Category Archives: Thanksgiving

We’re Falling for This Sausage, Apple and Sage-Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe

As the fall approaches and the summer heat comes to an end, the hearty comfort food cravings strike! This recipe is as cozy as it gets and hits all the fall must-haves: roasted acorn squash stuffed with sweet apple and a spicy sausage filling. Loaded with flavour, it is perfect for a small Thanksgiving gathering side dish, but easy enough for a weeknight supper. If you aren’t a fan of spice, simply substitute the sausage with a mild Italian or honey garlic variety.

Sausage, Apple and Sage-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

2 medium or 3 small acorn squashes, halved and seeded
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
½ pound ground spicy Italian sausage
1 tsp dried sage
½ tsp dried thyme
1 apple, diced
1 cup panko bread crumbs (unseasoned)
½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet, flesh side up. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, until tender.

2. As the squash roasts, prepare the filling. In a skillet over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil, garlic, onion and celery. Cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the sausage, sage and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the sausage is browned and cooked throughout, about 5 minutes.

Related: The Ultimate Squash Guide: All the Varieties and Their Best Uses

4. Stir in the apple, bread crumbs and parmesan. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

5. Once squash is ready, evenly divide the mixture amongst the roasted squash halves. Place back in the oven & bake for an additional 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Like Marcella’s acorn squash recipe? Try her winter greens mac and cheese or make-ahead French toast bake.

This Vegan Pumpkin Soup Has a Super-Secret Immune-Boosting Ingredient

Pumpkin soup is the quintessential autumn dish. It’s sweet and creamy with earthy tones and can be pantry-friendly or not, depending if you’re using canned or fresh. This vegan pumpkin soup recipe is a bit different because we’ve snuck in immune-boosting foods inside. Most soups start with a base of onions, garlic and ginger, just like this one — but did you know, these ingredients have antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties? They’re also loaded with nutrients like vitamin C, selenium and zinc. But the super-secret immune-boosting ingredient here is… turmeric. That golden, bright spice has been heavily studied for regulating the immune system. It’s important to add a pinch of black pepper when cooking with turmeric to make it more absorbable in the body. This soup will warm you up in cooler weather and definitely send you back for seconds and thirds.

Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 bowls of soup

Ingredients:

Soup
1 medium pumpkin (red kuri or kabocha squash also work well) or 3 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree (2 x 398 ml canned pumpkin)
2 tsp coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping tsp minced ginger
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ to 1 tsp sea salt, depending on taste
Pinch pepper
2 carrots, sliced
1 cup coconut milk
1 ½ cups veggie broth

Optional Garnish Toppings
2 tsp maple syrup
Drizzle of coconut milk
Squeeze of lime or lemon
Fresh cilantro, mint or parsley
Pinch of unsweetened shredded coconut
Small handful chopped walnuts

Directions:

1. If you’re using fresh pumpkin or squash, peel it, de-seed it and cut it into chunks.

2. Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil.

3. Toss in the onions, once they become golden, add in the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Related: 20 Hearty Vegetable Soup Recipes Just in Time for Sweater Weather

4. Mix everything around so it’s coated in the spices. If your pot is becoming too dry, add a bit more coconut oil.

5. Drop in the carrots and if you’re using fresh pumpkin, add in the chunks. Toss to mix.

6. If you’re using canned pumpkin, spoon it in now, then pour in the coconut milk and broth. Stir. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

7. After 20 minutes, blitz the soup until it’s creamy. If you’re using a blender, be very careful as the soup will be scorching hot.

8. Once blended, taste and re-season with salt and pepper if needed. For an extra hit of sweetness add a few tsp of maple syrup. Top each bowl with a drizzle of coconut milk, a squeeze of lime or lemon, fresh herbs, shredded coconut and chopped walnuts if you’d like.

If you enjoyed Tamara and Sarah’s vegan pumpkin soup recipe, be sure to check out their simple miso chicken or no-bake chocolate oat bars.

Here’s How Long You Can Eat Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

Once you’ve enjoyed a couple days of hot turkey sandwiches, and maybe made some turkey soup,  how long can you keep eating those Thanksgiving leftovers before it is time to toss? Here’s your ultimate guide for how long you can keep Thanksgiving leftovers like potatoes, turkey, stuffing, how to store them properly and how to know if they’ve gone bad.

lemon-sage-butter-roasted-turkey_888embed

How Long Leftover Turkey Lasts

Leftover turkey needs to be stored in the fridge within two hours of cooking in order to minimize the chance of bacteria growth. The meat should be cut and deboned from the bird before being placed into shallow storage containers and cooled completely in the fridge. Once it’s cool, seal tightly and store in the refrigerator for two to four days. If you’re not sure if leftover turkey is safe to eat, check for a rotten egg smell or a slimy texture. If you notice either of these things, discard the meat immediately.

How Long You Can Keep Leftover Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes should easily last three to five days in the fridge if stored correctly and within two hours of cooking. This means ensuring there isn’t any moisture buildup under the lid that could encourage the growth of bacteria. If your leftover mashed potatoes have an off smell or appearance, throw them out without tasting. Cooked potatoes can be frozen in an airtight container for up to one year.

Oven Baked Stuffing

How to Store Leftover Stuffing

Because stuffing is moist and slow to heat up and cool down, it provides an ideal place for bacteria to grow and is best consumed within two days of cooking. If you want to enjoy stuffing long after the main event, you can easily freeze it for up to four months and reheat when you’d like a festive side of comfort food.

How Long  You Can Keep Leftover Gravy

Gravy has a short shelf life at just three to four days, but like stuffing, it can be frozen for up to four to six months for increased enjoyment. In order to maintain food safety, gravy should be brought to a rolling boil before serving in order to properly kill any bacteria that may have started growing.

How Long You Can Keep Leftover Sweet Potatoes in the Fridge

Just like regular potatoes, leftover sweet potatoes are safe to eat for three to five days after your Thanksgiving meal, whether they’ve been baked, boiled, or cooked in a casserole. Again, refrigerate within two hours of cooking, and store your cooked sweet potatoes in shallow airtight containers or resealable plastic bags. They can also be frozen for up to a year, just be sure to sprinkle them first with a small amount of lemon juice in order to prevent discolouration. If they smell strange or are discoloured (some browning is fine and is just the result of oxidation) you’re best off tossing them.

