Archives for category: Thanksgiving recipes

Have you’ve been waiting for Starbucks to announce the arrival of Fall with their Pumpkin Spice Latte? Well now, we have found a Pumpkin Latte Playdough for your little ones that just may become a new autumn classic at your house. Dinosaurs and Octopuses has the recipe for fun this week.

Here it is:

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1/3 of the jar of pumpkin pie spice (the tiny jar)
maple extract
vanilla extract
food coloring

Combine the dry ingredients and the oil. Slowly add the water. Add a few dashes of each of the extracts and a few drops of red and yellow food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring until stiff. As it mixes you can see if you’ll need more food dye. Adding a little at a time until the desired color is  achieved. Turn out onto wax paper. The pumpkin pie spice was too spicy by itself, for my liking. The extracts make it smell sweeter, just like a pumpkin pie. Sniff the dough. Does it smell too spicy? Add a little bit more extract and knead it all together. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add a few drops of water.

Betsy, you must give this a try for Oliver.

Anyone looking for a copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Latte recipe? Give this one from the Kitchn a try!

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin or 1 teaspoon of Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute – you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee if you don’t have an espresso machine.)

Directions:
In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry about it – just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.

Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.

Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

Cool Whip, Redi-whip or The Real Deal? Which do you use to top your Thanksgiving pies?

Deep dark secret revealed ~ I like Redi-whip (always “redi” and waiting in the fridge) right out of the can, and have even served it straight on teaspoons to the kids when I was in a sharing mood.

On our Thanksgiving pumpkin pie however, it must be the real deal, high butterfat gourmet whipping cream.

If you are looking for a new pie recipe to conclude your Thanksgiving meal this year, try picking from one of these. Don’t they all all look scrumptious. Food your way holds the secrets for getting these pies from mixing bowl to your table ready for your favorite topping.

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Pretty pink kitchens produce practically perfect pies. Practice, practice and more practice for budding cooks at your house and just see all that they will cook up for you.

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Perfect Pretend Spices are an essential for young chefs. There is even cinnamon for preparing pumpkin pie.

 

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Making your own whipped cream is so easy and so good.

Just use an electric mixer and be sure not to over beat or you will surprise yourself with new, possibly unwanted, butter making skills.

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Ingredients:

* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:
Whip cream until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until cream holds peaks.

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While your football lovers are glued top their games these Pumpkin Gumdrop favors would be a fun activity for all generations to join together to create.

Shannon, certified Floral Designer and Party Planner,  of Shannon’s Shanonigins gives us the 411 on the easy steps to create the pumpkin gumdrops for your Thanksgiving table. Shannon also suggested that they would make “sweet” place card holders. Just cut a slit in the gumdrop stem and placed a place card in them.

As they say, “If it weren’t for the last minute nothing would ever get done.” Bless you if you are one of the organized. Not being in that class, I really appreciated these last minute tips from some friends.

Hopefully you do not have to face an empty shopping cart at this point in time, and by now you have all that you need for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Michelle from Everyday Celebrating shared this idea which helps assure you are not left in the missing a key ingredient bind, “I group ingredients in my pantry by dish.  Like everything needed to make corn pudding goes together, etc.. Sometimes I even label every item with sticky notes.  Why?  Because I find that a lot of my recipes call for the same things, I want to make sure every dish has all the ingredients. It’s just one more double check that I’m not missing something.”

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Another good tip comes from Michelle : Now is the perfect time to make sure all your dishes and glasses are washed if you’re using china/stemware that may be in storage collecting dust.

If you’re using silver, get to polishing!  A great activity the kids can help with!

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These printable lists from Laura at Organizing Your Way, which I wish that I had a few weeks ago,  but they will be used for next year as well as other events.

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Prepare as much of the food ahead of time as possible. Delegate, always have a dish in mind to assign when a guest asks “is there is something that I could bring?” A very important tip is to be mindful of the turkey thawing time. A still frozen turkey Thanksgiving is not a good start for your increasingly busy day. NEVER thaw a frozen turkey at room temperature.

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Turkey Frozen Thawing Methods:

  • Recommended: Thawing in the Refrigerator
    Leave the bird in its original wrapping and place it on a tray in the refrigerator. Allow 5 hours per pound or 3-4 days for a 14-19 pound turkey to defrost.
  • “Quick” Thawing:
    Place turkey in its original wrapping in sink and cover with COLD water. Change the water every 1/2 hour to maintain the temperature. Allow 1/2 hour per pound to defrost the turkey. Most turkeys will take from 5 to 10 hours to thaw.
  • Microwave Thawing: NOT RECOMMENDED
    Microwave ovens do not heat evenly, and they also heat quicker along the bone. Microwave thawing of a turkey is generally not recommended.

Turkey Thawing Time in the Refrigerator (40 degrees F):
Approximately 24 hours per 5 pounds

Whole Turkey Weight Thawing Time
8 to 12 lbs 1 to 2 days
12 to 16 lbs 2 to 3 days
16 to 20 lbs 3 to 4 days
20 to 24 lbs 4 to 5 days

Turkey Thawing Time in Cold Water: Approximately 30 minutes per pound.
Change water every 1/2 hour.

