Monday, November 30, 2009

Basic Tomato Soup: Like Sands Through the Hourglass

Today on Serious Eats: Meringue Cookies, fat-free sweets for under a buck per batch. Mama likes.

When I was little, there were two kinds of sick days. The first involved contracting some hideous childhood disease, toughing out the equally traumatic remedy, and missing seminal chunks of my education. (See: third grade chicken pox, oatmeal baths, and long division. I only learned what a remainder was yesterday.)

But then there were the other kind of sick days. The good ones. The ones when you’d puke once, and then never again. The ones when your parents couldn’t send you to school in good conscience, even though you felt fine thereafter. Those kind of sick days ruled.

I remember Lin would pick up assignments from my teachers. Ma would stay home from work. We’d park it on the bird sofa and peruse The Price is Right, hoping someone named Kris would win a car (because in my eight-year-old head, that meant I won one, too). And if I was still a little green around the gills by early afternoon, Ma would make soup and let me watch Days of Our Lives.

While I didn’t comprehend amnesia and thought “having an affair” meant “throwing a party,” Days was a minor obsession. Patch and Kayla’s love seemed tragic and beautiful, at a time when I understood neither tragedy nor beauty. Victor Kiriakis showed that evil didn’t necessarily wear black or ride a broom (though it did have a suspicious mustache). Peter “Bo” Reckell was not only my very first celebrity crush, but also my very first celebrity wall poster, predating Jon Bon Jovi by a good three years.

Even today, I try to catch up on Salem every now and then. And you know what? Not much has changed. Sure, Deidre Hall finally retired and Lucifer stopped by for a few possessions, but … seriously, how has Maggie remained 55-years-old since 1987? How has no one yet realized that Sami is kind of a jerk? How are Bo and Hope still having marital problems? You’d think a few kidnappings and fake deaths would have helped them make a decision by now.

But this was about the soup, wasn’t it? In the background of all this glorious drama was usually a bowl of hot, curative soup. Ma preferred the canned stuff, but I didn’t know the difference. All I knew was that Tony DiMera was messing with Roman again, and I didn’t like that one bit.

Today’s dish, then, is a super-basic recipe for tomato soup. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, though. It’s a savory soul-warmer, flavored with an unexpected pinch of cloves. The Husband-Elect even made “mmm” sounds during the slurp-down. Try it with a grilled cheese sandwich for a frugal, hearty, Days-worthy lunch. Or, go one step better and make it when you’re sick. At worst, you get a decent meal. At best, you remember the good ol’ days of soup, soaps, and sofa-ing it up with Ma.


If you like this, you might also dig:

Basic Tomato Soup
Serves 6
Adapted from Epicurious/Parade.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
2 26-oz. cans whole peeled plum tomatoes, one drained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium veggie or chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1) In a large pot or small Dutch oven, melt butter and oil over low heat.

2) Add onion and sweat until softened, about 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes, until fragrant, stirring frequently. Add flour and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

3) Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and broth and bring to a boil. While mixture is heating up, cut tomatoes into large chunks with a pair of kitchen shears. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes (or until it reaches desired consistency), stirring occasionally. Add cloves, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

4) Puree soup using an immersion or regular blender. (Be careful if using regular blender – hot liquids can spill at first.) If you’re not into seeds, pour puree through a strainer back into the pot. (I didn’t. You don’t really notice them.) Warm a little, then serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, and Price Per Serving:
118 calories, 4.5 g fat, 3.3 g fiber, $0.76

1 tablespoon unsalted butter: 102 calories, 11.5 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.06
1 tablespoon olive oil: 119 calories, 13. 5 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.12
1 large onion, chopped: 63 calories, 0.2 g fat, 2.1 g fiber, $0.43
2 large cloves garlic, minced: 9 calories, 0 g fat, 0.1 g fiber, $0.08
1 tablespoon flour: 28 calories, 0.1 g fat, 0.2 g fiber, $0.01
2 26-oz. cans whole peeled plum tomatoes, one drained: 302 calories, 1.6 g fat, 15.9 g fiber, $2.99
2 tablespoons tomato paste: 26 calories, 0.2 g fat, 1.4 g fiber, $0.18
1 teaspoon sugar: 16 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.01
2 cups reduced-fat, low-sodium veggie or chicken broth: 40 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, $0.66
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves: negligible calories, fat, and fiber, $0.01
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste: negligible calories, fat, and fiber, $0.02
TOTAL: 705 calories, 27.1 g fat, 19.7 g fiber, $4.57
PER SERVING (TOTAL/6): 118 calories, 4.5 g fat, 3.3 g fiber, $0.76

Friday, November 27, 2009

38 Cheap, Healthy Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers

This post was originally published in November 2008. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Every year, I suspend my healthy diet for one heralded November day. No, not Election Day, during which I’m usually too queasy to eat – but that most glorious of bird-based holidays, Thanksgiving.

Then, 24 hours later, I enter an equally magical shame spiral, since I’ve just consumed enough calories to keep me alive for eight years without ever having to eat again.

This year, I’m going to desperately try to avoid all that, hopefully by using at least 25 of the following 38 inexpensive, frugal leftover recipes. (Well … okay, 24.) I found them via a thorough, highly scientific search-and-paste process, not unlike previous Beef, Party Food, and Salad Dressing searches. In this case, here’s what determined a dish’s appearance on the list:
  • As always, if the recipe comes from an aggregate site, the reviews must come in at 80% approval or above, or have no reviews at all (in which case, they must look really, really good).
  • It was a little difficult to find low-fat recipes, since stuffing and mashed potatoes aren’t exactly health foods (meaning: they don’t miraculously lose their calories on Black Friday). So, I attempted to keep each recipe NWR, or Nutritious Within Reason. There’s little added butter, oil, dairy, lard, mayo, or canned soup in each dish.
  • If possible, I included notes about lightening the dish under each title.
  • As for price, there aren’t any exotic ingredients included, so costs should be pretty low. Caveat: you might have to purchase a little ginger or a bunch of green onions or something.
  • There is no Turkey Tetrazzini. Because I hate it. Muahahahahahaha!
Readers, if you have suggestions, I love to hear. In the meantime, happy Thanksgiving!

All Recipes: Apple Curry Turkey Pita
Use low-fat yogurt in place of regular to cut fat and calories.

All Recipes: Hearty Turkey Soup with Parsley Dumplings

All Recipes: Southwestern Turkey Soup

Bon Appetit: Asian Turkey-Noodle Soup with Ginger and Chiles

Bon Appetit: Cranberry Citrus Sorbet
This sounds AWESOME.