How Long You Can Keep Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce should keep in the refrigerator for anywhere from 10-14 days, so long as it’s stored in a covered glass or plastic container. You can also pour the sauce into freezer-safe bags and freeze for use later in the year. If you’re using canned sauce and open the can only to discover brown or black bits inside, do not eat the sauce. If your homemade cranberry sauce has an off smell, flavour, or appearance, or you see any mould on top, toss it.

Blue-Ribbon-Apple-Pie-slice

How to Store Leftover Apple Pie

Pie made with fresh fruit, such as apples, usually only lasts a day or two in the fridge, so it’s best to gobble up any leftovers (or share with friends and family) as soon as you can. Un-cut apple pies can stay on the counter for about two days, so you should be good to make dessert ahead of time. You can tell your leftover apple pie has gone bad if the crust is soggy, which is a sign that it’s absorbed the moisture released by the fruit, or if it’s discoloured in any way.

How to Freeze Leftover Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is generally safe for two to four days in the fridge, and should be covered loosely with aluminium foil or plastic wrap. Leftover pumpkin pie can last for about six to eight months in the freezer if stored properly. Store bought pies will keep for longer on the counter than homemade versions. Because pumpkin pie is an egg-based dessert, it is best eaten within an hour of cooking or being removed from the fridge, and can cause serious health issues if eaten after being left out for too long.

Have lots of leftovers? Try these great recipes for leftover turkey.

An Easy, No-Bake Pumpkin Trifle That’s Right at Home on Your Thanksgiving Table

This lovely layered dessert is complete with all of the spice and flavours of pumpkin pie, minus the hard work of rolling, crimping and baking. Layers of rum-soaked ladyfingers, spice-infused pumpkin, sweetened whipped cream, crunchy toasted walnuts and white chocolate come together for delicious flavours and perfect textures. Simple to toss together for the everyday but special-occasion-worthy, this showstopper pumpkin dessert is a spectacular recipe to make for Thanksgiving.

This dessert doesn’t stop at the end of pumpkin season. It can easily be made into a springtime treat by folding ½ cup lemon curd into the whipped cream in place of 1½ cups pumpkin puree; and omitting the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Add 1 cup raspberries or blueberries (or a mix) to each layer instead of 1½ walnuts, and you’ve got an entirely new dessert!

Pumpkin Trifle

Pumpkin Pie Trifle Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 12 to 16

Ingredients:
1 L 35% heavy whipping cream
⅔ cup icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
⅛ tsp allspice
2 (150 g) pkgs ladyfinger cookies
3 Tbsp rum
1½ cups chopped toasted walnuts
1½ cups shaved or grated white chocolate

Directions:
1. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat cream until it holds soft peaks. Slowly add icing sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, fold in vanilla. Transfer 3 cups of whipped cream mixture into a separate large bowl and fold in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. Reserve pumpkin cream mixture and plain whipped cream mixture.

Trifle prebuild

2. In a 9-inch trifle dish, arrange one-third of the ladyfingers on the bottom of dish and brush with 1 tbsp of rum. Layer with about a third of the reserved pumpkin cream mixture, ½ cup (one-third) of the walnuts, one-third of the plain whipped cream mixture and ½ cup (one-third) of the white chocolate shavings. Repeat this process twice, finishing with chocolate shavings. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one 1 hour before serving.

Love to layer? There are more seasonal trifle recipes right this way.

No-Bake-Gluten-Free-Pumpkin-Pie

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Menu

With turkey, ham, brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes as the stars of the show, Thanksgiving dinner is nearly gluten-free already. But if you have gluten-free guests coming to dinner, you want them to be able to indulge in the entire feast. To help out, we’ve created a menu filled with fall-inspired recipes, from light appetizers to a sweet pumpkin finale so you can complete your ultimate gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner with ease.

Gluten-Free Crackers
Having drinks and light appetizers ready to go as guests arrive is always a good idea. These gluten-free crackers made from raw almonds and quinoa flour are crispy and delectable. They pair perfectly with aged cheeses and sweet preserves, keeping guests’ hunger at bay while you focus on cooking the main event.

sweet-potato-macaroni

Sweet Potato Macaroni
Surprise your guests with this alternative macaroni and cheese that incorporates seasonal favourite, sweet potatoes. Celery, tart apples, three types of cheese and a pinch of ground nutmeg bring out the fall flavours in this great side dish.

Gluten-Free Stuffing
Diners on gluten-free diets know to stay away from stuffing unless it’s made with gluten-free bread, which can easily be found in grocery stores now. Chop up a loaf and combine with onion, pine nuts and dried sage for a simple but satisfying accompaniment to turkey and ham.

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo
Most cream sauce recipes call for thickening with flour, but this versatile sauce, which would pair well with holiday meats or the gluten-free pasta it’s used with here, is made from blended cashews. Hearty mushrooms give this dish a deep, woodsy flavour.

Gluten-Free-Spaetzle

Gluten-Free Spaetzle
Spaetzle, handmade German-style noodles, make a cozy side dish, no matter the occasion. This version is made with brown rice flour, cornmeal, eggs and a combination of potato and tapioca starches. Fun to say, fun to eat!

No-Bake Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie
Can a gluten-free pumpkin pie be even easier to make than regular pumpkin pie? The answer is, yes! The crust in this recipe is made from a combination of ground raw hazelnuts, cocoa powder, coconut oil and dates; and there’s no need to bake it since all of the ingredients are edible raw. The filling is a decadent mix of pumpkin puree, spices, icing sugar, cream cheese, molasses and butter; again with this component, no baking is required, freeing up valuable oven space.

Have a sweet tooth? Here’s everything you need to know about successful gluten-free baking from pastry-pro, Anna Olson.

3 Sourdough Stuffing Recipes

Move Over Turkey, These 3 Stuffings Are Bound for Thanksgiving Stardom

Holiday meals just wouldn’t be the same without turkey’s best sidekick: stuffing. Soaked in gravy and flavoured with herbs and spices, it’s a holiday essential. Some home cooks follow recipes that have been passed down for generations, while others try their hand at new recipes every year, searching for a modern classic. Here, using one loaf of humble sourdough bread, we’ve created three different stuffing recipes to suit any menu. Try one or try them all, and add something a little different on your table this year.

Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base 
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Tear 1 (454 g) loaf sourdough into 1-inch pieces and divide between two baking sheets, spreading into a single layer. Toast bread in oven until golden and dry, about 15 minutes. Use in stuffing recipe of choice (below).

