Thanksgiving Live! is finally here. Tune in today at 12pm EST to watch Alton, Bobby, Giada and Ina cook up their Thanksgiving favorites, all while answering your questions about cooking and serving turkey dinner. Use the hashtag #ThanksgivingLive on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ to ask away. Your questions may be answered on live television. Here’s a rundown of what to look forward to:
Lots and lots of recipes: If you’re looking for the dishes cooked on today’s show, stop by a little later and we’ll have them posted right here.
Behind the scenes snapshots: During the show we’ll also be posting behind-the-scenes photos of what goes on in the kitchen during taping and all the fun that happens during commercial breaks.
The after show: Even though Thanksgiving Live ends at 2pm, that doesn’t mean the turkey talk is over. The conversation continues in our Google+ Hangout. Alton, Bobby, Giada and Ina will be joined by Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee and Marcela Valladolid; the cast of Food Network’s new show The Kitchen @ Food Network, to talk about turkey leftovers and post-holiday eating. Watch here at 2 pm and ask more of your questions on Google+.
Don’t forget to check out Food Network’s Thanksgiving Central for recipes, menus and entertaining ideas.
Pop quiz: What are the top-five grocery items sold during the week of Thanksgiving, excluding turkey? The obvious — milk, eggs and butter — are top-sellers year-round, including Thanksgiving week, but we were surprised that beer came in fifth across the country, beating out canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce. The fourth most popular item? That depends on which side of the country you’re on: East Coasters buy record amounts of cream cheese, while those in the West are big on packaged fried onions.
(Photograph by Kang Kim)
In my family, having a salad on the Thanksgiving table is a controversial issue. My mother, an avowed vegetable enthusiast, lobbies for it every year. My dad is firmly attached to tradition and so had long been entirely opposed to the presence of raw greenery.
He thinks that the menu should remain unchanged and the side dishes should be limited to stuffing, mashed potatoes, pureed winter squash, buttered green beans and a quivering log of canned cranberry jelly. The issue is made harder by the fact that he is the designated holiday cook in our household and so much of the prep falls to him.
In recent years, my mom and I have had some success in convincing my dad of the merits of a hearty autumnal salad as an addition (not a replacement) to the holiday table. He has reluctantly conceded, provided we select a salad that maintains a sense of seasonal integrity.
And so, during the last few years, I’ve dreamed up an array of salads and relish-like concoctions that satisfy a hunger for raw, crunchy things. For this year’s salad, I have my sights set on Tyler Florence’s recipe for Winter Slaw.
Before you start cooking, read these tips
Thanksgiving is less than one week away. You’ve got your essentials covered and your guest list set, but here are 15 things you didn’t know you need to know for Turkey Day.
#1. How to Make a Thanksgiving Stuffing Cake
Yep, that’s just what it sounds like: Stuffing baked in a Bundt pan, iced with mashed potatoes, drizzled with cranberry sauce and garnished with fried onions for an entirely new Thanksgiving side dish experience. Get the recipe and watch Food Network Kitchens show you how it’s done.
Keep reading for more tips
I don’t want to scare you, but Thanksgiving is one week from today. Until now, I have purposely ignored all the too-early holiday decorations put out by overeager stores. I don’t mean to be a Scrooge. I just don’t want to get sick of the holidays because I love them so dearly. So I systematically turn my cart down another aisle anytime I catch even the tiniest glimpse of a twinkling light or bit of tinsel when I’m shopping. (Am I alone in shielding my fall from winter so vociferously?) My point is: If you do the same, this is your official alert to wake up and smell the pumpkin pie. It’s officially the holiday season.
Some readers have already been asking me about family traditions: Who does the cooking? How do I include my kids? Since my head is out of the sand and I’m fully embracing the season, I thought today would be a great time to answer those questions with some tips and ideas on how to include the kiddos in the holiday cooking (and eating!). And given that I have a couple of pickier eaters in my brood, I’m throwing in some extra pointers on that front too.
Get my top five ways to include the kids in holiday meals
A lot of our Thanksgiving traditions come canned — the pumpkin puree for your pie, the start of your favorite cranberry sauce and those curly fried onions for your green bean casserole. These time-honored ingredients get this most-anticipated meal on the table year after year. As the holiday draws near, however, give some serious thanks by stocking your table with show-stopping produce-loving sides.
As you start assembling those grocery lists of yours, mix and match these 10 killer dishes — each with a veggie focus — for a Thanksgiving spread your family will reproduce for years to come.
1. Mushrooms: We may eat our mushrooms year-round, but Ina’s Mushroom-Leek Bread Pudding celebrates this ingredient in a preparation reminiscent of classic Thanksgiving stuffing.
2. Squash: Food Network Magazine’s Lemon-Maple Squash are curvy and sophisticated, working as an elegant addition to the other casserole-leaning sides.
Get more Thanksgiving side recipes from friends and family
An all-American holiday calls for American wine. These bottles chosen by Food Network Magazine pair well with the feast — and they’re all from the U.S.!
Below are five of our favorite whites, click here to get the rest.
Get Food Network Magazine’s Picks
No matter if you’ll be brining your turkey or deep-frying it, whipping sweet potatoes or smashing golden spuds, stuffing the bird or serving the dressing alongside it, one thing is certain about your Thanksgiving spread: There will indeed be dessert. This year, in addition to the classic apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake, serve a mix of creative, crowd-pleasing treats, like Sunny’s mini pumpkin pies, Giada’s turkey-decorated cookies and Alton’s deliciously tart lemon pie. Check out Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving desserts below to find recipes for these family-friendly picks, plus more sweet inspiration for your Turkey Day feast.
5. Mini Pecan Pumpkin Pies — Use tiny muffin tins to shape pecan-studded dough into sweet cups, then fill them with a mixture of pumpkin and vanilla, and finish each with a pecan for an extra-special presentation.
4. Thanksgiving Turkeys — Giada starts with store-bought cream-filled sandwich cookies to make these kid-approved cookies, decorated with seasonal candies and colored frosting to transform them into turkey look-alikes.
Get the top-three recipes
Whether this year will be your first, tenth or hundredth time cooking Thanksgiving dinner, there’s always some stress regarding the turkey. We asked the experts in Food Network Kitchens for 10 tips to ensure a juicy, crisp-skinned bird every time — carved to perfection.
Get the top turkey tips