4 Fun Gifts That Won't Fit Under The Tree

4 Christmas Gifts That Won’t Fit Under The Tree

4 Fun Gifts That Won't Fit Under The Tree

Tis the season…the lights shine brightly on houses, the tree is up and Santa is ready for photos in the mall. It’s Christmas time once again. And that nagging voice in the back of your head is back, you know – the one telling you that you should really start shopping for gifts soon. Yes, that definitely means Christmas is just around the corner!

 

If you’re stumped on what to give to someone you love, how about thinking outside the box  or outside the tree? Here are 4 fun gifts to give someone who deserves a gift so big that it won’t fit under the tree.

 

A Canoe

Canoes are a fantastic gift not only for your loved one, but for everyone around them! Imagine all the fun you can have with a personal canoe to enjoy any time you want. That kind of fun is priceless! Luckily at Big R, we have all you need for the perfect canoeing gift: the majestic canoe, the necessary paddles/oars, and life vests. This is the ultimate canoe pack for a water sports fan. The only thing you’ll need to worry about is wrapping it up!

 

A Lawn Mower

Once winter passes, spring will be blooming…and that means it’s time for lawn care season. What better way to ring in that new season with a brand new lawn mower for the yard fanatic in your life? The perfect gift for them would be the Cub Cadet Self-Propelled Lawn Mower. This sleek mower is great with its front wheel drive system and signature cutting system. This top of the line lawn mower will make it easy to get rid of the old, rusty and used mower in the shed. The receiver of this gift won’t know how to thank you enough for one of the best mowers on the market.

 

Your Services

For some people, big gifts aren’t necessary… but what might be necessary is a service that they need and you can provide. Offering someone a helping a hand this season is sometimes more valuable than any gift you could give – even if it won’t fit under the tree. Extend a handy hand to the person who needs their plumbing fixed, a room repainted, the oil changed, and anything in between. Give them the priceless gift of home or auto improvement from someone they trust. If you’re missing a few parts, stop by our all parts store for what you need. Sometimes the best gift is just getting your hands dirty!

 

A Big R Gift Card

If extravagant gift giving isn’t your thing, then give the most foolproof gift known to mankind: a Big R gift card! By giving them a Big R gift card you are literally giving them everything they could want and need. The choice is theirs! From home decor to children’s toys to pet care they can get everything on their list all in one place – all thanks to your knock-out gift.

 

We hope this list inspired you to think of gifts bigger than the tree for the most memorable and thoughtful Christmas gifts to date. The best place to get all these gifts is, of course, Big R. We’ve got a gift for everyone on your list. So come in today and load up on all your Christmas gifts to help Santa spread the Christmas cheer.

Why We Love Leftover Turkey Blog Header

Why We Love Leftover Turkey

Why We Love Leftover Turkey Blog Header

Warning: This list of recipes might cause your mind to be blown away with all the innovative ways to cook leftover turkey. Other things that may happen: a slight obsession with turkey might start, your mouth might water throughout the day as you think about your leftovers and you might find yourself so comfortable and full that you fall into a deep food coma. If you can live with all these symptoms, use (and reuse) these recipes every time you have some of that leftover bird. Here are five reasons we love leftover turkey:

1. Turkey Cranberry Sandwich

 

Turkey sandwiches are the most traditional of the leftover turkey dishes. They are easy to make and there’s no question about how delicious they are. This recipe is all those things – and more! You probably already have the cranberry sauce, cheese, bacon and red onions in your kitchen – all you need is to grab some of that leftover turkey meat. Gather all these ingredients together for this bold and hearty sandwich. Chop up the red onions and mix them in with the cranberry sauce. Grab two slices of your favorite bread and slather the mixture onto one slice, and mayonnaise onto the other. Stack up all the turkey, bacon, and cheese you want onto the sandwich and heat it up on a skillet or grill pan. Serve the sandwich once the cheese is perfectly melted and the bread is golden and crispy. This recipe will give you the most perfect turkey sandwich there ever was!

For the full recipe, visit here.

2. Turkey Hash with Sunny-Side Up Eggs

 

This dish is perfect for the morning following your turkey feast or any morning after. It’s also completely guilt free because it has less calories, fat, and sodium than traditional hash without losing any flavor. For this plate, you’ll need some unused peppers and potatoes from your kitchen. To be exact, you’ll need one pound of red potatoes, one small yellow onion, three cloves of garlic, and one red bell pepper. Don’t forget the turkey! All these ingredients come together beautifully from pan to plate. Top the turkey hash off with a fried egg and let breakfast begin!

Get the exact ingredients and directions here.

3. Turkey Pasta Bake

 

Invite family. Invite friends. Heck, invite the mailman because you’re going to want everyone to know about this delicious recipe! It’s a great way to use the mushrooms, cheese, and chicken broth in your fridge – even an unfinished bottle of white wine can be repurposed into this dish! Open up a bag of penne pasta and cook it per the instructions on the bag. Cook all the vegetables together in one pan. Add flour and white wine into the mix and stir occasionally. Make the sauce and add it into the bake. Serve in a casserole dish and your guests won’t believe that it’s your leftover turkey in this stunning pasta dish.