Bon Appetit: Pork Chops with Cranberry Port and Rosemary Sauce

CHG: Leftover Turkey Stew

CHG: Turkey Chili
Use turkey bits instead of ground turkey, add to pot with tomatoes

CHG: Turkey Noodle Soup
Sub in cooked turkey for chicken.

CHG: Turkey With Shallot Apricot Sauce
Sub in turkey for chicken, and use leftover warmed turkey

Chow: Turkey Pad See Ew
A little high in fat, but delicious-sounding just the same.

Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom: Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole (scroll down)
Sub in fat-free evaporated milk and make sure you use 2% cheddar.

Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Mom: Turkey Stock

Cooking Light: Cold Soba Noodles with Turkey

Cooking Light: Fiery Turkey-Pâté Crostini

Cooking Light: Turkey Pizza

Cooking Light: White Turkey Chili

Epicurious: Turkey Burritos with Salsa and Cilantro

Epicurious: Turkey and Sweet Potato Sandwich

Fabulous Foods: Turkey Pasties

Fine Cooking: Turkey Soup with Ginger, Lemon, and Mint

Fine Cooking: Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash

Fine Cooking: Turkey Tortilla Soup

Food Network/Cathy Lowe: Turkey Soup with Rice

Food Network/Cathy Lowe: Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Food Network/Emeril Lagasse: Turkey and Vegetable Soup

Food Network/Michael Chiarella: Next Day Turkey Soup

Food Network/Ocean Spray: Smoked Turkey and Cranberry Gourmet Pizza

Food Network/Rachael Ray: Turkey Corn Chili

Food Network/Rachael Ray: Turkey and Stuffin’ Soup
Frankly, the picture kind of squicked me out here. But the reviewers (and there are quite a few) seem to LOVE it, so go nuts.

Food Network/Robin Miller: Turkey Soup with Egg Noodles and Vegetables
Looks like a good, quick recipe. Very well rated.

Food Network/Sunny Anderson: Second Day Turkey and String Bean Pot Pies

The Oregonian: Soba Noodle Salad With Cranberries and Apple

The Oregonian: Turkey Picadillo

The Oregonian: Turkey, White Bean, and Escarole Soup

Seattle Times: Chili-Rubbed Turkey Sandwich With Red Onion Salsa

St. Louis Eats: Nigella Lawson’s Vietnamese Turkey Salad

Wise Bread: Turkey and Stuffing Casserole


If you like this post, you might also dig:

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What We Have in Common: An Unremittingly Warm and Fuzzy Post of Thanksgiving Squishiness

Liberals avoid fast food and love ethnic dishes.

Conservatives choose fattier meals and don’t eat much fruit.

While these statements may sound like stereotypes, they actually come from “How Food Preferences Vary by Political Ideology,” the results of an eight-month survey conducted by Thousands of self-identified left- and right-wingers participated, answering questions about everything from pizza toppings to apple corers. And with few exceptions (hot dogs: uniters, not dividers), findings were pretty much what we’ve been conditioned to expect. Essentially, conservatives appreciate traditional, mainstream, and unhealthy foods, while liberals love them some arugula.

Here’s the thing - if the survey went beyond diet soda and bacon cheeseburgers into core values, I think it’d find we have much more in common. At least, I find that to be true about CHG readers.

See, I’ve kept this blog for a few years now, and it tends to attract a pretty diverse demographic: rural homeschoolers, urban vegans, novice cooks, ardent foodies, Southern grandmas, Brooklyn collegiates, broke singles, young couples, middle-aged divorcees, Christians, atheists, lawyers, waiters, and occasionally, my mother. (Hi, Ma.) If anything, the discussions we have lead me to believe that certain beliefs transcend politics.

To wit: on the whole, we believe food is to be respected and enjoyed. We see cooking as a learning experience, a valuable skill, and an expression of love. We’re not wasteful. We’re not materialistic. We’re not excessive. We DO strive for balance. We DO embrace moderation. We ARE frugal (in the best sense of the word). We want what’s best for the environment. We want what’s best for our families. We want what’s best for our bodies. We can always, always learn from each other, whether we’re gun toting, meat-eating Palin fans or gluten-free hippies from the bluest of blue state communes.

These are all good things. And in the end, maybe they're what I dig most about CHG, and even the country in general. At heart, the stuff that unites us is much greater than the stuff that drives us crazy.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Veggie Might: Grandma’s Apple Pie

Written by the fabulous Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about all things Vegetarian. It's a little early and slightly unhealthier than usual because ... well, hey ... it's Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving, I’ll be making my first real apple pie. It’s a dessert I’ve never attempted because a) it seemed too hard, and 2) my Grandma made the best apple pie ever. But, it’s been at least 20 years since I’ve had my grandma’s apple pie, and that’s what I want for Thanksgiving dessert, so I called my mom for the recipe.

My maternal grandmother, or Plain Grandma, as I called her to distinguish her from my Great-Grandmother, was not at all plain.  She was a sports fan and a lover of games, a whiz in the kitchen, and a vision in perma-crease polyester pants.

At 5’ 9” and about 110 lbs, her boundless energy and zest belied her fragile-looking frame. She would be up at dawn, cooking and cleaning and still at it late into the evening, watching her beloved Cincinnati Reds on TV and playing cards with her night owl granddaughter.

Grandma’s apple pie was legendary, and Mom can talk for hours about Grandma’s skills in the kitchen. She taught Mom and Aunt F how to make replicate some of her magic. I got the next best thing when Saturday, over the phone, my mom coached me through a mini test pie.

“First, don’t overwork the dough. And just use a little bit of butter for dotting. Oh, and start with a hot oven to set the crust; then turn it down to 350. That’s it. It’s really easy.”

She was right. It was much easier than I imagined. And, oh my Great Grandmas in Heaven, the pie came out amazingly delicious. Of course, I did a slight bit of CHG tweaking by reducing the amount of sugar, subbing maple syrup for brown sugar (just because), and using lemon juice to keep the apples from browning.

I still can’t believe how well the pie turned out. I called my mom to tell her, but she wasn’t surprised. “Your grandma knew how to take simple ingredients and make them into something really fancy and delicious. You just followed her lead.”

Thanks Mom...and Grandma...for passing along the apple pie skills. My Thanksgiving party people will be thanking you too. And Grandma, next year: the Reds in the playoffs? It’s a long shot, but this team’s got heart.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Hug your people and have some pie.

If you like this recipe, you might also like:

Plain Grandma’s Fancy Apple Pie
Serves 12

1 tsp flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp butter (or vegan margarine) for dotting
6 medium to large apples (mix of Granny Smith and MacIntosh), peeled and sliced
lemon juice

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
ice water

NOTE: Make sure all your crust ingredients are cold. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Alton Brown suggests measuring out your flour, salt, and shortening and sticking it in the freezer for a half-hour before you begin, as well as refrigerating your pie plate. Now that I have a few pie crusts under my belt, I concur. The crust is more tender and flaky with this method.

