Michael Symon reveals the one crowd-pleasing dish he 'hates serving' on Thanksgiving

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By Cristina Corvino

With Thanksgiving only a little over a week away, what better way is there to prepare yourself than with advice from an award-winning chef?

Aside from raving about his experience hosting Lipton Chef Fests around the country, Michael Symon from ABC's "The Chew" divulged some major Thanksgiving dos and don'ts -- and we're here to share them with you!

What's the biggest mistake you can make with the turkey? Should you stuff it? Find out below!

Tell me a little bit about Lipton Chef Fest and why you wanted to get involved.

Going to different cities around the country and getting several hundred people together and doing big family-style meals and putting people together at a table [who] may be friends, may not know each other, passing around food, enjoying some cocktails, having a good time -- for me, that's really what food is all about. Lipton wanting to throw big parties to do that was a lot of fun for me.

Do you tend to unplug during mealtime?

It's not even an option at my house. You want to eat at my house, your phone stays in another room.

See Michael Symon at Lipton Chef Fest and more:

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IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR LIPTON - Chef Michael Symon hosted Lipton's fourth and final Chef Fest dining event on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016 in Austin. The event, which sought to inspire people to use mealtime to reconnect with each other, featured a cooking demo where Michael made one of his favorite dishes and shared cooking tips. For more information on the dining series and to view recipes, visit LiptonBrightBites.com. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision for Lipton/AP Images)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR LIPTON - Chef Michael Symon hosted Lipton's fourth and final Chef Fest dining event on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016 in Austin. The event, which sought to inspire people to use mealtime to reconnect with each other, featured a cooking demo where Michael made one of his favorite dishes and shared cooking tips. For more information on the dining series and to view recipes, visit LiptonBrightBites.com. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision for Lipton/AP Images)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR LIPTON - Chef Michael Symon and TV actress Sophia Bush partner with Lipton to host Lipton's second Chef Fest dining event on Saturday, October 15, 2016 in Chicago. The event, which sought to inspire people to use mealtime as a moment to take a break and reconnect with each other, featured a cooking demo highlighting Bushâs mealtime memories, including one of her favorite dishes reimagined by Symon, Lipton-infused cocktails and cooking tips. For more information on the dining series and to view recipes, visit LiptonBrightBites.com. (Photo by John Konstantaras/Invision for Lipton/AP Images)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR LIPTON - Chef Michael Symon and actor Anthony Anderson host Lipton's third Chef Fest dining event on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 in Atlanta. The event, which sought to inspire people to use mealtime to reconnect with each other, featured a cooking demo, including one of Anderson's favorite dishes reimagined by Symon, Lipton-infused cocktails and cooking tips. For more information on the dining series and to view recipes, visit LiptonBrightBites.com. (Photo by Branden Camp/Invision for Lipton/AP Images)
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR LIPTON - Chef Michael Symon and TV actress Sophia Bush partner with Lipton to host Lipton's second Chef Fest dining event on Saturday, October 15, 2016 in Chicago. The event, which sought to inspire people to use mealtime as a moment to take a break and reconnect with each other, featured a cooking demo highlighting Bushs mealtime memories, including one of her favorite dishes reimagined by Symon, Lipton-infused cocktails and cooking tips. For more information on the dining series and to view recipes, visit LiptonBrightBites.com. (Photo by John Konstantaras/Invision for Lipton/AP Images)
Cleveland chef, a Food Network "Iron Chef," Michael Symon laughs while talking about his new eatery, "Michael Symon's Roast" which will open on the ground floor of the historic Book-Cadillac hotel in Detroit, Tuesday, April 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 04: Chef Michael Symon attends the The Empire State Building Lights Orange Honoring The 10th Annual Go Orange To End Hunger Campaign at The Empire State Building on November 4, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 20: Michael Symon attends the New York premiere of 'BURNT', presented by The Weinstein Company, Sassoregale Wine, Castello Cheese and FIJI Water on October 20, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)
Television personality Chef Bobby Flay, left, looks over a racing program with Chef friend Michael Symon ,center, and his wife Liz Symon ,right, while watching racing action prior to the Travers Stakes horse race at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)
Chef Michael Symon joins the Lay's brand to kick off the "Do Us A Flavor" contest at the Layâs brandâs first ever pop-up shop, Friday, July 20, 2012 in New York. For the first time ever in the US, the Layâs brand is asking consumers to create the next great potato chip flavor. The fan who submits the winning flavor will receive $1 million in grand prize money or one percent of their flavor's 2013 net sales, whichever is higher. Visit www.facebook.com/lays to enter. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Frito-Lay)
Michael Symon holds his Porky Burgers during the Burger Bash at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami Beach, Fka., on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. (AP photo/Jeffrey M. Boan)
This Friday, Aug. 26, 2011 photo shows Iron Chef Michael Symon, co-host of ABC's "The Chew", right, as he runs through a tasting segment with members of the audience during a rehearsal for the show in New York. Can some of food and style TV's biggest stars help ABC soap fans get over cancellation of their favorite stories? The network's counting on it for "The Chew." (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
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With Thanksgiving approaching, what's your number one tip for hosts and hostesses?

