Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

The Equipment You’ll Need to Cook For Everyone This Thanksgiving

If you’re planning to make a big meal on Thanksgiving, you might want to start planning now. These are the kitchen gadgets you should pick up now, so you can be ready when the big day arrives.

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We’re thankful for direct-port nitrous injection, four-core intercoolers, ball-bearing turbos and ti

We’re thankful for direct-port nitrous injection, four-core intercoolers, ball-bearing turbos and titanium valve springs. And of course, family. Here’s hoping you can enjoy yours this week.

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Transport Hot Dishes In Your Car With a Towel-Lined Box

If you’re heading to a potluck dinner or on making your way to a big family meal, this spill-free transport technique will keep your hot dish nice and warm.

You can have somebody hold your dish, or set it on your seat, but when it gets dropped all over the floor of your car all that hard work you put into goes right out the window. That’s why Sheela Prakash at The Kitchn suggests a better transport alternative. Get an empty cardboard box, line with thick bath towels, then rest your dish inside. The food will keep warm sitting all snug in the towels, and it will be almost impossible to spill anything on the interior of your ride. If there are any spills, they’ll be safely contained in the box.

5 Tips to Help You Pack a Dish for a Trip in the Car | The Kitchn

Photo by Personal Creations.

A Last-Minute Thanksgiving Guide to Everything You Forgot

Hosting Thanksgiving can be fun, but there’ll always be stress involved. Stress leads to forgetfulness, forgetfulness leads to anger, and anger leads to wine-fueled fights with your mother-in-law. Luckily, here are quick solutions to fix whatever Turkey Day gaps plague you, so you can avoid the trauma and drama.

You Forgot About the Appetizer

Sure, it would be great if you had remembered to buy endive and lovingly spoon little mounds of chevre into each tender leaf, but endive didn’t make it on the shopping list, and now you have nothing for your guests to nosh on while you wrap up the main meal. You could send your nephew to the store for a sad veggie tray, or you could use this opportunity to clean out your cabinet and fridge.

First, check your pantry for a can of beans, any beans, and whip up an easy dip. Besides beans, you’ll just need a little olive oil (a couple of tablespoons), some salt and pepper, and then one thing from each of the following categories:.

  • A Tablespoon of Something Creamy: Any kind of nut butter or creamy dairy product will work here, so reach for that last bit of sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese, or even that forgotten chunk of brie.
  • A Flavorful Pinch or Drizzle: Ginger and garlic are good options, but don’t be afraid to raid the fridge for flavorful one-offs, like miso, harissa, fish sauce, chilies, Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, or even tin fish like anchovies or sardines.
  • Some Acid: The juice and zest of half a lemon or lime should get you there, but you could also try a teaspoon or two of your favorite vinegar, or even some mustard, pickle brine, or juice from a jar of banana peppers.
  • A Little Bit of Something Sweet: Any kind of syrupy sweetness you have on hand will work, be it agave, honey, or maple, but there’s nothing wrong with using a little white table sugar or brown sugar.
  • Some Sort of Topping: You could grab whatever herbs you have leftover from other Thanksgiving recipes, or add some chopped nuts or potato chips for tasty texture.

Just blend it all together, top with your garnish, and serve in a bowl with what extra veggies or crunchy carbs you have on hand. (Send someone to the gas station for chips if you have to.)

Next, if you have any extra greens or vegetable tops lying around, go ahead and turn those into a pesto using a ratio of 1:2:2:8 (1 part nuts, 2 parts oil, 2 parts grating cheese, 8 parts leaves or herbs), plus garlic, lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Carrot tops, random herbs, kale, spinach, and arugula can all be blitzed into this flavorful spread, and you can even use a mixture of all of the above.

Just take a couple cloves of garlic and give those a good chop using the pulse function on your food processor. Add two cups of green stuff, ½ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of whatever nuts you have in your home, and pulse until smooth. Add a ½ cup of hard, grated cheese, squeeze in half a lemon, and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed.

Finally, do not underestimate the power of ramen dip. Just grab a packet of the super salty flavor packet (any flavor except that weird cheese one) and stir into a tub of sour cream. (Top with scallions to dress it up.) Serve with chips and watch it get devoured.

