I’m finally recovered enough from Thanksgiving to post some turkey photos and a great salad recipe that debuted at our Thanksgiving dinner.

I decorated the grownups’ table with several estate sale finds — the glass pumpkins, the centerpiece bowl, the mirrored runner, and the candelabra all came from estate sales and thrift shops:

The kids’ table had an herb-filled turkey basket as a centerpiece:

My mother-in-law gave me this unusual driftwood turkey to add to my collection of Thanksgiving decorations, which I filled with an assortment of succulents:

One of my favorite turkeys is this vintage hand-crafted one that I found on ebay last year:

There was, of course, turkey food.  There was a turkey veggie platter that I brought to my son’s friend’s house:

And a turkey-decorated caramelized pear cheesecake:

Can’t forget the turkey cupcakes:

And finally, the real deal turkey, prepared by my husband:

Although most of the food at our Thanksgiving dinner was traditional, I tried out a new kale salad on the family.  The original recipe came from Food & Wine Magazine, but I made several changes.  It is a beautiful and delicious salad — a knockout, really — that the family loved, and which will definitely reappear during the holidays.

Recipe type: Salad
  • 2 cups pecans
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ½" dice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons caper brine (from a jar of capers)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Granny Smith Apples, cut into matchsticks
  • ½ small head of red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 large bunch kale, stems removed, and thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces shaved parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, cover pecans with water, then drain in a colander. In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, cayenne, and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Add the pecans and toss to coat the pecans. Transfer to colander and shake off any excess coating. Arrange the pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the sugar is lightly caramelized and the pecans are golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Place the bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until bacon is crisp. Strain the pan drippings into a medium bowl, and transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the olive oil, vinegar, caper brine, and maple syrup to the bacon drippings and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the kale in a large salad bowl. Add the apples, cabbage, parmesan cheese, bacon, and pecans, and toss to combine. Pour dressing over salad and toss again.

 Kale and Apple Salad with Bacon and Candied Pecans