Archive for November, 2012

Making Veggies Fun to Eat

Yakimaniac Veggie Martians

In looking for ways to get their kids to eat more vegetables, parents may be overlooking a key element — fun.

When Pinnacle Foods’ Birds Eye Brand partnered with Nickelodeon’s hit live-action series “iCarly” to launch the “iCarly iCook with Birds Eye” initiative, they asked kids to share ideas for a fun, silly veggie dish, and the response was a resounding success, revealing that kids have their own idea about what makes veggies both enticing and exciting. Generating 16 thousand wacky, out-of-this world recipe ideas from kids sparked enthusiasm about veggies among kids.

The number one finding that sparked the most veggie-creativity was mixing and matching different vegetables and ingredients, with the majority of entries including a medley of colorful vegetable blends. A second finding showed that more than half of the submissions included bite-sized ingredients that are easy to enjoy and allow kids to eat with their hands. Who said getting your hands dirty was a bad thing?

The kitchens at Birds Eye, led by Executive Chef Michael Christiansen, took cues from kids to create a special collection of kid-inspired recipes, including this recipe for Yakimaniac Veggie Martians, which uses Birds Eye Steamfresh products. And it’s a perfect example of a kid-friendly way to serve vegetables. From assembly to devouring — kids can have fun creating their own custom extraterrestrial side dish or snack.

For more kid-friendly recipes, serving ideas, tips and tools, visit

Yakimaniac Veggie Martians
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes 8 Servings
1 bag (12 ounces) Birds Eye® Steamfresh® Broccoli Florets or Cuts, cooked according to package directions, divided
1 bag (12 ounces) Birds Eye® Steamfresh® Mixed Vegetables, cooked according to package directions, divided
1 package (16.3 ounces) refrigerated white or whole wheat biscuits (8 biscuits)
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
1/2 cup plain Greek style yogurt
3 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
Green glitter icing gel
Thin pretzel sticks

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In medium bowl, combine 1 cup broccoli florets and 2 cups mixed vegetables with Swiss cheese, yogurt and cream cheese, blending well.

Separate biscuits in half into 16 pieces; roll or press each half into 4-inch rounds. On ungreased baking sheet arrange 8 rounds. Evenly top each with rounded 1/4 cup vegetable mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with remaining biscuit rounds. Press edges to seal. Brush each with glitter gel.

Bake 15 to 17 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Decorate each “Martian” with reserved vegetables and serve with remaining vegetables.

Make-Ahead Holiday Dishes

Cheesy Potato Casserole

During the hectic holidays, the last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen. When you’re planning holiday menus, be sure to plan some make-ahead dishes that you can freeze or refrigerate. That way, all you have to do is pop them in the oven and you have more time to enjoy the holiday fun.

Here are some easy make-ahead ideas:

  • Breakfast or Brunch – Muffins and quick breads, such as banana bread or pumpkin bread, can be made up to one month ahead of time, wrapped in foil, then placed in a freezer bag. To thaw, set them out overnight.
  • Side Dishes – Sides like stuffing and cranberry sauce can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Another classic holiday side dish that you can make ahead is Cheesy Potato Casserole. Using Ore-Ida Country Style Hash Browns cuts down on prep time, so you can have the casserole ready to bake in about 10 minutes. Cover with foil and keep refrigerated until the big day, then bake for the perfect side dish for either brunch or dinner.
  • Desserts – Cheesecakes, cookies and cakes can all be made in advance. Freeze these kinds of desserts without garnishes or toppings, then add after thawing. Wrap them in a double layer of plastic wrap, then aluminum foil or a freezer bag. You can also freeze cookie dough in individual balls or slice-and-bake logs.

You can find more easy recipes for your holiday entertaining at

Cheesy Potato Casserole
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Makes 8 servings
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup green onions, sliced
1 bag Ore-Ida Country Style Hash Browns, thawed
2 cups corn flakes, crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13 x 9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, whisk together soup, sour cream, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese, onion and hash browns until well mixed. Spoon evenly into baking dish.

In a medium bowl, mix together cereal and butter. Sprinkle evenly on top of hash brown mixture.

Bake uncovered for about 50 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional sliced green onion if desired.

If desired, substitute Ore-Ida Country Style Hash Browns with Ore-Ida Southern Style Hash Browns or Potatoes O’Brien.
If desired, substitute condensed cream of chicken soup with condensed cream of turkey soup.

Breakfast Fare for the Holidays

Baked Eggs

When hosting guests for the holidays, it’s often easy to focus on the feast. But breakfast and brunch play a major role in the spirit of the season. After all, there’s nothing lovelier than waking to a full house, enjoying a fresh cup of coffee and homemade breakfast, all while knowing you don’t have to rush off to work, carpool and errands.

This year, focus on simple-to-prepare breakfast dishes that will allow you to spend more time with your guests. For example, this recipe for Baked Eggs incorporates flavorful ingredients that will leave your home smelling of fresh, homemade fare. And because the recipe incorporates the creamy flavors of Sabra hummus, it’s not only flavorful, but better for you as well. Plus, because this recipe is simple to prep before popping it in the oven, you have more time to enjoy a nice cup of coffee before guests awaken.