Beyond dips, a lot can be accomplished with a pack of bacon. In fact, a whole slew of bacon-based appetizers can be assembled with only one or two other ingredients:

  • Bacon + Club Crackers + Parmesan: This is an old faithful recipe of mine by way of The Pioneer Woman. Simply top a buttery Club cracker with a teaspoon of grated parm, wrap half a piece of bacon around it, and repeat until you’ve gone through a whole sleeve. Bake at 250℉ for two hours.
  • Bacon + Brown Sugar: Toss bacon slices with brown sugar, lay them in a single layer on a parchment-covered baking sheet, top with another layer of parchment and place a baking sheet on top of the whole situation. Bake at 325℉ until crispy, about 20-35 minutes.
  • Bacon + Asparagus: Wrap a slice of bacon around a stalk of asparagus and bake at 400℉ for about half an hour.
  • Bacon + Pepper + Cream Cheese: Make a slit in a jalapeno or serrano (warning: these are spicy) and remove the insides. Stuff with cream cheese, wrap with bacon, and bake at 375℉ for about half an hour, until bacon is crispy.

That should take care of the snacks, or you can just do what my family does and buy a giant, plastic tub of aggressively orange cheese balls. That’s never a bad plan.

You Forgot to Buy Enough Booze

Maybe you don’t consider booze to be a necessary Thanksgiving supply, but I’d rather run out of pie than run out of wine. If you somehow underestimated the ethanolic needs of your guest list, don’t panic, you have a few options.

First, check out your liquor cabinet and see what kind of hard stuff you have lying around. You can make a quick punch out of almost anything, as long as you have something strong (liquor), something sweet (juice), and something sparkling (can be alcoholic or not). Feel free to play around with this to fit your palate, but I like a ratio of 1 bottle (750 mL) of booze:1 bottle sparkling wine:6 cups juice. If that’s a little strong for your taste, consider swapping out the champers for ginger ale or Sprite. Some combinations to get you going:

  • Grapefruit Gin Punch: Ruby Red grapefruit juice + Gin + Off-dry sparkling wine
  • Festive Cranberry Punch: Cranberry cocktail + Vodka + Prosecco
  • Rum Punch: Peach orange mango juice + Rum + Cava
  • Communion Punch: Welch’s grape juice + It doesn’t matter + maybe don’t actually do this
  • Beer Shandy Punch: Lemonade + Bourbon + Lager

If you don’t have time for even that, just send someone to go pick up a few cheap bottles of wine. Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Costco are all good resources with knowledgeable staff that will help you get the most bang for your buck. (Depending on which state you live in, you may not even need a Costco membership to buy wine there.)

You Forgot About the Non-Dinner Guest

Beyond the main meal, it’s likely you’ll have visiting friends and family pop by sometime over the holiday weekend for coffee or cocktails. To make sure you have something to serve besides leftovers, hit the freezer aisle and stock up on these winners.

You can never have too much pie and, if you’re running low on pumpkin, you can always grab a Marie Callender’s Pumpkin Pie ($6.49)—for that classic pumpkin pie experience—or an Edwards Pumpkin Crème Pie ($6.49)—for something a bit untraditional, but very tasty. Both were ranked as some of the best frozen options by The Kitchn, and both can be found at nearly any grocery store.

But frozen pie isn’t the only chilly superhero, if you want to serve something that is just as easy but a little more high-falutin’, grab some frozen puff pastry. Puff pastry is a dough that can do both (sweet and savory) so grab some sheets and make one or more of the following delectable bites:

  • Super Easy Plum Tart: Cut pastry into squares and prick with a fork. Fan out some pretty plum slices and sprinkle with sugar and freshly ground pepper. Bake for about half an hour at 425℉ until golden brown, and drizzle with honey before serving.
  • Make a “Croffle”: Place puff pastry in your waffle iron and crisp it up. Serve with Nutella and strawberries.
  • Savory Cheese Straws: Mix a cup of grated parmesan, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and a teaspoon of paprika together in a bowl. Cut puff pastry into strips and twist to form straws. Brush straws with egg wash and dredge through cheese mixture to coat and bake for about ten minutes at 425℉ until golden brown.

If the holiday has left you too tired to cook, just put a pot of coffee on and set out some sweet, seasonal liqueurs like peppermint mocha Kahlua, Frangelico, or Bailey’s. No one will be angry about that.

You Forgot to Make Name Cards or a Centerpiece

No one has ever said “You know, that was a nice dinner, and the turkey was superb, but I just can’t get over the lack of festive name cards and/or centerpiece.” No one has ever said that because no one gives a damn about tablescaping, which means you don’t have to worry about forgetting them. If, however, you want to give your guests a conversation jumping off point, consider printing out these festive Thanksgiving Mad Libs.

