BHG Delish Dish

Stirring Up Ideas In The Kitchen

In the Test Kitchen

Raise your hand if you like to be the star of your cookie-exchange party! Katie here, piping in on a topic near-and-dear to my heart: Christmas parties. This time every year I go to an all-girls super-bakers show-off-your-stuff evening (Translation: A cookie-exchange party). We always ooh and aah over the variety: Creamy ganache-dipped cookies, lip-smacking salty nut bars, minty peppermint-topped goodies…and we always secretly want the pat on the back fora job well done.

This year, I came prepared. I’ve been eyeing this Chocolaty Melting Snowman recipe since I first grabbed it from our Christmas Cookies 2012 magazine; and it’s proven to be one of the top recipes of all time on our site.

Chocolaty Melting Snowmen

It’s also ridiculously easy! You can follow the recipe or start with your favorite cookie, as I did (I’m a sucker for peanut butter cookies and wanted to make a favorite). I went with this Peanut Butter Cookie recipe. Bake and let cool completely:

For the snow, I microwaved almond bark with a little vegetable oil per the package directions. Drizzling is so much fun! I tucked a towel under my cooling rack and spooned on the good stuff:

Almond Bark Melting

While still melty, I added the top hat:

Adding Top Hat

And an orange-sprinkle nose:

Add Nose

Then I let the “snow” set before adding black dots with a small tube of frosting:

Snowman Face

And voila! You’ve mastered the cookie-exchange with your oh-so-cute Frosty. This recipe is a keeper—I’d love to make it with my kids someday!

Melty Snowmen Cookies

Another View of Melty Snowman Cookies

 


Hi it’s Beth again. It seems that every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my schedule gets jam-packed and I barely have time eat dinner. And since the weather has finally reached bone-chilling temps, I find myself craving soup, stew, chili…anything I can throw into a slow cooker for a warm, satisfying meal. So I was delighted when I came across this recipe for Mediterranean Kale & Cannelini Stew with Farro. Not just because it’s a healthy option, but also because I’ve been meaning to try cooking with kale. And farro is supposed to be the hottest grain on the scene since quinoa.

While I didn’t have any farro on hand, my regular grocery store had it stocked in their health food section. They even had kamut, another ancient grain that you could use in the recipe, but I opted for farro. Kale was also readily available, and pretty cheap! Since I’m a kale newbie, I double checked how to prepare kale before using it in the recipe.

The most surprising part of this stew was how easy it was to throw together. The bag of farro said to let it soak for 8 hours. Since I’m normally not one to adhere strictly to directions, I let it soak for about an hour, drained it, and threw it in with my chopped veggies and totally delicious fire-roasted tomatoes (Did you guys know about fire-roasted tomatoes?! They are amazing and come canned and should be put in everything as far as I’m concerned.) But anyway, the farro still turned out great, despite the fact that I didn’t soak it for a day. And after de-stemming my kale, I ripped it into small pieces and threw it into my stew with the lemon juice, and let the stew simmer another hour.

As for the final dish? Seriously tasty and filling. I even forgot it was a vegetarian stew thanks to the hearty beans and kale. I would also recommend not skimping on the fresh basil and feta. I know basil can get spendy this time of year, but it’s definitely worth it because it was totally delicious and fresh as a topper and played off of the lemon juice and salty kale. So splurge on the basil, I say. It was so good, in fact, that’s I’m actually looking forward to freezing it so I can heat it up later whenever I need a quick and tasty dinner. Oh and don’t forget to serve it with crusty dippable bread! Because everything tastes better with a thick slice of crusty bread. Get the recipe here.

 


Hi All, I’m Jessie, senior nutrition editor at Diabetic Living magazine, a health brand developed by Better Homes and Gardens. Though the Thanksgiving feast is something to savor, I’m always a little more excited the days after Thanksgiving when I don’t have to worry about getting dinner on the table and I can bask in the glory of a leftover-side-dish-surplus. And, unless my hungry hubby gets a hold of them first, I can always count on one or two meals made from leftovers of that succulent roasted turkey.

