BigOven Food Fight – Potatoes: Purely Mashed vs. Roasted & Crispy

Potatoes--11.16

 

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without potatoes.

Especially mashed potatoes. They’re so creamy, thanks to butter and… cream. And nothing is more enjoyable than forming the perfect well in the center of your mashers to hold all of that lovely, rich gravy.

Whoa, whoa. Let’s add a bit more texture to this whole potato situation. Baby food consistency is never ideal (unless you’re missing a majority of your chompers). What we’re really going for is crispy roasted potatoes. A drizzle of olive oil, big pinch of salt and maybe a sprinkling of rosemary is all that’s required. Let the potatoes really shine. Are you eating potatoes whipped with butter and cream, or butter and cream whipped with potatoes?

Hmm good question.

Will you be digging your spoon into a mound of fluffy mashed taters or taking a fork to some crispy spuds?

 

 

Get more potato recipes here.

 

BigOven Food Fight – Pie Crust: Homemade All the Way vs. Store-Bought Hits the Spot

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Pie crust has to be the very best part of a pie. It’s buttery, flaky, tender and perfectly golden brown.

All you need is a few ingredients and the crust is underway. Just a bit of finagling (plus a lot of experience) and your pie will be ready for the oven.

But why is it crumbling? And why is it stuck to the rolling pin, parchment paper, your hands and your hair? Plus how did it become so gummy and tough? Fail.

Just quietly creep on over to the frozen aisle of the nearest grocery store and grab yourself a couple premade pie crusts. You are making the filling and baking the thing after all, so 66.667% homemade can reasonably translate to 100% homemade. And it might actually taste a lot better than if you went through with making your own crust from scratch.

Hmmm.

Will you be rolling out the dough or pulling out the dough (from a box) this Turkey Day?

 

 

Get pie recipes here.

BigOven Food Fight – The Menu: Stick to the Tried & True vs. Try Something New

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Coming up with the Thanksgiving menu can either require no thought at all or a lot of brainstorming.

You can go the easy route and just do the exact same thing you did the year before. And the year before that, and the year before that… basically cook up the dishes that your great-grandmother used to back in the day. You know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

But maybe your taste buds are getting a wee bit tired of the same old gluey mashed potatoes drowned in the same old giblet gravy plopped right next to the same old questionable green bean casserole. Why not swap in a fresh kale salad topped with bright pomegranate seeds? Perfectly roasted parsnips could surely replace those sad mashed potatoes and no one would know the difference. Just be sure to keep that raspberry jello salad or your younger sister might start throwing punches over the modernized feast.

Decision, decisions.

Will you be sticking with tradition or switching things up?

 

 

Get Thanksgiving recipe inspiration here.

BigOven Food Fight – Bread with Dinner: Gimme Some vs. No Thanks

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It’s hard to beat warm, homemade bread.

You tear off a fluffy piece of carb heaven, slather on the butter or gravy (or both) and let it melt onto your tongue as you savor it ever so slowly. Biscuits, crescent rollsa rustic loaf… it’s all good and all welcome onto your Thanksgiving plate. Bread and stuffing? Bring it on! You know what they say, go big or go home.

Just wait a minute. You can devour a basket of bread any ole day. Thanksgiving is dedicated to the turkey. Plus the stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, cranberries, gravy and pie. There’s simply no room in your belly for more food. It would be physically impossible to fit even one buttermilk biscuit into your stomach after going back for seconds… er fourths. And come on, pie > bread.

Or is it?

Will you be noshing on some extra carbs or kicking bread to the curb this Thanksgiving?

 

 

See more bread recipes.

BigOven Food Fight – Stuffing Composition: Oysters for Days vs. No Shellfish in My Dish

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Who doesn’t love stuffing? It’s another vehicle for gravy and makes the best leftovers.

Some may argue that oysters are necessary when it comes to cooking up the most delicious stuffing. They add that something something that you just can’t get otherwise. You know, that je ne sais quoi.

If you’re all “je ne sais what?!” and gag when you hear the word “oysters” you’ll probably be leaving these sea creatures out of your Thanksgiving stuffing. Oysters may be considered a delicacy by some, but no way will you be convinced. Never.

Although… if you chop them up real small, it’s like they’re not even there, right?

Are oysters allowed in your Thanksgiving stuffing or out of the question?

 

 

See more stuffing recipes here.

BigOven Food Fight – Cranberries: Canned Crans vs. From Scratch

Cranberries--11.3

 

Ahh cranberries. They’re the perfect amount of sweet, tart and tangy. Plus they cut the richness of all that turkey and gravy.

