This year is going to be different. You’ve decided on the menu two weeks before the big day, convinced your Aunt Charlotte that you really can live without her famous oyster green bean casserole and remembered to ask your sister to bring her big coffee urn. But no matter how well you plan, you know some problem is going to pop up. No biggie, we say. Here are Food Network Kitchen’s 10 tricks for tackling everything from “Yikes, who borrowed my fat separator?” to “Where am I going to put everything?” Let the holidays commence!
All Posts In Holidays
Apple, pumpkin and pecan pies — or a mashup of all three — are indeed no-fail options when it comes to Thanksgiving dessert, but if you’re looking to dress up the feast this year with new takes on tradition, introduce a sweet cake to your after-dinner spread. Read on below for classic and creative holiday cake ideas from Trisha Yearwood, Ina Garten and more Food Network chefs, then check out the complete roundup of Top Thanksgiving Cake Recipes for more turkey day inspiration.
The key to making Trisha’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (pictured above) is building the cake from the bottom up. What will eventually be the top of the cake — the sweetened pineapple and bright-red cherries — forms the base as the batter cooks in the oven; Trisha recommends letting the pan rest atop the inverted cake for minutes after flipping so the sweet syrup absorbs into the vanilla-scented batter.
No matter if you’re hosting a crowd this Thanksgiving or preparing a simple meal for your family, you can make the feast feel extra special by shaking up a signature cocktail to pair with the spread. Stick with the warm flavors of fall when planning your cocktail menu, and don’t shy away from pairing the liqueurs with seasonal ingredients like fragrant spices; the more these tastes complement those in your dishes, the better. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving cocktails to find easy-to-make sippers worthy of the holiday, then browse all of our Best Thanksgiving Cocktails and Drinks.
5. Spiced Bourbon, Beer and Maple Martinis — Laced with a splash of pure maple syrup and garnished with dried chiles, Giada De Laurentiis’ sweet and spicy cocktail is best served cold.
4. Spiked Apple Cider Cocktails — For a pop of freshness, finish each of these rum-and-schnapps-based sippers with a skewer of chopped tart apples.
With just days left until Thanksgiving, Bobby Flay and a few of his Food Network friends are coming together this afternoon to host the ultimate holiday feast and share their secrets for an easy, enjoyable turkey day. Before you tune in to Thanksgiving at Bobby’s at 12|11c today to see Bobby, Katie Lee, Sunny Anderson, Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Symon cooking together in the spirit the season, check out the chefs’ top turkey day tips to help you get set for the feast. From the basics of menu holiday planning to the need for chicken stock on Thanksgiving, read on below to hear from Bobby and the cast as they reveal last-minute advice.
Tradition vs. Creativity
On a day that’s rooted in tradition, Katie admits, “people want familiarity” when it comes to the expected trimmings, like the turkey and stuffings. Bobby’s solution to trying new dishes? Add a few “surprises here and there in flavor.” Just a few ingredient swaps in the classics can offer subtle yet impressive updates in taste.
Mashed potatoes, stuffing and other sides that come in a delightful shade of beige make Thanksgiving the great holiday that it is. Still, everything in life is better with balance — even these all-important potato- and bread-based dishes. Next Thursday, build a well-rounded Thanksgiving plate with vibrant, seasonal vegetable recipes for classic Thanksgiving side dishes.
Though the green bean casserole of years past might have meant canned cream of mushroom soup and limp green beans, Alton Brown’s Best-Ever Green Bean Casserole (pictured above) is a modern take made totally from scratch. Fresh, crunchy green beans, half-and-half and real mushrooms give the dish its distinctive flavor, while home-fried onions create the crucial crispy topping.
We’ll admit it. The Thanksgiving feast isn’t the most naturally photogenic of meals. With turkey, gravy, stuffing and potatoes, there’s a lot of brown and beige in the mix. To make our Thanksgiving look as good as it tastes, we’re taking a cue from food stylists who make Thanksgiving look gorgeous for a living. Yep, we’re upping our garnish game this year. Edible garnishes are the best kind, and the flavors should always complement the dish they accompany. These suggestions from Food Network Kitchen are based on both color and dish texture. Check out the full gallery for ideas to spruce up every course of the feast.
While a glossy, juicy turkey may be a hallmark of Thanksgiving, for many the meal wouldn’t be complete without a scoop of mashed potatoes alongside it — and perhaps a few glugs of gravy on top. The beauty of mashed potatoes is that, unlike many stuffings and casseroles, spuds require only a few ingredients to prepare and they come together quickly. Check out Food Network’s go-to tips below to turn out your fluffiest batch of mashed potatoes yet, then visit Thanksgiving Central for the complete mashed potato how-to.
The Thanksgiving turkey is the centerpiece of your holiday spread and has the potential to be the most-remembered component of the feast, so when it comes to picking a recipe to help you make the bird, you want one you can trust. That’s where Food Network comes in. Stick to these classic, tried-and-true recipes to transform your turkey into a holiday showstopper — best of all, each is a can-do pick from one of your favorite chefs, like Anne Burrell, Alton Brown and Bobby Flay. Read on below to get their top turkey recipes, then visit Thanksgiving Central for more holiday inspiration.
5. Big, Brined Herby Turkey — The secret to Anne’s super-moist bird is her brining method. She lets the turkey chill in a salt water-herb bath for three days so the meat has a chance to absorb flavor before it cooks.
4. Good Eats Roast Turkey — With a 5-star rating and nearly 5,000 user reviews, Alton’s no-fail turkey is the ultimate in Thanksgiving simplicity. After brining the bird, he roasts it first at 500 degrees F so it develops a golden-brown exterior, then lowers the temperature as the meat turns moist and finishes cooking.
A good breadbasket is a necessity on any Thanksgiving table. A warm, fluffy roll sops up the last gravy, cranberry sauce and potatoes on a plate better than any utensil ever could, and there’s nothing better for piling on leftovers than a fresh slice — especially when the bread is homemade. This year, fill up your Thanksgiving Breadbasket with cornbread, biscuits, rolls and more from your very own oven.
No matter if this Thanksgiving will be your first time preparing the feast or if you’re a veteran host, chances are that with just days left until the holiday, you have a few questions about the meal on your mind. FoodNetwork.com is here to help.
This Saturday, Nov. 22, beginning at noon EST, our editors will be on hand during the premiere of Thanksgiving at Bobby’s to tackle your turkey day conundrums. From how to find the best brine for the bird to how to mix up fluffy mashed potatoes and bake the flakiest pie crust, tweet your question to @FoodNetwork using #ThanksgivingFeast or post it to Food Network’s Facebook page, and it may get answered.