Thanksgiving.jpg

LET'S START with dessert:

Classic Pumpkin Pie 

Classic Pumpkin Pie 

Dorie Greenspan's Cookie Tips

Dorie Greenspan's Cookie Tips

Get Inspired: Black Forest Cake

Get Inspired: Black Forest Cake

Beginning the meal: Cocktails, Appetizers and Sides


It's Turkey Time

New
How to Make Better Turkey
Turkey Leftover Ideas
Fried Turkey Done Safely
Chef's Turkey Tips
Bacon-wrapped Turkey
How to Brine Turkey

And in Non-Thanksgiving News:

Food: 

New
Can You Love a Vegan Sushi Roll?

Sometimes the proof is in the flavor, and it’s almost impossible to convey something through a video. That’s how I felt when I tried a Beyond Sushi roll - because as a huge sushi lover it was hard for me to believe I could also fall in love with a vegan version. But Chef Guy Vaknin came by to share his methods and explain that his plant-based take on the classic Japanese dish could have its own excitement. And while I might never give up the real deal, I am definitely a convert.

You Need Carla Hall's Brilliant Shrimp Technique

Any time spent with Carla Hall is just pure delight, due to her being among the most genuine and charming people around. But it is extra fun getting to cook from her newest book - Carla Hall’s Soul Food - because it is such a beautiful personal exploration. The book takes a unique perspective on her own background and includes a lot of vignettes via a road trip.

But of course the recipes are what really draw us all in and I couldn’t wait to get her unique take on shrimp. Her Cracked Shrimp recipe is a twist on the cracked conch she saw when she worked in the Caribbean and it has completely shifted my view on cooking shrimp. Watch the video below to see her technique and get the recipe to try it yourself!

Drinks:

New
The Time Has Come for a New Fashioned

Classic cocktails have stood the test of time for a reason, but even the most perfect cocktails can use a good twist now and then. As long as the twist is from the right person!

Enter award-winning bartender Luis Hernandez of Gibson + Luce in the Life Hotel. He takes the perfect combination and tweaks it to give it little more life and modernity.

So if you’re in need of a good warming cocktail for the weather watch the video below and give it a whirl.

The Easiest Winter Cocktail

The problem with any cocktail or cookbook is always where to begin. With dozens of options in front of you it seems impossible to choose. But this is the beauty of the new book Be Your Own Bartender. It really starts with just the idea of ‘what should I drink tonight?’ and takes it from there. Through questions and flowcharts it will get you where you need to go. Do I want something light or heavy? Is it cold outside? Am I drinking alone? This book has you covered.

The delightful authors are two of the best experts around- Carey Jones and John McCarthy. The cocktail-loving duo know how to approach cocktails from both the geekiest cocktail side and the simplest consumer perspective. It’s a book for anyone who loves to drink and hates making decisions.

We got them both over to make an easy but perfectly balanced winter treat- the Gin Gingerly!

Interviews: 

New
Jamie Oliver Has a Secret For Making Dinner Quick

I spent my college years in the UK so I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Jamie Oliver. I was living there right as he was growing in popularity in the British consciousness (I might date myself here) and he was really my first introduction to British cooking, well before I knew I would have a career in food. And as years went on I loved watching him transform into an advocate healthy school lunches. He has always seemed to hold a sensible middle ground that advocated for healthy options while also not veering into total health fanatic category.

So the chance to sit down with him and chat about his newest book, 5 Ingredients, was a delight. We touched on everything from rock star ingredients that can transform a dish to getting kids cooking. Watch the video below to hear Jamie’s take and perhaps you might have a bit more confidence in your weeknight cooking!

You Need Carla Hall's Brilliant Shrimp Technique

Any time spent with Carla Hall is just pure delight, due to her being among the most genuine and charming people around. But it is extra fun getting to cook from her newest book - Carla Hall’s Soul Food - because it is such a beautiful personal exploration. The book takes a unique perspective on her own background and includes a lot of vignettes via a road trip.

But of course the recipes are what really draw us all in and I couldn’t wait to get her unique take on shrimp. Her Cracked Shrimp recipe is a twist on the cracked conch she saw when she worked in the Caribbean and it has completely shifted my view on cooking shrimp. Watch the video below to see her technique and get the recipe to try it yourself!

Travel:

New
Make Mezze Your Appetizer Plan

I hate to sound old enough to say I've enjoyed following someone's career, but apparently today I'm going to. I have loved watching whatever Eden Grinshpan does next. She is a barrel of laughs and a breath of fresh air wherever she goes. I first interviewed her when she had a show on Cooking Channel. She has since moved on host Top Chef Canada and now she has opened her first restaurant, Dez. It combines all of her Israeli, Middle Eastern and  other travel experiences into one spirited and flavorful fast casual spot. 

And since I can't possibly pick a favorite I decided instead to pick her brain about mezzes. It's an all-encompassing word but it can help outline one of the best appetizer plans possible.

Start Planning Your Sicilian Trip Pronto

Lately it seems everyone I talk to has a mild obsession with Sicily. The Southern Italian island for years was passed over in favor of more glamorous places like Amalfi, Rome and Lake Como. But something interesting happened in the last decade or so: the casual, less polished nature of Sicily has become more interesting to travelers as the world has become more globalized and every city starts to feel like it has the same 30 stores. I was excited this year to finally get a chance to see this unique part of the country.

So like any set of recommendations, this one comes from too-short a time and not possibly having all the information. But I can tell you what I liked from my trip and what are the safe bets that I enjoyed. 

While Palermo and its environs are definitely on my list, for this trip we focused on the Eastern portion of Sicily. You can certainly drive around the entire island but if you only have a week or so I would try and stick to one general area, otherwise you'll be in a car the entire time.  You can rent a house or stay in a hotel - there are great options for both. We did a hotel in Taormina and then we were in a house the rest of the time. 


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