This Slow Cooker Stuffing Recipe Will Make Cooking For The Holidays So Much Easier









Food & Recipes

If stuffing isn’t already your favorite holiday side dish, it’s about to be!





Preparing for Thanksgiving dinner requires a lot of prep work so, obviously, we welcome any shortcuts that make cooking for the big day easier. So when you see this recipe — which makes prepping easier without sacrificing taste — you’ll want to make it a staple in your kitchen. Ready for the big reveal? Behold this slow cooker stuffing recipe.

The Crock-Pot Stuffing recipe that will save you some major time in the kitchen this season comes from the Spend With Pennies website. It’s great because it’s homemade — which beats stuffing from the box — but only requires minimal effort.

All you need to create this amazing dish is bread, chicken broth, eggs, celery, onion and spices. The Spend With Pennies website also walks you through the best types of bread for making stuffing and how to dry it out on your own.





The recipe does require some minimal effort before you add it all to the crockpot. You’ve got to season and saute the onions and celery and then mix it all together. But as you can see in this video from the Spend With Pennies YouTube channel, it’s all very easy to get to that final slow cooker step:

Once you’ve got the ingredients combined, you throw them in the crockpot and let them slow cook for four hours. They’ll be ready to be served immediately, or can even be made 24 hours in advance to get one step out of the way before Turkey Day. How amazing is that?

When the stuffing’s all warmed and ready, it’ll look a little something like this:

Spend With Pennies

Yum!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, here’s something to be thankful for. This stuffing recipe isn’t the only slow-cooked version of classic sides that can be served up for the holiday.





For instance, Gimme Some Oven has a recipe for slow-cooked cranberry sauce that will make your Thanksgiving preparations all the easier. Orange juice, water, sugar, cranberries and some time in the crockpot will yield a delicious turkey topping:

Gimme Some Oven

This recipe from Dinner Then Dessert will walk you through the steps to yield perfectly delicious macaroni and cheese that takes little to no effort to make:

Dinner Then Dessert

And mashed potatoes — a dish that can be a labor of love thanks to all the peeling, boiling and mashing — can have almost all of the work taken out of them thanks to hours spend slow cooking. This recipe from Cooking Classy shows you how to create creamy garlic mashed potatoes right in your crockpot:

Cooking Classy

Who’s ready to keep the actual hands-on cooking at a minimum and opt for these time-saving recipes this Thanksgiving?

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These Shelters Are Asking Families To Embrace The Holiday Spirit By Hosting A Shelter Pet For Thanksgiving









What a great idea! Do you know someone who would love to do this?





Room for one more? An animal shelter in Richmond, Virginia, is accepting volunteers to open their homes to one of their shelter animals for Thanksgiving. So, if you were worried about having too many leftovers, get ready to share some of your scraps with these deserving animals.

The Richmond Animal Care and Control started this Thanksgiving fostering system four years ago, The Dodo reports.

“I was feeling so sad about the dogs being alone in the shelter for Thanksgiving,” shelter director Christie Chipps Peters told The Dodo. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if people could invite them over for Thanksgiving dinner?’”





She let the community know that taking a pet home temporarily over Thanksgiving was an option, and pretty soon, 35 of the animals had families inviting them over for dinner.

According to Peters, more than half of the animals were adopted that year, either by the families who had offered to host them or by people who had met them through the family over Thanksgiving.

That’s why four years later, this fostering program is still going strong. This year, the shelter posted to Facebook offering the chance to take an animal home this holiday season:

For all those in the Richmond area who are interesting in hosting a furry friend this Thanksgiving, please also keep in mind that the shelter is looking for families who don’t already have pets. From there, you’ll be interviewed to find out which animal might be the best fit for your family. Then, you’ll walk away with a new best friend for the next few days (or longer if you decide to adopt!). You’ll be asked to foster the animal beginning as early as Nov. 18, and you can wait as late as Nov. 21 to bring the animal home with you.

If you don’t happen to be in the Richmond area, there’s still a chance that your local shelter will let you host a dog or cat for Thanksgiving.





For example, the LifeLine Animal Project in Atlanta is serving up an extra bit of cheer this holiday season by allowing families to foster animals for the entire week leading up to Turkey Day. In their Facebook post about the program, they say the shelter will even provide you with supplies for fostering an animal:

And last year, after a successful Thanksgiving fostering program, the Humane Society of Delaware County in Ohio also offered the option to take a pet home for Christmas and New Year’s, too. In fact, this pup they posted on Instagram looks 100 percent ready to snuggle when you need to nap after the big Thanksgiving meal:

Awww!

