All year long the two of us have been talking about doing another Cover-to-Cover Project. And all year it just hasn't seemed like the right time.
Good news: Now is the right time!
For those of you who may be new to this, here's the deal: In the 2012 Cover-to-Cover Project, readers joined us in cooking every recipe in six food magazines in one month. That was a doozy, but a ton of fun.
Then last year, for the 2013 Cover-to-Cover Project, hundreds of you joined us to cook everything in the September issue of Bon Appétit. You may be surprised -- as we were -- by the dish that won the highest praise.
This year, we're giving The Cover-to-Cover Project a sweet twist. We'll end the year by making (nearly) all the cookies in this year's December food magazines.
UPDATE: We've now closed submissions and assignments are out. Happy baking!
Here's how it will work:
What will you get out of this?
Are you up to the challenge? If so, sign up today!
To paraphrase Kathryn Stockett:
"You is good. You is kind. You is going to have an amazing Thanksgiving."
In other words, you're gonna ace this Thanksgiving! Whether you're hosting this year or blissfully not in charge of any food at all, we hope that our coverage here at The Bitten Word has provided you with a healthy dose of holiday inspiration.
Trust us. If we can host a Fakesgiving for 24 friends in our tiny apartment and a shoebox-sized kitchen, making nearly 20 dishes for the first time, then you've got this Thanksgiving in the bag!
If you're still looking for a sure-fire, last-minute dish, check out our (just updated!) Favorite Holiday Recipes.
And for those of you have gotten lost in the Thanksgiving blur of the last month, here are all the dishes we made this year. We asked the friends we had over for Fakesgiving to rank all of the dishes. (Yes, there was an actual electronic survey involved. You gotta sing for your supper Chez Bitten Word.)
Here's every dish we made this year, ranked in order of our friends' preferences, on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 excellent):
10.00 The Barefoot Contessa's Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
9.00 Cornmeal-Creme Fraiche Spoon Bread
8.79 Curried Carrot Apple Soup
8.29 Maple Syrup Pie with Creme Fraiche
8.14 Black-Bottom Peanut Pie
7.92 Moroccan Spiced Turkey with Onion Jam
7.69 Turkey Roulades with Fontina and Sage
7.57 Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Rice Topping
7.57 Knockout Punch from 2 Birds 1 Stone
7.54 Cornbread, Chorizo and Cherry Stuffing
7.43 Navy Bean Pie
7.43 Sautéed Collard Greens with Caramelized Miso Butter
7.38 Brussels Sprouts with Horseradish and Pomegranate
7.31 Chocolate Mousse Pie with Phyllo Crust
7.25 Cherry-Port Cranberry Sauce
6.64 Harissa and Maple Roasted Carrots
6.38 Pumpkin Tiramisu
3.85 Old Fashioned Cracker Dressing
3.83 Roasted Citrus Relish
Now it's your turn.
Please share Your Thanksgiving with us: If you make something we've posted about, report back by emailing us or commenting here! If you're social media-minded, tag us on Instagram (#TheBittenWord), Facebook (#TheBittenWord) or Twitter (@bittenword).
And if you fall into a Thanksgiving crisis, contact us any time. We're here to help.
We'll leave you with photos from our Fakesgiving that will hopefully inspire you but may very well terrify you, too.
See you after Thanksgiving.
~ Zach & Clay
Now that we've laid out this year's Thanksgiving trends, let's get to the recipes themselves.
And what a doozy of a year it is, with rye bread in the stuffing, veggie custards on the table, and Ethiopian spices on the peas.
Below you'll find more than 150 recipes from 11 of this year's Thanksgiving issues. To be clear, this is not an index of every food magazine recipe this month. There are hundreds more recipes in these 11 issues. For the 2014 Thanksgiving Index, we've scoured the magazines for their Thanksgiving features, and that's what we've compiled here.
We want to hear what you think! What sounds amazing? What reads like something your family would disown you for if you brought it to the Thanksgiving table? And what dish do you plan to try first?
We've already made 20 of the dishes listed below. Tomorrow, we'll feature the first one. (Spoiler alert: It's not the Seitan Roast.)
Share your picks and we'll see if you gravitated toward the same dishes we did. Happy exploring!
~ Zach & Clay
Sharpen your knives and pull out your cranberry jello molds -- it's Thanksgiving cooking season once again!
What kind of Thanksgiving cook are you? Maybe you're someone who returns to tried and true family favorites year after year. Or maybe you like to mix it up with new preparations and twists, to keep your guests on their toes.
