Vaz+Harwood Team Thanksgiving Favorites

These family favorites grace our tables each year, and we’re so very happy to share them with you. What are your favorite recipes we should try? 


Cheryllyne's Turkey

Turkey comes out deliciously tender and juicy, while staying crispy on the outside. Is your mouth watering yet? 


1c sugar
1 1/2 – 1 3/4c kosher salt
2 1/2 gallons cold water
5-6 bay leaves, torn
1 bunch fresh thyme/lemon thyme
1 bunch rosemary
1 head of garlic, all cloves crushed
5 allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, smashed
1 apple
1 lemon peel
1 orange peel
Crushed black pepper, to taste


1. Remove turkey neck and giblet bag. Rinse well. 
2. Combine sugar, salt, and 3-4 quarts of water in a large bowl. Stir till sugar and salt and dissolved.
3. Add remaining ingredients.
4. Pour into large pot with turkey. 
5. Add remaining 1 1/2 gallons of water. Liquid should completely cover the bird. 
6. Keep refrigerated for 12-24 hours. 


What’s a meal without chutney?! What’s Thanksgiving without cranberry?!


1lb fresh cranberries
1c granulated sugar
1/2 dark brown sugar 
2c fresh orange juice
1c apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
6 fresh mint leaves

NOTE: You can switch the brown and granulated sugar for a richer taste! 


1. Sort the cranberries, discarding any soft ones. 
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and stir to mix. Bring the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally. 
3. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until juices have reduced and are thick enough to coat the bottom of a spoon. About 1 hour. 
4. Let chutney cool at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. Remove and discard cinnamon stick. 


Beth's NYT Green Bean Casserole

NYT GB casserole
Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

A family favorite recipe from the New York Times! 


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed and broken in half
  • Salt, to taste
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • ½ pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces Gruyère, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (or crumbled Ritz crackers)


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Use 1 tablespoon butter to grease a 2- to 2 1/2-quart baking dish or gratin.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add green beans. Boil for 5 minutes and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain on a kitchen towel.

3. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to paper towels and let cool.

4. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in pan and return to heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and turn heat up slightly. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of pan, until mushrooms begin to sweat. Add salt to taste and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. In a large bowl whisk together crème fraîche and cream. Stir in Gruyère. Add green beans, mushrooms and shallots, and marjoram or thyme. Crumble in bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir everything together until beans are well coated. Transfer to baking dish.

6. Melt remaining butter and toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle evenly over top of casserole. Bake 30 minutes, until bread crumbs are golden brown and casserole is bubbling. Remove from heat, let sit until bubbles subside, and serve.

LaShaun's Caramelized Honey Pumpkin Pie

Portion of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, a traditional thanksgiving dessert. Top view

A twist on a Thanksgiving classic! 


  • 1 all-butter pie shell, parbaked in a 9-inch pie plate + cooled
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 can unsweetened pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (preferably freshly grated), plus more for serving
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Softly whipped cream, for serving


1. Arrange an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the parbaked pie crust on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium-low heat, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides constantly with a heatproof spatula. The mixture will sputter as the water boils off. Continue to cook, stirring and scraping, until the sputtering subsides, the butter is foaming, and the solid bits turn a dark brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add the honey (to prevent the butter from burning), stirring to combine. Return the saucepan to medium heat and bring to a boil. Continue to cook, swirling often, until the mixture is darkened slightly and has a savory, nutty smell, about 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly stream in the heavy cream, stirring constantly (be careful—the mixture may sputter) until it’s smooth. Set the warm honey mixture aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs to break up the whites and yolks, then add the brown sugar and whisk vigorously until the mixture has lightened in color by a shade or two, about 1 minute. Whisk in the pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, salt, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves until smooth. Slowly stream in the warm honey mixture, whisking constantly, until the filling is completely homogenous.
5. Pour the filling into the parbaked crust all the way to the top. (Depending on the height of your crust, you may have some leftover filling, which you should keep!) Ever so carefully transfer the pie to the center rack and bake until the filling is set and puffed around the edges and the center wobbles gently, 45 to 60 minutes.
6. Turn off the oven and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Let the pie cool completely in the oven. Doing so will allow it to cool gradually, which will prevent cracking on the surface.
7. Slice the pie into wedges and top each piece with softly whipped cream. Grate a bit of fresh nutmeg over the cream and serve.


1. The pie, covered and refrigerated, will keep up to 3 days but is best served on the first or second day (the crust will soften over time).
2. Use a good-quality, dark-hued honey. The more strongly flavored the better, so it stands out against the pumpkin. Just don’t use buckwheat or chestnut honey, which are too intense.
3. Bake any remaining pumpkin filling separately in a small ramekin so you can sample the filling prior to cutting into the pie!


This dish is an absolute must for every Kreml, and now, Harry, holiday dinner. Cooks well in a slow cooker too! 


2 packages of frozen broccoli florets
8oz cheddar cheese, grated
1c sour cream
2T butter
2T flour
1c milk
2c cornflakes
1/2 stick butter


1. Cook broccoli, put in greased casserole dish with salt and pepper, and top with grated cheese.
2. Make roux with butter and flour over medium heat, gradually adding milk until sauce thickens. 
3. Once sauce thickens, turn off heat, add sour cream until blended and pour over broccoli and cheese.
4. Brown cornflakes in 1/2 stick of butter. Put over top of white sauce. 
5. Cover the top of the casserole with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, removing foil for last 5-7 minutes. 

Sandy's Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake

The big day is not complete without dessert. You’ll be asking for seconds of this tasty pie alternative even if you’re stuffed! 


2c gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/4c butter, melted
4 packages cream cheese (8oz each)
1 1/2c sugar
4 eggs
1 can canned pumpkin (not pie mix)
1 1/2t ground ginger
1t ground cinnamon
1/4t ground nutmeg


1. Mix cookie crumbs and butter in small bowl. Heat oven to 300. Grease 9″ springform pan, and press crumb mixture into bottom of pan and 1″ up the sides. Bake 8-10 minutes until set. Cool at least 5 minutes.
2. Beat cream cheese until just smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in sugar, then 1 egg at a time until just blended. Spoon 3 cups of mixture into pan and spread evenly. 
3. Stir pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into remaining cream cheese and whisk until smooth. 
4. Bake 1 hour 25 minutes or until edges are set but center of cheesecake still giggles slightly. 
5. Turn off oven, open door at least 4″. Leave in oven 30 more minutes. Remove and place on cooling rack. 
6. Run knife between pan and cheesecake to loosen without releasing pan. Cool another 30 minutes. cover loosely and refrigerate at least 6 hours (not more than 24 hours). 
7. Run knife around pan to release again. Carefully remove sides of pan. Store covered in refrigerator. 

What do you want in your next home?