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Give your guests something to be extra thankful for by sending them home with a tasty favor box. Since those Thanksgiving dishes you spent all day preparing deserve better than plastic wrap, set out empty containers (find cute boxes at craft stores or at papermart.com) and some ribbon as you’re cleaning up and let folks load them up with leftovers. Seal the deal with a cute sticker or tag and rest assured that everyone will enjoy a home-cooked lunch tomorrow!

 

 

Click here to download our Thanksgiving take-home bag stickers and tags, plus 20 Thanksgiving leftover recipes!

 

Photograph by Johnny Miller

 

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Thanksgiving + Hanukkah = Thanksgivukkah!

Last week, we asked our Facebook fans if and how they’ll be celebrating “Thanksgivukkah,” the hybrid holiday of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Many of you said you WILL be taking advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, since the next time the two holidays will overlap won’t be for almost 78,000 years! You gave us some really creative and tasty ideas, but if you’re still looking for that perfect Thanksgivukkah dish, consider this our gift to you: Three side dish recipes that perfectly pair Thanksgiving food with traditional Jewish fare.

 

Potato latkes are a Hanukkah staple. Rather than topping sweet potatoes with marshmallows, sub them in to Sweet Potato-Apple Latkes with Cranberry Sauce, your Turkey’s favorite condiment!

 

No Thanksgiving table is complete without stuffing. Make a sweet version using Challah, a traditional Jewish bread, for Fruited Brioche Stuffing.

 

And because every holiday party needs a great appetizer, make these Smoked Salmon Bagel Bites, a finger food-version of a typical Sunday morning Hanukkah breakfast.

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Thanksgiving Traditions

Thanksgiving is all about family traditions, and who better to find out what those traditions are than our readers? The results are in; Here are our Thanksgiving tradition stats. Where do you fit in?

 

 

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Thanksgivingukkah Takeover

You’ve heard of Christmasukkah, right? Well this year, prepare for the epic holiday mashup known as Thanksgivingukkah. This year Hanukkah occurs on November 27, the evening before Thanksgiving–which means the second night of Hanukkah actually falls on Turkey Day! This rare occurrence (the last time these two holidays collided was in 1888) poses a conundrum for Jewish Americans. The solution? Thanksgivingukkah! Already there are websites devoted to this faux holiday, including an online store where you can buy a menorah shaped like a turkey (called a menurkey, appropriately), t-shirts, aprons and posters.

 

For foodies, it’s an especially exciting moment. While traditional Hanukkah fare spans latkes (potato pancakes), brisket and fried doughnuts, Thanksgiving is known for its sweet potatoes, turkey and stuffing. So what should you serve at your Thanksgivingukkah feast? Here are a few menu suggestions:

Brisket with Sweet-Potato Tzimmes

Great Balls of Stuffing

 Cider Doughnut Holes

Enjoy your foodie fusion fun. Thanksgivingukkah won’t happen again for another 70,000 years. Gobble Tov!

Witten by Jacquelynn D. Powers

Related links:

Potato Pancake Recipes

Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Recipes

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Technique Tuesday: Thaw It Out

Don’t waste those leftovers from holiday get-togethers! Freezing your food is a great way to make the most of your meals, but only if you can properly thaw them later in the year. Here are the best ways to take your food from frozen solid to family dinner:

 

1. The best way: IN THE FRIDGE

Set frozen food in its wrapper on a plate to catch drips. Food thawed in the fridge will last for 2 or 3 more days than those thawed using other methods.

2. The shortcut: IN COLD WATER

Place food in an airtight bag and submerge in cold water; change water every 30 minutes. Using hot water is a no-no: It encourages bacteria.

3. The cheat: IN THE MICROWAVE

Unwrap foods and thaw using the defrost or low setting. If meats start to brown, remove and cool before continuing. Cook immediately.

4. For baked goods: ON THE COUNTER TOP

Bread and other frozen baked good sare safe to thaw on the counter. Keep them loosely covered with their wrapping from the freezer and place on a wire rack to prevent condensation and sogginess.

DID YOU KNOW?

5 Unexpected Things You Can Freeze:

Milk Pour into freezer bags and freeze flat. You’ll never run to the store when baking again!

Egg Whites Freeze each egg white separately in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, store them in freezer bags.

Butter Buy it on sale with no fear of it spoiling. Store sticks in their paper wrap in a freezer bag.

Avocado Save ripe avocados by mashing them with a bit of lemon juice and packing in airtight containers.

Nuts and Grains Store in airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent them from going rancid at room temperature.

 

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Technique Tuesday: Amazing Braising!

 

Pack Your Freezer Like a Pro

During the holidays, nothing is more guaranteed than leftovers. Don’t let these goodies go to waste! There are plenty of items you can freeze and store for later in the year, but only if you pack them properly. Here are our best freezing techniques and tips to keep freezer burn at bay.

 

 

Use Heavy Duty Foil

To wrap foods already wrapped in plastic or parchment to add extra protection. Why? It’s less porous and much thicker than regular foil, and less prone to snagging and tears.

 

Use Freezer Paper

To prevent air exposure and moisture loss. The goal is to wrap tightly to keep air out. Why? The paper is thick and durable and has an air-resistant coating on one side that keeps food from drying out.

 

Use Freezer Bags

But make sure to leave an inch free at the top so you can press out the air when sealing. Why? Resealable plastic freezer bags are thicker and often have sturdier seals than regular storage bags.

 

Layer Up

Separate individual portions of foods like burgers, sausage or fish fillets with parchment paper before freezing so you can remove and thaw only what you need.

