Thanksgiving must have dishes as done by our caterers


Thanksgiving by A Fare Extraordinaire
Contributions by Lauren Rothwell and Stephanie McKeever

Holiday Turkey Sliders

The Holiday Turkey Slider is A Fare Extraordinaire’s favorite way to combine all of the festive flavors of Thanksgiving into one tasty sandwich! It can be customized to each person’s wishes, but the most important part, the turkey, is always at the heart of the sandwich. We love to use the crock pot to get the turkey perfectly juicy. Cranberry jam is an essential topping that is always best when made from scratch – and even better any extras can be stored in the fridge until December Holidays roll around! You can even customize each slider to your preference with arugula, brie or goat cheese! This slider is a great way to bundle all of your Thanksgiving cravings into one and tastes just as delicious the day after for leftovers!



Shredded Turkey

1 Small Red Onion (Chopped)
4 Turkey Thighs (Approximately 4 Pounds)
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Ketchup
1/4 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Yellow Mustard
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

Additional Serving Suggestions:
Soft Slider Rolls or Ciabatta
Cranberry Jam (Recipe Below)
Optional: Arugula, Brie or Goat Cheese

• Spread the chopped red onions in the bottom of a 6- to 8-quart slow cooker
• Rub the turkey thighs with the chili powder, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and place over the onions
• Stir together the ketchup, sugar and mustard and pour over the turkey
• Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours
• The turkey should be very tender with the meat falling off the bones
• Uncover and stir
• Let cool for 10 minutes
• Using two forks, shred the turkey meat, discarding the bones
• Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper
• Serve on slider rolls with cranberry jam and arugula

Cranberry Jam

10 Ounces Frozen Cranberries
1 + 1/4 Cup Sugar


• In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine cranberries and sugar

• Heat over medium-high heat, stirring every few minutes, until sugar dissolves and berries release moisture (Approximately 10 to 12 minutes)

• Carefully transfer cranberry mixture to a high-speed blender
• Secure the lid tightly, and blend on high until berries and the skins are completely pulverized
• Return mixture to the heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring every few minutes to prevent scorching
• Cook until jam thickens, coats the back of the spoon, and does not slide off the spatula or spoon when tested (Approximately 15 to 20 minutes)
• Remove from heat, and transfer to a sanitized mason jar
• Wipe lip down before screwing on the lid
• Process the jar, cool to room temperature, then store in the pantry or, once cooled to room temperature, store in the refrigerator for several months


Contribution by Café Natalie:
“This is your must have dish because even the pickiest of eaters agree that there aren’t many things better than a big helping of delicious cheesy pasta”

3 Cheese Mac & Cheese


1 lb macaroni pasta cooked

2 cup Heavy Cream
1 cup Shredded Gouda
1 cup Parmesan Reggiano
1 cup American Cheese
1 tsp dry mustard


Cook pasta, drain, and cool

Bring heavy cream to boil
slowly add in cheese blend until fully melted
Add dry mustard

Combine cooled pasta and cheese sauce until evenly mixed
Add salt & pepper to taste




Contribution by Melange:
This is a must have dish because every year, after a long nap from eating all day, I mysteriously get hungry again and I need to prepare another plate! Having this quirky recipe for quesadillas (which I also adore!) I thought it would be fun to throw in some turkey and dressing and assorted cheeses and make it even more special! Think of it as two great tastes that taste great together sort of thing. You can make this with wheat tortillas or try it with any of the new flavored tortillas out there for some further options. This is a super easy dish to prepare (very important, especially after eating all day). It doesn’t take long at all and you can kind of make them as you go, like I do at home. Enjoy your leftovers in a new and interesting way this year!

Thanksgiving Quesadillas:

4 whole wheat tortillas
1 cup turkey breast
½ cup cranberry sauce
1 cup shredded cheese (Asiago, cheddar, and pepper jack)
½ cup fresh sage, chopped

– Spray a large skillet with olive oil and heat over medium heat.

– Place the first tortilla in the bottom of the skillet and top with ¼ cup cheese, ½ cup turkey, ¼ cup cranberry sauce, 1/8 cup sage, another ¼ cup cheese, and the second tortilla. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side, or until melted and delicious!

– Take off heat and cut into fourths to serve. Repeat with remainder of ingredients to make second quesadilla.





