13 December 2012

Help for Your Holiday Meals

Here is a list of websites that offer food and cooking info you can use when planning your holiday meals! 
Each link will open in a new browser window.

1.  The Splendid Table's "Turkey Confidential" - This page contains the two-hour Thanksgiving episode of America Public Media's food and cooking show, The Splendid Table.  In addition to the recording, there are twenty-one recipes covering all holiday meal courses, and even great ways to fix leftovers.  Lynne Rossetto Kasper's style is very friendly, positive, and she gives easy-to-follow recipe ideas and cooking tips.  Her love of cooking and how it brings family and friends together shines through every episode.

2.  McCormick's "How Old Are Your Spices" - If you have McCormick brand herbs and spices in your pantry, you can find out how old they are in mere seconds.  Simply enter the product code on the bottom of your spice jar and the city listed on the label in their easy-to-use form.  I discovered my poultry seasoning was thirteen years old!  Even if the McCormick website says your flavoring is out-of-date, double check it yourself.  Take these three steps to see if it's time to run to your favorite spice store:
  1. Look at the herb or spice:  Is it faded or discolored?
  2. Open the jar and smell it: Can you smell anything?  If not, it's probably lost all flavor.
  3. Taste the herb or spice: Either taste a bit on your finger or mix some flavoring into a small amount of cottage cheese or plain yogurt.  If there is no discernable flavor, toss it.
(I tested my poultry seasoning and it was a goner.) 

3.  Consumer Report's "Wine Buying Guide" - If you are unfamiliar with wine styles, how to serve and store wines, or typical wine lingo, this page and its links will get you started on the delicious vine-ripened path.  This section is open to the public.  Consumer Reports also offers ratings and other information for their online and magazine subscribers.

4.  All About Beer's "Stylistically Speaking" - Going the barley-and-hops route, but not sure what beer style would go best with turkey, ham, or roast beef?  Check out All About Beer magazine's online beer style guide!  The listings are reprints from their magazine.  Be sure to click on the Next link at the bottom of the page to discover even more types of beer.  When you click on the Read More link, you'll get in-depth information about a beer style, and some representative beers.  Ready for even more beer information?  See their extensive Buyer's Guide for Beer Lovers.  I've enjoyed reading All About Beer for several years.  They contain some good info for hard-core beer fans and brewers, along with new-to-beer friendly reviews and beer-centric travel ideas.

5.  Cheese.com - Want a little cheese with that wine (or beer)?  Find out everything you wanted to know about cheese and what to expect when you're expecting to eat cheese on this website.

And of course, ask your local food specialty shop, artisan producer, friends and family for great ideas to make your holidays special!

Happy Holidays from Totem Media, L.C.!!

All photos are from Microsoft's clipart website.