You can always check in with your local shelter to see if fostering over Thanksgiving is an option. Some shelters have an internal program for holiday fostering that allows their regular volunteers to host a pet, but not the general public. Sounds like one more reason to help out at your local animal shelter!

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These Turkey Cupcakes Are So Fun For Kids To Make And They’re Seriously Cute









Food & Recipes

Almost too cute to eat!





Is it time to start a new Thanksgiving tradition with the young ones in the family? If so, check out these adorable “turkey” cupcakes that are easy to make and tons of fun to decorate.

Not only do these petite, festive treats taste delicious, but what better way to keep kids occupied while the grownups are preparing a Thanksgiving feast than by letting them get creative with some frosting and candy?





For this simple Thanksgiving dessert by Food, Fun and Faraway Places, just whip up some cupcakes and frosting and then everyone can get to work on the fun part: decorating! Alternatively, you could use cake mix and store-bought frosting to simplify the process even more.

Kelly Stilwell

After the baking and frosting is complete, blogger Kelly Stilwell suggests arranging Oreo cookie “eyes” and candy corn “feather tails” to create these visual masterpieces.

Kids and adults alike will enjoy this project, which combines baking with arts and crafts!

Coupon Clipping Cook

For another version of this cute cupcake, check out blogger Coupon Clipping Cook’s recipe, which calls for quite an imaginative eye. These surprisingly realistic-looking desserts use Nutter Butter cookies for the head and neck, almonds for the beak, candy corn for the feathers and an Oreo for the base of the plume.





This recipe also provides excellent, in-depth instruction, including details on how to build the turkey using frosting as the glue.

Happy baking!

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Sam’s Club Is Giving Away 1,500 Tons Of Free Thanksgiving Samples—Here’s When To Go









Food & Recipes

Here’s when you should go, and what you can expect!





If you’ve ever shopped at a warehouse store like Sam’s Club, you know that while three-pound cinnamon rolls and nine-pound buckets of frosting are amazing, truly the best part of having a membership at the club is all the free samples.

While you can find a few samples on most days, Sam’s Club really goes all out with its biggest sampling offering of the year right before Thanksgiving at its “Taste of Sam’s” event. This year, you’ll find at least 12 stations of samples each day of the event, and the samples vary daily, so you’ll be able to try new foods each time you go!

Night Court Eating GIF by Laff - Find & Share on GIPHY





You’ll find everything from classic Thanksgiving dishes like turkey, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, to some foods you may not be used to having for the holiday, like lobster bisque and La Croix sparkling water. Of course, you’ll also find sweet treats like pumpkin pie!

Sam’s Club estimates they’ll be giving out a whopping 1,500 tons of food during the six-day event, which runs Nov. 16-21, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Take a look at some of the items you’ll be able to sample during the Taste of Sam’s event. Keep in mind that the samples vary per day, so the foods below will not necessarily be available on any given day.

Member’s Mark Raspberry Chipotle Dip

Taste test this Member’s Mark raspberry chipotle dip, which is available in a 24-ounce tub. Made with cream cheese, sour cream, raspberries and jalapeños, it sounds like the perfect party-starter!

Sam’s Club

Member’s Mark Spanakopita

This Member’s Mark spanakopita is made with feta, cream cheese and spinach, all wrapped up in a crispy phyllo pastry. It would work well as a quick appetizer for holiday parties — all you need to do is throw the little bites in the oven!





Sam’s Club

Member’s Mark Pumpkin Pie

Is it really Thanksgiving if there’s no pumpkin pie? If you haven’t had Member’s Mark pumpkin pie, now is the time to try it out! Each pie provides 11-12 slices.

Sam’s Club

Member’s Mark Hickory Smoked Whole Turkey

A Thanksgiving classic, you’ll get to sample this Member’s Mark hickory smoked turkey, which costs around $2 per pound. The turkey comes fully cooked, so all you have to do is heat it up and serve it to your guests!

Sam’s Club

Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Kiss Or Sugar Cookies

Everyone loves a holiday sugar cookie! You’ll be able to sample these Betty Crocker sugar cookies or these peanut butter blossoms with Hershey’s kisses, both of which are made with real butter.

