For those of you not familiar with pecan tassies, they are bite-size pecan pies. A guaranteed crowd-pleaser, they are perfect for holiday festivities and easy to prepare. We always have these on our Thanksgiving table. The pecans are freshly harvested and at their peak so they taste fantastic. And, after a big meal of turkey and dressing, one or two of these diminutive desserts are the perfect way to end the feast. A “tassie” is defined as a small cup, and these petite pies are baked in a mini-muffin tin. Pecan tassies feature the flavors and textures of pecan pie — tender and buttery crust, crunchy pecans and brown-sugar filling — all in one delicious bite.
Chores like peeling potatoes can make kids start to feel like they are on KP duty, and though that may be fun for a while, it can quickly turn to drudgery. This Thanksgiving, let everyone share chores so they go by faster, then set your kids up with one of these fun projects. Even little kids can roll cheese balls and cut out shapes with cookie cutters, and older kids can do more-complicated projects like creating a turkey-shaped veggie platter. These projects are win/win/win! They teach kids how to use creative thinking in the kitchen, they take some of the work off parents’ hands, and they keep kids occupied. Plus, the results look and taste good enough to meet the standards of your most-persnickety guests.
The holiday season is here and it’s time to make room on the shelf for books that will make holiday menu planning easy and fun. Rick Rodgers’ The Big Book of Sides is the perfect answer to everything from your most-elaborate holiday meals to your year-round weeknight family dinners.
The book is broken down into sections based on ingredients and preparation method, starting with Getting It to the Table, then covering Eat Your Vegetables, From the Root Cellar, A Hill of Beans and others. It’s a brilliant layout, making it easy for you to select a recipe based on what you’ve already got in the pantry or the refrigerator. The book boasts over 450 recipes, which means you’ll never be left scrambling to come up with a new way to serve potatoes again. It covers everything from classics, like Potato Rolls, from-scratch Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese, and Potato and Fennel Gratin to new favorites, like Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Maple Syrup and Carrot Ribbons with Pomegranate Dressing (recipe below for you to try at home). The Getting It to the Table chapter even includes comprehensive menus for all your special occasions, from Old-Fashioned to New-Fashioned Thanksgivings, to a New Year’s Day Open House, to a Sunday Roast Pork Dinner.
There may be little as sexy as a man who truly knows his way around the kitchen. The swift, confident knife skills, the joyful embrace of the spicy and sensually pleasing, the willingness to experiment and get messy — a certain sort of male chef, especially if he happens to be handsome, can really make a person salivate.
That fact is apparently not lost on the editors of People magazine. In the just-released Sexiest Man Alive 2014 issue, they’ve named Food Network Chopped judge and restaurateur Marc Murphy as “Sexiest Chef.”
Marc was included, along with poet Terrance Hayes, “snake charmer” Evan Antin, scientist Hendrik Streeck, “model with tats” Parker Hurley, teacher Nicholas Ferroni and artist Javier Gomez, as one of the magazine’s picks for “Sexy Men at Work.”
There’s a New Chef in Boot Camp: Tyler Florence Joins Anne Burrell on Worst Cooks in America, Season 6by Joseph Erdos in Shows, November 21st, 2014
Worst Cooks in America is back, but this time it’s Anne Burrell facing off against Tyler Florence, who’s taking on coaching the Blue Team in hopes of transforming kitchen disasters into confident cooks. On Sunday, Jan. 4 at 9|8c, Season 6 returns with new culinary incapable recruits, all hoping to become the most improved, with a chance to win the grand prize of $25,000 and bragging rights for his or her mentor and team. But first they must make it through a grueling series of challenges, proving they have what it takes to cook a gourmet meal for a set of expert chefs in the finale challenge.
When it comes to Thanksgiving dessert, I come from a family of traditionalists. Pies are required, and they typically come in both pumpkin and apple (though when the gluten-free gather with us, I’ll often make an apple crisp with GF oats instead).
As I was plotting out my contributions to the two Thanksgiving meals I’m attending this year, however, I started to ponder options beyond the classic. Part of the reason I feel so free to monkey with the tried and true is that I’m attending two collaborative dinners (really, that’s just a fancy term for a potluck). I know others will bring the requisite pies, and so I am free to explore a little.
For my husband’s family, I’m taking vanilla pound cake with runny raspberry jam for topping. We’re traveling several hours for that meal and I know those cakes will survive even the most-arduous journey over the river, through the woods and up the New Jersey Turnpike. I made the jam with fresh fruit this summer, but a similar batch could easily be made by combining 2 pounds of frozen berries, 2 cups of sugar and a little lemon juice, then simmering until thick.
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.
Wondering what your favorite chefs have up their sleeves (and in their ovens) for next Thursday? We caught up with more than a dozen Food Network stars about their unique Thanksgiving traditions with family and friends. Bobby hosts a themed Thanksgiving for 50, Alex does double-dinner duty and Guy likens his epic outdoor feast to “a shotgun wedding”. Read on and check out the full gallery for all the tasty details.
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.
The new season of Guy’s Grocery Games is kicking off with four special family episodes, premiering Jan. 4 at 8|7c. In this family-style showdown, four teams made up of three family members will compete in each episode for a chance to win the grand prize. Each family team will have to navigate through the aisles of the grocery store, battling different supermarket-themed obstacles, from cooking on a budget to cooking with five ingredients or less — or the dreaded new game, Station Swap. The last family standing will go onto the shopping spree of a lifetime worth up to $20,000. These families know, live and love food, so don’t miss the laughs, tears and sibling rivalries.