Holiday Dinner Q&A

Whether you're celebrating an official holiday or your own special occasion, our food preparation guide has all the answers you need to get started.

Your Cooking Questions Answered

woman with red pot

Click on the links below to find the answers to some of the most common questions in dinner preparation.

Mastering Main-Dish Meat and Seafood

Q. How do I thaw a frozen turkey?


Q. How do I use a meat thermometer?


Q. How do I make turkey gravy?


Q. How do I carve a turkey?


Q. How do I make toasted bread cubes for stuffing?


Q. Why let a cooked roast or bird stand before cutting it?


Q. How do I score a ham -- and why is it done?


Sides and Spices Simplified

Q. How do I work with dried herbs?


Q. How do I work with fresh herbs?


Q. Can I substitute dried herbs for fresh herbs in an emergency?


Q. What kinds of potatoes should I use to make mashed potatoes?


Q. How can I make plain dinner rolls a little more fancy for a holiday meal?


Baking Basics

Q. How do I measure ingredients for baking?


Q. What does it mean when a recipe calls for softened butter?


Q. How do I grease and flour a pan?


Q. Why should I line a baking pan with foil -- and how do I do it?


Q. How do I peel and cut apples for pie?


Q. How do I make and roll piecrust?


Q. How do I toast nuts?


Q. How do I chop nuts?


Q. How do I make sweetened whipped cream?


How do I roll and cut out sugar cookies?


Q. What's a simple way to decorate baked cookies?