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Taste Test Thursday: Pumpkin Pie

Iron your great grandmother’s fall foliage table runner and polish your turkey-shaped candelabras, Thanksgiving is merely a week away. How did it creep up so fast? Good question. Don’t worry if you haven’t had time to dust off your Williams-Sonoma cookbook, though. Area grocery stores are stocked full of ready-made, no fuss options for your holiday banquet. Some of which aren’t too shabby, either.

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Taste Test Thursday: Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and while your Pinterest board may be overflowing with mouthwatering recipes that you’ve been daydreaming about making since April, it’s important to keep alternative, quick options on hand. Let’s face it, life throws curveballs — especially around the holidays — and that heavenly turkey and cranberry strudel that you’ve been dreaming of might never materialize.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be tasting Thanksgiving staples that can be purchased at grocery stores in and around Dallas. We’re kicking things off this week with cranberry sauce. The holiday side comes in a variety of flavors, shapes and consistencies. My personal favorite is the gelatinous blob that comes in the shape of the can. The more can rings imprinted on the mold, the better. On the other hand, there are some delectable whole-berry, organic sauces out there that are sure to delight even the snobbiest of dinner guests.

I ran around to a handful of grocery store in town and picked up a few varieties of cranberry sauces, and a handful of helpful D Magazine staff members tasted them. Here’s what they thought.

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Gourmet Chocolates for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and local chocolatiers are getting into the spirit of the holiday with themed, handcrafted treats. Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate is offering two pound golden skulls — fabricated for Wayne Coyne and the Flaming Lips by Joshua King — made from 72% South American dark chocolate. She’s also crafted two pound “bloody hearts” (that are anatomically correct), tiny brains, and miniature skulls filled with dulce de leche and sea salt. The chocolatiers at CocoAndre have put together a selection of themed goodies. There’s colorful hand-painted skulls, chocolate coffins, jack-o-lanterns, owls, witches and more. Kate Weiser is offering beautiful, hand-painted skulls and pumpkins. And Chocolate Secrets has a range of treats from hand-made candy corns and chocolate pops to painted truffles. The sweets are a perfect option for those folks who want to go above and beyond Hershey’s bars and M&M’s this year.

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Where to Wear Your Sombrero and Shoot Tequila for Cinco de Mayo in Dallas

If you’re looking for deals on Mexican munchies, we’ve got your guide. If you’re in the mood for a little liquid to wash it all down, we’ve got you covered there, too. In no particular order, find a lineup of events that’ll allow you to rock a sombrero and sling tequila shots all weekend long, right into the wee hours of Tuesday.

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