5@5 – Claire Robinson
November 17th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Claire Robinson is the host of Food Network's "5 Ingredient Fix," in which she does just that - creating enticing recipes using five ingredients or fewer. Each element stands out and shines through, and allows for a major trim-down on prep time.

During a busy, pricey holiday season, most folks need all the extra time and cash they get get. With Ms. Robinson on your side, the fix is in.

Five Ingredients (or Tips) for a Fantastic Thanksgiving Fix: Claire Robinson

1. Your guests are coming hungry, so have a nibble and a drink ready as soon as your guests walk in the door!
"I love to make a signature cocktail for the occasion and have it ready to serve or positioned as an easy serve yourself drink. Also, always have a nibble dispersed in more than one spot throughout the 'party waiting area' to prevent traffic jams. Offering up ready bites and beverages allows you to wrap up any last minute dinner prep or hosting needed while your guests mingle and munch."

2. Don’t forget to plan the drinks as well as the food
"We all plan our menu from appetizer to dessert, but we usually forget to plan a drink. Whether it’s a pre-dinner cocktail, wine with dinner, coffee for dessert or even a fun spiked coffee in lieu of dessert - just be sure to plan out the drinks too!"

3. Put a spin on one of the classics
"Of course, you have the superstar dishes that are expected at every Thanksgiving dinner, but if you have one that isn’t getting as much attention each year, try twisting it a bit. For example, try roasted butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes, or a Brussels sprout gratin instead of green beans - or even add a jalapeño kick to your cranberry sauce. Just don’t mess with the family favorite too much … keep the tinkering focused on the dishes not getting as much attention in your house and you just might create a new family favorite."

4. Incorporate some citrus and fresh herbs
"Thanksgiving is so wonderfully rich with fall root vegetables, breads and starches, and of course, the lovely turkey with an absolute must - the gravy. A meal like this is certainly the ultimate descriptor of comfort, but it’s also heavy! By adding a bit of citrus in a dish or a pop of the bright green fresh flavor of herbs, you can lighten the flavor and refresh the palate. I try and incorporate one or both in all of my dishes."

5. Dessert is my favorite place to play!
"I sometimes forego the expected pie and wrap up a take home dessert, such as bars, chocolates, etc. Your guests will be free to not 'stick around for dessert' which we all want but usually are not ready to dive into immediately after the big dinner. Also it gives them a little sweet taste for later and allows them to extend the edible party in their home."

Claire Robinson's Thanksgiving-themed episode of "5 Ingredient Fix" will air on November 18 at 11 a.m. ET on the Food Network.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Cooking • Holidays • HolidayShopping • Make • Thanksgiving • Thanksgiving • Think


soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. RichardHead@Timmy

    Obviously Lassie has obtained rabies and you are now infected.Please throw yourself down the well.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  2. Garry

    Watched her Thanksgiving show and for someone married to a man from Tennessee she made a very strange dressing. Personally i do not like sausage in my dressing, and I like cornbread dressing. Was surprised she made a sorta kinda giblet gravy though!

    November 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm |
  3. Ellen Degeneres

    I'd hit that and Portia!

    November 18, 2010 at 8:03 am |
  4. Jackie

    She scares me...That smile looks so fake.... :( its gonna give me nightmares

    November 18, 2010 at 3:38 am |
    • Snow

      I agree... something about her teeth... they're long like a friggin' rabbit. Just sayin'.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
    • Kat

      I wish I could look that good! Honestly though the Dessert that your guests could take home...sounds good and I need more ideas to do that!!!

      November 18, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
  5. V Saxena

    Meh. I'll be alone cuz the family is coming for Christmas instead. So I'm going to GOLDEN CORRAL!

    November 17, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      I friggin' love that place. We don't have one in our town, though. =(

      Side note. Is it just me or is it sad that place is open on Thanksgiving?

      November 18, 2010 at 9:32 am |
      • RichardHead

        Only place open to get your E-Coli fix on a holiday.

        November 18, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  6. Rick

    My 2 kids were born on Thanksgiving, so we do a big party combining 2 birthday parties and Thanksgiving dinner party. We do 3-in-1 big party on the day before Thanksgiving so that friends and neighbors can still spend time with their family on Thanksgiving day.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
  7. Worst FN Chef EVER...

    I have tried many recipes of Claire Robinson's and all I can say is that she is the ABSOLUTE WORST! She is attractive and can therefore make her recipes sound delicious... SO WRONG! She is not a real chef and I do not trust anything that she makes. She is better salesperson than a used car salesman, in fact she should probably get a new profession because she would be a much better used car salesman than chef. I just no longer trust anything that she says or proclaims on her show as worthwhile. What a sickeningly fake human being.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
    • Lena Vetch

      I disagree with you,her recepies are delightful. I have tried many of them, with great success.
      Of course, you need to be experienced in cooking to be able to follow thru.

      November 18, 2010 at 1:05 am |
    • amayda

      thank you! you are so totally right on this!

      November 18, 2010 at 10:00 am |
    • shirley m.

      I absolutely do not agree with this person. I am not a chef, however I have cooked for over 50 yrs.. As a young bride, I learned to cook, first from My mother then from my mother-in-law(who was an amazing cajun/creole cook). I now cook many of the wonderful old receipes for our lg. fly..After retiring as a critical care nurse, I now watch the Cooking Channel and love Claire Robinson.She does amazing things with only five ingredients. I have used many of her receipes and my family raves about the dishes. I think you just had a bad day or missed one of the five ingredients. Good luck on your next try.

      November 18, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  8. Mr Putter

    I'd totally bang Claire

    November 17, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  9. Jay

    Claire Robinson is absolutely drop dead beautiful!!!!

    November 17, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  10. fob

    I'm all for #3. I keep the traditional dishes in place and the same, but add a couple of different ones just to try out. Doing two different stuffings this year so I can try something less traditional.

    November 17, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  11. Truth@JDizz

    Boo-YAH!

    November 17, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Ahh, I knew this would happen. GF had to pick up the Durango, had to step outside a minute. You win today, Truth. Mark my words, vengeance is mine.

      November 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        BTW, she reads our comments sometimes. She thinks we're crazy.

        November 17, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
      • Truth@JDizz

        I resemble that remark...!
        I'm out. See y'all tomorrow!

        November 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
      • RichardHead@Jdizz

        Dang,thought my computer had a hitch in it's giddyup. Ran all the software repair programs. Anyway-Hopefully Sarah has Not Fallen and can't get up!

        November 17, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        I blame Sarah and Kat for my loss. X) Was all over it until then.

        See ya tomorrow!

        November 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
      • Jenn

        So your GF always gets to read your posts "I'd hit that". Nice.

        November 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Yeah, some people have a sense of humor and are cool people.

        November 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
      • Truth@RichHead, JDizz

        Welcome back JDizz! How was class? Did you bring an apple for the teacher and something for "Show and Tell"?

        November 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        Turned out to be a quiz on securities. 3.5 hour quiz. Boy was I unprepared. Fortunately, my positronic net retains any and all information. Pass. SEC has nothing on me!

        I should make that a rap.

        November 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  12. Truth

    I'd hit that, were I not married...:)

    November 17, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      You are FAST!

      November 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants

        That's what all the girls think.

        BOO-YAH!

        I kid.

        November 17, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants

      Truth – you'd hit this:

      http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/17/sarah-palin-convince-people-shes-qualified-to-be-president/?hpt=T2

      CNN finds the craziest pictures of her to post. They hate her, as do I.

      November 17, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
    • ab1895

      I didn't even bother to read the article yet, I just scrolled down to the comments to see who'd hit that first...

      Y'all make my day better.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
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