Tag Archives: Epicurious

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Mother’s Day: How to Make Breakfast in Bed for Mom

gThankYou! Employee Gifts - Mothers' Day FlowersThere are a few secrets to giving mom a great breakfast in bed.  First, don’t make it too complicated.  A simple breakfast is better than a fancy one that’s difficult to do and risks not being all you (or Mom) hoped.  This is especially true if the kids in the house are making the meal.

Second, know what mom wants. If she loves the cranberry orange scones from a neighborhood bakery, head out early and pick one up rather than try to make one yourself (scones especially have a dangerous tendency to get rock-like if you don’t have much practice).

Third, nail the garnishes!  Put a single lily, Gerber daisy or Mom’s favorite flower in a bud vase. Arrange everything on a pretty breakfast tray. Maybe even put her orange juice in a wine glass, just for looks.

gThankYou! Employee Gifts - Artistic TrayAnd, don’t forget the hand-made Mother’s Day card from the kids.  It will make Mom’s day, no matter how breakfast turns out.

Finally, try one of these fun recipes for Mother’s Day brunch this year. They’re all simple and delicious, and at least one of them should hit the sweet spot between decadence (for her) and ease (for you).

Sumptuous Smoothies

8639164930_f00bfb2a15_cThere is a secret in these not-too-sweet, sophisticated smoothies from Joy the Baker. They’re actually pretty healthy (!) – but don’t tell the kids. A regular size pineapple smoothie from Jamba Juice will set you back more than 400 calories, which doesn’t leave much room for bacon (or Mother’s Day dessert).

But try the vanilla, blackberry, oat and almond milk smoothie from Joy. Almond milk is the healthiest alternative to cow’s milk (60 calories per cup, versus 86 for skim), but it’s full of flavor; sweet, lightly nutty and perfect for smoothies.  You’ll want to keep making these all year-long.

Wonderful Waffles

Waffles are such wonderful weekend food. If you do them up sweet, they can almost be like dessert for breakfast.

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Photo by Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen

Mom would probably love these whole wheat Belgian waffles with mascarpone, thyme and fresh strawberries from the blog Happyolks. If you’re feeling ambitious, try them.

But if you don’t have yeast lying around, Deb Perelman’s recipe from Smitten Kitchen (above) made with buttermilk and vanilla extract should do the trick. Just make sure to top with powdered sugar and fresh fruit.

Perfect Pancakes

1fc1e62d03af7b13220daafa9f139b04If hauling out the blender and/or the waffle maker on a Sunday morning seems like just too much effort for early in the day, pancakes are the perfect fallback. Fancy enough for a special occasion but easy enough that your six-year-old can help, “flapjacks” can be sweet (chocolate-pecan pancakes from Martha Stewart Living), savory (butternut squash pancakes or sweet potato and kimchi pancakes from Lantern Restaurant via Epicurious.com) or somewhere in between (lemon-ricotta pancakes from CHOW).

There’s nothing better for breakfast than a stack of golden brown silver dollar pancakes with good maple syrup drizzled on them. Sprinkle in a few dark chocolate chips while they’re cooking, and it’s really a holiday.

Mom will be delighted!  So have fun and keep it simple. For more recipes and other Mother’s Day ideas – please check out our post: The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Sweet and Savory Pies for Pi Day!

Happy International Pi Day!

gThankYou! Pi Diagram

Diagram from 314 Solutions, Inc.

Around the world, people celebrate mathematics on March 14.  Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter; which is approximately 3.14159 but can be calculated out to about a trillion decimal places!

Here at gThankYou! we take the liberal view of Pi – in order to celebrate gThankYou! Pie Gift Certificates and delicious pies of course!

Deep Dish Winter Fruit Pie with Walnut Crumb

Pi Day comes at a rather inconvenient time for pie bakers, when the fruits of summer are still a long way off. Solve that problem with this deep dish beauty, which combines dried figs, fresh apples and pears, and either fresh or frozen cranberries for a pie tasters describe as “amazing” and winning “rave reviews” from “gaga” guests.

photo by Sara Remington via Epicurious.com

photo by Sara Remington via Epicurious.com

Find the recipe, taken from “Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More” by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson, on Epicurious.

