Friday Find: Thanksgiving help

(I didn't post a Friday Find last week because I was hunting for things for the Decor Guide, and had just posted the Gift Guide. I thought about taking a break this week, but there's no time for that! We have things to discuss!)

 

I'll get straight to the point: I love everything Cook's Illustrated does (not sponsored, I just really love them). I've never made a bad recipe from them, and they have such useful ideas. I love that they explain what they tried, what worked, what didn't, and why. Lucky for us, they recently released a helpful Thanksgiving guide, and I am gleefully browsing it, in disbelief that Thanksgiving is just two weeks away! 

 Photo from cooksillustrated.com.

Photo from cooksillustrated.com.

There are lots of helpful tips and tricks, including when to buy brussels sprouts, a clever way to chop celery, and how to fix a pie crust (Daisy, my pie challenged friend, I thought of you!).

I want to do a Thanksgiving recipe round-up, but I'm not sure I'll get to it in a more formal way. So, if I don't, here are a few I've had great luck with. Some of the original recipes are behind a paywall, which, frankly, is worth it. Likewise, I always recommend the Cook's Illustrated cookbook. It's my go-to, and it's currently about $23 on Amazon.

Pumpkin Praline Pie. I am a pumpkin pie purist. For me it doesn't get any better than the recipe on the back of the Libby's can, but this classic twist with its crunchy, chewy, nutty top was a delightful treat. (Pro tip: Not currently behind a paywall, though it usually is. Enjoy it while it lasts!)

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble. Apparently you can put a pecan crumble on anything and it will win me over. I have tried many sweet potato casseroles over the years, and I think this one is my favorite. It's well balanced, but still a little whimsical with the addition of a handful of marshmallows. (Check out that Cook's Illustrated Thanksgiving guide for the secret to perfect marshmallow topping!)

Classic Green Bean Casserole. Look, I don't like green bean casserole. I don't like canned green beans and I don't like soup out of a can. But if we're being honest, I found some fancy fried onions at the store last year, and wanted an excuse to buy them. So I decided to try a fresh version of the mushy old classic, just for kicks. As usual, I turned to my friend Cook's Illustrated, and used their classic recipe (online behind a paywall, and also in the cookbook. I'd never tell you to google it so you can see if someone has posted the whole recipe on their blog, but if you think of that all on your own then there's really nothing I can do about it.) The differences are huge: it uses fresh, blanched green beans, and a mushroom cream sauce from scratch. For a few brief but precious moments on Thanksgiving morning, I stood at the stove stirring that sauce, and contemplated asking everyone to leave so I could have some private time alone with it and a spoon. This year I plan on skipping the onion and breadcrumb topping altogether, and just tossing some bright green, freshly blanched, nutritious green beans in that delicious, heartwarming, unhealthy, cozy white mushroom sauce. It was truly perfect.

 

I love menu planning, especially for Thanksgiving, and I'd love to hear what you're planning! Do you have any favorite recipes to share? What's on your menu this year? I know a lot of you have good stuff. Especially you, Sarah.