Watch Cooking Channel

Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

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.

Continue Reading Healthiest Thanksgiving Sides

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:

Continue Reading Perfect Pumpkin Pie: Which Squash Squashes the Competition?

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

Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides

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.

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.

Continue Reading Fall Fest: Chefs’ Best Brussels Sprouts

Sifted: Latke Pie Crust, Cranberry Brie Pull-Apart Bread + More

Latke Pumpkin Pie by My Name is Yeh

  1. Break tradition with this pumpkin pie with latke crust. My Name is Yeh describes the sweet and salty combo “as dipping your fries in a pumpkin frosty, if pumpkin frosties existed.”
  2. Life Made Sweet shares her secret to pretty, perfectly round lace florentine cookies
  3. Hungry holiday guests will swoon over caramelized cranberry and brie pull-apart bread by Vegetarian Ventures.
  4. Satisfy your morning sweet tooth with An Edible Mosaic’s guilt-free carrot cake oatmeal.
  5. Mixed with a whole head of roasted garlic, the Baker Chick’s recipe for smashed potatoes is a sure winner in this year’s Thanksgiving spread. 

Craving More?

Hump Day Snack: The Cherpumple

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.

Is your overachieving cousin always trying to out-bake you at the Thanksgiving dessert table? If yes, or if you just want to knock your family’s socks off for your own satisfaction, try a cherpumple on for size. The moniker stems from the ingredients housed inside this sweet behemoth, specifically cherry, pumpkin and apple pies which are each baked into their own cake layer. In other words, it’s the over-stuffed dessert version of a turducken. While admittedly insane, it’s also a rather genius creation for bringing to the biggest feast of the year, and it’s fairly simple to assemble if you use pre-made pies and cake mix.

The three layers usually follow this pattern: a base of cherry pie baked inside chocolate cake, pumpkin pie baked inside spice cake and apple pie baked inside yellow (or white) cake — which is all finally smothered in vanilla frosting. Just be aware that you may require a dolly to wheel this bad boy to the table, as cherpumples are known to weigh between ten and twenty pounds depending on how large the layers are. Get the full instructions for building this sugary stacked monstrosity, and if you’re feeling extra ambitious, bake each layer from scratch with Cooking Channel’s best cherpumple-appropriate recipes:

Thanksgiving Week on Cooking Channel

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. It’s a holiday of true feasting, of overstuffed plates, and of coming together with friends and family to share a potluck-like meal of traditional American dishes. It may come as no surprise that Thanksgiving is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year here on Cooking Channel, and it’s never too early to start planning. So get ready for Turkey Day with Thanksgiving Week on Cooking Channel every night at 8pm ET from Sunday, Nov. 10 to Saturday, Nov. 16.

Start Sunday with the Deen Brothers Thanksgiving special. Bobby and Jamie Deen are cooking up a feast for the entire family. Taking inspiration from their roots, the brothers are making traditional dishes of the South with a twist, from Sweet Potato Souffle and Country Cornbread Dressing with Pecans to Southern Fried Turkey.

Continue Reading Thanksgiving Week on Cooking Channel

Thirsty Thursday: Apple Toddy

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.

Our post-Halloween palates tend to crave something comforting, warming and delicately spiced as the holiday season rolls in and the weather grows increasingly nippy. This Apple Toddy is the perfect accompaniment to chilly winter nights and serves as a delicious reminder of seasonal pleasures.

While a traditional hot toddy involves whiskey and warm spices, this cider-based version gets a boozy boost from brandy. Simmer together apple cider, orange wedges studded with cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Ladle the steaming beverage into mugs along with a shot of brandy, and top with a luxurious dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Bottoms up, folks.

Continue Reading Thirsty Thursday: Apple Toddy

Hump Day Snack: Thanksgiving Dinner Cupcakes

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.

Now that we’ve entered the feasting month of November, chances are that you’re beginning to plan out your Thanksgiving dinner, course by course. Maybe you’re even inspired to model dessert after the savory dishes themselves? If so, consider this sweet alternative to pumpkin pie: cupcakes that mimic all of Thanksgiving’s classic dishes. Made with pumpkin cake, multicolored buttercream and a whole mess of fondant, these cupcakes take after a turkey leg, mashed potatoes with gravy and even green bean casserole. Obviously coloring and rolling fondant takes time, so only attempt these if you’ve got a backup kitchen crew to assist you in the prep, or make them the day before Thanksgiving so you’re not stamping out fondant kernels of corn while your guests wait in hunger at the table. Get the full cupcake tutorial and then dig in to some of Cooking Channel’s best Thanksgiving-ready sweets:

c