Category Archives: Turkey Recipes

FREE Turkey Cookbook! Easy Steps to the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Free Thanksgiving Turkey Cookbook for the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey.This Thanksgiving, serve your loved ones the perfect Thanksgiving turkey! Our FREE turkey cookbook, “The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide” is chock-full of information making it easy and fun for you whether you are a first time cook or a seasoned pro.

The gThankYou! Free Turkey Cookbook: A Sneak Peek

Tips for Shopping

Do you know how to pick out the perfect bird? We answer important questions like:

  • What size should I buy?
  • Fresh or frozen?
  • What’s the difference between commercial, free-range, heritage, natural, organic, self-basted or kosher?
  • How far in advance do I need to buy it?

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Use Your Turkey Gift Certificate On A Culinary Tour Of The U.S.

Recipe suggestions for using your gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificate

Take a culinary vacation with your gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificate and try a mouth-watering recipe from across the country. (Photo via jennie-o, Flickr)

This Thanksgiving, take your taste buds on a trip and try something new! Your gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificate — redeemable for any turkey size, brand or type — is your ticket to a culinary tour of the United States.

This week, the New York Times published an interactive guide to Thanksgiving recipes from each of the 50 states (plus D.C. and Puerto Rico).  It’s impossible not to be inspired to try something new and different after looking at the mouth-watering pictures and recipes.  We’re particularly pleased that the article kicks off featuring Wild Rice with Mushrooms – a recipe from our home state of Wisconsin!

The NYT guide includes turkey recipes for:

Plus you’ll find state-specific recipes for a variety of appetizers, soups, salads, side dishes and desserts.

Like all recipes that have been passed down for generations or are based on local staples, each dish has a good story behind it.  We know you’ll love this resource as much as we do!

All this week on our blog, Celebrating Work, we’ll be sharing tips on how to make your Thanksgiving successful and filled with gratitude.

You’ll find useful turkey-cooking tips, such as Thanksgiving Turkey: Where Does the Thermometer Go?, and general advice for workplace gratitude and employee engagement around the holidays, such as “Putting the ‘Thanks’ of Thanksgiving in Your Workplace.”

We hope you enjoy your holiday with family and friends and have a happy, delicious Thanksgiving!

For more Turkey Day cooking tips, check out our popular cookbook, “The Ultimate Turkey Guide” to make a mouth-watering centerpiece to your holiday feast and “wow” your guests.  It’s perfect for the first time cook and the seasoned pro!

Download your Free Thanksgiving Turkey Cookbook and Guide now by clicking below:Download Free Thanksgiving Turkey Cookbook by gThankYou!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Try something new with turkey and ham this holiday season

Right after Thanksgiving, you may be feeling all “turkeyed” out, and nobody would blame you. But Christmas is coming as quick as you can say “holiday sales,” and no one regrets planning early for holiday entertaining. Turkey and ham both make great centerpieces for December dinner parties, and they’re great on buffet tables, too.

Turkey and Ham - via Flickr.com

via Flickr.com

Turkey

The bonus of making a turkey again so soon after Thanksgiving is that this time, you can feel free to experiment without your sister-in-law making a fuss about the cranberry sauce.

Plus, now you have practice, right? And if you plan ahead, you can pick up one of those excess birds (so inexpensive in late November!) and pop a 12-lb. turkey in the freezer for later.

For a dinner party, try this Chinese American turkey from Saveur, brushed with sesame oil and stuffed with sticky rice, scallions, ginger and pork sausage, all seasoned with soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine.

Turkey and Ham - photo by Taekwonweirdo on Flickr

Chinese American turkey, photo by Taekwonweirdo on Flickr

For something quite different, try a smoked turkey. Alton Brown’s honey-brined smoked turkey involves making a “smoke bomb” using aluminum foil and hickory wood chips.

Via Epicurious, try a salted roast turkey with orange, fall spices and sherry gravy.

