Are you excited for turkey, all the trimmings and sugary desserts, but dreading the awkward conversations with relatives at the dinner table? Instead of just serving beer and wine, ease the tension with your folks and impress them with a pumpkin-spiced cocktail. Go for one of our new favorites (inspired by this incredible video) or make an Apple-Pumpkin Beer Cocktail — it’s like apple cider and pumpkin pie in a glass, and it’s easy to throw together at the last minute. In a cocktail shaker (or a large pitcher if you’re multiplying the recipe to serve the whole family), mix bourbon, apple cider, lemon juice and ice. Pour into glasses and top with a pumpkin ale, then garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick and fresh cranberries. They day is guaranteed to go a lot better afterward.
For more ways to round out your holiday feast, mix up some of Cooking Channel’s favorite festive cocktails:
It’s T-minus 24 hours to T-day, arguably the most important meal of the year. Are you ready? We’re not talking menu planning, grocery shopping and food prep, but that other important aspect: are you going to have apple or pumpkin pie? To help you with that important choice, we’ve put the two iconic holiday pies head to head in a nutrition showdown.
Continue Reading Nutrition Smackdown: Pumpkin Pie vs. Apple Pie
One of the most anxiety-inducing parts about traveling home for Thanksgiving is all of the questions from friends and family about your life. They mean well, but there’s only so many times you can explain your job or the reason for lack of a significant other. This enterprising young gentleman, however, has begun renting himself out to make those conversations easier to digest, by ruining them.
This Craigslist ad popped up in Nashville last week. This guy will give it his all to ruin Thanksgiving dinner at your request, and all just for the price of the meal (He really likes turkey.) What could you have going on in your living room if you hire him? He’ll pretend to hit on other women, start combative political discourse or even just fight the family member of your choosing. It’ll be a laugh riot!
Of course, this could backfire if you, say, actually care about your family having a good time while they eat. There’s always that to consider.
Pork tenderloins are, hands down, one of the easiest items to prepare for a crowd. They pair well with almost any flavor combination and are so lean that they cook in virtually no time. While they do require just a bit of trimming to remove any excess fat or silverskin (that shiny connective tissue that you see on the surface of the cut), you can choose to do it quickly yourself or just ask your butcher to remove it for you.
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Roast Pork Tenderloin with Oven-Glazed Carrots + Parsnips
Ever since mankind gazed toward the heavens and thought “hey, let’s stuff two random meats together” there has been talk of getting a gator involved. After all, alligators are totally awesome and have been known to randomly sneak into South Florida homes for some good-natured tomfoolery. One man recently tried to channel the Epic Meal Time guys with a holy grail of crazy mash-ups.
A man in Portland named Marc Anthony tried to raise five grand to bring his modest candied-bacon-wrapped gator pork turducken dish to the masses. As the name suggested, it would involve a full-sized gator wrapped in candied-bacon. Then it would have a giant turducken stuffed inside its mouth. Meat on meat on meat on meat on meat.
Unfortunately, the Kickstarter raised only $14 dollars, so this dream of five animals meeting on a dinner plate will not be realized.
It’s no secret that the most finicky part of cooking that Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey itself. Not only is proper basting an exacting and time-consuming task, but the bird has to sit in the oven for four or five hours. Now you can spend that time jamming to tunes, thanks to Spotify.
The music streaming company has developed a series of playlists that correlate to the time your bird needs to sit in the oven. All you do is open up the program and enter how fat your turkey is and let the magical algorithm do the rest. Pretty soon you’ll be rocking out to a playlist that is the exact length of the cook time. Yay technology? Yeah, sure.
Of course, this service will only be available until Thanksgiving, as people don’t tend to cook giant turkeys throughout the rest of the year (which is a bummer.)
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?
Let’s make life easy and declare today Soup Day. Why? Simple. You can get a head-start on Thanksgiving by cooking up an enormous pot of bubbling broth: Eat some for dinner today and freeze the rest. Come Thursday, all you’ll need to worry about is managing the big bird.
Alton’s squash soup, brimming with spicy ginger and a hint of honey, is satisfyingly thick but not too heavy (making it an ideal Monday night dinner and a Thursday evening appetizer). Even better, the entire meal can be prepared in under an hour — so you can get back to the rest of your holiday to-do list. Serve with crunchy bread to soak up every last bite in your bowl.
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Squash Soup
Happy as we are to dream up exciting new Thanksgiving recipes (every side dish in pot-pie form, anyone?), one of our favorite parts of Thanksgiving is the tradition of favorite family recipes. In a quick survey, we found that office favorites include Grandma’s crazy-addictive stuffing, bourbon chocolate pecan pie (booze in everything, please) and my own mom’s sweet-potato praline casserole (No marshmallows. Ever.), which is quite similar to this recipe.
We also wondered what chefs would pick, so we reached out to one who’s built his restaurant around his appreciation of family tradition. Ian Boden, chef and owner of the Shack in Staunton, Virginia, was inspired by the culinary traditions of his wife’s grandmother, Tissy, who made Appalachian and Southern food in her own home (which she called “the shack”). In talking about Grandma Tissy’s legacy, Boden mentioned her turkey gravy, a recipe that Boden’s wife tasked him with recreating based on her descriptions of it after Tissy’s death. So in honor of Thanksgiving family favorites, he agreed to share the recipe and its story. (Note: If you’re nervous about making gravy from pan drippings, here is a primer.)
Grandma Tissy’s Turkey Gravy
Continue Reading A Few Favorite Thanksgiving Family Recipes
Some people have — how can this be put mildly — issues with consuming rational amounts of soda pop. But these sodas are usually packed chock-full with sugar, and doctors tend not to like it when you inject your body with 350 grams of sugar in a day. However, one guy is doing just that by downing ten whole cans of Coke each and every day. Why? For science!
The owner behind the blog 10 Cokes a Day has been drinking, uh, ten Cokes a day for nearly a month now. In a move reminiscent to Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me, he’s doing it to raise awareness about the health ramifications of ingesting that much sugar. So far, he’s gained over twenty pounds and has some blood pressure issues to boot, proving once again that too much of a good thing is actually a bad thing.
He still has ten more days to go, so who knows what will happen at the end? Maybe he’ll turn into a giant can of soda.