Category Archives: Thanksgiving Articles

Deep Fried Turkey Instructions and Tips

Do you want to learn how to deep fry a turkey that will amaze your family and friends? I’ve been making our Thanksgiving bird like this for years and I promise you’ve never tasted anything like a whole turkey deep fried to perfection. If you’ve never tried to deep fry turkey there are some important things to keep in mind. That’s why I wrote this helpful article containing deep fry turkey instructions and tips to help your frying go smoothly.

First of all you need to pick up a Turkey Frying Set. You could just use a big pot and rig something up yourself but it will be a lot easier and safer to use a set specifically designed for deep frying turkey. They run around $39 to $79 and they’re worth every penny. They come with a large pot, a sturdy metal stand, a thermometer, a burner you hook up to your propane tank, and a hook you’ll use when moving the bird in and out of the oil. You should also pick up a pair of rubber gloves to protect you from splattering oil.

You’ll also need several gallons of cooking oil. Peanut oil works best but its a little expensive. If you can’t afford to splurge canola oil will work just as well.

To prepare your bird you need to wash him thoroughly inside and out. Make sure there are no pop up devices or anything else inside.

Next you need to measure how much oil you’ll need for frying. Place your turkey in the pot and add water until the bird is completely covered. Remove the bird and then measure the amount of water left in the pot. Now you know exactly how much oil you’ll need!

Use paper towels to dry your turkey both inside and out, then season it using whatever dry rub recipe you like. I don’t recommend using marinade for deep frying turkeys because you want the bird to be dry when you lower it into the oil.

Make sure the inside of the pot is completely dry too and then add the oil. Heat it up to a temperature of at least 350 degrees. For safety purposes you should have everything set up outside. Never deep fry inside your house or garage. It’s extremely dangerous.

Once your oil is hot enough its time to carefully lower the bird in. Use extra caution and go slowly so you don’t splatter oil or tip over the pot. You may want to have a friend standing by nearby just in case you need help.

Now one of the most common questions people ask is “How long to deep fry a turkey?” I never get tired of seeing the looks on their faces when I tell them just 3 1/2 minutes per pound. Isn’t it amazing that the same turkey that takes hours to cook in the oven will be ready to eat in just 35-45 minutes when fried?

When the time is up turn off the burner and carefully remove the bird from the oil. Let it drain out and rest for about ten minutes and it will be ready for carving. Despite what you may think, it won’t be all greasy and oily. If you followed my deep fry turkey instructions your bird will be juicy and delicious. You may never cook a turkey in the oven again!

MJ Collins loves cooking outdoors and can usually be found sipping a beer and standing over his grill. Pick up more of his recipes and grilling tips at

Quick and Easy Recipes Using Cooked Turkey

Almost every household in America has the same problem the day after Thanksgiving — what will you do with all the leftover turkey? You could just reheat the leftovers and serve them. You could just slice the turkey and make cold sandwiches. But this year, after you’ve eaten the plain leftovers and sandwiches and want something with a little more pizzazz, try one of these tasty and easy recipes.

Easiest Turkey Pot-Pie
This pot-pie is very easy and results in a dinner the whole family will love. My family is partial to this recipe because they prefer the pie crust to the biscuit topping that is commonly used in pot-pies. If you don’t have frozen soup vegetables, regular mixed vegetables are fine as a substitution.
* 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
* 1 16-oz pkg frozen soup vegetables
* 1 12-oz jar turkey gravy
* 1/4 cup water
* 2 refrigerated pie crusts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine turkey, vegetables, gravy and water in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Place one of the pie crusts in a 9-inch pie pan. Add the turkey mixture. Place the remaining pie crust on top. Seal the edges of the pie crusts. Cut slits in the top pie crust to vent.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour, until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.

Turkey Hoagies
Whether you call them hoagies, subs or grinders, these hot sandwiches are just right for a quick meal when you want something warm and yummy without a lot of work.
* 1 Tbsp olive oil
* 1 large onion, sliced
* 1 large green pepper, sliced
* 1 cup chopped cooked turkey
* 1/8 cup Italian salad dressing
* 4 hoagie rolls, split
* 1 cup mozzarella cheese
Saute onions and green pepper in pan with olive oil until they begin to soften. Add turkey and Italian salad dressing to the onion and pepper mixture and heat through. Divide onion, pepper and turkey mixture between the hoagie rolls and top each with the mozzarella cheese.

This year, give your family an extra reason to be thankful by cooking something new with your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.