I would say, plan ahead. If it's your first Thanksgiving, don't be afraid to make it a little bit of a potluck, where you make the turkey and you tell [guests] what you're looking for for sides, so you don't get eight people bringing stuffing.

And if you're going to take it on yourself, even the greatest of chefs, we make lists -- and we follow them to a T. If you come over my house Thanksgiving morning, there's going to be a sheet of paper that starts at 6 a.m. and goes all the way until dinnertime. It's a schedule: 6 a.m., chop this; 7 a.m., put this in; 7:10, take this out; 7:15, this goes in -- and it goes that way all the way to dinner.

When it gets a little crazy or when it gets hectic -- when my lovely sister-in-law shows up two hours early -- if I'm frazzled, I could just turn around and look at my list.

What's your favorite and least favorite dish to cook or eat? Is there a crowd-pleaser that you don't necessarily eat?

I mean, I love the turkey and I love stuffing. I'm 100 percent purist -- with a great turkey, stuffing and gravy, I'm super, super happy.

The one thing that I hate serving -- I always make a fresh cranberry sauce, but I have people in my family [who] will only eat that [canned] cranberry stuff -- that cranberry jello. They love it, and if I don't have it on the table, there's a little bit of a revolt. [Laughs]

I always kid with them, I'm like, "If anyone's putting this on Instagram, please let me remove the cranberry jello from the middle of my table first -- and then you can take the picture and then I will put it back." It's always kind of funny. One of the people who loves it is my 98-year-old grandfather, and I'm not about to piss him off.

RELATED: The ultimate list of Thanksgiving recipes

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The ultimate list of Thanksgiving recipes
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The ultimate list of Thanksgiving recipes

Warm Quinoa Brussels Sprouts Salad

"Lots of texture and lots of flavor in this festive quinoa brussels sprouts salad. Who said salad can’t be the center of attention at Thanksgiving dinner?" - Sweet and Savory

Get the recipe here!

Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing 

"An Asian take on green beans, this Fresh Green Bean Salad with Asian Dressing is full of Asian flavors and great texture from the Soy-Glazed Cashews." - Taste and Tell

Get the recipe here!