Date Walnut Stuffing

Date, Walnut and Cinnamon Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large, deep skillet, melt 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1 finely chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add in 1 recipe Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base (recipe above), 3/4 cup torn pitted dates and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Add 1-1/2 cups chicken stock, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Stir everything to combine, transfer to a large ovenproof baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove foil and bake until crisp on top and heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve.

Sausage Stuffing

Chestnut and Sausage Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large, deep skillet, cook 400 g Italian sausage (casing removed), breaking up meat with a wooden spoon until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add in 2 ribs diced celery, 1 finely chopped onion and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 recipe Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base (recipe above), 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage and 1/2 cup of roasted chestnuts (homemade, canned or vacuum-packed). Add 1-1/2 cups chicken stock, stir everything to combine, transfer to a large ovenproof baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove foil and bake until crisp on top and heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve.

applecranstuffing

Apple Cranberry Stuffing
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 Tbsp unsalted butter over medium heat. Add 1 thinly sliced onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add 1 large diced apple and cook for another minute. Stir in 1 recipe Sourdough Toast Stuffing Base (recipe above), 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary. Add 1-1/2 cups chicken stock and 1/2 tsp salt, stir everything to combine, transfer to a large ovenproof baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove foil and bake until crisp on top and heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve.

Turkey and stuffing are best buds, so we’ve compiled our best holiday bird recipes to pair with these newfangled stuffing centrepieces.

brine turkey

How to Brine a Turkey and Why You Should Try It

If you’ve ever had unbelievably flavourful and juicy chicken at a restaurant, chances are it was brined before it was served to you. You can get that same tender result at home by brining your Thanksgiving turkey before roasting it. Besides adding flavour through aromatics like garlic and bay leaves, brining helps meat retain moisture through the cooking process, resulting in unbelievably tender turkey, and lots of compliments to the chef.

Whether it’s a wet or dry brine, it’s an incredibly easy technique that is good to have in your repertoire. Here’s how to make both wet and dry turkey brines, along with some pros and cons for the two methods.

Turkey brine

Wet Brining

Pro: Soaking your bird in a saltwater solution allows you to easily infusing it with different flavours, such as bay leaves, citrus peels, whole peppercorns or onions. Just, strain them after the brining is complete.

Con: Wet brining can be a bulky process. Because there is a lot of liquid involved, this method requires a large container to hold the turkey and the brine, which can mean rearranging your refrigerator ahead of the big day.
Con: For extra crispy skin, you need to remove the turkey from the brine and return to the fridge uncovered for several more hours to dry. With the dry brine, you can just roast straight away for golden, crispy results.

Simple Wet Brine for Turkey
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 12 hours

Ingredients:
1 L water
1 cup sea salt
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Peel of 1 lemon
3 L cold water
1 tall, large pot or container
1 large turkey, gizzards and neck removed from cavity

Directions
1. Place 1 litre of water and all aromatics in a medium pot. Turn the stove to medium heat and stir until the salt has completely dissolved.
2. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes while aromatics infuse. Combine with remaining water.
3. Place turkey in the pot and add saltwater mixture. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for approximately 12 hours or overnight.
4. >When ready to roast, strain saltwater from the pot and discard any remaining aromatics.
5. Rinse turkey in cold water, including inside the cavity, to remove excess brine.
6. Place turkey on a clean towel or sheets of paper towel and pat dry.
7. Roast as desired.

Dry Brine
Pro: With no added liquid and just a medley of salt and spices rubbed directly on the bird you give the salt an opportunity to draw moisture from the bird. Once the salt dissolves,  the moisture is reabsorbed, salt in tow, tenderizing the meat and maintaining its flavour without watering it down.
Pro: Since there is no extra liquid used, roasting will yield a beautifully brown and crispy skin.

Con: The dry rub isn’t for those who hate getting hands-on with meat. You need to make sure this salt rub is rubbed in evenly for it to fully work its magic.

Simple Dry Brine for Turkey
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 8 to 12 hours

Ingredients:
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp black peppercorns
½ cup sea salt
2 Tbsp cane sugar
1 large turkey, gizzards and neck removed from cavity

Directions:
1. Place the first 5 ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times until a chunky paste forms.
2. Add salt and sugar and continue to pulse until a grainy paste forms.
3. Pat turkey dry with paper towel and then liberally rub the salt mixture all over the skin and inside of the cavity.
4. Place in refrigerator and let sit for 8 to 12 hours.
5. Remove from refrigerator and rinse in cold water to remove the rub.
6. Place turkey on a clean towel or sheets of paper towel and pat dry.
7. Roast as desired.

Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes? Try these 20 Make-Ahead Recipes for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Feast.

BBQ Your Thanksgiving Dinner With This Great Grilled Menu

Thanksgiving dinner often means spending hours at the stove, basting a giant turkey in the oven, stirring mashed potatoes and sautéing vegetables. But have you ever wondered if you could make the entire meal outdoors instead? Well, we did! Canadian Thanksgiving comes early this year, so take advantage of the mild weather and fire up the grill one last time with this Thanksgiving-worthy menu, made entirely on the BBQ.

Grilled-Polenta-Crackers-with-Roasted-Pepper

Grilled Polenta Crackers with Roasted Pepper Salsa
As your Thanksgiving guests arrive, make them feel at home by presenting drinks and grilled snacks before the sit-down dinner. Warm thin slices of polenta on the grill before topping them with a fresh salsa of peppers, olives, capers, onions, garlic, herbs and red pepper flakes. This impressive recipe is perfect for passing around on a party tray, and the ultimate start to any harvest dinner party.

Pumpkin, Arugula and Prosciutto Salad
A plated fall salad makes a great starter, especially when it involves sweet chunks of pumpkin, peppery arugula and salty strands of prosciutto. It’s an unexpected, Thanksgiving-worthy recipe that can easily be made on an outdoor grill.

bbq Turkey Drumsticks

BBQ Turkey Drumsticks with Chipotle Glaze
If you’re not keen on roasting a whole turkey, consider BBQ turkey drumsticks to spice things up. These are finished with a flavourful, finger-licking chipotle sauce that won’t make anyone miss the gravy.