Side Dishes
Serve your main dish with savory and sweet sides, as well. Here are some options to help complete your breakfast menu:

  • Homemade rolls or fresh-baked bread – Some dough recipes can be prepared in advance and will rise overnight. Simply stick them into the oven shortly before your baked eggs, then serve with fruit preserves.
  • Breakfast potatoes – Quickly sauté with garlic, onions and olive oil while your eggs are baking in the oven.
  • Fresh fruit salad – Be sure to slice fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and grapes directly over the bowl so you don’t lose any of the juices. You can prepare fruit salad a day in advance and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve your guests.
  • Toasted baguettes – Slice up a baguette, lightly toast or grill, then serve with warmed Greek yogurt and honey for a sweet treat, or goat cheese and chives for a savory side dish.

By prepping your side dishes and setting your table the day before, you’ll have less to worry about in the morning. Be sure to serve your guests fresh coffee and set out optional fixings, such as milk, creamer, sugar and cinnamon, so they can serve themselves while you finish up in the kitchen. For more flavorful, better-for-you holiday recipes, visit

Baked Eggs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 – 18 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
3/4 cup Sabra Classic Hummus
4 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 olives, diced
1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped for garnish
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven at 400°F.

Oil four ramekins with olive oil. Spread hummus into ramekins, making an indentation in the middle of each. Arrange ramekins on a shallow baking dish.

Crack an egg into the center, being careful not to break the yolk. Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and olives. Continue with the remaining ramekins.

Place in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, according to desired consistency of the yolk. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

This can also be cooked in an ovenproof skillet all at once for larger gatherings.

Pork Roast with Spicy Cranberry-Orange Glaze

Pork Roast with Spicy Cranberry-Orange Glaze

Create a three course meal with little preparation, but bursting with flavor this holiday season. Start off with a Roasted Beet Salad combining beets, feta cheese, walnuts and a spicy citrus vinaigrette. Follow with a Pork Roast with Spicy Cranberry Orange Glaze seasoned with Tabasco brand Original Red Sauce. Finally, finish the evening with some sweet and spicy Chocolate Chunk Cookies, oozing with chocolate and spiced with a few dashes of Tabasco Original Red Sauce.

To find these recipes — and more — sure to add some zest to your holiday season, visit

Pork Roast with Spicy Cranberry-Orange Glaze
Makes 6 servings
1 5-pound pork loin center rib roast (with bone)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup sweet orange marmalade
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco brand Original Red Sauce
Rosemary sprigs for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sprinkle pork roast with salt and ground ginger. Place pork roast, fat-side up, in large roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into center of roast, being careful that pointed end of thermometer does not touch bone. Roast 2 to 2 1/2 hours until thermometer reaches 155°F to 160°F.

Meanwhile, combine orange marmalade, cranberries, mustard and Tabasco Sauce in medium bowl. Brush pork roast with mixture after 1 hour, brushing occasionally with mixture every 15 minutes.

Remove roast to a platter. Cover loosely with foil; let stand 15 minutes. Skim fat off pan juices. Serve roast with pan juices if desired. Garnish roast with rosemary sprigs.

Serving suggestion: Serve pork roast with oven-roasted butternut squash chunks and Brussels sprouts.

Holiday Bliss Low Calorie White Chocolate and Ricotta Cheesecake

Holiday Bliss Low Calorie White Chocolate and Ricotta Cheesecake

The holidays are about making memories with friends and family. When it’s your turn to host, you can set a truly memorable holiday table — without breaking the bank.

Celebrity chef and event planner Travis London, of Healthy Chic Eats, shares three great ideas for creating fantastic holiday table settings and a great recipe:

  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match. It’s okay to mix patterns and textures because it adds another level of interest to the table. Mikasa offers many different dinnerware patterns that can be easily mixed with each other to create a great look. For example, start with red metallic chargers and add white Cameo Platinum dinner plates and festive salad plates such as Love Story Holiday. Or go for a fun, contemporary look by layering Christmas Cheers Dots and Christmas Candy Cane dishes.
  • Be creative with table decorations. Try using what you have in new ways. Fill a Pfaltzgraff Winterberry serving bowl with cranberries, or line a Winterberry platter with pretty votives and evergreen sprigs you snip from the back yard.
  • For an easy, long-lasting centerpiece use potted plants. Many supermarkets sell potted plants at great prices. Rosemary plants make a beautiful and fragrant addition to the holiday table. Try setting out two pots of rosemary wrapped in red foil, then put them on either side of a glass vase or jar filled with red ornaments.

No matter how you dress your table for the holidays, the food is the real star of the show. This delicious cheesecake recipe from Travis will look good on any plate — and taste even better. For more entertaining tips and recipes, visit

Holiday Bliss Low Calorie White Chocolate and Ricotta Cheesecake
Serves 8-10
12 ounces low fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta
2 tablespoons sugar
5 ounces chopped white chocolate, melted
1 large egg
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F and lightly spray a 10-inch spring form cake pan with vegetable oil.

Using a mixer, beat together cream cheese, ricotta and sugar until soft. With the mixer set to low speed, beat remaining ingredients into mixture and mix until completely smooth.

Pour cheesecake mixture into prepared cake pan and place in oven to bake until set, 30 minutes.

Once done, remove from oven and allow cheesecake to cool completely before removing sides.

Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours to continue to set before serving.

Tip: When serving, use a round mold to create individual portions, or cut slices and top each with mixed berries and a mint spring.

Restaurant Chains Open for Thanksgiving

Looking for a nice Thanksgiving Day meal without the hassles of cooking at home?  The following restaurants are open today for your convenience.

