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Dec 3, 2012 02:30 PM

The CHOW Test Kitchen: Here to answer all your holiday cooking questions!

Christine Gallary from the CHOW Test Kitchen here. Along with my fellow recipe developers Amy Wisniewski and Lisa Lavery, I've been busy testing dozens of recipes for the holiday season. You can find a hub of our holiday recipes here: and some holiday-related videos here:

After the recent success of our Facebook live chats, we wanted to bring the holiday conversation over to Chowhound as well. We're here to answer your holiday cooking questions!

So bring it on: we can help with everything from menu ideas to shopping to the actual cooking. Leave your questions on this discussion and we'll check in regularly to answer them. Happy Holidays!

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  1. What a nice idea, thank you!
    I've been wondering about this --
    I have a "dent de loupe" cookie form/pan --
    and here's my question --do you think pretty much *any* cookie dough would work in this ?
    It's basically a cookie sheet, but with angles -- the cookie gets heat from both sides. I like the "sliced apple" look of the baked cookies, but would like some flavor variety.

    2 Replies
    1. re: blue room

      I took a poll with the other cooks here in the CHOW Test Kitchen and we've never heard of these cookies, so we did a little research - they sound intriguing and delicious!

      Based on the pan and how the dough fits in the pan, I'm guessing you would want to stick with a light, fluffy dough like a madeleine or light sugar cookie dough. Go for dough that tends to puff rather than spread. Let us know what you end up trying!

      Christine Gallary, CHOW Test Kitchen

      1. re: christinegallary

        Thank you so much! Yes, "puff rather than spread" makes sense now that you've pointed it out.

    2. I'm cooking a ham for Christmas dinner for the first time ever. What do I look for when purchasing one? I live in NYC, so I hope to find a good one somewhere. Also, ideas on traditional sides for ham? Thanks!

      2 Replies
      1. re: mawnyc521

        Order a smoked, ready-to-eat or fully cooked, bone-in ham from a butcher. Since the ham is center stage, make sure it’s of the highest quality. Depending on how many people you are feeding you can order a whole ham that includes both the shank and butt end and can weigh anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds. Or you can go with just half of the ham that is either a butt or shank end. The butt comes from the upper end of the leg, is meatier (and fattier), and has the hip and pelvic bone still in there making it a little harder to slice. The shank comes from the lower cut of the leg. It will tend to have less fat, taste a little sweeter, and only the one leg bone for easier carving. Both are delicious and will work for most ham recipes. Here are a couple of recipes we developed here in the CHOW Test Kitchen along with some sides we like with ham.

        Amy, CHOW Test Kitchen