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holidays

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This turkey-shaped butter will be the talk of the table

If you’ve ever gazed at your Thanksgiving table and thought the butter dish looked a little boring, apparently you’re not alone. One company is churning out turkey-shaped butter sculptures, and they’re flying off the shelves. The Philadelphia-based Keller’s Creamery is making seasonally-shaped half pound butter sculptures for $3.99-$7.99 each. The architectural achievement is the perfect depiction of a plump, Thanksgiving turkey, with textured feathers, wattle, and tail all made from creamy salted butter. Most big box stores and supermarkets are be stocking the designer dairy item. Gristedes in NYC, Walmart, Whole Foods, and Wegmans are all confirmed carriers. As an East Coast brand, the birds are more commonly found in nearby states. If you can’t find one where you live, you could always buy a mold on Amazon and make your own. It’s recommended that you keep the butter cold until serving, so all your guests can enjoy your delightful…

Overnight apple cinnamon raisin french toast casserole

Dishes like this overnight apple cinnamon raisin french toast casserole are particularly great around the holidays when you have guests, but you also want to sleep in. You want it all! And I agree. On top of being easy to make, breakfast casseroles are a great choice because you can prep them ahead of time, and feed an army in to time. Try making customs omelets or stacks and stacks of pancakes when you’ve been entertaining the entire day and night before — yawn! This casserole says “I care” yet, “I also care about my sanity.” Just tear or chop up some bread and apples. Add some raisin and let soak overnight in the creamy french toast egg mixture. The bread will sop up all that delicious flavor and give you super moist french toast, loaded cinnamon flavor. And all the fruit in this dish means that you don’t have…

Sweet and spicy glazed bourbon carrots

These carrots are simple to make but pack tons of flavor. All you need is a stove top and five easy ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and you have yourself a delicious side dish for any holiday meal. I like to use baby carrots because they save time and always look pretty, but feel free to clean and chop whatever else you have in the fridge. The whole dish can be ready in under 30 minutes. You’ll love this glaze so much, you’ll start imagining what else you can smother in it — salmon? Chicken? Swedish meatballs? Ice cream? But you’ll have to make more, but there is no way you won’t want to lick the bowl clean. Make sure you choose a liquor you like, because the flavor combo comes across pretty strong — in a good way. The sweetness from the sugar and the heat from the cayenne…

Thanksgiving Day broccoli cheese casserole

I know people love their healthy, steamed broccoli, but holiday meals are no time to hold back. Broccoli smothered in cheese is really the most delicious way to eat the cruciferous vegetable. Even kids who usually run and hide from the dreaded broccoli side dish will be asking for seconds. Dare I say, this broccoli cheese casserole might even replace the beloved green bean casserole at your Thanksgiving table? This casserole is extremely easy to make, and it freezes well too — incredibly important if you’re trying to prepare all of the delicious Thanksgiving sides and need to get a few ready and out of the way. The broccoli is pre-blanched in boiling water, just to shorten the cooking time and keep the cheese gooey. The sauce is a simple roux of flour, butter, milk, and cheese. The crunchy topping is just crackers with butter and shredded cheddar. broccoli cheese…

Crock pot stuffing saves time on Thanksgiving Day

Between the sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and about a dozen other side dishes, something has to give. After all, you only have one set of hands and one oven. If you’re looking for ways to make Thanksgiving more manageable this year, look no further. Crock pot stuffing is a set-it-and-forget-it recipe that is easy, delicious and decadent. I know some people like to cook stuffing in the bird, but in our family, that just wouldn’t be enough. We LOVE stuffing, and need lots for leftovers, so we always prepare an extra baked dish of them. The stuffing that cooks inside of the bird is good, but I’ve always loved baked or crock pot kind because it has more texture and some crunch you just cant get cooking inside the bird. This recipe is so easy to make, but the best part is that it won’t take up precious time in…

