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Fab Food Friday Fotos: Festive & Thrifty Thanksgiving Menu Ideas & Recipes

Posted By on November 21, 2015

“I a€™m from Canada, so Thanksgiving to me is just Thursday with more food. And I a€™m thankful for that.”

~ €”Howie Mandel, Canadian comedian, actor, television host

FOOD. GLORIOUS THANKSGIVING FOOD.

If you’re still looking for that one special side dish recipe or if you have no idea how you want to cook and flavor this year’s Thanksgiving turkey, you’ve come to the right place. Flavor and frugality… this year’s compilation of festive Thanksgiving menu ideas is truly awesome!

Fessing up: I fell asleep watching a “Bones” rerun last night, so this post wasn’t uploaded until Saturday morning. Oops, sorry!

When they’re available, recipes and recipe links will accompany select “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one frugal-minded recipe will always be included.

 

Acorn Squash Rings with Quinoa Stuffing for Thanksgiving | Photo credit: cacaye, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Acorn Squash Rings with Quinoa Stuffing for Thanksgiving | Photo credit: cacaye, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

These lovely stuffed acorn squash rings are easy to make for Thanksgiving dinner (recipe is posted at Oh My Veggies), and photographer/cook and food blogger Kiersten (aka cacaye) explains why you should consider making them this year:

Thanksgiving might be next week, but here on Oh My Veggies, it starts today! I’m collaborating again with Rikki Snyder, whom you may remember from my Butternut Squash Flatbread post. Rikki is a professional photographer and her work never fails to amaze me. So like the last collaboration we did, I developed the recipes and Rikki did the photos.

(Sidenote: when I told my husband this was like the food blog equivalent of Transformers, where the different parts go together and create something bigger and better, he corrected me with a sigh: “No, that’s Voltron. Voltron. Not Transformers.” And then he shook his head in disappointment.)

Stuffed squash often makes an appearance at vegetarian Thanksgiving meals, but usually it’s in the form of squash halves, stuffed with delicious things like quinoa or rice or other grains and veggies. I decided to do rings instead. Why rings?

Well, first of all, there is so much food available on Thanksgiving. And a whole squash half (whole half! That’s like jumbo shrimp, right?!) is a lot of food on top of all the sides and other yummy things you definitely don’t want to miss out on. It’s also a bit unwieldy to eat. Rings are a little more manageable, don’t you think? Easier to eat and they don’t take up nearly as much room on your plate.

And second, while these squash rings make a wonderful main dish for vegetarians, they also make a great side dish for the meat eaters. No one is going to add a ginormous squash half to his or her plate on top of turkey and all the sides, but a squash ring is a different story. Everyone has room for a squash ring!

 

The how-to video in the tweet above gives you the steps for making a wonderful, but simple homemade Southern cornbread from Jan Charles, The Thrillbilly Gourmet. Don’t skip the bacon drippings, they add to the flavor.

 

 

I’ve had brined turkey, but not BEER brined turkey — it sounds like it would be delicious! Check out the recipe posted at Chef’s Table. Summary:

The brining technique is different than simply marinating or salt curing a meat/poultry product. By submerging a protein (turkey, chicken, Cornish game hens) into this liquid medium, it allows the properties of osmosis to do its work, resulting in flavoring the protein from the inside out. Crafting a liquid with the right balance of sodium, sugar and flavors (in this case Craft Beer with some herbs and vegetables) becomes the basic medium. The natural moisture in the protein is replaced with flavors of the brine that also hydrate the meat, increases the tenderness by denaturing the proteins, helps preserve the ingredient and provides a temperature cushion, preventing the main course from drying out.

 

 

Thanksgiving Braided White Bread | Photo credit: going on going on, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Thanksgiving Braided White Bread | Photo credit: going on going on, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Here’s a fun idea — serve this beautiful homemade braided bread instead of rolls on Thanksgiving. Many of the menfolk at your Thanksgiving dinner table will go wild about ripping off pieces for sopping up gravy. You’ll find the recipe for this braided white bread posted at Family Recipes Collection.

 

 

Thanksgiving Maple Bourbon Sweet Potatoes, Before Baking in Oven | Photo credit: jamelah e, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Thanksgiving Maple Bourbon Sweet Potatoes, Before Baking in Oven | Photo credit: jamelah e, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Photographer/cook jamelah e shared this Thanksgiving maple bourbon sweet potatoes recipe:

(I’m probably not going to have time to take a picture of them once they come out of the oven, because by then I will most likely be running late.)

