Our Food Network Kitchen gave heavy game-day fare (think Buffalo chicken dip and potato skins) a healthy makeover with lighter takes on classic recipes. So now you can snack through halftime without feeling like you’ve eaten your weight in guacamole.
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With the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, golden rolls and pies galore sitting in your oven — not to mention that perfectly cooked turkey of yours — any way to free up space in this overworked kitchen appliance is welcome on Thanksgiving Day. Luckily your slow cooker is ready and able to help pick up the slack, with these easy recipes for Thanksgiving classics that are low on prep time and high on hands-off cooking. With new techniques for everything from stuffing to potatoes, you’ll be amazed how easy Slow-Cooker Thanksgiving Sides come together.
You don’t need to use the oven or stovetop to get a hearty stuffing on your holiday table. Instead, add cut-up, stale French bread, veggies and sweet Italian sausage to the slow cooker, and let the machine take it from there. Cooked in the juices given off from the sausage and veggies, Slow-Cooker Sausage Stuffing (pictured above) needs only a touch of chicken broth to reach soft, savory perfection.
Some might say we are always grappling with history whenever we eat. After all, even cheeseburgers and pizza have long and rich narratives that stretch back through many decades and many cultures. However, it’s one thing to appreciate turn of the century New York City; it’s a whole other thing to get down and dirty with what people were snacking on in the 1600s. That’s what one NYC restauranteur is getting into, however.
West Village eatery Chapter One has recently begun hosting monthly historical dinners, in which customers can feast on authentic takes on food from olden days. This is going to come to a head on Thanksgiving, when the restaurant will present a colonial style meal like they had on the actual first Thanksgiving way back in 1621. The menu will include slabs of venison, root vegetables, dark rye, succotash and hasty pudding for dessert. The chef also gives a history lesson mid-bite just in case you like learning as you masticate.
Hot Links We’re Loving:
- As if we needed another reason to lust over apple pie. Spoon Fork Bacon‘s Brown Butter Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust counters the tart sweetness of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples by baking them into a flaky cheddar crust that’s subtly sharp and anything but weird.
- Your classic empanada may come with a spicy meat stuffing, but Food For My Family‘s Winter Squash Empanadas are a different story and loaded with fall flavor. Caramelized shallots, goat cheese and fresh sage ooze from the flaky folds.
- When we’re in need of some serious comfort food, sometimes a spoon is the only utensil that’ll make the cut. A spoonful of the aptly named Best Cheeseburger Soup by Foodie Crush involves everything you love between the bun, from tender ground beef to gooey cheddar cheese to a hit of hot sauce.
- Thanks to a little bourbon, this ice-cold Boozy Maple Peanut Butter Cup Milkshakes by Girl Versus Dough goes down warm. And, if you ask us, the whipped cream on top is non-negotiable.
- When is it too soon to start hoarding all the eggnog? According to Country Cleaver, not soon enough. Instead of glugging it from the carton, creamy and spiced Eggnog No-Bake Cheesecake comes together from scratch.
I’ve been pretty into hard cider for a while, so for this latest installment of Super Food Nerds I wanted to meet some people who make it and could shed some light on the fermentation process. Through the magic of the Internet I found Hayley Jensen, the beer sommelier at Manhattan’s Taproom 307 who, along with her husband, Stephen Durley, (the taproom’s chef), is an avid, multiple-award-winning homebrewer and has been making cider at home for a few years.
Jensen suggested we meet at her home instead of the restaurant, which we understood upon arrival: It’s a beautiful, light-filled New York City apartment outfitted with a beer room. The small spare bedroom is tricked out with racks and racks of professional-grade brewing equipment and hundreds of gallons of various brews, including Candy Crush, a caramel-apple-inspired “city cider” made from store-bought apple cider.
The couple started making city cider after a trip to Jensen’s sister’s farmhouse, where they’d made cider entirely from scratch. Durley explains: “It was a big process. It took basically a full day to juice all the apples, wash them and take them to the press. Then you have to grind them, press them, get the juice and bring it home. We really liked it, but I was like, ‘Wait: Can’t we just buy some apple juice and have some fun?”
