BigOven Food Fight Turkey Edition 2015

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BigOven Food Fight Turkey Edition 2015 is here!

What Thanksgiving debate rages each year in your household? We’re bringing back some popular topics from last year, and introducing some new ones too! Join in the fun on our blog, FacebookTwitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

No matter the results, we’ll be serving up tasty Thanksgiving recipes, ideas and tips.

Check our blog daily and cast your vote!

 

See all Thanksgiving recipes.

3-Ingredient Cocktails

3-Ingredient Cocktails

Maybe it’s the weekend.

Or maybe you’re having a few (ahem, all your) friends over.

Or maybe you just want to relax after a long day… the dog had an accident in the house (again), you forgot to sign your child’s permission slip (again) and that slow cooker chicken chili you tried to throw together that morning in a mere 1.7 minutes just isn’t tasting right come dinner time.

No matter the scenario, it’s always a good idea to have a few basic cocktails ready to go. Leave out the alcohol and you’ve got some kid-friendly beverages.

Vodka: Rose Kennedy

Because bubbles = happiness, and vodka crans (aka Cape Cods) are a little too standard. You deserve something special after all. We like using lemon-lime soda but club soda works too.

Tequila: Paloma

Margaritas are good, but Palomas really get the party started. Sparkling grapefruit juice and tequila are meant to be together. Don’t forget the lime! And a side of warm tortilla chips for munching. Plus some salsa and guac.

Rum: Piña Colada

Feeling tropical? Sip on a sweet piña colada. It’s like pineapple coconut dessert in a glass. Who can complain?

Gin: Gin & Tonic

Perhaps fruity and sweet just isn’t your thing. We understand. Simply pour yourself a gin and tonic. If only everything in life was this easy.

Tip: Ice and chilled glasses are your best friends.

3-Ingredient Snack Mixes

3-Ingredient Snack Mixes

 

Who doesn’t love a good snack?

 

There are definitely mediocre snacks out there. (Limp celery, we’re talking about you.)

 

But when snack time rolls around, you want to be equipped with the best of the best.

 

All you really need to know is sweet + salty. Yep! That’s the secret to an awesome, satisfying snack.

 

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

 

Peanuts with Raisins & Pretzels

Salty peanuts and sweet raisins are basically best friends. Throw some crisp pretzels in there and your snackage game will be on point.

 

Cashews with Cherries & Chocolate

Nutty cashews pair with tart dried cherries beautifully. Semisweet chocolate makes everything better. Try to get one of each in every bite!

 

Almonds with Apricots & White Chocolate

Tangy dried apricots are amazing as is, but the party really gets going when you extend an invite to crunchy almonds and sweet white chocolate.

 

Pumpkin Seeds with Cranberries & Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Toasted pumpkin seeds. Sweet-tart dried cranberries. Irresistible yogurt covered pretzels. Need we say more?

 

Easy, right?

 

The next time you have a few spare moments, mix together a healthy snack that tastes like a treat. Your taste buds and stomach will thank you.

Build a Perfect Sandwich

Build a Perfect Sandwich

 

A soggy sandwich will surely put a damper on anyone’s day…

You slapped together a sandwich in the wee hours of the morning, and when it finally came time to devour your masterpiece for lunch, those juicy tomatoes turned that once fluffy bread into a wet, mushy mess. And the sharp cheddar cheese became nothing less than waterlogged.

Yum.

Alas, it is possible to avoid this sort of lunchtime tragedy in the future.

All you need to do is layer it right.

1. Start with the bread.

Hearty fillings require hearty slices of bread. Ciabatta, focaccia and whole grain breads are best. Flimsy slices of white bread don’t stand a chance against a killer smoked turkey situation with major veggie action and condiment heaven. Leave thin slices of bread for simple PB&J’s please.

2. Now think fat-based spreads.

It’s time to lather one side of both slices of your bread with mayo, butter, nut butter and/or pesto. This layer will act as a buffer between filling juiciness and that defenseless bread.