Buffets, Inc. restaurants (Ryan’s, Hometown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Country Buffet, Granny’s Buffet, Fire Mountain) will be serving both lunch and dinner until 7 p.m. on Thursday. Special menu items that will be served all day until close include roast turkey, roast beef, ham and Rancher’s Select Sirloin. Special menu prices vary per location.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store will offer a special Thanksgiving Day meal beginning at 11 am.  Guests can enjoy a turkey n’ dressing meal complete with baked ham, sweet potato casserole, cranberry relish, choice of vegetable, a beverage (milkshakes not included), and made-from-scratch biscuits or corn muffins, as well as a tasty slice of Pumpkin Pecan Streusel pie for dessert, all for 8.99 for adults and 4.69 for children. The child’s meal does not include ham or sweet potato casserole and is served with a half slice of pie.

Golden Corral is offering a Thanksgiving Day Buffet at participating locations.  The buffet includes carved turkey, carved ham, fried chicken, rotisserie chicken, pot roast, meatloaf, sirloin steak, fried shrimp and much more.

IHOP restaurants are open Thanksgiving Day serving up everything their guests love about breakfast, all day. Also, many of the franchised stores will be open all night and through the next day for Black Friday shoppers even if  not a usual 24 hour restaurant.  Check your local IHOP for more details.

Shoney’s is offering a traditional Thanksgiving meal including turkey, fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, sweet potato casserole, collard greens and more.  Kids 4 and under can receive a free buffet with adult meal purchase.

See for more restaurants open for Thanksgiving.


The Perfect Holiday Roast

The Perfect Holiday Roast

When it comes to holiday entertaining, there is nothing more elegant — or easy — than serving a beautiful roast. The elegance factor we can all understand, but easy? It’s true. There is no need to be intimidated by a roast ever again.

Tender roasts are always cooked uncovered using dry heat methods, which results in producing the flavorful, deep brown crusty exterior. It’s also important to allow the roast to rest before carving to ensure that the juices in the center have time to redistribute for maximum flavor and tenderness. This recipe for Blue Cheese and Cabernet Sauvignon Demi Glace is easy to make and just the right touch for the perfect holiday roast.

Roast Buyer’s Guide
Use this rule of thumb to determine how much meat you need to purchase per serving:

  • Boneless Roast: 1/2 pound, uncooked
  • Bone-In Roast: 1 pound, uncooked
  • Standing Rib Roast, also known as a Prime Rib Roast: allow 2 servings per rib

For a free “Great Gathering Guide and Cookbook” filled with delicious recipes from Omaha Steaks, call 1-800-228-9055, or visit

Blue Cheese and Cabernet Sauvignon Demi Glace
Serves 4 to 6
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup Demi Glace*
2 ounces Maytag Blue Cheese, crumbled

In a sauce pan heat olive oil. Sauté shallots and garlic until transparent.

Add Cabernet Sauvignon to pan and reduce by half.

Add Demi Glace to pan and slowly bring to a boil.

Stir in blue cheese.

Serve with Beef Roast or Steak.

*Demi Glace can be made from scratch or purchased from a specialty food store such as Omaha Steaks.

A Tasty Twist on Turkey Leftovers

Turkey Potato Cheesy Breakfast Casserole

When you’re planning your big turkey dinner, the one thing you want to be sure to do is get a turkey big enough for some delicious leftovers. While turkey sandwiches are good, there’s a lot more you can do with this tasty bird.

Breakfast or Brunch — Wake the family up to a hearty breakfast casserole that’s a creamy blend of turkey, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, cheese and hash browns. It has a crunchy topping with a surprise ingredient; and you can finish it off with a dollop of fresh and flavorful Wholly Guacamole. Make it ahead of time so all you have to do is pop it into the oven in the morning.

Lunch — Enjoy lunch on the lighter side with a turkey salad sandwich. Instead of mayo, this dish gets flavor and 20 nutrients from the avocado in Wholly Guacamole. For extra zip, go with the spicy variety.

Dinner — For another make-ahead meal, try a zesty turkey and corn enchilada casserole. This dish is easy to put together, and you may have all the ingredients in your pantry already. A cornbread base, your favorite enchilada sauce, turkey, cheese, and a generous serving of your favorite guac all add up to a new family favorite.
Get more leftover ideas with a twist at

Quick Turkey Tidbits
Need some more inspiration for turkey leftovers? Try one of these easy snack ideas:

Turkey nachos — Shredded turkey, peppers, onions, black olives and cheese on lime-flavored nacho chips. Top with chunky guac, salsa or sour cream.

Turkey bites — Top your favorite crackers with a little turkey and a slice of pepper Jack cheese. Microwave until the cheese starts to melt. Add a dollop of salsa or guac.

Mini mexi-pizzas — Split an English muffin, and spread a little salsa on each half. Top with turkey and shredded cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbly. Top with a dollop of sour cream or guac.

Turkey Potato Cheesy Breakfast Casserole
Serves: 8
2 cups cubed turkey
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 10-ounce can cream of
chicken soup
1/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar
cheese, divided
1 bag (30 ounces) frozen hash
brown potatoes, thawed
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 cup corn flake cereal
1 cup Wholly Guacamole

In mixing bowl, combine turkey, sour cream, soup, milk, 1/2 cup cheese, hash browns and onion.

Spread in bottom of 2 quart dish (greased).

Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 1 hour.

