November 1, 1999
This time-tested, leading holiday website can help families look forward to this eventful season by taking the anxiety out of preparation. And, as the family chef hands down recipes for children to start preparing their first holiday festivities of their own, the survival guide will equip them with all the information they need to turn out their first meals as if they were seasoned experts.
Internet users can access the Thankgiving pages on Better Homes and Gardens Online at www.bhg.com/food/holiday. America Online users can type AOL Keyword: BHG, then click on the Thanksgiving link.
A key feature is the Interactive Roasting Guide, which helps in determining what size turkey is required for the number of servings desired. The Roasting Guide calculates when to begin thawing a frozen turkey, and offers instruction on when to place the bird in the oven to be ready for a user-selected meal time.
New features for the Thanksgiving Survival Guide this year include an expanded Roasting Guide for beef, pork, lamb, and veal; new recipes, including a complete ham dinner, and Cookie and Candy-making classes with step-by-step instructions, photos, and videos. Also new to the Thanksgiving Survival Guide is a Dining in Style section, designed to add flair to your holiday table, and Kids Travel tips sure to be useful on the trip to Grandma's.
Another guide essential is the Menu Planner, a tool from which Internet users can put together a menu of their favorite appetizers, breads, vegetables, salads, main dishes, and desserts. Or, readers can select from a multitude of pre-planned menus, including two diabetic offerings and menus for six, 12, or 20 people. All of the recipes include photos, some classic recipes like egg nog, roast stuffed turkey, and desserts have Holiday Cooking Class videos with step-by-step instructions for preparation.
After choosing a menu, site visitors can create printable recipe pages, a shopping list sorted by grocery store section, and make-ahead calendar that highlights preparation steps well in advance of Thanksgiving. The Menu Planner helps create "action plans" to fit everyone's cooking needs and interests.
Also in the Better Homes and Gardens Cooking School are Holiday Cookie and Candy Classes. These pages not only give an overview of "cookie basics," but also provide instructions and creative tips to bake cut-out, shaped, slice-and-bake, stamped, and spritz cookies. The Cooking School gives pre-baking decoration ideas--like marbled sugar cookies or painting with egg painting--or post-baking, like frosting, glazing, and dipping. In addition, the site has ideas on how to dress up store-bought cookies, and offers recipes for old-time fudge, peanut brittle, or peanut butter balls.
The Holiday Traditions and Holiday Cooking message boards allow home cooks to trade ideas and information about family favorites and entertaining. The two message boards join such regular discussion groups as Cook-to-Cook, Quick and Easy, Healthy Cooking and Baker's Corner.