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How to Cook a Turkey and More Family Traditions

Steamy Kitchen Thanksgiving Inspiration Board

When planning the same holiday year after year, how do you keep your celebration fresh and interesting while maintaining a sense of tradition? We asked our favorite bloggers and food people to share what’s inspiring their Thanksgiving planning this year. From ancestor’s recipes and falling leaves, to beautiful piles of ingredients and thoughtful home decor, there was no shortage of imagination. See what motivates some of the most creative minds we know, and then start planning your annual feast.

Every year, it’s tradition that my husband, Scott deep-fries a turkey. Hello crispy skin! We’re big on veggies, too; you’re likely to see quite a few dishes on our Thanksgiving table. You really can’t go wrong with snappy green beans, shallots sautéed in nutty browned butter and toasted hazelnuts. Or maybe we could toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, bacon and garlic and roast for 20 minutes for a simple side dish. 

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Chinese New Year Gifts

Fruit such as kumquats, oranges, pomelo and mandarin orange symbolize happiness, good fortune and good health.

Part of the Chinese New Year tradition is the act of graciously giving and graciously receiving.  I remember making the rounds as a kid in Hong Kong – my parents would present baskets of fruit, a special dish or a bottle of wine; and all the kids got Red Envelopes or “hong bow.” If you’re invited to someone’s house to celebrate Chinese New Year, there are certain gifts that symbolize wonderful things — and then there are the no-no’s.

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Chinese New Year 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit

Chinese New Year Recipes

Chinese New Year Recipes: Sesame Noodles with Chicken (left), Shrimp and Snow Pea Salad (top right), and Zesty Chile Tiger Prawns (bottom right)

I’ve never been the lucky sort, lottery tickets aren’t my thing and I can’t even recall winning a single game of Bingo. Las Vegas is all about the food, not the slots and I don’t even bother entering sweepstakes. That’s why when Chinese New Year rolls around the beginning of each year, I don’t count on luck to carry me through 12 months, but rather go the Chinese route — eat my way to please the gods of good fortune.

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