Whole Turkey Weight Thawing Time
8 to 12 lbs 4 to 6 hours
12 to 16 lbs 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 lbs 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 lbs

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November 23 is National “Eat a Cranberry Day”, here is a Thanksgiving cranberry mold recipe to try.

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Even the littlest kids can contribute to the Thanksgiving cooking with this Make and Serve Pumpkin Apple Pie.

 

 

 

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Turkey Handprint Cookies. Family Corner says  “Kids will get a kick out of watching their handprints turn into turkeys. This fun group activity allows kids to not only make their own creations, but eat them too!”

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Get the DYI amazing Turkey Cupcakes recipe from Amazing Moms.

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You might not want this feathery turkey for your Thanksgiving table center piece, but what a clever hostess gift to take over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house for her powder room. It is a decorated tissue box, would you have guessed that?

Last night a freezing rain coated all of the Twin Cities with a slick glazing of slippery ice from top to bottom.  With the overnight treacherous, icy road conditions, or actually, ice on everything conditions, the question is: “should we delay the opening time of Totally Kids this Sunday?”

The Minnesota State Patrol is reporting a total of 373 crashes — 341 of those in the metro area — as of 8 a.m. The crashes have resulted in one death and 61 injuries.

(photo credit: Jupiter Images)

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Business as Usual

Team Totally members are at the store ready for a Sunday FUN-day! We are so lucky to have a team using the United States Postal Service credo ““Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. It is Sunday so those postal workers do not even have to battle today’s slippery Sunday. Business as usual and open at Sunday’s regular time of twelve noon. Stop in for a cup of hot cider and cookies.

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How lucky today’s icy roads were not challenging us during a weekday Rush Hour. If you want an entertaining game for holiday travel or stay at home play days you need to add the Rush Hour game to your bag of tricks.

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Our cute little guest using an elephant push toy in a hockey stick, ready for a slap shot fashion – maybe because it is like a skating rink outside.

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Make your own Food Face Plates

Don’t you love this idea. It will definitely keep the kids entertained at the table.
Food Face Plates anther incredibly clever project from The Idea Room.

What’s a Thanksgiving meal without at least one jolly gelatin salad chock-full of fruit and nuts?

This is a classic jello mold from Ocean Spray, a name that says cranberry and Thanksgiving to many of us. For a simple Simon substitute, you could, heaven forbid, forgo the jello mold and just dump the cranberry sauce right out of a can on a fancy platter (at least punch it up with presentation) or crystal bowl.

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Thanksgiving foods are regional and unique from family to family. They are the expected essence of everyone’s family traditions and way up there in the memory bank with everything that we hold dear.

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Start your little ones out making their own new memories of cooking in their very own vintage red kitchen, like Thanksgivings at Great-grandma’s house.

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Plan your menu, then mix it all up with a colorful pretend retro mixer.

A Jello-less Ambrosia Fruit Salad, with unknown origins, is another holiday classic for some families.

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Holiday Lime Jello Salad Mold

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (8-serving size) lime Jello
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 cup cottage cheese
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Instructions:

Stir boiling water into Jello in a large bowl for at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in the pineapple and juice. Refrigerate 1-1/4 hours or until it reaches the consistency of unbeaten egg whites.

Whip the cream. Stir the cottage cheese into cream cheese in separate bowl until well blended. Gently fold in the whipped cream until smooth. Beat into slightly thickened Jello with a wire whisk until well blended. Stir in walnuts and marshmallows. Pour into a 6-cup mold sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Remove from the mold and garnish as desired. Surrounding the ring with cranberries will give it a seasonal appearance.

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A Jello-less Ambrosia Fruit Salad, with unknown origins, is another holiday classic for some families.

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Yesterday I joined BlogFrog and so far not exactly certain how it works, but the first blog that I read, The Idea Room had this outstanding idea. Thankful Rolls have messages tucked inside them in a fortune cookie fashion, and are the cleverest! They are a must do for our Thanksgiving dinner and will surely become a tradition.


  

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How did the pilgrims make green bean mushroom casserole topped with French fried onions for the first Thanksgiving when there was no Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup?

If you are the lucky one who drew the straw for “bring a side dish” consider yourself one lucky winner.

Nothing could be more easy peasy (beansy really) than the “Green Bean Mushroom Casserole” with a 5 minute prep time.  Many folks seem to think this dish is standard Thanksgiving fare. Well, maybe being assigned libations and skilled with a corkscrew, could be a tad easier. Especially if you do not obsess on choosing the perfect wine to pare with turkey.

Thanksgiving Fact: It is estimated that more than 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving.

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Paula Deen’s Recipe – requires slightly more effort than others, but oh so good.

Ingredients for Green Bean Casserole.

  • 1/3 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 cups sliced green beans
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 (2.8-ounce) can French-fried onion rings
  • Pinch House Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter. Boil green beans in chicken broth for 10 minutes and drain. Add the green beans, mushroom soup, onion rings, and House Seasoning, to taste, to the onion mixture. Stir well. Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

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Pretend prepping, cooking and then dish washing after your Thanksgiving dinner in this complete kitchen may become a daily routine for some little folks. There is even a clothes washer for the dish towels and aprons that need attention.

