Thanksgiving is over, which means you have some leftovers to eat for a few days after the initial gourmet gauntlet. If you want to get the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers, then use this handy breakdown to figure out how long you can make your favorite foods last in the fridge and freezer— along with some additional storage tips for each foodstuff.
The bird is the word at Thanksgiving, but it’s important to know how long you can hold on to these leftovers without it getting funky. No matter how you choose to store it, be sure to remove any stuffing from the turkey and then carve away the remaining meat and put it in as many containers as you need. Avoid stacking containers since quicker cooling means fewer germs, and (along those same lines) use more shallow containers to allow the meat to cool fully.
The best practice on your dinner table is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. It’s doubtful that you have buffet-style steam trays in your home, though, so let’s just say that two hours on the table and you need to start preparing your leftovers. Whether you’re storing in the fridge or the freezer, you’ll want to transfer liquid foodstuffs to a clean container to avoid contamination. You can extend the shelf life substantially by freezing, just make sure to leave a little bit of room since liquids tend to expand as they freeze.
Like the meat dishes mentioned above, the primary concern is bacteria forming as your casserole slowly reaches room temperature. The quicker you get it cold, the better. Procedures are much the same as soup, except that you don’t want to leave extra space in plastic bags/containers if you plan to freeze casserole. And, while it can seem simple to just slap some saran wrap over the top of a dish, it’s safer to transfer it into a clean container as well.
Now for the sweet stuff. Some pies are served cold, meaning you won’t really risk any germs by putting them back in the fridge. It’s actually leaving them out on the table that’s the real risk. Either way, you can refrigerate most desserts freely in their serving apparatus without too much concern — just be sure to eat them quickly. If freezing, seal them airtight to avoid forming water crystals.
What’s a cardoon, anyways? If you think it’s an artichoke, you couldn’t be more wrong. Mistaking lookalike foods is more common than you’d think and it can often lead to disastrous cooking situations. Never fear, here’s your go-to guide to telling apart the top six most commonly confused foods.
Dates – Dates are commonly used to help constipation, sexual dysfunction and other pleasant things like that. Dates are more oblong-shaped and usually a lighter brown than prunes. They’re also much sweeter than prunes and commonly used in all-natural baked goods as a healthy alternative to sugar – they’re the reason you justify buying all those brownies from Whole Foods. They can also be enjoyed fresh, dried or wrapped in bacon.
Prunes – Your mind might be immediately going to that terrible juice that’s always on hand at your grandma’s, but prunes are so much more than a liquid laxative. Prunes are a lot less sweeter than dates but much more savory. They are typically paired with meats such as a chicken and duck, and are especially delicious wrapped in pancetta.
Squash – Not the racket game that no one understands. Squash can be distinguished by its round, oblong shape and thick, pale outer skin. Inside, the squash is a bright orange, similar to the sweet potato, but with some pesky seeds you might find inside a pumpkin. The squash is also a lot more versatile than the sweet potato; you can make squash into a soup, or use roasted squash in salad, risotto or as a garnish.
Sweet Potatoes – While sweet potatoes are often shaped oblong, like the squash, they have a thinner, brownish skin. Inside they have no seeds, but similar, bright orange flesh. They also have a distinctively sweeter taste (shocker) than squash, making them perfect for desserts like pecan casseroles or marshmallow-topped-potato pie.
Persimmons – Persimmons get a bad rap for their “astringent-like” (puckering) taste, but this fruit has some super powers that may change your mind, like their ability to lower blood pressure and even prevent cancer. Because of their appearance, persimmons are typically mistaken for a citrus. They don’t, however, separate like a citrus, and have none of the stringy, white casing that give texture-sensitive people like me the creeps.
Tangerines – Tangerines are the weird cousin of the Mandarin orange and come in seeded varieties, whereas persimmons are all seedless. Being a citrus, tangerines also have more of a succulent texture and a sour-sweet taste, whereas persimmons are much sweeter.