Contribution by Abuso:

Brussel Sprouts

When dreaming up the perfect Thanksgiving menu, you rely on the holiday staples – turkey, stuffing, soft and delicious bread rolls, cranberry sauce and gravy. Since the aforementioned dishes are so popular and iconic, the vegetable side dish is often an afterthought. Many hosts will just toss together a corn dish or “put some broccoli out”. We can do better than this. For your consideration: Brussel Sprouts at Thanksgiving.
These aren’t your grandma’s Brussel Sprouts though, they are well seasoned and adorned with sliced pancetta and sun dried tomatoes. This dish gives the perfect balance of sweet, savory and acidic – and will blend in perfectly with the rest of a traditional Thanksgiving meal!

• 3 pounds brussels sprouts
• 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 6 shallots, thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
• 2 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
• Kosher salt
• 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped


1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the brussels sprouts until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Cut the brussels sprouts in half lengthwise.
2. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 10 minutes; scrape into a bowl.
3. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of oil to the skillet. Add the brussels sprouts, cut side down, and the pancetta. Season with salt and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are browned and tender, 10 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and shallots and cook, stirring, until warm, 5 minutes. Season with salt, transfer to a bowl and serve.




Contribution by City Kitchen:

Contributed by Stefanie Smith

” Being from New Orleans, Stuffed Mirlitons is my family’s Lagniappe (a little bit extra) to go with the Turkey Dinner.  The recipe has been passed down for many generations and I am happy to share it with you!”

Stuffed Mirlitons

Yield:20 Mirlitons
Prep time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Ingredient |2 onions diced
Ingredient |1 medium bell pepper diced
Ingredient |2 celery stalks diced
Ingredient |4 stalks green onions diced
Ingredient |4 toes garlic diced
Ingredient |2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Ingredient |3 -4 tablespoons olive oil
Ingredient |1 teaspoon of Worchester sauce
Ingredient |1 ½ Large Progresso Italian breadcrumbs (if wet add more)
Ingredient |1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
Ingredient |Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
Ingredient |1 ½ lb. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut shrimp into 3 pieces
Ingredient |1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat

Cut Mirlitons in half and boil until tender in salted water (about 20 minutes).
Remove Mirlitons from pot and place on flat pan to cool (about 15 minutes).
When Mirlitons are cooled remove seed and veins from Mirlitons.
In a separate pot, scoop out the inside of Mirlitons and cook in a large pot on medium heat. Set shell aside. Again, remove any veins that you missed from Mirlitons.
In a separate skillet add olive oil and sauté onion, green onion, celery, peppers, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Cook until clear. Add to Mirlitons, cook about 45 minutes. If bland add salt, pepper, cayenne and Worchester sauce, add shrimp and crabmeat and mix together.
Remove from Heat.
Mix breadcrumbs and cheese together and stuff Mirlitons, add breadcrumb/cheese combo together and sprinkle paprika on top of Mirlitons and bake on 350 or 30 minutes.


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+

HMNS Weekly Happenings

Don’t forget that HMNS will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, however we will be open for extended hours (9:00am – 6:00pm) for the holiday weekend Friday, November 25 – Sunday, November 28!




And exciting news! For those of you who are fans of archaeology and need to get the family out of the house this week, we have an Ancient Egypt Double Feature!


Lecture – Applying Forensics to Archaeology by Andrew Shortland

‘Courtesy The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology UCL, UC59288’

‘Courtesy The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology UCL, UC59288’


Tickets $18, Members $12

Monday, November 21, 2016 – 6:30 PM

As an Egyptologist trained in geological sciences, Dr. Andrew Shortland became interested in applying scientific analysis to the identification and interpretation of material culture from the ancient and historical worlds. Today Shortland uses the latest technology to answer questions about valuable or historically important objects. Typically these involve queries about provenance, date, identification of past restoration or conservation—and even the detection of deliberate fakes and forgeries.


Using examples from his cases, Professor Shortland will describe a wide variety of different analytical techniques in his work including SEM-EDS, microprobe, XSRF, LA-ICPMS and optical microscopy.


Dr. Andrew Shortland is professor of archaeological science at Cranfield University in UK. He is Deputy Director of Cranfield Forensic Institute, where he runs a group that specializes in the application of scientific techniques to archaeological and forensic problems.


