Planning Your First Holiday Dinner? What Are Some Creative Spins On Old Favorites?

The transition from guest to host for family holiday gatherings can be an exciting (but sometimes hectic) one. While you'll want to continue some of the time-honored traditions your family enjoys -- whether a white elephant gift exchange or a pitch-in dinner -- you may also want to put your own creative touches on some of the foods you serve, helping begin new traditions. Read on to learn more about some twists on old favorites that will leave your family members full and happy.

Poussin chicken in place of turkey

While a roasted turkey is one of the most iconic foods served for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, prices for whole turkeys have skyrocketed during 2015 due to nationwide outbreaks of avian flu among the captive turkey population. Rather than turn to the faithful standby -- ham -- you may be able to make lemonade out of these lemons by investigating one of your alternative poultry options, like Cornish game hens or Poussin chicken

Both Poussin chicken and Cornish hens are harvested at a young age, making them much more tender than older birds (including turkey). This small size allows you to provide each guest with an individual bird and decreases your cooking time to around an hour. You'll also be able to ensure each of your guests is quickly fed, rather than waiting for you or a co-host to carve and serve a large turkey.

Roasted butternut squash in place of yams

If you're looking to cut your dinner's calorie content or increase its nutritional value without compromising taste, you may want to investigate the many different uses for cubed butternut squash. This mildly sweet vegetable can be oven-roasted with oil, brown sugar, or even honey or maple syrup to achieve a crispy coating. If you're feeling adventurous, you can mix in some additional cubed fruits and vegetables -- apples, pumpkin, or even brussels sprouts. 

Whipped turnips in place of mashed potatoes

Another way to sneak in some added nutrition is to replace some of the potatoes in your mashed potatoes recipe with turnips or rutabagas. These root vegetables come in a variety of types and flavors, from the spiciness of a radish to the milder, creamier flavor of a large rutabaga.

Even if you've never worked with turnips or rutabagas before, the learning curve is fairly flat -- you'll need only to boil them (or bake them) along with your potatoes, then mix in butter and milk with a stand mixer or hand beater. If your whipped turnips prove to be a hit, you may find yourself substituting these fiber-full vegetables for potatoes in even more recipes. 

About Me

Delicious Dark Chocolate

Growing up, I consumed my share of chocolate. I usually enjoyed this rich, indulgent treat in the form of milkshakes, hot cocoa, and candy. Unfortunately, I was an overweight kid. Thankfully, I lost weight during my high school years. However, I began to gain weight again during my late twenties when my metabolism started to slow down. At this time, I drastically reduced the amount of desserts I ate. My consumption of chocolate dwindled to almost none. Fortunately, while reading a health book, I discovered the dark variety of chocolate is actually good for me. After learning this wonderful news, I began purchasing dark chocolate from the speciality foods section of my grocery store. On this blog, you will discover the health benefits of delicious dark chocolate.


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