1) Move oven rack to lowest position. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2) Cut shortening into flour with a fork, pastry cutter, or food processor, until it has a pebbly look.

3) Sprinkle in ice water until dough starts to form. Keep adding water until it can take the shape of your hand.

4) Form dough into a cylindrical shape and cut nearly in half (leave a little more for your top crust). Wrap each half in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes before you roll it out.

5) When you’re ready to roll out your crust, dust yourself and the kitchen in flour. Or just your hands, rolling pin, and workspace. Take out one of your refrigerated dough halves. Roll your half cylinder into a ball and begin rolling from the center until you have the desired size and thickness. Place your bottom crust in the pie pan and stick it back in the fridge until you’re ready to fill.

6) Sprinkle your sliced apples with lemon juice in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together the sugar, syrup, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Drizzle over the apples and stir to coat.

7) Roll out top crust as per instructions above. Remove bottom crust/pie pan from fridge and get ready to fill.

8) Pour apples into pie pan and carefully place top crust over apples. Pinch edges of crust together to seal. Then with a sharp knife, score the top crust to release the steam. Fun variation: before applying top crust, use a small cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the top crust. The holes will make pretty/adorable vents.

9) Place on bottom rack for 15 minutes. This sets the bottom crust. Then reduce heat to 350 and move to center rack. Continue baking for 45 minutes.

10) Remove and allow to cool. Slice and serve. This pie is so good you won’t even need a topping.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, and Price per Serving
225 calories, 9.4g fat, 1.1g fiber, $.39

1 1/2 cup + 1 tsp flour: 512 calories, 1.5g fat, 1g fiber, $.32
2/3 cup sugar: 558 cal, 0g fat, 0g fiber, $.38
1/4 maple syrup: 210 calories, .26g fat, 0g fiber, $1.00
1 tsp cinnamon: negligible calories, fat, and fiber, $.02
1/2 tsp nutmeg: negligible calories, fat, and fiber, $.02
2 tsp vegan margarine: 66.7 cal, 7.3 fat, 0g fiber,  $.08
6 medium to large apples: 462 calories, 0g fat, 12g fiber, $2.00
lemon juice: 12 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, $0.25
1 tsp salt: negligible calories, fat, and fiber, $.02
1/2 cup shortening: 880 cal, 104g fat, 0g fiber,  $.62
2700.7 calories, 113g fat, 13g fiber, $4.71
225 calories, 9.4g fat, 1.1g fiber, $.39

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dear Diary: Sourdough Sausage Stuffing

Today on Serious Eats: Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing. Because you can never have enough stuffing. And you can never say the word “stuffing” enough times in a blog post. (Also: stuffing.)

This year, in preparation for our Thanksgiving posts, I cooked and ate two 9x13 trays of stuffing, all by myself. It was grueling, tongue-bending work. But somebody had to do it. And somebody had to keep a diary of the ordeal.

Dearest Diary,
Thanksgiving is nigh! Oh, such joy and contentment the holiday brings to myself and my kin! What delightful provisions shalt we partake in this annus mirabilis? I do find stuffing particularly pleasing, and a lighter, savory recipe would create much huzzah-ing amongst mine hallowed guests. Let it be done, then! This evening, Cooking Light’s Sourdough Sausage Stuffing shalt permeate mine apartment like so many exhaust fumes of scrumptiousness.

Dearest Diary,
O, frabjous day! What wondrous victory the stuffing has been! Truly, a splendid addition to anyone’s Thanksgiving table. Alas, there is much left over, as the Husband-Elect has been detained by his place of employment. I shalt endeavor to persevere, as we bloggers must! Serving #3, down the hatch.

Dear Diary,
Prepared the other stuffing for Serious Eats. It’s quite good, but has left me with two plastic receptacles full of stuffing. I now embark on my sixth straight all-stuffing meal. This could last a fortnight. Beginning to rue decision-making skills, regret life choices.
Somewhat nauseously,

On to stuffing meal #9. I’m pretty sure a stuffing baby is forming in my abdomen. Who’s idea was this, anyway? I’d like to punch her in the neck with a ladle.

Stuffing has taken on bizarre, LSD-like characteristics. Hallucinations abound. Everything starting to look like Lady Gaga video. Why yes, Mr. Lincoln, I will unite the country with you. Nice hat.
Flounder staple,

Deer Diree,
To mutch stoofing. Tumy fulding inn onn isself. Scend halp. HAHAHAHA. *cry*

I woke up this morning next to a man in a banana costume, a copy of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, and a clean Pyrex dish. Trying to piece the previous night together, to little avail. I do know the following: 1) the stuffing is gone, 2) it was savory and delicious, and 3) Lou Reed is locked in my bathroom. Will definitely do this again next year.

The diary mysteriously ends there. Strange. But sweet readers, if you should want to set off on a similar journey, here’s some things to know:

1) The better the bread, the better the stuffing. I went for an organic, artisanal loaf here, and the price reflects the quality. Man, it was good, though.

2) Try to buy the bread pre-sliced. The cubing process will be much quicker.

3) Numbers come directly from Cooking Light, so only the price calculations are included below.

4) Cooking Light has more stuffing recipes where this came from, over here.

And with that, Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! May your turkey be moist, your pie be fresh, and your stuffing be plentiful. But not too plentiful.


If you like this recipe, you might also like:

Sourdough Sausage Stuffing
Serves 9
From Cooking Light.

10 or 11 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage (about 3 links)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups onion, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped very small
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 cups (1/2-inch) cubed good sourdough bread (about 1 pound)
2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Cooking spray

1) Preheat oven to 350°F and coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2) Remove sausage from casings.

3) In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausage and cook 7 to 8 minutes, until browned, breaking sausage into smaller pieces as you go. Add onion and celery, and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes, until onion is a bit soft. Kill the heat. Add parsley, sage, thyme, salt, marjoram, and black pepper, and stir to combine.

