Month: October 2018

18 Thanksgiving Appetizers and Snacks for Maximum Overeating

18 Thanksgiving Appetizers and Snacks for Maximum Overeating

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik, Morgan Eisenberg, Daniel Gritzer, Emily and Matt Clifton] When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was always a marathon day of food. Sure, dinner was an elaborate affair, but we actually started eating hours before sitting down at the table, and the appetizers […]

How to Cook a Turkey in Parts

How to Cook a Turkey in Parts

[Photographs: Liz Clayman] If you’ve ever spent any time putting the things you create on the internet, you’re sure to have learned that you can never please everyone. This is true of roasting turkeys as well. I’ve seen people complain about even the most beautiful, […]

11 Nonalcoholic Thanksgiving Drink Recipes

11 Nonalcoholic Thanksgiving Drink Recipes


Collage of photos of Thanksgiving nonalcoholic drinks: spiced mulled cider,

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik, Autumn Giles]

If the past is any indication, I am going to drink way too much this Thanksgiving. During a long day of cooking, eating, and hanging out with relatives, it’s easy to lose track of what glass of wine you’re on. Every year I tell myself I’ll be more responsible, but this year I’m going to make it happen for real by arming myself with a variety of delicious nonalcoholic options, perfect for pairing with a long, heavy meal.

And I don’t mean plain old soda or iced tea, either. I mean homemade mulled apple cider, sumac-infused lemonade, and mocktails that incorporate the same kinds of bitter, tart, and herbal notes you get in good alcoholic drinks.

If you’re also looking to cut back on the booze come Turkey Day, or if you (or some of your Thanksgiving guests) don’t drink alcohol at all, read on for 11 of our favorite nonalcoholic Thanksgiving drink recipes, including a homemade fig and balsamic soda and a seasonal pumpkin shrub that’s great for mixing with ginger beer.

Hot Nonalcoholic Drinks

Spiced Mulled Cider

[Video: Vicky Wasik]

Before I was old enough to drink, I started pretty much every Thanksgiving dinner with a mug of mulled cider. My family generally made it with store-bought “mulling spices,” and maybe a few cinnamon sticks if we were feeling fancy. This recipe goes a step further, flavoring high-quality local cider with toasted whole cinnamon, clove, cardamom, coriander, and anise. It’s delicious without any alcohol at all, but adding just a spoonful of brandy, if you like, can help to bring out the cider’s fruitiness.

Spiced Mulled Cider Recipe »

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Barbajada (Milanese Hot Chocolate–Coffee Drink)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

If you aren’t sensitive to a late-in-the-day hit of caffeine, try this Italian coffee/hot chocolate hybrid after Thanksgiving dinner is done. It’s just as simple and tasty as the description implies—mix up your hot chocolate using your favorite cocoa powder, combine it with coffee, then whisk the drink until it’s good and frothy and serve with whipped cream.

Barbajada (Milanese Hot Chocolate–Coffee Drink) Recipe »

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Champurrado (Mexican Hot Chocolate and Corn Drink)

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Atole—a hot Mexican drink made with masa harina, or corn flour—is one of my favorite cold-weather treats. We have recipes for versions made with peanuts and orange zest, but if I’m looking for a caffeine-free alternative to after-dinner coffee, I’m going with this thick and mildly sweet chocolate variation, called champurrado. Just a small amount of dark chocolate, combined with dark brown sugar, will supply all the chocolate flavor you need.

Champurrado (Mexican Hot Chocolate and Corn Drink) Recipe »

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Cold Nonalcoholic Drinks

Mulled Cider Shrub

[Photograph: Anna Markow]

For a refreshing alternative to hot cider on Thanksgiving, this recipe combines mulled cider with apple cider vinegar to make an instant shrub. We love vinegar-based drinks on Thanksgiving—the acidity cuts through the rich food wonderfully—but if the idea of vinegar in a drink feels like a stretch to you, this is a good, easy entry point. As the shrub cooks, the harsher side of the vinegar is mellowed out significantly, leaving a milder, sweeter flavor.

Mulled Cider Shrub Recipe »

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Pumpkin Shrub

[Photograph: Michael Dietsch]

For another easy seasonal shrub, start by steeping sweet roasted pumpkin in vinegar with turbinado sugar, ginger, and cinnamon. (You’ll want to get going on this one the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, because the squash needs to sit overnight.) The shrub can then be mixed with plain seltzer or (my preference) spicy ginger beer.

