The Thanksgiving prep has begun with dogeared recipes, phone calls to family members, and pie dough made and frozen. But recently the question of bread came up: do we need it? Do we want it? Will anyone miss the bread if it's not a part of the meal?
Do you have a friend or loved one on active duty overseas? If you'd like to send them a holiday food package this season, go right ahead! But here are a few rules to keep in mind when shipping edible goodies to troops overseas:
Way back in college, green bean casserole was my signature dish, canned cream of mushroom and all. (And to think, I actually considered myself quite the gourmet.) Even though my culinary repertoire has moved beyond recipes that include processed soup, that classic American casserole—with extra cheddar cheese and a heap of "fried" onions—is still my favorite part of Thanksgiving.
On one of my very first forays into journalism, I was tasked with interviewing some local Atlanta lifestyle celebrities about comfort foods and one interview in particular has stuck with me. This week it once again popped into my mind giving me the ideal drink idea for our 10- Minute Happy Hour.
For a fun twist on a traditional place card, how about a Polaroid snapshot of your guest? Snap a photo of your guests when they arrive, and then prop the pictures in glasses as place cards. (A few cranberries add a festive touch.) At the end of the night, your guests can either take their picture home or leave it for you to make an album.
For the past few years I've been in charge of baking the bread for my family's Thanksgiving dinner. My sister usually hosts, but we all split cooking responsibilities, and bread has always been my thing. Due to popular request, I haven't strayed too far from a basic Parker House roll recipe (great for gravy dipping, even better for leftover sandwiches), but I'm really feeling the desire to switch it up this year. These buttermilk biscuits look delicious, and I can't wait to make them.
I was a vegetarian for years and years and truthfully, even today, turkey isn't at all my favorite part of Thanksgiving. And ham doesn't do much for me at Christmas. Instead, I tend to geek out over new vegetable side dishes and flavor-filled herby stuffing. But I remember the days where it did feel like vegetarian options were slim at the holiday table. They don't have to be.
Everyone has a favorite chili recipe. Mine will always be my mother's, complete with ground beef and a packet of taco seasoning. It may not be gourmet, but it's pure comfort food to me. It's also never quite tasted the same when I've tried to make it—there's something about eating it at my parents' home, wrapped up in a blanket while sitting around the fire that just makes it that much better.
When the temperature takes a permanent nosedive and fall is starting to look a lot more like winter, shepherd's pie is one of the first things that I crave. One enormous square of this casserole, with its blanket of mashed potatoes and that savory meat-and-vegetable filling, sends a sigh of contentment through my whole body. One casserole makes more than enough for my household of two, so I can look forward to comfort meals all week long.
Do you love collards? If not, get out there and acquaint yourself with this amazing green! Collards are very nutritious (high in vitamins K, A, and C, as well as calcium, iron and fiber) and have been linked to lowered cholesterol. They are a hearty green that can grow well into early winter in colder climates and year round in more temperate ones. But more than anything, collards are delicious!