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Tag: Thanksgiving (page 1 of 2)

It’s All About Thanksgiving Side Dishes

We talked turkey, now it’s time to focus in on some show-stopping side dishes your family and friends are sure to love this Thanksgiving. Again, we have looked to our cable channel, Food Network for some of our favorite comforting recipes.


Alton’s Green Bean Casserole

While canned cream of mushroom soup will hold a special nostalgic place in our hearts, this recipe shows how easy it is to make a rich mushroom gravy from scratch.


Sausage, Apple and Sage Stuffing

The sweet and tart notes of the apple play well with the savoriness of the sausage. A quick mix and pop it in the oven for a fall flavored side that will shine on your Thanksgiving table.


Alex’s 5-Star Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Looking to impress your family and friends with more than the gelatinous can shaped cranberry sauce? This recipe will add true cranberry flavor with warm hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Plus, it is a beautiful accompaniment to any turkey.


Ree’s Creamy Corn Casserole

If your family likes a little spice, this creamy corn casserole will have the slight kick you need to heat up the Thanksgiving spread. Add as much or as little jalapeno as you want and don’t worry about substituting frozen corn for fresh if that is what you have available.


We’re Talking Turkey and Learning How to Prepare It

We are talking turkey today. Thanksgiving is just over a week out, but some turkey recipes can take up to 5 days of prep! Great Plains Communications has turned to our cable channel Food Network to find some of our favorite turkey preparations, if that is a wet brine, dry brine, no brine, or even just the turkey breasts for a smaller crowd.

Lemon and Herb Roasted Turkey

As Geoffrey Zakarian says in the video, “Don’t stress, because this is just a very big chicken.” Instead of worrying about room in your fridge for a wet brined turkey, this recipe requires just one shelf big enough for your roasting pan. The salt in the dry brine will dry out the skin to ensure it crisps in the oven and the seasonings provide a bright citrus note accompanied by familiar fall herb flavors.


Bobby Flay’s Cajun Brined Turkey

This recipe is if you are looking to jazz up the flavor profile a bit. Instead of using traditional thanksgiving herbs such as sage, rosemary and thyme, here Bobby Flay uses different chili powders and paprika for not only the brine but the dry rub as well.


Alton’s Butterflied Turkey How-To

A shorter cooking time, but also less area needed in the refrigerator – this recipe provides a new presentation of the turkey but still provides crispy skin and juicy meat. As Alton Brown explains, along with the other chefs in these videos, be sure to check the internal temperature of your turkey with a meat thermometer before assuming it is done. Do not rely on the pop-up “thermometers” that come with some turkeys.


Thanksgiving on 2 Sheet Pans

Maybe you are planning a Friendsgiving or your family is on the small side and a whole turkey would be way too much. This recipe provides season favorites such as sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and beautifully roasted turkey breasts – all cooked on two sheet pans!

Easy Thanksgiving Party Tips

We have shared some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes, but there is a lot more that goes into hosting than just the food. Our cable channel, HGTV has some useful tips to keep in mind when pulling everything together before the big day.


How to Check a Propane Tank Level

Are you planning to fry your bird? Don’t get stuck with an empty stomach due to an empty propane tank. All you need is some hot water and a little science to find your propane level.


5 Ways to Fold a Napkin

An easy way to add simple elegance to any table is by folding the napkins. Check out these creative folds that are sure to impress your guests.


How to Make Velvet Pumpkins

While you could really use any fabric you want, these velvet pumpkins are a super simple way to add a little pop of color to your tablescape this Thanksgiving.


If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn about what services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

2 Weeks Out – Thanksgiving 2017

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is two weeks (and two days) away? We can’t. The holidays can be stressful. Maybe you are planning a menu for the one time a year your extended family will gather around the table. It could be a Friendsgiving this weekend and you are looking for a creative appetizer to impress. No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, it most likely includes food and loved ones. Great Plains Communications has looked to our cable channel, Food Network and highlighted some of our favorite tips to help keep stress out of the recipe this year.

6 Sanity Saving Thanksgiving Tips

This quick 46 second video crushes some common issues such as lack of roasting rack, fridge space, and how to transport warm dishes like gravy.

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Apps

Remember that creative and delicious don’t have to mean expensive or complicated. The creative aspect could be how you serve a classic dish such as this butternut squash soup. Make it a shooter with a couple garnishes and your guests will appreciate the portability.

Freeze-Ahead Thanksgiving Feast

All of these dishes can be frozen up to 2 weeks, which means you could get some prep done this weekend and relieve some of the headache that comes with lack of counter space and stovetop burners the day of Thanksgiving.


If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer but would like to learn about what services we offer in your area, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Thanksgiving Recipes 2016

Thanksgiving is only a few days away and your friends and family have asked you to bring a dish. They will have the turkey and pie prepared, but ask you to bring a side dish. Great Plains Communications wants to share a few of our favorite side dish and accompaniments from our cable channel, Food Network.