Traditional Casserole vs. Lighter Salad

"This year, if you're looking for a lighter version of the classic green bean casserole try my recipe for a lighter (but no less delicious!) salad version, complete with creamy (but not naughty) garlic dressing." - Holly Likes to Cook

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Massaged Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Roasted Grapes

"Massaged Kale Salad with Butternut Squash and Roasted Grapes is fall in a dish! It is healthy, simple and perfect for make-ahead lunches!" - With Salt and Wit

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Black-Eyed Pea Salad

"Black-Eyed Peas! What a weird name… But oh so tasty! And incredibly good for you too. These delicious beans (yes, they’re actually beans!) are a great source of protein and fiber while also rich in Potassium, Zinc and Iron!" - Olivia's Cuisine

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Avocado and Tomato Salad

"Fresh and bright, this Avocado and Tomato Salad is a perfect side dish alongside any Mexican themed meal. It’s also a great pot-luck salad!" - Taste and Tell

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Roasted Fall Salad

"I have been craving Brussels sprouts, delicata squash, and fingerling potatoes; so I roasted them all up and tossed them together in this delicious roasted fall salad." - Beard and Bonnet

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Jicama Cabbage Salad with Spicy Maple Pecans and Pomegranate

"This is a perfect Thanksgiving salad or side dish, and the ideal way to brighten any table. It also travels very well—I ate it on the road up to San Francisco, in a pre-Friendsgiving frenzy of jicama gratitude." - Kale and Caramel

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Thai Cauliflower Salad Lettuce Cups

"These Thai cauliflower salad lettuce cups are the perfect quick lunch, weeknight dinner, or a fun appetizer to serve even the pickiest of guests!" - Cooking and Beer

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Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Cinnamon-Toasted Hazelnuts and Pomegranate

"Of all the possible addictions that people battle, I think winter squash might just take the cake for strangest. But really, I admit 100% that I’m an addict and I may or may not need help." - An Edible Mosaic

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Shaved Vegetable and Spinach Salad

" I think this salad can go a lot of different ways as long as you keep the spinach and vinaigrette in place.  What I mean is anything else you put in there from a vegetable stand point would work just fine." - Billy Parisi

Get the recipe here!

Delicate Squash and Barley Kale Salad

"If you’re anything like me, and just needing a good salad to help balance all those cookies, I highly recommend giving this one a try!" - Lemons and Basil

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Harvest Salad

"Of all the orange squashes, Kabocha squash is my favorite!  It is known for its sweet flavor and is a staple ingredient in Asian dishes. Kabocha squash bursts with bright orange color and brings life and color to your kitchen." - Colorful Eats

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Arugula and Farro Salad with Cherries and Goat Cheese

"I’ve been craving salads like no other. So yesterday, I took a brief timeout from crumbles and chicken wing experiments to make myself this Arugula and Farro Salad with Cherries and Goat Cheese." - Domesticate Me

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Tabbouleh Salad

"Putting this together is simple – you start by cooking the Bulghur Wheat which is as easy as pouring boiling water over it and then walking away. Wash, dry, and chop up your herbs and vegetables, then toss it all together in a bowl with some lemon juice, olive oil, and salt." - The Wanderlust Kitchen

Get the recipe here!

Roasted Purple Sweet Potatoes with Garlic Yogurt and Pistachios

"Sweet Potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables, especially when they’re purple! Served with garlicky yogurt, these roasted purple sweet potatoes are a total crowd pleaser!" - Seasonally Jane

Get the recipe here!

Squash and Goat Cheese Salad

"This recipe may seem vaguely familiar, well at lease most of the ingredients. They’re the same ones used in our goat cheese pastry. Except this time we swapped out the pastry for squash, a much healthier alternative." - Public Lives Secret Recipes

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Egg and Pepper Crostini Recipe

"Perfect for holiday entertaining and beyond, this Egg and Pepper Crostini Recipe is a cinch to put together and full of flavor. It will be the unexpected hit!" - Taste and Tell

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Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

"The recipe is easy, whole food-based, results in a delicious melange of flavors (buttery pecans! sweet maple! fresh herbs! tart cranberries!), looks beautiful on your holiday table, and transitions well from being a substantive main to a delightful side. Add these to your rotation – you won’t be sorry." - The Little Foxes

Get the recipe here!

