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14 Food TV Shows to Help You Cook Thanksgiving Dinner

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 19th 2010 4:15PM
dear_food_network_logoIf there was ever a time of year when programs on the Food Network and Cooking Channel come in handy, it's Thanksgiving. There's nothing more intimidating than the prospect of cooking a massive turkey if you've never done it before.

And that's just the turkey! What about the side dishes, the veggies, appetizers. Should it be dressing or stuffing? Sweet potatoes or mashed? And don't forget dessert!

Fortunately, our TV friends are here to help. Almost all our questions have been anticipated and answered. So, before you start surfing the net or turn to the Butterball Hot Line, check out these twelve shows to help you prep for Thanksgiving Day.


'Dear Food Network: Top 10 Thanksgiving Problems Solved' (Sat., Nov. 20, 7AM, Food Network)

If you've been losing sleep about cooking the holiday meal, you really must watch 'Dear Food Network.' Everything is covered, from brining the turkey to fixing a lumpy gravy. Food Network even pairs off the chefs, so every segment should have one of your faves doling out advice.

'Guy's Big Bite Thanksgiving' (Sat., Nov. 20, 10AM, Food Network)
Guy's big flavors, California flair and family are all included in the special. Guy also makes sure to include mixing up some rockin' cocktails with the Fieri family traditions. If you need to get enthusiastic about the holiday, Guy's the guy for you.

Sandra's Money-Saving Meals: Thanksgiving (Sun., Nov. 21, 11:30AM, Food Network)
If you're on a budget this holiday, Sandra Lee has tips on cooking up a feast without spending a ton of money.

martha_stewart_food_network'Martha Stewart's Thanksgiving Special' (Sun., Nov. 21, 7PM, Cooking Channel)

You can't do much better than Martha Stewart when it comes to perfecting the Thanksgiving festivities. Martha covers every course, gives you simple tips to make the day easier, and even inspires you to push yourself to set the bar higher. Remember, all that hard work adds up to "a good thing."

'Good Eats: Romancing the Bird' (Sun., Nov. 21, 8PM, Food Network)
Alton Brown not only features ways to make a better Thanksgiving dinner, he shows you how to do it. If you want to know the science behind a juicy turkey (instead of a dried out one) or why you need to avoid the canned cranberry at any cost, watch 'Good Eats.' Here's Alton's tips about brining that bird:



'Throwdown Thanksgiving Feast' (Sun., Nov. 21, 11PM, Food Network)
A turkey throwdown! Bobby takes on Oklahoma's Ree Drummond to fix a complete Thanksgiving dinner ... all the fixings! If you can't tell that Bobby's dishes are the ones with jalapenos and southwestern spices, you're not paying attention.

'Today' (Mon., Nov. 22, 7AM, NBC)
Generally speaking, the problem with getting advice from the morning talk shows is that they usually only give the guest three minutes to tell you what you need to know. However, if you're wondering about what kind of vino to serve with your glorious holiday feast, 'Today' is doing a segment on wine pairings that sounds very promising.

'Dear Food Network' (Mon., Nov. 22, 3PM, Food Network)
Still have questions? Alton Brown comes to the rescue with answers for all your concerns.

'Paula's Best Dishes: Turkey Time' (Mon., Nov. 22, 6PM, Food Network)
Just the menu for this edition of 'Paula's Best Dishes' sounds mouthwatering: roasted turkey with maple apple cider, apple cranberry stuffing, smashed potatoes with parsnips and rutabagas ... and I don't even know what a rutabaga is! Paula's cousin Johnnie is also in the episode, so count on lots of laughter mixed with the vittles. And there will be butter!

'From Martha's Kitchen' (Tue., Nov. 23, 12:30PM, Hallmark)
More from Martha, only this time she goes into the particulars of turkey. She calls it Turkey 101. She also shows the correct and safe way to deep fry a turkey. Here's a hint: you need a lot of oil and a fire extinguisher (just in case).

'Emeril Live' (Tue., Nov. 23, 7PM, Cooking Channel)

This is from Emeril's live Food Network run and he covers a 'Traditional Thanksgiving.' That means a goose rather than a turkey. Emeril actually tells you about the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving, including roasted pumpkin soup and stewed fall fruit with buttered crumbs.

'30-Minute Meals' (Wed., Nov. 24, 6:30PM, Food Network)
Need some quick and easy appetizers for your guests to snack on before the big meal? Rachael Ray's 'Munch and Mingle' recipes can all be made in a half hour.

guys_big_bite_food_network'American Eats: Holiday Foods' (Wed., Nov. 24, 7PM, History Channel)
It's the night before Thanksgiving. By now, you should have your ducks in a row, metaphorically speaking. The turkey is thawed, and you've prepared as much in advance as you can. It's time to relax. Watch this show! Originally aired in 2006, 'America Eats' tells you about the holiday traditions, including new trends like the turducken (see the next video below), which is a chicken stuffed inside a duck inside a turkey.

'Diners Drive-Ins and Dives' (Thu., Nov. 25, 2AM, Thursday, Food Network)
If you're awake this early on Thanksgiving morning, watch the 'Triple D Thanksgiving' to get inspired. When you see the kind of food being griddled and baked and roasted by hometown chefs and cooks at diner and dives around the country, you'll be psyched about getting into your kitchen. Here's a clip from an episode that takes you inside the turducken:



Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, from all of us at TV Squad!

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