Your Secret Thanksgiving Sous Chef

Thanksgiving this year will be — unusual. I don’t have to tell you that after the exhausting election, the deep divide in our citizenry is palpable and disheartening. Coupled with the doom, gloom, and fatigue of the pandemic, it feels almost impossible at times to find joy. With such stress and anxiety, everyone will tell you that this year a focus on gratitude — the practice of noticing and being thankful for what is valuable and meaningful to you — will be more important than ever. Easier said than done, right?

Even in a “regular” year, Thanksgiving is filled with stressful factors such as travel, family conflicts, cooking, and in 2020, it will be compounded with COVID-19 testing, social distancing, awkward conversations, and masks. We have always hoped our Thanksgiving Take & Bake sides were a way to help reduce stress and effort to get the food on your table, and this year we know it to be true. Each dish serves between four and six people and comes in an ovenable, reheatable container. Order by Friday, November 20 and pick up Wednesday, November 25, from 12pm to 7pm.



We have also selected a number of delicious and affordable wines that pair beautifully with turkey and sides!


Traditional Choices:

We know. You’ve got to please your great aunt as well as your too-hip young nephew with this meal. These two wines will suit any dish you serve and any temperament you throw at them. Lower ABV means you can drink them all day, and of course, we’re never compromising on organic and sustainably made wines.


Catherine and Michel Langlois Côtes du Giennois Sauvignon Blanc — from the AOC just north of Sancerre, the Côtes du Giennois from Catherine and Michel Langlois is a slightly riper Sauv Blanc, with gooseberry, green melon, Meyer lemon, and a chalky minerality. Perfectly balanced, this is an elegant crowd pleaser. Catherine and Michel farm these old vines biodynamically. Very much a family project, their three sons (all in their 20s) have grown up in the vineyard and now work in the winery.



Sepp Moser Zweigelt — Zweigelt, the Austrian table wine, is one of those sneaky greatest hits for Thanksgiving. A light bodied red, it goes well with turkey and ham, herby stuffings, and even dessert (or side dishes that feel like dessert, oh dearly beloved sweet potato mash!). The Sepp Moser family is an important one in Austria, and this particular wine is organically grown and fermented in stainless steel. It’s light, but not too fruity, with a dry finish: Blackberry, a little black pepper, and some cocoa.



Alternative Choices:

You’ve trusted us when we served fried chicken for breakfast; you’ve trusted us when we decided to turn into a Sicilian pizza joint. Will you trust us with your wines? We love these less conventional options for your Thanksgiving dinners. Call us funky and fun?


Alessandro di Viola Note di Bianco — From the North Western corner of Sicily, this is 100% Grillo — a native white Sicilian grape — that is farmed in a literal fairyland. Alessandro and his wife and young daughter farm their small acreage like a garden, with wildflowers growing between the vines and groves of silvery trees skirting the vineyards on the mountainside. You can taste some of that magic in this unfiltered white, which smells like white strawberries and apricot blossoms and tastes like white peach and Castelvetrano olives with a core of minerality. We all need some magic in 2020 — and here it is!



Vino dal Bosco Chasselas Doré Pet Nat Sparkling Rosé — Brothers Tim and Peter Rausse created Vino Dal Bosco inspired by the young, fresh, and fruity wines made quickly and drunk within a year or 18 months of harvest. This is their sparkling rosé, made of the native Swiss grape Chasselas, with a little Merlot. Based right outside of Charlottesville, we love the sense of adventure and daring in these wines — and delicious to boot.



Vino dal Bosco Pet Nat Rosé Cocktail Recipe:
2 parts Vino dal Bosco Pet Nat Rosé
1 part Cocchi Rosa (also available for purchase)
1 part Club Soda
1 dash Angostura Bitters (optional)
lemon or orange peel

Chill Cocchi Rosa and Vino dal Bosco before serving or serve over ice. Pour two parts Pet Nat into a regular wine glass (or rocks glass if serving with ice). Top with one part Cocchi and a spritz of club soda. Add one dash Angostura and lemon or orange peel.

(12 servings per 750mL bottle of wine, assuming 2oz pour)

Read about Cocchi Rosa here. Find recipes for other cocktails here. And find their whole recipe archive here.


  • The latest from Nicole
Head Janitor, Chef, and Proprietor | Stomping Ground
Nicole’s cooking style is rooted in, but not limited to, her love of southern biscuits and her diverse culinary upbringing. A military brat, she spent her childhood in the Chicago suburbs enjoying her great-grandmother Mae’s Lithuanian cooking. As a tween, she moved to Paulding County, Ga. where she begrudgingly fell in love with the charmingly perplex small towns of the Deep South. She fondly remembers grubbing on Martin’s biscuits, late-night Waffle House debauchery and cooking with her family. After graduating from the University of Georgia, Nicole started a marketing career at an art nonprofit in Atlanta. At 25 years old, she became the youngest executive at the local Atlanta NPR affiliate. Chasing her dreams, she moved to Alexandria, Va. where she took a short post in the Whole Foods marketing department. Realizing that cooking had been her true love all along, she began night courses at L’Academie de Cuisine. She completed her apprenticeship at Blue Duck Tavern where she was promoted to a line cook after graduation. From there, Nicole worked as a private chef for busy Washington D.C. executives and their families. As grown-ups tend to do, Nicole realized something about her childhood — the best parts were enjoying small town communities, cooking with her great-grandmother and sharing meals with family and friends. She opened Stomping Ground to build a safe and welcoming community around yummy, handmade food from local sources. As her first foray running her own kitchen, she has shamelessly hired better, smarter cooks to fill her kitchen and your bellies. Her great-grandmother’s recipes often appear on the Stomping Ground menu without advertisement and, no, she won’t tell you the secret ingredients. Nicole lives in Del Ray and won’t shut up about how much she loves living there.

If you wander down Del Ray’s, “The Avenue,” you won’t miss the farm-red building with a rustic fence bordering the patio. Stomping Ground opened two years ago and quickly became popular for its made-from-scratch biscuits and its neighborhood vibe. On weekends, excited guests line up before Stomping Ground opens hoping to be the first to get a just-out-of-the-oven biscuit or a fresh salad. Stomping Ground is mostly known for its fast casual breakfast and lunch but on Thursdays and Fridays they provide a full dinner service after 5:00pm. All meals are built from local, seasonal food that is organic whenever possible.

2309 Mt Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301


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