Roasted Herb Potatoes with Garlic Cumin Aioli

"Roasted Herb Potatoes with Garlic Cumin Aioli are crunchy and creamy and served with a simple, garlic and cumin loaded aioli!" - With Salt and Wit

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Garlic Ranch Slow Cooker Potatoes

"Garlic Ranch Slow Cooker Potatoes (PLUS Spicy Taco Potatoes)…MIND BLOWN! Best and easiest side dish EVER!" - The Cookie Rookie

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Prosciutto and Collard Green Hand Pies

" I'm not sure why I've never noticed this about collards before, but they are so damn delicious in everything." - Bacon, Egg and Cheesecake

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Three Cheese Asparagus

"Three Cheese Asparagus Gratin; Asparagus under a creamy blanket of cheese. What could be better??" - The Cookie Rookie

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Easy Vegan Beef Stroganoff 

"his Easy Vegan Beef Stroganoff recipe is all that and more, because it tastes amazing and is ready in thirty minutes. Perfect for busy people!" - Namely Marly

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Ginger Mandarin Cranberry Sauce

"My self-proclaimed cranberry sauce hater (Moses) said, "I'd eat that" and I'm hoping that translates to, "this is the sauce that dreams are made of." - Fix Feast Flair

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Beer Bread Muffins

"BEER BREAD MUFFINS, my absolute favorite easy bread recipe! These fun little muffins taste like a comforting loaf of beer bread. They’re the ultimate addition to any meal, especially Thanksgiving!" - The Cookie Rookie

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Crescent-Wrapped Asparagus

"Crescent-Wrapped Asparagus with Boursin is very simple. Basically, prepare the asparagus, open the pre-made crescent roll dough and roll it out a little thinner with a rolling pin." - Simply Sated

Get the recipe here!

Bacon and Cheddar Chive Petite Scones

"Anytime I can throw bacon, cheese and onions in something, I will." - Displaced Housewife

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Baked Ricotta Cheese Dip with Garlic and Thyme

"Baked ricotta cheese dip with garlic and thyme is the perfect simple and quick appetizer recipe. It’s great served at a dinner party or a game day shindig!" - Cooking and Beer

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Creamy Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

"This creamy cheesy scalloped potatoes casserole is not only versatile, but also perfect make-ahead side to feed a crowd." - Sweet and Savory

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Roasted Butternut Squash 

"Irresistibly buttery and sweet, this roasted butternut squash with cinnamon feeds a crowd, which makes it perfect addition to your holiday menu!" - Sweet and Savory

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Slow Cooker Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing

"Cornbread, sausage, celery, onion and sage are stirred together are the stars of this Thanksgiving staple that’s cooked in your slow cooker to free up valuable oven real estate." - Melanie Makes

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Gluten Free Sourdough Thanksgiving Stuffing

"Hands down, my favorite dish on the Thanksgiving table is the stuffing! My grandmother knew this about me early on in life and started making an extra pan of stuffing every year for the holiday’s just so that I could eat my weight in it." - Beard and Bonnet

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Cranberry Apple Date Sauce

"Skip the sugar and update a classic this Thanksgiving with naturally sweet Cranberry Apple Date Sauce." - Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

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Fall Cocktail Recipe

"Sweet from the cider but with a bit of zing from the lime and ginger beer and dash of spice from the cinnamon – these tasted like fall in a mug. Oh – and couldn’t be easier to make." - The Steele Maiden

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Vanilla Pear Gin Fizz

"Cozy sweaters, warm blankets, roaring fires and this Vanilla Pear Gin Fizz is all you need for a perfect fall day." - Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

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Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Cider

"My kids and I gulped down the first several batches within hours of making them. We all agreed that this was blog-worthy (yep, I asked them)." - Displaced Housewife

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Crispy Steakhouse Potatoes

"The insides are creamy, yet airy, while the outsides have a satisfying, crunchy texture that is beyond words." - The Wanderlust Kitchen

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Hemp Almond Parmesan Potato Chip Rounds