Pumpkin Shrub Recipe »

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Fig and Balsamic Soda

[Photograph: Autumn Giles]

This sophisticated sweet-and-tangy soda is made with balsamic vinegar, seltzer, and a fig syrup made with dried and oven-roasted figs. Roasting the figs deepens their flavor, meaning you can use even figs that are out of season or just slightly past their prime and still get good results.

Fig and Balsamic Soda Recipe »

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Shiso Fine

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

In another bright and refreshing vinegar-centric mocktail—we promise, using vinegar is a great way to offset sweetness and lend depth to nonalcoholic drinks!—we infuse rice wine vinegar with cucumbers and mix it with fresh Granny Smith apple juice, lime juice, and muddled shiso and mint. As with any cocktail that incorporates fresh herbs, muddle gently so that the herbs don’t take on an unpleasant bitterness.

Shiso Fine Recipe »

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Pomegranate Americano

[Photograph: Kevin Liu]

The Americano, a classic cocktail made with vermouth and Campari, isn’t too boozy on its own, but this two-ingredient mocktail variation is even lighter. Pomegranate juice provides astringency and acidity similar to what you’ll taste in Campari, and the Angostura bitters lend herbaceousness and, yes, bitterness. Though used in very small doses, bitters do contain alcohol—they won’t get you drunk, but those who abstain from drinking completely will want to avoid this one.

Pomegranate Americano Recipe »

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Sparkling Sumac Lemonade

[Photograph: Yossy Arefi]

When I’m eating a big meal, I prefer my drinks to be light and effervescent, and this sparkling lemonade fits the bill perfectly. This isn’t just any lemonade, though—sumac syrup lends it a gorgeous reddish color and a complex tartness that somehow makes it extra thirst-quenching.

Sparkling Sumac Lemonade Recipe »

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Rose Hip Cordial

[Photograph: Emily Teel]

Rose hips are probably more familiar to the Brits reading this than to our American audience, but even if you’ve never used them before, you should give this colorful cordial a try. It’s more fruity than floral, with a hint of savoriness, and it’s totally delicious. You can use the cordial in a variety of ways, including as a base for an alcoholic beverage, but mixing it with sparkling water makes for a nicely simple mocktail.

Rose Hip Cordial Recipe »

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Orange, Rosewater, and Mint Sparkler

[Photograph: Autumn Giles]

If you’re big into mimosas, but want to pace yourself so you aren’t too tipsy by dinnertime, give this sparkling orange juice drink a try. The recipe is pretty simple—start with freshly squeezed orange juice and mix it with muddled mint leaves, a few drops of rose water, and seltzer. A very small amount of rose water is all you need, so we recommend pouring from a spoon instead of the bottle, which will give you greater control.

Orange, Rosewater, and Mint Sparkler Recipe »

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This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.



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Special Sauce: Sam Sifton on Food as the Universal Language

Special Sauce: Sam Sifton on Food as the Universal Language

[Photograph: Brendan McCarthy. Sandwich photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt] Sometimes my Special Sauce conversations function as a reunion, and this week’s episode represents one of those times. Almost 20 years ago, my guest, Sam Sifton, was my editor at the New York Times food section, and, […]

Stop Putting These Things in the Dishwasher

Stop Putting These Things in the Dishwasher

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik. All others Liz Clayman] I’m the dishwasher-loader in my family, not because I want to be, but because I have to be. I think a convincing case can be made that observing a person load a dishwasher is the quickest way to […]

23 Halloween Treats: Spooky, Scary, Savory, and Sweet

23 Halloween Treats: Spooky, Scary, Savory, and Sweet


Collage of photos of Halloween recipes: homemade Milk Duds, Halloween-themed ramen bowl, roasted carrots with black sesame dressing, and candy corn layer cake

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik, Yvonne Ruperti]

I’m going to be honest—I’m not much of a Halloween fan. I don’t like scary movies and have never been one for costumes, and the average Halloween party goes way past my bedtime. I am, however, always on board for food.