About the Author:
Sherri Allen is the editor of an award-winning website devoted to topics such as family, food, garden, house & home and money. For free articles, information, tips, recipes, reviews and coloring pages, visit

Frugal and Easy Thanksgiving Dishes

Here it is – that time of year when everyone’s thoughts turn to food! I’m thankful that at our house, we have plenty of food, but sometimes I am not so grateful that I am the one who usually gets to cook it!
So I am always on the lookout for simple, tasty recipes that are also easy on the budget. Here are
a few of my family’s favorites:

Corn-Rice Casserole
1 1/2 cups minute rice (uncooked)
2 cans cream-style corn
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup butter or margarine
8 oz. jar Cheez Whiz
Melt butter in large saucepan and add onion and
green pepper. Cook until tender. Add other
ingredients and cook on low for about 5 minutes,
stirring often.
Pour into greased 2-quart baking dish and bake
at 350 degrees until bubbly.

Sweet Potato Casserole
2 16-oz. cans sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
Drain sweet potatoes and mash. Add other ingredients and
mix well. Pour into ungreased 9″ square baking pan.
Mix all topping ingredients till crumbly. Spread on
yams then bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Tip: You can make this the day before. Just refrigerate
till you are ready to bake.

This one is perfect for supper the night before
Harvest Time Soup
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup cubed potatoes
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
3/4 lb. process cheese spread, cubed
1 cup ham, cubed
Bring water, potatoes, carrots and celery to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer till vegetables are tender.
Add cheese and ham; cook, stirring till cheese is
This makes about 4 servings, but it could easily
be cut in half or doubled.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Samuel Adams, father of the American Revolution:
“It is therefore recommended … to set apart
Thursday the eighteenth day of December next,
for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with
one heart and one voice the good people may
express the grateful feelings of their hearts
and consecrate themselves to the service of
their divine benefactor …”—November 1, 1777

(adopted by the 13 states as the first official
Thanksgiving Proclamation)
= = = = = = = = = = = =
Cyndi Roberts is the editor of the bi-weekly newsletter
“1 Frugal Friend 2 Another”, bringing you practical,
money-saving tips, recipes and ideas. Visit her online at to subscribe and receive the
Free e-course, “Taming the Monster Grocery Bill”.

Holiday Leftover Ideas

The holidays are a time for friends and family and good old-fashioned home cooking. Who can resist the tempting smells coming from the kitchen at this most favorite time of year? Holiday dinners were among my favorite, most memorable meals as a child. Our family shared our holiday meals with different relatives each year, but wherever we were and whoever we were with, we always knew to expect good food and enjoyable family gatherings that we would remember for months to come.
When I was a child, it was always a tradition in our family to have turkey for Thanksgiving and ham for Christmas. We would also always enjoy mounds of creamy mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams with lots of butter, brown sugar, and melted marshmallows, and I could always count on sampling my dad’s famous fruit salad. He would meticulously cut each fruit into bite-size pieces (apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, and raisins), and mix it all together with a generous portion of homemade whipped cream. Homemade cranberry sauce was also always a special holiday treat.
Now that I’m married we have even more family to share our holiday meals with. With so much family, though, we rarely get to host dinner at our house. It’s always nice to go to someone else’s house to eat, but then we don’t get any of the leftovers! We usually end up taking advantage of the holiday sales at the supermarket though, and then we can have our own little feast. I’ve had a lot of fun over the years devising ways to use up the leftovers from our own holiday meals–and I’d like to share some of my favorite recipes with you.

Turkey and Rice Soup
2 1/2 cups turkey, cooked and diced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 6-ounce box long-grained rice
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 cup carrots, grated
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients with 6 cups of water. Simmer, covered, until rice is cooked, approximately 30 minutes. Great with fresh bread.

Turkey Spaghetti
8 oz. spaghetti or other pasta
1 can cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
3/4 c. grated mild cheddar cheese
2 c. leftover cooked, diced turkey
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional – diced celery and/or diced onion to your taste
Prepare soup as directed. Prepare spaghetti as directed then drain. Combine spaghetti, soup and remaining ingredients. Stir until cheese melts. Serve and enjoy!

Mashed Potatoes and Ham Bake
2 cups mashed potatoes
2 tablespoons mustard
2 cups ham, cubed
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl, mix mashed potatoes and mustard. Spread potato mixture in the bottom of a greased 8-inch square baking pan. Arrange ham on top of potatoes. In a small bowl, mix cottage cheese and cheddar cheese. Spread over ham. Bake until mixture is heated through, about 30 minutes.

