Thanksgiving Tips to Make Your Day Memorable

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. For many of us, there are still quite a few things to get done before the big feast. Whether you’re still trying to decide what to put on the menu, looking for some Thanksgiving tips to get through the feast or just want to learn some new interesting facts about the holiday, find the answers you need to make your holiday great with these informative Thanksgiving articles.

Finalize Your Thanksgiving Menu

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How to Plan the Perfect Thanksgiving Menu
It’s gonna be hard to top last year’s menu. That cranberry sauce recipe you found on Pinterest was the best yet! With so many websites, blogs and magazines overflowing with enticing Thanksgiving recipes, it can be tough to decide on your menu. We’ve picked a few Thanksgiving classics, each updated with a simple twist.

Thanksgiving Vegetable Guide
We already know turkey is going to be on the menu. But a great main event needs some supporting players to make a meal great. We expect the standard mashed potatoes, but there are loads of other vegetables you can try that will add a bit of a zip to your holiday dinner. Here’s a quick guide to Thanksgiving vegetables.

Thrive on Thanksgiving Day

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Easy Tricks to Eat Well and Stay Fit on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving menus are packed with calorie pitfalls. While it’s never fun to be a stickler about your strict diet during the holidays, staying disciplined during Thanksgiving can establish a positive foundation for the rest of the holidays. Check out these tips to help you stick to your diet and survive the heavy Thanksgiving meal.

5 Tips to Avoid Thanksgiving Dinner Disasters
Whether it’s your first time hosting a Thanksgiving dinner or you’re a Thanksgiving veteran, there’s really no way around it: something is bound to get botched. But there are ways to avoid common mistakes that we all make on Thanksgiving from time to time. Check out these five tips to avoid Thanksgiving dinner disasters.

Fun Thanksgiving Facts

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History of the Thanksgiving Turkey
According to the National Turkey Federation, about 90% of Americans feature turkey on their Thanksgiving menu. It’s a longstanding tradition, but the big bird was likely not at the first Thanksgiving meal. So why are so many people feasting on turkey? We’ve got a few ideas. Here’s a brief history of the Thanksgiving turkey.

History of Thanksgiving Football Games
Food. Family. Football. For many people in America, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about. If you get it right, you can watch football for the entire day and only be interrupted to eat some turkey. But the Pilgrims weren’t tossing a pigskin at the first Thanksgiving, so how did this tradition start? We did a little research to find out.

Countertop Decor and More: Products to Complete Your Kitchen

Remodeling your entire kitchen is an expensive venture, but most of us don’t need an entire overhaul for the new look we’re trying to create. Whether you’re adding a new feature like a backsplash and need some item to finish off your transformation, searching for some new countertop decor, or trying to add organization back into one of your most essential spaces, check out some of our favorite kitchen items to complete your vision.

Kitchen Goods Too Good to Hide

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Display this Embossed Measuring Spoons with Stand on your countertop and be prepared for any cooking or baking prep right away. Each measuring spoon features a matching design and hangs from the stand for easy access. The finial on the stand coordinates with each spoon’s handle. Keep the stovetop and counter nice and clean while you cook with the Lid and Spoon Rest. It holds most lids, splatter screens and cooking tools, and it’s dishwasher safe for easy maintenance. Give your entire kitchen some down-home charm with the Country Kitchen Collection. Hang towels and utensils with the Wall Hooks. Hold up to 12 plates with the Dish Rack and set out some fresh produce with the 2-Tier Fruit Basket, which also has a hook for bananas.

Organized and Out of Sight

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Easily organize items in your kitchen cabinet or pantry with the 2-Tier Multipurpose Cabinet Basket. The top is divided into three compartments, and the bottom has a sliding drawer. The plastic feet prevent damage to surfaces. Stay on top of your kitchen organization with the Set of 2 Snap-Fit Drawer Dividers. Quickly and easily find what you need when you use these dividers to sort utensils and more. Each snaps into place for easy installation, adjusts to your drawers and features nonslip foam grips on each end for a secure fit. Slide the Slim Can and Spice Rack between appliances, cabinets and other narrow spots for some extra storage in your kitchen. The wheels make it easy to push and pull, and the open shelves can hold a variety of items.

