This Is Actually The Best Way To Make A Turkey For Christmas

SPOILER: It does NOT involve fitting a 5-gallon bucket in your fridge.

When it comes to Christmas dinner, turkey is a non-negotiable. The thing is, turkey can be a little, well…dry.

This Is Actually The Best Way To Make A Turkey For Thanksgiving
Warner Bros. / / Via giphy.com

Many people brine their turkeys by soaking it in salt water for 12 hours because so many recipes say that makes the meat more moist and tender.

Many people brine their turkeys by soaking it in salt water for 12 hours because so many recipes say that makes the meat more moist and tender.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

It’s called wet brining, and the thing is, wet brining is a pain in the ass.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

After you find a 5-gallon container, get your turkey into it, and fill the whole thing up with liquid, you need to make room in your fridge for it. ANNOYING.

GOOD NEWS, though! BuzzFeed Food conducted a blind taste test and found out that the best way to make your turkey is actually way easier: DRY BRINING.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Read all about that here.

Dry brining is nbd: You rub the turkey with salt, sugar, and any spices you want, then let it sit uncovered in the fridge overnight.

Overnight meaning at least 8 and up to 16 hours. See the full directions below.

Here are the ingredients you need to make a dry-brined roasted turkey:

Here are the ingredients you need to make a dry-brined roasted turkey:

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

1 14 to 16-pound turkey, thawed
⅓ cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup unsalted butter (for roasting)

First, take the turkey out of its packaging (do this over the sink) and remove the neck and giblets.

First, take the turkey out of its packaging (do this over the sink) and remove the neck and giblets.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

You can keep these for stock or gravy, but you don’t need them for the roast turkey.

Rinse the turkey under cold water, then use paper towels to dry it thoroughly, inside the cavity and out.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the salt, brown sugar, and ground black pepper.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the salt, brown sugar, and ground black pepper.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Put the turkey on a large, rimmed baking sheet or in a large, shallow container, and rub the salt mixture (aka the dry brine) all over the turkey.

Put the turkey on a large, rimmed baking sheet or in a large, shallow container, and rub the salt mixture (aka the dry brine) all over the turkey.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Make sure you also rub it under the skin of the breasts, and inside the cavity.

Make sure you also rub it under the skin of the breasts, and inside the cavity.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Gently pull the skin away from the breast meat with your fingers — it might feel like it will tear, but if you pull carefully but firmly it won’t. Then rub the dry brine underneath the skin. TBH this is very fun.

Put the turkey on the baking sheet in the fridge and let it sit, UNCOVERED, for 8 to 16 hours.

Put the turkey on the baking sheet in the fridge and let it sit, UNCOVERED, for 8 to 16 hours.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

You’re probably going to have to shuffle some things around in there to make room, but it’s worth it.

When you’re ready to roast, rinse the turkey under cold water to get all the brine off, then dry it again with paper towels, outside and inside the cavity.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Put the rinsed, dried turkey in a roasting pan, on the rack.

Put the rinsed, dried turkey in a roasting pan, on the rack.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes so that it’s not refrigerator-cold when it goes into the oven.

Rub ¼ cup softened butter under the skin of the turkey, on the breast meat.

Rub ¼ cup softened butter under the skin of the turkey, on the breast meat.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

This isn’t totally necessary, but it does help keep the white meat a little more tender and juicy.

Truss the turkey if you want: This is optional, but it makes the roasted turkey look prettier in the end and helps the skin on the thighs get crispy.

Truss the turkey if you want: This is optional, but it makes the roasted turkey look prettier in the end and helps the skin on the thighs get crispy.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

You’ll need a piece of twine that’s at least 36 inches long.
1. Tie the legs together with the butcher’s twine.
2. Then wrap the ends of the twine around the turkey and tie them tightly at the top.
3. Tuck the wings underneath the twine.

Pour a cup of water or stock into the roasting pan, then roast the turkey at 500°F for 30 minutes.