Chopped Ham Sandwiches
2 lb. leftover ham, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 c. ketchup
1/4 c. vinegar
1 c. water
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Fry ham in a skillet and sprinkle flour over it. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 1 hour and serve on toast or hamburger buns. Makes 15 to 20 sandwiches.
Originally published at Suite 101. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What’s for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For recipes, tips to organize your home, home decorating, crafts, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at

How to Have an Abundant Holiday Season

There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions.” – Bill McKibben

“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, not weakness.” – Henry David Thoreau

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Christmas is on the way. How many times has someone asked you “The Big Holiday Question?” If you are a woman, you have probably heard it several times already. You, yourself, might have asked others The Big Holiday Question. If you are a man, you probably have no idea what The Big Holiday Question is.

The Big Holiday Question is, “Are you ready for the holidays?” I first became aware of this question years ago. I noticed that women began to greet each other with The Big Holiday Question, starting sometime in late October, and kept asking the question into January.

I also noticed that almost every woman answered The Big Holiday Question with an exasperated, “No,” and then begin to recite the myriad of tasks she “had to do.” I have often heard women end their recitation with a fervent declaration, “I dread the holidays and wish they were already over.”

If you listen, you will hear the question everywhere you go. The Big Holiday Question is something like the private code of a secret society. By asking The Big Holiday Question, women instantly recognize themselves as members of a society of sisters overwhelmed with Too Much To Do. “Christmas is a season of such infinite labor, as well as expense in the shopping and present-making line, that almost every woman I know is good for nothing in purse and person for a month afterwards, done up physically, and broken down financially. ” – Fanny Kemble

More Is Not Abundance

Ironically, The Big Holiday Question is one of the most powerful and insidious enemies to living an “Abundantly Alive Now!” life. The reason is that the Big Holiday Question is propelled by the idea of doing more, and more, and more, and more. All around us, we are bombarded with messages of more.
Whether the reasons are innate or socially created, women seem to feel responsible for doing the lion’s share of the “have-tos” to get ready for the holidays. As far as I can tell, men do not drive themselves crazy asking each other The Big Holiday Question. Holiday overkill seems to be a female sport.

For many women, the holiday season is driven by the idea of shopping more, spending more, buying more, cooking more, baking more, simply doing more, and more, and more. And more is never enough.
I don’t intend to get into a war of the sexes game here by claiming that men “should” do more. My point is that The Big Holiday Question is an enemy of abundance. Anytime you are feeling overwhelmed with thoughts of all you “have to do” to prepare for the dreaded upcoming holidays, you are not living in abundance. Driving yourself crazy with a massive holiday do-to list is a demonstration of lack rather than abundance.

Another Question

As a replacement for The Big Holiday Question, I offer you one of my favorite questions, “What is enough?” In another issue, I will tell why that question is so important to me. Right now, I offer you the question to set you free from the relentless demands of The Big Holiday Question, which never knows when to quit.
For example, instead of telling yourself that you have to bake ten kinds of holiday cookies, you could ask yourself, “What is enough?” You might decide that “enough” means baking only two kinds of Christmas cookies instead of ten. Or you could decide to skip baking cookies entirely this year. The question, “What is Enough?” changes the equation. Instead of “trying” to do everything you think you “should,” you decide what enough means for you.

About the time I began to notice The Big Holiday Question, I also made my own decision about the holidays. I love the holiday season. I love Christmas trees and sparkling lights. I love to buy presents for the people I love. I decided that I would remain calm and peaceful in the season, even if everyone else was going crazy around me. My own criterion for the “What is enough?” question is, if I begin to feel even the slightest bit frantic, I decide I have passed the point of “Enough” into the terrain of “Too Much.”
“Don’t worry about anything. Worrying never solved anything. All it does is distort your mind.” – Milton Garland


The truth is, feeling Abundantly Alive Now! never results from the word “more.” This feeling results from the word “enough.” Abundance means having enough to live joyously, calmly, and lovingly in the present moment.

Ultimately, the greatest harm done by The Big Holiday Question is that it diverts your attention from living fully in this moment and focuses it upon a future time. It is one thing to plan and prepare. It is another matter entirely to sacrifice the only moment you have to live your life, which is this moment, to replace it with harried efforts to “Get ready for the holidays.”
Kalinda Rose Stevenson, Ph.D. and Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach is the author of “Debt or Alive: How To Get Out Of Debt and Feel Abundantly Alive” Get your free ezine, “Abundantly Alive Now!” at Learn how to live joyously, calmly and lovingly in the present moment.