November 17, 2011

{Easy Entertaining} Thanksgiving Tips by Chef Rick Rodgers

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just one week away? (Well, my second Thanksgiving since we had celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving last month). So in preparation for the holiday, I attended a cooking demonstration by Chef Rick Rodgers, sponsored by Driscoll's.

Chef Rick demonstrated ways to use berries in both savory and sweet dishes. Watch the cooking demonstration above (including a cameo by me asking whether one could batch the cocktail mix before guests arrive).
To make the Holiday Berry Bellini ahead of time, just combine 2 parts St. Germaine Elderflower, 1 part lemon juice and 1 part simple syrup in a pitcher ahead of time.  When guests arrive, put the mixture in champagne glasses then add sparkling wine or champagne. Garnish with fresh raspberries and blackberries.
While Chef Rick was showing us how to carve a turkey, I chatted with other food bloggers about their turkey tips. Growing up, my parents would always break down the uncooked turkey before roasting it in the oven (to ensure even cooking though we never got to present a whole turkey). Another blogger mentioned that her mother would cook the turkey upside down - this allowed for the dripping to fall and keep and turkey breast moist.  

For the most part, the food was good though I preferred dishes on the simpler side. The bellini, warm brie, roasted acorn squash and panna cotta were my favorites (with only a tad of the sauces that came with them). For all of the recipes, click here. 

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? How do you cook your turkey?
FTC disclaimer: We attended this complimentary event hosted by Driscoll's Berries and received a gift bag including Chef Rodgers' cookbook. We were not compensated in any other way for this post. All views and opinions are our own.

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