You might think Halloween is all about the candy, and we do love a good excuse to pound Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. But over the years, we’ve been inspired to create a whole range of Halloween recipes for homemade treats both savory and sweet. Below are 23 of our favorites, including some that play within the sugar-overload theme—from witch-finger cookies to the biggest peanut butter cup you’ve ever seen—and a few more dinner-appropriate items, like a festive orange and black roasted-carrot dish and ghostly pan pizzas. For the crafty among you, we’ve even got a wicked haunted gingerbread house that’s as tasty as it is terrifying impressive.

Savory Halloween Recipes

Roasted Carrots With Black Sesame Dressing

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

To give roasted carrots a Halloween-appropriate twist, serve them with a jet-black sauce made with earthy black sesame paste, tart lemon juice, and olive oil. The sesame paste is just bitter enough to cut through the sweetness of the carrots, and minced parsley gives the side some freshness.

Roasted Carrots With Black Sesame Dressing Recipe »

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Ghost and Spider Pan Pizza

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Sometimes making a Halloween dish is as simple as adding some spooky decorations to a normal recipe. Here, that means starting with our Foolproof Pan Pizza and topping it with mozzarella ghost cutouts (complete with slivers of black olives for eyes) and black-olive spiders speared with rosemary needles for legs.

Ghost and Spider Pan Pizza »

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Deviled-Egg Eyeballs

[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

This devilishly gruesome-looking snack also starts with a classic recipe—we use a standard deviled-egg mix of mayo, mustard, and paprika to season the filling. But the shape of the eggs makes for an easy transformation into bloodshot eyes, once you add sliced black-olive “irises” and red-pepper “veins.” Not only are those olive irises creepy, their briny flavor also helps balance out the rich egg yolks.

Deviled-Egg Eyeballs Recipe »

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Seafood Ramen With Squid Ink, Mussels, and Salmon Roe

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Black-as-night squid-ink spaghetti lends itself naturally to Halloween festivities. To make it even scarier, though, we top a bowlful of it with lurid orange salmon roe, squishy mussels, rings of slippery squid, and “bats” cut out from sheets of nori. True, spaghetti generally wouldn’t be mistaken for ramen, but we’ve found that boiling the noodles with baking soda makes them taste remarkably similar.

Seafood Ramen With Squid Ink, Mussels, and Salmon Roe Recipe »

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Pumpkin Cheddar Crackers

[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Sugar cookies are fun to make and decorate for any holiday, but as I’ve grown up and my tastes have changed, I’m happy to apply my cookie cutters to a more savory recipe, like these thick, flaky, and buttery biscuit-like crackers. It’s a great recipe to tackle alongside your kids, who can go to town stamping out the pumpkin shapes; the knife-cut ridges are probably best left to a grown-up.

Pumpkin Cheddar Crackers Recipe »

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Sweet Halloween Recipes

Black Sesame Ice Cream

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

The secret to both the charcoal color and the surprisingly nutty flavor of this moody-looking ice cream is a Japanese-style black sesame paste—substituting it with the stuff available on supermarket shelves just won’t do the trick. The paste is made from roasted, un-hulled sesame seeds, which results in a toasty and ever-so-slightly bitter flavor; we temper it with a little brown sugar.

Black Sesame Ice Cream Recipe »

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Super-Spooky Halloween Gingerbread House

[Video: Vicky Wasik]

Gingerbread houses are traditionally a Christmas treat, but if you can’t wait until December, how about making a haunted gingerbread house? It starts with the same crunchy Construction Gingerbread and fast-drying Royal Icing, but the decorations make it clear what holiday we’re celebrating. Our free downloadable template makes it easy to plot out and build your very own house of horrors, even if you’re a gingerbread-house newbie.

Download the Super-Spooky Halloween Gingerbread House Template »

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Homemade Milk Duds

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

I’ve always treated Halloween mostly as an excuse to eat candy that I would never buy during the rest of the year—but I might have to stop buying Milk Duds even at Halloween, because these lightly bittersweet DIY versions are so much tastier. Plenty of cream in the caramel means it comes out nicely soft and chewy. Follow Kenji’s instructions for tempering chocolate to create a smooth chocolate coating, into which you’ll plunge the caramels by hand—this is definitely a recipe for those who don’t mind getting a little messy.

Homemade Milk Duds Recipe »

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Made-From-Scratch Caramel Apples

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Ever cracked a tooth on a caramel apple? Yeah, not fun. No risk of that with this recipe: The caramel we use is tender enough to chomp through with ease, even as it’s thick enough to fully coat the apple. Its taste isn’t overpowering, either; you’ll get plenty of caramel depth without completely obliterating the fruit’s flavor.

