Category Archives: Vegetable Recipes

4th of July Recipe Favorites for Your American Celebration

The fourth of July is the best kind of American holiday — celebrated at the height of summer, with grills going and fireworks sparkling and ice-cold lemonade (or beer) in hand.

When family is around and backyard games are in progress, it’s more fun to be outside than slaving away in the kitchen. These tried and true summer dishes are not only easy, they can also be prepared either ahead of time or on a Weber kettle.

Watermelon Feta Salad with Kalamata Olives

IMG_1827

Fair warning: this salad, by British cookbook author Nigella Lawson, is addictive, and not only during the summer when watermelon is abundant. Sweet with melon, salty with kalamata olives and feta cheese and fresh with chopped mint and parsley leaves, this is a crowd-pleasing summer salad that goes with everything. Steeping raw red onions in fresh lime juice removes their rasp, so start those first.

There are dozens of variations on the watermelon salad — try Whole Foods’ version with goat cheese and basil, or Ina Garten’s take with baby arugula and parmesan.

Deviled eggs with smoked salmon

Deviled eggs for Lila

With a bit of spiced mustard and creamy mayonnaise, deviled eggs are a classic party dish. This Forkful of News recipe, topped with smoked salmon and sliced chives, has a secret tang from pickled onions (you can use dill pickles, too).

To make them even more elegant for a dinner party, add fish eggs (like flying fish roe, or tobiko) for a tiny bit of salty snap.

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

IMG_6034

Flank steak can be incredibly tender and flavorful if you give it a night in marinade. After trying Mediterranean and Southwestern combinations, the best is an Asian-style combination of soy sauce, garlic, ginger and brown sugar. Start with a marinade like Alton Brown’s or this version from AllRecipes. Then add/subtract ingredients to your taste.

Because flank is a tough cut, the key is to let the steak sit in marinade overnight. Grill for about 15 minutes total and then LET IT REST for 10 minutes, at least. While the steak rests, you can throw on kebabs.

Vegetable/Chicken Kebabs

IMG_4703

The only thing slightly fussy about these skewers is the assembly. Cut up whatever vegetables you have around (peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, squash, mushrooms), brush with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with some interesting spices (cumin, paprika, aleppo pepper) and grill on medium, 6-10 minutes.

The skewers above have small pieces of chicken on them, but shrimp or precooked slices of chicken sausage work, too. Vegetarians at your celebration might appreciate veg-only kebabs, like these from Epicurious.

Martha Stewart recommends threading each vegetable or meat separately, to have better control over the cooking time. That’s certainly an option, but if you’re staying away from super-high heat anyway, the lazy man’s everything-on-one method has worked fine for us.

Patriotic Bundt Cake

June Cook-off Lindsay and Nicole 006

Holidays are no time for restraint. Go big with a lovely pound cake, like the sour-cream based Man Catcher from Melissa Gray’s “All Cakes Considered” (try it with fresh blueberries in the batter) or Ina Garten’s lemon pound cake, cooked into a bundt pan as the Smitten Kitchen suggests.

Shown above is my friend’s deliberately patriotic bundt cake, which she topped with fresh white whipped cream and stewed fresh berries (bright red strawberries and blueberries, of course). A scoop of ice cream would be delicious, too!

However you celebrate, we wish you a very happy 4th of July and share our gratitude that we are a country that believes in freedom  and Democracy.

gThankYou! Free 2-Page Guide

Click to Download Your Free Guide to gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Advertisements

Father’s Day Dinner – 5 Grill Favorites

Father’s Day, falling as it does on a temperate mid-June Sunday, is the perfect time to get out the grill. No matter who is handling the chimney starter, these five recipes for a grill-centric meal will make for a delicious and special Father’s Day celebration.

Five Grill Favorites for Father’s Day

Dad will absolutely love these delicious yet healthy Grilled Turkey Burgers from Bon Appetit. Made with cheddar and smoky aioli (a kind of homemade garlicky mayonnaise), these burgers don’t skimp on flavor, seasoned with cumin, coriander and smoked paprika (I recommend the incredibly flavorful Spanish paprika from Penzeys).