"An Italian twist to your typical fry is what I was craving all of a sudden. Almond parmesan quickly came to mind, but I decided to put my own spin on it, so Hemp Almond Parmesan was born!" - Veggies Don't Bite

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Spicy Fried Toffee Sweet Potatoes

"You make a quick, spicy caramel and toss the freshly fried sweet potatoes in that, sprinkle with a few sesame seeds and it is as good as candy. So good!" - Hola Jalapeno

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Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes

"I ate these Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes right out of the stove, without anything accompanying it. Zero, zip, nada! Just mashed potato heaven in my mouth with a touch of funky deliciousness!" - Olivia's Cuisine

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Crispy Smashed Truffled Potatoes

"This easy-to-make twist on oven-roasted potatoes uses baby gold potatoes that have been steamed until tender, smashed into little patties and brushed with a combination of melted butter and truffle oil." - My Gourmet Connection

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Roasted Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Carrots

"Roasted garlic mashed sweet potatoes and carrots is the perfect side dish to serve this fall. It has a slight sweetness that is counteracted by garlic, and is so creamy and delicious that you will be begging for seconds and thirds!" - Cooking and Beer

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Mini Pommes Anna

"These little potato cakes are one of my fondest memories/lessons because I think they were one of the first things I was genuinely excited to learn how to make.They're a vehicle for flavor, so in the spirit of my father, experiment to find the combinations that work best for your palate." - Fix Feast Flair

Get the recipe here!

Stuffed Pumpkin

"What I know for sure is that the pumpkin always comes out of the oven looking and tasting scrumptious.  This has by far become one of my favorite things to serve for guests; the look of surprise that comes over them when this hits the table is reason enough." - JJ Begonia

Get the recipe here!

Hokkaido Pumpkin and Sage Mac Gouda 

"It's a super comforting and cozy dish (and gosh, I'm in the mood for it right now)." - Fix Feast Flair

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Scalloped Corn and Brocolli

"A delicious side dish, corn and broccoli are baked with cheese until bubbly and hot. This Scalloped Corn and Broccoli makes a comforting side dish that everyone will beg for." - Taste and Tell

Get the recipe here!

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

"Roasted, pureed butternut squash is the base of this Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta – the perfect, comforting fall dinner.Taste and Tell

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Maple Bourbon Tamarind Roast Turkey

"Maple bourbon tamarind roast Thanksgiving turkey is the perfect way to spruce up your traditional Thanksgiving Day spread." - Cooking and Beer

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Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter

"I hope you’re as excited as I am, because this Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter is the reason I love Thanksgiving so much." - Olivia's Cuisine

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Honey Herbed Glazed Turkey

"I was a little worried that the gravy would be too sweet by using the drippings, but it was delicious.  I loved everything about it, and wouldn’t change a thing!!" - Taste and Tell

Get the recipe here!

Magic Faux-Tisserie Chicken

"The smoked paprika and chili powder in the seasoning rub made the skin a crack-like combo of sticky, smoky spices. And the meat itself could not have been moister, thanks to the three-hour trip to the oven on low heat." - Feed Me Phoebe 

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Sheet Pan Chicken and Brussel Sprouts

"This Sheet Pan Chicken and Brussel Sprouts is a no-brainer winner of a chicken dinner that will please even the pickiest eaters in your house. {gluten free}" - Seasonal Cravings

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Perfect Roast Chicken

"Perfect Roast Chicken served with simple, melted herb butter is both a blessing and a curse.  The blessing is Perfect Roast Chicken is so easy to make and so mouth-watering perfect, there is no longer a need to purchase rotisserie chicken from your favorite grocer." - Simply Sated

Get the recipe here!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

"A super-spiced, pizzazz-packed pumpkin pie filling sweetened with maple syrup, and topped with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon-toasted pecans, this Pumpkin Pecan Pie puts the classic Libby’s recipe to shame." - Well Plated

Get the recipe here!