Planked Stuffed Potatoes
Potatoes are a Thanksgiving table must-have. This twist on simple baked potatoes features a goat cheese, crab, corn and basil filling, topped with Parmesan cheese and cooked until crispy on the grill.

giada-grillled-veggies

Giada’s Grilled Vegetables
Accompany your turkey with an assortment of freshly grilled vegetables. This recipe includes a colourful veggie selection, but almost any seasonal produce can be substituted.

Bobby Flay’s Dessert Pizza
Dessert and pizza aren’t exactly foods you’d expect to do well on the grill, but this creation will convince you otherwise. The sweet pizza is warmed on the grill and topped with mascarpone cheese, honey, seasonal fruits and icing sugar. Try sautéed apples or a smear of pumpkin pie filling to make this feel more autumnal.

Roasted Chestnuts
If you’re able to find chestnuts at the grocery store or farmers’ market, get in the festive mood with these homemade roasted chestnuts. They’re easy to warm on the grill, and a nice treat for Thanksgiving guests to take home.

Turn Thanksgiving leftovers into an epic brunch tomorrow with Bobby Flay’s Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash.

ina-gartens-Perfect-Roast-Turkey

Your Stress-Free Thanksgiving Dinner Checklist

The first time I cooked a traditional Thanksgiving meal from scratch, I can say for a fact that I used every single cooking vessel — pots, pans, roasters and Dutch ovens — in my reasonably well-equipped kitchen. Although I had lists upon lists and every step mapped out well beforehand, it still took three days of intensive cooking and resulted in my exhausted-self, muttering in an exasperated tone, “How the heck do people do this every year?”

Experience has shown me the value of starting well ahead — a month or more, ideally. If this seems excessive, think of it as trading a frenzied few days for an hour here and there, resulting in a relaxing Thanksgiving.

Here is a foolproof way to space out your Thanksgiving feast and make sure everything is on time, right up to the moment guests take their seats at the dinner table.

Make-Ahead-Deep-Dish-Apple-Pie

Thanksgiving Menu: (Serves 8)

One Month To Go
Order Your Turkey From the Butcher
You definitely don’t want to be the recipient of last-minute turkey on the big day, when selection is sparse and crowds are full. Ordering ahead — especially if you’re asking the butcher to do something more involved such as spatchcocking or you have a specifically sized bird in mind — will give you time to discuss your menu and get some cooking tips.

A general rule of thumb is a half pound to one pound of meat per person, but you want to err on the side of being lavish — leftovers are one of the best parts of Thanksgiving. For a foolproof turkey measure, the Turkey Farmers of Canada offers an online turkey calculator that will tell you the size of turkey you should buy, depending on the number of guests.

Sit Down and Plan Your Menu . . .
. . . right down to drinks and appetizers. Decide on how many people you’re looking to invite and send out invitations with an RSVP time of next week. If your friends and family are notorious for bringing unexpected guests, budget space and food accordingly. Be practical: do you have enough seating and table room for everyone to comfortably eat?

Clean Out Freezer Space
This is the time to start using those meals you’ve put aside for a busy day or ditch that crystallized ice cream — you’re going to need that room in the weeks ahead.

Three Weeks To Go
Finalize Your Menu
Now’s your opportunity to whittle down your menu from all the things you optimistically wanted to make. Be ruthless in your planning — do you really need eight appetizers and five desserts for a party of eight? (The answer is no.)

Make Two Shopping Lists
Read all your recipes carefully and make two shopping lists: one for non-perishables (you’ll be buying those this week) and one for perishables to be purchased closer to the big day.

Beat the crowds and head out to the grocery store to stock up on your long-storing items in bulk: store-made or canned/boxed stock for gravies and soups, flour and sugar for baking, cocktail napkins, and juices and pop for drinks. Also, think about buying ingredient staples, such as garlic, onions, apples, potatoes, carrots or parsnips, which all keep well and will save you from an overloaded cart later on. Buy ingredients for stuffing, cranberry sauce, and gravy to make next week. Consider purchasing wine and mixes for winter cocktails, such as a festive mulled cider.

Take Inventory
Open your cupboards and review your platters and serving dishes that can go from freezer or fridge to table, and assign them to each dish: appetizers, turkey, stuffing, sauces, vegetables, dinner rolls, mashed potatoes, and desserts. Have a spare handy in case you misjudge the volume.

Simple-Oven-Baked-Stuffing-Recipe

Two Weeks To Go
Make Your Pie and Cheesecake Bites
Store them in the freezer on pretty plates that you can place on the table.(Read this article for tips on freezing cookies and bars.)

Time to Think Savoury Thoughts
Make-ahead gravy will take a last-minute item off your plate on the big day and let you focus on other things. Using roasted chicken wings builds a flavour base, so all you have to do is add the drippings when you’ve cooked your turkey and you’re all set. Cover and store in the freezer.

Cranberry sauce is easy to make ahead, as well. Store it in a small microwavable dish that can go straight from the freezer to the table to save a plating step.

Get ahead of the game by making stuffing and storing it in the freezer and oven-safe dishes to make reheating a snap. Instead of one big container, consider making two portions to avoid having to pass big platters around the table (and upping the potential of using a toaster oven to reheat it on the big day, freeing up precious oven space), or look at a plate of these apple and onion stuffing muffins to make portion size and plating easy.

Now’s also the time to par-bake dinner rolls to store in freezer bags (make sure to get out all the excess air) and whip up some make-ahead mashed potatoes to store in the freezer in oven-ready dishware.

One Week To Go
Grocery Shopping Round 2
Back to the grocery store with your second list of perishables, including vegetables such as green beans, cauliflower, and broccoli, dairy such as butter, milk and eggs, coffee and tea, and any ingredients you need for appetizers. Consider some pots of fresh herbs for garnishes and aromatic table decorations.

Time for a Kitchen Inspection
Clean out space in the refrigerator for leftovers, and give it a quick wipe down so that new food doesn’t absorb the odours of last week’s takeout. Check your oven, toaster oven, stovetop and range hood to ensure they are clean and ready to go. Pop out greasy filters to give them a soak so that your fans work effectively. Locate your fire extinguisher (better safe than sorry), warming trays or chafing dishes and check that you have enough power outlets to run everything — a power failure is the last thing you need.

Check your Dishware and Cutlery Situations
Do you have enough matching plates, forks, spoons and sharp knives, coffee cups, and wine and water glasses? Locate your cloth napkins and tablecloths, and wash them if necessary.

