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My Top 10 Helpful Hints for Cooking a Tasty Holiday Dinner

1. You can make anyone love Brussels sprouts if you treat the sprouts like cabbage. Just shred and sauté with a little butter, salt, and pepper until tender. Use the slicing wheel on your food processor to shred them quickly – it takes seconds.  Here’s a really easy recipe for shredded Brussels sprouts with pecans, bacon, and dried cranberries.

2. Add warmed milk to your mashed potatoes. This will keep the mashed potatoes warm and make them super creamy.

3. Deconstruct your turkey. It will cook quicker and more evenly.

4. Stuffing balls will please everyone; they’re moist on the inside and crispy on the outside.

5. To separate the turkey fat from the drippings, use a turkey baster or place the drippings in a bowl and place in the freezer uncovered – after a few minutes the fat will harden on top, making it easy to scoop off.

6. A great way to cook green beans: In a large fry pan, melt butter over medium heat; add green beans; toss; and season. When the beans get hot, add a few tablespoons of water then cover and steam until the beans start to turn bright green. Remove the cover and stir the beans – cook until water evaporates. Taste, season, and serve.

7. Gravy can be a fussy thing, so get it done ahead of time. It will give you more time to finish your veggie dishes and plate everything. Jamie Oliver’s recipe for “Get-Ahead Gravy” is pretty good – the star anise adds great flavour.

8. A sharp knife will make everything easier.

9. Taste everything before you serve it and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.

10. Ask for help if you need it. My holiday dinner was successful because of my mother-in-law’s help.

Bonus Helpful Hint: if you can’t commit to making turkey stock or soup with the left over carcass, wrap it tightly and freeze until you do have the time.

Deconstructed Turkey