Tag Archives: food

A Delicious and Stunning SteerList Thanksgiving Feast!

Is it just us, or has this month just flown by? With less than a week before Thanksgiving, it’s okay if you haven’t allowed yourself to even think of your meal because you can feel your pulse quicken and you start hyperventilating. Don’t stress, we have a full menu planned for your Thanksgiving dinner that as yummy to look at as it is to eat!

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Just remember, almost every single feast-planning site will mention the importance of lists at least once in their tips. In this day and age, a list app on your iPhone (like our free SteerList app) is exactly what you need to pull off your best, most memorable, and least stressful Thanksgiving ever. With location-based notifications, we’re more than just a list because you don’t need to remind yourself of anything. With location-based reminders, SteerList remembers for you, and even notifies you as you pass the grocery store or whatever you need to do. This makes it easier for you to deal with more important things, like where you’re going to seat your cousins so they don’t get in a fight with your aunt like they do every year.

To further ease your feast prep, we’ve also noted recipes that can be made ahead of time with an asterisk (*).

Drinks:

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(Photo courtesy of Pincookie)

If you’re looking for an extra-special beverage to accompany your meal, this apple cider sangria from pincookie.com adds a festive flair to a delicious drink. You can also make a kids’ version by simply adding the chopped fruit to a glass of apple cider, so kids feel included and like they have a special drink too. Be sure to mark the kid’s glasses or use different cups so there are absolutely no mix-ups.

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(Use SteerList to ensure so you don’t forget a single thing!)

To get things started:

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(Photo courtesy of “A Spoonful of Photography”)

*This pumpkin soup can be made ahead and heated up on the day-of, which translates to less stress for you. If you don’t like pumpkin, you can substitute any seasonal squash, or a combination of a few different ones for a unique flavor. This recipe comes to us courtesy of the “A Spoonful of Photography” blog.

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(Photo courtesy of “Your Home Based Mom”)

This pull-apart garlic cheese bread from “Thirty Hand Made Days” looks absolutely amazing, and your guests will be scrambling to pull it apart until it’s all gone. Soft, cheesy, warm… is there anything else to say? Oh, and its made with ready-made dough. Score!

 The Main Event: THE TURKEY

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(Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart)

Wow your diners with this classic turkey and cornbread stuffing (stuffing recipe is separate) from Martha Stewart. This beautiful bird is easier to make than you probably think. The turkey itself requires little preparation. A lot of the attention goes into the stuffing. Don’t worry, if you use a pre-made stuffing, we won’t tell Martha.

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(Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart)

If you’re feeling ambitious this year, Martha Stewart recommends tackling this maple-glazed turkey with gravy and cracker stuffing. The maple syrup makes a super crispy and slightly sweet coating on the outside of your bird, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly never had a cracker stuffing before!

Sides:

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(Photo courtesy of “Modern Mrs. Cleaver”)

Mashed potatoes are a long-standing tradition at any Thanksgiving feast. If your guests are bored with plain mashed potatoes (I’m not even going to mention the b-o-x-e-d word) garlic mashed potatoes (with real potatoes) are a great way to add a flavorful twist to the annual tradition. Thanks, “Modern Mrs. Cleaver“! If you want to get really fun, you can explore making a mashed potato bar where guests pick and choose their own add-ins to mix in on their own!

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(Photo courtesy of “Le Man and Wife”)

A great salad starts with great accents, just ask “Le Man and Wife.” Don’t just grab a forgettable bagged salad and toss it with some ranch dressing. It takes a true chef to make a salad memorable and leave kids asking for seconds. This apple and walnut chopped salad adds a sweet and salty crunch to the creamy goat cheese topping. I wouldn’t recommend making this ahead of time because the apples will brown, but you could probably make the rest of the salad and the dressing and just wait to toss and chop the apple until before serving. Omit the bacon or leave it on the side for a vegetarian-friendly dish.

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(Use SteerList to remind you to get all the freshest produce at your local Farmer’s Market)

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(Photo courtesy of Alton Brown)

Forgetting the green bean casserole is forbidden at most tables. If you don’t have a recipe passed down in your family, you can start the tradition by passing down this green bean casserole from famous chef Alton Brown!

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(Photo courtesy of “Baking with Blondie”)

These roasted asparagus spears look gorgeous when wrapped tightly with crispy prosciutto thanks to “Baking with Blondie.” The ham adds a saltiness against the nutty flavor of the asparagus. Does it count as a vegetable if it’s wrapped in meat?

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(Photo courtesy of “In Sock Monkey Slippers”)

 *This champagne cranberry sauce from “In Sock Monkey Slippers” can be added to your “make ahead” list to save you time and stress on the big day. We don’t know if the champagne adds to the taste, but it sure sounds fancy to say!

