Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Cooking Sites to Help with Thanksgiving Leftovers

I love a good Thanksgiving dinner but I think I love Thanksgiving leftovers just as much. A rerun of dinner is great, but sometimes you want to change things up a little. These websites can help you find creative and delicious recipes to use up everything from the turkey carcass to the mashed potatoes.

Taste of Home

Taste of Home provides readers with recipes by course, cooking style, cuisine, ingredient, holiday and more categories to find a new family-favorite recipe. It’s got great tips and tricks for both beginner and seasoned cooks, a whole page dedicated to Thanksgiving, and useful articles like How Long Are Thanksgiving Leftovers Good For? particularly helpful this time of year. 


You’ve probably seen some of Yummly’s recipe videos on social media sites like Facebook or Snapchat. Their videos are creative, easy to follow and precise. It has a database of over two million recipes – including over 1300 recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers – using both practical and more unusual ingredients, is easy to use and is equipped with search options that allow you to match your search to your dietary needs. When you create a free account, you can save recipes, make shopping lists, and share your recipes with others. You can even create meal plans based on your dietary restrictions and allergies. 

Betty Crocker 

I still have the 1960’s era Betty Crocker cookbook my mother handed down to me when I got married. Though some of the recipes from the ’60s and ’70s haven’t aged well – seriously, why was everything set in Jell-O? – the good people at Betty Crocker have updated (and eliminated some) recipes – think less food-based-on-a-dare and more delicious-healthy-meals-for-your-family, so their website is a great resource for Tips for Using Your Thanksgiving Leftovers or creating delicious new meals from your Thanksgiving leftovers. 


You’ve probably seen Tasty’s videos on your Facebook feed or in a Buzzfeed article. Step by step videos show users how to create delicious dishes with ingredients you probably already have on hand, including those Thanksgiving leftovers. With categories like Back to School, Weekend Meall Prep, Healthy Eating, and Keto, there’s years worth of recipes and meal plans waiting for you to experiment with. 


Allrecipes is the largest food-focused social network created for cooks by cooks. The site is user-curated with all recipes – hence the name – shared with the intent of making us all better cooks. Users are encouraged to post recipes they’ve tried, include photos, reviews of the recipe itself, and any tips or tweaks you tried.

Food Network

Food Network offers up countless recipes including loads of options for leftover turkey as well as a list of their Best Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes and Top Thanksgiving Leftovers recipes with quick and easy recipes for soup, turkey pot pie, sandwiches, and more tested in the Food Network kitchens.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Attitude of Gratitude

Teach Your Children Gratitude 

By Tracey Dowdy

Recently, a video of eight-year-old Jackson Champagne trick-or-treating with his sister and discovering an empty candy bowl on a neighbor’s porch went viral. On the homeowner’s doorbell camera, Jackson can be heard saying “Oh no, there ain’t no more candy.” But before you can say “Trick or treat,” Jackson does the opposite of what you may expect. Instead of pouting over the lack of treats, Jackson reaches into his own stash of candy to replenish the bowl. When asked why he simply replied he didn’t want other kids who walked up to the bowl to be sad.

We all hope to raise children who are more Jackson than Grinch, but that means teaching them gratitude and contentment every day. With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, this is a great time to remind your children that a grateful heart is a happy heart.

Meri Wallace, “The Parenting Coach”, is a parenting expert, and a child and family therapist. She says, “It is important for you to understand that appreciation is an abstract concept, especially for young children. They are not so far from being babies, who by nature are focused on their desires and needs for their survival. With your guidance, as your children grow, they can develop the ability to value what they have. It is beneficial for kids to be able to do this for reasons other than building their character. Acknowledging and cherishing what you have, helps children to feel fulfilled and have happier lives. It also helps your kids to develop empathy for those who have less than they do.”

She recommends using these tools to help develop empathic, content, and grateful children.