Three Days To Go
Pick up Your Fresh or Frozen Turkey
If it’s frozen, now is the time to start defrosting it in the refrigerator (for a 10 lb bird, Turkey Farmers of Canada recommends two days and two hours of defrosting time in the fridge).

Best-Ever-Green-Bean-Casserole

Two Days To Go
Veggie Time
Make your green bean casserole and cauliflower and broccoli cheese in table-ready serving ware, cover them securely and store in the fridge.

One Day Before
Get Your Gear Ready
Assemble serving platters for the turkey and rolls, as well as serving implements for each dish. Check how many trivets you have for warm dishes going to the table to preserve your tablecloths. Put together your smaller items, such as corkscrews, pie servers, gravy boats, ladles, electric carving knife, strainers and hand blenders for last-minute gravy adjustments, etc., to have on hand so that you’re not searching for them at the last minute. If you don’t use your coffeemaker or espresso machine regularly, pull it out of storage. Assemble appetizer and dessert plates with cocktail napkins.

Set the Table
Cover the whole table with another tablecloth or bed sheet to keep it dust-free, and watch out on removal so you don’t end up performing an inadvertent, unsuccessful, magic trick.

Prepare and Truss the Turkey
And store it uncovered in the roasting pan in the refrigerator to let the skin dry out for crispness.

Gather Your Garnishes
A bit of watercress or other greens is a pleasing contrast to the turkey. Put butter into serving dishes, cover, and store in the refrigerator. Assemble your appetizer platters and store, covered, in the refrigerator. Chill white wine, juice and soda. Print out the game plan below so you can check items off as you go.

The Big Day
In the Morning: Treat yourself and sleep in! You’ve earned it, and you’ll need the energy as the day goes on.

Noon: Make sure to have some lunch, so you’re not starving as the day goes on. Look over your lists and recipes again. Take the apple pie out of the freezer to defrost.

1 p.m.: Carefully remove the cover from the table setting and add any last-minute touches (the pots of herbs for an informal centrepiece, candles, fresh flowers, etc.).

2 p.m.: Pull turkey out of the fridge to bring to room temperature.

3 p.m.: Turn on the oven to 350 ° F to preheat.
Add aromatics such as onions and apples, if desired, to the cavity of the turkey.

3:30 p.m.: Put the turkey into the oven.

4 p.m.: Open or decant wine. Put mulled cider on the stovetop to simmer.

5 p.m.: Bring your appetizer platters out of the fridge to serve, adjusting any seasonings or last-minute garnishes.
Bring the mashed potatoes, stuffing and vegetables out of the fridge to bring to room temperature.

6 p.m.: Guests arrive.Serve appetizer platters, wine and mulled cider.
Serve appetizer platters, wine and mulled cider.
Take the turkey out of the oven and cover with foil to rest.
Pour off juices to add to gravy (reserve a 1/4 cup) and put on stovetop to heat.
Put mashed potatoes, stuffing and vegetables into the oven.
Carve the turkey. Take reserved juices and pour on top of the slices to keep them moist and plate them on your prepared platter with watercress.

6:45 p.m.: Take out potatoes, stuffing and vegetables and put them on the table.
Put dinner rolls in the oven to finish baking and melt butter on a low heat on the stovetop to brush over.
Call everyone to start getting ready to eat.
Pour wine and drinks. Bring the rolls and turkey to the table.

7 p.m.: Dinnertime!
Turn the oven off. Put pie in the oven to warm for dessert and bring out the cheesecake bites. Turn on the coffeemaker.

8:30 p.m.: Serve desserts and coffee and tea.

10 p.m.: Relax…the dishes can wait until tomorrow.

Looking for to plan your own menu? Start with these Great Canadian Thanksgiving Recipes.

What Food Network Stars Are Thankful For

Whether you write it down, share  it at the dinner table or quietly reflect, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to pause, and take a moment to celebrate all your good fortunes. From good health to cherished moments with close friends and family, to a table full of delicious food, we all have a lot to be grateful for. We caught up with some of our stars to hear about what gives them pause, and what they’re most thankful for this holiday season.

“I am thankful for those quiet little moments that tuck themselves in between the noisy, messy workings of life,” says Anna Olson, host of Bake with Anna Olson. “This time of year, the sound of Canada geese flying overhead in formation, or the tapping of cool, autumn rain against my kitchen window is enough to make me stop and pause.”

As an immigrant from Hong Kong, Susur Lee has always been thankful to live in a welcoming country such as Canada. “This year that thankfulness is amplified,” the chef and judge on Chopped Canada says. “Canada’s attitude towards immigrants and refugees makes me even more thankful that I landed in this great country.”

Susur’s cast mate John Higgins shares the same sentiment, adding Canada is “the place where dreams come true.”

When it comes to Thanksgiving, fellow judge Roger Mooking appreciates all the good food on the table. “I’m most thankful for a properly well-made Trini roti with bone-in goat.  Oh yeah, and my family, too!”

Having spent most of the year on the road for Carnival Eats or Bachelorette Canada, host Noah Cappe is looking forward to coming home. “I’m thankful for the time I get to spend with family over the holidays, catching up and just hanging out around the table,” he says. “I’m also really thankful for gravy!”

9 Essential Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving for the First Time

Hosting your very first Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be stressful. Thanks to a few tricks, a little planning and a game-day strategy, you’ll be able to keep your cool on the big day. Here are nine essential tips for hosting a holiday party without ever breaking a sweat.

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1. Have a Pre-Party Shopping Spree
Don’t save your Thanksgiving shopping list for the day of the party. Whether it’s groceries, wine, flowers, a new tablecloth or a few ornamental gourds, these are the party items that can be ticked off your to-do list well ahead of Turkey Day so that you’re not rushing around snipping stems and washing vases when you should be basting your bird.

2. Make Ahead
From gravy to potatoes to homemade croutons, there are many dishes that will hold up and, in some cases, will actually taste better if you make them in advance! Try: Jamie Oliver’s make-ahead gravy and creamy scalloped potatoes.

3. Get Chopping
Never underestimate the power of a pre-party prep to ensure smooth sailing come game day. Professional chefs call this mise en place, the technique of ‘putting in place’ certain foods to ensure maximum efficiency. By chopping, measuring and washing ingredients for your side dishes the day before, you’ll save valuable time.