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(Photo courtesy of “Tar Heel Foodie”)

*Here’s another item to add to your make-ahead list: Sweet potato chips from “Tar Heel Foodie”! Sweet potatoes are another item commonly found on the dinner table, but unless you love them, they can sometimes be hard to move (especially with kids). If you want kids and adults to munch on a new way to get sweet potatoes on your table, try these honey glazed sweet potato chips that promise to disappear like their plain potato counterparts!

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(Photo courtesy of Babble)

 *I know that pull-apart bread was already included in the beginning, but I decided to throw in traditional buns at the last minute just because I have fond memories of making miniature turkey sandwiches with butter and jam at the Thanksgiving table. I’d make these ahead of time too, though. From the store, they come cold anyway… like sandwich bread.

Dessert

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(Photo courtesy of “Tastes Lovely”)

*This picturesque apple crumble pie from “Tastes Lovely” can be made baked ahead of time or prepped and baked the day of, depending on your personal preference. My family prefers cold pie, but if your guests like hot, then you will have to put it in the oven while dinner is being served, or you can cheat a little by making it the day before and putting it in the oven to warm up. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!

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(Photo courtesy of “Madigan Made”)

*If your meal has you totally wiped out and you can’t stand the thought of baking anything else (especially since most people will probably be too full to even eat it, really) this pumpkin fluff dessert dip from “Madigan Made” can be made ahead of time and just requires different items to dunk that can be bought from the store (such as graham crackers, ginger snaps, apple slices, or Nilla wafers) and can allow your guests to graze as their stomachs allow. If you don’t like pumpkin, there are tons of dessert dips out there to choose from, such as a “cookie dough” version and even cheesecake!

Don’t forget to download the free SteerList app from the Apple iTunes store today! It’s the ultimate grocery list app and to do list app to help you get anything done– from Thanksgiving dinner, to holiday presents, to every day tasks!

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Gluten Free, Vegan, or Vegetarian Guests for Thanksgiving? Easy.

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Thanksgiving is coming up, which means you’re probably already starting to think ahead to your menu and the delicious food you’re going to make. However, finding out that your son’s new girlfriend is vegetarian or the neighbors have a gluten-free diet can send you into a panic, frantically redoing the whole menu and cursing the diet Gods for sending these people to your dinner table.

Take a deep breath. It’s not as scary as you think.

As a vegetarian, I can say that most people with special dietary needs understand that it’s not all about them, but do appreciate being thought of. Even though you may have encountered one or two cranky ones on a dinner where there was nothing for them to eat (Can you really blame someone who’s really hungry and can’t eat anything?), the average person understands that you wouldn’t go to a dinner expecting the whole thing to be catered just to him or her. The secret is in the sides.

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Vegetarians:

You don’t have to throw out a turkey just because a vegetarian is coming. Even though I’ve encountered those fabled “preachy vegetarians” who may make a comment or two, most understand that a turkey is part of the tradition. You don’t have to exchange a turkey for a tofurkey, though if you pick up some Hickory Smoked Tofurkey sandwich meat (available at most chain grocery stores, pictured above draped on a paper turkey to give an authentic effect) or some Morning Star Farms products (just heat and serve), it could be very appreciated. On the whole, most Thanksgiving sides are vegetarian or could be vegetarian with a few tweaks. Vegetables like string beans are easy, and you can moisten mashed potatoes with milk instead of chicken stock (if that’s how you usually do it). On the note of beef or chicken stock, simply substitute vegetable stock if applicable. If you want to score points though, you could make (or buy) a vegetarian “main dish.” Quiche or an egg puff is good because it includes protein (eggs, cheese), or a vegetable pot pie could work too.

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Vegans:

There is a difference between vegetarians and vegans. Vegetarians don’t eat meat (though some eat fish, that’s a personal choice that you can clarify by simply asking your vegetarian guest before the meal) and vegans don’t eat any meat or animal bi-products. This means no eggs, no milk, no cheese, no butter. Stock up on vegetable sides and prepare them mindfully. It’s especially good to make something that contains beans or peanut butter because that will be the main protein.  Vegan desserts are sometimes hard because they often require substitutions, but here’s a fun trick: Soda cake. Simply pick up a package of cake mix (read the ingredients to make sure, but most are vegan, Duncan Hines recommended) and a can of soda (take one or two sips for 10 oz.). The soda replaces the eggs and oil in the recipe! Just mix and bake according to the instructions. Warning: Cake can come out sticky!

Gluten-Free 101:

I’m not very familiar with the gluten free diet, but this article from Mayo Clinic breaks it down nicely. On the whole, meat is gluten free, though it may vary depending on what you add to it. A traditional turkey should be fine, but if you want to do anything fancy or just want to play it safe, simply take a cut and cook it separately for your gluten free friend’s needs. Vegetables are usually good to count on.  From what I understand, the toughest part of a gluten-free diet is bread and dessert. Huffington Post has a great article that lists the best gluten-free breads that you can order or get from a specialty store, and this recipe for a twist on a flourless chocolate cake looks so good, people who can eat gluten may even want to try it!