Pour a cup of water or stock into the roasting pan, then roast the turkey at 500°F for 30 minutes.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

The liquid in the pan will keep the drippings from burning, and starting at such a high temperature will help crisp the skin.

Turn the heat down to 350°F, and roast until a thermometer inserted into the fattest part of thigh, right where it meets the breast, reads 155°F. That’s about 1 ½ to 2 more hours for a 12- to 14-pound bird.

Turn the heat down to 350°F, and roast until a thermometer inserted into the fattest part of thigh, right where it meets the breast, reads 155°F. That's about 1 ½ to 2 more hours for a 12- to 14-pound bird.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

The USDA recommends you cook your turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F, to eliminate ANY AND ALL RISK of undercooking. We really, truly think that this overcooks the turkey and makes it dry and tough, brined or not. A turkey cooked to 155°F will reach at least 165°F after you take it out of the oven. (That’s called “carry-over cooking.”) And it’ll taste a lot better.

Let the turkey rest in the roasting rack for at least 20 minutes.

Let the turkey rest in the roasting rack for at least 20 minutes.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Don’t tent it with foil because it’ll be all steamy up in there and the skin will lose its crispiness.

Then carve (here’s how) and serve!

Then carve (here's how) and serve!

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Simple Dry-Brined Roast Turkey

Serves 8 to 10

INGREDIENTS
1 (14 to 16-pound) turkey, thawed, giblets and neck removed
⅓ cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup unsalted butter

PREPARATION
Rinse the turkey under cold water, then dry it thoroughly with paper towels, inside and out. Stir together the salt, sugar, and pepper in a small bowl, then rub the mixture all over the outside of the turkey and inside the cavity. Carefully pull the skin away from the breasts, just enough so that you can rub the brine underneath. Put the turkey on a large, rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for 8 to 12 hours (overnight).

Preheat oven to 500°F and position a rack on the bottom shelf. Make sure there’s enough room for your turkey; take all the other racks out if you have to. Let your butter come to room temperature on the counter while you prepare the turkey.

Rinse the turkey it under cold water to wash away the brine, then dry it thoroughly with paper towels, inside and out. Place the turkey breast side up in a large turkey roasting pan with a rack and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Rub softened butter all over the breast meat of the turkey, carefully pulling the skin away from the breasts to rub butter underneath. Tie the legs together with a long piece of butcher’s twine, then wrap the ends around both sides of the turkey and tie them tightly at the top, right where the turkey’s neck used to be. Tuck the wings underneath the twine.

Add a cup of water to the pan and roast the turkey for 30 minutes at 500°F. (Starting the turkey at a super high temperature makes for crispier skin.) After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 350°F and continue to roast the turkey for 1½ to 2 hours more, turning the roasting pan after an hour, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155°F. When the turkey is done, let it rest for at least 20 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board, carve, and serve.

25 Quick and Healthy 4-Ingredient Breakfast Recipes

When you’re short on time and low on energy, the answer doesn’t have to be your local drive-through or corner mart. These quick and healthy breakfast recipes guarantee an all-star meal in just a few minutes flat. And before you say you’re out of X, Y and Z, get this: Each of these a.m. creations requires just four ingredients apiece. From nutritious green smoothies to fiber-packed frittatas, there’s something for every craving in the infographic below. Want something sweet? How about a breakfast banana split? More the savory type? Whip up a turkey bacon egg bake. When the alarm sounds, you’ll feel good about hitting the kitchen — and making home-cooked breakfasts your new healthy habit. So pull out that blender, plug in that toaster, or heat up the griddle. The choice is yours!

25 Quick and Healthy Breakfast Recipes

25 Quick and Healthy 4-Ingredient Breakfasts

33 Clever DIY Christmas Tree Ideas

Even long after you stop believing in Santa Claus, a gorgeous Christmas tree remains the centerpiece of the holidays. Some families have a tradition of making their own Christmas decorations, and increasingly more people now choose to have a DIY Christmas tree as well.