Want to wrap the turkey in bacon? Go for it! No traditions are at stake, and it’s super low-maintenance; as the Food52 cooks point out, “the bacon does the basting for you.”

Turkey and Ham - photo by James Ransom for Food52

photo by James Ransom for Food52

Ham

Ham fits beautifully on any holiday buffet table, served with hard rolls, slices of cheese, a plate of lettuce, tomato and onions, and condiments (good spicy mustard is a must).

Get some ideas for which cheeses are best to serve with ham on the Food52 forum (ideas include havarti, gouda, fontina and cheddar).

Better Homes & Gardens recommends this Baked Fresh Ham with a Cherry Glaze for its New Year’s buffet, made with cinnamon, cardamom and dried tart cherries or cranberries.

Turkey and Ham - via Flickr

Ham buffet from Flickr.com

Try a roasted fresh ham with citrus and rye, spiked with star anise, bourbon and red pepper flakes, or a tropical glazed ham with curried pineapple chutney, both from Bon Appetit magazine. Cooks rave that the latter is “bursting with tropical flavor” and smells wonderful while cooking.

For more creative ideas for your holiday meals, download our FREE Guides (click thes link below).

Turkey and Ham - Ultimate Turkey GuideTurkey and Ham - Ham Guide

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

FREE Holiday Turkey and Ham Cookbooks

CookbooksWhether you’re an old hand at cooking holiday turkeys and hams, or a newbie in the main dish department, or even if you want to try preparing Chef David Burke’s dishwasher turkey, you’ll find great cooking tips and techniques in our FREE holiday turkey and ham cookbooks. As Julia Child said, “This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun.” You can find out how in our cookbooks, available to download here on the blog and also on our Information for Recipients page.

Have you ever had a cooking disaster with turkey or ham, or been a guest for holiday dinner where the main dish didn’t turn out? Turkey too dry, or not quite done in the middle? What about your favorite memories of holiday meals? Did Grandma have a way with ham or add any special touches like orange zest in the turkey stuffing or pineapple rings with maraschino cherries in the middle on the ham? What about glazes? What’s your favorite ingredient for ham glaze? Brown sugar, mustard, honey, molasses, pineapple? Ever try something more exotic like mango? Rachel Ray has a slew of ham glazes, including orange-rosemary, maple-cherry, apricot, and spicy rum and orange. Get some super tips about glazes in our ham cookbook, and find out how to make sure your turkey is moist not dry in our turkey cookbook.

We hope our cookbooks help you prepare the tastiest holiday meals this year. Have the happiest of holidays and may your days be merry and bright!

CookbooksCookbooks

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

How to use Thanksgiving leftovers for fantastic brunches, lunches and more

The goal with Thanksgiving, America’s favorite feast day, is always MORE: more turkey, more stuffing, more cranberry sauce. And lots more Thanksgiving leftovers, so we spend one busy morning cooking up a storm and enjoy the fruits of our labors for days afterwards.

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving Leftovers

“The only thing better than Thanksgiving dinner is Thanksgiving dinner covered in cheese.” — Laura on ringfingertanline.com

Thanksgiving leftovers can become a quick lunch or snack in very simple ways — the classic, of course, is leftover turkey (preferably dark meat) on a hard roll with mayonnaise and dill pickles. Put some cranberry sauce on there if you have some leftover. Some folks add aged cheddar, avocado, lettuce, chipotle mayo, red onion or fresh tomatoes. Do what you want; it’s all good.

There are dozens of options for Thanksgiving leftovers, but the key points are twofold: not only must the dish make use of your already-prepared bounty, they must not take so much time and effort in and of themselves, they feel like making Thanksgiving all over again.

Robin Miller’s turkey shepherd’s pie uses both leftover turkey and mashed potatoes for the topping.

At the blog of the Noble Pig, leftover turkey/cranberry monte cristo sandwiches get a boost from a delicious egg batter.