Zucchini – Although it’s difficult to tell by sight, zucchinis have a rough, dry exterior. When eaten, zucchinis are the ultimate contradiction – they tend to taste sweet and bitter at the same time. Zucchinis are also best eaten cooked; they make an excellent side dish when cut into strips and roasted in olive oil and seasonings.
Cucumbers – Cucumbers will have a waxy surface, much smoother than a zucchini. They can be eaten both raw and cooked, and have a juicy, refreshing taste. Because of this difference in flavor, you could be facing a culinary disaster if you were to mix up these two lookalikes. I once accidentally made cucumber bread instead of zucchini bread… I lost a lot of friends that day.
Artichoke – A variety of thistle eaten usually for their fleshy hearts – as weird as that sounds. You’ll notice that artichokes grow larger flower buds than cardoons and generally have a rounder globe shape, with less pronounced spines. With a nice nutty flavor, artichokes are usually eaten when they have overdeveloped and are commonly eaten in salads, like the traditional Italian antipasto.
Cardoon – Also called the artichoke thistle (you can already see where the confusion lies), cardoons grow with small thistle blossoms and their globe-like shape is less round than their lookalike artichokes. Unlike the artichoke, cardoon leaves and flower stalks are best when immature. My personal favorite? They taste delicious when gratinéed and paired with a red wine reduction.
Orange – The big brother of the clementine, if you will. With a thicker rind, oranges prove more difficult to peel but also offer larger pieces of fruit to enjoy. Oranges also have seeds which can be dangerous for kids.
Clementine – These little guys pack a big punch of flavor. Smaller than a regular orange, clementines also have darker, thinner skin that is easier to peel. While their nutritional value is lacking, clementines are a much safer choice because of their lack of seeds. Knowing these distinctions can help you avoid a potentially dangerous choking hazard for children! (Or adults who can’t be trusted with seeds. I know a few).
If you can manage to type with mittens on, you’ve probably tried to Google just about every thing in a feeble attempt to try and keep warm. Well, today’s your lucky day because this list of foods and beverages will actually raise your body temperature. Let it snow!
Seems counterintuitive, don’t it? Your whole life you’ve been raised to believe that warm drinks like hot chocolate are perfect winter beverages. But your base body temperature will actually fluctuate to try and counteract the effects of hot liquid, meaning your body temperature will drop from drinking even one cup of cocoa. Cold water has the opposite effect, raising your core temperature to counteract the chilly liquid.
As a subsection of the last paragraph, it’s important to note that coffee will actually help you heat up, but it has nothing to do with the warmth of the beverage. As a matter of fact, you’d actually be better drinking iced coffee. It’s the high amounts of caffeine in coffee which stimulate your metabolism, encouraging your body to burn fuel. I works best black, since cream and sugar will just break down instantly and produce a sugar crash.
Good grief! Peanuts are high in vitamin B-3, which promotes blood flow and kick starts your metabolism — two key components in fending off the cold. With healthy fats and plenty of protein, they’re a smart snack any time of year, but will definitely help you combat dropping temperatures.
Refined rices and flours turn into simple carbs almost instantly, leading to sugar crashes like the ones mentioned above. Brown rice, on the other hand, is a complex carbohydrate that your body will breakdown slowly over time, resulting in prolonged release of energy and (you guessed it) heat.
Ginger is another way to get your blood flowing, which will help warm your extremities and keep away the chills. While you might be tempted to throw this spice into a dish or soup, you’ll maximize your benefits if you eat the root raw. You’ll also get similar (but less noticeable effects) from other roots like carrots and beets.
Finally, a spicy food on this list. While any spicy pepper will help you break into a quick sweat, you’ll also notice the prolonged effect of digesting the fiery fruits. This is due to the chemical called capsaicin that is found in all peppers, meaning you’ll experience similar results with jalapenos and habaneros as well.