Besides saving the trees, a DIY Xmas tree project also strengthens the holiday spirit, and makes them all the more special. It also serves as a one of a kind interior decoration. Check out our list of some clever DIY Christmas tree ideas and get creative!

1. Hardcover Christmas Tree

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2. Floating Ornament Christmas Tree

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3. Hand Print Christmas Tree

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4. Dry Wood Christmas Tree

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5. Egg Carton Christmas Tree

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6. Wrapping Paper Christmas Tree

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7. Shelf-made Christmas Tree

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8. Cardholder Christmas Tree

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9. Balloon Christmas Tree

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10. Button Christmas Tree

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11. Box Christmas Tree

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12. Strawberry Chocolate Christmas Tree

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13. Pompon Christmas Tree

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14. String Christmas Tree

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15. Tripod Christmas Tree

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16. Tissue Paper Christmas Tree

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17. Felt Ball Christmas Tree

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18. Felt Garland Christmas Tree

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19. Wine Cork Christmas Tree

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20. Driftwood Christmas Tree

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21. Ladder Christmas Tree

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22. Book Sculpture Christmas Tree

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23. Gift Ribbon Christmas Tree

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24. Leftover Panel Christmas Tree

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25. Wall Collection Christmas Tree

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26. Light Christmas Tree

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27. Block Puzzle Christmas Tree

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28. Newspaper Christmas Tree

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29. Forest Wood Christmas Tree

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30. Broccoli Salad Christmas Tree

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31. 2-D Gift Bag Christmas Tree

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32. Skinny Christmas Tree

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33. Cushion Christmas Tree

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Also See These 25 DIY Christmas Ornaments

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TRENDING — 20 Creative DIY Christmas Ornament Ideas

No other holidays have such a magical and joyous preparation period as Christmas, as the whole month of Advent is dedicated to get into the Christmas spirit and be merry. Truth be told, holidays will only be as festive as you make them – so don’t wait for the Christmas spirit to manifest itself, start creating it!

Probably the best way to get inspired for the holidays is to decorate your house and a Christmas tree. And if you take it one step further and decide to make the decorations and ornaments yourself, then Christmas will be all the more special!

1. Light Bulb Penguin Ornaments

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2. Steampunk Gear Christmas Ornament

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3. Tea Cup Ornament

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4. Old CD Ornament

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5. Mini Mittens

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6. Wine Cork Ornaments

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7. Book Page Rosette Christmas Ornament

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8. Thumbprint Ornaments

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9. Toilet Roll Reindeer

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10. Cinnamon Applesauce Heart Ornaments

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11. Pistachio Christmas Ornament

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12. Macaroni Snowflakes

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13. Lego Ornament

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14. Yarn Ball Ornament

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15. Computer’s Memory Recycled for Christmas

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16. Filled Ornament

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17. A Very Puzzling Rudolph

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18. Crochet Snowflakes

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19. Bottle Cap Snowman Ornaments

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20. Bell Jar Ornaments

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22 Creative DIY Christmas Tree Ideas

25 Christmas Cookie Recipes. Its Time To Start To Plan Christmas Baking

What’s great about the holidays is all of the homemade food and desserts! Cookies are a popular dessert to serve around the holidays, especially if you’re doing a cookie swap with family, friends or co-workers! When it’s time for all of those holiday cookie exchange parties this year, you will be ready to go with the 25 Best Christmas Cookie Exchange Recipes! What cookie recipe will you tackle this holiday? Let us know in the comments below!
thumbprint-snowmen-cookies

Thumbprint Snowman Cookies: Munchkin Munchies

Chocolate-Cherry-Blossom-Cookies

Chocolate Cherry Blossom Cookies: Baking Beauty

chocolate-kiss-cookies

Chocolate Kiss Powder Puff Cookies: Averie Cooks

Christmas-Funfetti-Sugar-Cookies

Holiday Confetti Cake Batter Cookies: Sally’s Baking Addiction

chocolate-crinkles-cookies

Chocolate Crinkles: Simply Recipes

melting-snowman-oreo-cookie-balls

Melting Snowman Oreo Balls: The Girl That Ate Everything

Grinch-Cookies

Grinch Cookies: In Katrina’s Kitchen

hot-chocolate-cookie-cups

Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups: The Gunny Sack

 turtle-thumbprint-cookies

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies: Tastes Better From Scratch

