Thanksgiving is a month away. WHAAAAT?! I know I'm freaking out a little bit because this time of year always seems to go by so fast. Every year we host Thanksgiving for our extended family. I love making the turkey. The smells of sage, butter and citrus bubbling in the oven are heaven to me. I remember being SO nervous when I made my first one. I think I read the directions for the recipe 20 times to make sure I didn't miss anything. 

If this is one of the first times you are making a turkey or if you are hosting a small dinner gathering for friends and family I highly recommend simply cooking a turkey breast in your slow cooker instead. It's faster, easier and a no fail approach to making delicious turkey for your Thanksgiving feast. Plus, your over is free to cook all of your tasty sides.

When creating a Thanksgiving feast for my Home for the Holidays post a month back, Brendon discovered this amazing recipe on Pinterest. We tried it and it was SOOOOO good. It looked beautiful too because you crisp up the skin in the oven after it has fully cooked in your slow cooker. Just make a tasty gravy to go with it, and you're set! These are pictures of how ours turned out. Be sure to visit Recipe Tin Eats for their recipe notes, nutrition information and various cooking times depending on how large your turkey breast is. 

by Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

PREP TIME 15 mins

COOK TIME 8 hours

TOTAL TIME 8 hours 15 mins

Serves: 8-12 depending on size


  • 2 kg / 4 lb turkey breast bone in (if using frozen, thaw it)
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 1 onion (brown, yellow or white), unpeeled, cut in half
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 5 sprigs of thyme (or 2 tsp dried thyme leaves)


  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 grinds of black pepper
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil


  • 1 - 2 cups chicken stock/broth (or water)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place Rub ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Pat the turkey dry all over with paper towels. Slather with the Rub, using most for the side and top.
  3. Place the garlic, onion, thyme and 1 half lemon face down in the slow cooker. Place the turkey breast on top so it is elevated.
  4. Squeeze over the remaining ½ lemon and then push it down the side.
  5. Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  6. Remove turkey from the slow cooker and let it rest for 20 minutes before crisping the skin.

Crisp the Skin

  1. Preheat gril/broiler to high.
  2. Place in oven 1 foot from the heat source.
  3. Remove turkey breast from the slow cooker into a heatproof serving dish.
  4. Place on the oven shelf and broil for 3 to 5 minutes until the skin is crispy. Keep an eye on it - it browns very quickly!
  5. Serve immediately with gravy on the side.

Click here for the tasty gravy recipe

Photos by Rennai Hoefer; Recipe prepared by Brendan McCaskey 


This post is sponsored by Gold Peak Tea.

I recently shared with you what home feels like to me, and I mentioned that sharing good food and drink with friends and family is essential. I really enjoy drinking iced tea (a love that I picked up while living in Houston). So, I'm happy to share a yummy fall iced tea recipe using Gold Peak Tea that I think will not only make you feel at home, but make you feel like you are drinking fall sip by sip.


Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6



3/4 cup water

3/4 cup apple juice

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 orange, cut in half

1 cinnamon sticks (+ 4-6 for garnish)

2 whole star anise (+4-6 for garnish)

4 whole cloves


Pour water & apple juice into a small sauce pot. Add sugar and whisk to dissolve. Take one half of orange and peel two long pieces of rind.  Slice other orange half into half moons and set aside. Place orange rind, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 whole star anise, and 4 whole cloves into sugar mixture. Place over medium high heat, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove spiced simple syrup from heat and strain into a bowl. Let cool for 20-30 minutes, or chill over night.

Pour spiced simple syrup into a large pitcher, and pour a (1.8qt) bottle of Gold Peak Unsweetened Tea into the pitcher. Mix tea and simple syrup together with a spoon or whisk. Feel free to add more or less syrup to your desired taste. Then pour spiced tea into ice filled glasses, and garnish with an orange slice, cinnamon stick, and star anise.


