Thankgiving in Denver!

Happy Thanksgiving! I had the pleasure of hosting my first Thanksgiving this year. :) My lovely family came up from the Springs to spend the evening with me. We had a wonderful time together!

I was nervous about pulling everything together, especially the turkey. After lots of research and conferring with friends, I got started Wednesday night with the brining of it. My friend let me borrow her amazing pot. 

I am not going to lie...raw meat of any kind is pretty much my least favorite thing. I was so grossed out and completely paranoid about salmonella. After getting the bird all situated in there to soak for the night, I scrubbed my kitchen and fridge from top to bottom with bleach..ha. Paranoid? Yes. Better safe than sorry? Yes.
The brine included fresh squeezed orange and lemon juices, chicken stock, water, crushed peppercorns, salt, brown sugar and oregano.

The next daunting and slightly disgusting task: separate the skin from the meat so you can shove yummy things inside to keep it moist. I dressed the bird with olive oil, garlic, fresh rosemary and basil, salt, pepper and dried Italian seasonings.

I was so happy with how it turned out! Crispy on the outside and deliciously moist on the inside. Yum!

These are my people. So grateful for them and their love. 

And can we talk about sisters for just a minute?! Love her. Hair twinsie. Best friend. Seahawk supporter (or at least not hater ;)). I wish everyone had a sister.

The final spread. We had pirags (Latvian meat pastries) this year instead of rolls...yum!!
I tried crockpot mashed potatoes this year...amazing! Red skin potatoes, butter, milk, Greek yogurt, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Easy and delicious! 
And for stuffing, I sauteed onions, brussel sprout leaves, celery and garlic in butter and bacon grease. Then added the bread, whisked eggs and chicken stock. Last, capacolla for a little crunch. 
I am missing a picture of it but we also had Baba's pumpkin pie!