The Ultimate Southern Thanksgiving

I am thrilled to be featured in the Thanksgiving issue of Southern Living Magazine this month!  Ten pages of beautiful photos, table setting ideas, and my Thanksgiving recipes all laid out to make your meal easy to plan and prepare.

“What happens when you pair one of the South’s most creative stylists with one of its rising culinary stars?  Thanksgiving gold.  Southern Living style director Heather Chadduck Hillegas created the season’s most inspired table, mixing vintage finds with traditional patterns along side Athens, Georgia, cookbook author Gena Knox, who crafter a modern menu full of classic dishes with smart new twists.  Follow their leads and ease up on the formality this year to host  your most gracious holiday yet. “

Southern Living Magazine, November 2014


Love this overhead shot of my family enjoying the beautiful meal.  I think my son, Neely, and daughter, Genevieve, consumed about a dozen biscuits each while we were shooting.  My Constance china by Bernardaud is one of my favorite patterns and perfect for fall and into Christmas.


I love these rustic benches and the various heights on the table.  Remember, if you can’t see the person sitting across from you, your table decor is too high!  These pumpkins nestled into urns create the perfect height and subtle colors.



Brined Smoked Turkey is always the star of our Thanksgiving table.  You can use Fire & Flavor’s brine as a wet or dry brine and either roast in the oven or smoke on your grill.  Either way a brined turkey will always be juicy, flavorful, and make you look like a pro.


 Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup is a perfect starter that can easily be made in advance.


 Cane syrup adds an old fashioned, Southern sweetness to many dishes, but you can substitute maple syrup if needed.  I love the colors and complex flavor of my Cane Syrup Glazed Acorn Squash.


Homemade Biscuits with Creme Fraiche, Green Bean Salad with Hearts of Palm, and my favorite Wild Rice and Greens Casserole


You can’t have Thanksgiving without pie!  From my cookbook, Southern My Way: Food & Family, Butterscotch Meringue Pie with Pecan Crust, is a must.

Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili


Finally, crisp fall air has made its way down South.  My weekly CSA box is filled with butternut squash, fresh garlic, apples, and hearty greens.  I am loving fall and all it gives us.  With halloween around the corner, I wanted to plan a menu that would be perfect fall night or maybe even post trick or treating.


Butternut squash is one of my favorites, but it can be a challenge, not to mention dangerous, to peel and cube.  By first roasting it, you can scoop out the baked squash and turn into a delicious hummus that goes with just about everything.  Spread on toasted bread and top with feta, pomegranates, and avocado for a beautiful snack or starter.  Butternut Squash Hummus Crostini 


As much as I love fall, hectic back to school schedules have set in and I have found myself turning to my slow-cooker on a weekly basis.  My Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili is my new fav and of course, a Simple Guacamole is a must with crisp tortilla chips to serve on the side.  I know I have done something right when my five year old devours two bowls.



I have a weakness for homemade apple pie and this recipe might just be number one of my list…Warm Apple Pie with Pecan Crumble.  Ok, so it is not so healthy, but apple season is only once a year!  Happy fall – enjoy!