Tips on Grilling Salmon and Swordfish

Fish is packed with lean protein, nutrients and all those coveted, brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, but a recent study by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) discovered that up to 90 percent of Americans aren’t eating nearly enough seafood to meet the recommended two servings per week. It’s not that we don’t enjoy the taste of fish or shrimp, and dishes like crab cakes are almost always included in favorite food debates. Cooking fish only seems difficult. Get fired up about grilling salmon, swordfish and snapper with these tips.

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Things to Look For in the Store
For ultimate freshness, it’s important to cook fish the same day you bring it home from the store. Don’t mess around with anything but the prepared cuts of salmon steaks or swordfish fillets if you’re new to buying, and if possible, aim to get some cuts with skin on. You might be expecting fish to have a strong fishy smell, but a quality cut will not emit a strong scent or foul odor. It will also pass the eye test in terms of cleanliness. Try to make sure each piece you buy is firm, not flimsy, and be on the lookout for unusual discoloration or spots.

Problematic Pin Bones
It’s easier to ask the fishmonger or supermarket to remove things like pin bones from your fillets, but you can also do it at home. You’ll be able to see and feel the bones in the fillet, but getting them out with your hands can be tricky. Needle nose pliers and larger tweezers work great for removing pin bones. Always clean tools before putting them to use in the kitchen. Simply feel around the fish to locate the bones, knead into the flesh to reveal a pin bone head, grab it gently with the pliers to avoid snapping it into pieces and pull carefully.

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Seasoning, Salty or Spicy
While some prefer the fresh taste of fish without seasoning, many of us would agree that a little seasoning is better than none. You don’t want spices overpowering the flavor of fish, so when applying, be sure to keep it light and even. A combination of salt and pepper mixed with lemon juice or melted butter are a few common favorites among expert grillers, and many have been known to enjoy fish with the flavor of dill, garlic, chives or even pineapple juice. Remember that the flavor of fish is delicate, so take it easy when you’re prepping.

On the Grill
Grill masters know the importance of preheating the grill. For fish, if you’re placing it directly on the grates, make sure you clean thoroughly and oil generously while preheating. Oil once more before throwing your fish on. If you’ve left the skin on your fillets, you can put them on the grill skin-first for a crispy flavor. Many make the mistake when placing fish directly on grill grates to try and flip before the fish is ready. This often leads to mangling the fish with your spatula. When the fillet is more than halfway done, the fish will almost detach from the grates naturally. You only need to flip once. It’s a short cooking time. Total: 5-10 minutes.

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week

It’s the first weekend in May and we are so excited to enjoy the weather and two days away from the office. Here are our product picks for the week we think will inspire fun and productive weekend activities.

muffin-cooker

Make a breakfast favorite quickly, easily and healthier with an egg muffin cooker. Use this set of 2 microwave cookers to cook a perfectly round egg to fit an English muffin. Just beat 1 or 2 eggs right inside the cooker, then add all the extra ingredients you love. The eggs cook in 1 minute! Plus, you avoid the grease and fatty butter or margarine that comes with pan frying.

bottle-lantern

Handpainted bottle lantern changes colors as it lends ambiance to your yard. Solar-powered lantern requires no cords or wires, so you can hang it anywhere. The light continuously cycles through colors from shades of red to green to blue. Automatically turns on at dusk. On/off button.

table-covers

A Textured Custom-Fit Table Cover brings a fresh new look to a worn or damaged surface. Use it every day or put it on for those special occasions. The textured design and secure fit make it a more stylish option than tablecloths. It’s an environmentally sound choice too, as no inks, dyes or chemical finishes were used in its making. Fade-resistant cover is great for indoor or outdoor use, and it easily wipes clean.

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Add a touch of playfulness to your yard with this Set of 5 Decorative Garden Friends. Place these statues together or scatter them around. You can even put them in outdoor planters. Each is decorated with colorful flowers and leaves.

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Soft-Sided Pet Playpen gives dogs ample room to play or nap as they stay safely contained. Portable and lightweight, this 8-sided pen has mesh panels for maximum comfort and ventilation. Easy to set up–just set it upright and unfold. The roof provides shade and security and zips off to give you access to your pet. 2 Double-zippered doors can be left open or closed with fabric-magic tabs. Removable floor panel is secured with fabric-magic and lifts out for cleaning. Playpen also features 2 side pockets to keep toys and snacks handy, an additional mesh side pocket, water dispenser hole and holder, water-resistant outer cover and interior floor, and stake straps to secure the playpen to the ground.

