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Genius holiday cooking tips

Genius holiday cooking tips
Taste of Home

From grocery shopping to cooking to using up the leftovers, we’ve assembled expert tips to help you through the holiday season.

Crisp up your turkey

Crisp up your turkey
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Is your turkey up to temperature but doesn’t have golden-brown skin yet? Stop basting and crank the oven up to 230°C to crisp up the skin. The bird will brown in just a few minutes, so be sure to keep an eye on it.

Repurpose cookie cutter shapes

Repurpose cookie cutter shapes
Taste of Home

Think outside the box with your cutouts. Many shapes can be repurposed to make seasonal designs. Stars can become Santas, diamonds can become elves, gingerbread people get new life as yetis and much more.

Here are 8 great edible Christmas gifts you can make at home. 

Nix the gravy lumps

Nix the gravy lumps
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When the lump won’t dissipate no matter how much whisking you do, transfer your gravy to a blender. Pulse the gravy until it’s nice a smooth.

Avoid these kitchen mistakes that are costing you money. 

Stay away from mega-birds

Stay away from mega-birds
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If you’re having lots of people over, it might seem counter-productive to get two smaller turkeys instead of just one huge one. But birds over eight-10 kilograms are much more likely to have been treated with chemicals. Plus, massive birds also take quite a bit longer to thaw and cook and tend to cook less evenly.

 

Bake golden brown stuffing

Bake golden brown stuffing
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Add some crunch and texture to your stuffing by spreading it on a cookie sheet and baking at 177°C for 10 minutes. If it’s still too soggy for your tastes, just stir and repeat.

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Get creative with packaging goodies

Get creative with packaging goodies
Taste of Home

There’s more to gifting food than cookie tins (though there are some really cute ones!). When wrapping up holiday treats this year, get creative. Recycle waxed paper boxes and turn them into cookie containers, fill mason jars with homemade treats, wrap rolls of cookies in parchment and much more.

Discover 4 fascinating things your holiday eating reveals about you. 

Make juicier ham

Make juicier ham
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Keep your ham nice and juicy with some help from a glaze. You can go with a molasses, sweet mustard, cranberry or bourbon glaze for an extra-special ham.

Know exactly how much to cook

Know exactly how much to cook
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For a smaller gathering, you’ll want to plan on getting a bird that serves 225 grams per person. For a large dinner, however, grab a turkey that serves 450 grams per person. The extra sides will help round out the meal.

Secure your slow cooker

Secure your slow cooker
Taste of Home

Nervous to place that steamy slow cooker chili in the passenger seat as you drive to your holiday get-together? We were, too, until we found this genius trick to keeping the lid on tight: Grab a small bungee cord hook each end onto the slow cooker’s side handles then wrap it around (or thread it through) the lid’s top handle. Give it a wiggle to be sure it is good to go.

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