Make-Ahead Apple Pie Turnovers

"These humble looking apple pie turnovers will be your go-to treat this fall. When it comes to taste, there is nothing humble about them!" - Sweet and Savory

Get the recipe here!
 

Pumpkin Cream Puffs

"Move over pumpkin pie, pumpkin cream puffs are in town! Super light crust meets dreamy soft and smooth pumpkin filling, match made in the kitchen…" - Sweet and Savory

Get the recipe here!

Blueberry Skillet Crumbles

"There’s nothing quite so fine as a bubbling berry crumble, especially when baked in mini cast iron skillets with plenty of golden crumb topping (my motto: you can never have too much crumble)." - Tutti Dolci

Get the recipe here!

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cake with Brown Butter Buttercream

"This cake is the ideal combination of fall flavors, in my book. Super moist pumpkin cake filled to the brim with cinnamon, ginger and cloves. And sorry bout it, but there is no other word to describe a perfect pumpkin cake." - The Whole Bite

Get the recipe here!

Marbled Pumpkin Muffins

"If I had to pick just one decadent baked good to crank out of my kitchen all autumn long these Marbled Pumpkin Muffins would be the one!" - Beard and Bonnet

Get the recipe here!

Thanksgiving Stuffing Cupcakes

"I thought how fun it would be to turn Thanksgiving’s stuffing into cupcakes, topped with light and fluffy mashed potatoes, a well of vegetarian gravy and lightly sprinkled with minced parsley." - Fork and Beans

Get the recipe here!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake

"Pumpkin, warming spices, and chocolate chips collide in this gem of a fall cake. Essentially a pumpkin sheet cake topped with chocolate chips and a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar." - Tutti Dolci

Get the recipe here!

Pumpkin and Butter Pecan Ice Cream Pie

"Change up your holiday pie with this non-traditional pumpkin pie recipe. This Pumpkin and Butter Pecan Ice Cream Pie Recipe is fun and easy!" - Taste and Tell

Get the recipe here!

Cranberry Pecan Baked Apples

"We’re not making baked apples nearly as often as we should. I know this. For fact. It’s just not a go-to dessert and I’d like to change that. First, because it is next-level deliciousness. Second, because it’s one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make." - Displaced Housewife

Get the recipe here!

Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake 

"Irresistibly creamy pumpkin cheesecake, sweetened with maple syrup and smeared with maple pumpkin whipped cream frosting. It’s your next favorite fall dessert!" - Sweet and Savory

Get the recipe here!

Sweet Potato Pecan Scones with Maple Glaze

"You are going to love these healthy, vegan scones! Packed with sweet potato puree, whole wheat-flour and pecans. Drizzled with maple frosting and covered with more pecans." - Delish Knowledge

Get the recipe here!

Pecan-Pumpkin Bread with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

"Do you love the spices of a chai tea? I do, too – they’re so warming and comforting! I’ve added that flavor and feeling to a sweet treat: Pecan-Pumpkin Bread with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting – something good you can cozy up to this season!" - Grab A Plate

Get the recipe here!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

"These cupcakes are pumpkin cake (the same as I used for this cake) topped with an espresso buttercream that is insane. I could not stop eating it." - The Whole Bite 

Get the recipe here!

Ginger Pear Puff Pastry Tart

"The nearly translucent, thin layers of fresh pear brushed with a sweet, spiced ginger sauce nestled seductively atop flaky, golden puff-pastry was just too much to resist." - Fork Knife Swoon

Get the recipe here!

5-ingredient Pumpkin Mousse

"Are you craving pumpkin pie, but short on time? Then you’ll love this simple pumpkin mousse that tastes just like pumpkin pie. Super easy to make, yet so elegant to serve!" - Sweet and Savory

Get the recipe here!