3-ingredient-shortbread-cookies

3 Ingredient Buttery Shortbread Cookies: Chew Out Loud

german-chocolate-cookies-christmas-cookies-recipes

German Chocolate Cake Cookies: The Gracious Wife

vanilla-chocolate-pizzelles

Vanilla and Chocolate Pizzelles: Recipe Runner

melted-snowman-cookies

Melted Snowman Cookies: Home Is Where the Boat Is

soft-chewy-chocolate-fudge-cookies-recipe

Soft & Chewy Triple Chocolate Fudge Cookies: Roxana’s Home Baking

peanut-butter-reindeer-cookies

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies: Baker Girl

Brown-Sugar-Pecan-Cookies

Brown Sugar Pecan Cookies: The Recipe Rebel

Russian-Tea-Cake-Cookie-Balls

Russian Tea Cake Cookies: Crazy For Crust

Salted Peanut Butter Blossons

Salted Peanut Butter Blossoms: Your Homebased Mom

black-bottom-butterscotch-cookies

Black Bottom Butterscotch Cookies: Something Swanky

chocolate-marshmallow-cookies

Chocolate Cookies n’ Cream Marshmallow Cookies: Creme dela Crumb

Buckeye-Brownie-Cookies

Buckeye Brownie Cookies: Tastes of Lizzy T’s

Strawberry-Cookies

Strawberry Cookies With White Chocolate Chunks: OMG Chocolate Desserts

Red-Velvet-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Recipe

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Kit-Kat-Cookies

Kit Kat Cookies: Crazy For Crust

italian-ricotta-cookies

Italian Ricotta Cookies: Love Bakes Good Cakes

45 Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren’t Pumpkin Pie

1. Mini White Chocolate Caramel Apple Lollipops

Mini White Chocolate Caramel Apple Lollipops

Photo by Arden Sarner / Via spoonuniversity.com

Everything tastes better on a stick. Make yours like this.

2. Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough & Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches

Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough & Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches

Photo by Sarah Yanofsky / Via spoonuniversity.com

Sometimes it’s too dang hot to cozy up with a pumpkin spice latte. Recipe here.

3. Chunky Monkey Muffins

Chunky Monkey Muffins

Photo by Phoebe Melnick / Via spoonuniversity.com

Your favorite Ben and Jerry’s flavor plus your favorite breakfast dessert equals the perfect sweet. Recipe here.

4. 11-Layer Pumpkin and Peanut Butter S’mores Bars

11-Layer Pumpkin and Peanut Butter S’mores Bars

Photo by Julia Wilson / Via spoonuniversity.com

S’morgasm guaranteed. Recipe here.

5. Apple Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Apple Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Photo by Taylor Widom / Via spoonuniversity.com

Because who needs a fork? Make yours like this.

6. Salted Caramel Apple Mason Jar Cheesecake

Salted Caramel Apple Mason Jar Cheesecake

Photo by Isabel Tiange Wang / Via spoonuniversity.com

Make yours like this.

7. Brown Butter and Sea Salt Rice Krispies Treats

Brown Butter and Sea Salt Rice Krispies Treats

Photo by Jamie Medina / Via spoonuniversity.com

Just like you, these sweet childhood treats are all grown up. Recipe here.

8. Peach Lemon Butter Cake

Peach Lemon Butter Cake

Photo by Max Bartick / Via spoonuniversity.com

They call this “Paradise Cake” in Italia. Make yours like this.

9. Homemade Chocolate Fudge

Homemade Chocolate Fudge

Photo by Heather Feibleman / Via spoonuniversity.com

2 ingredients + 1 microwave = pure bliss. Make yours like this.

