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10 great hostess gifts that aren’t wine

Anyone can run to a nearby liquor store and pick up a bottle of wine, but your hostess will be much more impressed with your thoughtfulness if you opt for something else. Whether it’s something they share that evening with guests, or something they save for themselves, these gifts will be greatly appreciated. Soyil Natural Soy Wax Candles (Starting at $14, everybodyshops.com) Show your smart and savvy hostess you appreciate her hospitality with a dye-free, natural soy wax, small batch candle. Seasonal fragrances can help her warm her home with a welcoming scent, plus, soy won’t mark up walls with that nasty black soot. Wine Glass Mahogany Appetizer plates ($19.99, everybodyshops.com) You can bet your host won’t be able to wait to break these out for guests to use atop their wine glasses as they graze all of the amazing food at the party. Each set includes four plates, and…

8 common stuffing mistakes that could ruin your holiday dinner

Okay, maybe “ruin” is a bit dramatic, but that doesn’t mean you and your guests won’t be disappointed with dry or less-than-stellar stuffing. This classic Thanksgiving dinner dish — with its familiar flavors of onion, celery, and herbs mixing with crispy, chewy, buttery bread — is well-loved, but it’s also easy to mess up, so be sure to avoid these 8 common stuffing mistakes: 1. You make it on Thanksgiving Day Don’t wait until Thanksgiving day to start your stuffing. Your bread base — whether it’s a bread loaf, cornbread, bagels or even waffles — needs to be dry and stale, so let it sit out for at least a day or two before you begin. If your bread is still moist, your stuffing will be soggy. 2. You try to save calories If you’re looking to keep your Thanksgiving meal within a certain calorie count, perhaps you could cut…

8 ways to save money on your Thanksgiving meal budget

For all the attention the stress and craziness of cooking on Thanksgiving receives, we often fail to acknowledge the other downside of being the designated host: the cost. If you’re on a tight budget it can seem nearly impossible to pull of a feast with all of the fixin’s guests have come to expect. This Thanksgiving, you’ll be thankful you followed these 10 tips for saving money on your Turkey Day grocery bill. 1.  Set a budget — and don’t budge from it! It’s easy to go overboard on extras when planning a holiday meal, after all, you want to show your loved ones you appreciate them. But don’t feel pressure to recreate the lavish spread you saw in Martha Stewart magazine. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average American Thanksgiving meal for 10 costs $48.90 — that’s less than $5 per person!  If you’re about to blow…

Cranberry crockpot turkey meatballs

Looking for an easy way to feed a crowd this holiday? This delicious recipe makes for a fantastic appetizer or a tasty twist on your classic meatball sandwich. Turkey meatballs swimming in a sea of cranberry chili sauce is the new must-make recipe of the season. These meatballs are tangy, sweet, and oh-so-addictive! Guests can pick them with toothpicks or plate them for a fancier affair. And the best part? You — you fabulously smart and savvy holiday host — just dump three ingredients into the crock pot, walk away, and about two hours later, you have a hot and hearty snack everyone will love. Now that’s a happy holiday. Also try this Warm brie with cranberry jalapeño jam recipe.  Note: I use turkey meatballs since a lot of people shy away from red meat. Plus, the turkey and cranberry combo is obviously a classic. But feel free to use whatever kind…

Should you wash a turkey before cooking it?

You MUST resist. Yes, poultry doesn’t exactly seem super clean, but no matter how gross or how slimy that bird feels, whatever you do, do not wash your turkey. More than 46 million turkeys will be eaten this Thanksgiving Day, and with that comes one of the biggest days of the year for food borne illnesses. With so many different foods being stored, rinsed, prepared, and cooked all in the same space, it’s easy to imaging how cross contamination can happen. But the easiest way to spread illness-causing bacteria? Washing the turkey. But why? According to the USDA, rinsing your turkey, whether fresh or frozen, will not get rid of that unwanted bacteria on your bird — in fact, that’s pretty much impossible to do without the high heat of the oven (more on that later). Actually it’s washing your turkey that increases the chance of spreading that bacteria. This…

