Go ahead, we won’t judge — sometimes you need to serve a few store-bought items at your feast. And why not? A few of these dishes can save you a ton of time on turkey day. But just in case you want to add a little homemade flair to an otherwise purchased item, these simple touches are just as easy as tossing the item into your shopping cart.
This year is going to be different. You’ve decided on the menu two weeks before the big day, convinced your Aunt Charlotte that you really can live without her famous oyster green bean casserole and remembered to ask your sister to bring her big coffee urn. But no matter how well you plan, you know some problem is going to pop up. No biggie, we say. Here are Food Network Kitchen’s 10 tricks for tackling everything from “Yikes, who borrowed my fat separator?” to “Where am I going to put everything?” Let the holidays commence!
Apple, pumpkin and pecan pies — or a mashup of all three — are indeed no-fail options when it comes to Thanksgiving dessert, but if you’re looking to dress up the feast this year with new takes on tradition, introduce a sweet cake to your after-dinner spread. Read on below for classic and creative holiday cake ideas from Trisha Yearwood, Ina Garten and more Food Network chefs, then check out the complete roundup of Top Thanksgiving Cake Recipes for more turkey day inspiration.
The key to making Trisha’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake (pictured above) is building the cake from the bottom up. What will eventually be the top of the cake — the sweetened pineapple and bright-red cherries — forms the base as the batter cooks in the oven; Trisha recommends letting the pan rest atop the inverted cake for minutes after flipping so the sweet syrup absorbs into the vanilla-scented batter.
No matter if you’re hosting a crowd this Thanksgiving or preparing a simple meal for your family, you can make the feast feel extra special by shaking up a signature cocktail to pair with the spread. Stick with the warm flavors of fall when planning your cocktail menu, and don’t shy away from pairing the liqueurs with seasonal ingredients like fragrant spices; the more these tastes complement those in your dishes, the better. Read on below for Food Network’s top-five Thanksgiving cocktails to find easy-to-make sippers worthy of the holiday, then browse all of our Best Thanksgiving Cocktails and Drinks.
5. Spiced Bourbon, Beer and Maple Martinis — Laced with a splash of pure maple syrup and garnished with dried chiles, Giada De Laurentiis’ sweet and spicy cocktail is best served cold.
4. Spiked Apple Cider Cocktails — For a pop of freshness, finish each of these rum-and-schnapps-based sippers with a skewer of chopped tart apples.
With just days left until Thanksgiving, Bobby Flay and a few of his Food Network friends are coming together this afternoon to host the ultimate holiday feast and share their secrets for an easy, enjoyable turkey day. Before you tune in to Thanksgiving at Bobby’s at 12|11c today to see Bobby, Katie Lee, Sunny Anderson, Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Symon cooking together in the spirit the season, check out the chefs’ top turkey day tips to help you get set for the feast. From the basics of menu holiday planning to the need for chicken stock on Thanksgiving, read on below to hear from Bobby and the cast as they reveal last-minute advice.
Tradition vs. Creativity
On a day that’s rooted in tradition, Katie admits, “people want familiarity” when it comes to the expected trimmings, like the turkey and stuffings. Bobby’s solution to trying new dishes? Add a few “surprises here and there in flavor.” Just a few ingredient swaps in the classics can offer subtle yet impressive updates in taste.
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.
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.
While a glossy, juicy turkey may be a hallmark of Thanksgiving, for many the meal wouldn’t be complete without a scoop of mashed potatoes alongside it — and perhaps a few glugs of gravy on top. The beauty of mashed potatoes is that, unlike many stuffings and casseroles, spuds require only a few ingredients to prepare and they come together quickly. Check out Food Network’s go-to tips below to turn out your fluffiest batch of mashed potatoes yet, then visit Thanksgiving Central for the complete mashed potato how-to.