3. Next up, cheese.

Cheddar, Swiss, Havarti, mozzarella, feta, provolone, muenster, (we can go on). Cheese and bread are best of friends. Cheese and juicy fillings… not so much.

4. And now for the protein.

Whether you prefer turkey, ham, chicken, roast beef, salmon, tuna or tofu, your protein will help keep all of the lovely produce juices in the middle of your sandwich and prevent those juices from mingling with the bread.

5. It’s time for wet spreads.

Mustard, ranch, BBQ sauce and/or jam go best right on top of your protein. The flavors will be evenly dispersed and your sandwich will stay nice and edible.

6. Tomatoes, it’s your turn.

That’s right, those juicy veggies and fruits (think tomatoes, cucumbers, peaches, berries) do deserve a place in your sandwich, and this is where they belong–far away from the bread and cheese.

7. Last but not least, dry veggies and fruit.

Top your sandwich off with greens, bell peppers, sprouts, avocado, apple slices, banana and/or crisp pear. These veg and fruits will act as a buffer between the more water-packed produce and the bread. Of course, use your best judgement. Some pears are juicy and some cukes are on the dry side. (You get the point.)

Finally place the other slice of bread on top (dry side out) and you can say goodbye to soggy sandwiches forever.

Looking for more sandwich ideas? Browse through BigOven’s vast collection of Sandwiches and Wraps.

Foods That Pack Well

Foods-That-Pack-Well_April-2015Most everyone has been caught off guard by a sudden snack attack before.

Think violently growling stomach mid-meeting. Lightheadedness during the overly competitive annual neighborhood badminton match. Floating cream-filled doughnuts suddenly appearing above your math teacher’s head. Or maybe you just got a little hungry and simply needed something to munch on.

Keep a handful of these snacks on hand, and you can say adios to hangry outbursts forever. (Plus these durable snacks won’t get completely obliterated at the bottom of your bag.)

Nuts

These protein-packed gems will keep you going for a couple hours, or at least until you can get your hands on some post-mega-hike deep dish pizza. Enjoy your favorite, or take along a mix.

Granola Bars

No, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg stocking up your pantry with these convenient treats. Throw together a homemade batch and you’ll be set for a couple weeks.

Dried Fruit

Sweet and almost like dessert, dried fruit will satisfy your sugary cravings and prevent you from diving face-first into that tempting tupperwareful of cupcakes your coworker just brought in. We like apricots, mangoes, cherries and figs!

Cheese

Standard low-fat mozzarella sticks are always a good choice. But get your hands on some cheddar cheese sticks if you can and your taste buds will thank you. So much more flavor!

Trail Mix

Combine some nuts and dried fruit and you’ve got yourself a power snack! Chocolate is always a must. (Just try to get some nuts and fruit in there too.)

Fig Bars

Aka healthy cookies. Oh yeah, you can get away with savoring a couple of these at a time. Bonus! You can make some at home.

Whole Apples

Because slices of browning apples are not the most appetizing. To avoid annoying everyone and their mom with your munching and crunching, slice it up right before enjoying. Or just practice your ninja-quiet eating skills.

Oranges

No need to wash this juicy fruit. Simply peel and enjoy. P.S. Your hands will smell amazing.

Cherry Tomatoes

The tomato: is it a fruit or a vegetable? Who cares because cherry tomatoes are perfect for snacking. Whip out your cheese stick and you’ve got a snack worth bragging about.

Baby Carrots

They’re cute. They’re healthy. And how could anyone not love a baby?

Grapes

Whether you’re on team green or team red, grapes will solve your inner snackage fiend issues. Please refrain from asking a random stranger to fan you with palm leaves while plopping grapes in your mouth.

Snap Peas 

Your new favorite vegetable. And your new favorite snack. Maybe your new favorite food? (We won’t push it, chocolate does exist after all.)