The key to making the most out of your turkey leftovers is to take it easy. That’s what leftovers are all about! You can easily chop up some leftover turkey and add it to salads, sandwiches, soups, and casseroles. You’ll not only enjoy the flavor of the meal, but you can also appreciate how quickly it came together. Here are four delicious ideas to inspire your culinary creativity with turkey leftovers.

But, alas, if you’re sitting there a mere day after the big feast with no leftovers to speak of – not one morsel of stuffing or one speck of pumpkin pie, don’t fret. I have two crumbs of advice…

1) Roast another turkey! And here’s why: After the Thanksgiving rush you can usually find some great discounts on turkeys at your local grocery store. Buy one in the few days after the holiday and before the prices go up again mid-December.

2) This time, plan for leftovers! The basic rule of thumb is to buy a turkey that weighs in at 1 pound/guest. I’m suggesting that you up that number. Next year, if you’ll have 12 guests, buy a 24-pounder (that’s 2 pounds/guest). That way you can almost ensure a refrigerator full of turkey-filled Tupperware. Yay!

In the meantime, here are a few more ideas for how to appreciate a bounty of extra bird.

And if your hunger for turkey leftover ideas is insatiable (mine is!), check here for 23 more great turkey leftover recipes and click here for leftover ideas with a healthful spin.


 

Hi everyone, Carlos here! I’m one of the senior food editors at Better Homes and Gardens. Years ago, one of my first work assignments after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America was to develop the ultimate Thanksgiving Day turkey recipe. Talk about a daunting task!

See, the problem with poultry is that white meat and dark meat taste best when cooked to different temperatures. The white breast meat is moist and succulent at about 165°F, while thighs and drumsticks are much better at 180°F. But the oven roasts everything at the same temperature so that’s impossible, right?

Well, turns out it is possible. It took me three weeks and 20 turkeys to crack this holiday nut, but I eventually hit upon several unique strategies that can help every part of the turkey cook to perfection. Start with this Classic Roast Turkey recipe, then try one or more strategies from my personal bag of turkey tricks.

  1. Help the drumsticks cook.When preparing the turkey, use a sharp knife to cut through the skin and tendons all the way around the bone just below where the drumsticks end. This allows the skin and meat to pull away during cooking, exposing bone. The bone conducts heat deep into the meat of the drumsticks, which makes them cook faster.

    Cutting the skin below the joint helps the drumsticks cook fast by exposing bone during cooking.

  2. Dive in, legs first.Position the turkey’s legs toward the back of the oven, if your roasting pan will fit that way. The back is hotter, which will help cook the legs a little faster.

    The back of the oven is hotter than the front so that’s where you want the legs to go.

  3. Flip the bird.My favorite technique is to start cooking the turkey breast-side down on the roasting rack. This slows the cooking of the white meat because it’s under the body, while elevating the hard-to-cook hindquarters so they can roast faster. Halfway through the cooking time, remove the turkey in the roasting pan to your stovetop or a secure spot on the counter. Then, use kitchen towels or oven mitts to grab hold of the turkey at the tail end and gently pivot the bird up and over until the breast is facing up. That way, it can get golden brown and crispy. (Note: I recommend limiting this maneuver to smaller, 12- to 14-pound turkeys. Larger birds can prove difficult to turn).

    Start the turkey breast-side down, then flip it after a few hours. I like to wear a pair of oven mitts for this. They go right into the laundry afterward.

By implementing these tactics, the dark meat will have an internal temperature up to 15° hotter than the breast meat. All that’s left to do is finish cooking per your recipe’s directions and then carve and enjoy a perfectly cooked turkey! To round out your Thanksgiving Day meal, find more excellent holiday recipes at BHG.com.

After resting the turkey for 20 minutes, it was moist, succulent, and oh so delicious!

To round out your Thanksgiving Day meal, find more excellent holiday recipes at BHG.com.