Photo by Nigel Cox for Bon Appetit

Photo by Nigel Cox for Bon Appetit

Is your dad more of a rib guy?  Father’s Day is a special occasion, after all. Recently I picked up some country-style ribs to try as an alternative to our bone-in barbecue favorites slathered with sauce.

In its recipe for Barbecued Country-Style Ribs, Cook’s Country has some excellent tips on how to keep the cooking even between the white and dark meat.

From Cook's Country

From Cook’s Country

“We brined the ribs so that the white meat would stay juicy and pounded the ribs to an even ¾-inch thickness to “break down” the fattier dark meat,” writes the Cook’s Country test kitchen. “As for flavor, a double layer of barbecue spice and sauce and a quick smoke on the grill turned these ribs into something to sing about.”

Whatever meat you put over the coals, combine it with Charros, or smoky Tex-Mex beans. Steve Raichlen has a recipe for these “soulful, spicy pinto beans” seasoned with onion, bay and cloves, finished with bacon, jalapenos and fresh cilantro.

Charros from Primal Grill

“Don’t be surprised by the soupy consistency of the beans,” Raichlen writes. “Charros are always served with lots of flavorful broth.”

Spring has been slow to come to our part of the country, so we’re still in asparagus mode. Luckily, it’s a one of my favorite things to grill and an early summer favorite.

For Father’s Day I might dress them up with this Gourmet recipe for Grilled Pancetta-Wrapped Asparagus by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez.

photo by Ditte Isager

Photo by Ditte Isager

For a decadent and special finish to your Father’s Day celebration, try grilling peaches.

The first time I ever attempted the recipe below to make caramel, I meant to drizzle it over ripe, juicy grilled peaches, a finishing touch to a dinner party with friends.

I followed the New York Times recipe for Grilled-Peach Sundaes With Salted Bourbon-Caramel Sauce almost to the letter, though in my nervousness about the temperature, I pulled the caramel before it got really brown.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

I didn’t make that mistake the second time. When it got really, well, caramelized, this syrup was easily the best “candy topping” I’ve ever made. Heck, for a simpler dessert, ditch the grilled peaches and just make this caramel. Spoon it on store bought ice cream and it’ll be the best dessert dad’s had all year.

One final note: If dad loves to grill, one of my favorite cookbooks for cooking on the fire is Weber’s excellent “Way to Grill” (Sunset Books, 2009). It’s full of big color photographs, step-by-step illustrated demonstrations and practical advice. At about $17 on Amazon, it’s a Father’s Day gift that begs to be paired with some grilling tools and/or a homemade meal from you.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads and Dad stand-ins who make all the difference in our lives!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

A Vegetarian Easter Holiday Dinner

Most people think of Easter dinner and imagine something heavy and carnivorous at the center of the table — a spiral-cut ham, a rack of lamb, a thick pork tenderloin.

But no one wants to leave vegetarian family and friends out of the loop, and even for the meat-eaters things can get pretty heavy. Change up your 2013 Easter menu with these simple, savvy veggie-centric options from some of the web’s best recipe sites.

Pear and Pecan Salad

5052251740_a3bfa938a8_z

This simple starter salad from Betty Crocker could be made with any variety of nuts — pecans, walnuts or even pine nuts. Whisk together a quick dressing of Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, maple sugar, salt and pepper. Make sure your pears are nice and ripe, and everything else takes care of itself.

Spring Pizza

MV7957_0 Asparagus is like an announcement in vegetable form: it’s finally spring! Perk up the Easter table with this pretty, bright spring pizza, topped with asparagus, garlic, chives and a mozzarella/fontina cheese blend.

Reviewers on Eating Well note that you can substitute green onions for the chives and feta for one of the cheeses. If the asparagus stalks are a little thicker, be sure to peel the ends.