This will hopefully stimulate pleasant, non-political conversation at the dinner table. If that doesn’t work, scroll back up to section two of this article and pick a punch. (Communion punch is your nuclear option.)

Illustration by Sam Woolley. Photos by Didriks, Isaac Wedin, and Iris.

A Last-Minute Thanksgiving Guide to Everything You Forgot

Hosting Thanksgiving can be fun, but there’ll always be stress involved. Stress leads to forgetfulness, forgetfulness leads to anger, and anger leads to wine-fueled fights with your mother-in-law. Luckily, here are quick solutions to fix whatever Turkey Day gaps plague you, so you can avoid the trauma and drama.

You Forgot About the Appetizer

Sure, it would be great if you had remembered to buy endive and lovingly spoon little mounds of chevre into each tender leaf, but endive didn’t make it on the shopping list, and now you have nothing for your guests to nosh on while you wrap up the main meal. You could send your nephew to the store for a sad veggie tray, or you could use this opportunity to clean out your cabinet and fridge.

First, check your pantry for a can of beans, any beans, and whip up an easy dip. Besides beans, you’ll just need a little olive oil (a couple of tablespoons), some salt and pepper, and then one thing from each of the following categories:.

  • A Tablespoon of Something Creamy: Any kind of nut butter or creamy dairy product will work here, so reach for that last bit of sour cream, yogurt, cream cheese, or even that forgotten chunk of brie.
  • A Flavorful Pinch or Drizzle: Ginger and garlic are good options, but don’t be afraid to raid the fridge for flavorful one-offs, like miso, harissa, fish sauce, chilies, Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, or even tin fish like anchovies or sardines.
  • Some Acid: The juice and zest of half a lemon or lime should get you there, but you could also try a teaspoon or two of your favorite vinegar, or even some mustard, pickle brine, or juice from a jar of banana peppers.
  • A Little Bit of Something Sweet: Any kind of syrupy sweetness you have on hand will work, be it agave, honey, or maple, but there’s nothing wrong with using a little white table sugar or brown sugar.
  • Some Sort of Topping: You could grab whatever herbs you have leftover from other Thanksgiving recipes, or add some chopped nuts or potato chips for tasty texture.

Just blend it all together, top with your garnish, and serve in a bowl with what extra veggies or crunchy carbs you have on hand. (Send someone to the gas station for chips if you have to.)

Next, if you have any extra greens or vegetable tops lying around, go ahead and turn those into a pesto using a ratio of 1:2:2:8 (1 part nuts, 2 parts oil, 2 parts grating cheese, 8 parts leaves or herbs), plus garlic, lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Carrot tops, random herbs, kale, spinach, and arugula can all be blitzed into this flavorful spread, and you can even use a mixture of all of the above.

Just take a couple cloves of garlic and give those a good chop using the pulse function on your food processor. Add two cups of green stuff, ½ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of whatever nuts you have in your home, and pulse until smooth. Add a ½ cup of hard, grated cheese, squeeze in half a lemon, and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed.

Finally, do not underestimate the power of ramen dip. Just grab a packet of the super salty flavor packet (any flavor except that weird cheese one) and stir into a tub of sour cream. (Top with scallions to dress it up.) Serve with chips and watch it get devoured.

Beyond dips, a lot can be accomplished with a pack of bacon. In fact, a whole slew of bacon-based appetizers can be assembled with only one or two other ingredients:

  • Bacon + Club Crackers + Parmesan: This is an old faithful recipe of mine by way of The Pioneer Woman. Simply top a buttery Club cracker with a teaspoon of grated parm, wrap half a piece of bacon around it, and repeat until you’ve gone through a whole sleeve. Bake at 250℉ for two hours.
  • Bacon + Brown Sugar: Toss bacon slices with brown sugar, lay them in a single layer on a parchment-covered baking sheet, top with another layer of parchment and place a baking sheet on top of the whole situation. Bake at 325℉ until crispy, about 20-35 minutes.
  • Bacon + Asparagus: Wrap a slice of bacon around a stalk of asparagus and bake at 400℉ for about half an hour.
  • Bacon + Pepper + Cream Cheese: Make a slit in a jalapeno or serrano (warning: these are spicy) and remove the insides. Stuff with cream cheese, wrap with bacon, and bake at 375℉ for about half an hour, until bacon is crispy.

