Thanksgiving Cooking Hacks…these are real

21 Nov

thanksgiving humor

I’m posting this a week early, because if you are like me, you obsess about Thanksgiving and ensuring all is perfect.  So, lo and behold, look what I found!  Thank you, Buzz Feed.

1. Add a little baking powder to make mashed potatoes extra fluffy.

Add a little baking powder to make mashed potatoes extra fluffy.

Apparently, the heat of the potatoes triggers the baking powder’s chemical reaction, and the CO2 produced = extra fluffiness. Try this simple recipe from an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

2. DIY a last-minute roasting rack with tinfoil.

3. Print or write out recipes and tape them to your cabinets for easy access.

Print or write out recipes and tape them to your cabinets for easy access.

Losing that piece of paper 17 times (or spilling pie filling all over it) is NOT going to help you get into a zen cooking space. You can also cut out pages from magazines or make photocopies if you want to do this with a recipe from a cookbook.

This also makes it a lot easier to recruit cooking helpers, since you can just point them towards the recipe and tell them to figure out the rest.

4. Bake stuffing in muffin tins to maximize crispy surface area and make easy single servings.

Bake stuffing in muffin tins to maximize crispy surface area and make easy single servings.

Just use your favorite stuffing recipe or try these Pancetta & Sage Stuffing Muffins.

5. Freeze rolled-out pie crusts so they hold their shape in the oven.

Freeze rolled-out pie crusts so they hold their shape in the oven.

Just pop them in the freezer for 20 minutes to an hour while you make the fillings, then bake (without thawing). This will let the gluten in the dough relax and minimize shrinkage during baking. This is mainly for single-crust pies like pumpkin and pecan; if you’re adding a top crust you don’t really have to worry as much about shrinking.

6. Microwave potatoes instead of boiling to save time.

Microwave potatoes instead of boiling to save time.

You’re going to mash ‘em anyway, so there’s no real reason not to do it this way.

7. Slow-roast your turkey overnight to free up oven space the day of.

Slow-roast your turkey overnight to free up oven space the day of.

Sounds crazy, but apparently it works like a charm: Put the turkey in before you go to bed, turn the heat down, and wake up to a falling-off-the-bone tender bird in the morning. Here’s the recipe.

8. Use a wine glass to cut out biscuits.

Use a wine glass to cut out biscuits.

Maybe you’re a true biscuit believer who keeps a metal cutter around, but if not this will do just fine. Make sure to dip the glass in flour after every few to keep the dough from sticking, and push straight down without twisting to make sure the biscuits can rise.

9. Make gravy instantly great by adding soy sauce.

Make gravy instantly great by adding soy sauce.

Your best bet is always basing a gravy off yummy turkey pan drippings. But if a) you didn’t save them b) you’re vegetarian or c) your gravy’s just a little bland, a splash of umami is the easiest way to bring out flavor (science says!). Try adding a spoonful of regular soy sauce, Liquid Aminos, or Maggi seasoning.

Try this basic recipe.

10. Ice down the turkey’s breast before roasting to keep it from drying out.

Ice down the turkey's breast before roasting to keep it from drying out.

This actually works! By starting the breast at a slightly lower temperature, you solve the problem of white meat cooking faster than dark.

11. Grate frozen butter straight into pie or biscuit dough.

Grate frozen butter straight into pie or biscuit dough.

You can use any normal cheese grater. This way the butter stays cold, which you want to keep everything tender and flaky, but you don’t have to give yourself an elbow injury cutting it into the flour.

12. Prep all your vegetables a day or two ahead and keep them in the fridge.

Prep all your vegetables a day or two ahead and keep them in the fridge.

You can peel potatoes and carrots, chop onions, wash greens, and do basically any other prep steps called for in the recipes you’re using. This is the kind of thing that will feel crazy when you’re doing it, and AWESOME the next day when you realize you already did.

13. Rice is an easy, non-wasteful way to weigh down pie crust for pre-baking.

Rice is an easy, non-wasteful way to weigh down pie crust for pre-baking.

Most people don’t have actual pie weights around, and using beans is annoying because they get funny-smelling after baking, and you probably won’t want to eat them. With rice, you can just make pilaf the next day.

14. Cook white and dark turkey meat separately to make sure both are perfect.

Never, never let dry breast meat happen to you. Check out this helpful video that shows exactly how to break down a turkey into parts, then cook separately with recipes like Butter-Roasted Turkey Breast and Braised Turkey Thighs.

15. If you boil potatoes whole, you don’t need to peel them.

17 Life-Saving Thanksgiving Cooking Hacks

Just shock them in ice water when they’re done and then slip the skin off with your hands.

16. Use a beaded necklace to make a cool, easy pie crust design.

17 Life-Saving Thanksgiving Cooking Hacks

Check out this video for more crimping ideas.

17. Instead of scrubbing lots of potatoes, put them through the dishwasher.

When you’re mashing in bulk, there’s no time for scrubbing by hand, like a chump. Just put the potatoes through a quick rinse cycle (WITHOUT soap, please) and cook away. You could pop sweet potatoes and other sturdy root vegetables in there, too.

Here is my favorite picture from last Thanksgiving

0102862df2d6520b6f916aa1d4a0a02e45a75e6335

Song of the Day: Fly Me to the Moon, by Frank Sinatra

Fill my heart with song
and let me sing forever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore

Next week, I will post about Dressing your Thanksgiving table.  I know, so, so exciting!!

Have a great weekend!  Another home Bears game.  Can’t wait!  Go Bears!

xoxo,

T.

5571a11c92e8d5a8a5f65772bdf8c345 ce332a956b15d423c5647b3b1ffa93e0

This is for you, Connie!

3d8eceec60b45148a24f8b5d76d5d1b6

02d21f3ded4574c4964606c5d6c7a4ae

d4eb787bca7658a8d9b9cb39db46964b

Well that, and I’m witty.  😉

 

Source:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/life-saving-thanksgiving-cooking-hacks

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Thanksgiving Cooking Hacks…these are real”

  1. stewcarol November 21, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    Alrightee then, that’s quite a crowd eating all those potatoes! Do like the tips. Getting excited for Brian home from college Tuesday just after my mother in law arrives for the week. Family fun, don’t forget the homemade chex mix!! Enjoy the holidays.

    • Dressed to a T December 5, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

      Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving, my dear, dear friend! Please share the homemade chex mix recipe! xoxo

  2. LAP November 21, 2014 at 10:06 pm #

    Some great ideas here . . . thanks! Happy Thanksgiving, T!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: