Turkey Day Countdown: Food, Family & Football

There’s only ten days until Thanksgiving. It might seem like a lot, but if you have a feast to finalize, guests to prepare for and a holiday checklist that seems to keep getting longer as the festivities draw closer, it’s better to get anything and everything you can done so you won’t be too stressed out when the holiday arrives. Get the facts about Thanksgiving, from menu ideas to some Turkey Day history with these Thanksgiving articles.

The Thanksgiving Menu

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Ideas for Thanksgiving Sides
Who you share Thanksgiving with probably won’t change, but you can change the food to spice things up a bit. Turkey is the main dish that everybody wants, but playing with the sides to change up your Thanksgiving spread is a great way to make your dinner unique! Here are some ideas for Thanksgiving sides you can try.

What Was Really on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving
Roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. It may surprise you to learn that such traditional foods, with the possible exception of the turkey, were not served at the very first Thanksgiving in 1621. If you are wondering what was served at the First Thanksgiving in America, read on to dig into a helping of history.

Get Cooking on Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving Dinner Disasters and How to Avoid Them
When you’re cooking a holiday meal for family and guests, there are many hats you have to wear and many mistakes that can be made. But if you know what to do and what to watch out for, you can pull off the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Here are a few tips to avoid some of the most common Thanksgiving dinner disasters.

4 Tips to Pull Off A Perfect Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving dinner is a huge production that requires strength, stamina and coordination. But even if you possess all of those characteristics, something is bound to go off the rails. It’s possible to reduce your risk of dinner disasters if you know what to look out for. Pull off the perfect Thanksgiving with these four useful tips.

The Facts About Thanksgiving Football

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Thanksgiving Football: An American Tradition
American football has been a Thanksgiving tradition since the 1800s. Even though football is a tradition, it looks a lot different now than it did long ago. If you’re wondering why the Lions and Cowboys always get to play on Turkey Day or where the tradition started, take a look at this brief history of Thanksgiving football.

How to Work Football Into Thanksgiving Without Ruining Family Time
Thanksgiving is a day for family. For many families, it’s also a day for football. While most NFL and college teams have the day off, there’s always a shortlist of squads who have to suit up, storm the field and keep the long-standing American tradition alive. Here are a few tips to balance football with family on Thanksgiving.

Gift Ideas to Thank Veterans During the Holidays

Veterans Day is only a couple days away. There are a number of ways you can give back by donating and getting involved in your community. But even though we reserve November 11 to honor American veterans, every day on the calendar is a potential day to say “Thank You.” With the holidays approaching, most of us are busy trying to find presents and plan holiday parties. It’s also a great opportunity to surprise the veterans in your life or your community with a thoughtful holiday gift after Veterans Day is over. Take a moment out of your holiday plans to pick out a gift for the veteran in your life or give back in a unique way with these ideas.

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Homemade Meals for Veterans

The gift of food is a wonderful thing, so if you have a special homemade recipe, a little talent in the kitchen and want to make your Veterans Day gift memorable, get cooking for the veteran in your life, invite veterans you know over for a meal or bring them a delicious homemade treat to say ‘Thank You’ on Veterans Day or any other day during the upcoming holiday season. Bake or cook something delicious and easily transport your dish with the Set of 3 Covered Casseroles or this 6-Pc. Locking Lid Stainless Steel Bowl Set. You can also make some cookies and other homemade desserts using the Set of 3 Reusable Baking Sheet Liners.

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Inspiration & Appreciation for Veterans

The men and women who’ve served in our military inspire us with their courage, selflessness and sacrifice on a daily basis. On Veterans Day or during the holidays, we can try to return the favor by offering our own inspiration and encouragement. This Faux Leather Scripture Journal has an uplifting scripture on the front. For the veteran in your family, you could use the 31-Photo Collage Frame to surprise them with pictures of the entire family. You could also get creative and take photos on Veterans Day at your local parade or any community event and use those photos to make a collage for a veteran in the community to commemorate Veterans Day and show how many people in your neighborhood, town or city truly appreciate their service.

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National Pumpkin Day: Top 5 Pumpkin Dessert Recipes

Pumpkin pie might be a Thanksgiving staple, but National Pumpkin Day is today–October 26th! Get in the mood for holiday desserts with some of our favorite pumpkin pie recipes. We’ll start you off with the classic pumpkin pie recipe, and then serve up a few pumpkin twists on traditional dessert ideas to get you baking.

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1. Classic Pumpkin Pie
There’s nothing more satisfying around the holiday season than a delicious pumpkin pie. There’s no need to get fancy with special ingredients and toppings. Stick to the original with this recipe from Taste of Home®. If classic recipes are exactly what you’re looking for, check out these Taste of Home cookbooks at Lakeside.