Cravenous Cranberry Sauce – Tyler Florence

With every great turkey comes a tart and sweet cranberry sauce to pair with the savory flavors of the meat. Don’t bother with the gelatinous canned stuff, and switch it out for fresh cranberries and the citrus surprise of orange.

Sausage Chestnut Stuffing – Giada De Laurentiis

Impress your family and friends with this elevated stuffing recipe. While still getting the cornbread flavor of the boxed stuffing we are all used to, by adding sweet apples, savory sausage and texture through the chunks of chestnut, this dish will leave everyone’s taste buds wanting more.

Sunny’s Creamed Spinach Recipe – Sunny Anderson

Looking for something a little different from the traditional green bean casserole but still love the creamy texture? Try this creamed spinach recipe, which incorporates salty parmesan and convenient frozen spinach with the classic crunchy topping of fried onions.


Happy Thanksgiving from Great Plains Communications!

Last Minute Thanksgiving Tips

Thanksgiving is almost here and it seems as if the to-do list just keeps getting longer. The turkey is brining and decorations have been bought but there seems to be more and more to do. Great Plains Communications understands the stress that can come with preparing a Thanksgiving meal, and wants to help get you out of the kitchen and in spending time with family and friends. We have teamed up with our cable channel, Food Network to bring you three last minute recipes and tips to make sure everything gets checked off your list.

Rachael Ray’s Thanksgiving Squash Soup

This recipe is not only delicious as it brings fall flavors like squash and carrot to your Thanksgiving meal, but it is also healthy. By keeping appetizers on the lighter side, guests can enjoy a heavier and richer entrée.


Tyler’s Ultimate Turkey Gravy

A good gravy can find its place all over a Thanksgiving plate, from the mashed potatoes to the turkey and maybe even a splash on the green bean casserole. This recipe develops deep savory flavor that will be just what your meal needs.


How to Chill Wine Fast

Many Thanksgiving gatherings include some celebratory beverages, if it’s wine, beer or sparkling cider. Here is a quick trick to make sure all the drinks of choice are cold and ready for your guests.


No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, if it is with turkey or ham, watching football or taking a nap, Great Plains Communications wants to wish everyone a wonderful holiday weekend.

If you have a family member spending Thanksgiving serving our country this season and you would like to send them something special on us, check out information on our Support our Troops program here.

How to Host Thanksgiving

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming. Menu planning, food preparation, dining table arrangements, and that’s all before anybody even arrives. With the big day approaching quickly, Great Plains Communications has created a Thanksgiving countdown – mapping out when to do what in the next week to ensure your Thanksgiving is spent with family and not a to-do-list.

1 Week Out

  • Plan the menu: Though most people know it is safest to thaw your turkey in the fridge, they don’t know that according to, defrosting time to pound ratio is 24 hrs. for every 4-5 lbs. That means if you have a 15 lb. turkey, you should take it out of the freezer on Sunday. Also, don’t forget to make sure your roasting pan is big enough for the turkey. Small details like these will make the big day run much smoother.
  • Think about oven space: With many side dishes planned and your turkey needing hours to cook, consider swapping in side dishes that can be served cold or at room temperature. There is always the option of using a cooler to keep food warm, just make sure to place a towel between each warm dish and don’t open the lid until you are ready to serve. You can also opt to use a separate roaster and/or crockpot to ensure your side dishes stay warm and your turkey has time to cook to perfection.
  • Make your shopping list: You can either split your shopping list into two lists, one with items that will save for a week, and the other with last minute items or plan to make one big trip once Thanksgiving gets closer. Either way, make the list now so that if you remember things throughout the week you will have time to write them down.
  • Clean out your fridge: You are going to need a lot of space to hold dips, appetizers and the abundance of leftovers, so make sure to eat up as much as you can. This is also the time you can start looking for things on your list in your fridge and pantry. Make sure you have the essentials like – salt, pepper, and flour.

The Weekend Before

  • Start your make-ahead recipes: Many parts of Thanksgiving dinner can be made ahead, from stocks to pies. Check out these make-ahead recipes from our cable channel, Food Network.

Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving

  • Shop: Now is the time to make sure you have everything you need for the big day. Ensure all the herbs are accounted for, beverages have been purchased and side dishes are ready for assembly.
  • Turkey Prep: If you plan on brining your turkey, do it now. It will cook more evenly if you leave it to air dry in the fridge for at least 12 hours before roasting it.
  • Keep cooking: There are multiple dishes you can continue to cook throughout the week – cranberry sauce, pie crusts, compound butters. You can also peel potatoes now and soak them in cold water in the fridge.

