Keeping peace at the Thanksgiving table
November 22nd, 2011
03:30 PM ET
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To help keep the peace with her in-laws during holidays, Julia Smith adopted a rule several years ago about talking politics: Don't do it, and don't take the bait if anyone starts in.

Her relationship with her father-in-law in particular had always been fraught with tension, said Smith, who asked that her name be changed to preserve family relations. She was the "screaming liberal from New York" who'd corrupted his Texas-bred son into moving to "Taxachusetts" and voting Democrat. As far as she was concerned, he was a good ol' boy who didn't like to talk politics as much as preach his views.

Her resolve was put to the test three years ago at Thanksgiving dinner, right after Barack Obama was elected president. She was picking at her turkey when, she says, her father-in-law suggested an act of violence toward Obama.

She attempted to keep cool by gathering her children and leaving the table. But then he repeated it at dessert.

Read – Etiquette 101: Talking politics over Thanksgiving dinner

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Filed under: Bite • Culture • Entertaining • Etiquette • Holidays • Thanksgiving


Stocking up for the big day
November 3rd, 2011
09:05 AM ET
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With Thanksgiving approaching, you've still got a tad of time on your side. Use it to wrangle your guest list into place (leaving room for a few day-of tag-alongs), stock up, and keep from getting your feathers all ruffled in a last-second scramble for plates, drinks, turkey and places to sit.

The Bird

If you've got a rough idea of how many meat-eating guests will be on hand, go with around one pound per person - one and a half if you'd like to ensure a stash of leftovers. A huge bird can be comically unwieldy, so consider sacrificing the Big Platter Presentation for the sake of sanity and back strain. Opt for two (or three or more if you have the oven space) smaller birds - and just remember to make sure you've got enough roasting pans, foil and other poultry paraphernalia on hand.
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5@5 - How to assemble a cheese plate
August 2nd, 2011
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.

Don’t know goat cheese from gouda? Or Comté from Camembert? Well, you certainly don’t have to have a culinary degree to put together a simple yet tasteful cheese plate. After all, the extent of the kitchen aptitude required is how well you can unwrap and place things on a platter.

But if you're still worried about making an asiago of yourself at your next gathering, Cathy Strange, the global cheese buyer for Whole Foods Market, has some tips to get you on your way to cheese pairing success.

A Beginners' Guide to Assembling a Cheese Plate: Cathy Strange
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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Cheese • Dishes • Entertaining • Think


5@5 - Sunny Anderson
February 1st, 2011
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.

So - you've decided against the idea of lodging yourself into a crowded bar of foam cheese hats, terrible towels and reverting fraternity brothers this Super Bowl Sunday and opted to catch the big game at home? Nice defensive block.

But, where's your offense? Sunny Anderson, the host of Food Network's "Cooking For Real," has got the game-winning strategy.

Hut, hut, bite!

Super Bowl Entertaining Tips: Sunny Anderson
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Filed under: 5@5 • Entertaining • Think


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