4) Combine sausage mixture and bread cubes in a large bowl. Gradually pour in about 2 cups of broth, and stir until everything is evenly moist. Place entire mixture in the 9x13 dish, and pour a little more broth over the top if necessary. Bake for 10 minutes covered, then 20 minutes uncovered. The stuffing should be hot and the top golden brown when finished.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, and Price Per Serving
208 calories, 5 g fat, 2.1 g fiber, $0.98

10 or 11 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage (about 3 links): $1.49
1 teaspoon olive oil: $0.04
2 cups onion, chopped: $0.41
2 cups celery, chopped very small: $0.94
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped: $0.33
2 teaspoons ground sage: $0.48
1 teaspoon dried thyme: $0.12
1/2 teaspoon salt: $0.01
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram: $0.27
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper: $0.02
12 cups (1/2-inch) cubed good sourdough bread (about 1 pound): $3.99
2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth: $0.71
Cooking spray: $0.04
TOTAL: $8.85

Friday, November 20, 2009

Top 10 Links of the Week: 11/13/09 – 11/19/09

This week, it’s the dangers of fruit juice, a raw food experiment for the ages, and lots of stuff about this obscure eating day scheduled sometime next week. I think there are pilgrims involved? And maybe a cranberry or something? I’ve never heard of it before, so …

1) New York Times: 101 Head Starts on the Day

Mark Bittman compiles over a hundred make-ahead recipes for Thanksgiving, once again trumping every other Turkey Day post in the blogsosphere. Polenta and cranberries? YES, PLEASE.

2) Casual Kitchen: The Raw Foods Trial Archive
Dan went on a raw diet for a full week and blogged every meal of it. A lot of smoothies and avocados were involved. No one got hurt (except maybe a pineapple.) This is his story.

3) LA Times: It's time fruit juice loses its wholesome image, some experts say
Oh man, finally. This doesn’t get nearly enough press: fruit juice is on par with soda (or pop, for you Buffalonians) in terms of bad-for-youness. Witness: “‘It's pretty much the same as sugar water,’ said Dr. Charles Billington, an appetite researcher at the University of Minnesota. In the modern diet, ‘there's no need for any juice at all.’"

4) Chow: Thanksgiving for Beginners
College kids! Young singles! New marrieds! Elementary school gym teachers! Follow these step-by-step Thanksgiving directions, and your first holiday hosting gig can’t go wrong. People might even come back next year. (On second thought …)

5) The Oatmeal: 15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee
Great info graphics will ensure you never forget these wow-your-friends facts about coffee. This site is highly neat. (Found via Dark Roasted Blend, a site you should completely check out, as well.)

6) Huffington Post: The ‘Fat Map’ – Putting World Hunger Into Perspective
A reality check, just in time for Thanksgiving. Note how Africa and much of Southeast Asia are almost non-existent.

7) The Epi-Log: Feeding the Hungry at Thanksgiving
HuffPo presented the problem; Epi-Log has the solutions. If you’re looking to help the less fortunate this season, here’s how.

8) The Kitchn: What Should I Bring (Long-Distance) to a New Mom?
Wonderful comment thread about cooking for family that’s far away. Let it be known: cooking and cleaning are the greatest gifts you can give any new parents, period. (Or old parents, according to my Ma.)

9) Soup Fly
New Yorkers: it’s Health Department evaluations for just about every restaurant in the five boroughs. Enter IF YOU DARE. (Seriously. This gets very uncomfortable very quickly. It’s like the Curb Your Enthusiasm of food.)

10) Eat Me Daily: Martha Stewart Criticizes Rachael Ray, Rachael Ray Agrees
You gotta give RR props: she handled Martha’s somewhat unsubtly worded comments beautifully.


The Kitchn: Karen’s White and Green Urban Cottage Kitchen
I want this kitchen. In my house. To cook in. Right now.

Mile Hi Mama: Bean Organization
Great storage idea for those 90%-used bags of beans and rice that dot your kitchen like so many … uh … dots.

Money Saving Mom: Thanksgiving on a Budget
Crystal teamed up with four other bloggers to present this all-week series. Click and save some dough.

Neatorama: 7-Up for Baby!
It’s that lemon-lime taste for your favorite tiny face! Oy.

Slashfood: Libby’s Fears Canned Pumpkin Shortage This Thanksgiving
If you haven’t already heard, an awful pumpkin harvest has caused a dearth of the gourd all over the U.S. To quote Darth Vader, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Videogum: 100 Greatest Quotes from The Wire
Holy moly. Thank you, Videogum. Rated very very very R for language. (Omar forevs!)

(Photos courtesy of Rock America [Pearl Jam] and The Atlantic [Larry David].)

Thank you so much for visiting Cheap Healthy Good! (We appreciate it muchly). If you’d like to further support CHG, subscribe to our RSS feed! Or become a Facebook friend! Or check out our Twitter! Or buy something inexpensive, yet fulfilling via that Amazon store (on the left)! Bookmarking sites and links are nice, too. Viva la France!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Veggie Might: Thanksgiving Tips, Part II—The Sides

Penned by the effervescent Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about the wide world of Vegetarianism.

Last week, my CHG lovelies, we discussed hosting and main dishes for a vegetarian/vegan-friendly Thanksgiving. This week it’s all about the Side Dish.

The side dish is a vegetarian’s best friend. When you’re just starting out on the veggie path, loading up on sides is an easy way to eat out or eat at someone else’s house with minimal hassle. And at Thanksgiving, let’s be honest, the side dishes are the best part of the meal.

So let’s take a look at a few classic Thanksgiving sides and how easy it is to make them vegetarian or vegan—and healthier too! (Most of the recipe renovations below are vegan. You can sub dairy butter or milk in most cases.)

Dressing—Traditional stuffing (goes in the bird) and dressing (goes on the side) contains meat bits and stock. But you can easily and tastily fix that. Start by replacing the bits with celery, onion, and garlic. Then switch the turkey stock with vegetable stock and you’re good to go. If you’d like to add a fat, use olive oil or butter (dairy or non); then go crazy with the sage and thyme. It’ll be the dressing of your dreams.
VeganYumYum’s Chestnut Stuffing (scroll down, you’ll see it)
Wild Mushroom Stuffing from Serious Eats

Gravy—Gravy doesn’t need those drippings to be savory and delicious. It just needs flour, salt, vegetable stock, spices, and a quick flick of the wrist.
I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan Gravy from VegWeb
Vegan Gluten-free Gravy from Cupcake Punk

Mashed Potatoes—Wait. Mashed potatoes are vegetarian, right? Well, that depends. Sometimes people use chicken stock to add flavor. Vegetable stock will substitute nicely. If you have vegans on the way, substituting nondairy milk will still make your taters rich and creamy.
Jinxi Boo’s Easy & Creamy Vegan Mashed Potatoes
Kale and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes from 101 Cookbooks

Sweet Potato Casserole—Sweet potatoes are so nearly perfect on their own, and yet, every year, we slather, smother, and cover them with cream, eggs, and marshmallows until they’re barely recognizable. If you’re having vegetarians, they might excuse the eggs and cream, but the marshmallows will still be a deal-breaker. Try a pecan topping instead. To lighten it up, make it vegan and keep the flavor: replace the eggs and cream with nondairy milk and butter *. I promise: your omnivore guests will NOT know the difference, especially with all those delicious pecans on top.
Sweet Potato Casserole from Fat Free Vegan
Nikki’s Sweet Potatoes from 101 Cookbooks