Pear and Almond Tart

photo by  YasmineAbdullah via Flickr.com

photo by Yasmine Abdullah via Flickr.com

The difference between a pie and a tart is really very minor. According to The Kitchn, a pie is “a sweet or savory dish with a crust and a filling. The sides of a pie dish or pan are sloped,” unlike a tart pan, which has straight sides. A pie “can have a just a bottom, just a top, or both a bottom and a top crust,” while tarts are open face. And pie crust, made from flour, salt, butter or lard and cold water, can go either sweet or savory, while a tart crust often contains sugar.

No matter how you define it, this pear and almond tart is a keeper. The recipe, published in the February 2005 issue of Bon Appetit, comes from Paule Caillat. Feel free to adapt the recipe using canned pears: just drain them, “dry them very well and carry on.”

Double Crust Apple Pie

photo by Edward Kimuk via Flickr.com

photo by Edward Kimuk via Flickr.com

For one entire summer, Evan Kleiman, the host of KCRW’s popular radio show “Good Food,” made a pie every single day.

Serious Eats reports that after all the variations on “shepherd’s pie, ice cream pies, cream pies, fried pies, gallettes, crostadas, small French tarts, and bastillas,” her favorite pie was this one — the double crust apple pie.

“It has everything,” she wrote. “The yielding sweetness of fruit cooked in sugar with a hint of cinnamon. If I were an apple, it’s how I’d like to go.”

Savory Pork and Peas Pie

Nicole Mourian won four ribbons at the Fourth Annual Good Food Pie Contest in 2012, at least one of them for her humble-sounding pork and peas pie.

photo by LA I'm Yours via the Good Food blog

photo by LA I’m Yours via the Good Food blog

The secret to this recipe is twofold: controlling the temperature, and high quality ingredients. According to the Good Food blog, “It’s a combination of slow roasted Niman Ranch pork shoulder, pork belly, carrots, chopped Gravenstein apples and peas that she had shucked and frozen last spring.

“She combined the braising liquid from the pork belly with a little flour and rosemary to form a gravy. And as if that weren’t enough, her pie crust is made with the unctuous European Style Butter from Straus Family Creamery in Northern California.”

Still, there’s little doubt those of us without access to Niman Ranch and Strauss Family products can still come up with something pretty amazing for a chilly March night. Who says pie has to be sweet to be delicious?

We hope we have given you plenty of reasons to celebrate Pi(e) day tomorrow!  Brighten someone’s day with a pie.  You’ll be glad you did.

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.

Ham FREE eBook: Spring Ham Primer

gThankYou! is excited to announce our free eBook,
“A Spring Ham Primer”.

gThankYou! Spring Ham Primer

Click Image to Download!

We believe a glazed ham is the perfect centerpiece for a spring party or holiday celebration. If you’ve never cooked one before, gThankYou! is here to help with this quick step-by-step guide on how to cook your ham, as well as suggestions for side dishes and additional places to look for great recipes.

Novice or seasoned pro, you’ll find useful tips and resources in this handy Ham Primer.  gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificates are a popular employee gift this time of year.  Share this free Primer with recipients, include one of our free personalizable spring-themed enclosure cards and make your Certificate of Gratitude gift truly special!

Here’s a peek at our “A Spring Ham Primer” Table of Contents:

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. How to Choose and Cook a Spring Holiday Ham
2. Great Ways to Glaze
3. Recipes
4. Super Side Dishes for Spring Ham
5. Resources

Download your free copy now by clicking this link:
“Spring Ham Primer”

For more recipes and “how to” posts about Ham, be sure to check out the links to these popular gThankYou! posts.  More posts are available under the “Ham Recipes” category so check them out and let us know what you like!

More Ham Posts!

Please enjoy your new Ham Primer and let us know about your spring ham feast!

Bon Appétit !

The gThankYou! Team

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.

