Best New Twists on Thanksgiving Traditions

by in View All Posts, November 15th, 2015

Best New Twists on Thanksgiving TraditionsThe best part of traditional Thanksgiving dishes is that they take well to seasonings from around the world — where all Americans come from! To get a taste of America in your feast, start by getting your ingredients from local farms if you can. Then, incorporate the flavors of your heritage and those you’re celebrating with.

One way to experiment with turkey is to change the way you cook it. Take a cue from the American South and try smoking or deep-frying the whole bird. For an extra-juicy turkey, try steaming the turkey in the Chinese tradition. Caribbean-style jerk cooking will ensure that every bite is full of big flavor. So will hot sauce. You can stick to roasting the bird and spice it up with store-bought hot sauce. Fiery blends come from all over the globe: Louisiana’s Tabasco, Asia’s Sriracha (made in California by a company founded there!), North Africa’s harissa, Mexico’s salsa. Mix just a bit with a lot of softened butter and spread it under the skin of the turkey. As the bird roasts and is basted, it’ll be infused with just enough fiery heat to make it extra tasty. If you’re serving a table full of chile-heads, you can even add a dash or two of hot sauce to the gravy.

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Chefs’ Picks: Thanksgiving Pie

by in Restaurants, November 14th, 2015

Pecan Pie

Turkey may be the Thanksgiving centerpiece, but pie is the grand finale. Torn between baking pumpkin, apple or something different? We turned to the experts — pastry chefs across the country — to see what they are whipping up for their own holiday table. From revamped classics to varieties more outside the pie box, here’s how they’re ending the biggest meal of the year.
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Get Sauced: Spike Your Cranberry Sauce This Thanksgiving

by in Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes, November 14th, 2015

With everything else crowding the Thanksgiving table, the cranberry sauce usually doesn’t steal the show. We’re changing that up this year with this tipsy recipe that spikes the traditional jellied sauce with vodka. Watch Food Network Kitchen’s video below to see how it’s done, then follow their lead to make your cranberry sauce the most-popular side — or cocktail shooter — of Thanksgiving 2015. It may well become a new tradition. Just be sure to keep it away from the kids’ table, because it looks just like its nonalcoholic cousin!

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Sunny Anderson’s Canned Cranberry Thanksgiving Hack

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 14th, 2015

Sunny AndersonThe centerpiece roast turkey, the spread of casseroles, the pumpkin pie (and, likely, the apple pie too) — there’s no shortage of to-dos come Thanksgiving. So when there’s an opportunity to make your prep work a tad easier, it’s indeed tempting to give in. Hear from The Kitchen‘s Sunny Anderson about how she transforms a tried-and-true store-bought staple — the infamous canned cranberries — into an all-new side dish.

According to Sunny, one of her go-to holiday hacks is “cranberry sauce out of the can.” But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t dress it up. When it comes to the jellied stuff and the whole-cranberry option, she explains: “You can mix it together. … I take the jelly. I don’t slice it; that looks crazy. You just beat it with a whisk until it becomes a little bit loose, and then you add in the [canned whole cranberries].” To add an extra boost of homemade flavor, she brightens up the sauce with citrus. “A little bit of orange juice, some orange rind or, you know, zested. It kind of feels like it’s your own,” she explains. She also adds that you can mix in chopped fresh rosemary. “It looks like you made it, but you didn’t,” says Sunny.

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Move Over, Roast Chicken: 9 Bold Pork Roasts to Make Right Now

by in Recipes, November 13th, 2015

Pancetta-Wrapped Pork RoastThough roast chicken is a go-to comfort meal, pork roast offers a great alternative. Whether it’s roasted with chopped tart apples and hearty carrots, or marinated in zesty lime juice and grilled, pork roast offers a creative opportunity to combine different flavors. Here are our top nine pork roast recipes to try your hand at this season, from chefs like Giada De Laurentiis, Rachael Ray, Tyler Florence and Ina Garten.

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Is Cafe Mocha to Winter As Pumpkin Spice Is to Autumn?

by in News, November 13th, 2015

Is Cafe Mocha to Winter As Pumpkin Spice Is to Autumn?Are you feeling unapologetically pumpkin spiced out as autumn begins to give way to winter? Wondering what seasonal stunt flavor comes next? Wonder no longer: It’s cafe mocha.