Much like peanuts, coconut oil is full of healthy fats, which turn into fuel instead of spare tires. Again, essentially, you’re promoting your metabolism to do what it does: generate energy that makes you feel warm. Not to mention other benefits of coconut oil, like its antiviral and blood sugar-stabilizing properties.
Despite rumors to the contrary, alcohol is actually a horrible way to stay warm. The rush of heat that drinkers feel is actually the warm, fresh blood leaving their core and heading to their extremities. Though you might feel warm in the short term, it will actually make it harder to stay warm over time and increase your risk of hypothermia.
In recent years, there’s been a noticeable lifestyle shift that puts “efficiency” and “practicality” at the top of our ‘must’ lists. We’re always keeping our eyes open for the fastest/easiest/least expensive techniques to help us live our lives, and the holidays are no exception.
Though, it’s still a common mindset to think Thanksgiving dinner is impossible to “hack.” This traditional event has always been known as one of the more difficult ones to pull off, especially from a host’s or cook’s perspective. You need the necessary skill, time, and cash to do it right, or at least, that’s what you thought.
This year, we’re going to outsmart Thanksgiving by going for cheap and easy, yet filling and fulfilling. Think of this T-Gives game plan as a way to simplify it, if you will. The results will still be delicious.
You’re saving yourself the time of cooking, mashing, stirring, etc., so this should only take a few minutes at most (they don’t call ‘em “instant” for nothing). Heat up water, margarine and salt to a boil, then stir in milk and the potato mix until the consistency is puffy and fluffy like a cumulus cloud.
Green beans, sliced carrots, peas, corn… Folks can often forget about the convenience of canned goods like these (you don’t have to stick to canned cranberry sauce!). Foods that come canned are ultimately cheaper, and for some, can even be easier and faster to cook, whether using the stove or microwave. Prep and serve them plainly, and either as separate dishes or combine them as one.
Does it really make a difference if you serve turkey that’s already cut up versus whole? Skip the presentation and save yourself heaps of time, effort, and cash by opting for a package of pre-sliced turkey. Simply season the sides of the slices and heat in a skillet until they’re golden.
Wine is wine, right? Grab a bottle or two of your choice vino that’s on clearance, because your guests will be tickled pink either way (Literally). Don’t forget to treat yo self and grab an extra bottle for after dinner too.
A package of these can go a long way and will be plenty for your guests, plus they’re sweet so you don’t even need to use butter. Throw them onto a baking sheet and pop them into the oven for a few minutes until they get nice and toasty. Then, toss them into a basket and cover with a cloth to keep them warm.
The majestic lemon is so much more than a garnish for your cocktails and crispy fish tacos.
Aside from its culinary uses, there are many practical things you can do with the fruit thanks to its acidity and pleasant citrus smell.
We dug around and found five practical uses for lemons outside making dishes taste better. I definitely have a newfound appreciation for it.
Whether its the desk you eat so many lunches alone at or your trusty chopping board, sometimes wood can wear down and stink after exposure to so many different foods and contaminants.
Simply squeeze some lemon juice on the surface and wipe it down with a clean paper towel. You’ll get a fresh citrus smell and slightly cleaner and healthier furniture.
Bad breath? After crushing a fat onion-filled burrito, you’re probably gonna want to clean your mouth somehow. If you gargle some lemon juice, minus the seeds, the citric acid will definitely kill any residual germs and odors from your last meal. Just make sure to rinse your mouth out with water afterwards, or that same acid will harm your teeth.
Keeps Food From Oxidizing
Ever get brown avocados or guac? The longer the emerald fruit is exposed to air, the more it goes through an oxidation process that discolors it and turns the delicious green into an unsightly brown.
If you squirt a bit of lemon on top of the avocado, it’ll prevent oxidization until you’re ready to finish off your snack. Just don’t let it sit for a week because a lemon can only do so much.
Scare Off Ants
Those pesky insects are everywhere. Unfortunately, your kitchen is a sacred space and you wouldn’t want to fill it with too many unnecessary chemicals. Peel off some of the rind from a lemon and leave it around spots in the kitchen where ants gather the most. The strong odor will keep them at bay.