23733_856926265861_403190124_n(This would be a terrible nightmare for someone with a gluten allergy!)

As a final note, adding some “vegetarian” or “gluten free” place cards in front of special dishes will also be a good idea so there are no surprises. Also, be sure that the guests with special diets get the first chance at the dishes meant especially for them. Keep in mind, and note to your party, that where there may be eight dishes total, there may only be three or four that guests with certain diets can eat. I’ve been to a lot of parties where there was a vegetarian dish, but other people had eaten it all! Just be considerate, and your guests will be thankful for the effort.

Use SteerList as your grocery list app so you don’t forget to pick something up from the grocery store. You can also use it to remember notes (like that list of things not gluten free) or save tips to it.

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Easy Caramelized Brussels Sprouts That Kids Will Love!

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Brussels sprouts aren’t the scrunch-up-your-face, stick-out-your-tongue affair they once were. Today, these cute little guys can be enjoyed by even the pickiest of eaters (I can confidently say this because even my boyfriend will eat them)! This super simple recipe only takes about eleven minutes to cook, and the flavor is a sweet-and-salty, nutty, and almost mustard-y flavor. The key to making good Brussels sprouts that kids will eat is to eliminate the bitterness. Besides, if you put the word “caramelized” before anything, it instantly sounds more appealing!

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(Photo courtesy of http://www.cookinglight.com)

 Fool-proof Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

 What you need:

 ~12 oz. bag of Brussels sprouts (Trader Joe’s microwavable bag recommended)

~2 table spoons olive oil

~1 teaspoon salt

~1 tablespoon sugar (throw in a little more if you want your sprouts even sweeter)

1) Wash your Brussels sprouts. I usually use ones from Trader Joe’s that come in a bag (I think they’re supposed to be microwaved, but I just open the bag and use them like regular sprouts) and are marked as “ready to eat,” so you don’t have to worry too much about washing them. I still rinse them just to be safe. If you’re cutting the sprouts off a stalk, it’s probably best to let the sprouts sit in salt water for a little bit.

2) Trim the ends and any leaves that look unappealing off of the sprouts.

3) Cut the sprouts in half. Be very careful doing this because they do sometimes roll around. I personally wedge the knife in a little bit, then hold the handle with one hand and use the other hand to finish pushing the blade through the sprout. That way, no fingers are near or under the blade and you have more control.

4) Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and place in the oven while it heats up.

5) Add your halved Brussels sprouts to a medium bowl, then add the olive oil (2 tablespoons). Mix the sprouts a little bit, making sure the olive oil is covering all the greens. Then add salt (1 teaspoon) and sugar (1 tablespoon), stir until all sprouts are coated.

6) Wait for the oven to be fully heated before removing the covered cookie tray. The tray will obviously be very hot, so use appropriate hand coverings to remove it safely.

7) Empty the bowl of sprouts onto the tray. You should hear a little sizzle from the tray being hot. Make sure all the sprouts are face-down (with the flat side touching the tray). Be very careful while doing this.

8) Place tray back in the oven and set the timer for 10-12 minutes.

9) Check on the sprouts when the timer goes off. Be careful when you open the oven, there will be a wave of steam. I recommend opening the oven and counting to about five before looking in. When they are done, there will be some browning on the leaves. The leaves should look slightly crispy. It’s okay if there are a few dark looking spots appearing, but the whole sprout shouldn’t be black on the outside!

And there you have it! Super easy and fast Brussels sprouts! Remember to add anything you need or might be out of to SteerList, your faithful grocery list app. SteerList is free to download from the App Store!

Website: http://www.steerlist.com/

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A Family-Friendly Pinterest Halloween Party

Are you planning the Halloween party for friends and family this year? Throwing a family-friendly party can be tough if you look around at a party store. Blood and gore don’t have to take center stage at your soiree. If you’re looking for some quick and easy party ideas thrill and excite, these Pinterest picks are sure to do the trick AND be a treat!

Decorations:

Balloons and a permanent pen, what could be simpler? Pick up some orange and white balloons and draw some jack-o-lantern or ghost faces on them for a friendly floating display. You can also send balloons home with kids as party favors! Tie little bags of candy as weights to keep the balloons from flying away.

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(Click Here to Find it on Pinterest)

Do you feel like someone is watching you? These creepy eyes don’t have to all be menacing to still give a creepy-cool effect. Simply take old toilet paper tubes and cut your “eye” shapes into them, then put a glow stick inside and place in a hedge or dark area.

