With the trail of Halloween candy beyond the horizon, the Thanksgiving season begins in earnest. This month, harvest festivals begin to peter out and what other fairs are scheduled (many of them seafood related) are front-loaded to leave us as much time as possible to prepare for, then recover from, Thanksgiving.
Denver International Wine Festival, Denver, Colo., Nov. 2-6: Beer may be Colorado’s unofficial beverage of choice, but it certainly isn’t the only option. This seventh annual wine fete proves it by expanding to accommodate attendees. This year’s celebration of the grape will be held at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum and will include a vertical tasting (the sampling of consecutive vintages for the detailing of a drink’s evolution), a cheese-pairing workshop and seminars like “Moscato, Surrender to the Sweet,” led by Andrew Quady. Chefs will tussle during the food and wine pairing competition and you’ll win — because if wine is involved, there are no losers.
More November food festivals around the country »
One side effect of working as an editor for FoodNetwork.com is that you end up thinking about Thanksgiving starting in June, craving mashed potatoes all through the summer. This year, as I waded through Thanksgiving recipes on our site, familiar old faves and great new takes, I decided that this was the year I would revamp my family’s Thanksgiving bread basket.
Sometime in July I decided I would bake Alex’s Parker House Rolls for Thanksgiving — they look soft, buttery and oh, so classic. But this is one recipe I decided to take for a test drive before the big cooking extravaganza of Thanksgiving, where every bit of counter and oven space needs to be carefully budgeted and coordinated. So, like sydney1212, the latest reviewer of this recipe (glad I’m not alone), I baked a test batch of these rolls over the weekend.
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Want to know what Food Network fans were cooking in October? From Butternut Squash Soup to cheesy Chicken Enchiladas and sweet pumpkin desserts, here are the top 10 recipes of the month:
10. Tyler’s Chicken Enchiladas
9. Apple Coffee Cake With Brown Sugar Glaze
8. Alton’s Pumpkin Bread
7. Pumpkin Pie
6. Paula’s Chicken and Dumplings
The top 5 recipes of October »
To create a smooth, rich gravy for Thanksgiving, gradually ladle the hot broth into the flour mixture, whisking constantly (this is key, or your gravy will be lumpy). Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the gravy simmers gently.
Try making: Ina Garten’s Homemade Gravy recipe
Food Network Magazine shows you how to make the perfect gravy in seven simple steps (photos).
Girls Scouts across the nation now have the opportunity to earn and add one more badge to the collection prominently displayed on their green vests: Locavore.
This badge, released in honor of the organization’s 100th anniversary, allows girls to explore the local food movement in their communities, said Alisha Niehaus, executive editor, Program Resources, in a recent interview with The Food Section.
All of the group’s badges are a reflection of what today’s girls said they want to know about, Alisha said.
A Locavore badge is achieved in five steps »
There are so many beautiful (and strange-looking) squash at the market right now. Sure, they’re great for a table centerpiece for Thanksgiving, but why not cook with them as well? Turn acorn, butternut, fairytale (yes, fairytale) and more into a delicious fall soup. Add in some pumpkin and you’re cooking the best of what fall produce has to offer.
Get the recipe »
Next Iron Chef judge Simon Majumdar joins us on the FN Dish each week to share his insider’s take on what went down Sunday night.
Any concerns that the 10 chefs competing on this season of The Next Iron Chef might not feel the pressure, given their remarkable culinary achievements and already stellar careers, were dispelled the moment they came face to face with the three judges on the edge of the lakeside.
The beads of sweat running down their brows were not only caused by the blazing sun under which they had been forced to cook, but also from the stern warnings given by the judges. We made it very clear that taste would count for everything during this competition, and their reputations not at all.
Chef Spike had drawn the “lucky” straw and, while he might have thought it amusing to pair Chef Irvine with Chef Burrell and wise to pair himself with Chef Samuelsson, there was a very distinct possibility that it could all come back to take a large chunk out of his youthful posterior.
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It won’t be too tough to go meatless today, as your diet will likely consist of just chocolate and candy corn. However, if you want to squeeze in a good-for-you meal in between your sweet indulgences, we have a ghoulishly good meatless menu for you this Halloween.
Robin Miller’s veggie-friendly chili (pictured above) is full of protein-packed beans, fresh bell pepper and heaping spoonfuls of hot sauce, chili powder and pickled jalapeno. Simply combine the ingredients in a slow cooker and let it do all the work, so you can enjoy trick-or-treating and have dinner waiting at home.
Ladle the chili atop mashed potatoes, polenta or rice, or serve along with Gina’s Cheddar and Herb Biscuits, ready in less than 30 minutes.
Get the recipe: Robin’s Vegetarian Chili
Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.
The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs kicks off on Sunday night, and we chatted with host Alton Brown about the fourth season of this all-star culinary competition.
After four years of hosting The Next Iron Chef and 10 on Iron Chef America, Alton has witnessed hundreds of culinary battles, experienced a myriad of secret ingredients and tasted thousands of gourmet plates. We asked him about the difference between a typical Iron Chef battle and that between Super Chefs. He explained, “It’s professional, but there’s the added tension of having a lot to lose. Every one of those chefs doesn’t need to prove anything, but losing still really kind of sucks. There’s a lot of tension there because of that.”
Of the rivalry between the 10 Super-Chefs, Alton assured us that the battles would be aggressive, but never malicious. “You’re never going to see any backstabbing or cattiness; they don’t do that,” he noted. We would expect nothing less from such professionals as Robert Irvine, Alex Guarnaschelli, Anne Burrell and Michael Chiarello, among others, as they are friends and colleagues outside of the competition, as well.
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Trick or treat, smell my feet, can I have a homemade sweet to eat? This year, skip the usual store-bought candies and whip up some Halloween classics in your own kitchen. Perfect to pass at a Halloween party or hand out to eager trick-or-treaters, our devilish decadences below are quick to make and feature your favorite sugary flavors.
It takes just four ingredients to make Food Network Magazine’s ghoulishly good Caramel Puffs (pictured above). Dip large marshmallows into creamy caramel, set atop crushed pretzel sticks and drizzle with decadent chocolate sauce. Once dry, put two of these salty-sweet concoctions in a cellophane bag for an easy gift.
Homemade Peppermint Patties and Baby Ruth’s »