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What is the difference between white and dark turkey meat?

It seems at Thanksgiving there are two distinct teams — those who dig deep on the serving platter for the white meat, and those who fight for the drumstick. It’s really a battle of white meat versus dark meat. But aside from the color, what really is the difference? It all comes down to what a particular muscle, aka meat, is used for. Turkeys aren’t known for their flying abilities. They typically only take off for short distances — say, from the ground to a perch (Fun fact: Wild turkeys spend the night in trees, preferably oak trees). This means they rely on their legs to get them around all day. All of that walking and running means the muscles in their legs and thighs are full of blood vessels. These blood vessels contain myoglobin (or muscle hemoglobin), which delivers tons of rich oxygen to the muscles. The more myoglobin…

The first TV dinner was a Thanksgiving feast

While you may not think America’s most celebrated homemade holiday feast has anything to do with a modest frozen TV dinner, the two forever share a slice of history. The first mass produced TV dinner was, in fact, literally made from Thanksgiving leftovers. As the story goes, in 1952, someone in charge of purchasing at Omaha-based C.A. Swanson & Sons seriously overestimated how much turkey Americans would consume that Thanksgiving. With 520,000 pounds of frozen turkey to unload, a company salesman named Gerry Thomas had a light bulb idea. Thomas, having been inspired by the neatly packaged Pan Am Airlines airplane food, ordered 5,000 aluminum trays. He recruited women, armed with scoops and spatulas, to run his culinary assembly line, and work began making mini Thanksgiving feasts full of turkey, corn-bread dressing, peas, and sweet potatoes, thus creating the first-ever TV dinner. The original TV Dinners  sold for 98 cents…

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…

The most-Googled Thanksgiving recipe in every state

Every November novice cooks start to search for the recipes they’ll whip up in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. While it’s no surprise that the turkey itself actually got the award for most-Googled Thanksgiving dish in America, not every home cook ended his or her search there. According to Satellite internet.com’s new analysis of food-related Google searches, there is plenty of regional variation to what type of Thanksgiving day kitchen help we’re looking for — as the map below shows. Green bean casserole takes the crown for most-searched recipe, after clearly, having a massive Midwest following. Corn casserole also sneaks its way into the middle of green bean territory — maybe we’re witnessing a takeover? Massachusetts and Oregon seem to have a problem making cranberry sauce, while New Mexico, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky are all about the sweet potatoes. Maryland, Virginia, Mississippi, and Illinois want to know how to…

How many calories will you consume at Thanksgiving dinner?

We’re not here to burst your Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, but if you’re concerned about calories on Turkey Day, you might want to take note. According to the Calorie Control Council, most Americans will consume around 4,500 calories next Thursday — and that’s during dinner alone! As if that’s not bad enough, most of us are in denial. According to a Basis Science survey, most Turkey Day diners expect to consume just 1,780 calories, and 75 percent of diners estimate their meal will clock in under 2,000 calories. While ignorance can be bliss, your pants will always know better. And you should, too. From appetizers to dessert, we took a look the calories in a traditional Thanksgiving holiday menu. Too scared to read on? No need. We won’t ask you give up gravy — or pie.  You can have an enjoyable holiday feast without depriving yourself. Just be mindful of what…

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…

A handy guide to helping you plan Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the biggest feast of the year. There’s so much to think about and plan for, you’re going to want a guide going in so you don’t forget anything. What to do right now The guest list. It’s likely to change, but getting an idea of how many people are going to come can help you start to estimate what and how much you’ll need. Order a turkey. Don’t leave this one up to chance at the grocery store. If you wait too long to pick up a bird, you might be scrambling. Plus, ordering ahead gives you a chance to order the right size and type of turkey you want. And you know it will be fresh. Check your housewares. Go through your linens and dishes and make sure you have everything you need, from baking dishes to napkins, salads bowls, silverware, and even towels, sheets and toiletries if…

16 restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day

Forget to thaw the turkey? Traveling for work? Family 3,000 miles away? Whatever your reasons for not gorging on a home-cooked meal, rest assured that there are plenty of fast-food and sit down restaurants ready and waiting for you to stop by on Thanksgiving Day. Here is a list of some of them — just in case you need back-up: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmmKp37n4wP/?taken-by=applebees Applebee’s Call ahead just to confirm your specific location, but many Applebee’s locations will be open throughout the day and into the evening. They do have turkey options on the menu, so even if you just hate cooking, you may opt for Applebee’s. https://www.instagram.com/p/BnuUqg7BpFl/?taken-by=bahamabreezeislandgrille Bahama Breeze Give your Thanksgiving Day a dose of Caribbean-style fun. Thanksgiving menu items will be served with a tropical twist. Then wash it all down with something fruity from the yummy cocktail menu. https://www.instagram.com/p/BpMzSdRgY3P/?taken-by=bobevansfarms Bob Evans If you want to avoid the hassle of…

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…