Taking Care of Your Kitchen: 5 things you need to know to keep your food safe

Cooking is fun to do at home, but there are a lot of risks that come with preparing food. Microorganisms grow quickly in food and can make people sick, but you can prevent them from becoming a problem in your kitchen. Here are 5 things you need to remember to keep your food safe.refrigerator-interior

Acidity Microorganisms grow very quickly in foods that don’t contain much acid. Items like egg salad or tuna salad contain very little acid so, left in the wrong conditions, they can spoil very quickly. By adding acid like lemon juice or vinegar to low-acid foods, you can reduce the risk of microorganisms spreading.

Temperature Microorganisms develop fastest when food temperature is between 40°F and 140°F. This range is considered the temperature danger zone. Refrigerators are typically set at less than 40°F and most food is cooked to a temperature higher than 140°F. Your biggest concerns would be for food left out at room temperature (about 60°F to 90°F). Tip: keep the hot stuff hot and the cold stuff cold.

Time Microorganisms require time to flourish. When food is left in the temperature danger zone, it grows quickly – multiplying every minute it’s left out. After four hours, microorganisms can grow to levels high enough to make someone sick.

Oxygen Most microorganisms need oxygen to grow. Keeping food sealed in plastic and glass containers helps keep oxygen out and prevent bacteria from growing.

Moisture Microorganisms need water to grow. Many microorganisms die in dry conditions, so spoilage can be controlled by dehydration. food

Foods most likely to spoil:

  • Milk and dairy products
  • Sprouts
  • Cooked rice, beans and vegetables
  • Baked potatoes
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Soy products
  • Sliced melons and cut tomatoes

There are also some foods that won’t spoil easily. Food like bread can be left out at room temperature because it contains little acid, but it contains moisture so it will spoil eventually. Cookies and crackers don’t have much acid in them and contain little moisture, so they can be left out at room temperature for extended periods without spoiling. Most fruit have acid in them so they can be left at room temperature for a period as well, but both bread and fruit won’t spoil as quickly if they are refrigerated.

Food is fickle. While you can manage all of the factors that cause food to spoil, the only two things you can control are time and temperature. So if something is sitting on the counter and you didn’t put it there remember one thing:  when in doubt, throw it out.

Items We Adore: LTD’s Product Picks for the Week

If you have kids, you have probably heard of the word “tween”. Tween refers to kids in the age range of ten to twelve years old. They aren’t quite a teenager yet but they hate to be called kids. They love the latest trends and are always looking for the hottest new item to make their own statement. This week we have the hot items tweens adore.

Animal-print-throw

Animal Prints are big right now.  Anything from zebra to cheetah are always a pleaser. Even a country cow print can make your tween go wild. These Plush Animal Print Sherpa Throws will keep your tween warm and fashionable. They will adore the trendy pink tiger or cow print. Perfect for sleep overs or a movie night when. These machine washable throws are easy to take care of so they can go everywhere with your tween.

Air-chairWhen kids become tweens they want to revamp their room and reinvent their style. A great way to add a trendy touch is with this Multi-Max Air Chair. These chairs come in bright vivid colors that make a statement in any tween’s room. The chair can fold out to an air bed to make sleepovers easy. No need to buy an extra air mattress for your family camping trip. This durable chair will fit perfectly in a tent. Take it on road trips to grandparents and also makes the perfect holiday gift.

Gel-PensIf you have a tween, you know they love bright colors and anything to make them stand out from the crowd. One of the popular ways kids create color is with a simple pen. Make homework and projects fun with a 52-Pc. Gel Pen set. This fun set comes with a metal carrying case for easy transportation. Keep the set at home or bring it to school to complete work with style.

BFF-BraceletFriendship bracelets have been around for years but today’s youth have put their own twist on a classic. Still braided with great colors but instead of thin string they beefed up the bracelets to make bigger and better ones. This BFF Chunky Cord Bracelet Kit comes with a foam wheel to make creating bracelets easy and 24 satin cords. Tweens can make six bracelets to wear and share with their best friends.

Trends for tweens are changing all the time and it can be hard to keep it up. Between hot fashion trends, the coolest toys and fun games, be sure to keep connect with Lakeside. We have are always up on trends and hot new items that tweens and teens love.

Have you bought something from us lately? What is your favorite LTD product of the moment? Let us know in the comments below.