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Thanksgiving Countdown: Appetizers & Snacks

Let’s get this party started. The most important parts of a party or holiday menu is how it starts, the first impression and the ending, the last impression. So let's start with appetizers and we'll get to desserts next week. Til then, have a great weekend.

Savory Crab Cakes

Cheddar Potato Chive Soup

Tuscan White Bean Artichoke Soup

Curried Hot & Sweet Pecans

Brie Calzone

©Jason Gayman | istock

What's Coming Up On Monday: Thanksgiving Countdown Gets Serious with Desserts. Pie anyone?


Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Tune-in and DVR, CREATE TV Thursday November 20th, at 7:30AM and 1:30PM est. George will be making the Chocolate Torta!

George Hirsch TV Anniversary Cake

Thank you everyone for all your well wishes on my TV anniversary!

I'd like to share a piece of my anniversary cake with you

Simple solutions can give you best results. Machines and gadgets are very important to many people, but honestly I really enjoy cooking when just a simple whisk, spoon or spatula just does the job. As is the case with the Chocolate Torta recipe from my TV series George Hirsch Lifestyle episode titled Old World Traditions. Enjoy.

Mix by hand and bake. Forty-five minutes later you’ll be savoring this Italian Pastry delight! 

Chef George on set of George Hirsch Lifestyle

George's Chocolate Torta

Makes 12 servings 

www.chefgeorgehirsch.com | As seen on George Hirsch Lifestyle! TV series

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup sweet butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 egg white, beaten into whole egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan; set aside.

In small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, combine cocoa and granulated sugar until blended. With wire whisk, beat in water, then melted butter, egg, egg white and vanilla until smooth. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. On wire rack, cool for ten minutes in pan. With small spatula, loosen cake from sides of pan. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely. Place on plate and sprinkle with confectioners sugar and a dollop of fresh whip cream. To serve, cut into small wedges. 

Tip: This cake actually tastes get better when baked and aged one day in advance. When making ahead, allow to cool completly, then cover tightly in an air proof container or place baked chocolate torta back into cake pan and wrap the top with film. 

Chocolate Torta, from George Hirsch Lifestyle TV Series


Craft Brewed Onion Soup

The Addition of a good craft beer to this classic recipe adds another dimension of flavor which compliments the caramelized onion. An IPA or dark beer is better but you can use your favorite brew.

Beer Onion Soup

Makes 4 servings

From George Hirsch Know Your Fire Cookbook

6 cups Vidalia or sweet onions, sliced  

1 Tablespoon olive oil  

1 head caramelized garlic  

2 pints craft brewed IPA beer  

6 cups beef or vegetable broth  

1 teaspoon fresh thyme  

1 teaspoon fresh parsley  

pinch nutmeg  

4 large sour dough bread croutons  

4 slices of Gruyere cheese  

1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese 

Preheat a soup pot. 

Add olive oil, onions and garlic. Cook onions until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add beer and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add broth, thyme, parsley and nutmeg. Simmer for 45 minutes. 

Place sourdough croutons in 4 bowls. Add soup to each bowl. Top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a slice of Gruyere. Broil for 2 minutes or until cheese melts and is slightly browned.