Hi there! I’m Beth, Assistant Digital Food Editor for BHG. It’s always my job to make the pies for Thanksgiving. So for my first post, I decided to make a pie as a dry run for the big event. But not just any pie. The holy grail of pies. The Caramel-Apple Cherry Pie from the November BHG cover, developed by none other than Gesine Bullock-Prado, the unofficial queen of pies. When I told my coworkers I was attempting this pie, I got a lot of skeptical looks. My sister even told me I was crazy.

I started with my Grandma’s piecrust recipe because it’s the only one I use. My other secret weapon was a pica pole my friend had loaned me. A pica pole is just a long metal ruler that was used to make newspaper layouts long ago. She slides it underneath her rolled out piecrust so that it doesn’t stick to her counter. Which is awesome because my piecrusts always stick to my counter. It worked like a charm. I skipped the pie weights, but I must admit that I stuck pretty close to my oven, checking through the window every couple of minutes like an anxious mother. For my apple filling, I swapped out a few Granny Smith apples for Honeycrisp to add some sweetness, and both of my fillings came together in a snap. As my caramel apples started to bubble and thicken, I began to think that I just might pull it off.

Then came the leaves. I was in a pickle. I didn’t have a fancy leaf cookie cutter (who has a fancy leaf cookie cutter?!), but I did have a Christmas tree cookie cutter. So I just pressed the end of the Christmas tree in opposite directions to form a shape I thought looked leaf-ish. After buttering and sugaring my “leaves” I alternated the fillings to put together the pie. Since I knew that my pie plate didn’t really qualify as deep dish, I only filled it to the brim and left out some of my caramel apples. Which I was pretty sure could easily double as a delicious ice cream topping later.

After another round of obsessively checking through the oven window, my masterpiece was done! Though it wasn’t an exact replica of the cover, I was one proud baker. At work the next day, everyone gobbled up my pie. Which was a good thing considering it was my Thanksgiving rehearsal pie. All in all, though it might have been the hardest pie I’ve ever attempted, I can proudly say I tackled the holy grail of pies. Get the recipe. Watch how to make it here!

 

Grandma’s Piecrust

1  1/2    cup of flour

1/2        tsp salt

2/3        cup of Crisco

1/3        cup of water

 

Cut Crisco into flour and salt with fork. Add enough water (cold) to knead into large ball. Divide dough in half and roll on floured board. Makes 2 crusts.

 


Hello! Katie Parker, Senior Digital Food Editor for BHG, joining the conversation. I hate wasting food and I recently nabbed a nifty tip from our Test Kitchen to capture every last bit of a stock of broccoli: Namely, use the stems. Stop making that face!, they really can be just as tasty as the hog-the-spotlight florets. I used my new method in our 4-star-rated Sesame Chicken with Broccoli for dinner last night.

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli

Watch the 1-minute method for cutting and cooking broccoli (cough, cough, that’s me doing the voiceover…hi Mom!). The gist: Peel off those knobby pieces to get to the smoother stem. For me, this looked like:

Chopping Broccoli

To cook, toss the stems into a pan with some water for 3 minutes, then add the florets and continue on for 2 minutes more:

Cooking Broccoli

The rest of the recipe was Wok work. Cook your marinated chicken (you will LOVE the tangy-sweet smell from the honey-soy marinade!):

Cooking Chicken

Set the chicken aside and cook yummy ginger, garlic, and green onions:

Chicken Flavorings

Then stir in chicken broth, soy sauce, smell-the-sweetness honey, cornstarch, rice vinegar, and chili paste. I plated without rice (and without sesame seeds, which were suspiciously unavailable at my local grocery store). I also like to eat with chopsticks when reasonable because it slows me down and helps me appreciate my dinner. And my crisp-tender broccoli florets and stems?—Perfection. Get the Sesame Chicken with Broccoli recipe here: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/sesame-chicken-with-broccoli-stir-fry/

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli


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