If you're entertaining, consider pouring the iced tea into pretty copper mugs like these that were designed by my friend Katie, and garnish with a cinnamon stick, orange rind or star of anise. I particularly love that the mugs say "gather" on them. It's a word we often use around Thanksgiving time, but it applies to anytime we're at home sharing good food and drink with friends.

Gold Peak Tea would love to hear what home feels like to you too! You can go enter their contest to win a trip back home and a custom experience while you're there. The deadline for entries is September 1st, 2016. Run, don't walk!

Photos by Rennai Hoefer, Recipe by Brendan McCaskey, Styled by Alex Evjen


This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

What food is cozier than pigs in a blanket?! haha. Here's a fast and easy recipe from my house to yours that is perfect to serve at your holiday party this weekend or during a movie night at home. You only need three ingredients: crescent rolls, lil' smokies and jalapeno cream cheese. We like a little spice at our house, but if you don't like spicy things you can substitute regular cream cheese too. 

Pop some popcorn, pop the tops on some ice cold Coca-Cola and enjoy your movie night.

by Nicky Vender

1 Tube crescent rolls
Tub of jalapeno cream cheese
Beef lil' smokies

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Unroll crescents and use a knife to cut each triangle into thirds lengthwise. At the thick part of the dough, add a dollop of 1/4 tsp cream cheese. Then place one smokie on top of cream cheese and roll up. Place the rolled crescents onto a large cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Makes 24 minis.

Photos by Melissa Jill


This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

When you think of a movie night what foods come to mind? Popcorn and nachos with an ice cold Coca-Cola, right? Well, I've shared with you two popcorn recipes, and now it's time to share a killer nacho recipe. These aren't your average savory nachos...Nope, these are dessert nachos. They are even better if you ask me. Cinnamon sugar chips with fresh chunks of apple and salted caramel whipped cream. Need I say more? This recipe only takes 10 minutes tops too! Serve it on a circular platter like this one from Coca-Cola and it almost looks like a Christmas wreath. Let me know how you like it!

by Nicky Vender

1 Bag Tortilla chips
1/2 C Butter, melted
3/4 C Sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 Cup salted caramel sauce
1 red apple, finely diced
1 green apple, finely diced

To make the chips, place in a large bowl and drizzle the melted butter over them. Toss gently to coat. Then combine the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the chips, tossing until evenly covered.

To make the caramel cream, blend together cream cheese and caramel sauce in a stand mixer until there are no lumps and it is light and fluffy. To assemble the nachos, place the cinnamon and sugar chips on a plate. Sprinkle with diced apples. Place caramel cream in a bowl. Dip and enjoy!

Photos by Melissa Jill


This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

I am a popcorn fiend. Next to potato chips it's probably my favorite snack. Add some rosemary and chipotle spice to it, and oh my gosh you have the best darn popcorn you have ever tasted. Once I start eating it I can't stop. If you're looking to add some spice to your average movie night snacks give this recipe a whirl. Pair it with some Coca-Cola and mini jalapeno pigs in a blanket for a tasty movie night.

Inspired by Ina Garten & adapted by Nicky Vender

1/3 C Maple Syrup
1/4 C Brown Sugar
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
3 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced (divided)
2 tsp chipotle powder
Canola Oil
2 c mixed nuts
2 tbsp melted butter
3 bags plain popcorn, popped (about 39 cups)

Preheat over to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk maple syrup, sugar and orange juice, 2 tbsp of rosemary and chipotle powder. Lightly coat a large cookie sheet with canola oil and pour the nuts onto it. Take 1/3 cup of the rosemary chipotle sauce, pour over the nuts and toss until evenly coated. Spread nuts into a single layer. Toast in the oven for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes and add the remaining 1 tbsp of rosemary at the 10 minute mark. When done cooking, remove from oven and use a spatula to place nuts onto parchment to cool. Next, ad the melted butter to the remaining chipotle sauce and stir. Drizzle over popcorn and stir gently to coat. Finally, add the toasted nuts and toss to combine. Feel free to add a bit more minced rosemary if desired!

Photos by Melissa Jill