I got this recipe from Food Network last year and tried it, and it was a hit, so I made it again. Here goes:

* 6 pounds sweet potatoes
* 1 lemon, zested and juiced
* 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
* 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

* 3 tablespoons bourbon (I use more)
* 8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
* 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1 teaspoon white pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until very soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel them by hand and put the flesh in the bowl of a mixer. Mix in the lemon zest and juice, maple syrup and brown sugar.

Pour bourbon in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Let it come just to a boil then tilt the pan slightly towards you to set it aflame. Add to the potatoes along with the butter. Mix well. Add salt and pepper and transfer to a 13×9-inch casserole dish. (Recipe can be made to this point up to 2 days before, refrigerated.) Sprinkle topping over potatoes and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Pecan Crumb Topping:

* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
* Pinch dried thyme
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans
* 5 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into bits

Mix the flour, brown sugar, salt, pepper, thyme and pecans together in a small bowl. Add the butter and work with your fingers until a crumbly mass forms.

 

For some people (maybe you?), Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving unless there is a side dish of green bean casserole — Pioneer Woman’s recipe for this holiday favorite is posted at Food Network.

 

If you’ve had the same experience with turkey as described below, check out Serious Eats on how to successfully brine and grill a succulent, tasty barbecued turkey:

I spent much of my life wondering what the big deal with Thanksgiving turkey was. A day spent slow roasting a bird in the oven, only to sit down at dinner and be greeted with a meat that was so dry and flavorless, it made me wonder if this celebration of communal harvest was actually some sort of perpetual punishment.

I held this notion for a long time, with the joy of Thanksgiving experienced more through the absence of school or work than through food. That all changed when I grilled my first turkey—learning how to rectify each quibble I retained with past birds, culminating in pure poultry enlightenment.

 

Vegan Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes | Photo credit: Gone Vegan, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vegan Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes | Photo credit: Gone Vegan, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Recipe for these flavorful vegan garlic roasted mashed potatoes is posted at Gone Vegan.

 

Recipe is posted at Gather for Bread, with this summary:

This pie is all sorts of sweet. I just need to give you disclaimer right from the get go. First you start off with sweet potatoes. Well, hello, right there’s the word ‘sweet’. Then you add a delicious homemade graham cracker crust. Yum + sweet. Then you add an amazing fluffy marshmallow meringue topping. Oh my goodness. Over the top, amazing!

So here it is. If you like sweet, this pie is for you. If you don’t, make it for someone who does. They will love you to the moon and back. Just sayin’.

 

Thanksgiving Fall Colored Cupcakes | Photo credit: Jasmin Fine @ 1 Fine Cookie, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Thanksgiving Fall Colored Cupcakes | Photo credit: Jasmin Fine @ 1 Fine Cookie, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Pop on over to 1 Fine Cookie for photographer/cook Jasmin Fine’s video recipe for these fabulous cupcakes.

 

Super easy, super spicy, only four ingredients — you can likely find cute turkey molds at any craft store or in the cooking aisle in a grocery or department store. The Bon Appetit spicy honey with butter recipe is here.

 

Cranachan, a Scottish Thanksgiving Dessert | Photo credit: Michelle Ramos, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Recipe encore… this was previously posted here in 2011. This elegant dessert is not overly difficult nor expensive to make — photographer/cook Michelle Ramos provided a description of the popular Scottish dessert:

Cranachan – A typical Scottish dessert made from oatmeal, cream, Drambuie, and fresh fruit. This one had cranberries and raspberries. Delish.

Here are a few recipe links for cranachan at Scottish Recipes, The Telegraph, AllRecipes, and Group Recipes. These recipes use Irish whiskey or rum instead of the mentioned Drambuie. To make the dessert alcohol-free, substitute the liquor with a few drops of vanilla essence.

 

Summary from Your Secret Recipes:

This Thanksgiving Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese is a delicious way to get some greens on the holiday table, and this makes a lovely salad for Christmas too!

