Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I imagine many of you are frantically getting your homes ready for guests to arrive tomorrow while simultaneously cooking. If you have the privilege of roasting the turkey and you’ve never done this, you might be feeling a bit stressed out about how to do this because when it comes down to it, you do not want to serve dry flavorless slices of the most important main dish of the day.
There is no need to panic or even stress about this. It’s actually very simple and once you’ve mastered this, you will be able to roast a turkey with confidence for years to come. [click to continue…]
Once you make homemade cranberry sauce, you never go back. Never, ever. It dawned on me one year how odd it is to put so much effort into this huge elaborate meal where the turkey causes so much stress because it is the one time of year people who never roast meat actually do go through the process from buying a turkey to roasting it in the oven. The sense of accomplishment a home cook feels when this bird comes out of the oven looking like it does on the cover of a magazine is something one never forgets, similar to the memory and feeling a new first time mom feels when she gives birth to her first child. It’s like, “Wow, I did it!” But this is what irks me. It irks me to see canned cranberry sauce spooned into a bowl looking rather gelatinous next to a beautiful roasted turkey. I think to myself, “Why!??” Followed by, “How sad.” Just seems strange to have canned sauce on the table after all the work someone puts into roasting a turkey. And I realize some people like canned sauce. Fair enough. I like store-bought things too, guilty pleasures. But seriously, homemade cranberry sauce is so damn easy to make and tastes so much better than what you can buy in a can, it just seems so obvious to make it from scratch. [click to continue…]
Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without a nice heaping scoop of mashed potatoes and gravy along with a generous helping of stuffing to go with it. Am I right or am I right?
When it comes to stuffing, or dressing as some call it I only have two odd stories to share with you. My earliest memory of eating stuffing comes from many family gatherings at an all you can eat buffet called Royal Fork. There we were, all 30 of us. When you’re young and hungry, a trip to Royal Fork felt like a feast fit for…. royalty. The whole concept of an all you can eat American food buffet back then seemed pretty awesome. And every time we went, I would always get 2nds and 3rds of stuffing and mashed potatoes along with fried chicken and “graveyard” sodas. I could go on and on about my adventures at this restaurant but I will spare you the details. Moving on. My second memory of stuffing has all to do with my mom’s Thanksgiving stuffing. It was pretty basic in every way but because my mom made it, it was also very special. [click to continue…]
Thanksgiving is exactly one week away and if you haven’t started to think about preparations for the biggest food holiday of the year, NOW would be a good time to start. Every night for the past two weeks I’ve been drifting off to sleep thinking about which dishes I plan on serving then waking with food on my mind – I have a bad case of Thanksgivingitus. This week in particular I’ve been focusing on my food shopping strategy making sure I don’t buy too much “regular” food in order to clear space in the fridge to brine two turkeys (20 lbs. each) and stock up on everything I need to prepare enough food for two large Thanksgiving gatherings we are hosting. You wouldn’t believe how challenging it is to play real life Tetris with bottles and jars of food, adjusting them while stacking them on top of one another ever so perfectly hoping nothing breaks every time I open the fridge door.
Meal planning and shopping during this time of year can be stressful if you wait until the last minute to buy all the ingredients you need especially the closer you get to Thanksgiving. Although I know some grocery and drug stores will be opened on Thanksgiving Day, do you even want to risk the chance you will be caught off guard buying a fruit cake that has been collecting dust for who knows how long from a shelf that shares an aisle with athlete’s foot cream? Take a minute to soak in that visual. I’m talking to you, bro. [click to continue…]
Every time I see crème brûlée being offered on a dessert menu I order it. The silky vanilla custard hidden under the top caramel candy shell makes this dessert irresistibly good yet perceivably too complicated to make at home which is why I always order it when dining out. But the truth is, it’s so easy to make – and don’t let that whole thing with cooking sugar with a torch intimidate you. If you can spray paint anything, you can certainly cook a miniscule amount of sugar on top of a small cup of cold custard.
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