Foodoscopes — November 2016

All illustrations by Erin Filson.




SCORPIO Oct 23 – Nov 21 —Another year older is another year wiser, and think of all the deliciousness that is stretched before you! Treat yourself to a magnificent birthday feast of your favorite foods, and then we’ll get down to the nitty gritty: This is a month of possible domestic concerns, and your main priority should be your emotional well-being – you have the Sun and powerful Mars at your back, pushing you to great heights in your personal life and career, so go forth with power and don’t forget to look out for Number One!
DECISION 2016: Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner VS Wildly Elaborate Thanksgiving Brunch? If you’re sticking to tradition, go for a homemade brine with bay leaves and peppercorns to get that bird seasoned and juicy like never before. Alternatively, mix up the schedule completely and make turkey and sage crepes, goat cheese and stuffing croquettes, avocado deviled eggs, and smoky bacon Bloody Marys for a crazy-amazing change of pace.


SAGITTARIUS Nov 22 – Dec 21 —There’s a lot of hype surrounding November, but let’s face it, you love this time of year. As your birthday approaches in the near future, now is a great time to put your career goals on the back burner and get your personal life sorted. Saturn is slowing down a few things in your financial spectrum this month – make no hasty decisions, and don’t let the stress of life’s little details turn off your appetite for life. Relish in the season’s root vegetables and delectable spices, and keep your kitchen warm and inviting.
DECISION 2016: Homemade Pumpkin Pie VS Old World Cheese Plate? There’s no wrong answer, but if you’re in a pie state of mind, try adding apple butter, brown sugar, or bourbon to your usual recipe for a tasty twist. If you feel like changing up your dessert game completely, grab some picture-perfect chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano, Gruyere, cheddar, and Camembert. Add figs, olives, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, honey, and grapes for a stunning, rustic spread.


CAPRICORN Dec 22 – Jan 19 —Not that you need the boost, but November is pushing you towards independence and personal strength! This is an auspicious month for career advancement as well, and it might be a good time to join in a group project or use your connections to great advantage. The traditional business lunch is a beautiful tool to engage – take superiors or colleagues to your favorite spots for a delicious home court advantage, and relax while the opportunities unfurl before you.
DECISION 2016: Sausage and Sage Stuffing VS Fennel and Prawn Risotto? If stuffing is your plate of choice, don’t forget that bread choice can make or break the whole meal. Stay away from the pre-boxed varieties, get locally-made sausage, and add as much fresh sage as you can possibly handle. Or step up to the stove and fall in love with fennel and big, fat, juicy prawns as they simmer slowly in a creamy Champagne-based risotto.


AQUARIUS Jan 20 – Feb 18 —Any issues with your home life and personal well-being can thankfully take a back seat this month. Let domestic concerns ebb gently away, and turn your focus to your career and working future! There will be challenges to face and maybe some tough questions to answer, but go confidently into the fray armed with the knowledge that you will conquer this November. Keep fueled with foods that make you smile, and lower stress levels with clean eating and some well-timed yoga sessions.
DECISION 2016: Cornbread Muffins VS Cranberry Pecan Bread? Either way, you’ll do the whole thing from scratch and it will prove more than worth the effort. With cornbread muffins, use creamed corn and finely chopped green chiles for a decadent consistency and surprising kick, and serve whipped honey butter on the side to take things over the top. Or whip up a giant loaf of epic proportions with dried cranberries and toasted pecans. Add caraway seeds, maple syrup, and cacao for a rye-inspired twist, and serve warm for best results.


PISCES Feb 19 – March 20 —November is bustling and busy, a perfect time to make things happen and get some accomplishments under your belt in a big way. Start with an inspired breakfast each day, and make your career a focal point – professional recognition and some positive financial benefits are headed your way! Just make sure to pocket those rewards for now, as big spending might prove disastrous in the next few weeks. You’ve definitely got a thrifty side, and your creativity will keep you thriving as you scrimp and save.
DECISION 2016: Ten-Pound Organic Heritage Breed Turkey VS Individual Cornish Game Hens? No matter which way you tend to gobble, we all know that the protein is the star of the show at Thanksgiving. Repeat the mantra “low and slow” if you’re tackling a turkey, and crisp the skin with high temperatures at the end. Basting can keep the skin too soggy, so be careful with your juice distribution. Or make everyone sigh with the pure adorable factor of game hens, dressed in extravagant amounts of rosemary and thyme with an apricot glaze.


ARIES Mar 21 – Apr 19 —Health, love, and spiritual connection reign supreme this month! Enter November with an open heart and empty stomach, and prepare yourself for hard work and a bit of financial planning. It’s never too early to start thinking about the next stage of your life, and practical Aries knows how to make the most of preparation time. Don’t let your fitness habits drop off for these next few weeks – you’ll only regret it later. As holidays approach, make sure your waist and your wallet are tighter than usual!
DECISION 2016: Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Brown Butter VS Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar Streusel? There’s going to be someone at the table this year that will insist that the potatoes are the best part of any Thanksgiving feast. You won’t disappoint with a true classic, using red potatoes, sour cream, milk, and browned butter to bring your eaters to their knees. Just don’t substitute dried flakes for fresh, minced garlic! If you like your potatoes sweet, ditch the kitsch of mini marshmallows as a topping and go full-blown streusel: cinnamon, brown sugar, pecans, butter, and vanilla extract all day.