Green Beans or any other green vegetable—My grandmothers, Midwest and South, never put a vegetable on the table without bacon or ham in it. But believe me when I tell you, vegetables do not need meat to taste good. Olive oil, a little vegetable stock, maybe some garlic, slivered almonds, lemon juice... SALT and PEPPER. I could go on and on. Vegetables, if they’re fresh—hey, even if they’re frozen—are delicious and vegan all on their own.
Martha Stewart’s Green Beans and Almonds
Green Beans with Lemon and Pine Nuts from Epicurious

Green Bean Casserole—Now this one is trickier. I tried green bean casserole once unsuccessfully with mushroom soup from a carton and soymilk. Not. The. Same. It was before I cooked regularly and knew about things like “thickeners” and “comparable replacements.” It was a liquidy, bland mess with fried onions on top. But don’t let my failure stop you from experimenting or trying one of these amazing-looking renovations.
Vegan Green Bean Casserole from Fat Free Vegan
Columbus Vegan’s Green Bean Casserole

Cranberry Sauce—Most cranberry sauce, whether from a can or homemade, is vegan from the start: just cranberries, sugar, and water (though canned will likely have HFCS). However, some folks like to tart up their cran with gelatin, making it a no-no for vegetarians and vegans alike. If you want to get creative, try adding other fruits or add spices like ginger and clove.
Spicy Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir from Simply Recipes
The Pioneer Woman Cooks’ Homemade Cranberry Sauce


Maybe your holiday gathering is less traditional or you just want to try new things. There are thousands of fall side dish recipes out there—from the simple to the gourmet—to give your wind to creative wings. Here is a sampling:
Sweet Potato, Corn, and Jalapeño Bisque from everybody likes sandwiches
Cauliflower with Lemon Brown Butter and Sage Salt from the New York Times
Browned Butternut Squash Couscous from Chow
Dan Barber’s Kale Salad and Creamy Parsnip Rice from NYT’s Well Blog

And here’s a bonus recipe from my kitchen to yours, in case you haven’t had enough squash (or kale). This delicious, colorful dish would make an eye-popping Thanksgiving side. It can also be served as a main course with a grain.

Do you have any favorite vegetarian recipe renovations you’d like to share? A terrific side we just have to hear about? Let us know in the comments.


If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy

Roasted Winter Squash and Kale
Serves about 6

1 medium butternut, acorn, or kobacha squash
6 cups kale, stems removed and torn into small pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
30 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 tsp sea salt

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2) Peel, deseed, and chop squash into cubes. Toss in a bowl with 1/2 tbsp of oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2/3 of the chopped sage leaves.

3) Spread evenly on a baking sheet and place in oven for 10–15 minutes or until squash is tender.

4) In a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet, heat remaining oil. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper, and sage and, stirring, cook for 3 more minutes.

5) Add kale and salt. Cook until kale is wilted and tender, about 7–10 minutes.

6) Remove from heat and toss in roasted squash.

7) Serve at your Thanksgiving dinner or anytime you want to impress a crowd.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, and Price per Serving
108.5 calories, 2.4g fat, 3.3g fiber, $0.57

1 medium butternut, acorn, or kobacha squash: 252 calories, 0g fat, 12g fiber, $1.25
6 cups kale: 198 calories, .36g fat, 6g fiber, $1.74
1 red bell pepper: 51 calories, 0g fat, $1.13
1 small onion: 20 calories, .1g fat, 1g fat, $.25
2 cloves garlic: 8.4 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, $.024
30 fresh sage leaves: 2 calories, 0g fat, 1g fiber, $.20
1 tbsp olive oil: 120 calories, 14g fat, 0g fiber, $0.08
1 tsp sea salt: negligible calories, fat, and fiber, $.02
Totals: 651 calories, 14.5g fat, 20g fiber, $3.42
Per serving (totals/6): 108.5 calories, 2.4g fat, 3.3g fiber, $0.57

(Horn of plenty photo from Flickr member bkwdayton.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cheap, Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes: 38 Dishes for a Stellar Turkey Day

Ahhh …. the Great American Day of Eating is once again upon us. And ye gods, what better way to celebrate than three-dozen of CHG’s favorite holiday-appropriate recipes?

Finally, my secret, somewhat disturbing love of sweet potatoes serves a purpose: to warm the innards of others on Thanksgiving.

Besides those beloved yams, there’s a gaggle of veggie dishes (with an unexpected focus on Brussels sprouts), a coupla saucy offerings, and enough dessert bettys, cobblers, and crisps to rock your face right off.

Plus, as always, each recipe is inexpensive and nutritionally sound. So, without further ado ...

All Night Apple Butter
Chunky Applesauce
Cranberry Sauce with Grapefruit and Mint
Spiced Slow Cooker Applesauce

Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts
Honey-Glazed Roasted Carrots
Red Cabbage with Apples and Honey
Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake
Classic Baked Acorn Squash
Mashed Potatoes with Leeks and Sour Cream
Miso Mashed Potatoes
Molasses Whipped Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices
Roasted Root Vegetables
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Teriyaki and Cilantro
Sweet Potatoes with Mini-Marshmallows
Thyme-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Southern-Style Corn Bread

Apple Tart
Baked Apples
Maple Walnut Apple Crisp
Peach-Blueberry Cobbler
Pumpkin Pie
Stewed Pears
Vanilla-Buttermilk Pound Cake
Wacky Cake (Chocolate Cake)
Wild Berry Betty

Chicken Stock
Pumpkin Turkey Chili
Tomato and Bread Soup
Turkey Chili with Beans
Veggie Stock

Readers, what are your favorite cheap-n-healthy Thanksgiving recipes? Add ‘em in the comment section!


If you like this article, you might also dig:

100+ Thanksgiving Recipes and Links: The Only Turkey Day Post You’ll Ever Need

This was originally published in November 2008. The links have been updated for 2009.

Thanksgiving is upon us, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve read approximately 40,000,000 blog posts and magazine articles dealing with next Thursday's dinner. And that’s just this morning.

Yeah, Turkey Day can overwhelming, and with so many experts on the subject, sometimes it’s difficult to find information on any single aspect the holiday. And that’s where CHG comes in. What follows are more than 100 links, organized by the following subjects:
  • Appetizers
  • Turkey
  • Sides
  • Stuffing
  • Pies & Desserts
  • Drinks
  • General Menu Planning
  • Affordable Thanksgivings
  • Healthy Thanksgivings
  • Vegetarian Thanksgivings
  • Seating & Tablesetting
  • Troubleshooting
  • Leftovers
  • CHG Recipes
With the exception of the CHG section, each link contains several recipes and/or tips about preparing for the day. Sources include All Recipes, Being Frugal, Bon Appetit, Chow, Cooking Light, Culinate, Epicurious, Fine Cooking, Food and Wine, Food Network, Frugal Upstate, The Kitchn, Martha Stewart/Everyday Food, Money Saving Mom, O Magazine, Real Simple, Saveur, Serious Eats, and Squawkfox.