Add additional 1/2 cup of cheese and corn flake cereal, and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until bubbly and slightly browned.

Let cool for 10 minutes and serve with a dollop of Wholly Guacamole.

Guacamole Turkey Salad
Serves: 6
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup of turkey, diced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 lime zested
2 limes, juiced, divided
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon Mexican
chili powder
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons cilantro,
rough chop
1 cup Wholly Guacamole dip

Mix oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, cumin, sugar, chili powder, lime zest and juice of 1 1/2 limes.

Add to turkey and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes — do not exceed 30 minutes.

Mix in bell peppers, onion, cilantro, dip, turkey, the rest of the lime juice and remaining salt.

Serve in a pita, on a whole wheat bun, as a lettuce wrap, or with crackers.

Turkey and Corn Enchilada Casserole
Serves: 6
First Layer
1 15-ounce can corn, drained
1 15-ounce can creamed corn
8 ounces sour cream (non-fat)
1/2 cup ricotta (low-fat)
1 8 1/2-ounce package corn
bread mix
Second Layer
1 cup turkey, shredded
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup enchilada sauce, divided
Wholly Guacamole dip,
for garnish

Mix together all first layer ingredients in a casserole dish.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until firm.

Take out of oven, poke fork holes all around it.

Pour 1/2 cup red enchilada sauce over corn bread.

Top with turkey and cheese.

Put back in oven until cheese melts.

Top with remaining enchilada sauce, guacamole dip; serve.

Loving Holiday Leftovers

Holiday Spiral Sliced Ham with Pecan Praline Glaze

Once the feast is over, many home cooks are left with a plethora of leftovers and a challenge: how to make the most of what remains. While it’s hard to live up to that original holiday meal, there’s a lot more that you can do with leftover ham rather than just reheating.

This year, give leftovers new life with a week’s worth of versatile meals that can be enjoyed throughout the day. Start with a fully-cooked, naturally hickory smoked Smithfield Spiral Sliced Ham with a pecan praline glaze, and follow these simple steps to turn it into a potato-crusted ham quiche for brunch, a Monte Cristo sandwich for lunch, and a savory soup for dinner. You’ll leave friends and family asking for leftovers more often.

For more leftover recipes you’ll love, visit and

Holiday Spiral Sliced Ham with Pecan Praline Glaze
Serves: 14
Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes per pound
1 Smithfield Spiral Sliced Ham with Pecan Praline Glaze

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Remove packaging; reserve liquid. Place ham cut-side down on large sheet of foil in roasting pan, pour reserved liquid over ham and wrap completely with foil.

Warm ham in oven for 10 to 12 minutes per pound. Do not overheat.

After removing ham from oven, let ham sit for 5 minutes before glazing.

Heat glaze packet for 15 seconds in microwave. Glaze is hot, so be careful when opening packet. Holding packet with a towel or oven mitt, cut corner off packet and pour glaze into a bowl. Stir well and spoon over ham. Let glazed ham sit for 5 minutes before serving to allow glaze to melt over ham.

Potato-Crusted Ham Quiche
Serves: 8
Cook Time: 45 minutes
2 cups of potatoes, raw and shredded
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
3 eggs, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup smoked Gouda cheese, grated
1 cup Smithfield Spiral Ham, fully cooked and chopped
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spray quiche pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In medium bowl mix potatoes, onion, pepper, chives, 1 beaten egg and salt and pepper to taste.

Press potato mixture evenly into crust shape up the side and on the bottom of the pan and spray again. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on edges.

In a mixing bowl, combine cheeses. Remove crust from oven and layer the following: ham first, and then cheese mixture on top. In a bowl, beat together evaporated milk, remaining eggs, paprika, salt and pepper. Pour mixture on top of cheese and return to oven.

Bake about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into middle of pie comes out clean. Allow to cool at least five minutes.

Serving Suggestions: Serve alongside sliced fresh fruit or a small fresh garden salad.

Ham and Cranberry Monte Cristo
Serves: 4
Cook Time: 10 minutes
3 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce
8 slices bread (potato bread, challah, egg bread or any other sweet soft bread)
8 slices Smithfield Spiral Ham
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup baby arugula leaves
4 tablespoons butter
Confectioners’ sugar for garnish

In shallow casserole dish, whisk eggs together with milk, vanilla, sugar and nutmeg.

Spread equal amounts of cranberry sauce on one side of four slices of bread.

Top cranberry sauce with two slices of ham, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/4 cup arugula. Top each stacked bread slice with the remaining four slices of bread. Gently press together.

In large skillet, melt butter over medium/low heat. Dip each sandwich into milk mixture. Turn and dip the other side.

Place in the hot pan and cook until each sandwich is golden brown and the cheese has melted. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.

Good Luck Soup
Serves: 8
Cook Time: 80 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon ham base
5 dashes hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound black eyed peas, rinsed and soaked over night
64 ounces vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 cup water
2 cups Smithfield Spiral Ham roughly chopped
1/2 pound collards, cut into thin ribbons
Pepper to taste

In large stock pot add olive oil. Stir in onions, garlic, ham base, hot sauce, thyme and oregano. Sauté until onions are translucent.

Add drained black eyed peas, vegetable stock, water and chopped ham. Simmer until peas are tender, approximately 40 to 50 minutes.

