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Posts from the ‘Fall’ Category

Preparing for the Feast: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Thanksgiving dinner is arguably the most anticipated meal of the year. What have you done to prepare? If your answer is “nothing,” don’t stress. You’ve still got (a little) time to pull together an impressive feast. Start by browsing the recipes below, craft a well-organized shopping list, and then make a mad dash to your local grocery store to grab the necessities before they’re gone!

The Turkey

Let’s face it, the turkey is the star of the day. But with so many options for this famed-fowl, which direction should you go?  Beginners might choose to start with this Class Roast Turkey recipe from Chef Emeril Lagasse. If you’re a seasoned veteran of turkey preparation, try using this turkey brine recipe to bring a little unique flavor to your bird. Finally, for those feeling especially adventurous this holiday season, give the fried turkey a try. You can’t go wrong with a little deep-fried goodness (don’t forget the safety goggles!)!


From apples and cornbread to pecans and sweet sausage, it seems everyone has their own Thanksgiving stuffing style, but which best fits your feast? There’s no right answer – just go with your gut. If you’re looking for something a little different this year, check out Country Living’s 21 Recipes for Thanksgiving Stuffing.  Or, for those that stick with tradition, use this tried-and-true Classic Bread Turkey Stuffing from Betty Crocker. Whichever recipe you choose, don’t stress – stuffing is used to playing second fiddle to turkey!

Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

You’re either a lumps or no lumps kind of family, there is no in between. Admit it – you’re probably only truly safe at the Thanksgiving table if you stick with tradition on this one. But if you’re willing to risk it, try Giada De Laurentiis’ Baked Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs or Paula Deen’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes. You won’t be disappointed!

As for the gravy, your best bet is to stick with simple. The potato (and anything else that ends up getting smothered) should take center stage, so don’t overdo it! Check out this No-Fail Make Anytime Turkey Gravy if you’re up for the challenge of making it from scratch. If not, Heinz has a great option in a jar – we won’t tell!

Green Bean Casserole

No Thanksgiving spread is complete without a green bean casserole. While each family’s rendition might look a little different, that undisputable taste is the same. Whether you use the traditional Campbell’s Classic Green Bean Casserole Recipe or took yours from Betty Crocker, this one’s a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.


It’s the classic cranberry conundrum – whole or jellied? Here’s a tip for Thanksgiving table harmony – include both! Now that you’ve got that settled, consult the designated cranberry experts for canned options and a fresh recipe – Ocean Spray. If you’re looking to save time, pick up a few cans at your local grocery store. Up for the fresh and from scratch route? This Fresh Cranberry Sauce recipe is sure to satisfy even the most critical cranberry fan.


A piece of pie – no matter the flavor – is the perfect ending to your Thanksgiving feast. While every family has their favorites, there’s no denying the classic pumpkin pie is a must-have. Once you’ve made sure to include pumpkin, feel free to go wild! From pecan to sweet potato and apple, The Food Network’s collection of the Best Thanksgiving Pie and Tart Recipes is sure to inspire. Not in to baking? Pick up a few flavors at your local grocery store and pop them in the oven for a few minutes before serving to get that homemade taste.

Link Roundup: Spooky-Fast Solutions for Halloween on a Deadline

Did you forget about Halloween this year? Don’t punish yourself by skipping the festivities just because you’re failing Halloween Prep: 101! If you’re frantically searching for ways to display a little last-minute Halloween spirit, we’ve got you covered.

Speedy Costume Solutions

Invited to a costume party you totally forgot about? Never fear, there are thousands of last-minute costume ideas out there, no matter what you’ve got to work with in your closet. Check out the ideas below for almost any Halloween costume pickle!


Swift Decoration Ideas

If you’re going to participate at all, you might as well go all-in. Halloween decorations can be fun and easy, you’ll just have to use the suggestions below and get creative!

Scary Halloween Classics

Not in to decorations or costumes?  There’s nothing like a scary movie to get you in the Halloween spirit!

Baseball: A Presidential Pastime

Fondly referred to as America’s pastime, baseball is forever-woven in to the seams of our country’s history. We all have our favorite baseball memories, and U.S. Presidents are no exception.

From former players to avid fans, almost every U.S. President has made a small mark in the book of baseball history. With Major League Baseball’s fight for the Fall Classic upon us, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at presidential baseball history.

Presidential First Pitches

President William Howard Taft started this now-storied baseball tradition on opening day of the Major League Baseball season in 1910. From his seat in the stands at Griffith Stadium in Washington D.C., he threw out what is now known as the inaugural presidential first pitch.

In the years since, it’s become a tradition in which all but just one president has been a willing participant. Take a trip down memory lane and check out these historic presidential first pitches.