Sam’s Club

Will you be heading to your local Sam’s Club to sample some Thanksgiving treats?

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Bruno Mars Is Giving Out 24,000 Free Thanksgiving Dinners To People In Need









Books & Music

He is giving back in a big way this holiday season.





His “24K Magic” album and tour has been a success and now Bruno Mars is sharing his good fortune.

The singer will be providing 24,000 Thanksgiving meals to benefit those in need in his native Hawaii.

Mars is linking up with the Salvation Army’s 48th annual Thanksgiving Dinner meal program to bring some magic to those in need.





“We are humbled and honored by this generous donation from Hawaii’s own Bruno Mars,” Major Jeff Martin, divisional leader of the Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands division, said in a statement. “Bruno is a shining example of how people in Hawaii step forward and take care of one another and we are grateful to him for his aloha and kokua.”

In January, Mars won the Grammy for album of the year with “24K Magic” and over the weekend he celebrated his “24K Magic World Tour” landing in Hawaii.

See the video for the hit song from his official YouTube channel:

He shared a photo of himself as a youngster holding a microphone on Instagram:





“I’ve missed you all and I can’t wait to perform and sing on the island I call home,” Mars wrote in the caption.

Written by Lisa Respers France for CNN.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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These Cranberry Brie Bites Are Going To Be Your New Favorite Appetizer









Food & Recipes

Wow these sound delicious!





Serving a crowd can be quite the challenge, but if your guests have something yummy to eat from the moment they arrive, they’ll be much more agreeable throughout the entire visit. Food has a way of bringing out the best in people. So, if you can serve up this easy appetizer and time it just right, no one will notice your last-minute scrambling to make sure the main course is ready.

These cranberry brie bites from The Country Cook are not only simple to throw together, they’re also the perfect way to start a Thanksgiving feast. So, if you’re hosting the meal on Nov. 22 this year — go ahead and add these ingredients to your grocery list.

You only need a can of crescent dough, brie cheese, cranberry sauce and a rosemary sprig for garnish to make these tasty meal-starters. You’ll use a muffin tin to give them their easy-to-bite shape that’s just as good for eating as it is for making a gorgeous centerpiece on your table.





After a few minutes in the oven, these bites will be ready to serve:

The Country Cook

Your guests are sure to love this warm, cheesy appetizer!

Even if you aren’t hosting Thanksgiving this year, these flavors are relevant all season long, so you can serve it up on any occasion this fall — not just on Turkey Day.

These bites aren’t the only way to whip up a cranberry and brie appetizer, either. Instead of using crescent rolls, opt for mini tart shells, a baguette or no bread at all.

This recipe from Fox and Briar shows how you can use mini phyllo cups to create an appetizer that’s almost too pretty to eat:





Fox and Briar

This version from NeighborFood uses a baguette to serve the cranberries and brie, and admittedly does require a little more prep work, but in the end you’re left with an appetizer that’s oh-so-chic and delicious. You’ll be the talk of the neighborhood with an appetizer this good.

NeighborFood

If you’d rather try this in dip form, simply skip the bread and phyllo cups and warm the cheese and cranberries to create a centerpiece for dipping crackers and more, as this recipe from Goodie Godmother explains.

Goodie Godmother

So, bring on the fall get-togethers because you’ve got the sweet and creamy appetizers all sorted!

7 Mistakes People Make When Cooking Stuffing—and How To Avoid Them









Food & Recipes

Here’s how to avoid them.





Stuffing is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that’s a must for any holiday spread. You can take this comfort food staple in many directions, and while it can be argued that there’s no “wrong” way to make stuffing, there are some common missteps that can leave you a little underwhelmed with the results.

Here are seven mistakes people often make when preparing stuffing and how you can avoid them, guaranteeing you’ll make the perfect dish with which to wow your guests this Thanksgiving.

1. Not Drying Out The Bread

Starting your stuffing out with bread that’s completely dry is essential for your stuffing’s taste and texture. A lot of recipes recommend using stale bread for this reason, but you can actually oven-dry your bread for the same effect in a lot less time. Serious Eats recommends toasting a white sandwich-style loaf at 275 degrees for about 45 minutes.





white bread photo
Getty Images | Dan Kitwood

2. Actually Stuffing The Bird

It’s called stuffing because you’re supposed to stuff the turkey with it, right? While that may be where the term comes from, it also makes it a lot more difficult to properly cook the turkey. Instead, just serve it on the side.