4. Hit the Bakery
It would be nice to wow guests with a stunning dessert for this special family occasion, however, sometimes big events aren’t the time to stretch limitations — particularly if you’re a novice baker. When you’re shouldering the entire dinner, cut yourself some slack and buy a few pies or desserts instead and shift your attention to displaying it on your best serving platters.

5. Enlist Help
Attention Thanksgiving newbies: there is no shame in calling on family members to help out with easy tasks, such as making the salad dressing, setting the table and serving drinks. Or take away the pressure of preparing a full menu entirely and get family members to participate in a good old fashioned potluck.

6. Clean Strategically
You wouldn’t dream of hosting Thanksgiving without a sufficient house cleaning, but don’t stress too much about giving the entire place a deep clean. Instead, focus on areas your guests are most likely to take notice like the front entrance and bathroom. Polish the glasses, iron the tablecloth and track down all your best-matching cutlery the night before. And if you have extra time, add those special details such as handwritten place cards, clusters of candles and flower arrangements which will really make your dinner party pop.

7. Stock the Bar Lightly
Don’t bother dusting off that bottle of gin from last Christmas or stocking up on pricey mixers. Keep it simple by serving red and white wine, sparkling grape juice, some local craft beer and have slices of lemon or lime to jazz up chilled water.

8. Make a Cooking Schedule
Most of us only have one stove, so you have to be strategic about what goes in the oven and when. A good rule of thumb is to cook the turkey first and tent it with aluminum foil to rest while you prep the gravy, pop the vegetables in for a roast or reheat mashed potatoes.

9. Don’t Go Rogue
Your fist Thanksgiving hosting gig isn’t the time to test out that new recipe you screen-grabbed on Instagram. The key to pulling off a successful holiday dinner is to stick with what you know. So whether it’s an out-of-this-world salad dressing, a dreamy mac and cheese, or your secret to mashed potato bliss, Thanksgiving is where you want to let your best dishes shine.

Thanksgiving Sides Pairing

10 Perfect Pairings for Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving dinner is about more than just the turkey — we also come to expect to see the table creaking under the weight of all manner of delicious side dishes paired with the juicy roast bird. From old standbys such as creamy garlic mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce to new favourites like roasted, caramelized Brussels sprouts, check out these 10 awesome ideas to pair with your turkey on Thanksgiving day.

Thanksgiving recipe Alton Brown green beans casserole

1. Alton Brown’s Best-Ever Green Bean Casserole
Few vegetables pair so perfectly with turkey as green beans, and Alton Brown’s casserole is a universe away from your typical green beans. This kicked-up casserole adds mushrooms, onion and garlic, all nestled beneath a crunchy crust of panko breadcrumbs.

Get the recipe for Alton Brown’s Best Ever Green Bean Casserole.

2. Guy Fieri’s Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are practically a given at any Thanksgiving dinner, and there are seemingly endless variations on how to prepare this tasty tuber. Rather than simply baking or mashing, Guy Fieri serves up this twice-baked recipe that adds extra texture thanks to chopped pecans, all topped with a brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon crust.

Get the recipe for Guy Fieri’s Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes.

Thanksgiving recipes Bobby Flay_Roasted-Brussel-Sprouts

3. Bobby Flay’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Once upon a time, Brussels sprouts were those soggy, boiled-to-mush vegetables that kids would try to hide under their napkins — but no more. Bobby Flay turns that idea on its head with this Thanksgiving-ready side dish of perfectly caramelized and crispy mini cabbages with rich pancetta bacon. Don’t be surprised if this fall side becomes your family’s favourite new Thanksgiving side dish.

Get the recipe for Bobby Flay’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta.

4. Lynn Crawford’s Cheddar Cheese Biscuits
Instead of the same old dinner rolls, kick your Thanksgiving dinner into overdrive with Lynn Crawford’s easy-to-make biscuits, delectably infused with the taste of sharp cheddar cheese.

Get the recipe for Lynn Crawford’s Cheddar Cheese Biscuits.

Thanksgiving Ree Drummond cranberry sauce recipe

5. Ree Drummond’s Cranberry Sauce
Thanksgiving turkey without cranberry sauce is like a ski vacation without snow, and Pioneer Woman host, Ree Drummond offers her own creative take on this time-honoured sauce. With orange juice and maple syrup adding extra sweetness and some grated orange rind for extra zest.

Get the recipe for Ree Drummond’s Cranberry Sauce.

6. Ricardo’s Roasted Root Vegetables
No Thanksgiving table should be without a healthy serving of colourful, roasted root vegetables. Ricardo serves up a simply prepared but undeniably delicious combo of potatoes, parsnips, celeriac, carrots, turnips and onions, roasted together to mouth-watering perfection.

Get the recipe for Ricardo’s Roasted Root Vegetables.

Sausage and Herb Stuffing; Ina Garten

7. Ina Garten’s Sausage and Herb Stuffing
Stuffing is a Thanksgiving dinner favourite and everyone seems to have their own unique tried-and-true recipe. It’s pretty much a given that the Barefoot Contessa would have a killer stuffing recipe up her sleeve. If you’re looking to try out a new recipe to pair with your turkey this year, look no further than this savoury sweet stuffing by Ina Garten featuring diced apples and spicy Italian sausage.

Get the recipe for Ina Garten’s Sausage and Herb Stuffing.

8. Alton Brown’s Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Simple but delicious, Alton Brown’s recipe for mashed potatoes adds half-and-half cream, sautéed garlic and some grated Parmesan for a savoury side dish that will pair perfectly with any turkey. But be forewarned: don’t be surprised if guests come back for a second helping of these fluffy, flavourful spuds, so you’ll want to make plenty!

Get the recipe for Alton Brown’s Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes.

Thanksgiving-Tyler-Florence-gravy

9. Tyler Florence’s Roasted Turkey Gravy
Nothing on the Thanksgiving table pairs more perfectly with everything than gravy. Whether it’s mashed potatoes, stuffing or turkey, a classic gravy is a tasty addition to dress up any dish. Tyler Florence’s drool-worthy sage- and thyme-flavoured gravy recipe will produce about three cups of aromatic sauce for your lip-smacking pleasure.

Get the recipe for Tyler Florence’s Roasted Turkey Gravy.

10. Ree Drummond’s Mushroom Pilaf
In addition to recipes that offer new spins on old favourites, this filling side dish by Ree Drummond is bursting with the rich, savoury flavour of shitake mushrooms.

Get the recipe for Ree Drummond’s Mushroom Pilaf.

