Thanksgiving Menu Planning

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Every year I vow to try something new for Thanksgiving and every year I end up making the same tried and true staples. As the food preparation checklist gets longer and the day looms closer, the thought of trying something untested and possibly ruining a dish I serve to my friends and family shouts down any lingering dream of getting creative. However, I’92ve discovered that, as with so many things, the internet has a wealth of resources to make trying something new this holiday season easier and less risky. Perhaps this is the year for pumpkin souffl’e9 surprise after all’85

How To Plan your Thanksgiving Menu Online.

Food Network:’a0For everything you need to have your loved ones raving about your amazing Thanksgiving feast, start with the food experts at the Food Network online. Not only can you get any of the recipes that you’92ve seen your favorite food network stars whip up on TV, you can watch clips from the show it was included on to see Rachael Ray or Alton Brown walk you through it one more time. The ’93Thanksgiving Essentials Cooking School’94 is a library of video tutorials, so you never have to rely on a vaguely worded recipe to get the perfect lump-free gravy. Recipes are rated by users that have tried it at home, so you can benefit from the experience of other’92s before committing to a new recipe. Even if you’92ve never tuned into Food Network on TV, recipes are sorted into menus such as ’93Quick and Easy’94 or ’93Budget-Friendly’94 so you can quickly find a full spread to suit your needs and tastes.

Epicurious: Still looking for the perfect menu tailored to your specific guests and cooking style? Check out the personalized menu planners at Epicurious () or Better Homes and Gardens. Answer a few simple questions and the planner will use your answers to come up with a list of recipes for YOUR perfect Thanksgiving Day meal, customized to the size of your party and/or your cooking style. From easy to make recipes for the novice cook, to healthier options, the planners will give you all the dishes to create your own feast. Epicurious recipes include ratings and comments, and users will often suggest modifications that can make a recipe tastier or healthier.

iFeast App: One of the trickiest parts of making Thanksgiving Dinner is ensuring that everything, from the turkey to the stuffing to the gravy, is ready to put on the table at the same time so that all your food is hot when everyone sits down at the table. iPhone users rejoice: there is a new app called iFeast that will help you achieve that holiday dining nirvana. Customize iFeast to your menu by adding your own recipes, or use its pre-programmed recipes. Then simply enter the time you want to have dinner ready to serve and the app will tell you when to start preparing each dish in order to have everything ready at the same time. It will even let you know where your windows of rest opportunity are so you can take a load off between mashing and whisking. After all, who doesn’92t need a break for some cheese ball? It will even tell you when to set the table and chill the wine, and has an integrated shopping list function to help ensure you don’92t forget the apples for Aunt Mildred’92s famous stuffing.

USDA Tips: For the final word on how to ensure that you send your guests home with leftovers, not food poisoning, be sure to review the USDA’92s guide to how to safely roast a turkey at. From thawing and cooking methods, including estimated times per pound, to how to store and reheat leftovers, this page will likely answer all your last minute turkey quandaries. If not, there’92s a USDA Meat and Poultry hotline and email address so that you can ask your burning Turkey question, such as, ’93is there any way to salvage a burnt bird?’94

If the thought of getting a turkey on the table has you broken out in hives, drop us a note on Facebook or email us at for more Thanksgiving menu resources.

photo by: penguincakes

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