The Devil’s in the Details: 8 Kitchen Gadgets that Really Work

Preparing an entire holiday meal can be a labor-intensive undertaking for anyone who insists on making everything on the menu from scratch. The challenge is managing all the details so you don’t wind up with cloudy stocks, broken gravy, or such main course tragedies as a roast that lands on the floor or is overcooked and dried out.

So, when it comes to getting such an enterprise off the ground and on its way to success and memories, you wouldn’t refuse some outside help, would you?
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Kicking up the “Wow!” Factor

Keeping it simple is a good strategy for everyday cooking. But when holidays come around, a great host really goes all out for family and friends. You want to serve a meal to remember. And that means taking the extra step, going the extra mile. We’ve put together some ideas that are a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
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New Video! How To: Roast a Turkey

Thanksgiving is coming… are you confident in your turkey-roasting abilities? In this how-to video tutorial, David Lobel breaks it down for you, step by step.

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Thanksgiving Strategy: It’s All in the Preparation

Thanksgiving is one of those meals that has a lot going on, and there’s great importance in getting it right. This is Thanksgiving, after all! It’s one of the most anticipated meals of the year. And whether you trot out all the family-loved favorite recipes or your own variations on a theme, it’s a meal that makes memories.

So to up your chances of pulling it off without a hitch, here are a few tips that’ll make your day a bit easier and give you an idea of how long some preparation steps actually take. No need to wind up in a panic on Thanksgiving morning because you didn’t consider how long it would take to bring the turkey to room temperature before stuffing and roasting.

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Accompaniments: Traditional and Non-Traditional

Everyone looks forward to the traditional side dishes for Thanksgiving Day dinner. Stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, tart cranberry sauce, golden brown rolls, roasted sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, warm biscuits, and more! Are you hungry yet?

So while we all crave traditional Thanksgiving accompaniments, traditional doesn’t have to mean plain. Put a little twist on the classics for your best-ever Thanksgiving Day dinner! (more…)

Ask the Butcher: How do you carve a turkey?

Evan Lobel gave a master’s class on carving holiday turkeys when he joined Martha Stewart for a live demonstration on Martha. He was featured in a segment called “30 Things Everyone Should Know.” You can watch the video on Martha’s website.

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Giving Thanks for the Leftovers

Thanksgiving turkey without leftovers? That’s absurd!

In a lot of households, a whole, roasted turkey is a once-, maybe twice-, a-year kind of thing. In between, turkey is pretty much a deli item or something we buy in parts. So when we do it, we tend to do it big—making a larger turkey than we need for a single meal. Thereby, we extend the joy and enjoyment of a home-roasted turkey.

The truth of it is that without all the nap-inducing, enriched, starchy, and sweet accompaniments traditional to Thanksgiving dinner, having plenty of left-over turkey is a high-protein, low-fat antidote to holiday excesses. And it’s endlessly variable and adaptable to recipes and on-the-fly culinary creativity in your own kitchen.

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Great Meals, No Matter the Weather

 

As summer fades into autumn, our focus on meal planning begins its own transition. It’s that time of year when we’re reluctant to give up our grilling tongs and wood chips, yet our thoughts turn to the seasonal harvest and our appetites build for meals offering comfort and warmth.

So, take advantage of any good weather the season offers. However, it’s a good idea to build menus around dishes that can be prepared outdoors or indoors if a change in the weather requires a change in your cooking and entertaining game plan.

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Autumn’s Abundance: Cooking with Fall Produce

With the wide availability of fruits and vegetables from all over the world all year ’round, one could lose touch with the seasonality of our produce.

This time of year—from Labor Day until the snow starts to fly—offers a unique opportunity to combine the last of the late-summer harvest vegetables with early autumn varieties.

Local farmers’ markets and roadside stands are the bellwether of seasonal foods. Flavored by the summer sun, tomatoes, corn, peppers, and other treasures have dwindling availability. In growing numbers, earthy cabbages, apples, mushrooms, squashes, and root vegetables are making an appearance.

And in autumn, our methods of cooking change as well. The segue begins: from grilling and dining al fresco to gathering around the hearth for the comfort of braises, stews, and roasts.

So, we’ve put together a few ideas to help you combine the season’s best bounty with the freshest and finest meats money can buy. (more…)

New Video! How To: Stew

Chilly fall weather calls for tummy-warming comfort foods. In this how-to video tutorial, Mark Lobel shows you the step-by-step process of creating a delicious homemade stew.

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