I’m always on a quest for Carb-Conscious Thanksgiving Recipes at this time of year, but truthfully some of the Thanksgiving recipes I created in the very early days of the blog are still my favorites. Back in 2007 I spent a couple of hours looking through 20 years of November issues of my favorite food magazines and then marched into the kitchen and came up with this Thanksgiving Spinach Salad with Dried Cranberries, Almonds, and Goat Cheese without a recipe except the one I made up in my head. I’ve served this many times through the years, and it’s always been a hit!

Dried cranberries are traditional for Thanksgiving and I think the small amount used here really gives the salad a Thanksgiving feel. Still, dried fruits are higher in concentrated sugar than fresh fruit, so if you’re a low-carb eater or a South Beach dieter, be sure to use a small amount of dried cranberries compared to other ingredients. Of course if you’re making this on Thanksgiving Day this salad is still going to be a pretty healthy alternative compared to many Thanksgiving foods, even if you splurge on the dried cranberries, so enjoy!

 

Raw Waldorf Salad with Apple Chia Dressing for Thanksgiving | Photo credit: Rambling Dream, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Raw Waldorf Salad with Apple Chia Dressing for Thanksgiving | Photo credit: Rambling Dream, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

A healthy, easy salad for your Thanksgiving table — the recipe is posted at Body Enlightenment, with this intro:

This very easy salad looks and tastes like fall with apples and cranberries. It is also packed with healthful ingredients. Since all the ingredients are “raw”, you are getting the maximum benefits from the vitamins, especially vitamin C which is easily destroyed in the cooking process, along with the live enzymes. Besides being high in vitamin C, apples are rich in fiber known to protect the heart, control blood sugar and protect against cancer.

 

 

Not sure how you want to season or flavor your turkey this year? The how-to brining and glazing video in the tweet above may give you the answer. Summary:

This Glazed Turkey Breast Recipe is perfect for your upcoming Thanksgiving #Friendsgiving celebrations! The turkey is brined with Truvia Brown Sugar Blend, so the meat is flavorful and juicy on the inside, and it’s also brushed with an Orange Rosemary Marmalade on top.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes | Photo credit: beaumontpete, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes | Photo credit: beaumontpete, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

 

Intro and recipe from LizVentures:

My favorite part about Thanksgiving isn’t the turkey, although that is mighty tasty. It’s the cranberries. There’s just something about those red, tart berries that brings a warm Thanksgiving feeling to my heart.

Every year I make a homemade cranberry sauce (and I will again this year), but I also decided my favorite seasonal berry needed a bigger role in the holiday menu– as a cocktail. So, I’m serving this Cranberry Red Wine Sangria recipe with Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the perfect way to sweeten up Thanksgiving, don’t you think?

 

 

Quick Braised Tau Kwa (Firm Tofu) | Photo credit: Jasline @ Foodie Baker, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Quick Braised Tau Kwa (Firm Tofu) | Photo credit: Jasline @ Foodie Baker, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

For those who don’t want to eat turkey on Thanksgiving, who want something unique to serve, this delicious braised tau kwa may be the answer. This dish can be made vegan by omitting the pork. The recipe is posted by photographer/cook Jasline at her Foodie Baker blog. Overview:

I love eating tofu – be it silken or firm; deep-fried, braised or steamed; smelly or non-smelly! But finding tofu overseas (in non-Asian countries) can be really difficult. For the first few months when I’m here, I only saw tofu packed in paper boxes that don’t need to be refrigerated, which looks really weird. As it was also very expensive, I didn’t dare to buy and try it out. Then when we visited another supermarket that’s further away from our house, we managed to find fresh tofu imported from Singapore! What a joy! But it also came with a hefty price tag – at almost SGD 3.60 per packet (which is almost 4 times the price in Singapore)! So whenever we saw a promotion on the tofu, we would definitely sweep a few and stock up.

One of the tofu dishes I sorely miss is my mom’s braised tau kwa. It’s a very simple, easy and comforting dish that goes well with either rice or porridge. Even though it’s called “braised”, it does not need the preparation of any braising sauce or long hours of braising, which makes this dish perfect for a weeknight meal. Instead, a simple sauce with just water, light and dark soy sauce is used which is then thickened with a little corn starch. Minced pork is added to make this a one-dish meal but you may omit it you are a vegetarian. The thickened gravy is perfect to drizzle onto rice or adding more flavour into a bowl of plain porridge.