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If you are cooking your first pretend Thanksgiving dinner you will appreciate this stainless steel cookware.

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After your guests have all said their good byes and are heading home, this not too pretend clean up set will come in handy for tiding up. At my house we would respect the tryptophan myth and this task would be saved for another day.

 

 

 

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Kellie, from Little Nummies, shows us how to make these adorable chocolate marshmallow Pilgrim Hats.

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Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were.

We’re Talking Turkey Today.

Looking for a good Thanksgiving turkey recipe? There are so many different cooking methods today it could be difficult to know which one to choose, especially for those new to cooking, or with the responsibility of their first Thanksgiving dinner.

Deep fat frying, is claimed to be the fastest method, requiring a special (outdoor) cooker, approximately 5 pounds of peanut oil and the risk of possibly being most dangerous way to cook your bird.

Pan roasting and basting is the best known tried and true traditional American way to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey. When basting the big bird, be prepared to visit it in the oven every 15 to 20 minutes to squirt (baste) the turkey with it’s juices and pan drippings procured from the bottom of the roasting pan.

Some folks really like special made for turkey oven bags. These bags trap the original evaporating moisture in the bag, not loosing it to the oven. They also provide an effortless auto basting of the turkey, thus maintaining maximum moisture of the turkey. Here, the downside is, if you wait all year long salivating for the crispy skin of the roasted turkey, it just might be the reward belonging to the cooking bag, sticking with it, not you. Also, the bag can not be opened during the cooking process, even if for some reason you may want to open the oven door to sneak a peek at it and talk turkey about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or give it football updates.

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Grilled, rotisseriesmoked methods are out of kitchen methods.  In some families this BBQ style turkey cooking is reserved for the man, leaving the mashed potatoes, sweet potato marshmallow casserole, jiggly Jello salads, green bean mushroom dish with French onions sprinkled on top and pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato or mincemeat pies for the women folk.

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If you have been pondering how to deep fry a turkey, Fabulous Food’s will take you through the process step by step in pictures. (worth a thousand words)

Strange Brew beer can cooking is another twist to add to the mix (you up).

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Did you ever consider wrapping your turkey in bacon?

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Before choosing your final turkey cooking method, you can count on Martha Stewart for the Perfect Roast Turkey. She will show you how to brine or roast a turkey. Martha also offers basic turkey tips for newbies as well as experienced cooks. Every smart novice must not forget to consult with Martha for “Everything Thanksgiving” to be in the know.

Now, you decide.

It’s a good thing!

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Remember to start thawing your frozen turkey a few days before Thanksgiving, then roast it in this modern kitchen’s microwave or oven.

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This may be the year to try cooking the Thanksgiving turkey on the barbie, or least pretend that you are.

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Find fabulous little aprons at the Hip Hostess.

Move over Sweet Potato Casserole and give up those mini marshmallows to the Mforcer marshmallow shooter.

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If you think that it would not be Thanksgiving without those sweet gooey melted marshmallows on top of your sweet potato casserole, make a sport of it and shoot them on top with the Marshmallow Shooter. Challenge your guests to the shoot. Bang! You’ll have a Thanksgiving party they’ll always remember.

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Are you traveling this Thanksgiving?

Tips for holiday travel. How to Beat Backseat Boredom…. aka traveling with kids.

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Find these and many more great toys visit http://www.shoptotallykids.com or call a Totally Kids
personal shopper at 952-881-2425 to help you find just what you are looking for.

Totally Kids ships worldwide and offers FREE gift wrapping on most toys.

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Left over marshmallows? Use them to make this Tom Turkey .

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A sweet, Sweet Potato & Mini Marshmallow recipe from myrecipes.com for Thanksgiving 2010.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2  pounds  sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes                                   (we sometimes make it  easier and use canned)
  • 3/4  cup  packed brown sugar
  • 1/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped pecans, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2  cups  miniature marshmallows

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans. Scrape potato mixture into an even layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden. (Sometimes we add a little bourbon to kick it up a notch)

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GUESS HOW MANY CANDY CORN CONTEST
The winner will be the person that guesses the exact or closest number of candy corn  in the jar. Leave your guess on our Facebook page and we will announce the winner December 1st.  You will receive a $25.00 Totally Gift Card! Good Luck!
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Two Thursday’s away and it will be Thanksgiving Day. Kate, our interior design intern, is sketching out the Totally Kids upcoming contests and events on the in the keeping you in the know easel. We are thankful to have multi-talented Kate on our team!

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Turkey Handprint Cookies. Family Corner says  “Kids will get a kick out of watching their handprints turn into turkeys. This fun group activity allows kids to not only make their own creations, but eat them too!”

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Get the DYI amazing Turkey Cupcakes recipe from Amazing Moms.

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You might not want this feathery turkey for your Thanksgiving table center piece, but what a clever hostess gift to take over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house for her powder room. It is a decorated tissue box, would you have guessed that?