(It should be noted that Cooks Illustrated has a gloriously extensive Thanksgiving guide, as well, but it’s a subscription site, so you can’t get to it without being a member. HOWEVER, they’re offering a 14-day free trial membership for prospective customers. Check out the sign-up sheet here. Same goes for their partner magazine, Cooks Country. That form is here.)

Readers, if you have any ideas, I’d love to see them in the comments section. In the meantime, hope this helps and happy Thanksgiving!


Food Network: Thanksgiving Appetizers
Tips, tricks, techniques, and 100 appetizer recipes.

The Kitchn: Holiday Appetizers from The Kitchn
“Are you thinking about your Thanksgiving meal yet? We are! We'll be pulling together some of our favorite Thanksgiving and holiday recipes from the archives this week, and we're starting with appetizers.”


All Recipes: Turkey 101

Bon Appetit: Best Turkeys Slideshow
“Salted, brined, stuffed, or simply roasted, any of these eighteen turkeys will make a perfect centerpiece for your Thanksgiving meal.”

Bon Appetit: Turkey Buying Guide
Including posts called At the Market, Home from the Market, Turkey Prep, In the Oven, and Out of the Oven.

Chow: How to Carve a Turkey with Mark Dommen (video)
“Hacking is for hacks.”

Cooking Light: All About Turkey

Cooking Light: Turkey School

Culinate: How to Brine and Roast a Turkey
“Whether your turkey this Thanksgiving season is small (8 pounds) or enormous (20 pounds), there are plenty of ways to take it from raw to succulent.”

Epicurious: Turkey 101
“Confused about natural versus organic? Wondering whether to try brining? Our complete guide demystifies the process to help you roast the perfect bird”

Fine Cooking: How to Cook a Turkey
“The essential Thanksgiving guide.”

Food Network: Turkey
Tips, tricks, techniques, and 100 turkey recipes.

Gourmet: Expert Advice - Let’s Talk Turkey
“Of all the dishes that make up the Thanksgiving feast, the big bird demands the most attention. But how best to achieve turkey perfection—golden-brown skin with moist, tender white and dark meat? We roasted our way through more than 40 turkeys and found a method that’s so free of fuss and gets results so delicious, we can’t quite believe it ourselves.”

Real Simple: How to Carve a Turkey

Real Simple: What You Need to Know Before Roasting a Turkey

Serious Eats: How to Read Turkey Labels

Serious Eats: Turkey Recipes

Serious Eats: Turkey Talk
Discussions with Ruth Reichl of Gourmet, Barbara Fairchild of Bon Appetit, and Christopher Kimball of Cooks Illustrated.


All Recipes: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Bon Appetit: Thanksgiving Potatoes Slideshow
“One of these easy, homey potato recipes is sure to earn a permanent spot on your holiday table.”

Bon Appetit: Thanksgiving Sides Slideshow
25 Thanksgiving sides.

Cooking Light: Lighten Up - Holiday Classics

Fine Cooking: Vegetable Sides

Food and Wine: Thanksgiving Vegetables
“15 Thanksgiving side dishes, like roasted vegetables with pine-nut pesto.”

Food Network: Thanksgiving Side Dishes
“Make your Thanksgiving feast memorable with spectacular side dishes. The hardest part about these recipes will be figuring out which ones to make.”

Martha Stewart: Thanksgiving Sides
“For many, the real star of a Thanksgiving dinner is the assemblage of side dishes, not the turkey. To help you put together a showstopping selection for your table, we’ve rounded up our favorites.”

Serious Eats: Side Dish Recipes


All Recipes: Get Stuffed
“Options for preparing flavorful and interesting stuffings are virtually endless. From the recipes below, try anything from a traditional style to a southern cornbread dressing. Add richly flavored meats, or get creative this holiday by incorporating fruits or herbs. Whatever your desire, you'll find a recipe to satisfy any dressing or stuffing craving.”

Bon Appetit: Thanksgiving Stuffing Slideshow
15 stuffing recipes.

Fine Cooking: Stuffing and Dressing

Food Network: Thanksgiving Stuffing & Dressing
Tips, tricks, techniques, and 51 stuffing recipes.

The Kitchn: Recipe Roundup - Thanksgiving Stuffing
“According to a survey we took last year, stuffing is by far your favorite Thanksgiving side dish. But when it comes to what type of stuffing, there's a lot of variation out there: cornbread, herb, oyster, sausage, apple, chestnut... We put together a list of 14 recipes to get you started.”

Serious Eats: Store-Bought Stuffing Mix Showdown
‘After the jump, the results of the Serious Eats taste test of eight packaged stuffing mixes, along with some suggestions on jazzing up your store-bought stuffing.”

Serious Eats: Stuffing and Dressing Recipes


All Recipes: Pies & Desserts
Millions of Turkey Day suggestions.

Bon Appetit: Top 20 Thanksgiving Desserts
“Pies, crisps, tarts, and cheesecake: luscious ways to finish the feast.”

Culinate: Pumpkin pies - Three recipes for Thanksgiving

Fine Cooking: Pies and Tarts

Food Network: Thanksgiving Desserts
100 Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes.

Gourmet: Twelve Thanksgiving Pies
‘No matter how much turkey you’ve eaten, there’s always room for at least a sliver of pie—and these delicious options may have you going back for seconds.”

The Kitchn: Best Pie Bakeoff
“Have you ever made a pie? We were intimidated by pies for a long time, but now they're one of our favorite desserts. We hope to make some converts, discover new recipes, and find the truly best versions of classic pies.

Martha Stewart: Holiday Pies
“We’ve rounded up our favorite pies – both the tried-and-true holiday staples as well as some modern variations that, for us, have become classics in their own right.”

Real Simple: Four Foolproof Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

Serious Eats: Dessert Recipes


Bon Appetit: Red, White, and Relax
We have some practical advice about what to drink with Thanksgiving dinner: Serve a few crowd-pleasing American wines.

The Kitchn: Thanksgiving Wine

O Magazine: Cocktails, Anyone?
Steamy Passion. Pink Halo. Dark and Stormy. No, we're not talking romance novels, but the glorious technicolor cocktail. In a flute or on the rocks. With a twist or with a shout. Bottoms up, darling.