Sure, sure, winter has often been considered the season of peppermint — what with candy canes and all. But this year Mars is apparently augmenting its minty winter holiday candy offerings with Christmassy bags of cafe mocha-flavored M&M’s.

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All the Ways to Cook a Potato This Thanksgiving

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 13th, 2015

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Pecan and Marshmallow StreuselButtery, rich and oh-so-creamy, mashed potatoes are surely a beautiful thing. But when it comes to putting spuds to work, the everyday mash isn’t the only option. This Thanksgiving, no matter what kind of spuds you have on hand, try stuffing your potatoes, or smashing them, souffleing them, roasting them or even turning them into a bisque. Check out Food Network’s best-ever potato picks below for holiday-worthy inspiration.

Stuffed: Think of Tyler Florence’s easy-to-make sweet potatoes as the cousins of the sweet potato casserole you know and love. He bakes the spuds, then fills them up with a sweetened, cinnamon-scented filling of crunchy pecans and gooey marshmallows.

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7 Thanksgiving Shortcuts to Be Thankful For

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 13th, 2015

Apple PieWhen you’re hosting a big crowd for the holidays or even cooking for a crew of kids — a pair of daunting tasks if there ever was one — this list is for you. And if you’re doing both like I am this Thanksgiving, this one’s for you. And because many of the dishes can easily be made days in advance (or more), you can knock out most of the cooking well before Thanksgiving Day arrives.

Make and Freeze: Apple Pie 
Prepare an unbaked apple pie, like this one from Food Network Kitchen, then pop it into the freezer until you’re ready to bake. The trick: Wrap the whole thing in three layers of plastic wrap, then place in a gallon-size freezer bag or add another layer of aluminum foil. Tips:

  • Take the pie out of the freezer and put directly into the oven, just add 20 to 30 minutes of baking time.
  • Use a metal or ceramic pie plate; glass may not be sturdy enough to go from the freezer to the oven.
  • Pumpkin (or any other kind of custard) pie won’t work as well, but in that case, you could make the crust and freeze it ahead of time.

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What to Watch: Martha Stewart on The Kitchen and A Barefoot Thanksgiving with Ina and Bobby

by in Shows, November 13th, 2015

Geoffrey Zakarian and Martha Stewart on The KitchenIt’s time to break out the Thanksgiving recipes and start planning your holiday meal, and the Food Network chefs have you covered with easy make-ahead recipes to make this year’s feast easier than ever. First, Ree Drummond is fixing up a campfire meal complete with Cheesy Bacon Hot Dogs and Big Time Sangria (but don’t miss her turkey-day tips in a special episode on Monday night). Next, Nancy Fuller is putting timesaving spins on everything from the turkey to the pie on her Thanksgiving special. After that, The Kitchen co-hosts have you covered with a timeline for the big meal, and a special appearance by Martha Stewart. Then, Patricia Heaton creates a cozy meal of Cranberry Cornbread Bites and Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears. Finally, Valerie Bertinelli hosts her own Thanksgiving celebration filled with Sweet and Salty Pepitas and a Deep-Fried Turkey you have to see to believe. And on Saturday night, don’t miss two new episodes of Unwrapped 2.0.

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Restaurant Ambush Revisited: Stay or Go at Ellendale’s Restaurant

by in Shows, November 12th, 2015

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: ImpossibleIt’s the name of the Ambush game that business owners are shocked by Robert Irvine‘s unexpected appearance with his Restaurant: Impossible team. What happens after that initial surprise is up to the owners themselves: Are they open to Robert’s help, or are they so fearful of change that they refuse to let him make their eateries better? On tonight’s brand-new episode, one owner, Julie of Nashville’s Ellendale’s Restaurant, nearly turned down Robert’s offer of a second chance at success when he visited her restaurant unannounced. But once she came to terms with the potential for vast improvements, she readily welcomed him and his team. And it’s a good thing she did, because after a few days of work, Ellendale’s reopened to a full house. Read on below for an exclusive interview with Julie to see how her business is faring these days.

“Business has improved since the buzz of the show. It’s up about 20 percent, which is huge to me. Before the show I was running four or five servers a night and now seven or eight,” Julie admits. She adds that she’s pleased with the updated design of the restaurant, as are her employees and the diners who visit the restaurant. “The staff loves taking the guests around the room and showing off the new changes. I think everyone’s favorite element is the outrageously large wood beam turned into a chandelier hanging in the center of the dining room,” she says.

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