Add collards and simmer an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Thanksgiving Day Dishes: Cranberry Sausage Classic Dressing

Cranberry Sausage Classic Dressing

Turkey and stuffing are Thanksgiving Day must-haves, but not everyone makes them the same way. When it comes to stuffing, where you live might make a difference in how you make it.

According to a new survey by Mrs. Cubbison’s Kitchen in Los Angeles, celery and onions top the ingredients list, then regional differences come into play:

  • People in the Northeast and West are more likely to add carrots and sausage.
  • 70 percent of people in the South and 60 percent of people in the Northeast said they like to cook stuffing in a casserole dish.
  • 58 percent of people in the West and 45 percent of people in the Midwest said they prefer to cook it in the bird.

While traditional Thanksgiving dishes are preferred in most regions, about one in five families say they now consider special diets when preparing their menu including gluten-free, vegetarian, diabetic and kosher options:

  • Gluten-free and vegetarian choices are popular in the West.
  • The South and Midwest offer items for those who are diabetic.
  • The Northeast and South offer lactose-free and kosher dishes.

The survey also found that when asked which Thanksgiving dishes are handed down from previous family generations, “stuffing” was by far the most important. But the term for this dish differed depending on locale — Southerners refer to the dish as “dressing,” while people in the East, Midwest and West say “stuffing.”

No matter where you live, you can ensure big flavor at your holiday table when you use family-favorite recipes like these. Get more Thanksgiving recipes at

Cranberry Sausage Classic Dressing
Servings: 10
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
1 1/2 pounds pork sausage, crumbled
1/4 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic cloves, chopped
2 6-ounce packages of Mrs. Cubbison’s Classic Seasoned Dressing
1 cup walnuts
1 cup cranberries, dried sweet
1 each Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, chopped 1/2-inch
1 tablespoon sage, fresh, chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown.

Stir in butter, celery, onion and garlic; sauté until translucent.

In a large mixing bowl, combine dressing, prepared sausage and vegetable mixture, walnuts, cranberries, apple, sage and chicken broth.

Transfer mixture to medium buttered baking dish. Bake covered in preheated oven 30 minutes; uncover and bake additional 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Corn Bread Stuffing
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 1/2 to 2 cups liquid or broth*
1 box Mrs. Cubbison’s Seasoned Corn Bread Stuffing

Oven Casserole Directions
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan, melt butter on medium heat, sauté vegetables until translucent.

Combine stuffing mix; stir in liquid* gradually and blend lightly.
Place stuffing in greased casserole dish, cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover last 15 minutes for crisper top.

Top-of-Stove Directions
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

In large saucepan, melt butter on medium heat, sauté vegetables until translucent.

Stir in liquid* gradually and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 3 minutes.

Turn off heat, add dressing mix and blend lightly. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.

*Use more liquid for moister stuffing, less for drier.

Delightful Holiday Desserts

Cranberry Tart

Celebrate the holiday season by giving familiar flavors a little bit of wow. You can impress guests with these delightful desserts — that are actually easy to make.

Sweet and tangy Cranberry Tarts, luscious Individual Pumpkin Pies, and Premium Pecan Pie can be made with ingredients you probably have on hand, like Fleischmann’s Yeast and Karo Syrup. Bake them up ahead of time and you’ll have delightful treats ready for any holiday celebration.

For more holiday dessert recipes and baking inspiration, visit and

Cranberry Tarts
Refrigerate Time: 2 to 24 hours
Proof Time: 30 to 45 minutes
Bake Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Makes 12 tarts
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope Fleischmann’s Active Dry or RapidRise Yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
Cranberry Filling (recipe follows)
Powdered Sugar Icing, optional (recipe follows)

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt in a large bowl.

Heat milk, butter and water until very warm (120°F to 130°F). Gradually add to flour mixture; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.

Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough remaining flour to make stiff batter. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

Remove from refrigerator. Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface. Roll to 21 x 12-inch rectangle.

Spread Cranberry Filling over dough to within 1/2 inch of edges. Fold crosswise in thirds, to enclose filling, making a 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Press edges to seal. Cut dough into 12 (1-inch) strips. Holding ends of each strip, twist three times. Pinch together ends of each twisted strip to form tarts; place on greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Bake at 400°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until done, switching positions of sheets halfway through baking time for even browning. Remove tarts from baking sheets; let cool on wire racks. Drizzle tarts with Powdered Sugar Icing, if desired.

Cranberry Filling: Combine 1 cup finely chopped cranberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel in a medium saucepan; bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until very thick. Remove mixture from heat, and let cool.

Powdered Sugar Frosting: Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 4 to 5 teaspoons evaporated milk, and 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Pure Vanilla Extract in a bowl. Stir until smooth.

Premium Pecan Pie
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes for the pie shell and 50 to 55 minutes for the pie
Yield: One 9-inch pie
1 (9-inch) pie crust
3 eggs (whole)
2/3 cup Karo Dark Corn Syrup
2/3 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Spice Islands Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups pecans (halves or pieces)

Par-bake your favorite pie crust (either homemade or purchased) in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes or until it just barely starts to brown.

Beat eggs on medium speed of electric mixer for about 30 seconds, until foamy. Add all syrups, salt and vanilla, and beat for about 1 minute on medium speed until well combined.

Add melted butter and flour.

Place pecans in the par-baked pie crust and pour mixture over pecans.

Bake at 350°F for 50 to 55 minutes.

