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Giveaway: Win a Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer

We would have to start by brewing a beer with it I think! And I love the teal color :)

Cook the Book: 'River Cottage Veg'

I love everything river cottage! We have been eating a ton of pea shoots lately, subbing them for fresh greens all the time, tossing them in sandwiches, summer rolls, on burgers...everywhere!

Double Peanut Popcorn

We use the same recipe, make a sauce with honey and sugar, stir in peanut butter and vanilla, then add peanuts and toss with the popped corn. You can also add dark chocolate chips or peanut m&ms once it's cooled a bit for utter awesomeness.

Add Peanut Butter to Popcorn

Peanut butter popcorn was totally a tradition in my family! we used to make a quick sauce with peanut butter, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla and then toss it with the popcorn and the roasted peanuts. Now I use honey instead of the corn syrup, it's such a tasty snack!

Cheese and Beer Go Together Better

we did a few beer and cheese tasting parties this fall after taking a class on it, it was a blast! here's what we learned:

Weekend Cook and Tell: Turkey Technique

I was worried about the turkey skin as well before I tried using oven bags, but we have never had a problem with crisping. We coat the turkey in a garlicky herb butter and the bag gets a tablespoon of flour shaken in it before you add the turkey, so I think between those two factors the crispy skin can survive the bag. Also, there are vents cut in the bag so most of the steam escapes rather than pooling on the skin of the bird.

I've never felt the need because we get plenty of crisp skin, but I suppose you could cook the turkey in the bag for the first couple of hours and then cut the bag open, exposing the skin for like the last half hour? I know that the last minute skin-crisping method is sometimes used when roasting breast side down as well, so the principle should apply here too. Best of both worlds?

Weekend Cook and Tell: Turkey Technique

I've tried using several different brines and turkey treatments in the past, and in the end I've been converted to using oven bags! It makes such a moist turkey without the effort or time involved in brining. Just give the turkey some pre-cooking attention (we like to stuff the cavity with aromatics, rub with garlicky butter and herbs), pop it in the bag and you are good to go! It makes the most delicious turkey I've ever tasted.
Documented it here:

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Stuffing Stories

Our new favorite stuffing recipe came from fake thanksgiving this year-- a stuffing strata, cooked outside the bird and moistened with an egg-milk-wine-mustard mixture instead of stock or anything. It really amazed us and pleased both meat-eaters and vegetarians alike!

Vegetarian Options for Thanksgiving

i'm not vegetarian, but my two new favorite thanksgiving dishes are both meat-free!! this year we tried a savory stuffing strata that tastes amazing without being cooked in the bird, and isn't just moistened with veggie or mushroom broth, and it's the best i've ever had.
our other favorite is a take on green bean casserole made with roasted brussels sprouts, sauteed mushrooms, a touch of parmesan and homemade crispy shallots! so good. definitely won't miss the meat with any of them, so they please vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

The Food Lab: Really Good Stuffing

i totally agree about going for a moist, custardy effect. we actually made a stuffing strata this year (adapted from a savory bread pudding recipe) and it was the best stuffing i've ever had! egg-wine-mustard-milk soaked french bread, layered with mushrooms, celery, sage, and all that good stuff. next time i'll try adding sage sausage. it's nice how easy it is to adapt stuffing to your tastes.

Thanksgiving Sides: Brussels Sprouts

My new favorite is a casserole adapted from the Gourmet recipe for Brussels sprouts with wild mushrooms and shallots. It's like green bean casserole in some ways, but so much better! great texture and flavor from roasted sprouts, then tossed with mushrooms sauteed in butter, wine, and herbs, and topped with crispy shallot rings. easy to prepare in advance and delicious!

Thanksgiving Sides: Stuffing and Dressing

I adore stuffing, and always want way more of it than we can fit in a bird! I grew up with a pretty standard mix of bread, celery, onions, sage, and thyme that I totally love, but I like to push it a little further now that I cook it myself.

This year we discovered what I think will be the only stuffing recipe I will ever need. It's actually a stuffing strata, so you layer your family's add-ins (for me, mushrooms, celery, shallots, sage, thyme) with a little gruyere and then the bread, soaked in egg, milk, wine, and mustard. It's sooo amazing even without getting steeped in a turkey. And it's a very adaptable blueprint!