That should take care of the snacks, or you can just do what my family does and buy a giant, plastic tub of aggressively orange cheese balls. That’s never a bad plan.

You Forgot to Buy Enough Booze

Maybe you don’t consider booze to be a necessary Thanksgiving supply, but I’d rather run out of pie than run out of wine. If you somehow underestimated the ethanolic needs of your guest list, don’t panic, you have a few options.

First, check out your liquor cabinet and see what kind of hard stuff you have lying around. You can make a quick punch out of almost anything, as long as you have something strong (liquor), something sweet (juice), and something sparkling (can be alcoholic or not). Feel free to play around with this to fit your palate, but I like a ratio of 1 bottle (750 mL) of booze:1 bottle sparkling wine:6 cups juice. If that’s a little strong for your taste, consider swapping out the champers for ginger ale or Sprite. Some combinations to get you going:

  • Grapefruit Gin Punch: Ruby Red grapefruit juice + Gin + Off-dry sparkling wine
  • Festive Cranberry Punch: Cranberry cocktail + Vodka + Prosecco
  • Rum Punch: Peach orange mango juice + Rum + Cava
  • Communion Punch: Welch’s grape juice + It doesn’t matter + maybe don’t actually do this
  • Beer Shandy Punch: Lemonade + Bourbon + Lager

If you don’t have time for even that, just send someone to go pick up a few cheap bottles of wine. Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Costco are all good resources with knowledgeable staff that will help you get the most bang for your buck. (Depending on which state you live in, you may not even need a Costco membership to buy wine there.)

You Forgot About the Non-Dinner Guest

Beyond the main meal, it’s likely you’ll have visiting friends and family pop by sometime over the holiday weekend for coffee or cocktails. To make sure you have something to serve besides leftovers, hit the freezer aisle and stock up on these winners.

You can never have too much pie and, if you’re running low on pumpkin, you can always grab a Marie Callender’s Pumpkin Pie ($6.49)—for that classic pumpkin pie experience—or an Edwards Pumpkin Crème Pie ($6.49)—for something a bit untraditional, but very tasty. Both were ranked as some of the best frozen options by The Kitchn, and both can be found at nearly any grocery store.

But frozen pie isn’t the only chilly superhero, if you want to serve something that is just as easy but a little more high-falutin’, grab some frozen puff pastry. Puff pastry is a dough that can do both (sweet and savory) so grab some sheets and make one or more of the following delectable bites:

  • Super Easy Plum Tart: Cut pastry into squares and prick with a fork. Fan out some pretty plum slices and sprinkle with sugar and freshly ground pepper. Bake for about half an hour at 425℉ until golden brown, and drizzle with honey before serving.
  • Make a “Croffle”: Place puff pastry in your waffle iron and crisp it up. Serve with Nutella and strawberries.
  • Savory Cheese Straws: Mix a cup of grated parmesan, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and a teaspoon of paprika together in a bowl. Cut puff pastry into strips and twist to form straws. Brush straws with egg wash and dredge through cheese mixture to coat and bake for about ten minutes at 425℉ until golden brown.

If the holiday has left you too tired to cook, just put a pot of coffee on and set out some sweet, seasonal liqueurs like peppermint mocha Kahlua, Frangelico, or Bailey’s. No one will be angry about that.

You Forgot to Make Name Cards or a Centerpiece

No one has ever said “You know, that was a nice dinner, and the turkey was superb, but I just can’t get over the lack of festive name cards and/or centerpiece.” No one has ever said that because no one gives a damn about tablescaping, which means you don’t have to worry about forgetting them. If, however, you want to give your guests a conversation jumping off point, consider printing out these festive Thanksgiving Mad Libs.

This will hopefully stimulate pleasant, non-political conversation at the dinner table. If that doesn’t work, scroll back up to section two of this article and pick a punch. (Communion punch is your nuclear option.)

Illustration by Sam Woolley. Photos by Didriks, Isaac Wedin, and Iris.

These Airports Have the Most Delays Around Thanksgiving

If you’re traveling around the holidays, you should probably expect delays at the airport. However, some are more prone to delays than others. This list shows the airports that are most likely to experience delays.

