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Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Appetizers

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.

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. 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?

So you have your Thanksgiving dinner game plan all figured out. Festive holiday tablescape, check. Classic sides and a hearty main to please both carnivorous and vegetarian attendees, check. Wine list and kid-friendly beverages, check. Pie, check. (Duh.) But what about appetizers?

Don’t freak out. We’re not suggesting anything that will cost you a bunch of extra time and effort. A few simple snacks will actually make your dinner prep much more relaxing by keeping anxious guests happy and out of the kitchen. So set out some cheese and crackers and choose from our favorite no-fuss dips and spreads below. Who knows? By keeping hunger levels in check, perhaps you have a shot at avoiding some traditional family bickering.

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Party in Five: Modern, Rustic Thanksgiving Dinner

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.


We here at Cooking Channel love a good party. But throwing a memorable event requires more than just gathering some food and drinks. We show you how, with just five main “ingredients” (including recipes, big-impact decorating ideas and easy DIY elements), you can throw a party that feels like it has a cohesive theme — minimal work required.

Savoring a good meal in good company. Being together with friends and loved ones. Taking time out of our sometimes-too-busy lives to practice gratitude. These are the traditions that make Thanksgiving one of my very favorite holidays, and they remain my focus when I’m planning this very special November meal. That said, I’m not afraid to break with tradition when it comes to the menu and decor. This year, with a 1-year-old and a growing business, I feel like simplifying and getting real about what I want to eat during the holidays. I created a simple, modern tabletop and a menu that reflects my personal tastes. The simple but visual gingham-and-wheat pairing sets the stage for a lighter, fresher take on the Thanksgiving meal. But don’t worry — dessert’s still on the menu!

To create this modern Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll need five essential ingredients:

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Thanksgiving Strategy for Healthy Eating

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.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love cooking and I love planning the perfect feast for my family to share, especially since I became a nutritionist and started getting paid to think about food ALL. THE. TIME. I’ve given a lot of thought to how to design the perfect Thanksgiving dinner (and weekend) so that it’s a meal you feel good about. So if you love Thanksgiving, but don’t love feeling overly stuffed, follow these eight tips:

1. Treat Thanksgiving dinner like the meal that it is — a feast. Thanksgiving dinner is not just a dinner that’s accompanied by breakfast, lunch and other snacks. The Thanksgiving meal is more like linner or dunch. It’s two meals rolled into one, which means you need to be really abstemious with the other stuff you put into your body. See rule 2.

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Get a Grandma’s Web-Only Family Thanksgiving Recipe for Greek Cookies

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.

Mo Rocca with George and Kathy Boulukos

I consider Thanksgiving one of my favorite holidays, and I love to prepare the traditional foods of America — with a few twists. For example, I always stuff a huge turkey, but I use a very traditional Greek chopped-meat stuffing, which includes chestnuts and raisins (but no breadcrumbs!).

Since I am a huge dessert lover, I always include one special cookie from my family archives to serve. It is an old Greek family cookie recipe from my mother called Pastules. The cookies seem to hit the spot, since they’re small butter-type cookies and the perfect ending to a big meal. I make them year-round.

Quite simple to make, Pastules are basically butter cookies with a few changes, namely that you dip the rolled balls of raw cookie dough into beaten egg whites, then into a chopped-almond mixture. You then place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and make a small indentation in the center of each cookie. Once the cookies have baked and cooled, you sprinkle them with powdered sugar and add a tiny dollop of jam in the center. I try to use fig preserves, as fig preserves are very popular in Greek cuisine. However, other jam will suffice, so I sometimes use orange preserves.

These cookies can be prepared a week ahead and stored in an airtight container.  Since they’re so easy to make (form little balls, dip in egg white, then roll in nuts), if my grandchildren are around, they like to help make them.

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All Hail the Sweet Potato

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.


Watch out. Sweet potatoes are having a moment. Like a band that suddenly blew up or an ingenue nominated for an Oscar, these rooty tubers have glided into the limelight and, it’s safe to say, the year belongs to them.

What the hell are we talking about? We’re talking about sweet potato soups and snacks and desserts and cocktails, people. We’re talking about the role of side dish, the duty of being a vehicle for marshmallows being over. Everywhere we look, we see sweet potatoes in new weird iterations. Then we eat them.

