Now that Thanksgiving is over, most of us are hard at work on our holiday shopping lists. And since Thanksgiving was so late in the month, there's only really a few short week to get everything done. I've rounded up the shipping information and holiday shipping schedules of some of the most popular online sources for cooking equipment gifts, so you can figure out just how much time you have to get your gifts under the tree. Can't decide what to buy? Take a look at our roundup of the best-reviewed cooking equipment gifts for ideas of a gift for your favorite cook, which will truly be appreciated and used in the kitchen for years to come.
Head to the kitchen this holiday season - you can knock off a bunch of your holiday gift list simply by making homemade gifts, like the smoked sea salt, shown. Delicious cookies, handmade marshmallows, crunchy granola, herb rubs, and flavored vinegars all make wonderful gifts.
The key to giving a gift that will truly be appreciated is to package it beautifully. Check out Perfect Packaging for Homemade Gifts for some tips on packaging your homemade gifts, and suggestions on materials to stock up on. Next stop, Etsy!
It's amazing how a few pieces of cooking equipment - a good stand mixer and a pastry bag and tip set, for instance - can really help you make party foods that are as elegant as any from a high-end caterer. Case in point: my recipe for Smoky Gougeres. The dough is mixed up in minutes in the stand mixer, and piping it onto your baking sheet allows you to make elegant little globes of crisp, cheesy goodness. A pastry bag also makes Dates Stuffed with Blue Cheese and Bacon a snap to assemble, and they'll look so much better than if you tried to spread the cheese with a spoon or spatula. Add these recipes to your party-foods repertoire this fall, and stock up on the right tools to make them truly gorgeous!
What's on your menu for tomorrow? I'll be making some new recipes, as well as tried-and-true favorites like Green Beans and Mushrooms with Fried Shallots, Cider-Braised Brussels Sprouts and Crockpot Cornbread Stuffing.
My best wishes to all of my readers for a happy and delicious Thanksgiving!
While everyone might be focused on the bigger bird that will be putting in an appearance on Thanksgiving later this week, I'm thinking of a smaller bird and fun ways I can prepare it. I recently served my family chicken that was stuffed with a classic pairing of cheddar cheese and apples. Pounding chicken breasts flat and rolling them around filling might seem hard but it's not at all, and this type of preparation prevents the chicken from getting dry and flavorless.
Make Cheddar and Apple Stuffed Chicken for your family this week - it's a nice autumnal recipe and won't take away attention from Thursday's stuffed bird
Grab your immersion blender or hand blender - you'll need it to whip up this super-quick, super-delicious dip for your next get-together. Whether it's served with apple and pear wedges for a pre-Thanksgiving appetizer, graham crackers for after school, or butter cookies for a holiday party, this versatile and easy dip is likely to become a mainstay over the next few months.
Check out the recipe for Maple Cinnamon Dessert Dip.
Read my review of the Calphalon 3-in-1 Immersion Blender. At well under $100, it's an investment well spent.
I love the taste of squash, but the preparation, not so much - especially butternut squash, with its tough rind that defies my peeler, and makes it difficult to hack into pieces even with my sharpest chef's knife. But I will say that making this Butternut Squash Soup, with its dollop of cool, herbed sour cream, is well worth the effort (And maybe my loathing for this task is overrated, or maybe I had a very fresh squash, because it seemed to me that the peeling and cutting of this batch of squash was not nearly as onerous as I recall). An immersion blender can puree the soup right in the pot, and you can use the same tool for combining fresh herbs and sour cream to make the garnish. This time around I used the last of the basil from my garden, but any type of leafy herb, such as mint, cilantro or tarragon, would do well.
My brother-in-law gave me his CSA box last week. In it were all the bounty of fall: parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots. Inspired by the gorgeous root vegetables, I decided to make a quintessential fall meal of pot roast and fall veggies. Put this recipe together in your slow cooker before heading out for the day, and you'll have dinner waiting for you when you get home (be sure to pick up a loaf of bread on the way home, though - the sauce is so delicious you'll want to sop up every bit). The leftover meat makes a great sandwich for lunch the next day!