10. Warm Apple Pie Dip With Cinnamon Sugar Crisps

45 Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pumpkin Pie
GIF by Elena Besser / Via spoonuniversity.com

Now watch me dip, now watch me nae nae. Recipe here.

11. Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter Pie

Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter Pie

Photo by Phoebe Melnick / Via bu.spoonuniversity.com

Guaranteed to rock your world one bite at a time. Recipe here.

12. Ultimate Skillet Cookie

Ultimate Skillet Cookie

Photo by Gaby Scelzo / Via spoonuniversity.com

One word: epic. Recipe here.

13. Salted Caramel Chocolate Bread Pudding

Salted Caramel Chocolate Bread Pudding

Photo by Naib Mian / Via nu.spoonuniversity.com

Bread pudding: A mishmash of leftover starch, sugar, and cream, which unite to create a canvas of infinite flavor possibilities. Recipe here.

14. Pumpkin Pie Crescent Rolls

Pumpkin Pie Crescent Rolls

Photo by Dylan Barth / Via spoonuniversity.com

Because the pumpkin craze is never-ending. Recipe here.

15. Sweet and Savory Nutella Wontons

Sweet and Savory Nutella Wontons

Photo by Jacob Kerbel / Via spoonuniversity.com

More proof that Nutella really does complement anything. Make yours like this.

16. 3-Ingredient Chocolate Bacon Bark

3-Ingredient Chocolate Bacon Bark

Photo by Analiese Trimber / Via spoonuniversity.com

Two words: three ingredients. Recipe here.

17. Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Photo by Hunter Siegrist / Via fandm.spoonuniversity.com

A side of pumpkin you’ve never seen before. Recipe here.

18. No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu / Via spoonuniversity.com

It tastes like a frozen Reese’s peanut butter cup and is even shaped like one. Make yours like this.

19. Baked Apple Cider Donut Bites

Baked Apple Cider Donut Bites

Photo by Christian Stafford / Via spoonuniversity.com

Pumpkin spice is overrated. Make yours like this.

20. Nutella Banana Dessert Sushi

Nutella Banana Dessert Sushi

Photo by Madeline Leadem / Via spoonuniversity.com

Recipe here.

21. No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Photo by Bailey Culpepper / Via ut.spoonuniversity.com

Why eat pie when you can eat cheesecake? Make yours like this.

22. Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread

Photo by Justin Shannin / Via nu.spoonuniversity.com

If you’re not too stuffed from all the turkey, toss these in the oven. Recipe here.

23. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Photo by Caitlin McCreight / Via spoonuniversity.com

A grab and go version of the all-too-delicious pumpkin bread. Recipe here.

24. Salted Toffee Brittle

Salted Toffee Brittle

Photo by Krista Stucchio / Via spoonuniversity.com

For when you can’t decide between salty and sweet. Recipe here.

25. Gluten-Free Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Gluten-Free Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Photo by Kristine Mahan / Via spoonuniversity.com

You won’t miss the gluten. Make yours like this.

26. 5-Ingredient Pecan Pie Mini Muffins

5-Ingredient Pecan Pie Mini Muffins

Photo by Meredith Ross / Via spoonuniversity.com

Pecan pie in muffin form. Recipe here.

27. Apple Turnovers

Apple Turnovers

Photo by Helena Lin / Via spoonuniversity.com

Recipe here.

28. Banana Bread Pudding

Banana Bread Pudding

Photo by Rachel Lee / Via spoonuniversity.com

Recipe here.

29. Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Photo by Mark Zhang / Via princeton.spoonuniversity.com

So sweet, so simple. Make yours like this.

30. Perfect Pecan Pie

Perfect Pecan Pie

Photo by Jessica Payne / Via spoonuniversity.com

Perfection doesn’t even begin to describe it. Make yours like this.

31. Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Photo by Jeanne Kessira / Via cornell.spoonuniversity.com

Best when paired with tea. Recipe here.

32. Cranberry Pistachio Chocolate Bark

Bonus: It looks fancy so even Aunt Judy will be impressed. Recipe here.