Risotto Primavera

4018_MEDIUM

This risotto primavera from Bon Appetit is perfect for Easter dinner for so many reasons. It’s rich and warm, perfect if the late-March weather is still snowy. And it’s endlessly adaptable based on what you find at the grocery store, from edamame and spring peas from the freezer to carrots, spring onions and leeks. Top it with an over-easy egg if you’re feeling decadent.

Scalloped Potatoes with Creme Fraiche

FNM_120109-Weekend-Dinners-032_s4x3_lg

Scalloped potatoes always feel so wonderfully holiday-worthy. These are especially good, containing creme fraiche (similar to sour cream, but milder), half and half, fresh thyme, garlic and chives.

According to one cook on the Food Network website, “I made this wonderful recipe for Easter and it was a HUGE success!! The potatoes came out beautifully creamy and the flavor was just amazing.”

Venetian Carrot Cake

6295415332_6e64a1a764

For dessert, conclude with one of the Easter Bunny’s favorites — carrots, cleverly disguised and sweetened up in this beautiful Venetian carrot cake by Food Network chef Nigella Lawson. Amped up with pine nuts, golden sultana raisins, vanilla, almond flour, nutmeg, lemon and (of course!) rum, this lovely cake will please everyone at the table, vegetarians and carnivores alike.

We wish you the best for a wonderful holiday with family and friends. We hope these recipes help you to make it a delicious event too. Bon Appetit!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Comfort Winter Soups | Recipes for Recovering

Something has been going around my office, church and social circles, and it’s not a funny Facebook meme. Everyone seems to be coming down with a strange cold-flu hybrid, an exhausting, hacking, miserable illness that takes a good week to work its way out.

When you’re sick, the last thing you might feel like doing is cooking. But if you happen to be the healthy one — or if, like me, you’ve already recovered from the plague and are ready to help your sniffling family or even your coworkers — one of these soups should do the trick.

Chicken soup

1. Chicken Noodle Soup

This is the soup I made two weeks ago when I was guzzling NyQuil at night and curling up with tea during the day. Alton Brown uses chicken stock (homemade if you’ve got it), a few savory elements (onion, celery, garlic) and relatively quick-cooking egg noodles for a quick and easy pot of healing goodness. It’s so simple, I’ll repost the recipe right here.

Note: If you don’t want to cook the noodles in advance, they cook right in the broth if you let it simmer for about 6-8 minutes.

  • 4 cups chicken stock, home-made or store-bought
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 ounces dried egg noodles, cooked to al dente
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Lemon halves, for serving

Bring stock to boil for 2 minutes in a large, non-reactive stockpot with lid on, over high heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic. Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add noodles and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and add herbs and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with lemon halves and add squeeze of lemon juice if desired.

2. Kabocha Squash and Celery Root Soup with maple syrup and browned butter

Squash celery root soup

My all-time favorite soup tome is Anna Thomas’ “Love Soup,” a 2009 James Beard Award-winning cookbook with some 160 recipes for green soups, bean soups, squash purees and more.

This lovely blend can be altered by using butternut or acorn instead of kabocha squash, and carrots in place of turnips. The brown butter gives it a wonderful depth, and an immersion blender makes quick work of the finishing steps.

3. Basic Green Soup

green-soupOne more from Anna Thomas — and this one takes awhile, but it’s worth it. Her green soups begin with caramelized onions, which themselves can take 30-45 minutes to fully brown into a sweet “onion jam.”

In the meantime, stem and chop a few bunches of greens, like dinosaur (lacinato) kale, spinach and chard. Cook arborio rice to give the soup heft, and finish with a swirl of fresh “green” olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

4. Pasta Soup with Potatoes and Pancetta

photo by  Kate Whitaker

photo by Kate Whitaker

Recipe writer  puts this soup under the heading “Craving Comfort” on the blog Leite’s Culinaria, and it’s certainly hearty enough to warrant the name.

