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Back by popular demand, part 3 – Deb’s Stress-free Thanksgiving Feast

Posted on: November 24, 2014

Deb Boogaard


Last but not least, is home chef,’s own Deb ‘aka Resume Lady’ Boogaard.

Deb is owner of Tailored Resume Service, and has lived in Folsom for over 22 years.

Deb’s passion is good food and great times with family and friends. She’s been cooking Thanksgiving dinners for over 35 years, and has become an expert at planning great, (relatively) stress-free Thanksgiving dinners.

Deb’s Best Thanksgiving

I love to cook and Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. The air is crisp, our loved ones surround us, and we’re going to eat all of our favorite foods. Aside from our children, most of our family is too far away to get together, but we always enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving with our FWAFs (friends who are family). Our FWAFs have standing invitations to come to Thanksgiving dinner, which is always at our home. In fact, I’ve probably prepared over 35 Thanksgiving dinners… an interesting feat for someone who is only 29! With few exceptions, the menu is essentially the same every year because these are the treats that everyone loves and wants. I aim to please.

I make most of my dishes ahead of time and freeze them – with excellent results. I start a few weeks in advance and defrost the food the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I even roast my turkey before Thanksgiving; I sacrifice the wow factor of bringing a whole bird to the table in exchange for an easy, stress-free day in which I can enjoy my guests, the ability to make stock ahead of time (which I use for corn bread dressing), and the ability to make fat-free gravy (I refrigerate the drippings, scrape off all of the fat, and freeze it in measured portions for the recipe). The dishes I make ahead and freeze are: turkey, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and sometimes the corn bread dressing.

Brined, Roasted Turkey

Tips/Procedures for Brining:

Buy the biggest bird you can find. Why go through all of this work and not have oodles of leftovers? My bird is 25 lb.
Don’t buy turkeys that have stuff injected in them. That stuff has an off-putting taste and will yield turkey meat and gravy that is off-putting. If you brine your turkey, you are going to have wonderfully moist meat and great flavor.
Brine the bird for 24 – 48 hours (I always go 48 hours). Be sure to note the weight of the bird before you throw away the wrapper, as that will impact roasting time.


Filed under: Food & Drink

Back by Popular Demand, part 2, Clay Purcell’s Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

Posted on: November 21, 2014



Chef Clay’s Best Thanksgiving

Clay Purcell has been cooking professionally for 27 years, and his career has included stints at Hyatt Hotels in San Francisco, Hollywood, Palm Springs, Monterrey, and  Sacramento. He has been Executive Chef at Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade for over 6 years and has won numerous awards including best chefs of Sacramento, Vegan Challenge, Pork Counsel, and the Ultimate Club House Sandwich Contest to name a few.

He is married to MyFolsom’s own Kimberly ‘Amethyst Organizing’ Purcell and has been living in Folsom for over 6 years.

Clay says,


Filed under: Folsom, Food & Drink