I realize that the internet needs another recipe for caesar salad as much as it probably needs another new spin on chocolate chip cookies (guilty as charged, of course). Thus, it was nowhere on my agenda to suggest one. Plus, I’ve told you before that the only caesar dressing I need in my life is my hopelessly, unapologetically inauthentic one — no raw yolks, no tinned fish, and keeps in the fridge for a month, easily — which I’ve shared in some form over here and in Smitten Kitchen Every Day (in a salad with broken eggs and crushed croutons that you need in your life, trust me).
But earlier this year I was invited to be on Cherry Bombe Radio, which records at the Heritage Radio Studios, which broadcasts from two recycled shipping containers behind the Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick, at the edge of the garden where many of Roberta’s ingredients are grown. My son was home from school that day and I do not know what the 9 year-olds in your life are like, but if I told the one I’ve been assigned that I was going to be hanging out somewhere eating legendarily delicious pizza and not invite him along, he’d (rightly) declare it excessive cruelty. So he came along and along with pizza, ordered the very caesar-y romaine salad with candied walnuts and he declared it the best salad he’d ever eaten and begged me to make it at home. Again, I don’t know what the grade-schoolers in your life are like but I consider it a general rule that if a kid requests salad, they get it.
In case you hadn’t heard, Trader Joe’s just released a bunch of items for Thanksgiving. And in true Trader Joe’s fashion, there are some weird but delightful-sounding things, including a bag of chips that apparently tastes just like turkey and stuffing. Apparently they were around last year, but I somehow missed the memo (rude).
Now, Thanksgiving might be a couple weeks away, but that wasn’t going to stop me from running over to the grocery store immediately to try these. I took my dad along for the ride because he has the car and I didn’t feel like taking the Metro system (sorry, dad).
For most of my life, the guy checking receipts at the Costco exit was a well-known quasi-celebrity — as you walked up, he would guess your total just by looking at your cart before you handed him your receipt on the way out the door. He was very good — and is very missed, since he left for warmer climes.
Oprah is so wise. When she speaks, people know to listen. We rely on her advice to decide what books to read, what to cook for dinner, even who to vote for. So when she releases her list of favorite things every year, we are all ears. This list is basically the ultimate Christmas hack. What Oprah chooses, your friends and relatives are guaranteed to love — awkward Christmas morning gift exchange avoided. And this year, Oprah’s list includes some covetable food items.
If you missed out on Starbucks’ free, reusable red cups last Friday (and we know people were MAD about this), there’s still a way to get into the reusable holiday spirit.
Starbucks kicked off its 90-day Countdown to Christmas in September by introducing new reusable holiday cups and mugs, and they are all pretty fantastic. There’s a black sequin one that is gorgeous, and a rose gold tumbler that seems to be pretty popular, but there’s one tumbler in particular that is blowing up on Instagram and Starbucks’ secret Facebook group, the Leaf Rakers Society: the iridescent cold cup.
If you thought Trader Joe’s had a lot of pumpkin-flavored stuff for fall, it might not surprise you to learn that the grocer has even more themed stuff for Thanksgiving. In addition to general ingredients you’d expect (turkey stock, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, etc.), there are also tons of more surprising snacks, side dishes, and desserts. There’s even a frozen Turkey & Stuffing en Croute (a Beef Wellington-like turkey tenderloin with sweet cornbread stuffing, rolled into puff pastry)!
I decided to try five of the most Thanksgiving-themed groceries ahead of time to see if I’d want to serve any at my family’s celebration. (Note: I skipped the Turkey & Stuffing en Croute because I figured we’d want to have our traditional turkey.)
It’s a good thing I really like green beans. That’s because this month — as part of Kitchn testing out some of the most famous Thanksgiving recipes on the internet — I cooked a ton of them. I wanted to figure out which celebrity chef (out of Alton Brown, Ina Garten, and Ree Drummond) had the very best green bean recipe.
And if you think all green beans are the same, these three recipes proved that’s definitely not the case. Alton turned them into a classic casserole, Ina went the fancy route, and Ree made sure to toss in some bacon. So, which is the very best recipe to bring to your Thanksgiving table? Here’s how they ranked, from my least favorite to most favorite.
Quick! Grab your phone, set a timer for 30 seconds, and see how many cheeses you can name in that time — we’ll wait.
Did you get five? Maybe 10? Maybe 20, even? Well, if you’re wondering, your competition is this woman, a Milwaukee Bucks fan who named 27 different types of cheese in 30 seconds — with a microphone in her face and an arena full of people watching. She’s a curd nerd of the highest order!
For the past four or five years, my friend has hosted a pre-Thanksgiving dinner that he calls “Sidesgiving” because everyone brings their favorite holiday-season side dish. Even though he sets the date and sends invitations several weeks in advance, every single year I’m late because, at dinnertime, I’m still leaning down and peering into the oven, wondering whether hissing “OMGGGG COME ONNNNNN” will make those sweet potatoes cook any faster.
Of all the weird and wonderful items available for purchase at Costco (including a year’s worth of emergency food in case of the apocalypse, and a $6,400 bottle of cognac), this might top the list of the wackiest. For just $99, you could be the proud owner of a four-foot-tall wine glass, which is intended to be used for decorative purposes only. Obviously.