“Many people would never associate pasta and potato, but in this case, you’re really going to have to trust me,” she writes. “This recipe has been in my family for more than 50 years, and considering that so far there’ve been two chefs in the family, it must be fantastico!”

Pancetta is important in this one; find it at Whole Foods or specialty markets.

5. Hearty Tomato Soup with Lemon and Rosemary

EI1109_Tomato_Soup_lg

I love this rich tomato soup from Giada De Laurentiis for several reasons. First, the addition of cannellini beans pureed into the soup gives it both texture and hidden protein.

Second, the creme fraiche and lemon zest give it a zing! of tanginess, offsetting the sweetness of the tomatoes. And I love how streamlined it is, starting with veggies I always have around in winter (onion, carrot, garlic) and building with pantry staples, like crushed tomatoes.

What are your favorite comfort soups?  We hope you stay well this flu season.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Looking for Thanksgiving Recipes? Start Here

The holidays can be a thoroughly overwhelming time — even when they technically haven’t started.

Getting a sense of your Thanksgiving Day feast menu in advance can ease the stress of the day, and ensure you’re not quick-thawing a 20-lb. turkey the day you plan to serve it.

A home cook might compile recipes in a Word document (as I have done for years, with a fair amount of success). Even simpler, some of the sites below will make up a menu for you.

One Epicurious app for Android allows you to choose the recipes you want to make, and then puts the ingredients from each one into a shopping list. So easy.

1. Epicurious is a great place to start for Thanksgiving recipes. I like the handy timeline; a list of budget-conscious, American wine recommendations; suggested tools; and tons of recipes from Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Sunset Living and more.

I love the suggestions from fellow cooks — you can click on helpful reviews and have them print along with the recipe, a great tool — and I love this Thanksgiving menu planner.

It asks six simple questions — like: How many people are you serving? Do you want something traditional, modern, exotic? Do you want the dishes to be healthy? — and then spits out a menu (I got “Ted Allen’s Modern Thanksgiving“) you can reject or accept.

gThankYou! Ginger Pumpkin Pie by Cooking Light

Cooking Light’s Ginger Pumpkin Pie
Photo by Charles Masters

2. If this is your first Thanksgiving at the stove, check out Cooking Light’s Thanksgiving for the Novice. Their suggested lineup is basic: creamy salsa dip, sausage and mushroom stuffing, honey-roasted sweet potatoes, classic pumpkin pie. But there are also dozens of fun, approachable and often health-conscious feast day recipes to be found here, including ideas for cocktails, “perfect” pies and what to do with leftovers.

3. A new site for me, and the one I’m using to plan my own meal this year, is Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs’ Food52. There are ideas for how to dress up your Thanksgiving table, an approachable how-to for the Russ Parsons dry-brined “Judy bird,” and contests among home cooks to find the best recipes for Thanksgiving staples like mashed potatoes.

Recipes that are currently catching my eye: cider-glazed sweet potatoes with bacon, pecans and blue cheese (below); beer-and-bacon glazed collard greens; crispy delicata squash rings with currant, fennel and apple relish.

If you like a recipe, you can click the button with the little turkey on it that says “Add to My Menu” and it pops the recipe into a Thanksgiving file. I love this.

Photo from SuperStarter on Food52.

4. A few other sites to try include Martha Stewart Living’s Everything Thanksgiving (it does literally look like EVERYTHING, from appetizers and side dishes to fall centerpieces and projects for the kids).

Thanksgiving Turkey Cake at Chow.com

I like the practical thrust and the nice visuals at the Food Network, which is a great place to find themed recipes for a Paula Deen-style Southern menu or a failsafe batch of ideas from science guru Alton Brown. If you want how-to videos, this is also the best place to start.

Finally, if you like moral support in your cooking adventures, start with the Thanksgiving recipes at Chow, the site connected to the active Chowhound forums. Search the Home Cooking board before you ask your question; chances are, it has been asked (and answered, in detail) before.

What are your favorite Thanksgiving Recipe sources?  Happy Cooking!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Thanksgiving Dinner Planning Starts NOW: Mining the Food Magazines

It’s time. The Thanksgiving-themed glossy food magazines have arrived!

