The first Thanksgiving I ever hosted was a cooking obstacle course, except the stress had nothing to with the actual cooking task at hand. It was the fact that I knowingly tossed my family’s traditions out the window, in an effort to create new ones for my own growing family — I was four months pregnant with my first daughter.
The list of what I changed goes on and on (including the stuffing and cranberry sauce). Therein lies my biggest mistake that very first Thanksgiving: I changed too much, too fast. Rather than create the picture-perfect memory of a blissful family Thanksgiving, I was left feeling under-appreciated for all my hard work.
What does any of this have to do with your Thanksgiving plans this year, you may be wondering? It’s pretty simple, actually. Learn from my mistakes. Thanksgiving is first and foremost supposed to be about family and being grateful. People hold tight to their traditions, though, and making drastic changes to beloved family recipes is an invitation for disaster. This doesn’t mean you can’t chart your own course. It just means you should stick with familiar favorites, but give them your own twist.
Twists on the classic apple pie
You didn’t really believe we would let the day pass without wishing you HAPPY NATIONAL PIE DAY, did you? That’s right, who knew…
We’re celebrating with this gravity-defying wonder from Paula Deen — Savannah High Apple Pie. I mean, c’mon — apples are in season, it’s Paula and this looks amazing. Has anyone ever tried?
If you’re saving your sugar for Valentine’s Day, you MUST whip up this savory treat from Ina Garten. My mom usually sticks with her favorites but made this Chicken Pot Pie and knocked it out of the park. I’m actually craving it now — ah, that buttery pastry topping.
If you want some other celebratory ideas, check out the award winners from the All-American Pie Championship.
Have a favorite Food Network pie recipe?
Cut us off a slice and let us know…
~ Mark, THE FN Dish
You may remember Food Network staffer, Emily, from this amazing lattice-work apple pie she baked in our Thanksgiving Throwdown. Emily manages the Food Network Store and was asked to do a holiday gift segment on New York’s local CW network — PIX 11. To heighten the stakes, it was LIVE — which was a first for her.
We all think she did a pretty bang-up job and wanted to share. Check out Emily’s segment here. Plus, according to Em, you still have about five more days to place orders with guaranteed Christmas delivery, if you didn’t feel like dealing with Black Friday.
On key holidays, some FN staffers fire it up and throwdown — potluck-style. Thanksgiving is a huge holiday at Food Network so our potluck last week was nothing short of mouthwatering. Top prize commanded $25 bones and novelty kitchen tools were awarded for other categories — best side, best main, most apropos, fan favorite etc.
See if you can guess each pictured dish…