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Simple Valentine’s Day Dinners for Two | Favorite Recipes

RoseGoing out on Valentine’s Day sounds romantic — wine service, beautifully composed courses, flowers on white tablecloths. But in execution, it’s often less than perfect. Expensive. Crowded. Babysitters are booked, servers are stressed, and if you didn’t plan ahead, you may not get a reservation at your favorite place before 9 pm.

This year, make it a simple romantic dinner for two with one of these easy main course ideas.  Pair one of these with a simple salad (such as Boston bibb with radishes and buttermilk dressing, citrus, celery and fennel, or Lidia’s radicchio, goat cheese and raisin salad), a bottle of sparkling wine and a purchased pastry dessert.

Now that’s romantic.

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Asian Marinated Pork Chops
These beautiful chops have as much going for them as a delightful first date. Marinated with brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, Sriracha, sesame oil, garlic and orange, these chops are rich and flavorful, but inexpensive enough to allow for a box of artisan chocolates for dessert.

Flank steak

Grilled Flank Steak with Watercress, Blue Cheese and Tomato

This simple flank steak becomes more tender with a lengthy marinade, at least eight hours (but overnight is fine too). The ingredients in the marinade, including rosemary, garlic, balsamic vinegar and red wine, are usually on hand.

Recipe writer EmilyC writes on Food52, “When you cut your steak into bite-sized pieces, a little juice spills out and creates a delicious, impromptu salad dressing. Plan to buy extra steak and salad ingredients when you make this dish — leftovers make a fabulous steak sandwich on toasted ciabatta.”

Mussels, Clams and Shrimp Saffron Risotto

Photo by Noel Barnhurst

Seafood is a classic for a romantic dinner. This lovely recipe from Epicurious resembles paella, with lovely mussels, clams and shrimp. Even a simple risotto with just shrimp would be a lovely weeknight dinner, made with whatever wine you’re pouring (ideally a dry white).

Posters rave about the olive relish, and though it’s technically a one-pot dish, recipe testers recommend cooking the seafood separately from the rice to make sure everything comes out right.

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Photo by James Ransom

Melissa Clark’s Really Easy Duck Confit

Duck is a bit of a splurge, but it’s worth it for a special occasion. This recipe from Food52 takes the French bistro classic, duck confit, and simplifies it for an easy weeknight meal.

“This is not the confit they teach in cooking school, or the kind served at restaurants,” writes the editor who adapted the recipe from Clark’s “In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite.” “It’s the kind you can make any time — all you need are a few good duck legs, a skillet and some very basic spices. And it’s just as good.”

So find a plan for the kids and take the time to enjoy your own special Valentine’s meal at home.  We hope you enjoy these simple yet special recipes.  All the best for a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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.

Five Great Ham Recipes for Breakfast

Or, what to do with all your wonderful leftover holiday ham!

I know I’m not the only one with a Tupperware taking up half of my fridge’s bottom shelf, stuffed with leftover glazed ham. Use those leftovers as inspiration and get a little protein into your morning with these five breakfasts. (Some of them are make-ahead, but all are simple.)

1. Ham and Fontina Frittata

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Easier than an omelet but with all the same ingredients, a frittata is as simple as whisk, pour, bake. Rachael Ray keeps it simple in this recipe, which has just a few ingredients: eggs, milk, ham, cheese, and a little butter and oil for cooking.

It’s simple to add veg, too — try New York Times’ Mark Bittman’smore vegetable less egg” frittata, which can be adapted to whatever’s in your fridge/pantry: onion, broccoli, asparagus, snap peas, tomatoes, mushrooms and more.

2. Ham and Asparagus Quiche

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Photo credit: Charles Masters

Quiche is such a grand breakfast food, probably more suited to brunch than a quick run-out-the-door weekday. Started on a premade pie crust, this ham and asparagus quiche from Real Simple uses Gruyère (and four large eggs) to bring all the flavors together.

Quiche is infinitely adaptable, too, though as with the frittata, parboil or sauté the vegetables that won’t cook through in the oven. The recommendation to serve each wedge of quiche with a green salad dressed with bright vinaigrette is a smart one — the tartness of the dressing cuts through the relative heaviness of the quiche.