Gif by Phoebe Melnick / Via bu.spoonuniversity.com

33. Great-Grandma’s Banana Bread

Great-Grandma’s Banana Bread

Photo by Mackenzie Barth / Via nu.spoonuniversity.com

Even better than when Grandma made it. Recipe here.

34. Sticky Maple Crescent Buns

Sticky Maple Crescent Buns

Photo by Bailey Culpepper / Via ut.spoonuniversity.com

As if Thanksgiving couldn’t get any sweeter. Make yours like this.

35. Apple Pie Cups

Apple Pie Cups

Photo by Susanna Tuan / Via uchi.spoonuniversity.com

Because the whole family deserves to be able to have their own pie (cup) and eat it, too. Recipe here.

36. Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Photo by Jocelyn Hsu / Via cal.spoonuniversity.com

When life gives you lemons, bake this lemon meringue pie. Recipe here.

37. Chocolate Meringue Pie

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Photo by Lara Schwieger / Via emory.spoonuniversity.com

It’s like eating a pillowy chocolate cloud. Make yours like this.

38. Lemon and Cranberry Scones

Lemon and Cranberry Scones

Photo by Alia Wilhelm / Via nu.spoonuniversity.com

The perfect solution for a college student who only has a cookie sheet. Recipe here.

39. Rugelach Cookies

Rugelach Cookies

Photo by Amanda Shulman / Via upenn.spoonuniversity.com

The edible version of your grandparents’. Recipe here.

40. White Chocolate Dipped Molasses Cookies

White Chocolate Dipped Molasses Cookies

Photo by Sarah Stettin / Via michigan.spoonuniversity.com

Bring a little extra autumn flair to your apartment or party with this recipe.

41. Easy Cherry Berry Pie

Easy Cherry Berry Pie

Photo by Kristin Brennan / Via nd.spoonuniversity.com

A classic dessert only fit for after a classic meal. Make yours like this.

42. Cinnamon Brown Sugar Bread Pudding

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Bread Pudding

Photo by Alison Mally / Via ucla.spoonuniversity.com

A dessert with history. Make yours like this.

43. Apple Pie Roses

Apple Pie Roses

Photo by Molly Gamache / Via spoonuniversity.com

The apple of your stomach. Recipe here.

44. Chocolate Biscoff Crunch Ice Cream Cake

Chocolate Biscoff Crunch Ice Cream Cake

Photo by Shivangi Surana / Via bu.spoonuniversity.com

The best part is it’s vegan. Recipe here.

45. Toasted Coconut and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toasted Coconut and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Photo by Abigail Wang / Via pitt.spoonuniversity.com

Add a half cup of craisins for a little taste of fall. Recipe here.

11 Best Thanksgiving Vegetable Recipes

Move over turkey — on Thanksgiving, the side dishes always steal the show. From creamy Brussels Sprouts Gratin to Potatoes au Gratin, these easy and elegant vegetable recipes will be the talk of the table.

1. Brussels Sprouts Gratin

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This creamy gratin is perfect for the holidays because it can be made ahead of time. It’s easy too — unlike most vegetable gratins, which are made with a Béchamel sauce, this one is made more simply (and decadently) with heavy cream. GET THE RECIPE

2. Quinoa Pilaf with Shiitake Mushrooms, Carrots & Pecans

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Whenever I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner, I like to offer some vegetarian and gluten-free side dishes. This one is both, plus it can be made ahead. GET THE RECIPE

3. Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad with Walnuts, Parmesan and Lemon-Mustard Dressing

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Made with toasted walnuts, chunks of Parmesan and a lemony Dijon dressing, this kale and Brussels sprouts salad tastes like a healthful, crunchy Caesar. Even your meat and potato lovers will enjoy it! GET THE RECIPE

4. Potatoes au Gratin

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This classic dish involves layering thinly sliced potatoes with heavy cream (a lot of it!) and grated cheese in a gratin dish, and then baking it until the cream reduces and blankets the potatoes in a rich, creamy sauce. I’d say the dish is worthy of a special occasion — it is — but the truth is that eating it is a special occasion in and of itself.GET THE RECIPE

