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  1. Life & Culture

Try new variations on stuffing

The best stuffings are wonderfully moist while, at the same time, just a little bit crunchy, at least on top. A good stuffing — or maybe you call it dressing if you were raised in the South — also should be highly seasoned, but not so much that it overpowers the taste of the turkey or clashes with the gravy. Finally, it shouldn't cost you an arm and a leg to make, because everyone is going to want seconds and probably even thirds, not counting for lunch the next day.

There's also the matter of personal taste. What kind of stuffing sends your taste buds into overdrive often depends on where you live, or your family's ethnic heritage. Southerners, for example, love to build the dish around corn bread, while New Englanders add richness with oysters. In Louisiana and Texas, it all starts with a pot of rice; in the Southwest, flavor comes from chili peppers.

And then there's the matter of stuffing the bird. Most culinary experts advise against this for a couple of reasons, mostly because it's more difficult to cook the turkey correctly. Also, the more you handle the raw turkey, the more chance there is for cross contamination. It's easier and safer to bake the stuffing separately.

We know there's a good chance some of you would never dream of fiddling with Grandma's stuffing recipe — there's a reason it has been handed down over the generations, and that's because it tastes so good. But for those who are looking to try something new this holiday season, we offer two easy recipes to help you get started, including a cheesy version.

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