Serious Eats: Thanksgiving Wine, a Guide for Hosts and Guests
“Every year, I'm struck all over again by how completely stressed out people get about what wine they should pour to go with the turkey. It is worth mentioning at the outset that traditional Thanksgiving fare goes with pretty much everything—sparkling wines, rosés, whites, and even reds.”


All Recipes: Thanksgiving Menus
Includes Make-Ahead, Stress-Free, Traditional, Small-Scale, and Last-Minute Menus.

Bon Appetit: Top 20 Thanksgiving Menus
“Traditional, modern, big, small, or somewhere in between, there's a menu here for Turkey Day your way.” Including menus for: Country Style, Heritage Feast, Vegetarian Feast, A Little Bit Fancy, A Small Gathering, Healthy Thanksgiving, Southern Comforts, Great for a Crowd, A Make-it Buy-it, Green Party, The Weekenders, Small and Sophisticated, Italian-Infused, Big Thanksgiving, New American Feast, Quick Dinner, (Meat)less is More, The Smaller Thanksgiving, Pilgrims Progress, Crowd-Pleasing Turkey Day.

Cooking Light: Ultimate Holiday Cookbook

Culinate: Classic Thanksgiving - All the turkey-day basics
“Here’s our roundup of the classic Thanksgiving basics, by dish. Pick a few to try and assemble your own turkey-day menu.”

Epicurious: A First-Timer’s Feast
“An indispensable Thanksgiving guide for the novice, with recipes and tips even an expert will love.”

Epicurious: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide
“Make Turkey Day easy and stress-free with our delicious recipes and menus, entertaining tips from the pros, tools, and how-to videos.” Master page includes menus for: An Inexpensive Feast, Thanksgiving in an Hour, A Global Menu, plus options for large group, small group, formal, casual, traditional, modern, regional, global flavors, quick and easy, healthy, and vegetarian diners.

Food and Wine: Three Amazing Thanksgiving Menus
“Tina Ujlaki, F&W’s executive food editor, put together these three incredible web-exclusive menus. She created a classic menu (pumpkin soup, bread stuffing with sausage and a deep-dish apple pie), an elegant menu (sparkling punch, a gorgonzola terrine and a chocolate macadamia tart) and an easy ethnic menu with flavors from around the world. All of them center around a turkey, and include drinks, appetizers, soup, sides and desserts.”

Food and Wine: Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide
“With F&W’s amazing recipes, practical tips, festive menus and wine recommendations, this ultimate Thanksgiving guide is the perfect resource to help you welcome family and friends to the table this year.”

Food Network: Thanksgiving Menus
Classic Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving with a Twist, and Thanksgiving Made Easy.

Gourmet: Five All-American Thanksgiving Menus
Inspired by this country’s diverse culinary traditions, these classic Thanksgiving meals represent regions from New England to the West Coast, the North to the Deep South.

Martha Stewart: Thanksgiving Menus
Master page includes menus for: Easy Thanksgiving Dinner, Thanksgiving with Italian Flavors, An Effortless Thanksgiving, A Holiday Buffet for Everyone, Thanksgiving: An All-Day Affair, A Classic Thanksgiving Menu, No-Fuss Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Made Easy, Thanksgiving 1-2-3, A Hill Country Thanksgiving, A Southern-Style Feast, A Down Home Thanksgiving.

Martha Stewart: Martha’s Ultimate Thanksgiving

O Magazine: O's All-Time Favorite Thanksgiving Menus
“Looking to do something a little different this Thanksgiving? Let us help! O turns to an all-star cast of chefs for their most delectable holiday menus.” Page includes: Thanksgiving Miracle, Colin Cowie’s Incredible Thanksgiving Feast, Gobble Gobble: A Light Thanksgiving Menu, Dinner for 20 With the Greatest of Ease, Duck! Here Comes Thanksgiving, The Party Season Starts Here, Holiday Recipe Kit.

Real Simple: 50+ Thanksgiving Recipes

Real Simple: The Best Thanksgiving Shortcuts
“Make these six tasty convenience products part of your holiday arsenal.”

Real Simple: Your Stress-Free Thanksgiving Menu
“These recipes cover all the bases, from turkey to pie (here's hoping you have room for it).”

Saveur: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Guide

Serious Eats: Thanksgiving Menus
Classic, Easy, and Healthy Thanksgiving Menus.


Being Frugal: A Memorable, Yet Frugal, Thanksgiving
“I love hosting Thanksgiving dinner, but if I don’t watch it, the expenses quickly add up. Here are some tips for a frugal, relaxed, and memorable Thanksgiving.”

Epicurious: A Potluck Planner
“Giving or going to a Thanksgiving dinner? You'll give thanks for these tips from this pro.”

Money Saving Mom: Thanksgiving on a Budget
Erin from 5DollarDinners and I will be teaming up to share some of our favorite frugal Thanksgiving recipes. Whether you're an experienced cook or a novice in the kitchen, we hope that our recipes, tips, and photo tutorials will inspire you to pull off your own "Thanksgiving on a Budget.”


All Recipes: Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes
“Thanksgiving dinner is all about feasting and family, but it doesn't have to weigh you down.”

Bon Appetit: A Healthy Thanksgiving Menu for 6

Epicurious: Thanksgiving Menus
Includes A Healthy Thanksgiving Menu, Light Thanksgiving for Four, Light Maryland Thanksgiving, and A Turkey-less Thanksgiving.

Serious Eats: Healthy Thanksgiving Menu

Squawkfox: Recipes - Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Ideas


Bon Appetit: Vegetarian Thanksgiving for 8
“This delicious meat-less meal includes a cornucopia of side dishes and a spicy fruit crisp dessert.”

Cooking Light: Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Gourmet: A Vegetarian Thanksgiving
“With these rich and hearty meatless menus, you won’t even miss the big bird.”

Epicurious: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menus
Includes Autumn's Savory Vegetarian Supper For Eight, Harvest's Home, The Vegetarian's Dilemma, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast, Rustic French Vegetarian Thanksgiving, Vegetarian Mexican Buffet, Thanks For the Memory, Vegetarian Mediterranean Thanksgiving Menu, A Peaceable Feast, and Green Party. (Some may be repeated in the Gourmet & Bon Appetit posts.)


Epicurious: A Feast for the Eyes
“Easy do-it-yourself centerpieces, place cards, and napkin holders to complete your Thanksgiving table.”

Food and Wine: Set a Beautiful Holiday Table
Eight ideas for Turkey Day place settings.

Martha Stewart: Thanksgiving Table Settings

Real Simple: 60-Second Centerpieces

Real Simple: Dinner Party Seating Strategies


All Recipes: Thanksgiving Disaster-Savers
“It's 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving and you've got a house full of guests. What's the worst thing that could happen?”