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2. Bite-Sized Pumpkin Pies
Mix up your classic pumpkin pie recipe with an entire plate of bite-sized or mini pumpkin pies. Not only are these delicious little snacks perfect for your holiday dessert trays, they can also be a fun cooking activity to do with the kids leading up to Thanksgiving. Give everyone their own personal pie with this unique recipe.


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3. Creamy Pumpkin Pudding
If that warm pumpkin flavor isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, cool things down with this pumpkin pudding recipe. The great thing about this recipe is it allows you to mix and match the ingredients you want. If you’re not a walnut fan, leave ’em out. If you like the idea of adding a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg, go right ahead.


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4. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Everyone has their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, some of them passed down from generations. The best part about the chocolate chip cookie is you can easily tweak it with a special flavor. Pumpkin is the best ingredient. Check out this simple recipe, and refresh your cookie cooking gear with products from Lakeside.

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5. Pumpkin Brownies
As if we weren’t already prepared to add pies, puddings and cookies to our Thanksgiving dessert menu. It’s hard to pass up this pumpkin brownies recipe. It’s the perfect solution for your sweet tooth, and also satisfies your pumpkin craving. If you’re in the mood for chocolate, check out these chocolaty gifts ideas at Lakeside.

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Quick Tips on Buying and Grilling Shrimp

Shrimp is known as the easiest and least intimidating seafood to cook. But when you’re buying fresh shrimp from the supermarket or local fishmonger instead of the freezer aisle, there are some key things you need to know to make sure you’re getting the very best quality seafood. Even after you get your shrimp home, there are storage and prepping procedures you should consider before finally throwing your shrimp onto the grill. Shrimp can cook pretty quick, so we’re giving you some even quicker facts and useful tips on grilling shrimp.

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  • Though there are more than 300 different species of shrimp around the world, you’ll probably only be able to find a few kinds at your local store. The good news: some of the best shrimp in the world comes off our own shores on the Gulf of Mexico, meaning you can eat fresh in any state.
  • The shelf life is pretty short, so shrimp behind the supermarket glass isn’t your best bet when looking to buy fresh. Some of the best shrimp is sold in frozen blocks. You’ll have to peel and take out the veins. Another great option is individual quick frozen shrimp. It’s easier to thaw and prep.
  • It’s sold by the pound, so if you’ve got less than 30 shrimp per pound, they should be big to jumbo or even colossal size. Tinier shrimp should score you more than 50. Colossal shrimp or larger sizes have a “U” before the number, which stands for “Under.” Ex: U8 is Under 8 shrimp per pound.
  • Black spotting that is sometimes seen on shrimp that aren’t fresh is called melanosis. It doesn’t mean the shrimp isn’t edible, but it’s a good idea to try to avoid the shrimp with spots to make sure you’re getting the freshest flavor. Shrimp should also be firm. Don’t buy shrimp if it’s falling apart.

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  • Defrost before grilling. Do this in the fridge or with a bucket of cold water. Cold, not warm. Warm water might thaw shrimp faster but it will also force it to lose good moisture and density that will mess with the flavor. Looking for extra flavor? Try brining. Boil water with a mix of salt and sugar. Add it to the cold contents already in the fridge for a couple hours before grilling. Remember to rinse it off.
  • Peel or not. It’s your preference. Peeling is better for throwing your shrimp on kabobs, but leaving the shell can help protect delicious shrimp meat from the grill. The exterior of the shrimp is best when it’s a little pink, and you know the inside is done when it’s white. Don’t walk away from the grill. Shrimp usually cooks quickly depending on how hot your grill is running. Cook time: 4-7 minutes.

The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice for Mother’s Day Gifts

The countdown to Mother’s Day has begun! You have plenty of time to come up with thoughtful ideas to spend the day and pick out the perfect present to please your mom — if you start now! We have a few ideas of our own to get you inspired. Here’s this week’s The Lakeside Selection: Our Choice for Mother’s Day Gifts.sunflower-bird-house

Gardenista For the mom who loves her garden and all the critters that come with it, she’ll be able to welcome feathered friends with this Sunflower Birdhouse. The metal flower has glorious yellow petals that draw the eye and adorable birds to add a little more life and beauty to her yard. The opening to the birdhouse is in the center, complete with a perch for all her feathered friends.sport-mom-tote

Soccer Mom A soccer mom (or basketball mom or football mom) can never have too much room in her bag for the next big game! She can pack up everything she needs for every sporting event with the Sports Mom Organizing Utility Tote. The spacious, open interior lets you prepare for sporting events, the pool, grandma’s house and more. There are 2 patch pockets on the front for drinks and water bottles, and each of the sides has an elasticized mesh pocket for extra storage. The front has an embroidered design with your sport of choice. Double shoulder straps for easy toting.wooden-baskets

