Everyday Food Blog

Our food editors are standing by to take your questions!

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Enjoy a direct line to our experts today!

See these lovely smiling faces? You're looking at our team of food editors, busy cooking away in our test kitchen. Today, between 1 and 2pm EST, they'll be answering your holiday questions. Please post your query, conundrum, or call for help—whether it's about baking, turkey roasting, sweet potato dishes, stuffing how-tos, or anything else—in the comments below, or on the @everydayfood Twitter feed and one of our experts will respond in real time. Fun!

Comments (32)

  • avatar

    What's the best way to prepare a turkey breast? Do I need to brine the turkey breast first?

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    I'm bringing a dessert to a friend's house for Thanksgiving. They live an hour and a half away. Can you recommend an easily portable thanksgiving dessert recipe (other than pie)?

  • avatar Author Comment:

    We like brining! Try this recipe for a Brined, Slow-Cooked Turkey Breast.

  • avatar Author Comment:

    Do you have our November recipe? The pumpkin doughnut muffins are to DIE FOR. Or try an the Apple-Cranberry Pandowdy from our October issue.

  • avatar

    Thanks!

  • avatar

    Is there such a thing as vegetarian gravy? I've gone vegetarian a few months ago, and will miss my mom's wonderful gravy on the mashed potatoes.

  • avatar Author Comment:

    Hi Debby. We've never actually done it, but this is how we'd go about it. Roast a selection of mixed vegetables, including celery, onion, carrot, garlic, button mushrooms and maybe a little fennel. Do that over high heat, like 450F. When those are nice and caramelized and cooked, deglaze the pan with vegetable broth (we like the Imagine brand). Simmer and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Then make a mixture of softened butter and flour (start with 3 tablespoons each). Strain your vegetable mixture into a saucepan and gradually whisk in the butter/flour mixture until it is thickened to your liking. Some fresh thyme leaves would be nice to finish this off.

  • avatar

    Thank you! Can you elaborate on the "deglaze the pan with vegetable broth" part?

  • avatar Author Comment:

    Deglaze just means adding water to the pan so that you release any browned bits of food that are stuck to the pan. That's the flavorful stuff! So when you add the liquid, put the pan over a burner so it's simmering, then use a wooden spoon to stir and scrape the bottom of the roasting pan.

  • avatar

    Any suggestions for a simple, yet elegant treat to make as a favour to give away to my guests at the end of our Holiday party? Last year I'd made a Candy Cane Chocolate Bark and it was a hit.

  • avatar

    Thank you again! Looking forward to trying this.

  • avatar Author Comment:

    Try this seasonal pumpkin seed brittle. You can definitely make it ahead of time; just store in an airtight container.

  • avatar

    Any tips for preventing pie crust shrinkage during pre-baking? I'm always careful not to stretch the dough when fitting it into the plate, chill it well before baking, and line with foil and pie weights yet still it shrinks. Thanks!

  • avatar

    do you have a gluten-free stuffing recipe? Traditional...without fruit.

  • avatar

    Is there a way to prepare mashed potatoes the day before Thanksgiving? I always make such a mess peeling, boiling, and mashing the potatoes.

  • avatar Author Comment:

    You might be over processing the dough—when you add the ice water, pulse only enough so that it holds together when squeezed. We are also big believers in chilling the dough longer. Try at least an hour, or up to overnight.

  • avatar Author Comment:

    Yes, you can make them up to 2 days ahead. Reheat gently the day of, you might need to add some additional milk to get the mixture back to a creamy consistency. We've also heard from readers who hold the mashed potatoes in their slow cooker with good results.

  • avatar Author Comment:

    Hi Jane. We're leery of the gluten-free cornbread mixes because they will probably just fall apart when you add the liquid. Why don't you try a wild rice stuffing? This one has fruit, but you could omit them if you don't care for the fruit.

  • avatar

    Thank you for the mashed potato answer.

    What would be the best way to reheat the mashed potatoes? Microwave? Stovetop? Double boiler?

  • avatar Author Comment:

    Microwave would work. Or stovetop over low heat, make sure to stir as they warm up so they don't stick on the bottom.

  • avatar

    I have heard that when buying a commercial brand turkey (such as Butterball) that the salt injections and such serve as a brine and it is not necessary to brine these turkeys. Is this true, or do these turkeys also benefit from brining?

  • avatar

    I need a drink to serve with my Christmas Supper menu [chicken artichoke casserole, broccoli cauliflower salad, ambrosia, +a few finger foods and desserts.] Too many invitees do not drink coffee or tea; I can't do alcohol; all of my punches seem to be too strong to accompany the meal. Party size: 30-45.

    Thanks for any suggestions

  • avatar

    I am in need of a innovative and warm appetizer that will not frighten the traditional dip divers and will not hinder my hostess in her kitchen.

    Thanks.

  • avatar

    Can you freeze a homemade pecan pie?

  • avatar

    I would really like to make the Glazed Chocolate Layer Cake from the December 2009 issue for the holidays this year, but I'm feeding small children and don't want to use raw eggs in the filling. Are there any adjustments I could make to the recipe so that it does not include raw eggs? Thanks!

  • avatar Author Comment:

    Try this simple Chocolate Frosting.

  • avatar

    i am making Rose's baked artichoke hearts today. I have mixed in separate bowls the dry and wet ingredients at 2pm to bake at 6pm.

    My question is: can the mixture of 2/3c olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic and 1/4 of fresh lemon juice sit for 4 hours? Will the acid in the lemon juice compromise the olive oil.

    Thank you

  • avatar

    I bought a fried turkey (school fundraiser) and need advice on reheating so it won't dry out.

  • avatar

    Where can I find the recipe for salt and olive oil Madeleine cookies?
    I was listening on the radio in the middle of the night last night driving home and I didn't catch the source. I am a great fan of these cookies would love to try these.
    Thank you
    Gabrielle

  • avatar

    ON A MAILER/ORDERFORM FOR LIVING. THERE IS A RECIPE FOR BANANA BREAD CALLING FOR 1 CUP BAKING SODA. IS THIS CORRECT? I HAVE NEVER SEEN A RCIPE ASKING FOR 1 CUP BAKING SODA. THANK YOU.

  • avatar

    How do calculate the amount of food-to-person ratio when party planning? Will this also be the same for young teens/athletes? Can you please pass this request on to the crafters dept---Will you do a Large Mardi Gras spread/decorations idea earlier in the summer for a French/Italian Mardi Gras/Carnivale Themed party so that plenty of time can be had for making & assembling props and food for those of us on limited budgets.

  • avatar

    In the March issue, the one dish casseroles. Can they be frozen before baking?

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