Made-From-Scratch Caramel Apples Recipe »

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Vampire Mouth Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

A cross between s’mores and those cheap plastic vampire teeth that pop up at Halloween parties, these impressive sandwich cookies are made with home-baked chocolate graham crackers, red frosting “gums,” marshmallow “teeth,” and slivered-almond “fangs.” We use a tangy cream cheese frosting for the gums, which cuts through the sweetness of the marshmallows and graham crackers.

Vampire Mouth Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies Recipe »

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Witch Finger Shortbread Cookies With Raspberry Jam

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

Fake vampire fangs a little too cutesy for you? If you’re more into the blood-and-gore side of Halloween, these shortbread cookies are for you. They’re shaped like severed gnarled fingers, which makes them pretty gross to start. But the real kicker comes when you bite into them and they start “bleeding” a filling of raspberry jam.

Witch Finger Shortbread Cookies With Raspberry Jam Recipe »

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Four-Layer Halloween Ice Cream Cake

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik]

This monstrous ice cream cake could have you in a sugar coma before you even head out trick-or-treating. So save it for afterward, when you’ll have Halloween candy you’ll need to get rid of anyway! An Oreo crust is topped with four different layers of candy-packed ice cream—we combine chocolate ice cream with Reese’s cups, coffee ice cream with Kit Kats, dulce de leche with Twix, and vanilla with Snickers. But we also drizzle the whole thing with ganache, just for good measure.

Four-Layer Halloween Ice Cream Cake »

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Better Than Snickers Milkshake

[Photograph: Autumn Giles]

This milkshake won’t require you to dip into your Halloween haul. Rather than using actual Snickers, we simply mimic the flavors of the classic candy bar, blending together caramel ice cream, peanut butter, and unsweetened cocoa powder. A topping of caramel sauce, whipped cream, and chopped peanuts (and a maraschino cherry, naturally) finishes it off.

Better Than Snickers Milkshake Recipe »

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Jack-o’-Lantern Cookies

[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

More cute than creepy, these kid-friendly jack-o’-lantern sandwich cookies are super easy to make—just stamp out the chocolate dough with a pumpkin-shaped cutter, carve out eyes and mouths in half of the cutouts, then sandwich one cut and one uncut cookie around a layer of creamy peanut butter.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Jack-o’-Lantern Cookies Recipe »

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Peanut Butter Reese’s Pieces Blondies

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Reese’s Pieces are wonderful for topping baked goods because, apart from adding a nice touch of color, they remain surprisingly crunchy after coming out of the oven. The crispy candy provides a nice textural contrast to the blondies, which we under-bake slightly so they come out soft and fudgy.

Peanut Butter Reese’s Pieces Blondies Recipe »

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Chocolate-Covered Candy Corn Layer Cake

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

The monochromatic icing on this cake hides a surprise—cut it open, and you’ll find three layers of cake colored to look just like candy corn. The cake has the intensely buttery flavor of candy corn, too, thanks to a couple sticks of actual butter and several tablespoons of butter flavoring.

Chocolate-Covered Candy Corn Layer Cake Recipe »

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Candy Corn Pecan Pie

[Photograph: Cakespy]

Sure, it could seem like overkill to add a notoriously sweet candy to a notoriously sweet pie, but Halloween isn’t a time for moderation in sugar (did you see the ice cream cake above?). If you really need an excuse, I will say that the candy corn gives the pecan pie filling a pleasant vanilla note as it melts. But the real reason for this pie is the fact that Halloween comes only once a year. Embrace the sweetness.

Candy Corn Pecan Pie Recipe »

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Ghostly Cupcakes

[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Cupcakes are one of our favorite desserts to bring to Halloween parties—individually portioned, portable, and easy. Plus, who doesn’t love a cupcake? You could spread orange icing onto chocolate cupcakes and call it a day, but these ghost faces, made of white marshmallow frosting and strategically placed chocolate chips, are way more festive, and not much more work.

