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Monday
Nov202017

Getting Ready for T-Day

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I love hosting Thanksgiving dinner. Steve is finished with most of the food shopping and I’ve completed some of my early prep—making pie dough, baking cornbread, and cubing white bread for the stuffing, according to my Thanksgiving game plan. We’re in good shape.

Monday
Nov132017

Roasted Cranberry Chutney

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

As a child, cranberry sauce was my favorite part of Thanksgiving. Slithered from the can and sliced, glistening jewellike and with a sweet-tartness, it added just the right deliciousness to the big feast.

I didn’t realize people actually made fresh cranberry sauce from scratch until I moved to New York City after college and began a new Thanksgiving tradition, enjoying potlucks with other “orphans.” It was a revelation.

Through the years, I’ve made many a bowl of fresh cranberry sauce, often just following the quick and easy package recipe and adding some orange zest. Then about ten years ago, I found a recipe for roasted cranberry sauce in Saveur magazine and I have been making it faithfully. Roasting seems to intensify the cranberry flavors beautifully.

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Monday
Nov062017

Sandwich for Dinner

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

After Halloween, the excitement begins, as I anticipate the upcoming holidays and all the cooking and baking ahead, from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

I start planning my menus, making grocery lists and thinking about table centerpieces. I also plan on quick meals for those days when holiday preparations make everyday cooking a distraction.

I asked Dave recently what he makes for his family for dinner when he’s busy juggling work life and activities surrounding two young children. His go-to supper turns out to be flatbread panini sandwiches.

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Monday
Oct302017

Thanksgiving Prep: Making Place Cards

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving yet? I’m starting to look through recipes to decide what to make. I’m also thinking about how to decorate my Thanksgiving table.

I’ve started gathering Indian corn, gourds and small pumpkins from the farmers’ market for a centerpiece. As much as possible, I like to use fall produce that can be eaten later, rather than just serve as table decorations, so as time gets closer, I will add pomegranates and persimmons to my shopping list, and just before Thanksgiving, I’ll pick up some grapes.

I like to determine in advance, who will sit where for the big feast, trying to mix up the guests and keeping in mind which people will be most compatible sitting through a long dinner together. I work out the seating by drawing a rectangle to represent the table and begin marking on my “table,” who will sit where. It usually takes several tries before I come up with the seating arrangement that I think will work best, to keep everyone happy and engaged.

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Monday
Oct232017

A Quick Halloween Supper

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

If you expect your ghosts, princesses and superheroes to be champing at the bit to go trick-or-treating on Halloween, plan on a simple supper by making hot dog mummies. Accompany with some vegetable sticks or a handful of cherry tomatoes and call it a meal.

These mummies are easy to make using frozen puff pastry and hot dogs. While the recipe is for six mummies, make fewer or more, as you like.

Leftover, defrosted puff pastry can be refrozen if you don’t need all of it to wrap the mummies. Keep the second sheet in its wrapper, in the refrigerator, on hold. If you don’t’ use it, freeze immediately for another time. Here are some ways to use frozen puff pastry.

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