Whether you’re out camping in the wilderness, stuck in class all day, chained to your desk or just find yourself getting a little hungry between meals, it’s always a good idea to keep some nutritious snacks on hand. And no, potato chip dust doesn’t count.

Looking for more ideas? Browse through BigOven’s vast collection of snacks.

3-Ingredient Milkshakes

3-Ingredient Milkshakes

 

Cool down and satisfy your sweet tooth with one of these 3-Ingredient Milkshakes.

 

We won’t judge if you try them all in one sitting.

 

Peanut Butter Heaven:

Peanut butter lovers rejoice. This creamy, nutty shake is just for you. There’s protein and calcium involved, so it’s totally acceptable to gulp down both servings and lick the blender clean. (Just be careful of that blade.)

 

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate:

WARNING: This shake is not for the faint of heart. Couldn’t pack in more chocolate if you tried. Kids and adults alike will be bouncing off the walls after consuming this indulgent treat.

 

Very Strawberry:

We know some of you out there are suckers for all things fruity. No this is not a daiquiri, but who needs a cocktail when you can chug (ahem sip) a refreshing strawberry shake?

 

Just Cookies: 

Comforting and simply tasty, cookies make every aspect of life 100 times better… including shakes. This kid understands.

 

Life is too short not to whip up a milkshake every once in a while. Don’t forget to share!

A Basic Fruit Smoothie for Every Season

Smoothie-for-Every-Season_April-2015

Smoothies are fantastic for a number of reasons:

1. They come together quickly. In just a couple minutes, your drink will be ready to enjoy.

2. Smoothies are easy to make. Simply add all of your ingredients to a blender and blend.

3. They’re healthy (in general.) You can get fresh produce, protein, and calcium all in one beverage, with little fat.

4. On hot days, smoothies are refreshing. Skip that ice cream cone and sip on a cooling frosty glass of goodness instead.

You can use frozen fruit and blend up just about any type of smoothie year-round, but why not take advantage of seasonal, fresh fruit?

A summer smoothie calls for juicy blueberries. Add almond milk and almond butter for a nutty kick of protein. Frozen banana turns this beverage into a frosty, creamy treat. Add honey if you’re looking for some extra natural sweetness.

Apples are a traditional fall fruit. Blend them up with apple juice for some more sweetness, and include some plain low fat yogurt for protein. A pinch of ground cinnamon adds a boost of extra flavor. Don’t forget frozen banana!

Smoothies can be enjoyed during the winter months too. Take advantage of zesty oranges, which are packed with Vitamin C. Orange juice will help get your ingredients blending and add just a bit more sweetness. Low fat plain yogurt is your source of protein again, while frozen banana keeps things nice and cold.

Fresh strawberries are always a springtime favorite. Blend them up with low fat vanilla yogurt for protein and flavor, plus some frozen banana.

Add ice if you like your smoothies extra frosty.

BigOven launches new home page

From the BigOven home page, you can now find the top four seasonal recipe collections, Quick & Easy recipe ideas, popular dishes and recipe picks from our team.

BP1Go ahead, search for the perfect recipe.

BP2View the top four seasonal recipe collections. Click on the circular collections image to view all collections. The navigation bar sticks to the top of the page, so you can easily access recipe collections, your recipes, grocery list, menu planner and use up leftovers when scrolling.

BP3Get ideas for Quick & Easy weeknight dinners. Fresh recipes will be featured weekly.

BP4See popular recipes that home cooks are raving about now.

BP5In case you need another reason to explore BigOven, click on one of the above buttons. Might we suggest discovering a recipe that will use up those leftovers in your fridge?

BP52Take a look at recipes we’re loving at BigOven.

BP6Get tasty inspiration and tips by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.

Subscribe to our email list to receive even more delicious ideas.

 

Feel free to let us know what you think! Send us a note at support@bigoven.com.