“This sandwich is a great way to use up leftovers, especially if you have to feed a house full of holiday visitors,” wrote Cathy, earlier this month. “I think re-purposing (Thanksgiving) leftovers into a completely different meal is always a great way to use them up. No one wants to keep eating the same thing over and over again.”

Thanksgiving Leftovers

From the Noble Pig

Turn stuffing into mini savory muffins with an egg or two and a bit of cream or broth. Take roasted root vegetables and use them to top a pizza — butternut squash is a great match for feta cheese; sweet potatoes are beautiful with bacon.

Thanksgiving Leftovers

The Nourishing Gourmet likes to use leftovers for turkey and rice soup, yam and turkey hash and turkey enchiladas, among other things.

Thanksgiving Leftovers
LIBBY

Make pumpkin pie muffins with leftover pie filling; try this recipe from canned pumpkin maker LIBBY. Turn leftover green beans into a simple salad with blue cheese and walnuts and sherry vinaigrette, or add them toward the end of Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe for Sauteed Green Beans with Tomatoes and Basil served with Parmesan Crisps.

National Public Radio encourages us all to “think outside the sandwich” when it comes to Thanksgiving leftovers. The Kitchen Window blog offers recipes for a Cranberry-Honey Smoothie; Migas (a southern scrambled egg dish); Mashed Potato Cakes; Turkey, Quinoa And Persimmon Salad With Warm Cranberry-Maple Dressing; and Cheesy Turkey And Kale Quesadillas.

According to NPR’s Susan Russo, “For many Americans, the best part of Thanksgiving dinner happens on the Friday after the holiday, when the leftovers begin.”

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Thanksgiving Leftovers boxes from Makr Space

Find great ideas for using Thanksgiving leftovers when you download our FREE Ultimate Turkey Guide (click the link below).

Thanksgiving Leftovers - Ultimate Turkey Guide

 About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Link

It’s all Gravy: Quick tips on saucing your Thanksgiving turkey

It's all Gravy: It's All Gravy Boat by SimplyPrettyPrints on Etsy

It’s All Gravy Boat by SimplyPrettyPrints on Etsy

There’s a reason we use the word “gravy” as slang for “something good.” Gravy is such a delicious, beloved part of the Thanksgiving meal, it gets its own special vessel. There are entire Pinterest boards dedicated to the meaty, creamy stuff, from old-fashioned pan gravy and bourbon gravy to gravy made with chipotle peppers, mushrooms, bacon and even chocolate.

Yet the process of making gravy can be intimidating to home cooks attempting their first Thanksgiving meal. If you’re cooking for a big Thanksgiving group (when time is even more of the essence) or helping to prepare Thanksgiving dinner in someone else’s home, getting the gravy right is key.

Let’s demystify it a little bit.

The basics

There are a few things you need to make gravy. First, don’t wash out that roasting pan after the turkey is finished cooking. Those delicious, flavorful drippings on the bottom are the first ingredient.

It's all Gravy: Simple Pan Gravy from Chow.com

Simple Pan Gravy from Chow.com

(Didn’t roast your turkey in the oven but still want gravy? Check out this recipe for simple gravy from Chow.com, made with shallots, Marsala wine and chicken broth).

If it’s big enough, place your roasting pan over two burners, set on medium heat. Pour a few cups of liquid — usually a combination of broth, wine and/or cider — and scrape up the flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pan. This is called deglazing, and you can do it with any liquid.

After the liquid reduces, pour it into a gravy separator, sometimes called It's all Gravy:  OXO fat separator a fat separator (at left, Oxo makes them in several sizes, available at Macy’s and other stores).

A fat separator is really the easiest thing for this step, but if you don’t have one, one option is to wait for the fat to separate as it cools, sped up if necessary by putting it in the fridge.

Skim the fat off the top and return it to the hot pan. Sprinkle on some flour and whisk  constantly (this keeps it from getting lumpy) until it starts to thicken and darken slightly.

Pour in the reserved turkey juices from earlier and whisk those in, too. Bring it to a boil. The mixture will thicken and get smooth, coating the back of a spoon.