Paleo no Bake Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bites 

"No Bake Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bites are the perfect fall and holiday dessert! They come together quickly, are refined sugar-free and gluten-free! Feel free to have that second piece!" - With Salt and Wit

Get the recipe here!

Roasted Strawberry and Brandy Custard Pie

"This pie is insanely gooey and fruity and creamy and custardy and buttery and brandy-filled and UGH just put your body in an ice chest, turn on the oven, and make it." - Probably This

Get the recipe here!

Apple Cranberry Crescent Rolls

"These apple cranberry crescent rolls take crescent rolls to another level. They are also the perfect way to use up that leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving or Christmas." - Craftaholics Anonymous

Get the recipe here!

Bourbon Brownie Pumpkin Pie

"Can’t decide between pumpkin and pecan pie at the holiday table? Bourbon Brownie Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Topping is just the dessert you are looking for!" - Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Get the recipe here!

Mini Pumpkin Pies

"Call it portion control or just an aesthetic preference, but everything looks better in mini. I’m sure if you pressed me I’d find some exceptions to this rule, but for these pumpkin pies it applies." - Prosecco and Plaid

Get the recipe here!

Apple Cranberry Crisp Bars

"As a supporter of pretty much all desserts, except for stupid ones like italian ice or anything with cool whip, I have a hard time picking a favorite." - The Whole Bite

Get the recipe here!

Spiced Cherry Crumble

"The joy of crumbles is that they are the baking leftover equivalent of a cottage pie.  Toss it all in, don’t be shy.  But do be mindful of pits, stems, seeds and fruit that is too over ripe." - Kitchen Living with Coryanne

Get the recipe here!

Paleo No Bake Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bites

"No Bake Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bites are the perfect fall and holiday dessert! They come together quickly, are refined sugar-free and gluten-free! Feel free to have that second piece!" - With Salt and Wit

Get the recipe here!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

"You’re going to  love this recipe because it’s super moist and leaves your kitchen smelling delicious as you cupcakes bake." - A Happy Food Dance

Get the recipe here!

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Love it. And what's the biggest mistake to avoid when it comes to cooking the turkey?

I think the most common ones are the simplest ones to avoid. That turkey has to come to room temperature before you start cooking it, then you cook it, you use an actual thermometer that you know works, you pull it out at 155 to 160 degrees. You don't use that little thermometer that they stick in the meat. And then you have to make sure that you have enough time that your turkey is done minimally an hour before your guests come over. Those three things make all the difference in the world. You can do different seasonings, you can do different rubs -- you can do all those different things -- but getting it to room temperature before you start it, cooking it only to 155 to 160 degrees and letting it rest for an hour are the absolute key things when cooking a turkey.

What's the most popular question you get as a chef about cooking that day?

"Could I put the stuffing in my bird?" That's probably the most common one.

And what do you say?

I never put stuffing in the bird because to get the stuffing to 160 degrees, which kills salmonella, you have to cook the turkey to 190 degrees, which gives you dry turkey -- so I always cook it on the side.

What I do sometimes -- and this again with my grandfather -- he insists on having one in the bird, so I make the stuffing, I put it in a cheese cloth and I put it in the cavity. Then when the meat reaches 160 degrees, I take the turkey out and I take the stuffing out, and then I cook the stuffing the rest of the way in a casserole pan -- so it cooks all the way through. Then I kind of shimmy it back in the turkey, so he's happy when he comes over.

Such a good trick! Anything else coming up for you that you want to share?

We're getting ready to do a new project in Atlantic City -- that'll be in May, that's very exciting. "The Chew" is in season 6, always very exciting. [I'm] working on a new cookbook, which is great. But, it's really actually been enjoyable for me to work with Lipton for the past couple months. Doing these Chef Fests was great. I love showing people easy tips to add a bunch of flavor and make their life a little bit better.

And quite frankly, it's been such a stressful past year with politics, to look out to a crowd of 300 people --- and a lot of them are strangers -- breaking bread and having dinner together is incredibly comforting to me.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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