FANFOOD Guide To The Holidays












Entertaining Tips

BBQ Tips & Tricks

Holiday Recipes

How To Deep Fry a Turkey

Six Steps to Carving the Perfect Turkey

Beef Tenderloin- How to Trim & Tie

How to Truss a Chicken






FANFOOD Holiday Entertaining Tips


Schedule a couple of days to go shopping for the items on your lists. Here is a simple countdown to take you through the final two weeks leading up to the big day.


Two Weeks Before:

  • Confirm your guest list, order your turkey if fresh, purchase your turkey if frozen, and give out specific assignments to guests that are contributing meals.
  • Finalize your shopping lists.
  • Inventory your table and kitchen supplies.
  • Make arrangements to borrow or rent any items that you lack.


One Week Before:

  • Order your centerpiece.
  • Iron linens & polish your silver.
  • Purchase wine, beer, soft drinks.
  • Shop for non-perishables.
  • Select music.
  • If using a frozen turkey, plan the day to begin to thaw. The rule of thumb is to allow one day for every five pounds of turkey.
  • Make a plan for cleaning your house, particularly the rooms that will likely be seen by guests. De-clutter the messiest rooms first.


Two Days Before:

  • Purchase all perishable ingredients.
  • Begin cleaning and chopping any vegetables for the stuffing/dressing and side dishes.
  • Bake and freeze any pies or other desserts that can be frozen.
  • Prepare recipes such as dips, soups and cranberry sauce, pie dough.
  • Make a written plan for cooking your meal.


One Day Before:

  • Clean the powder room, dust and vacuum all rooms guests will be using, especially the dining room and kitchen.
  • Set the table; take out all of the serving pieces.
  • Make and refrigerate your stuffing or dressing, clean and truss your turkey, then refrigerate it.
  • Finish preparing and bake your pies.
  • Prepare and refrigerate salads.
  • Pick up your centerpiece if it’s not being delivered.


Day of the Party:

  • Roast turkey and stuffing/dressing.
  • Ask someone to pick up any bread or rolls you’ll need for your dinner.
  • Finish preparing appetizers, first courses, and/or side dishes.
  • Make the gravy.
  • Turn on your music.
  • Light the candles.
  • Take fifteen minutes before guests arrive to freshen yourself and relax.
  • Welcome guests.
  • Set out the food, and count your blessings!


Preparing a holiday meal doesn’t need to stressful. Many dishes can be prepared many hours in advance of the meal. Some preparations benefit from sitting for a time before being served. Even if the whole dish cannot be completed early in the day, the preparation of the ingredients can be. Ingredients can be cleaned, cut, blanched, and otherwise made ready for their final cooking.


Plan Ahead

If you decide what to cook early, have all ingredients on hand, and cook some of the meal ahead of time, you can save yourself a lot of stress. On the day before you can make and refrigerate your stuffing or dressing, clean and truss your turkey, then refrigerate it. You can finish preparing and bake your pies, and prepare and refrigerate salads.


Simplify Cooking

If you can take shortcuts, take them. Bake your turkey in a plastic bag, which keeps it moist as it cooks and makes clean-up easier. Opt for instant mashed potatoes, pre-cut green beans, and pie from the store.


Cut Down On Food

If you’re cooking for only a few people, you may consider cooking a turkey breast—rather than the whole bird—to save time and energy. Turkey breasts cook more quickly, take less preparation, leave no carcass behind, feed several people, and supply delicious white meat, which is lower in fat. While it’s fun to have leftovers, if the idea of turkey soup and turkey sandwiches for the next two weeks doesn’t appeal, this is a good place to simplify


Try Fewer Side Dishes

It’s a lot of fun to have a feast, and there are many creative recipes this time of year, but if you cut down on side dishes, you can save yourself quite a bit of time and effort. Just pick a vegetable or two, and rolls, and make a lot of them. This way, while there’s less variety, there’s plenty of food.


Let Others Help

Another fun way to simplify your meal is to let others help with the side dishes. If you’re having other people come, you can just let everyone bring a side dish or dessert while you supply the turkey. If you’re only cooking for your own household, you can let everyone in the house be responsible for one side. This lets everyone feel good that they’ve contributed to the joy of the feast.


Final Tips

Try to relax and enjoy your guests. Accept help when it’s volunteered – you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Remember that everything doesn’t have to be perfect to build those long-cherished memories. Many times it’s the little imperfections that nestle into the warmest spot of your heart.