Looking for some main-spiration? Look no further than Our Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes.

How to Shop For The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Everyone knows the best part of Thanksgiving is the turkey — it’s the magnificent centrepiece that the rest of the meal is planned around. Without the turkey, loading up your plate with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy (especially the gravy) just doesn’t seem right. Because the turkey is so vital, you should select your bird with care, and there are many things to consider when making your purchase.

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Fresh vs. Frozen

While neither fresh nor frozen is technically better than the other, there are several differences to consider. Frozen turkeys will have a sweeter taste than a fresh turkey’s gamey flavour,
they are cheaper than most fresh birds and are often more convenient. A frozen bird can be kept in your freezer for up to a year, while a fresh turkey should be purchased only a day or two before your holiday feast and stored in a very cold location. However, defrosting a frozen turkey takes a few days and must be done properly to prevent bacterial growth. (A note: pre-stuffed turkeys can also pose a risk for bacteria, so stuff your own!) Always look for Grade A meat, whether you opt for fresh or frozen.

When choosing a frozen bird, take a look at the shape of the turkey — a plump, round shape is typically best. This means there is lots of tender meat on the bones. A flatter, larger turkey may indicate a bony body, which can mean dry or tough meat. Inspect carefully; avoid freezer burn and ice crystals, and make sure there are no tears in the packaging. Don’t forget to look at the label and choose the freshest turkey possible!

If you opt for a fresh turkey, grocery stores and butchers are can provide decent poultry, but you can also make the trip to a farm. The advantage here is that you can actually ask questions about the turkey; how it was raised and its age. These factors will determine the freshness and taste of the meat. A younger turkey, for example, will be more tender than an older bird.

Organic

What exactly does organic mean? This means the turkey has been fed real grains, without pesticides and with no added growth hormones or antibiotics (which is what makes a turkey plump).
You will get a more natural taste, but pay a higher price for it. Although, around the holidays, most grocery stores have great sales on poultry, so shop around for a good deal. A truly organic turkey will be labeled with “no hormones” or “no antibiotics.”.

Free-Range

Free-range animals are given space to move around outdoors rather than being cooped up in the close quarters of a barn. Having some room for mobility and exercise actually helps to create
leaner and better textured meat. Plus, they are often ingesting natural foods (like grass and flowers) from their environment, which gives them more of a pure taste. Be warned, however, that not all
free-range poultry is necessarily organic. Read labels carefully.

Weight

It may sound crazy when you say you are cooking 20 pounds of meat, but for a big family meal, that is entirely normal. To make sure there is enough to go around (and some for leftover sandwiches, of course), purchase approximately 1.5 pounds per dinner guest. Cooking a large turkey takes several hours, so you may want to purchase two medium-sized birds to eliminate some cooking time.

Alternatives

Sometimes, a giant turkey just isn’t the right fit for your Thanksgiving meal, so here are a few alternatives:

Turkey Breast: If you’re hosting a more intimate dinner, several pounds of meat won’t be required. Opt for a turkey breast, which is white meat only.

Mock Turkey: Often referred to as “tofurkey,” this is vegetarian-friendly option involves no turkey whatsoever. It is usually in loaf form, made from tofu or a wheat protein.

Turkey Roll: These can be tricky to make, but are very easy to buy. It involves cutting the breast from the turkey in one whole piece, flattening it, stuffing it with filling and then rolling it. Fresh turkey rolls are available around the holidays, co check your local farmer or butcher.

For lots of delicious recipes for the holiday bird, check out Our Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

 

Best Ways to Reuse Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is the perfect accompaniment to your holiday turkey, but it can also be used to add flavour and fibre to a variety of sauces and dishes.

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Here are some easy ways to use your leftover cranberry sauce:

– Blending it in a smoothie.

– Mix it with your favourite barbecue sauce for a fruity, zesty twist like in Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe for Cranberry BBQ Sauce Turkey Sliders.

– Combine it with marmalade and serve it warm over toast, crêpes or pancakes as a cranberry compote.

– Stir it into some cream cheese for a quick spread for toast.

– Use it as a simmering sauce for meat, like in Michael Smith’s recipe for Harvest Pork Chops with Cranberry and Kale or this recipe for Stuffed Acorn Squash with Red Wine Cranberry Sauce.

 

Thanksgiving Sides in an Hour or Less

The countdown to Thanksgiving is on! We’ve already shown you how to make delicious turkey recipes in under an hour, so it’s only fitting that we’re serving up three irresistible side dishes with the same speedy cook time. Check them out below!

888_thanksgiving-sides-hour-or-less255 minutes: Autumn Vegetable Salad

888_thanksgiving-sides-hour-or-less40 minutes: Garlic and Parsley Mashed Potatoes

888_thanksgiving-sides-hour-or-less320 minutes: Savoury Braised Green Beans

Smashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic Cashew Butter

If you’ve been serving regular ol’ mashed potatoes every Thanksgiving for the past decade, we think it’s time you kicked things up a notch with smashed fingerling potatoes! Paired perfectly with fresh thyme and a dollop of our creamy roasted garlic cashew butter, wow your family and friends with this tasty new side dish.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Serves: 6

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Ingredients:

Roasted Garlic Cashew Butter:
¾ cup raw whole cashews (soaked for 3 hours)
1 garlic bulb (roasted with 1 tsp olive oil + pinch sea salt)
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp coconut oil
¼ tsp sea salt

Smashed Potatoes:
6-7 cups fingerling potatoes (approximately 30)
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme + extra sprigs for garnish
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground pepper

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Directions:
1. To roast the garlic bulb, pre-heat oven to 450°F. Trim about a ¼” off the top of the bulb to expose the cloves. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes until roasted and soft on the inside.
2. Rinse and drain soaked cashews. Add to a high-powered blender with roasted cloves of garlic, water, coconut oil and sea salt. Blend until very smooth and refrigerate for 2 hours or more.
3. Toss whole fingerling potatoes in 1 Tbsp olive oil, fresh thyme, sea salt and ground pepper. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 450°F for 20 minutes.
4. Smash the whole potatoes with a fork to break open the skin. Drizzle with another 2 tsp olive oil and place whole thyme sprigs on top so they can crisp up as well. Bake again for another 10-12 minutes until crispy.
5. Serve immediately with a dollop roasted garlic cashew butter on each potato.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

8 Travel-Friendly Thanksgiving Potluck Ideas

Have pie, will travel. Whether it’s individual stuffing muffins or a warm pumpkin sticky toffee dessert, we’ve got eight stand-out contributions that are as portable as they are delicious to take with you to your next Thanksgiving potluck party.