Ghostly Cupcakes Recipe »

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Chili-Chocolate Spider Cupcakes

[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Options for decorating Halloween-y cupcakes are limited only by your imagination and your patience. This recipe, for instance, is a little bit more involved than the previous one, but it’s guaranteed to be a hit at any party. We top green-frosted chocolate cupcakes with spicy chocolate spiders made with ganache, licorice-string legs, slivered-almond fangs, and sour-candy eyes. A small amount of chili flakes added to the ganache for the spider bodies gives the cupcakes just enough kick.

Chili-Chocolate Spider Cupcakes Recipe »

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Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes

[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

Cupcakes aren’t the only option if you want an individually sized dessert, and trust us, no one is going to complain if you show up to a party with mini chocolate cheesecakes baked in muffin tins. Made on a vanilla wafer cookie base and topped with lacy white chocolate “spiderweb” designs, these cheesecakes are the perfect treat for a more elegant Halloween shindig.

Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes Recipe »

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Peanut butter is a godsend when you want ice cream without putting in the work of cooking a custard—all of its fat and protein lets you make a stable no-cook base. It also tastes pretty good, too, especially when paired with dark chocolate fudge and chopped Reese’s cups for a Halloween candy–centric dessert.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Recipe »

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Peanut Butter Cup Pie

[Photograph: Lauren Weisenthal]

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups come in a variety of sizes, but I bet you’ve never seen one quite like this. To make a pie-sized peanut butter cup, we start with a chocolate wafer crumb crust, spoon in a peanut-butter-and-cream-cheese filling, and top it all with dark chocolate ganache. The recipe doesn’t say to wrap the whole thing in decorative foil to complete the effect, but I’m not going to tell you not to do it, either.

Peanut Butter Cup Pie Recipe »

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Halloween Waffle-Iron S’mores (S’moreffles)

[Photograph: Daniel Shumski]

When your kids get home from trick-or-treating—or when you do—set aside some of that candy to make these gooey s’more-like waffles the next day in your waffle iron. We make the waffles with whole wheat flour and honey to give them a graham cracker–like taste, then melt in whatever chocolate candy we have left after Halloween night.

Halloween Waffle-Iron S’mores (S’moreffles) Recipe »

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This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.



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Thanksgiving Stuffed Roast Pumpkins

Thanksgiving Stuffed Roast Pumpkins

Move over, tofurkey: These stuffed roast pumpkins give vegetarians a main course worthy of a place at the Thanksgiving table. Get Recipe! Source link

For a Killer Thanksgiving Vegetarian Main Dish, Stuff Your Pumpkins

For a Killer Thanksgiving Vegetarian Main Dish, Stuff Your Pumpkins

[Photographs: Vicky Wasik] More All About Cheese Everything you need to know about eating and cooking with curds We all know what to expect each year at Thanksgiving. There are logistical headaches, including the annual game of fridge-space Jenga and the monumental task of trying […]

Order a Serious Eats Gift Box: Our Favorites, Delivered to Your Kitchen

Order a Serious Eats Gift Box: Our Favorites, Delivered to Your Kitchen


Box of kitchen items selected by Serious Eats

If the concept of receiving cooking-themed mystery boxes piques your interest, then CrateChef may be right up your alley. The subscription service partners with a different chef every two months to deliver a curated selection of tools, gadgets, and ingredients right to your kitchen. And this month, we’re excited to announce that their newest partner is…us! Now you can order your box to find a great selection of gift-worthy picks from the Serious Eats culinary team, chosen with holiday entertaining in mind. You can place a single order for this box only, or jump on the subscription train for a slightly reduced price; either way, we can guarantee that you’ll be getting a whole lot of bang for your buck.

Want a sneak peek of what’s in there? Let’s start with one of our favorite thermometers, the Thermapop, and our top-rated poultry shears by OXO, along with a step-by-step explainer about how to use them for your Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll also find a few of our favorite ingredients (like Stella’s go-to pecans and one of Kenji’s favorite sauces). Want to know the rest? Get your box to find out.

The Serious Eats Cratechef box is available through November, or until they sell out.

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.



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The 27 Best Pizza Slices in New York City

The 27 Best Pizza Slices in New York City

[Photograph: Vicky Wasik, J. Kenji López-Alt, Clay Williams, Adam Kuban. Collage: Vicky Wasik] “What’s the best way to set New Yorkers to bickering? Ask where to find the best slice of pizza in the city. No subject starts a battle faster—not bagels or hot dogs […]