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  • Thanksgiving Survival Guide: How to Deal with Your Dysfunctional Family

    Kerry Acker

    Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful, to savor the kindness of kin around the hearth, and--wait a minute, who are we kidding? Much as we love the holiday--and, yes, we love you, too, Mom--there are times when Thanksgiving and its attendant family rituals can be, well, an exquisite brand of torture. But we've got your back. To help you cope with the horrors of the holiday, we consulted top cocktail experts to prescribe 10 perfect liquid prescriptions for all sorts of Turkey Day meltdown moments. Cheers!

    You're minding your own business, scarfing down the cheese plate before the big meal, when your sister and her husband launch into a Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?-style blowout.

    Cocktail cure: "Knock out some Bonded Bourbon Manhattans immediately with extra bitters," says Dale "King Cocktail" DeGroff, the iconic James Beard Award-winning mixologist and author of The Essential Cocktail and The Craft of the Cocktail. "Bonded bourbon is

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  • 5 Most Dangerous Things You Can Do on Thanksgiving

    Alessandra Bulow

    Telling your mother-in-law what you really think about her cooking isn't nearly as hazardous as dumping a frozen turkey into a pot of boiling oil, but it's still risky. Here, Epicurious Senior Editor (and our resident Thanksgiving guru) Kemp Minifie and University of Arizona-Tucson Professor and Microbiologist Charles Gerba (aka Dr. Germ) weigh in on the five most dangerous things you can do on Thanksgiving.

    Dirty Deed #1: Wash the Turkey
    "If you wash the turkey, you're unknowingly spraying microscopic raw turkey juices all over the sink and kitchen," says Minifie. "The only way to kill the bacteria is by cooking the bird." Instead of washing the turkey, just pat it dry with disposable paper towels and put that sucker in the oven.

    See more: Everything You Need to Know About Thanksgiving Turkeys

    Dirty Deed #2: Pick at the Turkey Carcass and Stuffing Inside the Turkey
    Some families linger over the meal, eat dessert, watch a football game, and then put away

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  • Thanksgiving Turkey: Everything You Need to Know About Buying the Bird

    Melissa Clark

    Thanksgiving turkeyThanksgiving turkeyUntil recently, there were just two options when it came to turkey shopping: fresh or frozen. Now there's a whole market full of choices. Here's a rundown of the options.

    Free Range: The free-range label identifies a bird that is not raised in a cage and is free to graze on any grasses or grains it can find in its pen, which is generally considered a more humane and healthy poultry farming process. The Department of Agriculture's (U.S.D.A.) food safety agency inspects all poultry processors that carry the term "free-range" to ensure that their birds really are allowed access to the outdoors. You can find free-range turkeys at larger supermarkets, specialty markets, and at your local farmer's market, where it's best to pre-order to ensure that you'll get one during the busy holiday season.

    Organic: The organic label is regulated by the U.S.D.A., which requires that all turkeys sold as organic be raised free-range, without the use of antibiotics, and fed an organic

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  • The 5-Minute Cake You NEED to Try

    Kerry Acker

    Red Velvet Mug CakeRed Velvet Mug CakeA cake microwaved in a mug? I was highly skeptical, too. But then I suddenly remembered that I'm a working--and, let's be frank, harried--mother who loves sweets, with a husband who loves sweets, and a daughter who loves sweets, so why on earth wouldn't I try this 5-minute snack phenomenon that seems to have swept the nation (or at least college campuses)? I couldn't think of a good reason, either.

    SEE MORE: Quick and Easy Dinners

    So, using a recipe from Leslie Bilderback's Mug Cakes, I made a mug cake last week. Then another one, the next night. And then another one, the third. It turns out these mug cakes are in fact ridiculously easy. (I'm a grown woman, but I still think it's just so very cool that you can throw in a couple of tablespoons of milk, sugar, flour, butter, egg, and a few other ingredients; stir it all up; pop the batter into the microwave; and--whoop, there it is, out comes a cake! Amazing.) And, the best surprise, Bilderback's mug cakes are actually Read More »from The 5-Minute Cake You NEED to Try
  • 5 Thanksgiving Mistakes You're Making

    Tanya Steel

    It seems that few holidays inspire equal measures of excitement and dread like Thanksgiving, when many a cook feels like he or she is starring in "Iron Chef," dealing with time constraints, less-than-perfect equipment and teams, and rarely used ingredients; and it all ends with a final judging from a panel of so-called experts, ie: Aunt Marge.

