To celebrate Thanksgiving here at Food Safety News we’re hosting our fourth virtual potluck (we’ve also held virtual picnics on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day).

We’ll be having turkey, of course, and for tips on how to cook a turkey, you can’t beat the Food and Drug Administration’s Keep Food Safe Blog.  For instance, did you procrastinators know it’s safe to cook a frozen turkey?  It will just take 50 percent longer than a fully thawed turkey.   Check out the FDA’s helpful Turkey Roasting Chart and reminders that no matter what method you use — roasting, brining, deep frying or smoking — the bird isn’t safe until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees (and that goes for the stuffing). 

In addition to the turkey, we’ve got two soups–Dan’s lentil and Marijke’s curry kale. Claire has contributed corn pudding, Gretchen made Brussels sprouts, and Helena suggests roasted squash and veggies, Alexa has shared Parmesan-rosemary potatoes and cranberry Waldorf salad.  For dessert there’s Michelle’s “that blueberry thing,” a variation on a crisp, and Suzanne is bringing an unusual-but-delicious concoction involving butternut squash and pretzels.

We’re sharing the recipes here, so you can join in our virtual potluck or use them at your next one

Have a happy and food-safe Thanksgiving Day.

The Food Safety News team.

Suzanne’s Butternut Squash Dessert

It’s dessert month at Marler Clark, so I made this on a test-run for our Thanksgiving celebration and got rave reviews.  Similar recipes are all over the Internet, but I’ve made a few changes and adding pretzels to the bottom and top crust for a little added crunch and saltiness since I love sweet and savory desserts.  One half of the top crust has pretzels added and the other half has pecans added.  The only extra ingredient in the bottom crust is pretzels.  I also used butternut squash instead of pumpkin this time around.


– Yellow cake mix (reserve 1 cup for topping)
– 3/4 to 1 stick butter, melted
– 1 egg, beaten
– 1/2 cup broken pretzels (optional)


– 2 to 3 cups pumpkin or squash — Bake the pumpkin or squash at 400 for 30-45 minutes, or until done.  Let cool.  Skin and puree, then cool.
– 2/3 c. brown sugar

– 3 eggs
– 2/3 c. nonfat evaporated milk
– 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (or you can just mix up some cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg)
– 1/4 tsp. salt (I left it out since I added the pretzels to the crust)


– Leftover cake mix
– 1/2 c. white sugar
– 1/2 c. chopped pecans or pretzels (optional)
– 1/4 – 1/2 stick butter, cut up in to small chunks with a pastry blender


CRUST: Mix well and spread mixture into a greased 9 X 13 baking pan or spring form pan. Pack the mixture down so it’s firm.

FILLING: Mix all ingredients together and spread the filling over the crust.

TOPPING: Mix all topping ingredients and crumble over the filling. Bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes or until the top is starting to brown. Cool and serve with whipped cream on top.   (I suggest checking it after 40 min. to be on the safe side.)