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Fall Fest: Top In Season Thanksgiving Sides

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

Roasted Cauliflower

With one week to go until Thanksgiving, plan on cooking these seasonal recipes that turn market-fresh produce into delicious sides for Turkey Day.

1. Roasted Cauliflower (pictured above)

This five-star dish requires just 10 minutes’ prep time. Toss cauliflower with oil, garlic and cumin before topping with panko breadcrumbs, then roasted until tender and golden brown.

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Fall Fest: Chefs’ Best Brussels Sprouts

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

 Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Brussels sprouts seem to strike fear into the heart of most children, but I’ve never understood why they developed such a bad rap. They’re hearty and filling and, when cooked properly, develop a beautifully crispy exterior. All of these recipes can be made in 50 minutes or less, making them easy side dish solutions that will win over even the most resistant of Brussels sprouts haters.

1. Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon (pictured above)
Sunny Anderson uses just four ingredients to make these crispy Brussels sprouts. After cooking bacon in a large skillet, reserve the fat and add melted butter before cooking the Brussels sprouts until golden brown. Toss the chopped bacon back in and serve immediately.

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Fall Fest: Cauliflower and Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year’s feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we’re bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

I can’t think of cauliflower without thinking about cheese. And since the temperature dipped below 40 degrees last night, my Dutch oven returned from its seasonal hiatus to host a twist on Rachael’s Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese.

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Fall Fest: Caramel Apples for Halloween

Happy Halloween! You might be full of mini candy bars already. But since these are mainly made of crispy fruit, there’s always room for candy-coated apples. The decadent apples (pictured above) from Zoe Francois are dipped in easy-to-make caramel that’s rich, creamy, gooey and not over-the-top sweet. For a bit of contrast to the caramel, you can dip the bottoms in salted peanuts.

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How to Make Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi

With fresh spinach on the menu for fall fest this week I knew Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos’ five-star Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi was the perfect recipe to showcase the fresh greens. All of the 26 reviewers raved about the ease of the recipe and delicious final dish. I did take the suggestion of a few reviewers and add in freshly grated nutmeg to both the gnocchi mixture and the sauce, just to give them an extra fall kick.

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Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Coriander

I’m normally not a huge fan of carrots. Memories of carrot sticks, huge chunks of  bland sauteed carrots and too sweet flavors have clouded my carrot opinion. But I was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Honey Roasted Carrots which seemed like a happy combination of savory spices along with sweet honey.

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Fall Fest: 4 Ways to Cook Turnips

Turnips are a root vegetable and also part of the cabbage family. They are a good source of vitamin C. Smaller turnips, which are younger, will have a bit more sweetness. Often overlooked, they can be sauteed, steamed, roasted or even braised to bring out their full flavor.

1. Turnip Lettuce Wraps
Bal Arneson peels and grates turnips before cooking them on the stove with cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Place the cooked turnip mixture into a large lettuce leaf and add some chutney. Wrap the lettuce around the mixture and eat as a hand-held appetizer.

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Fall Fest: Easy Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Keep your carving pumpkins for Halloween while you turn sugar pumpkins, a petite and sweet variety, into a creamy pasta sauce. They’re easy to slice open and roast (save the seeds for snacking) and can be used to blend into sauces, sliced up and served with other roasted vegetables or turned into homemade pumpkin puree. The puree of 1 small sugar pumpkin should work out to equal one 15-ounce can.

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Summer Fest: 5 Ways to Prepare Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

The last official day of summer is September 21 and fall begins the next day. Sweet potatoes are available most of the year, but the fall season is truly when they shine as that is when the fresh crop comes in. Select potatoes as blemish-free as possible, and store them in a cool, dark place that’s a bit warmer than the refrigerator, where they can last a few months. The ideal temperature for storing sweet potatoes is in the 50s. They’re so versatile that they can be roasted, mashed, grilled, stuffed or fried and still taste amazing.

1. Roasted Sweet Potatoes (pictured above)

You need only five ingredients to get great flavor from this roasted sweet potato side dish. Toast the cumin and Sichuan peppercorns until fragrant, then then grind them. Sprinkle the spices and salt over sweet potatoes, drizzle with oil and toss to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until tender.

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Summer Fest: Grape-Filled Desserts

The most common grapes you’ll find at the market right now are Concord grapes, which are great for juice, jelly or jam. But grapes also come in a variety of types, including seedless grapes, table grapes and wine grapes. Choose clusters of brightly colored and plump grapes, and store them in the refrigerator for about a week. While they’re great on their own for dessert try featuring them in these more-elaborate sweet recipes.

1. Torta d’Uva: Grape Cake (pictured above)
David Rocco traveled to Chianti, one of Italy’s most famous wine regions, and visited Castello di Trebbio, where some of the best wine and olive oil in Tuscany is produced. His grape cake, inspired by the harvest, makes use of both bunch grapes and Grappa in a sweet dough.

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