 

No More UFO’s

Ban Unidentified Frozen Objects by noting the contents and freeze date on labels or tape with a permanent marker.

 

Written by Cheryl Slocum

 

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Have Turkey, Will Travel

In a 21st-century twist on the holiday soup kitchen, several food trucks bearing all kinds of Thanksgiving goodness are hitting the road to help those in need. Check out what’s on offer, and how you can help

Photo courtesy of American Lunch Truck

 

Tuscaloosa, AL

American Lunch Truck will be delivering everyone’s favorite incarnation of the holiday’s leftovers– turkey sandwiches loaded with trimmings– to the city’s homeless. Donate: americanlunch.org

 

Los Angeles, CA

Global fusion truck Wicked Kitchen will be subbing turkey into some of its most popular chicken dishes, from tikka masala to Cajun jambalaya, and taking them to homeless shelters. Donate: wickedkitchen.com

 

San Antonio, TX

Thanksgiving will kick off a week early when the health-minded Chow Train starts delivering the fixings of a traditional feast to the homeless and hungry. Donate: thechowtrain.com

 

Atlanta, GA

People’s food truck will take wood-fired grilled turkey ribs and other Southern fare to those in need not only on T-Day, but before and after as well. Donate: peoplesfoodtruck.com

 

Written by Jessica Colley

 

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Be a Pampered Chef

Whether you need a pre- or post-Thanksgiving moment of Zen, take advantage of our exclusive spa deals, or go the DIY route with luxe tub treats.

 

1. The Body Shop Honeymania Moisture Bubble Bath Melt

…creates extra-creamy suds. ($14, thebodyshop.com)

 

2. Lush’s Enchanter Bomb

…is citrus-spiked and fizzes and froths as it dissolves. ($6.25, lushusa.com)

 

3. Le Couvent des Minimes Orange Blossom Foaming Bath

…creates sublimely scented bubbles. ($25, usa.lecouventdesminimes.com)

 

4. Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie Bath & Body Oil

…yields silky, sweet-smelling skin. ($20, sephora.com)

 

5. h2o+ Sea Salt Skin Smoother

…will take care of any rough patches. ($27, h20plus.com)

 

Special Service!

 

Sign yourself up for a fab 50-minute Swedish Massage at any Elizabeth Arden Red Door spa between now and December 31, mention “Rachael Ray 13″ when booking, and pay $99 for a service that normally costs $125-ish. (reddoorspas.com)

If you need a megadose of de-stressing, go for Bliss Spa’s 24-Heaven body treatment at a location with a wet room. First comes an oatmeal mask with a heated wrap, then a Vichy shower (you’re hotizontal under a bunch of nozzles) and for the grand finale, a body blam rubdown. The service regularly costs $155, but present this page at checkout to get 20% off between now and December 31. (blissworld.com)

 

by Abbie Kozolchyk

 

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Lauren Purcell on @NowThisFood!

Throughout the month of November, our editor-in-chief, Lauren Purcell, will be sharing Thanksgiving tips on the food section of NowThis News, as well as their instagram, @NowThisFood. Turkey tips in 15 seconds? It doesn’t get much easier than that–or more fun! Check out the intro video here on our Instagram and watch the first video on @NowThisFood, where Lauren explains how to roast a turkey without a rack!

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Thanksgiving for Every Kind of Cook

It’s that time of the year again: When pumpkins stop being carved into Jack-o-Lanterns and start getting cooked into pies. Yep, we’re talking about everyone’s favorite food holiday, Thanksgiving. Whether it’s your first time hosting Turkey Day, or you’re a seasoned pro looking for more adventurous dishes, our November 2012 issue features six different menus for every kind of cook. (And psst, just got nominated for a FOLIO: Award for Best Overall Design along with our FOLIO nominated story, Honk If You’re Hungry!) Find a menu fit for your Thanksgiving feast below!

 

For the first-timer, we show cooks how to make and carve a wonderfully easy Herb Butter Turkey with Cranberry Grapefruit Sauce, 4-ingredient Maple-Mashed Sweet Potatoes and a classic, yet simple Pecan Pie with Bourbon Ice Cream.

 

Our speedy menu guarantees dinner on the table in 2 hours. The timeline includes Cherry-Chipotle Turkey Breast, Microwavable Quick Cauliflower Puree and Chocolate Cream Puffs with Cranberry Compote made from store-bought puff pastry.

 

For the adventurous cook, we packed a serious flavor punch with an Indian-inspired menu featuring Tandoori-Spiced Turkey with Cracked Pepper Gravy, Naan & Cashew Stuffing and Cardamom-Vanilla Custards.

 

Don’t think we forgot about the vegetarians! This meatless menu consists of plenty of seasonal veggies that taste just like the holidays: Roasted Spiced Squash, Pistachio-Pomegranate Chopped Salad and Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake, because vegetarians like dessert, too!

 

For the thrifty cook, we keep a budget at $40 to feed a crowd of eight. Here’s how we do it: Buttermilk-Marinated Turkey with Onion Gravy, super-cost-efficient Creamed Cabbage and fancy but frugal Gingered Carrot & Kale Ribbons.

 

Finally, our Make-Ahead Menu provides a timeline that begins the cooking a week in advance for a stress-free holiday. Cornmeal Stuffing Muffins are made a week ahead, Sweet Potato and Apple Gratin is made 2 days ahead and all that’s left to do on Thanksgiving Day is cook the Brined Dijon Turkey with Pan Gravy.