Thanksgiving recipes take on a tasty new twist

Food Network

Sunny Anderson, host of the Food Network's Cooking for Real, is known for combining her love of unique flavors with her appetite for classic comfort food. Her passion for food developed early in life. Traveling the world as an Army brat, it was her parents who helped her cultivate an appreciation for local cuisine that she says stayed with her and helped her hone her love for food into a thriving career.

With the holiday season upon us, CBS News' Karina Mitchell caught up with Anderson at the test kitchens at the Food Network in New York City and asked her to apply her flair for innovative ingredients to come up with tasty new twists on traditional holiday favorites for CBSNews.com.

Special section: Celebrating the Holidays 2011

Her imaginative recipes will not just leave you feeling satisfied - they're guaranteed to transform any holiday meal into a real showstopper.

She shared three recipes with us, including ones for

and , that put her signature inventive spin on the classic Thanksgiving sides. Her recipe for is a feast for the palette, incorporating sweet plantains and fiery jalepenos with bell peppers and bread crumbs to create a sweet and savory stuffing with a Caribbean vibe. Anderson says the recipe originated after a trip to Puerto Rico. She came home obsessed with plantains and found ways to incorporate them into her trademark comfort food.

Watch Sunny's stuffing recipe




But the self proclaimed foodie, who says she cooks every day, says no holiday meal in her home would be complete without her all time favorite dish:

. She shares her spicy take on this all-year family favorite here.

Sunny's no stress approach to cooking made her a natural inclusion in Thanksgiving Live, the Food Network's first ever live interactive broadcast and webcast devoted to answering any and all questions from callers looking to turn out the perfect Thanksgiving meal. She demonstrated for Mitchell three quick fixes to rectify common Thanksgiving kitchen conundrums that will help cooks breathe easy and put forth a meal fit for kings.

Anderson says one of the most common questions she is asked is how to make sure the all-important turkey is cooked evenly all the way through. Anderson's solution is simple: Quickly trussing the bird with some string and tucking the wings under will help make for a perfect bird every time, according to her. She also provides tips on how to make sure your stuffing doesn't come out too dry and what to do if gravy comes out lumpy - no blender required.

Watch Sunny's three easy fixes:

And no holiday meal would be complete without the perfect beverage: Sunny's spiked up apple cider is sure to be a hit and keep all your guests smiling around the holiday table! Enjoy!

Click here to check out The Food Network's complete Thanksgiving coverage.

And check out more Thanksgiving Recipes on CHOW.com

  • Karina Mitchell

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