It wouldn’t be the Thanksgiving without Grandma’s potatoes, Aunt Harriet’s broccoli casserole or your sister’s cranberry sauce. Every household has a few signature dishes that are always on the menu, and this year we’re sharing the best from the extended Rachael Ray clan—in fact we had so many dishes that we couldn’t fit them all in the November issue (on newsstands now) and are putting even more online! Welcome to the family!
Nothing makes us happier than seeing our ideas in YOUR homes! Two very special readers put our November issue to the test this Thanksgiving holiday and we were wowed the by results. Check is out!
Jaime Hollander, Every Day with Rachael Ray merchandising director, made all six of our gravy wheel recipes and turned them into a full on gravy bar. She completed the spread with a chalkboard platter that’s both informational and super cute (you know how much we love chalkboards!).
The Spivak family from Potomac, MD used two ideas from our “15 Holiday Table Tricks from the Pros” story: David Stark’s apple centerpeiece and Alison Caporimo’s kids’ tablecloth. We think it was a smashing success!
Not only is it Thanksgiving, but it’s also Thirsty Thursday! We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than to give you some quick, last-minute cocktail ideas that pair perfectly with your holiday meal. Now that’s something to be thankful for!
To wash down all that heavy turkey and stuffing, try a refreshing Rum-Spiked Ginger Beer Cocktail.
A Cran-Limoncello mirrors the flavors of homemade cranberry sauce.
With flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, a Gingersnap goes great with pumpkin, apple or pecan pie!
From everyone at Every Day with Rachael Ray, Happy Thanksgiving!
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
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.
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?
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:
Enjoy your foodie fusion fun. Thanksgivingukkah won’t happen again for another 70,000 years. Gobble Tov!
Witten by Jacquelynn D. Powers
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.
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.
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
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
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
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