3. Ham and Cheese Breakfast Strata

MK5155Strata is like a ham and cheese sandwich saw a tray of lasagna and decided that a casserole pan held its destiny. The sandwich ingredients (bread, ham, cheese, mustard) get bound together with eggs and a few flourishes, like rosemary and roasted red peppers.

This version, from Eating Well, gives a nod to January as get-back-on-the-treadmill month by using skim milk and fewer egg whites for “plenty of flavor, half the calories and one-third the fat of the original.”

4. Honey-glazed Ham on Sweet Potato Biscuits with Blackberry Balsamic Drizzle

ZB0206H_honey-glazed-ham-on-sweet-potato-biscuits-with-blackberry-balsamic-drizzle_s4x3_lgMost breakfast dishes that incorporate ham into the mix use eggs as the glue. But this morning dish, from Food Network “sandwich king” Jeff Mauro, skips them in favor of buttermilk sweet potato biscuits, crunchy arugula and a sweet-spicy drizzle made with fruit preserves, serrano chile, basil and balsamic vinegar.

5. Ham, Artichoke and Potato Gratin

Making a gratin is a little like making lasagna (and both take a long time to cook, so make this one the night before). But the end result, with its lovely layers of thinly sliced potato, ham, artichokes and Comté cheese, is well worth the effort. Bruce Aidells created this recipe, using leftover or good-quality deli ham.

We wish you the best for a healthy, happy and inspired New Year!

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.

What to Serve at Your Holiday Party: Turkey or Ham?

A perfectly browned turkey or a glazed holiday ham, sliced into layers like the petals of a flower. Either makes for a crowd-pleasing main course, ample enough to feed a crowd, with leftovers to spare.

But when you’re hosting a holiday gathering (that isn’t Thanksgiving — turkey has the clear edge there), which do you choose for your centerpiece? What makes better appetizers for a cocktail party?

If your gathering is less than two weeks after Thanksgiving, everyone might be happier with ham. A spiral-sliced, smoked bone-in or boneless ham comes already cooked, so all you have to do is warm it up, glaze it and serve.

Hosting a cocktail party? For appetizers, ham is a little more decadent than turkey.

For example, I served ham and cheese puff pastry squares (recipe by Ina Garten on the Food Network) for my New Year’s Eve party in 2010. They were finger food, easy to make and fantastic with sparkling wine.

Ham and rice croquettes are a tiny bit more fussy because they require frying, but reviewers of this Gourmet recipe raved about them. “Superb! One of the easiest apps to please a wine-swilling crowd,” wrote one; another said, “My guests really loved them.”

For a Spanish flare, try Spanish-style garlic shrimp with ham and bell peppers, which is a “great tapas or appetizer with crusty bread.”

If you have picky eaters or anyone who keeps kosher on the guest list, go with turkey. Turkey offers white meat for the dieters and dark for everyone else, and most flexitarians make an exception for fowl.

If you choose, you can even roast a smaller bird (though the leftovers are so good, that’s a hard argument to make).

Credit Elinor Carucci for Bon Appétit

For appetizer portions, Jennie-O is a font of great entertaining ideas based around turkey, like pesto turkey pinwheels and smoked Gouda and turkey dip.

These turkey pockets are made super easy by the addition of premade dough.

For something different in the weeks following Thanksgiving, try something more exotic on your turkey. Asian flavors are awesome with the neutral flavors of turkey breast meat — check out the cinnamon-orange scented turkey from Rick Rodgers at Bon Appétit (the “dry brine” salt includes star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, clove, coriander and fennel).

Joanne Chang’s recipe for a turkey glazed with soy, sesame, honey and ginger, found in Food & Wine, will banish memories of Thanksgiving from your holiday gathering. Also intriguing is a recipe for a teriyaki glaze on the turkey and shallot gravy to finish.

Credit Con Poulos for Food & Wine

Whatever you do, be sure to save some leftovers for yourself! Enjoy.

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.