Travel site Wanderbat put together a list of the 60 airports most likely to experience a delay, including how long the average delay is. For convenience, personal finance site Frugal Travel Guy collected the top 20 in list form:

  1. Akron-Canton Regional: 23% of flights delayed, average delay 18 minutes
  2. Chicago Midway: 23% of flights delayed, average delay 17 minutes
  3. Newark Liberty: 21% of flights delayed, average delay 12 minutes
  4. Syracuse Hancock: 20% of flights delayed, average delay 17 minutes
  5. Palm Beach: 18% of flights delayed, average delay 8 minutes
  6. Chicago O’Hare: 18% of flights delayed, average delay 11 minutes
  7. La Guardia: 18% of flights delayed, average delay 10 minutes
  8. Baltimore/Washington: 18% of flights delayed, average delay 10 minutes
  9. Lambert-St. Louis: 18% of flights delayed, average delay 10 minutes
  10. Hobby Houston: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 8 minutes
  11. Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 8 minutes
  12. Long Beach: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 9 minutes
  13. Charleston AFB/Int’l: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 7 minutes
  14. Philadelphia: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 9 minutes
  15. Manchester-Boston Regional: 16% of flights delayed, average delay 9 minutes
  16. Minneapolis: 17% of flights delayed, average delay 8 minutes
  17. John Glenn Columbus: 16% of flights delayed, average delay 10 minutes
  18. McGhee Tyson, TN: 16% of flights delayed, average delay 10 minutes
  19. Richmond Int’l – flights delayed: 16% of flights delayed, average delay 8 minutes
  20. Northwest Arkansas Regional: 16% of flights delayed, average delay 9 minutes

You can read the rest of the list at the source link below (though it’s in slideshow form, so be prepared for some clicking). If you’re planning to travel to or through one of these airports over the holidays, be sure to give yourself extra time to make it through.

Airports With the Most Delays on Thanksgiving | Wanderbat via Frugal Travel Guy

Photo by Philip Tellis.

You Can Now Text the Butterball Turkey Help Hotline

The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line has been guiding helpless cooks to better turkeys for over 30 years. Now, if you don’t feel like calling, you can get your turkey questions answered via SMS text message for the first time ever.

For the novice cook, whole roasted turkey is a bit of a challenge. That’s what the experts at Butterball’s hotline are for. They can tell you everything from when you should defrost your bird to how you should cook it if you’re short on time. They’ve seen it all and heard it all when it comes to turkey questions, but now they can read it all too. If you’re need of some free turkey advice, you can text them at 1-800-Butterball until end of Thanksgiving night. You can learn more at the link below.

Update: Whoops! Look like we’ve shared this news already. Still, it’s a good reminder for this week! If you need turkey advice, you know who to text.

Turkey Talk-Line | Butterball via The Kitchn

Photo by Ruocaled.

Avoid Bottle-Necking Your Party Guests by Spreading Food and Drink Around

Avoid Bottle-Necking Your Party Guests by Spreading Food and Drink Around

When you’re hosting a party in a smaller home, a traffic jam near all the goodies is all too common. You can easily fix that by spreading your food and drink around.

If you’ve taken on the mantel of gracious host, there’s no need to stress about your living room and kitchen being too small. Ariel Knutson at The Kitchn has a simple suggestion for keeping people spread out:

People tend to congregate around food. So at a party, it’s good to spread the snacks out a bit so you avoid a bottleneck situation in your small apartment. I use my dining room table and my coffee table to spread things around a bit and find it very helpful.

Have drinks in the kitchen, messier snacks at the dining room table, and finger foods like chips and dip on the coffee table. If you have a backyard or patio, and the weather is decent, throw that into the mix as well. People will still clump up in those areas, but not everyone will be in one place at the same time. Plus, this opens up the party to more intimate mingling as people make their rounds. You can find more tips for hosting a party in a small home at the link below.

5 Rules for Hosting a Holiday Party in a Small Apartment | The Kitchn

Photo by Michael Deming.

No One’s Paying Much Attention To Formula One, So Why Not Let Manor Win?

Good news! There’s still Formula One going on this weekend. Problem is, even the F1 die-hards I know are talking more about ball sports and holiday-mandated gluttony. F1’s championships were decided so long ago that it feels like the season ender doesn’t even matter. So, why not let Manor Marussia win?

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What It Takes To Provide Thanksgiving Dinner For The U.S. Military: By The Numbers

As we sit and enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner with family and friends today, there will be empty place settings at thousands of dinner tables across the country belonging to our men and women in the U.S. military who are deployed abroad or sitting alert to protect us here at home. So the Pentagon tries to make those troops a little less homesick by providing them with a legitimate turkey dinner.

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