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Diane Morgan, author of The Thanksgiving Table and New Thanksgiving Table, shares her do-ahead appetizer recipes for a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner.
Make your holiday a celebration to remember with these easy steps from expert chefs and party planners!
- The Betty Editors, BettyConfidential.comIt's an honor to host Thanksgiving at your house - it means your guests are comfortable in your home and enjoy your cooking. But whether it's your first time or your tenth, the preparation can leave you frazzled on this coziest of holidays. If you're ready to be less stressed, these strategies will help you give your guests the best Thanksgiving yet.
1. Brine your turkey
The best turkey must be moist. David Burke, an award-winning chef, restaurateur and author, has done quite a bit of experimenting (he's tried deep frying one and even steamed one in his dishwasher!), but he says the best way to cook a turkey is to brine it beforehand.
To brine a fresh turkey, submerge it in heavily salted water for two days in your refrigerator (or one hour per one pound of turkey). "It sounds like a long time, but it's completely worth it," saysRead More »from 10 No-Fail Tips for the Perfect Thanksgiving
It works for me! Here's why
- Maureen Angelos, BettyConfidential.com"If God had not intended for us to eat animals, how come He made them out of meat?"
Sarah Palin, Going Rogue
The former governor of Alaska poses an interesting question, one that I, unlike her, am not theologically equipped to answer. But I can say why I will not be eating any tempting (though divinely-made) critters this Thanksgiving.
I stopped eating meat for the first time at age 14, while watching a PBS special about the commercial hunting of baby harp seals. I ended up crying over my frozen dinner, ruining the special occasion, Salisbury-steak meal I had loved so much until then. Harp seals aren't part of anyone's diet, but I still didn't think the seals should be killed, anymore than I thought my cat Boots should be killed. Animals were animals. I considered them my friends.
But I lived in a meat-eating household, and despite my newly found food militancy, I couldn't maintain my vegetarianRead More »from Thanksgiving Without Turkey?
- Dory Devlin, Shine staff | Thanksgiving – Mon, Nov 23, 2009 5:04 PM EST
Getty ImagesFor those of us who have several lists going in our head this week as we prep for Thanksgiving, Mark Bittman, the food writer for The New York Times, has some wonderful, calming words for us. Now, this is the kind of guy who could send us into a tizzy with things like his 101 Head Starts on the Day, but instead he puts all of it--the menu planning, the prep, the hard day-of work--into perfect perspective when Bittman tells hosts to...just chill.Read More »from How do you keep calm and relaxed as you prep for Thanksgiving?
"When did performance anxiety and guilt become prerequisites for offering family and friends nourishment hospitality?" he writes. "At Thanksgiving, cooking should be one of the more relaxing things we do. Everyone is aware of the stresses of Thanksgiving, and nearly everyone - the in-laws' odd friends aside - is appreciative of your time and effort. They really don't care if your serving spoon is a spatula."
Even Bittman admits, there are good reasons we get a little tied in knots over this holiday. Do the math and you realize there is just
This recipe comes from my dear Aunt Martha who is truly a Southern Belle at heart. Along with making homemade chocolate and yummy candies, she is a pie baker who knows how to make the perfect crust. For this recipe, you can use store bought crust or make your own. The sweetness of the filling is what matters in this Southern Pecan Pie recipe.
Southern Pecan Pie
You will need the following:
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark Karo syrup
- 1 cup pecans, chopped plus a few whole ones for decorating the top
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of salt
1 - 9 inch store bought pie crust or make your own.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Beat eggs with mixer on medium speed in a large bowl for 2 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Stir until the grainy sound of the sugar is gone.
- Pour into unbaked pie shell.
- Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Insert a knife in
- Babble.com | Thanksgiving – Sat, Nov 21, 2009 12:55 AM EST
Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio - the man behind the massive reality hit Top Chef and co-owner of the Craft restaurant empire - isn't much different from his TV persona. When I spoke to him, he discussed both his personal and public life in the same straightforward, fast-talking way he interacts with contestants on his show. But his no-nonsense New York personality softens when he talks about his three loves outside of the kitchen - wife, Lori and his two sons, Dante, sixteen, and Luka, who was born August 1st . No doubt about it, Tom is a family-first, food-second kind of guy, though he makes it clear he's very serious about both. Luckily, he took a few minutes out his very busy day - he was hosting a dinner party that night - to share his thoughts on bland kid's menus, Thanksgiving at the Colicchio house, and how to handle a screaming baby in a restaurant. - Andrea Zimmerman
Congrats on the new addition to the family. How's it going so far? Are you exhausted yet?
No,Read More »from Thanksgiving, Tom Colicchio Style. The Top Chef judge on family-friendly cooking.
Thanksgiving turkey roasting tips and recipes are swirling around now that the big day is approaching, and of course our Turkey Primer offers shopping, prep, stuffing, roasting, and carving tips. Epicurious members have been jumping into the fray too, helping each other out with personal advice and experience.
When Greatlakesgal1 posted a cooking conundrum in our Family Meals forum - whether she should cook one huge turkey or two small ones for better taste and ease of fitting it/them into the oven - fellow forum members were quick to offer their suggestions.
1) Buy two smaller hen turkeys - they "will produce a high meat to bone ratio, plus there will be four drumsticks and wings for those that enjoy them," suggests rjordan.
2) Rockie says she makes a turkey breast and a whole bird: "I have made my breast a day ahead, even, and that way it frees the oven up for the bird itself and any sides that need to be baked. It can be reheated while the bird itself is resting."
The number of calories consumed at an average Thanksgiving dinner is 3,000. Yes, you read it right. 3,000. That's nearly twice the number of calories you're supposed to consume in a whole day. To avoid a turkey day pig-a-thon, and the weight gain that comes with it, keep these nutritionist tips in mind.
1. Don't show up starving. Eat a protein snack like a low-fat string cheese or yogurt before leaving the house. The protein will help hold off hunger.
2. Wear your skinny jeans. The more snug your clothing, the more aware you are of your body. "Studies show that women who wear loose-fitting clothes eat more," says nutritionist Jana Klauer.
3. Scan the table before filling up. You may love mashed potatoes and stuffing more than life itself, but choosing raw or grilled vegetables instead is the secret to staying thin-they keep your mouth busy and fill you up quickly, so you don't have room for that second piece of cornbread.
4.Read More »from How to Avoid Extra Turkey Day Pounds
Once again, families across the U.S. will come together on the fourth Thursday of November to eat mass quantities of turkey and stuffing, share politely strained conversation with rarely-visited relatives, and claim a spot on the couch to indulge in a food coma. There might be a few mumblings about why we should all be thankful, but let's get real-Thanksgiving has become all about the food.Read More »from How to Party Like a Pilgrim
Don't get me wrong; I love Thanksgiving, particularly my grandma's corn casserole. But it feels like the same routine every year. This year, I suggest we spice things up and return to our old school roots-I mean really old school. For a unique and historic take on Thanksgiving, let's ditch the pumpkin pie and borrow a few ideas from our pilgrim predecessors.
Lose the Turkey
Though the information we have for what's considered the first Thanksgiving (which occurred after a successful harvest in 1621) is limited, we do know that the pilgrims ate plenty o' meat. However, whether they ate turkey is
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