But the first rule of sweet potatoes is: Don’t get it twisted. Do not call Ipomoea batatas a yam. Here in North America, we fling around the term “yam” like some people say “nucular.” But a yam is actually a larger, lighter-colored, totally different Asian and African root vegetable. In fact, we’re so accustomed to wrongly saying “yams” that here in America, any sweet potato product labeled “yam” must also say “sweet potato.” So, yeah. They’re called sweet potatoes. Unless they’re yams. That’s lesson No. 1.

But that’s enough talk; let’s chow. Here are a few ways you can get hip to sweet potatoes and use these starchy suckers as more than a sad, neglected potluck casserole. Because a yam — er, sweet potato — by any other name would taste as sweet.

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Thirsty Thursday: Shoot A Wild Turkey Cocktail

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.

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

This year give thanks to having your favorite Thanksgiving side dish transformed into a cocktail. That’s right! The Sweet Potato Casserole with all its silky, nutmeg-y goodness, is making its debut this year as a yummy (and yammy) cocktail shooter.

When you combine Wild Turkey bourbon, butterscotch schnapps, sweet potatoes and torched mini marshmallows, you get the best cocktail creation for the Turkey Day afterparty. After a long day of cooking, baking and entertaining, it’s time to shoot some Wild Turkey (bourbon). While it may not have been what the pilgrims had in mind for Thanksgiving, it’s still pretty satisfying.

Bottoms up, folks!

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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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Sifted: Thanksgiving and Thanksgivukkah Planning

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.

Merry Thought's Pecan Cheesecake Pie

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

  1.  Merry Thought’s pecan cheesecake pie is a beautiful cross between two glorious holiday desserts.
  2. Forget mini pies, make Chocolate and Carrots’ bite-sized pumpkin pies or “croutons” instead.
  3. What Jew Wanna Eat drizzles bourbon cranberry sauce over coffee braised brisket for the ultimate holiday main.
  4. Brussels sprouts latkes by Kitchen Tested will please everyone at this year’s extra special Thanksgivukkah celebration.
  5. Save some room between those creamy mashed potatoes and gravy-doused turkey leg for Domesticate Me’s kale salad with quinoa and cranberries.  Festive and flavorful, it’ll make you forget the fact that it’s healthy.

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Get a Grandfather’s Web-Only Family Thanksgiving Recipe for Granma Rolls

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.

Louie Larson and Pete O’Connell from My Grandmother’s Ravioli

Ever since I can remember, even as a little boy, my mother made homemade dinner rolls at every holiday. Thanksgiving was especially important, not only because the rolls were a favorite at the Thanksgiving table along with the turkey, stuffing, mashed and sweet potatoes, squash, gravy and all sorts of other really good traditional fare, but also due to the fact that they made the very best cold turkey sandwiches later that evening and for the next several days — until the hoard of rolls everyone stashed was used up.

Since they freeze very well and, before and after the microwave, were easy to reheat and delicious when heated just before dinner, Mom sometimes made them days in advance, as oven space was always at a premium on the big day.

When I got out on my own, I always liked to host family holiday meals, so the family would end up at our house. After Louie joined the family, our record attendance at Thanksgiving topped 30, including families, friends and a few students who couldn’t make it home during the short break. Needless to say, Mom’s responsibility for contributing to the meal shrank to making up to 10 dozen rolls. When our kids came along, these delights were one of the first things they ate at Thanksgiving. Now, the grandkids love them as well.

Continue Reading Get a Grandfather’s Web-Only Family Thanksgiving Recipe for Granma Rolls

Hump Day Snack: Cheesy Thanksgiving App

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.

Did somebody call for an incredibly adorable pumpkin pie-impersonating appetizer? Lucky for them, these cheesy cracker bites exist solely to delight Thanksgiving dinner guests. They’re especially useful for giving the kids something to do while you’re busy baking the real pumpkin pie, as they’re easily assembled with a few crackers, some thick slabs of sharp cheddar and a whimsical “whipped cream” dollop of cream cheese on top. Only slightly more time-consuming than spreading club crackers across a plate, they’ll elicit three times the oohs and ahhs from your Thanksgiving company. Get the simple instructions for crafting these dessert-inspired snacks and then feast on a few of Cooking Channel’s cheesiest appetizers for turkey day:

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