It's all Gravy: Pan Gravy from MarthaStewart.com

Pan Gravy from MarthaStewart.com

Finish up with chopped fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Even if it’s looser, or more liquidy, than you’re used to, don’t worry; the gravy will get thicker in the gravy boat.

For easy and delicious gravy to serve with your Thanksgiving turkey, try these recipes:

To add flavor to the drippings, take a tip from Food Network chef Anne Burrell, who makes a brined, herb-crusted Thanksgiving turkey with apple cider gravyShe builds the ingredients for her gravy into the roasting. The final product includes flavors of onion, carrots, celery, garlic and Granny Smith apple, with bay leaf, thyme and cinnamon. 

For more on gravy, Thanksgiving turkey and tips on how to make this year’s holiday one to remember, download our FREE Ultimate Turkey Guide (click the link below).

It's all Gravy - Ultimate Turkey Guide

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

5 Can’t-Miss Thanksgiving Side Dishes

This week, we offer five favorite Thanksgiving side dishes that are true classics, from the perfect stuffing and classic sweet potatoes to a make-ahead pumpkin pie and dead simple cranberries. Read on and you’ll find it’s hard to go wrong with these crowd-pleasing favorites.

Ciabatta Stuffing with Chorizo, Sweet Potato, and Mushrooms

This award-winning stuffing from the wonderful recipe sharing site Food52 is a hearty, savory take on this most traditional of Thanksgiving side dishes.

Thanksgiving Side Dishes - Ciabatta Stuffing

Technically a dressing since it’s made outside the bird (as most should be), it’s excellent with ciabatta but adapts well to big chunks of country bread. Fresh sage and rosemary give it a lovely fragrance, mushrooms lend some earthiness and the chorizo (or any sausage you choose) makes it filling enough to serve on its own — and as leftovers all weekend long.

Bacon Braised Green Beans

Thanksgiving Side Dishes - Bacon Braised Green Beans by Emeril Lagasse

Bacon Braised Green Beans by Emeril Lagasse

Add bacon to anything and it’s sure to be a hit with both the kids and the adults. Sweet, smoky, crispy bites of bacon with wilted onions, sliced garlic and still-firm fresh green beans make this recipe from Emeril Lagasse’s cookbook, “Emeril 20-40-60,” a simple, winning Thanksgiving side dish. Better yet, you can prepare it entirely on the stovetop while the turkey rests on the sideboard.

Reviewers on The Food Network recommend cooking the bacon first, removing it from the pan while you saute the beans, then sprinkling it on top at the end so it stays crispy.

“One of our Thanksgiving staples,” said one reviewer. Added another, “I’ve made these beans many times now and my son has asked for them for Thanksgiving … it’s easy and never lets you down!”

Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

Thanksgiving Side Dishes - Sweet Potato Casserole Cooking Light

Sweet Potato Casserole Cooking Light

Oh, don’t turn up your nose, foodies. You know sweet potato casserole is delicious, tiny marshmallows and all.

Cooking Light offers a slightly lightened version of the classic dish, with freshly roasted sweet potatoes, toasted pecans, a few tablespoons of butter, vanilla and, of course, mini marshmallows on top.


Reviewers of the recipe rave about it
!

“I hosted Thanksgiving last year and this recipe was to die for,” one cook said. “I could eat the entire pan myself. It’s like dessert, only healthier.”

“This is the best sweet potato casserole I’ve ever had,” wrote another, who recommended making it the day before and storing it the refrigerator. “We had it as part of our Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone loved it. The kids especially liked the marshmallow topping.”

Cranberries with Port and Orange Zest

Thanksgiving Side Dishes - Cranberries-and-orange-zest from justataste.com

Cranberries with orange zest from justataste.com

Fresh cranberries are so much more delicious than those weird jellied cans full of sugar. Gorgeous ruby in color, with a bright tartness that cuts through all the heavy things on the table, this is one Thanksgiving side dish that deserves an upgrade.