5. Carrot Slaw with Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts & Citrus Vinaigrette

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Dried cranberries and toasted walnuts make this carrot slaw perfect for fall and a colorful addition to your Thanksgiving feast. Plus, it’s delicious with turkey sandwiches the next day. GET THE RECIPE

6. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans & Maple Syrup

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Golden roasted Brussels sprouts with smoky bacon, toasted pecans and maple syrup — this dish will become a firm family favorite. Honestly, it’s hard to resist eating the entire pan right out of the oven! GET THE RECIPE

7. Gingered Carrot Souffle

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This is one of those seductively sweet, orange-hued side dishes that often appear around the holidays. Technically, it’s not really a soufflé, but rather a baked purée of carrots, butter, brown sugar, and eggs that has a fluffy and delicate soufflé-like texture. It’s along the same lines as a Sweet Potato Casserole – that is to say, not quite dessert but almost sweet enough to be. GET THE RECIPE

8. Roasted Green Beans with Garlic, Pine Nuts, Lemon & Parmesan

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Tender and caramelized roasted green beans, mellowed chunks of garlic, lemon-infused olive oil, crunchy pine nuts and nutty Parmesan — this dish is a crowd-pleaser and easy to do ahead of time. GET THE RECIPE

9. Mesclun Salad with Goat Cheese, Maple-Glazed Pecans & Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

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This salad is perfect for entertaining — the glazed pecans and goat cheese dress it up, and the vinaigrette is one of those salty-sweet-tangy flavor combinations that everyone loves. GET THE RECIPE

10. Roasted Carrots with Thyme

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Always a favorite, these carrots are roasted in a high temperature oven until caramelized and tender-crisp — a cooking method that intensifies their flavor and brings out their natural sweetness. GET THE RECIPE

11. Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

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This is a rustic version of mashed potatoes. To make it, you simply boil a few pounds of baby red potatoes, smash them with a dinner fork, and then mix them with butter and Parmesan. So easy…and everyone loves it. GET THE RECIPE

23 Recipes That Put Awesome Into Breakfast

23 awesome recipes that make getting up early worthwhile. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make it special. 

23breakfastrecipes

1. Who wants blueberry pie first thing in the morning anyway?

Who wants blueberry pie first thing in the morning anyway?

Recipe for blueberry oatmeal bars here.

2. Look how invasive that syrup is- it’s getting EVERYWHERE.

Look how invasive that syrup is- it's getting EVERYWHERE.

Dutch cream waffle recipe here.

3. This looks suspiciously like pizza, which would be the worst way to start your day.

This looks suspiciously like pizza, which would be the worst way to start your day.

Recipe for red pepper and egg galettes here.

4. Wait— you ARE pizza. First thing in the morning? I couldn’t POSSIBLY.

Recipe for breakfast pizza with avocado and asparagus here.

5. I’ll bet those bits of cheese are melty and gooey inside there, which I don’t know if I can handle before noon.

I'll bet those bits of cheese are melty and gooey inside there, which I don't know if I can handle before noon.

Recipe for spinach and feta frittata here.

6. This oatmeal is so easy you don’t even have to stir it, which is like, so boring.

This oatmeal is so easy you don't even have to stir it, which is like, so boring.

Recipe for baked pumpkin oatmeal here.

7. Starting your day with fried chicken would just make you think it’s your birthday and therefore spoil you rotten and we can NOT have that.

Starting your day with fried chicken would just make you think it's your birthday and therefore spoil you rotten and we can NOT have that.

Fried chicken and waffles recipe here.

8. Runny yolks, spicy tomato sauce, crusty bread- I’m sorry, I did not sign up for this.

Runny yolks, spicy tomato sauce, crusty bread- I'm sorry, I did not sign up for this.

Recipe for spicy shakshuka here.

