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How much turkey should you buy per person? And other turkey questions, answered

There are a lot of decisions the Thanksgiving host has to make. Cranberry sauce; fresh or canned? A side of carrots or corn? Pumpkin or apple pie? (That answer there is easy. Both!). But perhaps the most important question of them all: How many pounds of turkey do I need to buy? How much turkey should i buy per person? As a rule of thumb, you should aim for about 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person. Don’t forget that number takes into considering the weight of the bones, giblets, and a bit of leftovers too. That means, if you’re having 8 adult guests, you’re going to want a 12 pound turkey. Of course, if you have a bunch of big eaters or turkey lovers — or think you might get a few unexpected last minute guests — you’ll want to go up from there. When should you buy your turkey?…

This Turkey Veggie Tray will be the talk of Thanksgiving

Bring this tasty veggie turkey tray to your Thanksgiving Day gathering and everyone will gobble it up! It’s super simple to assemble, and a fun way to snack healthy before devouring what’s likely to be a belt-busting feast. You can get creative and use nearly any veggie you might have on hand, but here’s what I included in mine: Cucumber slices carrots red peppers yellow peppers cauliflower peas Assemble vegetables, in rows, on a large round platter. Then, just pick up a container of ranch dip (or make your own), cut an adorable turkey face, and you’re all set! For more details, watch the how-to video above. Gobble Gobble! Also check out: 17 Thanksgiving recipes you don’t want to miss! Also see, The first TV Dinner was a Thanksgiving feast. Follow us on Instagram.

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…

How to host a stress-free Thanksgiving feast

Whether you’re a first time host or a seasoned veteran, whipping up a Thanksgiving dinner is no easy task. Add in a bit of forgetfulness, a touch of poor planning, and some overly eager houseguests, and you could quickly find yourself in the middle of a full-blown holiday disaster. But don’t fret! A little preparation and a few reminders, and you can be on your way to a totally stress-free Turkey Day. Here are 10 tips for a stress-free Thanksgiving: 1. Planning is the name of the game The best way to reduce stress on Thanksgiving Day is to have a plan made well in advance (we suggest preparing at least two weeks in advance). That includes knowing how many people you’re cooking for, writing a grocery shopping list (don’t forget the wine!), and a schedule of how you’ll actually manage your time on the big day. 2. plan out…

Why you shouldn’t stuff your turkey the traditional way

The idea of a juicy, stuffed turkey serving as the centerpiece to Thanksgiving feast can get just about any of us drooling. So I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But cooking your stuffing inside the bird might not be the best idea. It sure is delicious, but you could end up with dry meat or worse — foodborne illness that will definitely leave your holiday less than merry. Here’s what the experts say, as well as a few alternatives for stuffing that bird: Why you shouldn’t cook stuffing inside a turkey The most important rule to follow when cooking a turkey is that the bird — and anything inside — reach a safe temperature. The USDA has instructed that both bird and stuffing need to reach 165ºF or your meal poses the risk of carrying harmful bacterial like salmonella or E. coli. Of course, you might just…

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…

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…