I love these covers. The birds themselves are always quite beautiful, burnished golden and ornamented with grapes and figs and sprigs of thyme. (I’ve decided not to worry about what advanced techniques may have made them so attractive. Food photography is a magician’s craft, and it works like magic — good enough for me.)

This is also where being a minor magazine collector comes in handy. Every year I return to my growing stash of Thanksgiving-themed mags, finding new inspiration and ideas. My personal favorite: Bon Appetit, November 2009 (top row, center):

I know, they all kind of blur together, don’t they? Here are a few of my favorite recipes (with more to come!) to help you get started planning your Thanksgiving feast:

Salted roast turkey with herbs and shallot-Dijon gravy, by Rick Rodgers, Bon Appetit, November 2008: This is hands down my favorite way to prepare Thanksgiving turkey.

Photo by Tim Morris for Bon Appetit

The salt dry rub is much easier than a wet brine (no watery mess!) and the rosemary, sage and thyme are a classic holiday combination that make the meat incredibly flavorful. Read the comments for more ideas and tips, but you really can’t go wrong here.

Salted roast turkey with orange, fall spices and sherry gravy from the same issue uses the same technique, but with an Asian twist; spices include star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, clove, coriander, fennel seed, cinnamon and orange peel.

Roast heritage turkey with bacon, sage and herb butter; Bon Appetit, November 2008: It’s the compound butter that makes this bird, studded with thyme, sage, lemon peel and applewood-smoked bacon. You can change-up the recommended vegetables (onion, celery, fennel, carrots and apples) with whatever you like best.

Photo by Elinor Carucci for Bon Appetit

Shown above, sourdough stuffing with sausage, apples and golden raisins by Jeanne Thiel Kelley; Bon Appetit, November 2009: It’s important to use a good hearty sourdough here, ideally from a bakery (not the grocery). Let it sit out for a day or two before assembling this dressing. Tart baking apples are best in this.

Roasted brussels sprouts with pomegranate seeds and vanilla pecan butter, from “Throwdown with Bobby Flay (episode: Thanksgiving Feast, November 2010): I know the combination of cabbage-y brussel sprouts and sweet pecan butter seems weird, but trust me. This will change your life. (And as a bonus you end up with pomegranate molasses, which is truly amazing on ice cream.)

Photo by Randy Mayor for Cooking Light

Brussels sprouts with crisp prosciutto; Cooking Light, December 2003: An easier take on the sprouts. Sub bacon if necessary.

Butternut squash and cheddar bread pudding, by Molly Wizenberg; Bon Appetit, November 2oo9: A perfect main dish for the vegetarians at your Thanksgiving table, this wonderful recipe combines sharp cheddar cheese, Tuscan kale and lots of eggs for a divinely rich entrée.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing ideas for green salads and sweet potato side dishes and exploring the many aspects of your holiday turkey, from brining to carving, plus the best recipe sites and who to ask for help.

For more magazine recipe testing, check out the guys at The Bitten Word. Each year they do a “Fakesgiving” where they invite over family and friends to try out holiday recipes from that year’s food magazines. It’s pretty great.

What are some of your magazine recipe favorites for Thanksgiving?  Be sure to check back as we will have more to share!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC

5 Back-to-School Lunches You’ll Love Too

When I was a kid, my packed lunch was often the same every day: a container of yogurt, frozen; a turkey sandwich on wheat bread (with lettuce and tomato in a separate baggie); raw, kid-sized veggies (baby carrots, celery sticks) and something sweet, maybe a mini candy bar if it was Halloween or Easter time.

But creativity in kids’ lunches doesn’t have to take a backseat when the school year (and track practice and band practice and school play rehearsals) resume in full force. Were betting even the adults in the family will enjoy these recipes.

