recipes and falling leaves, to beautiful piles of ingredients and thoughtful home decor, there was no shortage of imagination. See what motivates some of the most creative minds we know, and then start planning your annual feast.

Every year, it’s tradition that my husband, Scott deep-fries a turkey. Hello crispy skin! We’re big on veggies, too; you’re likely to see quite a few dishes on our Thanksgiving table. You really can’t go wrong with snappy green beans, shallots sautéed in nutty browned butter and toasted hazelnuts. Or maybe we could toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, bacon and garlic and roast for 20 minutes for a simple side dish. 

Another one you might see is Brussels sprouts, one of the most controversial vegetables, right next to artichokes and mustard greens. You either love them or hate them. I love them. My husband hates them. But he ate these Brussels sprouts.

The day after Thanksgiving is fun, too – I love all those turkey bones! I love making Turkey Congee the day after. And if I really want to be inspired for Thanksgiving, all I have to do it look at this, “ how to cook a turkey” by my oldest son Andrew, because that is what it’s all about, family.

For more Thanksgiving ideas, visit our Thanksgiving Inspiration Board Gallery.

Jaden Hair is a food columnist, television chef, recipe developer and a mom of two little boys who love to eat. You can find her every Sunday with new recipes in the Tampa Tribune newspaper, cooking up a storm on the Daytime show that's syndicated in 100-plus markets, and blogging away at the award-winning blog, Steamy Kitchen. Jaden is also the author of the Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, available online and in stores nationwide. She lives in Tampa Bay, Florida with her husband, Scott, and sons Andrew and Nathan.

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes from Cooking Channel

Next Up

Thanksgiving Specials Preview: Join Rev Run's Turkey Day and More

Watch Thanksgiving specials on Cooking Channel with Rev Run, Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott and more.

Thirsty Thursday: Give Thanks with The Casserole Cocktail a.k.a. The Sweet Potato Cocktail

Start the holiday season off right with this cocktail capturing the flavors of the traditional Sweet Potato Casserole.

Which Wines to Serve at Your Thanksgiving Meal

When you're choosing wines for your Thanksgiving table, it seems simple: What goes best with turkey? While that's one way of going about it, it probably makes more sense to figure out what else is happening on the table.

Thanksgiving Traditions Get Redefined

Alice Currah shares her favorite Thanksgiving traditions, including how to incorporate vibrant dishes, mood-setting candles and other creative accoutrements.

Don't Forget to Decorate: Thanksgiving Table Ideas

Get ideas for decorating your Thanksgiving table (traditional, modern and rustic).

Fixes & Help for Thanksgiving Disasters

Think Thanksgiving's ruined? Fret not! We've got five quick fixes for any sort of cooking conundrum.

A Mini Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner for two? Get our easy recipes for the complete feast.

Balancing Fall Colors and Bright Dishes on the Thanksgiving Table

Gaby Dalkin shares her favorite Thanksgiving traditions, from side dishes and sweets to how to lay out the Thanksgiving table.

Party in Five: Modern, Rustic Thanksgiving Dinner

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year's feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we're bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

On TV

Unique Eats

7am | 6c

Unique Eats

7:30am | 6:30c

Unique Eats

8am | 7c

Unique Eats

8:30am | 7:30c

Unique Eats

9am | 8c

Unique Eats

9:30am | 8:30c

Man Fire Food

12pm | 11c

Man Fire Food

12:30pm | 11:30c

Man Fire Food

1pm | 12c

Man Fire Food

1:30pm | 12:30c

Man Fire Food

2:30pm | 1:30c

Good Eats

3pm | 2c

Good Eats

3:30pm | 2:30c

Good Eats

4pm | 3c

Good Eats

4:30pm | 3:30c

Good Eats: Reloaded

5:30pm | 4:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Iron Chef America

8pm | 7c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Sundays 10|9c

So Much Pretty Food Here