Keep potatoes from turning brown this holiday season

When you’re preparing a big meal for the holidays, there are so many ingredients and different dishes to prep that you can easily get distracted. One minute you’re creaming corn, and the next, you’re cleaning up apple pie spillover in the oven. While you may be able to throw away a few forgotten burnt rolls, one mistake will be too obvious to hide — a bowl full of grey mashed potatoes. If you’re not planning to use your potatoes within 20 minutes after exposing the inner flesh to air, you should takes steps to prepare. Here’s how to keep your potatoes from turning grey or brown, so they’re be worthy of praise at your holiday table. Why do potatoes brown? If you ever took a long phone call in the middle of chopping potatoes and came back to a brownish-grey mess on your cutting board, you’ve seen the science in…

This is the most popular Halloween candy in every state

It’s officially fall and that means Halloween fun is right around the corner. Of course, for most of us, that means filling up on loads of sweet treats. But where you live might depend a lot on which candies you prefer. Americans are expected to gobble up $2.6 billion on trick-or-treat candy, according to the National Retail Federation — slightly less than 2017’s $2.7 total. Still, if we’re going to spend that kind of money on chocolates and goodies, we might as well spend it on the sweet stuff people actually want. Across the country, Skittles, M&M’s, and Snicks take the top three spots respectively. Reese’s Cups, Starburst, Candy Corn, Hot Tamales, Hershey’s, Tootsie Pops, and Jolly Ranchers round out the top 10. Online retailer Candystore.com compiled data from the past 11 years to show which candies are most popular in each state: Source: CandyStore.com. Alabama – Candy Corn Alaska…

Star spangled ice cream sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches already scream summer, but with a little makeover, they can be the coolest Fourth of July treat at the table. Okay, this “recipe” is basically cheating. But if you want to add a little fun to your Fourth of July without any effort — literally, like zero effort — then you’ll love this simple trick. Buy a pack of ice cream sandwiches from the grocery store — or ice cream truck! I went for the mini sandwiches since there are always so many delicious treats at picnics. Smaller sizes mean you can sample more sweets. They also mean less mess, since they won’t have as much time to melt.  Pour some sprinkles in a bowl, and get rolling. Just like an ice cream cone with sprinkles, the extra taste and texture is delicious — and way more fun! Happy Fourth of July! Star spangled ice cream sandwiches Ingredients 1 dozen ice cream…

Fourth of July spending takes a dip because of ‘Hump Day’

To celebrate the birth of our country, Americans eat a whole lot of hamburgers and hotdogs. And no Fourth of July party is complete without loads of other red, white, and blue picnic paraphernalia. But according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insight & Analytics, consumers are planning spending less overall this year than last year. Consumers will spend about $6.9 billion, down from $7.1 billion in 2017. The decrease is attributed to the holiday falling on a Wednesday. But patriotism is still high. Despite the decrease, this is still the second-highest amount reported in the history of the survey and the highest per-person spending ever. Nearly 153 million Americans are planning a cookout or a picnic. Average spending per person is reportedly $75.35 — up from $73.42 in 2017. More than 216 million Americans plan to observe the holiday in some way — down from 219 last year. About 31 million Americans…

Opposing politics cut our Thanksgiving dinner short by more than an hour, study shows

Large family dinners can already be tricky to navigate, but recently, politics has added a fresh, new layer of malfunction. A recent study published in the journal Science shows that Thanksgiving dinner 2016 was considerably shorter than other years. (If you need a refresher, the holiday hit just shortly after Trump’s surprising victory.) The report suggests that annual holiday meals were cut short that year by an average of 30 to 50 minutes when people of opposing parties were seated at the same dinner table. To gather their data, researchers went pretty deep, and yes, creepy. They first collected 21 billion smartphone location pings from cell phone users all across the United States. Then they overlaid that information on an election map with the election result for 172,000 precincts. Essentially, the researchers figured out each person’s home using pings, extrapolated their political ideology based on where they lived, tracked where they went on Thanksgiving…