BigOven Food Fight – Linner or Dinner: Gorge Early vs. Build Some Anticipation

Linner-Or-Dinner--11.24

 

There are a plethora of activities to fit into Thanksgiving day. Drinks, appetizers, football, board games, dinner, half-falling asleep on the couch, dessert, attempting to chat with family members while really wanting to crawl into bed, picking at leftovers, actually falling asleep on the couch, then hauling yourself home to FINALLY crawl in bed with a very full tummy.

So much to do, so little time. Linner (Lunch-Dinner) is the sensible option here. Let’s give guests maximum hours to digest and a fighting chance to fend off that inevitable Turkey Day snoozer.

But maybe you’re just not the Linner type. If your tummy isn’t growling at 3 pm, why would you eat? Better stick to a normal schedule. You’ll eat when the sun goes down, thank-you-very-much.

This Thanksgiving, will you be stuffing turkey in your face ASAP or practicing patience?

 

 

See Thanksgiving recipes.

BigOven Food Fight – Pie Accompaniments: Cool Ice Cream vs. Wonderful Whipped Cream

Pie-Accompanients--11.23

 

After everyone has stuffed themselves with turkey and fixings, hopefully there’s room left for something sweet. We all know Thanksgiving pies are the ultimate dessert! Whether it’s pecan or pumpkin or apple, one slice or two, pie perfectly closes out a delicious Thanksgiving feast. Now for the most important decision—which topping to choose for your favorite pie? Do you crave the simple, pure taste of ice cream? Or do you prefer the frothy goodness of freshly whipped cream?

An unadorned pie is a travesty to most. Some opt for a big rounded scoop of vanilla ice cream, adding just the right touch of cool creaminess to freshly baked pie. It’s a classic combo, that’s for sure. 

Others pick a heaping dollop of fresh whipped cream, providing an excellent airy accompaniment to pie’s down-to-earth goodness. Just don’t forget to lick the beaters! Unless your whipped cream is coming from the can. 

Either way, your taste buds will enjoy reaching their final plane of food nirvana as the Thanksgiving meal comes to a close.

So, will you be scooping on the ice cream or spooning on the whipped cream?

 

 

See Thanksgiving dessert ideas here.

BigOven Food Fight – Gravy: Dump It on Everything vs. For the Bird & Potatoes Only

Gravy--11.22

 

Pouring gravy: the ceremonial christening of Thanksgiving dinner, and often times a difficult task to navigate.

Unless you’re a structural engineer, gravy overflow is inevitable. Ladles aren’t the most precise of kitchen instruments, and let’s be honest, at this point, your accuracy has likely been obscured by one or two spiked ciders. Shouldn’t we just save ourselves the struggle and slop the gravy on everything?

But then again, no matter the number of spiked ciders, sensibility has to kick in—few things are more resoundingly godawful than eating sliced fruit that’s coated in gravy. Why not set up a careful perimeter around the turkey ‘n taters? Despite popular belief, not all whirlpools of flavor are appetizing.

With that in mind, how will you handle your gravy?

Will you be letting the sauce flow free or reserving gravy for the bird and potatoes only?

 

 

Get some gravy recipe ideas here.

BigOven Food Fight – Turkey Meat: Dark & Moist vs. Just White

Turkey-Meat--11.21

 

Turkey is the unquestionable bigwig of Thanksgiving dinner and prized possession that likely receives more attention than your middle child. But what portion of the bird do you prefer?

Restricting yourself is utterly boring. Some of the most uninspired people exclusively gobble up white meat on Turkey Day. Dark meat offers up an exciting alternative… it’s succulent in taste and rich with flavor.

On the flip side, white turkey meat is a Thanksgiving staple. Comparable to re-watching Home Alone, you know what you’re getting yourself into—no surprises, no setbacks. Just simple, delicious carvings that pair nicely with all dishes.

