So much is happening with the Food Network this fall! Not only did they just release a video game (for which we have a contest for: Cook or Be Cooked Wii Game) but this is definitely the month when people really want to cuddle up in sweaters and cook warm, delicious foods in the kitchen by the hearth (or whatever passes for a hearth these days).

Food Network gets into the feasting spirit with brand new specials and Thanksgiving-themed episodes of viewers’ favorite shows. Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis, Sandra Lee, and Claire Robinson among others share their favorite recipes and tips for incredible Thanksgiving meals. Food Network favorites answer viewers’ questions during two primetime specials – Dear Food Network: Thanksgiving Top 10 premiering Monday, November 16th at 9pm and Dear Food Network: Giada’s Thanksgiving Family Therapy premiering Tuesday, November 17th at 9pm. Guy Fieri looks back at some of his favorite moments in Diner’s Drive-ins and Dives: Best from the Road on Friday, November 27th at 10pm.

I am especially interested in these Food Network specials because who DOESN’T want a way to literally spice up the traditional Thanksgiving menu? I’m even considering trying to go from yams with marshmallows to a more elegant Sweet Potato Pie recipe. (But brace yourselves, it’ll probably get burnt no matter what it is.)

Aida’s Thanksgiving episode is going to feature Apple-Sage Roast Turkey with Whole Wheat Stuffing. Whole wheat is so much healthier for you (although it DOES make you fuller faster – maybe not great for Turkey Day…) so that’s a good tip for those who are health conscious. And I really love incorporating apples everywhere in Fall foods. But Secrets of a Restaurant Chef is going to show us Apple Cider Gravy and Sausage, Apple, and Walnut Stuffing paired with Anne’s Brined Herb Crusted Turkey which sounds a little bit better in terms of a combination. It still has apples! (I love apples, yes. I could live off of apple crisp for an entire day!)

Anyway, instead of green bean casserole I’d love to try my hand at making Spicy Brown Sugar Carrots as passed down to us on Sandra’s Money Saving Meals. Hell, I wanna make them more now that I know they’re good for people on a budget. (I seriously do not care if the government is saying the recession is over, money is always tight with me!)

I fully believe in honoring traditions, but making new ones can really be just as fun. I know I won’t be trying to make everyone in my family do everything differently for this meal, but a few new surprises could be interesting.

Below I have a massive list of times and dates for Food Network shows in November:

This food network schedule looks yummy!

Dear Food Network: Thanksgiving Top 10 | Premieres: Monday, November 16th at 9pm

Food Network favorites answer viewer questions and count down the most requested viewer Thanksgiving cooking quandaries. Giada De Laurentiis, Ted Allen, Alex Guarnaschelli, Aaron McCargo, Jr., Claire Robinson, Aarón Sánchez, Anne Burrell, and Tyler Florence share their turkey recipes, carving tips, sensational sides, delicious desserts and specialty drinks. The chefs pair up to cook and share personal stories from past Thanksgivings.

Dear Food Network: Giada’s Thanksgiving Family Therapy | Premieres: Tuesday, November 17th at 9pm

Giada De Laurentiis fixes Thanksgiving problems for some lucky viewers in this primetime special. Giada refreshes the Thanksgiving menu, shares loads of Turkey Day tips, and helps the whole family get along! Sunny Anderson, Tyler Florence, Robert Irvine, and Claire Robinson join Giada to answer video queries and viewer e-mails about turkey nightmares, side dishes, and desserts.

Diner’s Drive-ins and Dives: Best from the Road | Premieres: Friday, November 27th at 10pm

Guy Fieri takes a look back at some of his most memorable visits to joints across the country in this one-hour special that highlights local favorites, delicious bites and crazy characters from the hit primetime series.

Food Network Challenge

Each month, Food Network gets the competitive juices flowing with Food Network Challenge bringing viewers the biggest and most exciting food battles from around the world. With bragging rights and a $10,000 cash prize on the line, the Challenges are intense.

“The Simpsons Mystery Cake” Premieres: Sunday, November 1st at 8pm

To celebrate The Simpsons’ 20 years on the air, four cake designers make cakes based on the series’ four main characters. The competitors must team up with a Simpsons’ super fan to ensure they get every detail of the cake just right. The winning competitor takes home $10,000 and a gold medal.

“Thanksgiving Family Feast” Premieres: Sunday, November 15th at 8pm

Four families face off to prove that their Thanksgiving traditions trump all. The families have six hours to tell their Thanksgiving story through food and impress the judges. The winning family takes home $10,000.