Either way, it's time to start planning your menu for the big day -- and we've got you covered. As we've done for the past 6 years now, we've scoured all the big food magazines to see what they're serving up for this year's Thanksgiving dinner. Today, we're going to tell you about some of this year's biggest Thanksgiving trends, including graphic visualizations of all the recipe names, showing which foods are most popular this year. Tomorrow, we'll inundate you with our exhaustive 2014 Thanksgiving Recipe Index -- more than 150 recipes from 11 current issues of popular food magazines.
Then, leading up to Thanksgiving, we'll tell you all about the 20 different recipes we tried out for ourselves. We'll discuss what we loved, what we weren't crazy about, and which recipes have no place on your Thanksgiving table.
We're excited for the next few weeks! So let's get started:
Big Trend: Global Flavors
It's Thanksgiving: Do you know where your ras el hanout is?
Thanksgiving coverage in food magazines is always a mix of familiar flavors and more exotic twists. But this year we noticed a decided tilt toward spices and ingredients that would definitely have left the Pilgrims perplexed.
This year's recipes seem ripped from a Spice Road market, featuring ingredients like harissa, madras hot curry, Ethiopian berbere and, yes, ras el hanout. There's Portuguese linguiça, as well as Japanese miso and tamari (in separate recipes!). Two different magazines have a recipe for a Moroccan-spiced turkey.
And there are plenty of other recipes with ingredients that are less exotic but still quite nontraditional for Thanksgiving -- things like cardamom, coriander, coconut, mango, aged balsamic vinegar, sesame seeds.
It's a contrast from recent years, when we've seen a bigger trend toward regional heritage American flavors and ingredients -- bourbon, sorghum, grits, apple cider, bacon. You definitely still see some of that this year, but Thanksgiving 2014 seems to have a decidedly wider worldview.
It's been a while since we did a giveaway. But we've got something that we think you'll really like: this gorgeous Acacia wood salad set, provided by Pacific Merchants Trading Company.
If you're like us, you're already thinking in the back of your mind about Thanksgiving (only 57 days away!!). And if you're also like us, Thanksgiving is a time where you end up trotting out every conceivable vessel to use as a serving dish. Yes, we've been known to serve cranberry relish in what would otherwise be used as a vase. And we've definitely set out mashed potatoes in a metal mixing bowl.
This bowl would help you out. It's got an arrestingly beautiful irregular shape, and it comes with two serving utensils (as well as a Kilner preserve bottle you can use for salad dressings or other condiments). It would be a lovely addition to your Thanksgiving table, and throughout the rest of the year as well.
How can you win it for yourself?
It's already starting to feel like autumn here in Washington, D.C. The air is clearer, the sun a different kind of gold, and the nights are getting cool.
But a mere two weeks ago -- two weeks! -- we were sitting on the beach, drinking cocktails (like the Big Gulp Aperol Spritz pictured above, a favorite libation of ours over the past few months). Oh summer, we already miss you.
We wanted to share some shots from our summer. Some of these are exciting; some mundane. But they added up to a wonderful summer for us.
Come along with us!
First, a bit of humor:
Whenever we go on vacation, we always try to order groceries so that we have food in the house when we return. (We're lucky to live in a Peapod delivery area.) But there can be pitfalls to doing this, especially when you're doing it quickly, from a beach in North Carolina.
The idea was simple: Order 15 bananas. The reality? We inadvertently ordered 15 bunches of bananas. Oops! Well, now out freezer is chock full of bananas, ready for smoothies, muffins and other yummy treats.
Now, on to a ltitle housekeeping. Some of you receive posts from The Bitten Word via email. The email system we've used for years is, frankly, a calamity, and we've noticed that the emails are not reliably going out (sorry about that).
To fix things, we're rolling out a new email program. If you already get The Bitten Word via email, no need to do a thing.You'll still get it every day that we publish.
Would you like to start getting The Bitten Word in your inbox? We would love that!
Simply sign-up below.
We've snuck away this week for some much-needed time at the beach with friends. Think books, naps, carbs.
While we're gone, try something new by picking one of Our Favorite Summer Recipes. They're our collection of the very best summer fare we've made over the last seven years of writing The Bitten Word. Literally something for everyone.
Never fear: We'll return in a week, slightly more tan, ready to cook, and recharged.
Happy August and happy cooking.
~ Zach & Clay