    From the years of fielding Thanksgiving freakouts on our Facebook and Twitter channels, and doing countless television segments of how to get the turkey on the table whilst maintaining a semi-Zen attitude, I know which are the most common Thanksgiving mistakes, and how to fix them:

    SEE MORE: Indulgent, Delicious Breakfasts

    Your Turkey is Still Frozen: You've dutifully preheated the oven and taken the turkey from the fridge to stuff and truss it but it's a frozen bowling ball. Don't panic. Just keep it wrapped in its plastic, and fill a basin or large bin with cool water (40 degrees or below), enough to cover the bird. Read More »from 5 Thanksgiving Mistakes You're Making
  • How to Deep Fry a Turkey

    Lauren Salkeld

    We're not sure why deep-frying the Thanksgiving turkey is so popular. It might be an ongoing obsession with Southern cooking, or a collective weakness for culinary gadgets. Or, perhaps the inherent excitement of cooking a whole turkey in several gallons of hot oil in your own backyard is just too much to resist. No matter the reason, we're fully on board with the deep-fried-turkey craze and here's why: Not only does deep frying produce a juicy, flavorful bird, but the whole process takes less than 2 hours and it frees up tons of oven space for all your favorite side dishes. Deep-frying a turkey does require specific tools and you will need to follow a few safety precautions. But with our fuss-free recipe, equipment checklist, and step-by-step instructions, you have everything you need. So fill the oven with sweet potatoes, green beans, and pecan pie, and head outdoors for this quick and easy, guaranteed-to-please way to cook a turkey.

    See more from Epicurious:

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  • The Best Affordable Thanksgiving Wines from the Country's Top Sommeliers

    Carla Prieto

    To help you find that perfect wine for your Thanksgiving feast, we've asked eight of the nation's best sommeliers for their favorite American wine picks under $30. Some of their answers and advice may surprise you: Rosé and bubbles on Thanksgiving may be breaking the mold, but, according to many of the wine experts we spoke with, they both can make for excellent options. The most important piece of Thanksgiving wine advice to remember? Keep it simple. When you've got a lot of food and a lot of people, let the company take the spotlight. Read on for Thanksgiving wine recommendations from experts coast to coast, plus Thanksgiving food and wine pairings.

    Shelley LindgrenShelley LindgrenA16, San Francisco : Shelley Lindgren, Co-Owner and Wine Director
    Lindgren's knowledge of Southern Italian wining and dining has earned her accolades such as "Best New Sommelier" from Wine & Spirits, "Best Wine Director" from San Francisco Magazine, and four consecutive nominations for "Best Wine Service" from the

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  • Use Your Halloween Pumpkins to Make This Bread Pudding

    Ian Knauer

    Soft cushions of country bread soaked with rich custard-there's no better dessert to cozy up with on a chilly autumn evening than this sultry bread pudding, fragrant with warm spices.

    Slideshow: More Halloween Dessert Recipes

    1 cup heavy cream
    3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
    1/2 cup whole milk
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
    Pinch of ground cloves
    5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
    3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted

    Slideshow: Halloween Party Recipes

    Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Whisk together cream, pumpkin, milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, and spices in a bowl. Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl, then add pumpkin mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish and bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

    More from

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  • Ultimate Halloween Desserts

    Here, Epicurious shares three delicious desserts for a Halloween, from an incredible chocolate s'more pie to easy kid-friendly mini cupcakes.

    Slideshow: More Halloween Dessert Recipes

    Chocolate S'more PieChocolate S'more Pie
    It's impossible to go wrong with layers of graham, chocolate, and marshmallow. Broiling the gooey top creates an irresistible golden crown that crackles each time the pie is sliced.

    For graham cracker crumb crust
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing
    1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (10 graham crackers or 24 small gingersnaps; about 6 oz)
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    For chocolate cream filling
    7 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not more than 70% cacao; not unsweetened), finely chopped
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 large egg, at room temperature for 30 minutes
    For marshmallow topping
    1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-ounce package)
    1/2 cup cold water
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup light corn syrup

    Read More »from Ultimate Halloween Desserts
  • World's Scariest Foods

    Siobhan Adcock

    Care to snack on a tarantula?Welcome to our international culinary chamber of horrors, where succulent spiders, gleaming sheep guts, and deadly seafood await your delectation. (Cue evil laugh and lightning bolt.)

    Our global tour of freaky foods is all in good fun, if not in good taste. Just as one man's trash is another man's treasure, one culture's treasured culinary delicacy (or survival staple) is another culture's "eeew"-and perhaps no food culture is more guilty of culinary shock and awe than our own. After all, the United States food industry is responsible for Cheez Whiz, Jell-O, Cool Whip, and a parade of rampaging pathogens year after year, so who are we to be grossed out by barbecued bat?

    Nevertheless, some of the creepy, icky foods in our gallery of ghoulish goodies are guaranteed to make you wonder "Who could possibly eat that?" Put away your lunch; take a deep breath; and read on, if you dare.

    Slideshow: Spooky Halloween Recipes

    Barbecued Bat
    What it is: Popular Halloween Read More »from World's Scariest Foods


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