Presidential Baseball Players

Several presidents played baseball at one time or another in their lives, but arguably the most notable is President George H.W. Bush. Although he excelled at several sports as a child, baseball was his sport of choice as a student-athlete at Yale.  As the first baseman and captain, he led the team to a birth in the 1947 College World Series, which they eventually lost to the University of California.

Presidential Baseball Fanatics

There’s nothing quite like sitting back with a cold drink and a hot dog to watch your favorite team fight through nine innings for a win. Just ask your President! Over the years, we’ve seen our fearless leaders take in a game or two, and who can blame them? There’s really nothing more satisfying than a game-winning strikeout.

Interested in seeing how often your favorite President took in a game? Check out these presidential attendance records.

Presidential Hosts to World Series Champions

Hosted by President Calvin Coolidge, the 1924 Washington Senators were the first World Series Champions to visit the White House. Since then, it’s become a time-honored tradition, photo-op and honor for MLB players. Most recently, President Barack Obama greeted the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants.

Interested in testing your presidential baseball knowledge?  Check out this U.S. Presidents and Baseball quiz!

For more interesting baseball facts, stories and trivia, visit the Baseball Almanac.

How to Procrastinate: Football-Style

The NCAA Football and NFL seasons are now in full swing, giving millions of students across the country yet another excuse to put off their final papers and head to the stadium, bar or couch for a few hours. No judgment here, Northcentral University team members are some of the most die-hard fans around!

We say if you’re going to procrastinate, why not do it right? Gather your family and friends to make some great food and get the most out of your few hours of freedom with these tailgating tips and menu recommendations from NCU’s super fans!

Molly Migliaccio – Creative Services and Production Manager & New York Giants Super Fan

“Make sure the food you have is set-it-and-forget-it style. You don’t want to be in the kitchen cooking and cleaning! You’ll always miss the best play of the game and have to hear about it later!”

Jeff Wegela – Senior Re-Entry Specialist & Detroit Lions Super Fan

“Picture this – pizza, wings, cheesy bread and your favorite beverage on the table in front of you.  You’re kicked back in your favorite chair and watching your team win. Or in my case, watching your team get penalty after penalty! It doesn’t get any better than that!”

Kevin Lustig – Senior Vice President, Marketing and Business Development & Michigan Super Fan

“I eat garlic chicken wings with buffalo sauce and ranch. Yes, they play better when I do – it’s science!”

Krista Heist – Associate Director of Admissions & Arizona Cardinals Super Fan

“If you’re actually going to the game, like my family does every Sunday, bring a rug or something to put on the hot ground. I recommend ours, a replica of a football field. It’s great for keeping away the heat of the asphalt, while adding a touch of ambiance to your tailgate.”

Kegan Bellerby – Graduate School Advisor & Oregon Super Fan

“Watching the blazing speed and astounding pace of the Oregon Duck offense is something that can cause us fans to become dizzy and light-headed at times. I suggest a cold beverage to accompany some delectable Krispy Kreme donuts or a nice Caesar salad in order to center oneself. This should help bring one’s equilibrium back to normal viewing capabilities… shoot, I just missed another TD!!”

Fall in to Pumpkin-Flavored Bliss

How do you know fall is finally here? The air is getting crisp, the leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter, and pumpkin-flavored favorites are everywhere!

The window of opportunity to get your pumpkin-flavored fix is relatively short, so start getting your game plan ready! Here are a few suggestions for your 2013 tour of pumpkin fare.

Pumpkin Pick-Me-Up

It’s an obsession that seems to be taking over the world – the pumpkin spice latte. Starbucks, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Einstein Bros Bagels are on the long list of restaurants that offer their own version of the delight.

Having trouble deciding where to get your next pumpkin-flavored caffeine fix? This blog in the Huffington Post might help!

Pumpkin for Breakfast

Check out Einstein Bros Bagels for an assortment of pumpkin choices. From smoothies to muffins, cookies and bagels, they’ve got your cravings covered for nearly the entire day!

If you’re craving something a little sweeter, Dunkin’ Donuts is another great spot for breakfast. Check out their coffee, muffins, and donuts – all pumpkin-flavored for your enjoyment.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

A fan favorite, there are countless ice cream options for pumpkin lovers. Pinkberry, Sonic, Baskin-Robbins, and even Dreyer’s all have pumpkin options for your enjoyment, but there’s one that stands above the rest.

You knew it was coming! Available through the month of October (and sometimes November, if you’re lucky!), the Pumpkin Pie Blizzard at Dairy Queen never disappoints. You can even join the Blizzard Fan Club to be among the first to know when it’s available in your area.

Pumpkin for the Health Nut

The pumpkin without all that sugar and cream is a great addition to any diet, but those looking for a healthy option in any restaurant might be searching for a while. If you’re craving that pumpkin flavor but are unwilling to stray off your healthy path, try this Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie recipe at home. It might take a little longer, but the work will be worth it!


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