Perhaps you’re the type that reaches for a can or two of the stuff without thinking twice. Why dirty more pots and pans making dish number 14 when you can simply whip out your can opener then spoon some awesomeness into a bowl and call it good. If anyone asks, yes, they are indeed homemade.

But maybe the thought of plopping a gelatinous cran mass onto a plate makes you cringe just a little. If you’re already spending 49 hours preparing Thanksgiving dinner, what’s another 17 minutes? Besides, your daughter-in-law would shake her head in dismay if she found out you took the easy route, and you’re never one to disappoint. Homemade it is.

Or not?

When Turkey Day rolls around, will you be saying “yes” to the can or whipping up your own batch of crans?

 

 

See more cranberry recipes.

BigOven Food Fight – Food Touching: Encouraged vs. Not Okay

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Thanksgiving means lots and lots of food. Plate real estate becomes rather valuable so you have to formulate your plan of attack with careful consideration.

One route is to just pile it on. Think Leaning Tower of Pisa in turkey dinner form. Who cares if everything touches? At the end of the day, it all ends up in the same place anyway. Plus a mouthful of cranberries, potatoes, gravy and turkey is probably the best combo of flavors known to mankind.

However, the mere thought of different foods touching might make some folks start to panic and sweat. No no no! The mashed potatoes and candied sweet potatoes are not allowed to mingle! Flavors are meant to be enjoyed one at a time. Human taste buds simply cannot handle so much stimulation. Neat, separate piles of each Thanksgiving dish is the only (and correct) way to go.

But is it?

This Thanksgiving, will you be casually cramming or deliberately dividing?

 

 

See all Thanksgiving recipes.

BigOven Food Fight Turkey Edition 2015

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BigOven Food Fight Turkey Edition 2015 is here!

What Thanksgiving debate rages each year in your household? We’re bringing back some popular topics from last year, and introducing some new ones too! Join in the fun on our blog, FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

No matter the results, we’ll be serving up tasty Thanksgiving recipes, ideas and tips.

Check our blog daily and cast your vote!

 

See all Thanksgiving recipes.

3-Ingredient Cocktails

 

Maybe it’s the weekend.

Or maybe you’re having a few (ahem, all your) friends over.

Or maybe you just want to relax after a long day… the dog had an accident in the house (again), you forgot to sign your child’s permission slip (again) and that slow cooker chicken chili you tried to throw together that morning in a mere 1.7 minutes just isn’t tasting right come dinner time.

No matter the scenario, it’s always a good idea to have a few basic cocktails ready to go. Leave out the alcohol and you’ve got some kid-friendly beverages.

Gin: Gin & Tonic

Perhaps fruity and sweet just isn’t your thing. We understand. Simply pour yourself a gin and tonic. If only everything in life was this easy.

Vodka: Rose Kennedy

Because bubbles = happiness, and vodka crans (aka Cape Cods) are a little too standard. You deserve something special after all. We like using lemon-lime soda but club soda works too.

Tequila: Paloma

Margaritas are good, but Palomas really get the party started. Sparkling grapefruit juice and tequila are meant to be together. Don’t forget the lime! And a side of warm tortilla chips for munching. Plus some salsa and guac.

Rum: Piña Colada

Feeling tropical? Sip on a sweet piña colada. It’s like pineapple coconut dessert in a glass. Who can complain?

 

Tip: Ice and chilled glasses are your best friends.

3-Ingredient Snack Mixes

3-Ingredient Snack Mixes

 

Who doesn’t love a good snack?

 

There are definitely mediocre snacks out there. (Limp celery, we’re talking about you.)

 

But when snack time rolls around, you want to be equipped with the best of the best.

 

All you really need to know is sweet + salty. Yep! That’s the secret to an awesome, satisfying snack.

 

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

 

Peanuts with Raisins & Pretzels

Salty peanuts and sweet raisins are basically best friends. Throw some crisp pretzels in there and your snackage game will be on point.

 

Cashews with Cherries & Chocolate

Nutty cashews pair with tart dried cherries beautifully. Semisweet chocolate makes everything better. Try to get one of each in every bite!

 

Almonds with Apricots & White Chocolate

Tangy dried apricots are amazing as is, but the party really gets going when you extend an invite to crunchy almonds and sweet white chocolate.

 

Pumpkin Seeds with Cranberries & Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Toasted pumpkin seeds. Sweet-tart dried cranberries. Irresistible yogurt covered pretzels. Need we say more?

 

Easy, right?

 

The next time you have a few spare moments, mix together a healthy snack that tastes like a treat. Your taste buds and stomach will thank you.