Meatballs are one of those dishes that seem to make everyone smile (sorry, vegetarians). They’re easy to prepare and fun to eat — what more could you ask for? A bigger meatball, you say? A jumbo meatball?! Good call.
Indulge in lots more of an already good thing by supersizing your run-of-the-mill meatballs and stuffing them with a bright pop of spinach and cheese. Sure, they’re going to take a bit more time to prepare than their peers in miniature, but when you’re cleaning that spicy tomato sauce up off the plate with the last bite, something tells me it’ll all be worth it. (Heads-up: You’re going to need a knife and fork to get through these mega balls.)
And after all this talk of big balls, here’s a fun idea: Shrink these back to down to one-bite size (keeping the stuffing, of course) for a new addition to your standard holiday entertaining spread.
You know what they say: “The road to hell is paved with bad mustaches.” In other words, mustaches are these weird things guys sometimes put on their faces for dares or to capture the spirit of the 1970s or something. They aren’t comfortable. They don’t really look good and yet, the band plays on. Now there is a bar in Vegas that encourages these facial appendages through the power of discounted beer and snacks.
The appropriately named Sin City Brewing Co. is offering massive discounts throughout the month of November, if you have the stache for it. The discounts range from 10 percent for a dinky lil mustache to a whopping 50 percent for one of those Fu Manchu jobbies. Ladies are also not left out in the hairless cold. They can take photos with finger mustaches to receive similar discounts.
Of course, as stated above, this is only for the month of November so you had better stop shaving and book yourself a plane ticket pronto. Don’t worry! That mustache is sure to look ‘great’ on you.
Foodini, a 3D printer that prints plates of food instead of plastic knickknacks. The release date was up in the air back when that piece was written, but now it looks like the printer’s creator, Natural Machines, is prepping to unleash their magical piece of tech upon the world.
If this is your first time reading about the Foodini, the printer uses plastic caplets of food ingredients to create dishes like pizza, cookies, pasta and a whole lot more. However, the creators have noted that this first iteration of the device will still need you to cook the food in your own oven after it is assembled. Future iterations will also do the cooking. Finally, humanity can lounge around and do nothing, just like in that inspirational documentary Wall-E.
Natural Machines hasn’t announced an actual release date, per say, but reports indicate that it will be within the next few months, which gives you just enough time to save some coin. The Foodini is expected to cost $1,000.
There is nothing quite like rolling into your Thanksgiving feast with a homemade, fresh-from-the-oven pie. Whether pumpkin or pecan, apple or peanut butter, a good pie ends the biggest meal of the year on a high note that can carry you through till next November. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and all that is sweet, Food Network presents step-by-step how-tos for building the perfect pie, revealing the ins and outs of everything from making the perfect crust to giving your slice a unique, unexpected touch (spoiler alert: fire is involved).
AKA Get StuffedSix years ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease just days before Thanksgiving — the most glorious, gluten-filled holiday on the calendar. While I was relived to know what had been making me so sick for so long, the timing couldn’t have been worse. In my family, Thanksgiving has always been all about the stuffing. Sure, we love turkey, mashed potatoes and the other obligatory vegetables, but stuffing is the centerpiece of our meal. It isn’t anything fancy or special, just simple Pennsylvania Dutch-style bread cubes, onions, celery, stock and herbs. Crisp on top, a little mushy inside. People like to offer advice on what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers, but that was one item on our dinner table that was never left over. We’d devour it and fight over the last bits of the crunchy edges.
That first gluten-free Thanksgiving was tough. I was so new to the disease, I didn’t know what I could eat. My mom was equally adrift. So she just made me some steamed vegetables and a box of gluten-free mac and cheese. It was the best we could do at that time. I drove home, crying all the way. Thanksgiving has always been special in our family — it’s the anniversary of the day my parents adopted me. It holds a very special place in all our hearts, and what had always been my favorite holiday was now the most-depressing day of the year.