Recipe: Mom’s Cranberry Nut Bread

Gently warmed and slathered with butter, this bread tastes like Christmas morning to me. My mother has made this bread every Christmas for the past several years. She doesn't remember where the recipe came from, just that she remembered her own grandmother making breads with dried fruit around the holidays. When she noticed cranberries on sale at Thanksgiving one year, my ever-frugal mother decided to try them in a … [Read more...]

The Great Firehouse Challenge: Packaged vs. Homemade Holiday Dinner Classics

For years, a relative of mine served boxed stuffing at her holiday gatherings, spiced up with cut-up pre-cooked turkey sausage. When I offered to make some homemade stuffing one year, she waved me off. “No one can the tell the difference, anyway.” This made me wonder. How do real mashed potatoes, gravy, fresh green beans and cranberry sauce stack up to their processed cousins? What about supermarket turkey versus a … [Read more...]

Bread Stuffing with Apples, Bacon, and Caramelized Onions

Recipe by Diane Morgan, from The Thanksgiving Table Who can resist crisp bacon, sautéed apples, and the slightly blackened edges of caramelized onions? With the addition of savory herbs, this is the perfect combination for stuffing. Children, especially those (like mine!) who don’t like mushrooms, really gobble this up. This stuffing pairs deliciously with the Butter-Rubbed Roast Turkey with Apple Cider Glaze. Serves … [Read more...]

Fearless Thanksgiving: Homemade vs. Purchased

Story by Kathleen Flinn, with excerpts from Buy the Butter, Make the Bread by Jennifer Reese I may be the only person on Earth who likes grocery stores. Oddly fascinated by them, actually. I can spend hours in a supermarket, marveling over this new perverse concoction or that, engaging in some passive cart voyeurism. The one time of year I don't enjoy the aisles, however, is around Thanksgiving. Harried people make … [Read more...]

Recipe: Kate McDermott’s Pumpkin Pie [video lesson]

Introduction by Kathleen Flinn, Recipe by Kate McDermott from The Art of Pie At its essence, pie dough is simple. It's flour, salt, fat and water. I chose pie maven's Kate McDermott's recipe for this site because not only because it works, yielding a soft, buttery crust, but I like her philosophy behind it. In her essay-as-a-recipe on pie crust, she notes "Dough is kind of like life. The path isn’t always smooth." Her … [Read more...]

How to Plan for a Big Holiday Meal

Holiday meals can cause even confident cooks a great deal of performance anxiety. Here are a few Le Cordon Bleu-style tips for making the whole thing go easier: Get your chef's knife sharpened. If you've got a good chef's knife, take it in to get it sharpened ahead of the big meal. Some options: Most Sur La Table outlets, cutlery shops, good local hardware stores and even restaurant supply outlets. Don't have a decent … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Recipe: How to Remove the Bones then Stuff a Holiday Turkey

This is post is from 2007, but I share for any of you daring enough to debone an entire turkey - Kat For those of you who read my first book, you know that it ends up with a chapter titled Thanksgiving in Paris. After nearly a year of training to bone virtually every kind of meat, I found myself with a massive turkey from my French butcher that could never possibly fit into our tiny Euro oven. So, on Mike’s advice, … [Read more...]