Lecture – The Ancient Egyptian Mummy: A Defense Against Tomb Robbery by Kara Cooney



Members $12, Tickets $18

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 – 6:30 PM

During the turmoil of the Late Bronze age ancient Egypt suffered from extreme economic, political, and social instability like mass migrations, invasions of Sea Peoples and Libyans, and the loss of the Syria-Palestinian empire. How did wealthy, elite Egyptians negotiate between the circumstances of this chaotic time of political decentralization and repeated economic collapses and the powerful social demands for them to spend large amounts of their income on funerary materials that were displayed in burial ceremonies? During this period funerary arts like mummification reflect a variety of innovative and defensive strategies– particularly against tomb robbery and the desecration of human remains in the burial. Egyptologist Dr. Kara Cooney will explore how mummification defended the dead against both worldly and supernatural threats


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#GivingTuesday Inspiration: Emeritus Trustee Ann B. Brinkerhoff Gives to HMNS for 40 Plus Years


Emeritus Trustee Ann B. Brinkerhoff exemplifies commitment to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, giving generously and enthusiastically her time, resources and expertise for over 40 years. As a capstone of her years of service, Ann spearheaded the formation of the HMNS Legacy Society of which she is the Chairman and a Charter Member. “The Museum has been an important part of my life and it was only fitting to provide for the Museum’s future and encourage others to do the same” explained Ann.

Ann’s devotion to the Museum is rooted in her inherent curiosity and love of learning, as well as her dedication to her family. When her children were young, Ann’s spare time was sparse. Yet, she felt bound to serve and found time to volunteer at organizations that benefitted children. She discovered the Houston Museum of Natural Science when her children began taking classes there. She joined the Guild, which she said was very much like the Junior League at that time, and was a docent for several years on Wednesday mornings. “I remembered my first time in front of a group of 4th graders and I was terrified,” she confessed. “Thankfully, I calmed down by focusing on all the lovely and rare objects in the Museum, trying to see them through the children’s eyes.”

Ann’s leadership skills and fundraising acumen flourished in the Guild. She chaired the Guild’s 1973 kitchen tour which raised $25,000—breaking all previous records. “It was a lot of work,” said Ann. “But it was so rewarding because I had a great group of women helping me and I formed many long-lasting friendships.” Ann’s fundraising success, reliability and ability to get things done made her the natural selection as the Guild’s president from 1974-1975.




In 1975, Ann was elected to the HMNS Board of Trustees and continues to serve today as an Emeritus Trustee. During her years of involvement with the Museum, Ann directed her attention and fundraising skills toward three major building campaigns, and saw the Museum’s annual attendance grow from less than 500,000 to more than 3 million. Her special projects have revolved around the Museum’s education and travel programs, and the malacology collection.

In addition to her work at the Museum, Ann has held leadership positions with the Women’s Institute, Hogg Foundation, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, the Philosophical Society, Institute of Texas Cultures and the University of Texas honors college. A life-long student, Ann is a voracious reader and spent every summer for 10 years taking classes at Cambridge University.

A devoted wife and mother, Ann was married to the late Robert Brinkerhoff, who she met while both were students at the University of Texas. During his lifetime, Robert built a successful oil company, supported Ann’s volunteer endeavors and together they raised four children. Through her work at the Museum and other cultural institutions, Ann brings to life the famous words of her hero, the first female anthropologist, Dr. Margaret Mead, who said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

We hope you will follow Ann’s lead this #GivingTuesday in supporting the important mission of HMNS.

If you are interested in more information on what you can do to help HMNS out, check out our Giving Tuesday page

And if you are interested in giving to HMNS this holiday season, here is a link to our donations page

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+

Big or Small, All Donations Matter #GivingTuesday

givingtuesday_60016This month we are celebrating #GivingTuesday by sharing stories of all the wonderful people who donate their time and money to continuing HMNS’ mission of furthering Science Education. Faith donated the profits from her lemonade stand to help us out, this is what she has to say about it.

If you are interested in more information on what you can do to help HMNS out, check out our Giving Tuesday page

And if you are interested in giving to HMNS this holiday season, here is a link to our donations page



And here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Question: Faith, what is it that you did for the museum?

Answer: Well first I donated money in my sister’s name, Cecilia, and also me and my cousins raised a lemonade stand and I wanted to donate to the museum, and then my cousin wanted to donate to butterflies and my mom was like “Hey that’s perfect! Why don’t you donate to the museum?” and I wanted to give the money to the museum.

So, she posted it on Facebook and then we went to people’s doors that were close to our house and asked if they wanted to come get some lemonade and we got some lemonade from the grocery store  and then we put out some cups and some lemonade and a little water bottle for tips and we donated the money.

Question: Why did you donate the money you earned to the museum?

Answer: Because I like all of the things here, I like when they have expeditions and new exhibits… I like coming here to see the dinosaurs and I really like to see the animal exhibits upstairs.

Question:What is your favorite dinosaur and why is it your favorite?

Answer: T-rex, because it’s really the dinosaur everyone knows, it’s the king of the dinosaurs and my favorite type of dinosaurs are Therapods

Question: What would you tell other people who are interested in helping out HMNS?

Answer: Just probably raise money or give your money to the place that you like.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+