“So I always do it in buttered baked dishes and cover it with foil for most of the cooking … usually about 30 to 40 minutes until it’s warm, and then take off the foil so the top can crisp up, and it’s absolutely delicious,” Jack Bishop, editorial director of “America’s Test Kitchen,” told NPR of his method for making perfect stuffing.

stuffing photo
Flickr | NEPMET

3. Not Cooking Your Vegetables

There’s more to stuff besides bread. To really maximize the flavor of your stuffing, you should add aromatic vegetables like onions and celery. But don’t just add them in their raw state. Make sure to cook them in a bit of butter first.

cook onions photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

4. Soggy Stuffing

If you end up with soggy stuffing despite your best efforts, it may come down to your cooking method. A good way to end up with crispy stuffing every time is to turn your stuffing into muffins. Check out this recipe for make-ahead stuffing muffins from Chew Out Loud.

Chew Out Loud

5. Not Using Enough Butter

While cutting down on fat and calorie-laden ingredients like butter may seem like a great way to lighten up a recipe, when it comes to stuffing, skimping on butter may spell disaster. Using plenty of butter is the key to moist, yet crispy stuffing. Your diet can start on Friday.





Adobe

6. Overcooking It

Perfect stuffing needs to be cooked just right. Overcook it and your stuffing will be dry. Undercook it and it will be soggy. It can be difficult to get it just right, so if you’re bringing stuffing as part of a potluck, undercook it slightly at home so that when you arrive at your destination, you can finish it in the oven in just a few minutes.

thanksgiving stuffing photo
Flickr | danxoneil

7. Adding The Stock All At Once

If you haven’t learned this already, the key to perfect stuffing is a delicate balance. Adding the right amount of stock to the stuffing is essential to getting an ideal texture, but so is how and when you add it. Add about a half cup to a cup at a time to give the bread time to soak up the broth before you add more.

chicken stock photo
Getty Images | Monica Schipper

Time to get cooking!

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This No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Recipe Will Free Up Space In Your Oven During The Holidays









Food & Recipes

Yum! You can whip this up in just 10 minutes.





Pumpkin pie doesn’t technically rank as the most popular pie for Thanksgiving dinner — that honor goes to apple pie. But pumpkin pie is still a seasonal staple in many homes across America, and some people can’t imagine Thanksgiving without it.

Baking a pie from scratch is time-consuming, though. (That’s probably why so many people have created easy recipes for apple pie dump cake.) And it can also get extra complicated if you are using your oven to the cook the bird, roast veggies and make other side dishes, too. Luckily, there are many creative no-bake pumpkin pie recipes that will free up room in your oven. Best of all, since heat isn’t required, this is a dessert recipe that kids can help you prepare, from start to finish.

Though if you enlist the kids for some help, it might not keep them entertained for long. For example, this no-bake pumpkin pie recipe from Crazy for Crust only requires a handful of ingredients and takes a mere 10 minutes to whip together.





The best part of these recipes is that they work really well with a pre-made crust. You can opt for a graham cracker crust or a traditional pie crust. Of course, you certainly can make your own pie crust, but if you go pre-made, you won’t have to heat the oven to cook the pie crust, and you won’t have to wait for the pie to cool down to add the filling.

Crazy For Crust

There are many different variations for no-bake pumpkin pie recipes, and many tricks for getting the pie to set well. Kraft recommends that you use Knox Unflavored Gelatine to help firm up the pie. But not everyone likes to use gelatin in their recipes — it’s made with animal collagen, so it isn’t vegetarian, but there are vegetarian and vegan alternatives.

A recipe at Spaceships and Laserbeams calls for a box of instant vanilla pudding and cream cheese to make a no-bake pumpkin pie.

Spaceships and Laser Beams

If you have a little bit more time (though this still sounds pretty quick), you can make a layered pumpkin pie, such as this Triple Layer Pumpkin Pie from Art and The Kitchen. The bottom of this decadent treat is cheesecake, topped with a pumpkin layer and then whipped cream. Silky, sweet and so perfect for the season!





Art and the Kitchen

While these pie recipes do not need to be cooked, they do need time to set in the fridge. Keep this in mind while planning your Thanksgiving feast … unless you’re going for Thanksgiving in a box this year.