Here are five great ideas for fun school lunches to kick- off 2012-13!

gThankYou! Turkey Wrap

Thanks to the “Taste and Tell Blog”

1. Got some leftover turkey? Try a cucumber ranch turkey wrap (inspired by Every Day with Rachel Ray) with cream cheese and fresh veggies. It’s quick and portable, and you can vary it a dozen ways using leftover ham or chicken, avocado, tomato, a mild blue cheese, grapes and/or fresh greens. If your kid is adventurous (or you want a more adult version), try adding sundried tomato pesto, marinated artichokes and roasted red peppers.

2. As summer comes to a close, make the most of all those beautiful tomatoes with a simple watermelon gazpacho (adapted from Food and Wine Magazine). Skip the salsa topping and it couldn’t be simpler — chop and blend together sweet seedless melon, fresh tomatoes (the more colorful the better!), cucumber, a touch of sherry vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. On the side, make your own “Lunchable”; pack it with salami, cheddar cheese and crackers for extra protein and carbs.

3.  While we’re talking tomatoes, don’t miss the chance to make sweet roasted cherry tomato sauce for an easy lunchtime pasta that’s wonderful at room temperature. It’s like Kraft Mac and Cheese studied abroad in Italy. Check out recipes from Susie Middleton, author of The Fresh and Green Table and the blog Six Burner Sue, or adapt this one from Epicurious. Let your child choose a pasta shape, like cute ear-shaped orecchiette or twisty gemelli.

gThankYou! Sub Sandwich

Thanks to The Food Network
and Tyler Florence

4. Chefs send their kids to school, too. At the Food Network, celebrity chef Tyler Florence makes a BLT with pesto and fresh mozzarella, stuffed into an old tennis ball tube with a popcorn ball and a bottle of water. In addition to tasting great, the baguette keeps its shape during morning classes. With a green salad or a cup of tomato soup, these sandwiches are great for a family dinner, too. Check out Florence’s recipe here.

gThankYou! Chickpea & Hummus bento box

Thanks to James Wojick
at Real Simple

5. Take a tip from your favorite Med cafe and make a lunch out of hummus, fresh bell peppers, a chickpea-cucumber salad and whole wheat pita pockets, cut into bunny shapes for fun. Make hummus yourself (recipe at Forkful of News) or find it pre-packed — many grocery delis make their own. Add mild sheep’s milk feta, like Hidden Springs, and a couple of kalamata olives for salty contrast.

For more ideas, browse this gallery at Real Simple, peruse grab-and-go breakfasts at Cooking Light and check out Real Food for Healthy Kids (Harper Collins, 2008) for 200 kid-friendly recipes.

P.S. Need a sweet new lunchbox for your half-pint? Check out this post on Mommyish or browse Pinterest for a variety of ideas.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey or half or whole Ham, at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

5 Great Winter Soups to Keep You Warm

There is something magical about waking up in the morning and gazing out your front window onto a yard covered with powdery, pure white snow. Watching drifts form with the frigid winter wind, seeing icicles appear along the eaves, and hearing the fresh snow crunch under your boots – these are the simple pleasures of winter.

gThankYou Chicken Tortilla Soup Picture

Chicken Tortilla Soup by The Pioneer Woman

But after a long day shoveling the sidewalk, building snowmen, or pulling the kids up the sledding hill it’s time to thaw out with food that warms you from within – soup. Easy to make, soups come in endless varieties, with recipes that can easily be adapted to the ingredients you have on hand. Best of all, leftovers are even better reheated a few days later!

Serve a hearty bowl of soup with warm crusty bread and a green salad and you have a meal that will keep you warm, even as the temperatures outside plunge into single digits.  Check out these favorites and enjoy!

What’s your favorite winter soup?  Share it with us and we will post it for everyone.  Stay warm.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey or half or whole Ham, at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.  

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

 

Thanksgiving Dinner Favorites – Updated

Thanksgiving may be the only time of year when the entire U.S. orders dinner off the same menu. Everyone knows the basics ingredients for a successful turkey day – mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and cranberries. These are tried and true side dishes that are as American as the Norman Rockwell painting that codified their place at the table. But, like the Volkswagen Beetle, even the classics can benefit from some updating! Try these twists on the standard fare and liven up your Thanksgiving table this year.