 

BigOven Food Fight: Round Three Recap

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Mac & Cheese – Gimme or Pass?

The breakdown:

  • 57% won’t be having mac n cheese on their Thanksgiving table
  • 43% are pro mac

Conclusion:

We all know that decadent, mouthwatering mac n cheese would steal the show. Turkey, you lucked out. In most households the spotlight is still on you.

Giving Thanks vs. Saying Grace

The breakdown:

  • 63% always give thanks
  • 37% opt for a communal grace

Conclusion:

Although it may take 37 minutes for everyone to share what they are thankful for (ahem, the food is getting cold), at least you avoid mumbling along to a prayer you clearly forgot. Shame!

Food Coma vs. “Fun” Activity

The breakdown:

  • 65% will be living on the couch
  • 35% will be up and active

Conclusion:

Be sure to claim your spot on the comfy couch. Unless there is a fur rug nearby it’s best to avoid sprawling out on the ground. Your younger cousin may try to engage you in a wrestling match, which clearly you are in no condition to participate in.

Sit-down vs. Buffet Style

The breakdown:

  • 56% believe buffets are the best
  • 44% think sit-down dinner is the way to go

Conclusion:

Maybe lines aren’t all that bad. You might as well start practicing for Black Friday shopping. Just try to keep your elbows to yourself during dinner.

Play it Safe or Join the Dark Side? White Meat vs. Dark Meat

The breakdown:

  • 60% prefer moist dark meat
  • 40% will only touch white meat

Conclusion:

Dark, moist and full of flavor is the preferred option here. Breast people, seems like you won’t have to put up much of a fight to get what you want. Dark meat folks, be prepared to finagle a thigh onto your dinner plate… anything goes.

Fam Only vs. Including Friends & Randos

The breakdown:

  • 62% say the more the merrier
  • 38% stick with just family members

Conclusion:

Why not welcome those friends and randos into your home on Thanksgiving? Who knows, they might bring along some entertaining stories and (most importantly) a nice bottle of wine that you can stash away before the masses catch on.

Festive Spiked Cider or Good Ole Beer?

The breakdown:

  • 63% say give me some cider
  • 37% believe nothing beats beer

Conclusion:

Cider is bubbly and festive, and beer is just… bubbly. So kick that can of light beer to the curb and grab a bottle of locally brewed apple cider.

Veg Head or Simply Nuts? Pumpkin Pie vs. Pecan Pie

The breakdown:

  • 62% love pumpkin pie most
  • 38% choose pecan pie

Conclusion:

Yes, pie in general is a magical thing, but pumpkin pie has to be consumed on Thanksgiving. Sure you can have some pecan pie too, although that pumpkin slice of yours must be bigger!

That concludes our BigOven Food Fight: Thanksgiving Showdown. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

BigOven Food Fight: Veg Head or Simply Nuts? Pumpkin Pie vs. Pecan Pie

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For many, pie is the highlight of Thanksgiving. Something about that subtly sweet, buttery crust, the decadent, freshly whipped cream on top, and… but wait, what type of filling?

True pumpkin pie fans believe that this traditional dessert is a must. Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without it. Plus, pumpkin is a vegetable so you’re allowed to go back for thirds. Don’t be surprised if you stumble into a pumpkin pie fanatic “sleepwalking” Thanksgiving night with a leftover slice in hand. The next day he’ll claim that he doesn’t remember a thing regarding last night, and then proceed to eat the remainder of the pie for breakfast, as if cavities aren’t a thing anymore.

Even though pumpkin pie has a strong following, some will argue that pecan pie is superior. It has a nutty crunch, and the different textures keep your palate interested, unlike boring pumpkin pie. Pecans are a good source of protein, so this pie must be healthy too. Despite the fact that you’ll have to walk the dog around the block approximately 99 times to burn off all those calories.

If you are the indecisive sort, no one will judge if you grab a slice of both. We can all be thankful for sugar together.