Will you be baking a pie for Thanksgiving?

We were not paid to write this story. The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer’s website.

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Pumpkin Pie Crunch Cake Is A Must-try Fall Dessert









Food & Recipes

Yum!





Go ahead and stock up on canned pumpkin now, because we’ve found a recipe you’ll want to keep on repeating while the fall season lasts.

Pumpkin Pie Crunch Cake is different enough from traditional pumpkin pie to keep things lively this season, but it’s got just enough pumpkin taste to satisfy your classic fall dessert craving. And while you can find variations of this recipe all over the internet, but it doesn’t get any easier than this one from Spend With Pennies, which combines canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, yellow cake mix, pecans and a few other ingredients to create a dessert that’s crunchy yet still cake-like.

Spend With Pennies

Not only does this look delicious, but it’s also super easy to whip up — if you couldn’t tell by that ingredient list. All you have to do is combine the pumpkin with milk, eggs and more to serve as the bottom layer. Then, sprinkle with a layer of cake mix and go to town with your pecans. All that’s left to do after that is bake and devour!





With this on your fall menu, you certainly won’t have to stress about dessert. Just pop this in the oven and get back to peeling those sweet potatoes, basting that turkey or doing whatever other fall meal prep you need to do.

As a bonus, this is the perfect dessert to make if you can’t choose between pumpkin pie or pecan. Since it combines a bit of both, there’ll be no complaints when it hits the dessert table!

Other variations, such as the one from I Heart Naptime, get slightly more involved and call for a layer of cake mix, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon to be placed in the baking dish first to serve as a kind of crust, which will make this dessert even more reminiscent of pumpkin pie in the end.

I Heart Naptime

And if you’re a master baker — or you only signed up to bring one dessert — you might want to take this recipe to the next level (literally!) and try this layered cake version of pumpkin crunch cake from Ask Chef Dennis, which has three layers of cake complete with cream cheese frosting and a coating of walnuts and vanilla wafer crumbs. Yum!





Ask Chef Dennis

The recipe you choose will depend on how much time you have and how capable you feel in the kitchen, but no matter which route you go — you’re sure to wind up with a unique take on a fall staple.

Who’s ready to start baking?

Costco’s 4-Pound Pumpkin Pie Is Back Just In Time For Thanksgiving









Food & Recipes

Something to be thankful for!





Costco shoppers are well aware that its 4-pound pumpkin pie is an amazing deal to feed the whole family for dessert. For everyone else, here’s everything you need to know about fall’s most anticipated Costco item.

Costco pumpkin pies are baked in-house using a family recipe from the mega-store’s vice president of bakery operations, Sue McConnaha, who is a former industrial baker. According to her interview in the Costco Connection, the company only uses the Dickinson pumpkin variety for the pie puree. The bakery then combines a pre-mixed bag of dry ingredients and spice with whole eggs, canned pumpkin and water. The only detail that has changed since the pie was first brought on to the Costco scene back in 1987 is that the dessert’s size increased from 10 inches to the 12 inches we have been blessed with today.





Over 5.3 million perfectly-spiced pumpkin pies were sold out of Costco bakeries last year, with 1.75 million flying off the shelves in the three days prior to Thanksgiving alone. At just $5.99 a pie, I don’t blame anyone stocking up on this holiday staple!

This pie’s arrival to the shelves of Costco is so greatly anticipated that there’s even a Facebook page dedicated to it!

Another giant, festive pie on sale now? Sam’s Club’s enormous four-pound pumpkin cheesecake. Yes, y’all — four pounds of pumpkin-spiced indulgence waiting to be sliced up and eaten. This New York-Style cheesecake is swirled with pumpkin and topped with whipped cream, and the base is obviously a graham cracker crust.

Live Well Bake Often

For those of you who want to try a hand at baking one of these beauts from scratch, ’tis the season! Live Well Bake Often’s pumpkin pie recipe is easy to follow, and to make baking it even easier, she gives you the option of using a store-bought crust. (One tip she has that has proven useful to me in the past is partially baking your crust before adding the filling!)





Looking to try making a pumpkin cheesecake instead? Try out this Will Cook For Smiles recipe, which brings together a classic pumpkin pie with the creamy goodness of a cheesecake.

Happy pie eating!