Do You Do a Thanksgiving Dress-Rehearsal?

we have started holding a thanksgiving preview dinner each year, and it's a blast! it's not really about recipe testing or practicing, it's mostly just a chance to celebrate thanksgiving with friends since we're all with family on the real day!
that said, it does give you a nice chance to get your cooking and planning ironed out, and sometimes you discover really great things for the real day! our new go-to recipes for turkey and stuffing were products of this year's party:

How Are You Making Your Turkey? Try Alton Brown's Recipe

I am totally with AB on leaving the stuffing outside of the bird, but for cooking it I much prefer using an oven bag to messing with brining. It makes such an amazing, moist turkey! We stuff ours with onions, carrots, celery, and parsley, and then cover it with garlicky herb butter and roast it in the bag. The most delicious turkey I've ever had! And easy, since you don't have to bother with brining :)

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Beyond Tofurkey, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Options

I love the idea of an autumnal lasagna!

In the meantime, our greatest vegetarian Thanksgiving success was developing a vegetarian stuffing strata that tastes amazing. It's got eggs, so there's protein, but otherwise it tastes like pure tradition rather than a substitute. You would never know it hasn't been cooked in the turkey because the egg-milk-wine-mustard soak for the bread makes it so rich and flavorful.

Harold McGee's Top 10 Thanksgiving Tips

We've done a lot of experimenting in search of a method to let us be stuffing people AND turkey people without sacrificing, and I think we figured it out at this year's fake Thanksgiving.
We roast our turkey with no stuffing (but with onions/carrots/celery/herbs in the cavity to flavor the bird) inside an oven bag, and it comes out moist and flavorful. Then, we make a stuffing strata, layering the stuffing ingredients we like (celery, mushrooms, thyme, sage) with bread soaked in egg, milk, wine, and mustard, and it comes out rich and moist so you don't even miss the baked in turkey juices. And you can serve it to vegetarians!

Cook the Book: Turkey with Stuffing

I am definitely in the no-stuffing school, having been converted by finding really great recipes for moist, flavorful turkey and a stuffing strata so delicious that it doesn't need to be in a bird!

Beyond Pie: More Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas

I could never skip the pumpkin pie, but if we're hosting enough people at our house we make some other stuff to go with it-- usually some kind of apple tart, a chocolate cream pie, and sometimes a chocolate cake!

In Season: Fennel

I was scared of fennel until I tried it in this pasta dish-- you braise it in broth with shallots and garlic, then toss it with pasta, parmesan, and bacon! The braising makes the pieces of bulb very tender and mellow, and not scary at all, but with a nice flavor complexity that the dish wouldn't have without it. So good!

In Season: Butternut Squash

We just tried pasta with roasted cubes of butternut squash, spinach, parmesan, and bacon! It was really tasty-- my first go with a butternut and I was pleasantly surprised!

Cook the Book: 'Around My French Table'

Mine was the four short days i spent in Italy-- I wish I had been more food-attuned at the time, but it was still the most amazing food experience out of my whole six months in Europe. First thing I had upon arrival was some incredible gelato, and I also really remember the pasta bolognese I had in Bologne right before leaving. So good!

Seriously Asian: Cooking with Kimchi

We like it in kimchi fried rice with pork. Also once had kimchi bacon deviled eggs, and those were something!

Dinner Tonight: Mushroom, Rajas, and Corn Tacos with Queso Fresco

This sounds like a great way to use some of the last corn of the season! Summer always puts me in the mood for mexican food. It's slightly less seasonal, but we like to make mushroom potato and chorizo tacos, and we'll revisit those once fresh veggies have dwindled a bit.

Poll: Do You Like Chili Burgers?

For me, the best incarnation of the chili burger is MOS burger from Japan, juicy little pork and beef burgers topped with a meaty, tomatoey sauce that's very reminiscent of chili. I've never eaten one from Japan but I worked hard on our home hack with the help of my boyfriend who ate a zillion of them while in Japan!

Dinner Tonight: Bacon and Kimchi Fried Rice

We made a kimchi fried rice using strips of boneless pork loin rather than bacon-- I do love me some bacon, but we wanted to go slightly healthier with the protein since it was already fried rice. But either way, pork products + kimchi = best friends! Yum!


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