TAURUS Apr 20 – May 20 —Much can be achieved in November through compromise and collaboration, and all faith is with you to attain some really positive goals in both your work life and your personal life. Stay fueled with protein based meals and no carbohydrates after lunch, and you’ll feel as bright and powerful as your guiding stars. Just remember that even a lone wolf exterior disguises an inherent pack mentality, and you wouldn’t want to go burning bridges this month. Meet in the middle when you encounter a struggle, and hopefully there’ll be a pot of chili at the end of your rainbow.
DECISION 2016: Thanksgiving Hors d’Oerves VS Mushroom Cappuccino Soup with Fried Sage? Much like in life, sometimes we have to choose to do many things well enough or to do one thing extremely well. Exert your flexibility with a showcase of canapés and tasty tidbits, like prosciutto-wrapped artichoke hearts and stuffed peppers with provolone and honey. Or indulge in a slowly simmered puréed soup with wild mushrooms, steamed milk, cracked pepper, and crispy, fried sage leaves as a garnish.


GEMINI May 21 – June 20 —It’s not always the easiest lesson to learn, but good Gemini boys and girls will accomplish so much this month with a little bit of teamwork and a lot of patience. Your focus for November should be group progress, harmony, and shared goals rather than personal success or self-advancement. Even when it may seem like there are too many cooks in the kitchen, your powers of charm, persuasion, and mediation will go miles to ensure a happy ending. Now is a good time to pamper yourself with special treats like cheese and charcuterie snacks and rich chocolate-y desserts, to remind yourself that compromise doesn’t have to mean deprivation!
DECISION 2016: Feast Around the Table VS Living Room Picnic / Buffet Style Meal? Whether you’re out to recreate a Norman Rockwell painting or to redefine a modern family, the people you share a delicious Thanksgiving meal with are obviously the most important aspect. That…and the turkey. Go whole-hog on the tablescape, with miniature pumpkins, dried leaves and flowers and, of course, Grandmother’s china for ultra-coziness. Or grab a few stadium blankets, paper plates, cans of craft beer, and lounge around like there’s no tomorrow.


CANCER June 21 – July 22 —Social get-togethers and a happy, harmonious home life are some major themes for November, dear Cancer. Things could not possibly be more aligned for hosting the ultimate Thanksgiving feast! It helps greatly that you’re in a prime spot for collaboration with others, and a beautiful partnership of cooking, cocktails, decoration, and entertainment will undoubtedly emerge with the shared talents of your family and friends. Planning will be your greatest tool to keep the stress away this month, and you’ve got no time for career concerns or petty arguments.
DECISION 2016: Traditional Stuffing in the Turkey VS Dressing on the Side? Remember that cooking the stuffing inside the bird will do a couple of things: increase your cooking time, add heaps of flavor, and make the traditionalists so happy. Be sure to keep a close eye on the internal temperature to keep everything safely cooked, and don’t scrimp on the seasonings. If you’re going for the side dish, why not add some bonus protein? Chunks of local bacon or imported pancetta, fresh spicy sausage from the butcher, or even silky pieces of tofu can take things over the top…on the side.


LEO July 23 – Aug 22 —Happy November, Leo – it’s a fun month full of activity, and you’re certainly not in hibernation mode. The focus for Nevember is on your personal well-being, rather than your personal accomplishments, and that gives you the freedom to do (and eat!) what makes you happy. As always, a little bit of restraint is necessary to keep you from falling too far into bad habits, but as long as you’ve got a plan or a schedule in place, indulgence is the name of the game. Just remember that indulging in good things like fruits, walks in the park, and an award-winning movie will keep you happier in the long run.
DECISION 2016: Gravy VS More Gravy? This isn’t an actual decision, obviously, but you can absolutely bring the gravy game into a whole new bracket this year. Gravy from the turkey pan drippings is essential, and nothing about it needs to be complicated – who can improve upon perfection? But since Leos like a good challenge, try a second batch of gravy with a major twist: Add bacon and mushrooms with a splash of Guiness, or open a bottle of Cabernet and whip out the fresh thyme. If multiples gravies are wrong, I don’t want to be right.


VIRGO Aug 23 – Sept 22 —Roll up those shirtsleeves and grease those elbows – we’re working on Virgo’s home life this month. Family is going to take a huge spotlight in November, and make sure you do your part to resolve any conflicts or underlying tensions long before the Big Meal. No fighting over the wishbone this year! While your career is not the main focus right now, it’s a good time to set some long term goals and leave the execution to a later date. Having a happy, healthy home will go miles towards making this the best Holiday Season ever!
DECISION 2016: Cranberry Sauce VS Lingonberry Jam? A debatable part of Holiday Feasts around the country, the one hugely positive outcome of some sort of red berry component on the plate is the much-needed pop of color! For cranberry traditionalists, just watch out for the amount of sugar added to the most popular forms of the sauce. Lingonberries (made part of pop culture thanks to IKEA fame) have more natural sugars and are often found in jam form. Take a risk and try something new, or find a gourmet variety of a true classic from a local deli.


LIBRA Sept 23 – Oct 22 —November is stretched before you like so many a Thanksgiving feast, and it’s Libra’s turn to sit at the head of the table. Your mental equilibrium is a major focal point this month, and solving the personal problems around you will go a long way in making you happy and healthy. Take a step back on career goals and personal achievements for now, as hard as that may be, and look closely at those close to you. Bury any hatchets you need for inner peace, and remember that sharing a meal with someone is sharing a sacred part of your daily habits. Open heart, open mind, open table!
DECISION 2016: Classic Vintages of Wine VS Crafty Fall-Themed Cocktails? The answer, of course, is yes. But what beverages to serve alongside of any feast can be the tipping point between “great” and “magnificent” – if wine be your choice, now is not the time to necessarily go for broke and buy up the expensive bottles. They’ll disappear just as fast as the boxed variety. Choose middle-of-the-road nectar, or get out your creativity and make sage spritzers, hot brandy apple cider with cinnamon, or vodka cranberry concoctions till the cows come home.