Get Rid Of Unwanted Smells
YouTuber DaveHax recently purchased a product that you can plunge into a fresh lemon and spray juice directly from the fruit. With it, he recommends spritzing your garbage or bathroom whenever there’s an unpleasant or unwanted odor.
While you could easily just pour some lemon water in a spray bottle, this product cuts out the middle-man entirely.
We’ve all experienced the struggle of cooking turkey on Thanksgiving. The bird dries out so easily in the oven, that more often than not, you’re stuck eating tough, dry turkey that is hard to get down. However, there are a lot of different ways to help your turkey become more moist when it’s ready to serve. Follow a few of these simple tips and tricks below, and everyone will be salivating over how juicy and tender your turkey is this Thanksgiving.
Making a brine is incredibly easy and can be flavored to your liking. By immersing the turkey in a marinated, salty liquid for a couple of days in the fridge, you’re adding tons of flavor and drawing more water into the turkey, making it juicier from the start of the cooking process.
There’s two common ways to make brine: Either just add your ingredients straight into cold water and add the turkey in, or bring the water with ingredients up to a boil and pour into a container of ice to keep anything from cooking and changing the flavor before adding the turkey into the icy brine.
Some recommendations for the brine include peppercorns, bay leaves, and citrus, which helps break down some of the tissue in your turkey to make it more tender.
Pro Tip: Take the turkey out of the fridge (but still in the brine) an hour before you’re ready to roast to bring the turkey to room temperature and ensure even cooking.
Adding onions, more citrus, and herbs into the cavity adds moisture from the produce, allowing the bird to steam from the inside out. This not only helps keep the bird juicy and moist, but also adds flavor from the produce inside.
Pro Tip: After roasting, remove the produce from inside the turkey, and save it to infuse into your gravy.
Adding a load of chopped vegetables like carrots, celery, onions, etc. underneath the turkey keeps the bottom from burning or cooking unevenly. This “trivet”, as it’s called, protects the turkey from the direct heat of your roasting tray and contributes a lot of flavor to your gravy as well!
Pro Tip: To add an extra level of steam, also pour a small amount of water into the roasting tray.
Covering With Foil Is Key
Tenting your turkey with a cover of aluminum foil prevents too much water/steam from escaping the turkey and evaporating. The foil locks in the moisture and helps keep the turkey incredibly tender.
Pro Tip: Make sure the foil doesn’t touch the turkey, and remove two-thirds of the way through cooking so that the skin on top can brown.
Start Your Bird UPSIDE DOWN
This sounds crazy, but SORTEDfood did it a couple of years ago, and it worked really well in keeping the most critical part of the turkey dry: the breast. Turkey breast often dries out much easier than the rest of the turkey. By roasting it upside down, the juices from the turkey go straight to the breast, keeping the most commonly eaten part of the bird extremely tender.
Pro Tip: Make sure to turn the turkey back over a little more than halfway through so that the skin on top can still brown.
Put Some Bacon On It
Gordon Ramsay did this in an attempt to also make the turkey breast more tender. Instead of using the turkey’s juices, he resorted to lining the top of the bird with strips of bacon. The fat renders down into the turkey, keep it juicy while adding a ton of great flavor!
Pro Tip: Remove the bacon before the turkey is done roasting and either add to your gravy or save for yourself to eat.
This is the most annoying chore to have while roasting the turkey, but is one of the most critical. Adding moisture back into the turkey is necessary as it cooks in the oven. Without basting, it will dry out, so make sure to baste every 30 minutes or so while you’re trying to brown the turkey skin!
Pro Tip: Customize your basting liquid to match what’s in your turkey! Some cool examples are a mix of butter/maple syrup, a mix of lemonade/butter, or even apple juice/cider!