Entertaining Mom Give mom the gift of a little country with a Set of 2 Lined Wood Baskets. The stylish baskets have cutout stars along the front and back, revealing more of the red-checkered fabric lining. Each basket has 2 leather handles for easy carrying from the kitchen to the table. Get these for Mother’s Day and she’ll be all set for her Memorial Day cookout! handprint-wall-art

Sentimental Mom Delight mom with a sentimental gift she’ll cherish through the years! All you need to do is add handprints to this Framed Handprint Wall Art with your own paint. Personalize the potted plant in Mom’s Garden of Love with her kids’ handprints to create a wall hanging that will be admired well after the kids go off to college. The finished art is protected under plastic in its wooden frame. Comes ready to hang.prayer-box-charm-necklaces

Faithful Mom Prayer Box Charm Necklace makes a wonderful gift for a mom of faith. It features a prayer inside the pendant and comes with a prayer card inscribed with the same words that can be carried in a wallet. You can choose from a prayer for a mother or daughter, the Lord’s Prayer, or the Serenity Prayer.

The Lakeside Collection has gifts and ideas for every holiday and season. From trinkets for mom on Mother’s Day to kitchen gadgets to put together a fall party, shop The Lakeside Collection for great products at the best deals.

Pinteresting Picks for March

Hooray for the last day of March! We’re super excited for the change of seasons, and, judging from what Pinterest shows us, our customers are excited for warm weather, too.

Here’s our list of the products most pinned for the month — our Pinteresting Picks for March.

Sidewalk-designerThis Designer kit and 50-Ct. Chalk set brings back memories of hours on the sidewalk and days inside crafting. The Magic Art™ Spiral Sidewalk Design Kit lets kids go beyond the hum-drum hopscotch to create amazing designs on the concrete on the backyard patio or in the front on the driveway.  The wheel stencils help create clever  patterns that will keep kids occupied for hours on sunny days. The Bucket of Chalk features thick bright sticks of pink, yellow, blue, green, orange, purple and white all in a plastic tub.tipsy-tower

Here’s a new twist on the vertical garden — the Tipsy Tower Plant Stand is an easy and creative way to give height to your garden using your own planters.  It works by sliding the down the bar at an angle, allowing each pot to rest slightly on the one below it, creating a fun, gravity-defying look. 4-Ft. tower can be used in 4 different configurations as the upright tower rod is actually 2 pieces. It’s designed to accommodate 4 or more pots. 2-Ft. tower can be used in 2 different configurations and is designed to accommodate 3 to 5 pots.stove-top-cover

With warm weather on the horizon, there won’t be as much use for the stove top this summer — but the space shouldn’t go to waste! This Wooden Stove Top Cover goes right over the burners giving you more surface area for working with food, cookbooks or whatever you don’t have room for on your counter tops. It’s easy to take off and put back on using the handles.Sliding-bathroom-storage

Everyone has spring cleaning on the brain and one of our more popular Pinteresting Picks helps keep the bathroom tidy. 2-shelf Sliding Bathroom Storage unit makes use of space by adding a shelf to your cabinet while also making access easy by allowing you to slide the shelves in and out as you need. It lets you add more stuff without adding to the clutter.

 

4 Simple Dietary Changes That Support the Environment

More than three-quarters of Americans claim to be eco-friendly, yet when they consider their lifestyle a quarter of residents realize they do very little or nothing to protect the planet. It’s tough to remember to bring grocery cloth bags to the grocery store, and installing solar panels seems like a lot of work. But what if you knew that some simple dietary changes could have a big impact on the environment? Read on to discover the easy ways your plate could help the planet.

Embrace Meat-Free Monday

The environmental case for adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet is pretty compelling, but this change can be tough for the committed carnivores around the country. A much simpler approach is to experiment with a meat-free diet one day a week.

If everyone in the United States left meat off of their plate once a week, we’d save 100 billion gallons of water, which is enough to serve all the homes in New England for nearly four months. We’d also save 1.5 billion pounds of crops, which could feed the state of New Mexico for a year rather than hungry livestock. It would also reduce our country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 1.2 million tons, which is as much as France produces.

Vegetable rich pastas, soups, risottos, and salads taste so delicious, you probably won’t even miss your steak! Try experimenting with a range of mushrooms if you’re craving the earthiness of meat.

Choose a Non-Salt Water Softener

Water is one of the most commonly used elements in the kitchen, a base for stocks, sauces, soups, and beverages. However, more than 85 percent of American households have hard water, which can clog pipes and leave unsightly residue. Many households install a water softener to solve this problem, but many of these units also take a toll on the planet. To reduce the environmental impact, consider a non-salt water softener instead.