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1. Turkey & Sweet Leek Pie
This a great option when you’ve had multiple turkey dinners and don’t feel like lugging a 12-lb bird across town. Shredded white turkey meat combined with bacon, sage and chestnuts is topped off with a buttery, golden puff pastry crust that’s bound to be a showstopper.

2. Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Pan-fried salty pancetta, butter and parmesan transform this much-feared veggie into a mouth-watering side dish even the pickiest eaters will happily gobble up.

3. Warm Pumpkin Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Whipped Cream
Who needs pumpkin pie when you can have these pumpkin-flavoured sticky toffee puddings with cranberry caramel sauce and homemade vanilla-infused whipped cream?

4. Apple and Onion Stuffin’ Muffins
This carb-licious Rachel Ray recipe for individually portioned stuffing balls are jammed with breadcrumbs, celery, apples and bay leaf. The best part? Everyone gets those coveted crunchy stuffing bits.

5. Apple, Walnut & Bacon Green Salad
Thanksgiving is known for all its waistband-expanding glory, but that’s no excuse to forget about your greens. Luckily, this one has been sufficiently holiday-fied thanks to crisp sliced apples, bacon and maple caramelized walnuts for a delicious crunch that’s anything but boring. Transport dressing, salad, bacon and candied walnuts in separate containers, then simply toss altogether before serving.

6. Jamie Oliver’s Yorkshire Pudding
So you drew the short stick and got stuck with bringing bread. Dial up your culinary prowess and make these unbelievably light and fluffy Yorkshire puddings to really wow the family.

7. Frangipane Tart with Pears and Almond Crisp
An elegant take on Thanksgiving pie, this frangipane tart has an almond paste and poached pear filling with a crunchy almond topping that will be the crown on the dessert table.

8. Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad with Mustard Dill Vinaigrette
Roasted sweet potatoes are a must-have at any holiday dinner, but rather than mashing them with loads of butter or putting marshmallows on top, try this healthier version and nestle the roasted sweet potatoes on a bed of kale salad dressed with a tangy mustard dill vinaigrette.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

There’s nothing better than a Sunday afternoon that involves cool, crisp weather and some delicious coffee cake that’s full of Fall flavours. I decided to take my favourite coffee cake recipe and switch up the spices; I’ve added lots of pumpkin spice and maple flavour to turn this cake into the perfect holiday treat.

Serve this cake for Thanksgiving and top with a big dollop of whipped cream!

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Crumble Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
½ cup butter, softened

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Cake Ingredients:

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon maple extract (or vanilla)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, then grease a large bundt tin.
  2. Begin by making the crumble. Mix together the flour, sugar and pumpkin spice. Mix in the softened butter with your hands until fully combined. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice. Combine the buttermilk and maple extract. Add half of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Then continue to add the remainder of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Add half of the batter to the bundt tin, followed by half of the crumble. Layer the remainder of the batter on top and sprinkle with the remaining crumble mixture.
  5. Place in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, until the crumble is golden and when a cake tester or skewer comes out of the cake clean.

11 Tips for The Perfect Turkey

Never cooked a whole turkey before? Don’t fret — follow these 11 easy tips for a perfectly cooked Thanksgiving bird!

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1. Pick Your Bird
Finding the right bird is the first step. There is no correct answer on what type of turkey is best. You can choose fresh or frozen.

2. Size It Up
Once you know what type of turkey you want, consider the size. Estimate 1 to 1 and a half pounds of turkey per person and then add a few pounds for bones. Make sure the turkey you buy looks healthy with lots of meat on the bone. You will also want to make sure that your turkey fits in your oven and roasting pan.

3. Thaw It
Don’t try to cook your turkey from frozen! You must leave time before Thanksgiving to thaw your turkey in the fridge. You will need hours to thaw your turkey all of the way through. Allow for five hours per pound to thaw in the fridge.

4. Brine
Many people recommend brining your bird in a mixture of water, salt, and spices for optimal flavouring. Like brining any other meat, brine is there to add flavour and keep your turkey juicy and moist right until you eat it. You will need to find just the right recipe for your bird to infuse flavour.

5. Remove The Bits
While it may seem obvious, don’t forget to remove the neck and giblets from inside the turkey. You don’t want to leave those in when it gets popped in the oven.

6. Rub Down
On Thanksgiving morning, rub the whole turkey, inside, outside and under the skin with salt and pepper. You can also rub melted butter or oil on the outside of the skin if you want it to get extra crispy. Add more moisture and flavour to your bird by adding melted butter or oil on the breast in between the meat and the skin. Don’t remove the skin, but slide your hand between the skin and meat.

7. Feeling Spicy
While you are rubbing down your turkey, you can also add fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme under the skin.

Try: Pioneer-Style Herb Roasted Turkey

8. Don’t Stuff It
If you are a turkey novice, don’t stuff your turkey. Stuffing a turkey will change the cooking time and can dry out meat if done wrong. If you are new to the process, it’s better to make your stuffing in a separate dish.

Try: Tyler Florence’s Onion and Cornbread Stuffing

9. Roast It
There are a number of ways to cook turkey, but roasting is the best option for a novice. Cover it or tent it with foil. Make sure the shiny side of the foil faces inward. Roast your turkey at 325°F (162°C) for 20 minutes per pound. Remove the tent for the last hour.

10. Get a Meat Thermometer
It’s the easiest way to ensure a perfectly cooked bird. You don’t want to cut into your beautiful turkey to find it raw. Check that the turkey is 170 to 180°F in the thickest part of the thigh before serving.

11. Leave It
Like all other good meat, you have to let the turkey rest in foil for at least 20 minutes before.

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes in an Hour or Less

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll be serving up. Believe it or not, you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen prepping for a big turkey dinner. If you have no more than an hour to get dinner on the table, you can still make a fantastic meal for your friends and family. No one will believe you whipped these up so fast!

888_turkey-less-than-hour255 minutes: Turkey Cutlets with Squash, Swiss and Honey Sauce 

888_turkey-less-than-hour45 minutes: Turkey Meatloaf with Goat Cheese, Baby Potatoes, Mixed Beans 

888_turkey-less-than-hour330 minutes: Poached Turkey Breast