  • Read books about the origin of Thanksgiving and with themes surrounding thankfulness with your children. Take the time to talk about the stories to help them understand why we celebrate Thanksgiving and why being grateful for what they have is so important. This helps your children to see the holidays as more than just an elaborate family dinner.
  • Include your children in the preparations. Have them make placemats, set the table, make a centerpiece, peel vegetables, or tell the story of the first Thanksgiving. Participating in the preparations helps them see the amount of work others put into preparing dinner, your home, and teaches the concept of showing love and care through serving others.
  • At dinner, make going around the table and naming at least one thing they are grateful for a family tradition. If you want to raise grateful kids, you need to model gratitude yourself.
  • Contact local food banks and shelters and ask how you and your family can help. Consider neighbors, friends, or even local college students who may be on their own for the holiday and invite them to share dinner with your family.
  • Find ways to demonstrate gratitude every day. While my daughters were growing up we regularly asked each other “Best thing/Worst thing” as a conversation starter when they got home from school. We still do it today even though they are adults, and we use it as a chance to talk about what we’re grateful for in our day and look for ways to turn our “worst” thing into a life lesson.

 Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Tips for Planning Thanksgiving Dinner

By Tracey Dowdy

Just thinking about Thanksgiving dinner has me distracted and drooling. I love to plan and prepare the meal – entertaining family and friends is one of my greatest joys. Not everyone feels the same way – in fact for some it’s a source of stress and more like punishment than a celebration.

Whether you’re energized by the opportunity to host or the thought gives you heart palpitations, these suggestions can help you put together a special dinner that will be memorable for all the right reasons.

A month to 3 weeks out:

    • Finalize your guest list. The number of guests will determine the size of the turkey but also the number of sides and desserts you’ll need.
    • Plan your menu. Are you serving a casual buffet or a more formal dinner where guests will be seated around the table? Any allergies, sensitivities, or dietary restrictions? Look to sites like FoodNetwork, Epicurious, Food and Wine, or Southern Living for inspiration and menu planning suggestions.
    • Take inventory of your supplies: Do you have a roast pan large enough for the turkey? A gravy boat? A corkscrew? Take stock of what you have, what you need and what you can ask your guest to provide.
    • Delegate where possible. Not crafty? Ask someone to bring the centrepiece. Have a guest that hates to cook? They can bring plates, cutlery, or wine.
    • Once you’ve set the menu, go step by step through those recipes and create a comprehensive shopping list of everything you’ll need. Divide your list into perishable and non-perishables.
    • Decide on your décor. Of course Pinterest has a million and one options, but HGTV has great suggestions for simple Thanksgiving centrepieces, and Parents Magazine has fun crafts you can do with your kids.

Two weeks out:

    • Start clearing out freezer and fridge space.
    • Confirm your recipes. Ree Drummond’s site Pioneer Woman Cooks is a great resource for recipes that use pantry staples and ingredients you may already have on hand and Real Simple has dozens of options for easy-to-prepare recipes.
    • Look at the menu and prep anything that can be made ahead and freeze it. – e.g. pie crust, bread dough, casseroles.

One week before:

    • Shop for non-perishable pantry items, décor and paper goods.
    • Create your cooking schedule. Consider the turkey will be in the oven most of the day so think about how much oven time you’ll need for casseroles or desserts.
    • Make a plan for leftovers. If you’re guests are staying over, think of ways you can re-purpose dishes to feed overnight guests.

Three days before:

    • Start thawing the turkey.
    • Shop for perishables.
    • Pull out and wash any serving pieces that have been sitting in storage.

Two days before:

    • Make ahead dishes like cranberry sauce, punch (minus carbonated soda or pop), stuffing, pie crust, bread dough.

One day before:

    • Prepare garnishes, chop vegetables for salads or sides.
    • Bake pies.
    • Set the table.
    • Take items out of the freezer and place in fridge to thaw.

Thanksgiving Day:

    • Get the turkey in the oven.
    • Stick to your plan as much as possible but don’t panic if something goes wrong.

The most important thing is to take a deep breath and enjoy your guests. Yes they’ve come for dinner but they’ve also come to see you. With a little planning and a little delegation, this could be your best Thanksgiving yet!

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.