Individual Pumpkin Pies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Cool Time: 1 hour
Yield: 18 servings
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Spice Islands Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 eggs
1/2 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1 can (12 fluid ounces) evaporated milk
18 baking cups size 2 1/2 inches
18 vanilla wafers

Mix sugar, salt and spice in a bowl. Add eggs and beat slightly. Stir in corn syrup, pumpkin and evaporated milk; blend well.

Portion baking cups in muffin pans and place 1 vanilla wafer in each. Fill each two-thirds full of pumpkin mixture.

Bake at 300°F for 25 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes; remove.

Cool a minimum of 1 hour before serving. Garnish as desired.

Impress Your Guests With Pork

Looking to impress your guests this party season? Treat their taste buds to a pork loin dish that is as versatile as it is delicious.

This Simply Saucy Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin is sure to be a crowd pleaser since, after all, everything is better when wrapped in bacon. This delectable dish offers a new and memorable approach to standard party food with four different accompanying sauces to suit any party goer’s palate. Add a fruity twist with crushed pineapple sauce, or spice things up with a kick of jalapeño chilies. Go savory with a touch of Dijon, or smoky with chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. Whatever type of event you are planning, your guests will leave with mouthwatering memories.

For more seasonal inspiration and pork recipes, visit the National Pork Board at, and Also, be sure to follow @allaboutpork on Twitter for timely recipes and tips.

Simply Saucy Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin
Serves 10 (6-ounce portions)
4 pound boneless center-cut pork loin roast, (untied), fat and silver skin trimmed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 to 9 slices bacon
1 cup barbecue sauce, purchased

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to plate and cool for 10 minutes.

Wrap bacon slices vertically around pork roast; do not overlap bacon. Tie lengthwise and crosswise with kitchen string to hold bacon in place; tuck loose ends of bacon under string. Place on a rack in a roasting pan, tucked-bacon side down.

Roast on rack for 15 minutes. Turn pork over and reduce temperature to 350ºF and roast for 15 minutes. Remove rack and return pork to pan, tucked-end side up. Roast, turning occasionally until bacon is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast reads 145ºF, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.

Skim fat from pan juices, leaving browned juices in pan. Add barbecue sauce and preferred ingredient (*see below) and bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring to loosen browned bits in pan; simmer 2 minutes. Remove strings, carve pork, and serve with sauce.

*Preferred Ingredient

• Savory: Whisk 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard into the sauce.
• Spicy: Stir in 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño chilies (nacho sliced), drained and finely chopped, into the sauce.
• Fruity: Stir one 8.25-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained, into the sauce.
• Smoky: Stir in 1 or 2 minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo into the sauce.

Healthy, Gluten-Free Salads Feed the Senses

Many people think eating a salad is healthy. However, add-on ingredients like — cheese, bacon, croutons and loads of salad dressing pretty much take that salad out of the healthy category. But it really is possible to make a great-tasting salad that is still good for you.

Carolyn O’Neil, M.S., R.D., and co-author of “The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!” recommends salads that appeal to all of the senses. O’Neil created the two recipes below, which are beautiful to look at, have refreshing aromas, great taste and the satisfying crunch of Georgia Pecans. With the highest amount of antioxidants of any tree nut, Georgia Pecans are an excellent inclusion in a heart-smart diet and have earned the American Heart Association’s Heart Check-mark certification.

  • The Avocado-Grapefruit Salad adds beauty and interest to your plate with healthy, colorful, crunchy ingredients. Dark greens add a big flavor punch, and grapefruit brings the tangy taste of citrus. Avocados are a good alternative for cheese. Toasted, heart-healthy Georgia Pecans substitute for the crunch of croutons and for the flavor hit of bacon. (You could even use smoked pecans.) The vinaigrette is made with fresh grapefruit juice from the segmented grapefruit and red wine vinegar.
  • The Georgia Pecan Confetti Quinoa is a satisfying salad without any greens. Quinoa is a delicious gluten-free grain that cooks up light and fluffy like rice but contains more protein. This recipe, featuring confetti colored sprinklings of orange, green and yellow veggies, is flavored with garlic and rosemary. Crunchy Georgia Pecans add even more great taste and nutrition because pecans are a super source of heart-healthy fats and antioxidants, and are low on the glycemic index.

Get more delicious ways to eat healthy at

Georgia Pecan Confetti Quinoa
Yield: 6 half-cup servings
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup diced yellow squash
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups cooked quinoa (prepared to package directions)
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
1/4 cup toasted Georgia Pecan halves (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)

Heat oil in large skillet and add carrots, zucchini, yellow squash and garlic. Cook until crisp tender.

Fold in cooked quinoa, rosemary and pecans. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.

Present quinoa on a large platter and garnish with additional toasted pecans.

Avocado, Grapefruit Salad
with Grapefruit Vinaigrette and Toasted Georgia Pecans
Yield: 4 servings
For salad:
1-2 heads Bibb lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
1 bunch arugula, torn into bite sized pieces
2 Haas avocados, ripe but firm, peeled and cubed
2 ruby red or pink grapefruits, peeled and segmented, reserve excess juice
1/2 cup toasted Georgia Pecan halves (toasted in a sauté pan)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
For dressing:
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Juice from segmented grapefruit (approximately 3 tablespoons)
Fresh ground salt and black pepper to taste.

Arrange lettuce and arugula on large platter.

Arrange avocado and grapefruit segments on the bed of greens.

Combine ingredients for dressing, and drizzle over entire salad.

Garnish with toasted pecans.