The Day Before

  • Make Desserts: Your oven won’t have room for pies and other sweet treats on the day of Thanksgiving, so make sure you get all dessert baking done the day before.
  • Clean and Chop: Another thing there won’t be room for on the big day is vegetable preparation. Trim the green beans, wash the lettuce, and get through as much vegetable prep as possible.

The Night before Thanksgiving

  • Set the table: If you have a lot of people coming over and different place settings, get it done the night before. Here are some fun table setting ideas from our cable channel HGTV.

The Big Day – It’s Show Time

  • Assemble your dishes and plan cooking times: You have planned for this, keep cool and start the assembly of your side dishes.
  • 4 hours before dinner: Get your turkey in the oven. This will vary depending on the size of your turkey. Remember that you can rest it before carving.
  • 2 hours before dinner: Make sure you are cooking your side dishes according to schedule and start reheating any premade dishes. This is when you also want to plate up appetizers if your guests aren’t already munching on them.

Right before Thanksgiving Dinner

  • Carve and plate: Your turkey should be done and ready to be carved. You can always carve a little ahead of time and then cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Finishing Touches: All the cooking is done and people are starting to find their places around the dinner table. Make sure glasses are filled and all dishes are plated. Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the holiday with your family and friends.


Make it a Family Affair this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday enriched with unique traditions. Does your family travel each year, packing up the car and heading to grandma’s house? Do you always make a special side dish that turkey wouldn’t taste the same without? No matter if you remember the day through memories of overeating and a mid-afternoon nap or tossing a football through the biting November wind, Thanksgiving is a time to revel in the things we have and the people we have to enjoy them with.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Great Plains Communications wants to share a couple crafts to get the kids involved this year. While most of the focus is on food preparation, it is easy to forget that the tiny helpers have plenty to be thankful for as well. So, take a moment between mixing and pouring to get their little hands busy.

Pumpkin Spice Play Dough

  • 2 cups water
  • 10 drops red food coloring
  • 10 drops yellow food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Fill a sauce pan with water, food coloring and oil. Heat contents of saucepan over medium heat.

In a bowl mix salt, flour, cream of tartar and spices.

Add contents of bowl to saucepan and stir continually until the dough pulls away from the edges. The play dough and pan will be warm and will continue to set up after the burner is off.

Leaf Placemat

  • Leaves of their choice
  • Clear Contact paper

Place the leaves in any pattern on one sheet of contact paper.

After all the leaves have been placed, gently set a second piece of contact paper (sticky side down) over the leaves.

The Pumpkin Spice Play Dough will keep them busy as you prep. The Leaf Placemats will give them something to bring to the table (literally). They will be able to show all the relatives their beautiful artwork as everyone sits down to eat.

As a fourth generation company, Great Plains Communications knows the importance of family and tradition. We are thankful for our founders and employees. But most of all, we would like to share our sincere appreciation for your confidence and loyalty. We are deeply thankful and extend to you our best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Let us know what you are thankful for this year, in the comments below.

Thanksgiving on Parade (And More)!

Airing on November 27th on ABC Family beginning at 3pm CT

Charlie Brown Marathon: Anyone who reads this blog knows that we’re big fans of the family friendly offerings  from the Peanuts gang.  This year, ABC Family is giving us hours of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang.

Airing on Thanksgiving on CBS at 9pm CT

The Macy’s Day Parade: What would Thanksgiving morning be without the annual parade simultaneously celebrating Turkey Day and bringing in the Christmas season.


Airing on  November 29th on ABC at 11am CT

Nebraska vs. Iowa Football!  – Technically the day after Thanksgiving, this now annual game is a must watch for every Husker fan. So far, the Huskers are undefeated against the Hawkeyes and are hoping to stay that way for year three.

Best Websites for Turkey Day

One of the best parts of the Internet is that it brings the world of information right to your fingertips.  Of course, that much information can be overwhelming.  We put together a list of our favorite sites to help you knock Thanksgiving out-of-the-park!

The Food Network website is better than ever this Thanksgiving!  You can sign-in and save recipes to create your perfect Thanksgiving meal.  The site includes video tutorials, printable recipes, decor ideas and even rates recipes by difficulty .  There us a great mix of recipes from celebrity chefs and twists on traditional favorites.  The Food Network has even created full menus so that you don’t even have to plan one yourself!  Turkey Day will never be easier!

The Butterball website: is fantastic. For years, the butterball turkey hotline has been the gold standard for advice about how to cook the perfect bird.  Now, the same know-how and expert advice can be found online.  Plus, you can download a mobile app to use even when you’re far from home. can make the hours before and after your Thanksgiving feast a blast.  The site has 24 themed games to play with the whole family that will take your holiday to the next level.  What’s even better, with so many options, there will be plenty left over for Christmas!

What is your favorite site to make the holidays easier?  Let us know in the comments section below.

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