All Recipes: Pie Troubleshooting Guide
“Unworkable dough? Soggy crust? Learn how to prevent common pie problems.”

Food Network: Thanksgiving SOS
A series of troubleshooting videos.

Real Simple: How to Fix 10 Common Thanksgiving Problems

Real Simple: 10 Tricks to a Trouble-Free Thanksgiving


All Recipes: Turkey Leftovers

Bon Appetit: Thanksgiving Leftovers Slideshow
“Leftover turkey goes upscale—and global—in these recipes for the day after the Thanksgiving feast. Plus, recipes for leftover cranberry sauce and potatoes.”

Cooking Light: Tomorrow’s Turkey

Fine Cooking: Leftovers

Real Simple: 10 Ideas for Leftover Turkey


Baked Apples
Broccoli With Parmesan and Lemon
Cranberry Relish With Grapefruit and Mint
Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
Honey-Glazed Roasted Carrots
Maple Walnut Apple Crisp
Mashed Potatoes With Leeks and Sour Cream
Mostly Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Peach-Blueberry Cobbler
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Root Vegetables
Spiced Slow Cooker Applesauce
Stewed Pears
Wild Berry Betty

Readers – ideas? I’d love to hear.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Festival of Frugality #204: The iPod Playlist Edition

Welcome everyone, to the 204th edition of the Festival of Frugality, here at Cheap Healthy Good!

Last time us CHG people hosted FoF, the theme revolved around mix tapes. Alas, times have changed, and kids these days are all about newfangled MP3 technology. (*Harrumph* Get off my lawn! *harrumph*) So, this time, we're going with playlists.

For best results, listen to each song as you’re reading the associated post. As a whole, they'll put you in the mood for money talk and make work slightly more tolerable. None of the tunes are repeats from last time, to boot. Sweet.

Without further ado...


The Digerati Life has some solid saving suggestions in How to Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rates.
Playlist Song: I’m Goin’ Down"” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Hey, man. Turkey Day is coming. And in How to Roast a Butternut Squash, Kristia from Family Balance Sheet gives props to one of the cheapest, healthiest, good …est Thanksgiving-appropriate vegetables on the planet.
Playlist Song:Food, Glorious Food” from Oliver!

From kitty litter to toothpaste, Get Rich Slowly presents some innovative stain removal ideas in Creative Cleaning with Everyday Products.
Playlist Song:Whistle While You Work” by Snow White

My Dollar Plan breaks down insurance strategies with How to Save Money with High Deductible Health Plans.
Playlist Song:Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine” by The White Stripes

As a Wife-Elect, I appreciate the bejeezus out of Six Questions You Must Ask Before Getting Engaged at Sound Money Matters.
Playlist Song: Wouldn’t it Be Nice” by the Beach Boys


The fine folks at Free Money Finance offer Eight Steps to Lower Your College Costs. This SUNY graduate gives it three thumbs up.
Playlist Song:I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” by the Ramones

Now a parent, PT Money needs to bank some dough for lil’ PT’s college tuition. Check his thoughts at Upromise Review: A Little Extra Savings for College.
Playlist Song: School’s Out” by Alice Cooper

Studenomist rattles off a few Ways to Save Money in College. Sounds like they come from experience.
Playlist Song:Going Away to College” by Blink-182


Do you shop at Excellent. Ask Mr. Credit Card has a solid rundown of Overstock Online Savings Without Promotional Coupons and Code.
Playlist Song:Material Girl” by Madonna

Everyday Minimalist has some excellent financial reasons for scaling back with How Clutter Costs You Money.
Playlist Song:Too Much” by Dave Matthews Band

It’s a solid rundown of the Best Coupon Sources Online at Fine-Tuned Finances.
Playlist Song: Shopping” by Pet Shop Boys

If you’re having people to an open house, you’ll wanna check out Interior Design Info’s tips on Last Minute Preparations Before a Real Estate Showing.
Playlist Song:Houses of the Holy” by Led Zeppelin

In A Lifestyle Dilemma, M is for Money poses a question about housing: urban and small, or … something else?
Playlist Song: Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds

Yes! Home Roasted Peanuts! Thanks, Make it from Scratch!
Playlist Song: Peanuts Theme Song” by Gilbert Hernandez

Winter, she is coming. Prepare yourself by reading Steam Radiators: Here’s How to Improve your Boiler’s Efficiency at Pragmatic Environmentalism.
Playlist Song: Steam” by Peter Gabriel

Stop the Ride helps you stay unsick and unbroke with Frugally Healthy This Cold & Flu Season.
Playlist Song:Doctor, Doctor” by Thompson Twins


Leaving on a jet plane? Sweet. Then peruse 7 Tips To Save Money On A Vacation over at Associate Money.
Playlist Song:Vacation” by The Go-Gos

Whoa. If you’re gettin’ hitched anytime soon, The One has some deals at How to: Save over $10,000 on Your Honeymoon.
Playlist Song:Holiday” by Madonna


There are less than 45 Days to Save Before Christmas and The Financial Blogger is counting down ways to bank some gift-giving dough.
Playlist Song:Last Christmas” by Wham!

Whether you’re tempted to go crazy at Crate & Barrel or spend wisely at Williams Sonoma, Top Tips for Holiday Credit Card Spending at Good Financial Cents is a good read.
Playlist Song: Christmas All Over Again” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Do you know 5 Ways to Protect Yourself Against the Declining Value of the Dollar? Money Help For Christians does, and he’s here to help.
Playlist Song: C.R.E.A.M.” by Wu-Tang Clan

Manshu presents S&P 500 ETF List at OneMint.
Playlist Song: Rock and Roll Lifestyle” by Cake

There are a lot of banking options out there, folks. But only The Smarter Wallet knows the Best High Yield Savings Accounts.
Playlist Song: Money” by ABBA

How Much Can You Save with a 0% Balance Transfer for 12 Months? Good question. Credit Card Offers IQ, what’s your opinion?
Playlist Song: Zero” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Here’s something I often wonder about: How Much Money is Your Checking Account Making For You? Maybe Deposit Accounts knows the answer.
Playlist Song: Free Money” by Patti Smith


One hopes Governor Schwarzenegger is reading California State Tax Shenanigans from Buck$ome Boomer’s Journey. (Perhaps in da choppa.)
Playlist Song:Taxman ” by the Beatles

And rounding it all out, Provident Planning dares to ask the big questions, like What is Contentment?
Playlist Song: Furry Happy Monsters” by R.E.M. and Sesame Street

And that’s it for this week’s Festival of Frugality! Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to check out #205 next week at The Financial Blogger. For more information on the festival itself, head to its homepage, aptly titled Festival of Frugality.

(Photos courtesy of Jeffrey Daniel Frey's Blog, Wifikraze, and


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