And it’s so easy, too. In this recipe from Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock, printed in Food & Wine Magazine’s “Southern Thanksgiving” feature, the only ingredients are cranberries, sugar, port wine, orange zest and a pinch of salt.

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Side Dishes - King Arthur Pumpkin Pie

King Arthur Pumpkin Pie

One thing to love about this simple, delicious pumpkin pie, the last Thanksgiving “side dish” on our list, is that most of it is done well in advance.

In the recipe from King Arthur Flour, mixing the filling a day ahead helps the flavors meld — flavors of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

“Pumpkin pie filling is basically a custard,” the recipe’s authors note. “The eggs in the filling will continue cooking as the heat from the edge of the pie moves toward the center, which is why it’s important to remove the pie from the oven before the center is completely set. Leaving it in the oven too long will cause the eggs to overcook, tightening the proteins and causing the pie to crack in the center.”

Happy baking!

In case you’ve missed it, be sure to check out our recent helpful posts, How to Find the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey“, and 4 Creative Ways to Spice-Up Your Thanksgiving Turkey”.

For more great ideas for Thanksgiving side dishes and tips on how to make this year’s holiday one to remember, download our FREE Ultimate Turkey Guide (click the link below).

Thanksgiving Side Dishes - Ultimate Turkey Guide

 About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

4 Creative Ways to Spice Up Your Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

Thanksgiving is a time for seeing family, remembering what we are grateful for and sharing a wonderful Thanksgiving turkey dinner together.

Every family has their Thanksgiving traditions: Some prep the stuffing and cranberries while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Some gather around the flat screen for turkey day NFL Football. Some go to a special church service the evening before. But whatever you do, for the main meal, the turkey is the centerpiece.

Tradition is important, not least because it’s comfortable and easy on a holiday that’s meant to be relaxing. However, lots of cooks like to add a little interest to tradition.  Consider changing things up a little this year with some international flavors on your Thanksgiving turkey, or even just the side dishes.

Here are four concepts (with links to recipes and menus!) for Italian, Mexican, Korean and Indian-inspired dishes sure to wow your family on this year’s Thanksgiving table.

Italian

You love to go for red sauce pastas and pizza on other holiday weekends — why not add Italian spice to your Thanksgiving turkey, too?

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner - Italian Style

From The Splendid Table

For The Splendid Table’s Italian American Thanksgiving, Lynn Rosetto Kasper shares a recipe for wine and herb-basted roast turkey with a white wine pan sauce. Seasonings include fresh parsley, sage, thyme and rosemary, as well as six large cloves of garlic and half a lemon.

Thanksgiving Turkey - Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta; Giada De Laurentiis

Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta; Giada De Laurentiis

On the Food Network, Giada De Laurentiis makes her Thanksgiving Italian-style with ciabatta stuffing, studded with chestnuts and made with pancetta (Italian bacon). Pancetta is wonderful in lots of side dishes, from Brussels sprouts to broccoli.

And for dessert, try Kasper’s apple-rosemary tart with lemon sugar: “So much easier than apple pie and so much lighter, this tart will not be overkill after a celebration meal,” she writes.

Mexican

Southern flavors are a natural fit with almost any Thanksgiving menu (gravy, anyone?) but take it a bit further south with Saveur’s wonderful Mexican-themed menu.

Thanksgiving Turkey - Photo Credit: Andre Baranowski for Saveur

Photo Credit: Andre Baranowski for Saveur

The popular cooking/travel magazine has great ideas for Mexican starters, like sopa de chile poblano (a mildly spiced chile soup), Brussels sprouts with chorizo (shown above) and tostadas de camarón seco (shrimp tostadas). To give the Thanksgiving turkey a Mexican twist, Saveur adds chiles de arbol, New Mexico chiles, cumin and cloves.

Korean

Korean marinades and barbecue glazes are some of the most intoxicating around the globe, with their wonderful blend of sweet, spicy and nutty flavors. Soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and green onion, as well as mirin (cooking wine) and ginger, are all common ingredients in the Korean pantry.