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Whether you’re lighting up the grill on the 4th of July or just having a BBQ, a good one takes planning. So, if you’re like us, you don’t just want to throw a good BBQ, you want to throw the best damn barbecue the free land has ever seen, so start getting your game plan together now.

Here’s how to do it:

When cooking for a large gathering make sure you prepare something for everyone. Throw on a couple of Hot Dogs for the kids while you are grilling the rest. In fact, try getting the kids fed first to alleviate their hunger for summer foods and let them finish off with some flag fudge.


Cooking and Recipes

When putting together a meal decide the best way to prepare the dishes quickly and easily. Start off with some great appetizers for the grill or other appetizers.

If you want tradition then you need a good recipe for Potato Salad, Cole Slaw or Barbecue Beans. There are over 400 recipes on this site for you to choose from to create a great menu for your next BBQ.





Appetizers | Marinades | Rubs | Chili | Vegetables | Sandwiches

Pizza | Meats | Sauces | Breakfast | Desserts | Holiday | Drinks |

Equipment & Technique |


Vegetarians at a BBQ? 

If you or some of your guests are vegetarians you can still do some 4th of July entertaining, only vegetarian style. Vegetarian grilling can be more than just veggie burgers, but you will be a success if you make them from scratch.



Remember to cool things off with some Frozen Delights or go the extra mile with Italian ice cream. There is a lot you can do with desserts like a nice dish of dirt, Summery Fruit Candies or a margarita pie.



Don’t forget the iced tea, or even the iced coffee. Coordinate your drinks with the meal and the season. A nice Sangria will go great with grilled foods. There are also a lot of cool,refreshing summer cocktails you can choose from. You might even what to check out some patriotic drinks for this July 4th. Of course no great cookout is complete without beer. What you need to make this even particularly patriotic is a good selection of beers. Refresh your knowledge of all things whiskey. You will know what you are talking about.


FANFOOD BBQ Tips & Tricks:

Here are some tips that will ensure you’ll be the perfect barbecue host

  • Keep all your barbecuing tools handy – tongs, chopping boards, insulated gloves, brushes ect. Have a plan to light your charcoal, and don’t use lighter fluid, nobody wants to taste it. Always use natural charcoal free of additives.
  • Never mix together different raw foods (i.e. fish and chicken) in the same marinade. Always keep in separate containers. Use separate chopping boards and utensils for handling raw and cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination
  • Remove meat and poultry from the fridge an hour before cooking and leave covered in a cool kitchen until required. This will help bring the food back to an ambient temperature, and will result in a more succulent cooked result.
  • Always know how many guests you are expecting and make sure you are seated near to the kitchen. This means you won’t be barging past your guests when going to and from the house.
  • Keep plenty of iced water handy – particularly if you’re barbecuing on a hot day. If you stick with the beer or wine your guests will soon be dehydrated (and you maybe too tipsy to tend the barbecue).
  • Prepare dressings for salads and marinades for the barbecue in advance to be one step ahead of yourself. You can even make your very own mayonnaise. Meat & Poultry will benefit from marinating overnight in the refrigerator rather than for an hour just prior to barbecuing, so do as much preparation ahead of time as possible.
  • Have a good link to a weather website, preferably one with live doppler radar, so you know what is coming and when.
  • If you’re having a barbecue at night, don’t forget to consider the lighting.
  • Check with your guests if they have any special dietary requirements.
  • Burning citrus candles is a great way to keep the bugs at bay and stop them biting your guests, especially if you’re serving any sweet food or drinks.
  • If you’re having an afternoon barbecue, make sure there’s plenty of shade to avoid sticky sun burnt guests.
  • Pork, sausages, burgers and chicken in particular, must always be cooked through to the center. It might look cooked on the outside but can still be raw in the middle. Check by piercing the thickest part with the point of a sharp knife. If the juices run clear then the meat is ready. Any sign if pink juices will require further cooking. Get yourself a digital thermometer, it’ll come in handy, trust me.
  • Be aware of wind direction and the proximity of neighbors when placing your BBQ.
  • Clean your charcoal barbecue after each use, once the grill has cooled down – a wire brush and warm soapy water is all that is needed – little and often is secret. Your gas barbecue can be cleaned by simply burning off the grill for 10 minutes. Have a plan for your used charcoal.



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FANFOOD Holiday Recipes


John’s Thanksgiving Roast Turkey

Deep Fried Turkey

Rub recipe

Brisket Braised in Porter

Perfect Beef Tenderloin

Grilled Rib Eye Roast

Double Smoked Spiral Ham

Bob Bakers Grilled Chicken

Smoked Chicken Georgia Style

John’s Smoked Brisket


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