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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!

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

Download our app for FREE in the iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/steer-list/id661605663?ls=1&mt=8

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Seasonal Food to Put You in the Spirit (and Fill Your Home with Heavenly Smells)!

There’s something nostalgic about the tastes and smells we encounter during this time of year. Smell alone can bring back vivid memories and feelings of warmth, happiness and family. We scoured Pinterest for some of the best recipes that can turn your house into a veritable potpourri of delicious smells.

Roasted Nuts

There’s a reason “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” is a lyric in a holiday song, the nutty smell is absolutely delicious (especially mixed with the spicy aroma of cinnamon)! When I lived in Boston and experienced my first-ever snow, I remember walking in the Common and smelling  the comforting scent of roasting nuts mingled with the crisp freshness of a new coat of snow. These cinnamon sugar almonds from Something Swanky are fast and easy, and will quickly fill your home with that very same smell I encountered during my very first walk through the snow.

DSC_0205-edited-watermarked(Photo courtesy of Somethingswaky.com)

Freshly Baked Bread

Is there any better aroma than the smell of bread baking in the oven? No. There is not. Except maybe new baby smell, but that doesn’t count. Baking bread means not only that your house will smell homey but you will get a warm treat when it’s done! This beginner bread recipe from About.com is perfect for a first-time bread maker.

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(Photo Courtesy of The Pinterest Project)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Known as a secret weapon used by real estate agents everywhere, this is a seriously powerful aroma. Chocolate chip cookies are a classic throwback to delicious smells of special occasion bake-fests. Of course, you could go to the store and buy that pre-made stuff that you just throw in the oven, but if you plan on eating these after they’re done, it’s probably best to at least put in the work so you can appreciate them even more! You can’t knock a classic, which means two words: Toll House. The best chocolate chips cookies of all time.

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(Photo courtesy of Cooking for Engineers)

Hot Apple Cider

If you’re like me and not a huge fan of apple cider, adding caramel for this amazing caramel apple cider recipe from DIY Cozy Home makes the prospect heavenly. What is more seasonal than the smell of cinnamon and apples? Apples add a fruity sweet scent to the pungent smell of cinnamon that makes this juice warm you inside and out.

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Don’t forget to download the SteerList app to help “steer” you through the holidays this year! SteerList is a to do list app, a grocery list app, and just an overall list app for your everyday needs!

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

Download our app for FREE in the iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/steer-list/id661605663?ls=1&mt=8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steerList

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SteerList

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.

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

Download our app for FREE in the iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/steer-list/id661605663?ls=1&mt=8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steerList

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SteerList