Mashed Potatoes
Why not add a little spice? After the potatoes are boiled and mashed (we use lots of butter and heart-clogging half & half), add one of these combinations for a delicious update to a traditional favorite.  gThankYou! Mashed Potatoes

* Bacon, cheddar cheese, and caramelized onions
* Pureed fennel and rosemary
* Half and half, basil, and Parmesan cheese
* Canned pumpkin, sage, and nutmeg
* Leeks, chives, and crème fraiche

Stuffing
Stuffing is the ultimate blank canvas – dried bread cubes and broth — so add lots of color and flavor with these tasty variations:

gThankYou! Classic Stuffing* Apple, bacon, and onion
* Wild mushrooms and leeks
* Wild rice, dried cranberries, and pecans
* Andouille sausage and green and red peppers

Cranberries
If Aunt Sally just has to have cranberries in jellied form, oozed out of the can and cut in rounds, fine. But why not serve one of these cranberry dishes alongside for everyone else to enjoy?

gThankYou! Cranberry Sauce* Try this not too sweet, Cranberry Sauce with Port and Cinnamon by Epicurious, an adult favorite.

* Mix raw cranberries with apples and orange in this refreshing Cranberry Relish by Simply Recipes.

* Or on a salad!  We love this baby spinach salad with roasted onions, pecans, dried cranberries and goat cheese from our friends at the FoodNetwork.com.

After all, we should be thankful for a variety of creative food on our table this Thanksgiving!

Happy cooking!

About gThankYou, LLC

gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey, at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S. 

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.  Follow the company blog “Celebrating Work” at blog.gthankyou.com.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Best Zucchini Recipes from gThankYou!

In the Midwest, zucchini is both a marvelous signpost for summer, and terrifying force of nature. The northern equivalent of kudzu, when the growing conditions are right its vines crawl out of tidy, fenced-in garden patches to take over whole neighborhoods, depositing dozens of dark green squash the size of Volkswagens in its wake.

Fortunately, zucchini also has many wonderful qualities. It is a terrific addition to soup, pasta, and side dishes, and makes cakes and breads moist and delicious. In the zucchini world, remember that the biggest is not necessarily the best: young squash are by far the most desirable– their seeds are still small and tender, and the flesh is firm and sweet.

Zucchini photo for gThankYou!Little known facts about the humble zucchini:

In 2005, a poll of 2,000 people revealed the zucchini (also known in Europe as the courgette) to be Britain’s 10th favorite culinary vegetable!  Want to try something new?   Try this British no-cook antipasti recipe for “Stuffed Courgette Rolls” from Good Food.com.

Ratatouille - gThankYou!In France, zucchini is a key ingredient in ratatouille, a stew of summer fruits and vegetables prepared in olive oil and cooked for an extended time over low heat.  Julia Child’s recipe for this wonderful dish is still a consensus favorite!

Zucchini Gratin - gThankYou!

In Spain, zucchini are also fried with egg and onions in olive oil to make a Spanish dish called “tortilla de calabacín”.

In Italy, the blossoms are even stuffed and fried – an incredible treat!

Back here in the Midwest, when we have a craving for sweets, nothing beats a good zucchini bread treat; one office favorite is Zucchini-Chocolate Chip Muffins thanks to our friends at Allrecipes.com.  Feel that fall breeze yet?  It’s a good time to try and share them!

Do you have a favorite way to cook zucchini? Tell us about it!

About Us
gThankYou, LLC  (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, WI and produces America’s favorite meaningful, affordable and convenient employee gifts.  gThankYou!® Certificates of Gratitude™ are one way savvy companies demonstrate commitment to valued employees and customers. The company is best known for its Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, Turkey or Ham Gift Certificates and Grocery Gift Cards.   Other Favorites include our Ice Cream and Pie Gift Certificates.