Thanksgiving Turkey - Photo by Dana Gallagher for Real Simple

Photo by Dana Gallagher for Real Simple

In “Thanksgiving with a Korean Twist,” Kay Chun shared some of her recipes with Real Simple for an American Thanksgiving with Korean spices. The centerpiece is a maple-glazed turkey, surrounded by chestnut fig stuffing, sesame green beans and persimmon tea with pine nuts.

Indian

Warm Indian spices are so perfect for fall. Anise, cardamom, cinnamon and cumin give a subtle heat and complexity to roasted vegetables and pureed soups.

In Bon Appetit, a complex yet approachable Thanksgiving menu featuring Indian spices includes a tandoori roasted turkey, seasoned with coriander, curry, peppercorns, cardamom, chili, cinnamon, cloves and fenugreek, among other things.

Thanksgiving Turkey - Souffles

Photo by Tina Rupp for Bon Appetit

Side dishes take carrots for a spin with whole cumin seed, replace stuffing with a rice pilaf made with almonds and raisins, and conclude with dark chocolate souffles with cardamom creme anglaise (above).

For more ideas on how to make this year’s Thanksgiving turkey the best you’ve ever had, download our FREE Ultimate Turkey Guide (click the link below).

Thanksgiving Turkey - Ultimate Turkey Guide

 About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

5 Tips to Find Your Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving TurkeyThe glossy magazines with their glorious, burnished birds have begun to arrive on doorsteps all over the country. It’s not too soon to start thinking about your side dishes, stuffing (should it have bacon this year? probably) and, of course, the centerpiece: a beautifully roasted turkey.

Before you choose a bird, there are several key things to consider. Here are five quick tips to keep in mind as you begin to plan your holiday meal, whether you’re serving 25 cousins, aunts and uncles or a simple turkey feast for two.

1. From Butterball to heritage breeds — what’s the difference?

Turkeys come in a variety of sizes and types. Butterball and store brands may be the cheapest route, but they’re not always the best value. Some cooks like pre-brined turkeys, which save time in the kitchen but offer less control over flavor.

20101120-turkey-tips-plain

Bell & Evans Turkey, from Serious Eats

In recent years, heritage breeds have become increasingly popular for their more developed meaty flavor, but they’re also very expensive, as are organic birds. A middle ground may include Amish turkeys, which are generally natural and hormone-free, and free-range birds, which are given space to roam.

The free-range turkey from Bell & Evans (shown above), a brand that is widely available east of the Mississippi, scored best in an Epicurious Taste Test of supermarket turkeys. For more on this subject, read our post, “Choosing Your Thanksgiving Turkey,” which gives details about free range, organic, heritage and young turkeys.

2. What size bird should you buy? 

thumb3_three_big_turkeys

The amount of Thanksgiving turkey you’ll need to buy depends not only on how many people, children and adults you need to feed, but also on how much leftovers you want.

We’ll offer some great recipes here for using up your excess turkey (check out “Thanksgiving Leftovers: Five Fresh Ideas“), but in general, think 1 to 1.5 pounds of turkey per adult and 8 ounces per child.

3. Fresh or frozen?

Fresh sounds obviously better, right? It’s not that simple. Some cooks rave about a fresh Thanksgiving turkey straight from the farm, but a Cook’s Illustrated taste test between the two showed that frozen turkeys come out more moist and tender than their fresh counterparts, largely because of how they are stored between the farm and the kitchen.

We recommend buying a frozen turkey, but make sure you have the time and the fridge space to thaw it safely — a 15-pound turkey will take about three full days to thaw.

4. Consider your recipe.

While there’s no need to nail down exact details several weeks ahead, it is important to have an idea of your technique when choosing a bird.

20121108-spatchcock-turkey-food-lab-12

Photo by Kenji Lopez-Alt, Serious Eats

For example, if you want to cook your Thanksgiving turkey on the grill, consider asking your butcher to spatchcock it (remove the backbone) for you. This is an excellent method for roasting, too.