“Giant Gingerbread” Premieres: November 29th at 8pm

Two teams of three pastry chefs face off to build six-foot-tall gingerbread houses. Not only do they have to make the houses stand tall in just eight hours, the teams have to decorate the houses in the holiday spirit. The winning team will take home $10,000 and a gold medal.

Ask Aida | Premiering Saturday, November 14th at 9:30am | “Aida’s Thanksgiving”

Create the perfect Thanksgiving feast with Aida’s crowd-pleasing menu. First, she fixes an upscale Apple-Sage Roast Turkey, which pairs perfectly with her savory Whole Wheat Stuffing. Then, Aida gives pumpkin pie a facelift with her Pecan Pumpkin Crunch. Finally, she shares her simple “No Recipe Recipe” for Hearty Pan Gravy.

30 Minute Meals | Premieres: Saturday, November 14th at 10am | “Thankful in Thirty”

Rachael creates a Thanksgiving meal that is easy enough for the other 364 days of the year. She cooks up Turkey Cutlets with Sausage and Zucchini and Tipsy Gravy. To finish off, Rachael makes the easiest-ever Baked Stuffed Apples with Ice Cream.

Secrets of a Restaurant Chef | Premieres: Saturday, November 14th at 10:30am | “The Secret to Brined Turkey”

You’ll never need a Turkey Day backup plan again with Anne’s Brined Herb Crusted Turkey recipe. Learn her time-tested techniques to a juicy, flavor-infused bird, plus recipes for Apple Cider Gravy and Sausage, Apple, and Walnut Stuffing.

Down Home with the Neelys | Premiering Saturday, November 14th at 11am | “Gobble, Gobble”

Thanksgiving has arrived, and Pat and Gina show us how to celebrate Neely style – down home and delectable! The meal starts with a juicy Deep Fried Turkey with Cranberry Chutney accompanied by a unique twist on a classic vegetable – Broccoli with Pecan Brown Butter. Save room for Gina’s Pumpkin Cheesecake – the perfect Turkey Day treat to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Cooking For Real | Premieres: Saturday, November 14th at 12pm | “Thanks-Livin’”

Sunny’s Stuffed Turkey Breast makes sure you can have your stuffed bird and eat it too! Her colorful Brussels Sprout Salad provides a healthy side dish all guests will love.

5 Ingredient Fix | Premiering November 14th at 12:30pm | “Thanksgiving Feast from One Grocery Bag”

Claire prepares all her tasty Thanksgiving recipes with five or fewer ingredients. For the main attraction, she cooks up Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy and her special Cornbread Dressing. To perfectly complement the meal, Claire makes mouth-watering Brussels Sprouts Gratin and an enticing Ginger Pumpkin Tart.

Giada at Home | Premieres: Saturday, November 14th at 1pm | “Thanksgiving”

Giada makes Thanksgiving dinner for the family, but this time, she forgoes the turkey! Giada prepares amazing Pork Chops, a full-of-Fall-flavor Butternut Squash Soup and a Chestnut, Chocolate, and Orange Flavored Dessert. While Giada’s busy in the kitchen, the family continues its annual Thanksgiving bocce ball rivalry.

Barefoot Contessa | Premieres: Saturday, November 14th at 1:30pm | “Thanksgiving Potluck”

It’s back to basics with helpful tips for Thanksgiving potluck parties. Foolproof recipes, make-ahead ideas, and an incredible table setting by Ina’s new stylist Robert Ruffino create a wonderful potluck meal for all to enjoy!

Sandra’s Money Saving Meals | Premiering Sunday, November 15th at 12pm | “Fall Feast”

Sandra hosts a Turkey Day dinner without breaking the bank. The meal takes on the classics but adds some twists with Cider Glazed Turkey alongside Spicy Brown Sugar Carrots and Sage Mushroom Stuffing. Sandra also whips up a sweet Pumpkin Cream Pie, and she gives an autumn tradition a fresh spin with her Toasted Cider Cocktail. With allthose leftovers, Sandra creates Thanksgiving Quesadillas for her “Round 2 Recipe,” and, on FoodNetwork.com, she prepares an easy Stuffed Mushroom dish.

Big Daddy’s House | Premiering Sunday, November 15th at 1:30pm | “Thanksgiving Cocktail Party”

It’s Thanksgiving, and Big Daddy turns the tables by changing traditional staples into appetizer-sized treats, cutting cooking time in half! First, he turns a turkey dinner into Stuffed Turkey Egg Rolls with Gravy Dipping Sauce, and mixes up a light batter for his crunchy Tempura Fried String Beans with Cranberry Dipping Sauce. To finish, Big Daddy packs a whole lot of flavor into his Mini Sweet Potato Pies with Whipped Cinnamon Cream Cheese.



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