Beet apple walnut fall harvest salad

Farmers markets everywhere are still brimming with vibrant beets and crunchy apples. Put them together in this delicious Beet Apple Walnut Fall Harvest salad. See what else is still in season in November.  The crisp combo of tart apples and earthy sweet roasted beets is the perfect way to continue to enjoy the best flavors of fall as we head into the second half of the season. Serve as a side salad to your weeknight meal or earmark this one as a fresh new surprise for the Thanksgiving table. It’s easy enough and pretty enough for just about any occasion. But don’t think this salad is just about looks. Beets are a low calorie root veggie with an impressive record: they can help keep your blood pressure in check, improve athletic performance, fight inflammation, improve digestion, support brain health, and they may even have some cancer fighting potential thanks to…

17 Thanksgiving recipes you don’t want to miss

This year, make Turkey Day more delicious than ever. Even if you’ve hosted the holiday for decades and think your menu is as good-as-it-gets, it could be time for a refresher. For the ultimate holiday feast, try a few recipes from this Thanksgiving recipe roundup. Stuffing in the crock pot Who has oven space for all of those side dishes? Plus, cooking stuffing in the bird might not be the best idea anyway. http://craves.everybodyshops.com/crock-pot-stuffing-saves-time-on-thanksgiving-day/ Roasted butternut squash It’s delicious and healthy. Plus is will ad a splash of color to your table. What more could you want? http://craves.everybodyshops.com/roasted-butternut-squash-with-cranberries-and-goat-cheese/ Cheesy broccoli casserole Make room for a new tradition at the table. These cheesy broccoli casserole is a win with kids and adults alike. http://craves.everybodyshops.com/thanksgiving-day-broccoli-cheese-casserole/ Baked brie with cranberries and jalapeños How fast can an appetizer disappear? Just don’t blink! This cranberry brie will be gone in seconds. http://craves.everybodyshops.com/baked-brie-with-cranberry-jalapeno-jam/ Layered pumpkin delight…

The 6 biggest mistakes you can make when baking pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie, with its thick, pumpkin-y custard, fragrant spices, and flaky pastry crust, is about as delicious as Thanksgiving gets. Served with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, there is no Thanksgiving dish that arrives with such anticipation. Yet, even the most seasoned bakers know a truly perfect pumpkin pie is no easy task to pull off. Here are a few mistakes you need to avoid in order to make your best pumpkin pie ever: 1. You use fresh pumpkin I can hear you now, “But such-and-such variety of pumpkin makes a delicious pie, just like my grandma made!” Well, if you have a tried-and-true family recipe that you’re used to, then nothing is going to change your mind — nostalgia looms large on Thanksgiving. But for those who want to make a truly perfect pie every time, it’s important to practice consistency. Fresh pumpkins can vary wildly in size…

24 grocery stores open on Thanksgiving 2019

It’s Thanksgiving Day and you’ve been planning for weeks. You triple checked your grocery list and have everything in the kitchen under control. And then… oh no! You burnt the rolls! Or you forgot the cranberry sauce, or you dropped the gravy — whatever the mishap, your family will never let you live it down. Off to the grocery store you go. But which grocery stores are even open on Thanksgiving this year? Be thankful this Thanksgiving that lots of grocery stores have your back for when things in the kitchen go a little unplanned. Here are 20 grocery stores that will save you: Food Lion Most Food Lion locations will be open on Thanksgiving Day, though some may close earlier than usual — at either 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. Call your nearby store ahead of time to be sure. Whole Foods Market Run out of wine early? Whole…

Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkins

No tricks here! These Rice Krispie pumpkins are the easiest treat on the block. Make them for Halloween or for Thanksgiving, and they’ll be just as festive. If you’ve ever made Rice Krispie Treats before, you know your hands can get pretty messy. That marshmallow mixture can stick to your fingers and become really frustrating — but don’t fret! I’ve figured out how to rolls the balls without making a mess. Also try these Mummy Rice Krispie Treats for Halloween. The trick? Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray, like Pam. I’ve tried all sorts of methods, including butter, but nothing works better than Pam. Just trust me on this. Spray your palms with a healthy coating and rub them together like you would to put on lotion. This way, you get the oil around the sides of your fingers and in all of the little corners that marshmallow could…