 

It’s never too early to start thinking about how to use your Thanksgiving dinner leftovers — three different enchilada recipes using Thanksgiving leftovers are posted at Tabler Party of Two.

 

Vintage Thanksgiving recipes, from 1930 cookbook "40 Miracles For Your Table" | Photo credit: alsis35, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vintage Thanksgiving recipes, from 1930 cookbook “40 Miracles For Your Table” | Photo credit: alsis35, Flickr, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Click the vintage cookbook image above once, then click it again to enlarge the printed recipes.

 

Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.

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Past two months of Fab Food Friday Fotos posts:

Hooray for National Nachos Day, Plus Other Frugal, Fabulous Fall Recipes

Comfort for Chilly Autumn Nights… Recipes for Hearty, Thrifty, Delicious Soups, Stews, & Casseroles

Easy & Awesome Halloween Treats & Recipes, Fiendishly Delicious Party Appetizers, & Thrifty Autumn Meals

Chicken Fajita Bake, Breakfast Sausage-Egg Pizza, Easy Shrimp Puffs, Butterbeer Cookies, Cranberry Kale Salad, Elk Tacos, Gilded Blueberry Rhubarb Jam, Garlic Chilli Pasta with Bacon & Asparagus, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, More Frugal Recipes

Caramel Pound Cake, Kiam Peng, GF Artichoke Quiche, Black Bean Burgers, Summer Potato Salad, DIY Whiskey Jerky, Pork with Apples, Squash Risotto, Pumpkin Popcorn Balls, Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Grits, Split Pea Soup, More Thrifty Recipes

Italian Sausage & Lentils with Potatoes, Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Pancetta, One Pot Roast Italian Chicken, Creamed Zucchini, GF Almond Tea Bread, Avocado-Corn Salsa, "Skinny" Italian Chocolate Shake, Chinese-Style Eggplant, Rhubarb Butter, More Easy Recipes

Korean Keema, Eton Mess, Peanut Chicken Soba Noodles, Street Tacos Al Pastor, Happy Squirrel Bento, Chunky Gazpacho, Beer-Battered Fish & British Chips, Jalapeño Popper Chicken Breasts, Bean Soup, Corn Fritters & Roasted Tomatoes, More Thrifty Recipes

Phony Baloney Revealed: Twitter Audit Exposes Presidential Wannabe Hillary’s Fake Twitter Followers, More Than 1 Million

Posted By on November 12, 2015

Exposed: Hillary Clinton has the most fake Twitter followers of any American politician... more than 1 million

Exposed: Hillary Clinton has the most fake Twitter followers of any American politician… more than 1 million

 

Did Hillary Clinton know that more 1 million of her so-called Twitter followers are phantoms, that they are as fake as a three-dollar bill?

Or, was she too busy using her unsecured personal email account for sensitive government correspondences?

To quote Hillary, “What difference does it make?”

Reported earlier this week by Breitbart, Audit Shows Hillary Clinton Has the Most Fake Twitter Followers:

The Washington Examiner reports an audit of the Twitter accounts for the 2016 presidential candidates found Hillary Clinton has the highest percentage of phony followers by far, a whopping 41 percent. This means that of the 4.65 million followers Clinton claims, 1,906,500 of them might be fakes.

These fake followers were sniffed out with a tool called TwitterAudit, which examines the activity on Twitter accounts and looks for telltale signs of falsehood, such as a very low number of tweets, small numbers of followers, and other metrics combined into an authenticity score. Its creators readily concede the process is not perfect and can have a significant margin of error.

Still, for very large Twitter followings such as those enjoyed by top politicians and celebrities, the audit program delivers interesting results. Fake Twitter accounts often use the default “egg” avatar. You’ve got to fake some eggs to make a popularity omelette these days.

[…]

Some of the fakes probably build up in pyramids, as organizations with padded Twitter followings flock to candidates they support. It would not be difficult for fairly small groups of people, using the dark arts of social-media illusion, to whip up enormous blocks of phony accounts to show support for their heroes.

This is just one of many ways in which the Internet can be used as a tool to manufacture approval; other recent controversies have included companies buying or creating false positive reviews for their products and massive email campaigns that proved to be largely the work of bots. If the media wasn’t so obsessed with social media, and so interested in finding ways to manipulate public perceptions of popularity, these tricks probably wouldn’t work so well.

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