Add final garnish of minced parsley.

Nutrition Note: Healthy fats come from pecans, avocados and the olive oil-based vinaigrette. Vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and other plant nutrients are in the grapefruit, greens, avocado and Georgia Pecans.

Creating Kid-Friendly, Fruit and Veggie Packed Meals

Any parent can tell you — getting kids to eat well-balanced, wholesome meals is tough, and many parents end up purchasing foods their children favor over well-balanced options. But with a little planning and creativity, you can ensure your child will eat foods you can feel good about serving throughout the day.

1. Get creative with sandwiches – Sandwiches are a great way to ensure your child gets some much-needed vitamins and nutrients. Just add fruits such as sliced green apples or pears to grilled cheese sandwiches on whole grain bread, or banana slices to peanut butter sandwiches. Then add some fun to your child’s lunch by using cookie cutters to cut your child’s sandwiches into shapes such as stars, hearts, flowers, trucks and more.

2. Look for kid-friendly, flavorful foods with good nutrition – Some foods do double-duty – boasting kidfriendly flavors, as well as good nutrition. For example, V8 V-Fusion juice drink boxes boast the fruity and refreshing taste kids love and the nutritional value moms prefer. Each juice box provides a combined serving of vegetables and fruit (1/4 cup of vegetables and 1/4 cup of fruit) and is free of artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and added sugars.

3. Pureed vegetables pack in power – Most kids aren’t crazy about vegetables, but incorporating a few into your child’s favorite meals can help. Pureed cauliflower blends seamlessly with mashed potatoes or chicken Alfredo, and pureed carrots fly under the radar in pasta sauce or macaroni and cheese.

4. Greek yogurt makes for tasty dips – If your child is hesitant when it comes to eating sliced fruits — or even baked chicken tenders — consider mixing up a Greek yogurt and honey dipping sauce. The sweetness of the sauce will entice them to try new foods, plus you’re adding calcium and protein to their diet in the process.

For more ideas to help you entice your kids to eat wholesome meals, visit

Get The Golden Touch This Holiday

Butterball is launching Golden Thursday™ on November 15, the week before Thanksgiving, to offer tips, advice & recipes to help make the holiday shine

Garner, NC  (Food News)  With family members coming together to celebrate the highly-anticipated Thanksgiving meal, holiday cooks everywhere spend hours preparing for the big day. To help ensure it’s a meal that will be remembered, Butterball® is sharing expert advice earlier this year to make your Thanksgiving Day shine – where to find savings, go-to holiday recipes that are sure to please and ways to access Butterball’s expert advice via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Butterball Cookbook Plus™ app, and 1-800-BUTTERBALL.

“This year it’s all about sharing the best turkey advice before Thanksgiving Day, delivering tips early and often,” said Mary Clingman, director of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line®. “So we’re sharing tried-and-true tips that help cooks prepare in advance via our new Butterball Cookbook Plus app, a special Golden Thursday Facebook deal the week before Thanksgiving and real-time responses to questions via Live Chat on”

Good-as-Gold Thanksgiving Tips
Butterball has five key tips that will help with preparations for the big day, ensuring your holiday meal goes off without a hitch.

  1. Connect While You Cook: In honor of Golden Thursday – the Black Friday of turkey and Thanksgiving – we’ll offer gold-standard tips on Facebook and Twitter, share recipe ideas on Pinterest and deliver advice at your fingertips with the new Butterball Cookbook Plus app.
  2. Master the Menu: Finalize your menu two or three weeks in advance and collect the recipes and ingredients you’ll need to avoid forgetting anything. Be sure to check for gold-standard recipes – including a Turkey with 7-Grain and Squash Stuffing and Broccoli and Cheese with Turkey Bacon – and find at least one that you can prepare in advance.
  3. Shop Early for Savings: In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, keep an eye out for opportunities to save without sacrificing quality. Look for specials at your local grocery store, and check your Sunday newspapers for Butterball coupons and promotions. Also be sure to check out the golden coupon available on Facebook the week before Thanksgiving.
  4. Turkey Tool Set: Make sure you have the proper equipment – a pan for the turkey, a meat thermometer, Reynolds® Wrap Aluminum Foil, a large platter, sharpened knives and containers for leftovers – and that everything’s clean and ready for you to use.
  5. Turkey To-Do: Set aside some time to write a daily to-do list – that way, you don’t have to spend time thinking about what you need to do each day since you’ve already made a plan.

Golden Advice Anywhere, Anytime
You can find resources from the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line for a Golden Thursday no matter where you are, or how you prefer to access the gold-standard turkey preparation advice.

  • Butterball Cookbook Plus App: Download the Butterball Cookbook Plus App for iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch® from the App StoreSM to get easy access to recipe ideas, how-to videos, upcoming Butterball promotions and cooking advice at your fingertips.
  • Live Chats: Engage with turkey experts through Live Chats on during November and receive real-time suggestions and advice.
  • Facebook and Twitter: Help is available through the Butterball Facebook and Twitter pages with tips, special savings and more.
  • Pinterest: Follow Butterball on Pinterest for tender and juicy turkey recipes, cooking tips, holiday advice and plenty of culinary inspiration.
  • Log on the website or mobile site to receive turkey advice, find savings and enjoy tried-and-true recipes. In addition, Butterball bloggers will post recipe ideas and personal anecdotes, including more special tips on how to make your Thanksgiving golden.
  • 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372): Turkey Talk-Line experts will be available this season starting November 1, 2012, through December 24, 2012, to answer questions and assist Thanksgiving cooks.

