Thanksgiving Shortcuts – Bis

By Anne-Marie Kovacs, Chief Wife

Nothing much has changed much since our “Thanksgiving Shortcuts” article of last year. I’m still filled with equal amounts of trepidation and apprehension. I’m looking forward to hosting all my guests but have not quite yet wrapped my head around how I will conquer the Thanksgiving-dinner-prep list.

As with last year, I’m always on the hunt for shortcuts. That’s not cheating. It’s resourcefulness and inventiveness. Right?

Anyhoo, here are some of the new “shortcut” ideas that hit my radar this year:

 

 Hooray Purée –  Originally conceived to provide “added-in” nutrition to kids meals, these convenient packets are a great way to add flavor and cut out all the vegetable prep time to various dishes. The Hooray Purée are made of 100% vegetables, without a single additives and are packaged for stable shelf life. Choose for carrot, butternut squash and spinach purées. Here are some ideas for Thankgiving-friendly recipes: Broccoli-Squash Casserole, Corn Bread Stuffing, Cheese & Carrot Macaroni Bake. You can now buy Hooray Purée online.
 Turkey Tent – Why tent a turkey or any other meat? Adding that “blanket” helps to lock in flavor and to retain moisture. You know, for that moist and tender turkey. You always can attempt to create your own tent or… get this handy one, made of super heavy weight aluminum. It lines the bottom of your pan and “tents” around the turkey. It acts as a turkey lifter too and keeps your pan clean. Love. Find the Turkey Tent on Amazon.
Instant Read Thermometer – It’s not until last year’s Thanksgiving that I realized that I could be “cooking 2.0″ instead of using my archaic dial thermometer to gauge the “done-ness” of my turkey. The instant read digital thermometer is much more reliable. Take the plunge. Here are some choices for instant read thermometers.
 Pre-Brined Turkey – I used to brine my own turkey. You know, the whole affair with the huge bag and the spice mix and the headache to figure out how I would store the whole dang thing. Now I ask myself why anyone would go through all that trouble when you can buy a PRE-brined turkey. I get mine at Trader Joe’s but I’m sure that you can find them at any super-market. Worth it for a wonderfully moist and tender cooked turkey.
 The Perfect Masher – Quite the improvement over the traditional potato masher I used to own. No wonder I hated making mashed potatoes. The Perfect Masher is made with diamond shaped cutting blades that makes an effortless and quick job of mashing, ricing and cutting through foods while keeping their texture. Try it also on egg salad and guacamole. Find it on Amazon.
 Fresh Mill Herb Grinders - We mentioned these mills before and there is no better time than now to put them to use.  The Fresh Mill herb grinders can be filled with whole, fresh herbs and then stored in the freezer. The Fresh Mill works like a cheese grater: hold it over your dish and twist a few times to sprinkle finely chopped herbs on food. You can purchase them directly from Amazon.
 Mini Whipper –  I like this little tool that will quickly whip up the whipped cream that will dress up our Thanksgiving desserts. It takes a few pumps and about 60 seconds to make about a pint worth of whipped cream: “Unique plunger circulates air and makes whipped cream fluffier and faster than ordinary beaters”. I especially like that I won’t have to pull out the whole electric hand mixer. I’ll also use this little tool to froth milk for our après dinner coffee. Find it on Amazon.

 

And a HAPPY & EASY Thanksgiving to you!

 

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