Know Your Temperatures
One of the biggest reasons that turkey is overcooked and/or dry during Thanksgiving is that temperature isn’t monitored. As you baste the turkey and it nears the end of your estimated cooking time (which varies by weight), measure the temperature of your turkey. The best spot to do this is between the leg and the breast, as that part takes the longest to come up to temperature. When the turkey reaches 165 degrees F, it’s ready to come out of the oven and rest!
Pro Tip: Check out the USDA’s guide on roasting turkeys for an estimation of how long to cook yours based on how big it is.
Please, whatever you do, do NOT slice into your turkey the instant it comes out of the oven. That just lets all of the juice inside of the turkey run out and dries it out almost immediately. Let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes prior to carving to let the juices rest and stay with the meat, instead of flowing out right away.
Pro Tip: Gordon Ramsay would tell you to let the bird rest for as long as it’s cooked – and that’s fine, as long as you cover it with foil and cloth towels to keep it warm and serve with a hot gravy to bring the turkey up to temperature on your guests’ plates.
Follow one, two, or all of these tips, and you’ll have a much more tender bird that will impress all of your guests and yourself! Have a great, dry turkey-free Thanksgiving!
Cold pizza is one of the greatest pleasures in the history of mankind. Let’s get that straight and out of the way. There’s nothing like rolling out of bed, opening the fridge, and just devouring a couple leftover slices before officially declaring your body awake. It really does set the tone for the rest of your day.
Now, if you’re one who has to enjoy their pizza hot, there are multiple ways to go about reheating your slice.
Let’s get to it.
The quickest, and laziest way to get that pizza piping hot is to throw it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. However, you’re gonna end up with a soggy crust that’s just underwhelming. Only use this as a last, desperate resort.
An upgrade from the microwave, for sure. Throw your pizza slices in the toaster oven and set it for about ten minutes. Your crust should be crispy and your cheese slightly melted. We actually like to leave it a little longer so our slice is a tad well done, but to each their own.
If you have the time to spare, fire up the grill on low to medium heat and throw your pizza slices on top. You can either place it directly on, or lay down some aluminum foil. Close the grill and leave it alone for a few minutes. The pizza should be crispy and cheese runny, with a newfound smokiness to your bite.
Iron & Hair Dryer
If you’re on the road and setting up shop in a hotel room that’s devoid of microwaves, there’s still a way to get that crispy slice. You just have to get a little creative. Turn on the hotel’s iron and set your slice crust down so that it touches the surface of the iron.
Then, take your hairdryer and hold it about six inches from your slice. The iron will get the crust crispy while the hairdryer will get the cheese nice and gooey.
Just make sure to clean up after you’re done. Don’t want to iron your clothes for a business meeting and have it smell like pepperoni and anchovies now… or do you?
This is probably the best way to heat a pizza to get it as close to the original texture of how it came out of the pizza oven. First, heat up a non-stick skillet at medium to low heat and set your slice down for two minutes so that the crust gets crispy. Then, on low heat, take two drops of water and add it to the skillet away from your pizza. Cover your skillet and allow the water to create steam, melting the cheese.
This method, unlike the toaster oven, will get your bottom crust crispy while keeping the edges moist.
Xiao Long Bao is a type of steamed bun that originates from the Jiangnan region of China. The rise of popular restaurants like Din Tai Fung has introduced this amazing dish to Westerners, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows how to eat it properly.
Traditionally when you eat Xiao Long Bao, one might typically bite a hole on the top first to slurp the soup inside before adding vinegar, ginger, or chili sauce and eating the rest in one bite. This is how we and every single one of our friends has done it.
Well folks, it looks like we’ve been completely wrong this whole time, according to author and chef Eddie Huang. Luckily, he’s here to drop some knowledge in a video on Vice.
First, you put the xiao long bao in the plate of vinegar to let the soup inside cool.
The xiao long bao should chill on the plate for 30 seconds to a minute.
After that, you simply put the whole thing in your mouth.
According to Huang, anybody who does it otherwise is a “hooligan,” So don’t be a hooligan!