9. Listen, I know this egg only takes 60 seconds to microwave, but I just don’t have the time.

Listen, I know this egg only takes 60 seconds to microwave, but I just don't have the time.

For how to scramble an egg in a microwave, head here.

10. That’s a lot of sugar first thing in the morning, which just feels kinda irresponsible.

That's a lot of sugar first thing in the morning, which just feels kinda irresponsible.

Blueberry Dutch Pancake recipe here.

11. Perfectly toasted bagels give me nightmares.

Perfectly toasted bagels give me nightmares.

Toasted bagel and avocado sandwich recipe here.

12. GROSS.

GROSS.

Recipe for bacon breakfast casserole here.

13. You’re saying “breakfast smoothie”, but I’m hearing “delicious creamy blended beverage” and that feels like false advertising.

You're saying "breakfast smoothie", but I'm hearing "delicious creamy blended beverage" and that feels like false advertising.

Recipe for green breakfast smoothie here.

14. As if I needed another way to eat tacos.

As if I needed another way to eat tacos.

Breakfast taco recipe here.

15. This is so tall, how does anyone expect it to fit inside a mouth?

This is so tall, how does anyone expect it to fit inside a mouth?

Recipe for huevos rancheros breakfast sandwich here.

16. If the phrase “berry pie filling” gets your juices flowing, then by all means.

If the phrase "berry pie filling" gets your juices flowing, then by all means.

Recipe for soaked oats with berries here.

17. Warm, toasted banana bread slathered with vanilla butter sounds like a trick to get me out of bed and I don’t appreciate it.

Warm, toasted banana bread slathered with vanilla butter sounds like a trick to get me out of bed and I don't appreciate it.

Banana bread recipe here.

18. I don’t care how many golden brown mushrooms you’re filled with– If I can’t spell it, I’m not sure I’m gonna make it.

I don't care how many golden brown mushrooms you're filled with– If I can't spell it, I'm not sure I'm gonna make it.

Mushroom and spinach omelette recipe here.

19. Well doesn’t this look like a “complete breakfast”. How “nutritious”.

Well doesn't this look like a "complete breakfast". How "nutritious".

Corn and kale breakfast hash recipe here.

20. This egg yolk looks dangerous and should be locked up in jail forever.

This egg yolk looks dangerous and should be locked up in jail forever.

Pretzel bun breakfast sandwich recipe here.

21. These seem small, and therefore unsafe to bring around children.

These seem small, and therefore unsafe to bring around children.

Recipe for bacon and egg muffin tins here.

22. “Do you want a healthy breakfast?” Seems like a cruel trick question.

"Do you want a healthy breakfast?" Seems like a cruel trick question.

Recipe for apple granola parfait here.

23. That pool of syrup looks like a health hazard. Don’t even get me started on that melty pat of butter.

That pool of syrup looks like a health hazard. Don't even get me started on that melty pat of butter.

Buckwheat-flax pancakes recipe here.

Cheeseburger Pockets Recipe

cheesburger pocket
Ground beef is my favorite meat to cook with because it’s so versatile, flavorful and economical. Refrigerated biscuits save you the trouble of making dough from scratch.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Bake: 10 min.
MAKES: 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 5 slices process American cheese

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 299 calories, 10 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 36 mg cholesterol, 1,101 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 17 g protein.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain and cool.
  2. Place two biscuits overlapping on a floured surface; roll out into a 5-in. oval. Place about 1/4 cup of meat mixture on one side. Fold a cheese slice to fit over meat mixture. Fold dough over filling; press edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining biscuits, meat mixture and cheese.
  3. Place on a greased baking sheet. Prick tops with a fork. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 5 servings.
Pricking the tips of Cheeseburger Pockets helps steam escape during baking. If you don’t do this, the pockets will puff up and may break open.

Pumpkin Chip Muffins Recipe

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
MAKES: 24 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1-1/2 cups canola oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 each) equals 328 calories, 19 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 35 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.
  2. Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Yield: about 2 dozen muffins.