About the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line
One of the first national, toll-free consumer help lines, the original Turkey Talk-Line staff of six home economists fielded questions from 11,000 turkey-troubled Americans during its first season in November 1981. On Thanksgiving Day, the small group took hundreds of calls – with only a rolodex of notes and their own knowledge to help them answer the nation’s questions. Each November and December, professionally trained turkey experts assist more than 1 million cooks through the Turkey Talk-Line,, Facebook, Twitter, Live Chats and emails in the United States and Canada. With more than 50 staff members, the Turkey Talk-Line has the resources to answer questions from either English- or Spanish-speaking callers, as well as respond to questions via e-mail.

About Butterball, LLC
Butterball, LLC offers consumers opportunities to celebrate traditional holidays and every day meal occasions with the Butterball branded line of products. As the most recognized name in turkey, the brand represents more than 50 years of cherished memories with consumers by providing quality, great tasting products that make meals something to celebrate every day.

As an industry leader in quality and food safety, the company employs numerous processes to ensure the health of flocks and implements recognized prevention measures to exceed food safety standards in its five plants, located in North Carolina, Arkansas and Missouri. In addition, Butterball has surpassed important workplace safety and health benchmarks set forth by OSHA’s Voluntary Production Program.

Headquartered in Garner, N.C., Butterball, LLC is one of the largest producers of turkey products in the U.S. – producing 1 billion pounds of turkey each year. The company’s retail and foodservice products are distributed throughout the U.S. and in more than 30 countries

For more information about Butterball, visit, or call 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372) for answers to your turkey preparation questions.

Editor’s Note: Butterball Turkey Talk-Line experts are available for media interviews. For more information, please contact Bridget O’Malley at 312-BB-MEDIA (312-226-3342) or

Start a New Thanksgiving Tradition with Turkey and Trimmings from the Grill, Smoker or Fryer

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association and the National Turkey Federation Offer Tips for Full-flavored Turkeys

Arlington, VA  (Food News)  Each Thanksgiving, many consumers head outdoors to the grill, smoker or fryer to spice up their holiday meals and enjoy fall’s cooler temperatures which are ideal for outdoor cooking. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), the ease, affordability, extra space in the kitchen, and delicious result make outdoor holiday cooking popular among family chefs.

“With year-round outdoor cooking on the rise, consumers are becoming more adventurous and trying new techniques, gadgets and recipes for Thanksgiving,” said Leslie Wheeler, HPBA Communications Director. “Start a new tradition by cooking all or part of your holiday feasts outside. While the turkey is the heart of the meal, savory side dishes, including vegetables, fruits and desserts, can all be cooked outdoors.”

Consumers agree that there are many reasons they are cooking outdoors during the holidays – and all year round – according to HPBA’s State of the Barbecue Industry report findings. Consumers say they’ll cook outdoors for the:

  • Desire to eat tasty food (58%),
  • Personal satisfaction of making a great meal outside (51%),
  • Convenience (42%)

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) estimates 46 million turkeys will be cooked this holiday season. With grilling, smoking and/or frying the whole turkey or turkey breast continuing to gain popularity, HPBA and NTF offer tips for a delicious meal:

From the Grill (Indirect Grilling)

  • Purchase a turkey that is broad and flat to fit underneath the covered grill top.
  • Make sure there is at least one-inch of space between the turkey and the grill lid.
  • Apply a thin coating of non-stick vegetable cooking oil to the unheated rack and brush the outer surface of the turkey with cooking oil.
  • Do not tie the legs together when grilling a whole bird. The turkey will cook more evenly if hot air circulates to all areas of the bird.
  • Allow for two to three hours of indirect cooking time for an eight to 12 pound turkey and three to four hours for a 12-16 pound turkey.

Smoked Turkey

  • Be sure the smoker reaches an internal temperature of 250 degrees F to 300 degrees F before inserting the turkey.
  • Place the turkey in the smoker with the breast facing up.
  • Make sure there is at least one inch of space between the turkey and the smoker lid.
  • If using a charcoal smoker, add charcoal often to maintain the 250 degrees F to 300 degrees F temperature necessary to produce the hot smoke that cooks the turkey.
  • Smoke the turkey 20 to 30 minutes per pound.

Fried Turkey

  • In addition to frying a whole turkey, turkey breasts, legs and thighs are also ideal for frying.
  • If using an oil fryer, always use a high smoke point frying oil, such as peanut oil. Never allow the cooking oil to exceed 375 degrees F.
  • Always lower the turkey slowly into the hot oil.
  • Allow three to four minutes of fry-time per pound for whole turkeys in an oil fryer and eight to ten minutes per pound in an infrared oil-less fryer.
  • Allow oil to cool completely before removing from pot.

For more tips and recipes, visit HPBA at,, and NTF at,, or

About Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)

The 2,800-member Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based in Arlington, VA, is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms and allied associates for all types of hearth, barbecue and patio appliances, fuels and accessories.  The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, statistics, government relations, marketing, advertising, and consumer education.

About the National Turkey Federation

The National Turkey Federation (NTF) is the national advocate for all segments of the $14 billion turkey industry, providing services and conducting activities that increase demand for its members’ products by protecting and enhancing their ability to profitably provide wholesome, high-quality, nutritious products.