Once you’ve settled the whole sweet-potato-versus-regular-potato debate, the next Thanksgiving side dish question you have to contend with is: flavored or not? Would you prefer to dress up a traditional recipe with bold tastes, or do you crave the comforting flavors of tradition? On this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, which was devoted to a complete roster of turkey-day side dishes, the co-hosts showcased a cornucopia of ways to prepare squash, dressing and green beans — and the all-important potatoes, of course. Check out both of the new spins on spuds below, one a creatively flavored take on the usual recipe and the other a buttery mainstay with just a hint of extra-special presentation.
The appetizers you make for Thanksgiving dinner are arguably some of the trickiest to plan; after all, they kick off one of the most-important meals of the year. They should likely be more special than carrots and ranch, and they need to be hearty enough to satiate your guests, but they should not be so heavy that guests don’t want to eat that enormous meal that’s coming right up. Plus, your kitchen will likely be overrun with all manner of pots and pans on Thanksgiving, so when it comes to the hors d’oeuvres especially, the easier and faster the better. Enter: our fast-fix starter solutions. All eight of these recipes are ready to eat in 35 minutes or less, and they’re guaranteed crowd-pleasers — think cheese logs, shrimp cocktail and cheesy dip.
Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto
With oven and stove space at a premium on Thanksgiving, you can be thankful that these eight-minute bites require only assembly — no cooking necessary. When it comes to the cheese, Giada De Laurentiis opts for a mix of rich goat cheese and creamy mascarpone.
There’s nothing like freshly baked bread on Thanksgiving Day — and nothing quite like the look on your guests’ faces when you tell them you baked it yourself. But, on a day that’s already packed with nonstop cooking, it’s a lot to ask to add bread-baking to your list of tasks, especially if you aren’t into the baking-your-own-bread thing year-round. That’s why we came up with a lineup of eight fresh-baked bread recipes that are actually well worth your time on Thanksgiving Day. Each one toes the line between easy and completely OMG-inducing. Here’s why.
Why They’re Actually Worth Your Time: You better bet this particular Thursday will involve all kinds of mayhem. Luckily, Ina Garten’s flaky, cheesy and top-rated biscuits are easy to prep the night ahead so that all there’s left to do is bake when it’s go time.
Thanksgiving is about following tradition; Friendsgiving is about making new ones. This is a holiday where all the old rules are meant to be rewritten, so take the opportunity to put a fresh spin on your favorite classics. No one will mind if Grandma’s famous mushroom-soup casserole isn’t on the table. These new-school recipes are not only showstoppers, but they’re perfect for a potluck celebration where everyone can pitch in to create a festive dinner to remember. Read more
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and this weekend your favorite Food Network chefs are sharing some easy-to-make last-minute recipes. Thanksgiving isn’t just about turkey, so tune in to The Kitchen on Saturday morning for the Ultimate Guide to Sides, as the co-hosts will be sharing their recipes for potatoes, cornbread and, of course, a great cocktail. Then, on Sunday, Giada De Laurentiis is taking all the Thanksgiving leftovers and making a brunch featuring Crispy Turkey Bites, Sweet Potato Puffs and a Spicy Chai Latte.
On Sunday evening, Guy Fieri is welcoming some of Triple G’s most-memorable chefs back to Flavortown to compete in two challenges jam-packed with unexpected twists. Then, Thanksgiving is the theme on Holiday Baking Championship, and Grandma’s classic recipes are put to the test on Clash of the Grandmas.
Like butternut squash, cauliflower and the other bounties of fall, the orange-hued sweet potato is a versatile vegetable. It has an earthy sweetness that you can play up or down, put in casseroles or pastries, and easily pair with sugar or spice. Here are a few ways to bring out the best in sweet potato this season.
Make easy work of candied sweet potatoes by throwing it all in the slow cooker. Set it and forget it, for about four hours, and serve with a topping of chopped pecans.
Just one week from today, every burner on your stovetop will be aflame and your oven will be hot and ready for a day of nonstop roasting and baking. That said, the biggest meal of the year requires a certain amount of strategy for it to get on the table without any swearing (or tears) from the cook: You need to strike a balance between the number of baked dishes and the number of stovetop-cooked dishes.
Each has its advantages. On the one hand, many baked Thanksgiving sides can be prepped ahead, so that all there’s left to do is pop them in the oven on the big day. Plus, sliding them into the oven also lends a golden, crusty top to potatoes, green bean casserole and more. On the other, stovetop sides free up your oven for the main event (namely the turkey), so that you don’t need to play a game of musical chairs in that regard. In advance of the big day, we’re pitting preparations of must-have side dishes against each other so you can pick and choose at will (and cook the day away with a grand plan).
Oven-Baked Spuds: When paper-thin potatoes slices are baked under a blanket of herb-infused cream, they go from raw to intensely tender. And unlike sides with a consistency reminiscent of baby food, Tyler Florence’s top-rated Scalloped Potato Gratin (pictured above) comes with a signature crispy, browned crust.
Allhallows’ Eve may be behind us, but that doesn’t mean the horror movie trailers aren’t still everywhere. And every time one of them pops into my life, I go into flight mode. Headphones out. TV on mute. Ears covered. Eyes closed. Singing “la-la-la-la” until it’s finally over. I will do this in my home. I will do this on the treadmill. I will do this in public. I do not care. I do all this to prevent what I know will come if I don’t: looking out the shower curtain every 15 seconds, going out of my way to avoid mirrors in the dark, lying awake at night irrationally paralyzed by fear for weeks.
Did I ask for the scary-movie-trailer life? No, I did not. The scary-movie-trailer life asked for me — poor, innocent, fully grown, scaredy-cat me. I am scary movies’ easiest target. I get scared of pretty much everything. Even that rated PG-movie Enchanted — yes, the one about fairy tales coming to the real world — at one point made me jump five feet above my theater seat. The old hag was really ugly, OK?
Needless to say, I do not watch horror movies, save for a total of three in my lifetime. But if I did, all of them would get a rating of 1,000 out of 10 on the scariness scale from yours truly.
Besides making me a hilariously entertaining horror-movie buddy, this scaredy-cat quality of mine also makes me a prime test subject. For what, you ask? What use could I possibly have in the context of horror?
Well, according to Food & Life, a health-focused cookbook authored by Michelin-starred French chef Joël Robuchon and,neuropharmacologist and acupuncturist Nadia Volf, eating certain foods can help curb fear. Yes, apparently other than just willing yourself to be unafraid of fictional monsters and demons, there is possibly another way to get through a horror flick. So I set out to test whether Robuchon and Volf’s prescribed foods could actually fight fear.
Step One: Eat said foods, and only those foods.
Step Two: Sit through one of those gosh-darned horror movies.
By Lauren Haslett
You know what kind of fast food you reach for after a late night. But are the rest of the folks in your state on the same page as you? Foursquare Swarm and City Guide apps recently compiled a whole lot of data for us on which fast-food restaurants people in each state of our great nation visit the most. And the results might surprise you.
Nearly 50 percent of states — a whopping 24 of them — prefer Chick-fil-A above all else. West Virginia is among that group, but it’s unique in that it has two top picks: Chick-fil-A and Sheetz. You may not be familiar with Hawaii’s favorite fast-food spot: Zippy’s Makiki, which is a chain based on the islands. Not surprisingly, McDonald’s is well represented, with 17 states liking that spot best. If you want to check out your home state’s favorite fast-food indulgence, just take a closer look at the map above.