The waste water created by conventional water softeners is rich in chloride, which can harm plants and wildlife. A typical water softener can easily generate 600 gallons of waste water every year, so the impact of this refuse can’t be underestimated. The carbon footprint created transporting heavy bags of salt to the units should also concern sustainably-minded consumers.

Non-salt water softeners treat the water supply without stripping it of beneficial minerals including calcium and magnesium. That makes them a smarter choice for your health, your pipes, and the planet.

Eat Local Produce

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A study by Toronto’s Food Share found the average North American meal contains ingredients from five different countries, which adds up to some serious food miles. Research suggests most American food travels almost 1,500 miles before it’s consumed. Compare that with a meal created from meat, fruit, and vegetables bought from the local farmers’ market. Altogether, that locally-sourced dish’s ingredients have traveled just 60 miles to get to your plate.

The importation of food is now the largest component of air freight, which generates more pollutants than any other form of transportation. The carbon footprint gets even larger when you consider the need for extended refrigeration and packaging.

So bypass the supermarket and start visiting your local farmers’ market instead. The produce you’ll find here is much fresher and more delicious. Your market purchases also support the planet and your region’s farmers.

Choose Whole Foods

Health professionals have encouraged us to steer clear of processed foods and choose whole foods for decades, but eco-warriors have a new reason to heed their advice. These foods also take a real toll on the planet. Food production and supply accounts for 19 percent of America’s energy use. The bulk of this energy is used producing and packaging convenient, yet unhealthy, processed foods.

So steer clear of the frozen food and confectionary aisles and spend more time loading up your kart with whole foods like fruits and vegetables, rice, and oats. Cooking from scratch takes a bit more effort than microwaving ready meals, but the planet, and your waistline, will thank you for it.

You are what you eat, but the planet is too. Make these simple dietary changes to show your support for the environment.

 

Lakeside Selection: Our Choice of Favorite Items for the Week

Summer is a colorful season. From rainbows appearing after mid-afternoon showers to gardens in bloom, we’ve been noticing summer’s true colors, and they’ve inspired us to collect a bouquet of bright ideas for adding more color to your everyday life. Make your kitchen cheerier and your bedroom cozier with a touch of color, or get creative with the hues you wear. All of our items this week feature bright, cheerful tones in surprising places. We think they’ll brighten your day as much as they have ours!
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Stainless steel bowls are wonderfully practical for the kitchen, but they don’t usually contribute much in the way of color. This colorful stainless steel bowl set brings fresh color into your kitchen with five handy sizes. Each bowl has its own color, but we love them all, from the robin’s-egg blue on the smallest bowl to the vibrant cherry red on the largest in the set. The soft satin-finish plastic exteriors are dishwasher-safe and provide extra grip when mixing by hand, making these bowls practical and pretty. We love the avocado-green bowl for salads and the big one for popcorn on movie night.

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Every bedroom needs a touch of color, and this irresistibly soft lighted pillow gives you all the color you could want at once! Cool LED lighting inside the pillow’s soft, white acrylic filling create a light show of pastel hues that look like tie-dyed fabric but change constantly. It’s like a kaleidoscope you can squeeze! The pillow makes a beautiful and unusual accent and also acts as a nightlight for kids who find soft lighting reassuring as they drift to sleep. You can also get the matching throw to turn on the colorful charm in any room of your home. It’s just the thing for snuggling up with a good book on a rainy day.

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Who says you have to stick to a single hair color? The makers of these colorful Hair Chox temporary hair color sticks certainly don’t think you have to stick with the color that nature gave you. With bright red, purple, pink, blue and green, you can add streaks of color to any shade and wash it out when you want a change. Dampen the chalk-like sticks with water, rub them on a strand of hair, and enjoy the head-turning colors you wear. Unlike permanent dyes, these tones cover the surface of the hair instead of penetrating, so they wash away cleanly. Add color in streaks, frost the tips of your current style or frame your face with a few hits of pink or purple. The easy-to-hold handles make painting on color easy. Even Dame Helen Mirren thinks pink hair is hot, and she’s a style icon; don’t be afraid to go bold.

This week, celebrate color with us with these bright ideas or with some of your own. Maybe it’s time to plant a garden, repaint a room or hang a few colorful paintings on your walls. Scientists say color even affects moods, so chase the blues with some pink, purple or red and embrace some new hues today!

Beer Can Chicken Grilling

It’s grilling season and chef Jack Scalfani recently posted a YouTube video sharing his delicious recipe for Beer Can Chicken.  We sent Jack the Lakeside Collection Borracho Double Can Chicken Cooker and in the video he grills two delicious chickens using Guinness and Shock Top brews.  Below is Episode 171 – Beer Can Chicken.  Check it out and subscribe to his channel for even more great recipes!

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