Then again, who’s to say we can’t enjoy both? Don’t they each offer something terrific and tasty? And wouldn’t eating both be the socially-conscious choice? Two races of flavor existing side-by-side, in one delicious bite.

This Thanksgiving, will you be chowing down on dark meat or polishing off the white meat?

 

 

See more turkey recipes here.

BigOven Food Fight – Pie: Nuts for Pecan vs. Pumpkin Pretty Please

Pie--11.20

 

After you’ve pondered the pie crust dilemma and have finally chosen to go with homemade or store-bought, it’s time to make yet another momentous decision.

What will the filling be?

If your sweet tooth controls your life and you crave sugar at all times of the day (and night) pecan pie is probably the most suitable choice for you. It is sweet, plus pleasantly crunchy and nutty. A satisfying dessert for sure. Especially if you smother it in whipped cream or ice cream… we’ll get to that later. Besides, a dessert involving vegetables certainly cannot be considered a real dessert.

But maybe the true meaning of Thanksgiving to you is “pumpkin pie”. If pumpkin pie was not consumed, then Thanksgiving never happened. Plus, anything and everything pumpkin must make its way inside your tummy this time of year. And when desserts include veggies, you can rationalize inhaling 3 servings at least. The choice is obvious.

Devour both?

Are you a fan of pecan or purely pumpkin?

 

 

See more Thanksgiving dessert recipes.

BigOven Food Fight – Stuffing Stuff: All Up in the Bird vs. Leave It Out Out Out

Stuffing--11.19

Let’s talk stuffing.

Stuffing your bird presents a lively union, a fusion of Thanksgiving’s most celebrated dishes: turkey and stuffing. On top of the dynamic taste, stuffing the turkey saves oven space. Why waste precious oven real estate by preparing each dish individually? Go for the gusto, make off with the kitchen and the sink.

On the contrary, baking the stuffing in the bird greatly increases the risk of a kitchen catastrophe. If done incorrectly, stuffing can become your biggest adversary—mushy and undercooked, the bready disaster might just send your guests (and you) to bed earlier than expected. Taint my turkey? I don’t think so.

Will you be stuffing your bird this holiday season or cooking the stuffing separately?

 

Get more stuffing recipes.

BigOven Food Fight – Macaroni: Mac Attack vs. Hold the Cheese

Macaroni--11.18

 

Cheese lovers unite!

Fromage fiends always find a way to consume cheese 365 days a year, even during the most hallowed of festive celebrations, Thanksgiving. The creamy, comforting taste makes one think of home, warm kitchens and snuggly blankets. Mac n cheese is a quick and easy, catch-all dish for relatives who eat nothing but beige foods. Ahem, Uncle Joe, we’re talking about you. But does mac n cheese really belong on the Thanksgiving table?

Some think Thanksgiving is all about turkey and its traditional fixings. With the extra special care and attention placed on shopping, prepping, and cooking for weeks on end, mac n cheese may feel like the underdressed second cousin twice removed in the celebration.

Does your house welcome cheese to the feast or do you prefer to celebrate the Pilgrim way? Cast your vote!

 

 

Get more Thanksgiving stuffing and grains recipes.

BigOven Food Fight – Turkey Prep: Brine It Good vs. Brine’s a Waste of Time

Turkey-Prep--11.17

 

The day before Thanksgiving home cooks will be in a wrestling match… with their turkeys, that is.

Let’s talk about the goodness of that brine first. Brine turns dry, boring turkey into a succulent feast fit for the Pilgrims. Make that turkey plump with salt water and it’s a whole different ballgame. The wrestling match might even be worth it.

But getting a 10 to 20 pound turkey hoisted into a tub or cooler before giving it a good salt rubdown is not for the faint of heart. Forcing the turkey into submission is one big exercise in Thanksgiving weightlifting. Not to mention, the salt rubdown is a bit too much on the massaging-dead-animals front for many of us.

That being said, will you be brining your turkey or taking the quick and easy route?

 

 

See more turkey recipes.

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

Pie-Crust--11.15

 

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.