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Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

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:

Healthiest 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.

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’ve always been in it for the sides (and the pies … but that’s a topic for a different post). Turkey I can take or leave, but fall vegetables are among my favorites and there’s no better time to get a cornucopia of seasonal produce on your plate. Focusing on veggie (and fruit) sides has another important role. Nonstarchy/less starchy vegetables (like butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and green beans) tend to fill you up on fewer calories than starchy ones, like potatoes and sweet potatoes. One of my strategies for getting maximum flavor and enjoyment out of Thanksgiving without getting overly stuffed is to incorporate lots of nonstarchy vegetables into appetizers and side dishes and to take smaller portions of the starchy dishes (stuffing, I’m looking at you). If you want to try this strategy too, here are some good options to add to your Thanksgiving feast.

Veggie Starters
Rather than filling up right off the bat with nuts, crackers and cheese, start off with some nonstarchy vegetables. This acorn squash soup is a stunning starter that starts your meal off light. Alton Brown’s pumpkin soup is another good option.

Another way to go is with fresh crudites and a healthy dip. This cucumber and dill yogurt dip fits the bill. And this white bean dip gives you a healthy serving of fiber- and protein-rich beans to keep your appetite in check.

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Perfect Pumpkin Pie: Which Squash Squashes the Competition?

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.

Are you feeling pumpkin-ed out? We are fully entrenched in pumpkin season, with the pumpkin-centric holiday of Thanksgiving just around the corner and toothy jack-o’-lanterns still grinning devilishly from neighborhood doorsteps and windows. But a few weeks ago, before we slid too far down the rabbit hole of pumpkin lattes, cheesecakes and gnocchi, and with Thanksgiving dessert preparations on the brain, the Cooking Channel editorial and culinary teams began debating one very serious and simple question: Which pumpkin, or other kind of squash, makes the best pumpkin pie?

To find this important answer, we decided to set up a near-scientific experiment. We roasted various squash varieties, pureed their innards and baked them into the same pie recipe, comparing resulting pies for color, texture and flavor. We incorporated canned pumpkin and sweet potatoes into the test as experimental controls, since we generally knew what flavor and texture to expect from both. We tasted all of the purees as well as the final pies, focusing on the filling (since the pre-approved crust was the same for each).

To orient you in this taste test, we’ll tell you how the varieties of pumpkins and winter squash are related (pumpkins are a kind of winter squash — we’ll refer to them interchangeably in this test). There are three major families within that group:

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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian 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.

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?

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Right now, you’re probably debating between your aunt’s famous sweet potato casserole and dad’s creamy mashed potatoes. And then of course, buttery biscuits are a must and it’s not quite right without cranberries. Point being: It’s all about the sides. Thanksgiving may be known as Turkey Day but let’s face it — the sides usually outshine the bird.

The great news is that most side dishes are either meatless or can easily (and just as deliciously) be made without meat. It’s as simple as skipping the bacon and swapping in vegetable stock for the chicken or beef varieties. From traditional fare like roasted Brussels sprouts or candied yams to unconventional favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese or pumpkin cornbread, this year’s feast should have something to please everyone, especially the vegetarians. Check out some of our favorites below.

Make-Ahead Crowd Pleaser

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Thirsty Thursday: Mulled Cider 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.

The countdown has begun: Thanksgiving is now only 2 weeks away, and by my calendar that means it’s time to plan the menu for this cheerfully anticipated holiday meal. While the traditional staples are a necessity (after all, what would Thanksgiving be without a turkey?), oftentimes we miss the opportunity to make autumn-inspired cocktails to begin the feasting right.

This Mulled Cider Cocktail is the perfect pairing for Thanksgiving appetizers. Apple cider is infused with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and is mixed with fresh apple pieces. This mulled cider then gets topped with Cava, a dry sparkling wine, for a cocktail that is sophisticated, yet also celebratory.

Impress your guests by greeting them with this bubbly beverage right as they walk through the door with cranberry sauce and dinner rolls. Then while you’re whipping the potatoes, carving the turkey and adding the finishing touches to your Thanksgiving feast, guests will remain in good spirits.

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