Another consideration is seasoning. Cooks who want to experiment with different herbs, Asian flavors or other elements in their Thanksgiving turkey may not want a bird that is pre-brined.

5. Think ahead!

000013987721_LargeIf you want a free-range, organic or heritage bird as your Thanksgiving turkey this year, it’s reasonable to start planning now. Local co-ops and groceries often start taking reservations for turkeys several weeks in advance, and family farms like to know even sooner.

For more ideas on how to make this year’s Thanksgiving turkey the best you’ve ever had, download our FREE Ultimate Turkey Guide (click the link below).

 About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Father’s Day Dinner – 5 Grill Favorites

Father’s Day, falling as it does on a temperate mid-June Sunday, is the perfect time to get out the grill. No matter who is handling the chimney starter, these five recipes for a grill-centric meal will make for a delicious and special Father’s Day celebration.

Five Grill Favorites for Father’s Day

Dad will absolutely love these delicious yet healthy Grilled Turkey Burgers from Bon Appetit. Made with cheddar and smoky aioli (a kind of homemade garlicky mayonnaise), these burgers don’t skimp on flavor, seasoned with cumin, coriander and smoked paprika (I recommend the incredibly flavorful Spanish paprika from Penzeys).

Photo by Nigel Cox for Bon Appetit

Photo by Nigel Cox for Bon Appetit

Is your dad more of a rib guy?  Father’s Day is a special occasion, after all. Recently I picked up some country-style ribs to try as an alternative to our bone-in barbecue favorites slathered with sauce.

In its recipe for Barbecued Country-Style Ribs, Cook’s Country has some excellent tips on how to keep the cooking even between the white and dark meat.

From Cook's Country

From Cook’s Country

“We brined the ribs so that the white meat would stay juicy and pounded the ribs to an even ¾-inch thickness to “break down” the fattier dark meat,” writes the Cook’s Country test kitchen. “As for flavor, a double layer of barbecue spice and sauce and a quick smoke on the grill turned these ribs into something to sing about.”

Whatever meat you put over the coals, combine it with Charros, or smoky Tex-Mex beans. Steve Raichlen has a recipe for these “soulful, spicy pinto beans” seasoned with onion, bay and cloves, finished with bacon, jalapenos and fresh cilantro.

Charros from Primal Grill

“Don’t be surprised by the soupy consistency of the beans,” Raichlen writes. “Charros are always served with lots of flavorful broth.”

Spring has been slow to come to our part of the country, so we’re still in asparagus mode. Luckily, it’s a one of my favorite things to grill and an early summer favorite.

For Father’s Day I might dress them up with this Gourmet recipe for Grilled Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez.

photo by Ditte Isager

Photo by Ditte Isager

For a decadent and special finish to your Father’s Day celebration, try grilling peaches.

The first time I ever attempted the recipe below to make caramel, I meant to drizzle it over ripe, juicy grilled peaches, a finishing touch to a dinner party with friends.

I followed the New York Times recipe for Grilled-Peach Sundaes With Salted Bourbon-Caramel Sauce almost to the letter, though in my nervousness about the temperature, I pulled the caramel before it got really brown.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

I didn’t make that mistake the second time. When it got really, well, caramelized, this syrup was easily the best “candy topping” I’ve ever made. Heck, for a simpler dessert, ditch the grilled peaches and just make this caramel. Spoon it on store bought ice cream and it’ll be the best dessert dad’s had all year.

One final note: If dad loves to grill, one of my favorite cookbooks for cooking on the fire is Weber’s excellent “Way to Grill” (Sunset Books, 2009). It’s full of big color photographs, step-by-step illustrated demonstrations and practical advice. At about $17 on Amazon, it’s a Father’s Day gift that begs to be paired with some grilling tools and/or a homemade meal from you.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads and Dad stand-ins who make all the difference in our lives!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.