Thanksgiving Cooking courtesy of Weelicious author Catherine McCord | Newport Mesa Moms

Are you hosting your first Thanksgiving?  In charge of bringing something to a family member or friend’s house?  Wanting a different way to cook a turkey?  Intimidated but the occasion?  Well you are in luck because we connected with Catherine McCord, author of Weelicious, and founder of One Potato, who gave us access to some of her favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

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Fed up with how time consuming it was to feed her family a healthy dinner every night, cookbook author and founder of the Weelicious family food brand, Catherine McCord, started One Potato, a company focused on helping parents to be their best selves at meal time by doing the work for them!

Each week, One Potato delivers 2-3 organic, easy-to-prepare dinners to your door.  Flexible pricing for families of all sizes, recipes drawn from Catherine’s trusted Weelicious library, and designed to be on the table in 15-30 minutes, One Potato is a lifesaver for busy parents!  There are also plans for every dietary preference (Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Nut Free, Dairy Free).

And right now, One Potato is offering Newport Mesa Moms 30% off their first order with code NMM30.  Now that my friends, is just one more thing to be thankful for!

The Best Brined Turkey


  • water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 10-12 pound turkey, defrosted
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil


1. Place the sugar and salt in 4 cups of hot water. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve.

2. Place the brine in a large stock pot with a gallon of cold water, cloves and bay leaves and a handful of ice to make sure the water is cold. Stir to combine.

3. Wash the turkey inside and out and place breast side down in the stockpot with brine (you want the water to just cover the turkey).

4. Refrigerate 18-24 hours (or set it in a cool safe place outside as long as it’s below 55 degrees outside).

5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

6. Take the turkey out of the brine and rinse inside and out with cold water, discarding brine.

7. Place the turkey on a roasting rack inside a wide low pan and blot the turkey with a paper towel.

8. Tuck back the wings and rub the skin of the turkey with the oil.

9. Roast on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes and then place a piece of foil just over the breast of the turkey to cover (the breast cooks faster then the legs and wings so this process helps it to cook more evenly).

10. Pour 1 cup of water in the pan, reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue to roast 1 hour.

11. Remove the foil from the breast and cook another 15-30 minutes. Insert a meat thermometer into the deepest part of the thigh (avoiding the bone) to reach a temperature of 160-165 degrees. The turkey will actually continue to cook a little even after you take it out of the oven (the total cooking time in the oven will be 1 hour 45 minutes-2 hours total).

12. Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes (this is an essential step to allow the juices to redistribute and settle).

13. Slice and serve.

14. So good!

Catherine’s Comments

If you’ve never had a brined turkey, trust me, you are missing out. And once you try it, you’ll never go back. This recipe is the piece de la resistance of our Thanksgivings.

I have to say, if I was going to have a last meal, this would be it. When I make a turkey, even if I’m only serving 4 people, I always make one to serve 12. Turkey is the perfect leftover meat because you can keep it in the fridge and turn it into so many other dishes like sandwiches, turkey hash, turkey pot pies and so on.

In our house you never have to worry about it going bad because it’s all gone before that can even happen. It feeds us all for a week – lunch, dinner….sometimes even breakfast!

I’ve been brining turkey for several years and I have to say it’s THE trick to making a perfect turkey. It makes turkey extra juicy and imparts the perfect flavor. I like to use cloves and bay leaves as aromatics in the brine, but you could also toss in some onion, cinnamon stick, apple, celery, or basically any flavors you love.

I brought a turkey to our regular “kids dinner party” recently and everyone devoured it. At the same time, though, most of the mother’s were saying “I couldn’t EVER roast a turkey”. Don’t be intimidated, it’s really easy.

After making the brine and placing it in a large pot with the turkey, I cover it and leave it outside overnight. Yep, outside and overnight. First of all, I don’t know anyone with a refrigerator large enough to hold a gigantic pot and second, it’s usually 55 degrees or lower in most of the U.S. this time of year, so it’s the perfect temperature to brine — certainly as good as your fridge, if not better.

Besides the cooking time, this recipe is reasonably economical, super easy and everyone in the family will love it! Even the tiniest members.

Maple Roast Veggies


  • 7 carrots, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into large chunks
  • 1 Delicata squash, unpeeled, split lengthwise, seeds removed and cut into half moons (you could also use peeled butternut squash)
  • 1 Yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp kosher or sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat the vegetables (at this point you can place the vegetables in a large zipper bag and refrigerate overnight).

3. Pour the vegetables on to a foil lined sheet tray and roast for 50 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until tender and golden.

4. Serve.

Catherine’s Comments

These maple roast vegetables are a holiday favorite in our house and perfect no matter if you are having twenty people over or just two. I first started making this simple dish for Thanksgiving years ago, but it’s so addictive and easy to prepare that I started making it all the time (most of the vegetables the dish calls for are available year-round). Roasting is one of the best techniques for getting the maximum amount of flavor out of vegetables. They become super tender, sweet on the inside and a bit caramelized on the outside.

Holidays or not, I usually double the recipe because they’re just as delicious (if not more so) the next day – perfect for lunch or a quick, healthy snack. And, for anyone who has a child who is prone to say, “I hate vegetables,” just try making this dish and tell me if those words ever come out of their sweet little mouths again!

Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups


  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (you want to use potatoes that are really orange, also known as yams)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 3 navel oranges
  • mini marshmallows


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke the yams several times with a fork or knife to pierce the skin.

2. Place on foil or a sheet tray in the oven and bake for 1 hour.

3. Let yams cool for several minutes, cut in half and scoop out the fluffy insides (I love eating the high fiber skin as a snack).

4. Mash the yams with butter, maple syrup, evaporated milk and salt until creamy and fluffy.

5. Cut the oranges in half and slice a very thin disk from the bottom so they rest flat. The skins are actually going to be the “bowls”.

6. With a pairing knife cut around the inside rim of the orange removing the orange sections and pulp. Place any of the orange juice and pulp in a bowl and discard the white membranes and seeds. Save the juice and pulp for cranberry sauce recipe or just enjoy as a snack.

7. Fill each orange cup with 1/4 cup of puree and top with several mini marshmallows (you can cover and refrigerate these overnight).

8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

9. Place on a sheet tray and bake for 20-25 minutes.

10. Serve.

Catherine’s Comments

These Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups are one of the most kid and adult friendly holiday sides you can make!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I tested this recipe out on several little guinea pigs. I made these for a recent “kid’s dinner party” that my friends and I do every week and I can’t even tell you how hard I laughed when I pulled these sweet potatoes out of the oven and three of the kids simultaneously yelled “cupcakes”! No matter what we said they decided the orange and white “cupcakes” were a holiday treat and scarfed them down. The only “oops” moment came when one little girl looked at me with a huge hunk of orange peel in her mouth and said, “I don’t like the wrapper”. Whoops!

These heavenly treats only take minutes to prepare, and they made quite a visual and edible impact on the kids and adults alike. I’m a big fan of cooking this dish with evaporated skim milk because it makes the potatoes really fluffy without the added fat of heavy cream. I usually don’t like to use foods that have a ton of sugar, but just a few mini marshmallows really take this recipe to the next level for kids and makes it fun for them. After all, it’s the “icing”! They’re not essential to the recipe, so you can easily leave them out.

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