Archives for category: Thanksgiving

If you’re too young to remember Mom and the bangs thing, we all colored the Thanksgiving turkey, right?

We could eat these every day from now until Thanksgiving, but have decided to save them as a just deserts surprise for the kids big and small next Thursday.


Double Stuff Oreo Cookies
Candy Corn
Peanutbutter Cups
Chocolate frosting
Yellow Frosting
Optional: Red frosting
Optional: black sprinkles for eyes

Our Best Bites has a beautiful pictorial for the step by step creation of these delicious turkeys.

You may wish to add chocolatey Pilgrim Hats to your desert menu as well.

Both of these are great make togethers for young children and families. They make sure to please teacher gifts too.

Next Thursday all  across this great land we will be gathering together for our Thanksgiving feasts.

If you are entertaining children this year, make it a grand Thanksgiving Feast just for them. Set  a table “for children only”.  Here is one that years from now they will gladly take with them as they travel down on memory lane.

One Charming Party has the winning recipe for fun this Thanksgiving. They fill pretend corn cobs with treasures that could be found at a craft or Dollar Store, such as stickers, a candy necklace, a toy car, a small container of playdough or pen. Hint: any little items that may amuse your young guests for a brief time while waiting for their real meal are ideal. Wrap the surprises in yellow tissue paper,  use real  corn husks for the outer wrapping, then complete the cobs by tying them together at both ends with raffia.

You will need: 3-4 bags of popcorn, a large brown grocery bag, 2 small brown lunch bags, a hot glue gun, scissors, white paper for the frills


1. For the frill, take a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11″ white paper and cut it in half lengthwise. Fold the paper in half lengthwise and make small cuts with a pair of scissors on the folded half to create loops.

2. For the drumsticks, make one hand into a fist and stick it inside the lunch bag. With your other flat hand, press on the bag to mold and smash it down into a more rounded shape. Fill the bag 2/3 of the way with popcorn. Gather up the bottom of the bag and twist to keep it tight. Hot glue the beginning of the length of frill and wrap it around the bottom, twisted part of the lunch bag. Then hot glue the end of the white paper frill to keep it in place.

3. For the main bag, do the same thing as the drumstick to make the corners rounded. Fill the bag up full with popcorn. Fold the sides of the bag in and tuck the bottom edge under. Hot glue the edge shut. Hot glue the legs onto the sides of the “turkey.” It’s best to use a plain brown bag, but if you can only find one with writing on the outside, you can carefully turn the bag inside out and it will be just fine.

*If using buttered popcorn to fill the turkey, use parchment or wax paper to line the paper bag to avoid grease marks.

Now, let’s talk turkey! You will find the recipe below.

Invite an adult guest of honor to “carve” the turkey with a real knife or scissors. Then everyone can enjoy some popcorn while they wait for the Thanksgiving Feast to start.

There must be a kids table at every Thanksgiving, it’s practically an American tradition. For me, growing up, it was most likely for the preservation of  fine china, crystal and family heirlooms from precocious little cousins.


Creating a decorate it yourself table for your little guests will make them feel special, and best of all, does not need to take much time or planning. Emulating this kids’ table idea from Country Living by simply using a roll of craft paper and some crayons or markers, you can easily become the favorite aunt or grandma. Not only will kiddos think that they have the best seat in the house, but this budget friendly cover, provides doodling entertainment before, during, and after the Thanksgiving dinner while waiting for pumpkin pie.


Life at the kids’ table begins here.

You’ll find a great selection of  at child size table and chairs at Totally Kids fun furniture.


Keep your kids’ table guests happily occupied with a few colorful sticks of clay; allowing the adults more time to enjoy their meals. (Yay!) Ask the budding artists to create pieces that can be auctioned off for a few coins after everyone has finished their meals.


After dinner have the adults hold an auction. Start the bidding on the new clay sculptures with a few pennies. The young artists can be encouraged to tell stories about their creations to increase the bids.


Pass this tray of clay and tools around and let the sculpting begin. What will they make? How long can it take? Could you make something that you are thankful for?


After dinner when the table covering has become over decorated, drop this Pairs in Pears game on the table for a fast, fun and requiring no pencil, paper, or gameboard challenge.

The winner will be the person that guesses the exact or closest number to how many corn are 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!



Congratulations Tanya George you are the winner and will receive a$25.00 Totally Kids Gift Card!


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.


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.


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




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.



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

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


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.”


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!


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.


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.


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


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


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






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!”


Get the DYI amazing Turkey Cupcakes recipe from Amazing Moms.


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)


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


Holiday Lime Jello Salad Mold


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.



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.





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


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.





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


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