HELP! How on EARTH will I survive Thanksgiving? I'm afraid I'm going to snowball out of control on the big day. Any last-minute tips?
Turkey Day Troubles
Dear Turkey Day Troubles,
Well, tomorrow is the big day. And while the average Thanksgiving meal contains over 3,000 calories, that doesn't mean that YOUR meal has to contain that many. Here are some things you can do on Thanksgiving Day to avoid overeating. They'll REALLY help!
1. Don't starve yourself before the big meal. Eat breakfast. Eat a light meal a few hours before dinner, too. It's a bad idea to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner when you're STARVING.
2. Have a couple glasses of water before you start eating to take the edge off your hunger. That's an old trick that really works well.
3. When you fill up your plate, stick with white turkey meat (not dark). Take lots of steamed veggies and salad (if available) and not as much of the fattening sides. Have tastes of everything, but don't overdo it. Stick with small portions of dishes like green bean casserole (unless it's our low-cal version!), sweet potato pie (we've got a swap for that, too!), stuffing (click & scroll for HG's version), mashed potatoes (check!), etc. If you feel the need for seconds, go for more white meat and veggies.
4. When it's time for dessert, you shouldn't be too hungry. So instead of having a huge piece of pie with ice cream, have a mini dessert paired with a cup of decaf coffee or hot tea. That oughta leave you feeling satisfied but not stuffed.
I LOVE your Bake-tastic Butternut Squash Fries and eat them all the time. Sometimes (usually) they come out a little soggy. What can I do?
Soggy Squash Fries
You are certainly not alone in your pursuit of crispy butternut squash fries. I make them all the time at home, and we're always making them at the HG HQ, too. It's pretty much hit or miss on the crispiness, since the water content varies from squash to squash. I've tried different tricks, and even started a discussion on the Hungry Girl fan page on Facebook about it (click and join, BTW!). Someone said to soak the squash pieces in water with a little salt and sugar first. This just made them salty and soggy (ick). Someone else said to dry them well (which I always do) -- definitely make sure to do that! We even tried another Facebook fan's suggestion to dip them in egg whites, but that didn't work out well. Those fries were a little slimy and soft. One of the best tips I've heard, while on the HG book tour, is to place a cooling rack (or any open wire rack) over a baking sheet, spray it with nonstick spray, and lay the squash on the rack. This way the squash is being cooked on all sides and can "breathe" while cooking. That definitely helped make the fries crispier. BTW, salting your squash is also important -- it helps draw out the moisture. In fact, another Facebook fan recommended letting the squash sit on paper towels for 10 minutes after it's been salted, and then blotting up the excess moisture. That helped, too! So to sum it up, SALT 'em, let them SIT, DRY them, and then bake them on a rack. Anyone else got any ideas? Send 'em in!
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