Gobble, Gobble! It is Thanksgiving Time!

Thanksgiving Perfection

The countdown to Thanksgiving is on and Destin Commons is here to help you prepare for the feast of the year. Whether you are entertaining a small gathering or hosting friends and family galore, Destin Commons has everything you need!

Preparation is Key

Cooking the Thanksgiving feast may seem daunting, but it does not have to be if you prepare in advance. We know turkey is on the Thanksgiving menu, but how will you prepare it? Should you brine the turkey, smoke it, or even deep fry it? What side dishes should accompany the turkey? Take a deep breath and relax because we have you covered.

Recipes to Try

Or try one of these delicious recipes recommended to us by our friends at Whole Foods Market and Southern Living.

Southern Living’s Smoked Turkey Breast


  • 1 (64-oz.) bottle apple cider
  • 12 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 10-12 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 garlic bulb, cut in half crosswise
  • 4 cups of ice cubes
  • 1 (5 3/4- to 6-lb.) bone-in turkey breast
  • 4 hickory wood chunks


Bring the apple cider and next 7 ingredients to a boil in a large stockpot or 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Next, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in ice and cool completely (1 hour). Place turkey in the brine solution; cover and chill between 5 to 12 hours.

Prepare the smoker according to manufacturer’s directions, bringing internal temperature to 225° to 250°; maintain temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. Place wood chunks on coals.

Take the turkey from brine, and pat dry with paper towels and discard the brine. Next, smoke the turkey, maintaining the temperature inside the smoker between 225° and 250°, for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers at 165°. At that point, remove the turkey from the smoker. Finally, be sure to loosely cover the turkey with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

Southern Living’s Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes


  • 4 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 8 ounces goat cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (8 oz.) salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives


Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high. Then, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

Drain the potatoes, and return to saucepan. Add the goat cheese, cream, butter, salt, and pepper; using a potato masher, mash to combine. As the last step, top the potatoes with chives.

Whole Foods Market’s Pumpkin Apple Pie 


  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Granny Smith or Fuji apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh or canned pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell (in a pie pan)


Preheat the oven to 425°F. Afterward, put the brown sugar, cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1/3 cup water, and butter into a medium pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Add apples and cook, tossing to coat the apples in the sugar mixture, 3 to 4 minutes more. At this point, remove the apple mixture from the heat and set aside.

Next, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg, granulated sugar, pumpkin, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, cloves, ginger and milk until well combined.

Pour the apple mixture into the pie shell and spoon pumpkin mixture evenly over the top. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375°F and continue baking until filling sets in the middle, approximately 40 minutes more. Finally, set aside on a wire rack to let cool completely before cutting into slices.

Setting the Stage

You only get once chance to make a first impression, so start with picking the perfect autumnal scent for your home. Our personal picks are from Bath & Body Works in the classic fragrances of Welcome Home, Gather, and Leaves. Consequently, these candles smell so wonderful that you will probably want to burn them all year round!

If the food is the star of the show, then the tablescape is its stage. Therefore, we recommend getting this done early and checking it off your list! We visited our friends at Southern Living to see what is in store to dress the table.

It was love at first sight when we saw this Metal Pumpkin Candle Holder by Mud Pie. Pair this with some spectacular florals or small gourds and you have created a simple yet elegant centerpiece. In addition, Mud Pie also has created some great wooden table accessories such as the Gather Lazy Susan and Watercolor Pumpkin Board that add texture and functionality to any table.

Equally, be sure to have festive serving pieces for your guests to enjoy while they pile their plates high with food. Make sure you check out Nora Fleming’s line which allows you to purchase a serving piece and then switch out the minis depending on the holiday or event you are hosting. Grab a cute turkey for Thanksgiving and then switch it our for a festive stocking mini in December. It is so easy and your guests will love this little extra touch of something special!

Enjoy your holiday with family and friends and Happy Thanksgiving from our table to yours!

Related Reading