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(Click Here to Find it on Pinterest)

 Food:

These two-ingredient witches’ brooms are as easy as grabbing a bag of peanut butter cups and pretzel sticks! All you do is put a pretzel stick into the top of the peanut butter cup and you’re done. Be sure to make sure they don’t get into the hands of anyone with a peanut allergy!

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(Click Here to Find it on Pinterest)

Looking for a healthier snack? Simply hollow out a small or medium pumpkin and throw some dip in. Surround with bite-sized vegetables.

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 (Click Here for Pin)

 These “mummy” hot dogs look snug and warm in their crescent roll wrappings! Simply get Pillsbury pre-made croissant dough, then cut into individual strips and wrap around the hot dog. Follow baking instructions on package and add two little mustard dots for eyes!

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(Click Here For Pin)

This chip and dip “graveyard” is like a miniature diorama! Use any ingredients you want for the dip, just be sure to have a layer of lettuce on top. This particular dip also uses chopped olives as “stones.” You can get strip-shaped tortilla chips to make the headstones as a cheat to make this easier than cutting and baking tortillas, though the chip tree is pretty impressive.

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(Found on Pinterest, But Click Here For Original Link)

 Red “Vampire punch” is always a easy go-to for Halloween, but if you want to go for a fun drink that looks like you put a little more into it, try out a 7UP and sherbert ice cream float for a fun “swamp” drink. The 7UP bubbles up when you add the ice cream, and you can even add some gummy worms as garnish for good measure.

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(Photo from “Here Comes the Sun”)

 Bonus! Some fun and quick games:

“Witch, Witch, Where’s Your Broom?” this is like “Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone?” simply have a chair set with its back to the rest of the people playing. Place a paintbrush or picture of a broom behind the chair and select a “witch.” The witch sits in the chair while a player is quietly selected from the rest of the players. That person must sneak up to steal the broom, then return to the rest of the players. Everyone then hides their hands and chants “Witch, witch, where’s your broom?” and the “witch” has to guess who has it.

“Pin the Nose on the Jack-o-Lantern” is very easy, simply draw or print out and paste a picture of a pumpkin on the wall, but only draw the eyes and mouth. Then, take black paper and let people cut out their own “nose” shape. Add a piece of double-sided tape (or a rolled-up piece) to the back of each nose. Blind fold and let guests take turns trying to pin their nose on! Silly fun.

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Etsy Fall Haul, Y’all!

With the seasons changing, we all look forward to new things. Whether you like colder or warmer weather, seeing nature transform as if by magic is inspiring. It symbolizes a new beginning, a second chance. Maybe you meant to start a project but never got around to it, now is the time to tackle it! So, to celebrate the change in season and bring you even more “fallspiration,” SteerList brings you an Etsy haul to get you excited about Autumn!

These delicious gourmet caramel marshmallows from seller whimsyandspice can be used for a multitude of fall flavors. Float them in your hot chocolate for a twist on an old favorite, or make some especially fancy autumnal s’mores! Even just on their own, they make any day decadent.

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(Photo courtesy of WhimsyandSpice)

These homemade vanilla chai spiced caramels from CandivorEpice offer a mouthful of fall flavor in a bite sized treat. As the weather gets colder, the spices come out. Flavors like cinnamon and nutmeg fill our noses as we pass bakeries and coffee shops, giving us the feeling of warmth in our stomachs. Keep some of these in your purse or pocket for a fun seasonal treat on the go.

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(Photo Courtesy of CandyvorEpice)

Invite nature into your home with this wreath made with real preserved Oak leaves! If you find yourself staring out windows wistfully and watching the leaves fall, get this fun decoration from NHWoodscreation. The seller lives in New Hampshire, where fall foliage is world-famous and most vibrant! You don’t have to travel to see the most beautiful leaves of the season, you can keep it in your own home!

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(Photo Courtesy of NHWoodsCreation)

If you’re not into spooky Halloween decorations, try out this “Fall in Love” banner to celebrate the whole season rather than a single holiday. The play on words is also an ode to the season if you love it like we do. Cuddle up under a blanket and admire an everyday reminder of love and brightly colored leaves from seller IDoBanners. Also great for a fall wedding!

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(Photo Courtesy of IDoBanners)

We all know that pumpkin is the big flavor around this time of year, but what if you’re on a diet? Get your pumpkin fix with this yummy pumpkin-scented soap, made by seller Dailyrepose, with real pumpkin puree. The seller has a lot of positive reviews, but if you have allergies or sensitive skin, you can check the ingredients before buying. Great for the guest bathroom or a festive bath.

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(Photo Courtesy of Dailyrepose)

These were just a few of our fall favorites. Visit Etsy.com for more handmade decor, and be sure to visit each of the seller’s shops featured in this article for tons of other great items (just click on their names in the article, the shop is linked)! Also remember to try out our free to do list app, SteerList. We’re a grocery list app, an organization app, and a location based app all rolled into one!

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