Click here to get specific instructions and measurements.

4. Turkey Cheese Dip

 

A perfect turkey twist to the classic cheese dip! This dip is decadent, perfect for cheese lovers, a great way to get rid leftovers…AND will be the most valuable snack at your next tailgate party as well. Football and turkey season all at once? Now that’s our favorite season – no doubt! For this recipe, you’ll need all the cheese, specifically colby-jack, parmesan, and monterey jack if you have it. You’ll also need garlic, an onion, mayonnaise, a round loaf of sourdough bread, and turkey. To get started, preheat the oven to 350F while you mix the cheese, onion, garlic, mayonnaise, and turkey into a bowl. Cut the top off the sourdough loaf and tear out the inside of the bread to form a bowl. Pour in all the mixed ingredients into your bread bowl and put it in the oven for 20 minutes. The cheese should have melted and turned a delicious golden color. Use the extra pieces of bread as bite-size pieces to dip into the cheese. Put this dish out for your next party and try to enjoy the game as much as you’ll be enjoying the dip.

Click here for full instructions.  

5. BBQ Turkey Pizza

 

We’re breaking all the rules with this one! But sometimes being a rebel works – especially if it results in something as appetizing as this pizza. Whether you have a lot or a little turkey left, this pizza will work regardless. The main ingredient of this delectable plate is the BBQ sauce. You will also need dough (homemade or store bought), cooked turkey pieces, gouda cheese (or whatever your favorite cheese is), salt, pepper, and olive oil. The rest is fun and easy! Lather your pizza dough with BBQ sauce then throw on all the toppings you want. Don’t forget the turkey! Bake it in the oven and serve to all the empty stomachs in your home. You’ll never want BBQ pizza with anything else after tasting this dish.

Find out how to make your own dough and the precise measurements here.

So don’t throw out that leftover Thanksgiving food; use these recipes instead and you might even find yourself wishing for more leftovers. A great meal can bring happiness to everyone and keep the holiday season going. Have fun getting creative with your leftover turkey.

Happy holidays and happy eating!

 

Kid Looks at Turkey at Thanksgiving Dinner

Two boys thanking a veteran

5 Ways to Thank a Veteran on Veteran’s Day

Two boys thanking a veteran

On November 11th, we come together to honor those who have put their lives on the line to serve and protect the country we love: military veterans. With more than 21 million veterans currently living in the United States, it’s important to recognize their selfless service for our freedom and their bravery in the face of danger. Without their bravery, this beautiful nation would be something completely different. Veteran’s Day is a great day to take some time to thank veterans for answering the nation’s call and to reflect on what answering that call meant for all of us. Alongside a simple and thoughtful “thank you” to the veterans you know, here are 5 more impactful ways to show gratitude for their valor.

 

1. Fly The Flag

The American flag is a living symbol of everything our country stands for. It’s a symbol of freedom, sacrifice and courage that veterans have rallied behind and will appreciate seeing. Fly it high and proud – but be sure to fly it properly. Here are a few guidelines on displaying the American flag from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs:

  • When displayed from a building, the union of the flag should be placed at the peak (unless the flag is at half-staff).
  • When other flags of states, cities or organizations are flown on the same staff, the U.S. flag should be at the top.
  • When the flag is displayed horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union (the stars) should be in the uppermost corner and to the flag’s own right (to the observer’s left).

The most important part of flying the flag is to do it proudly and with gratitude. Display it outside so it’s visible to all and fly it high above the ground to show your appreciation for the service of veterans.

 

2. Visit a VA Hospital

Locate the local VA hospital in your community and take a couple hours out of your day to visit. It may seem like a small amount of time, but it makes a big difference to the veterans at these facilities. Some VA hospitals host events for their veterans that you can get plugged into, but there’s no harm in stopping by with lunch just to talk. Ask them to tell you stories about their time in the military – they probably have thousands of amazing stories that will keep you interested for hours! You can even bring your kids in to hear the tales; have the kids write letters and draw pictures thanking the veterans for their time in the service for an extra show of gratitude. The simple gift of time and an open set of ears is a great way to let a veteran know you truly appreciate their service.

 

3. Donate to a Charity that Benefits Veterans

Another way to make a meaningful impact on Veteran’s Day is to donate to a charity that touches the lives of veterans. Unfortunately, some veterans have fallen into a tough spot; a spot that no one deserves to be in – least of all the people who fought for our country. Thankfully, there are charities dedicated to helping the wellbeing of our country’s veterans. One of these foundations, The Haven From The Storm Foundation, raises money for veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI. They hold an annual telethon that allows citizens to donate and help the cause. Another great charity is the Modest Needs nonprofit. They empower ill and injured veterans to keep them from falling into the cycle of poverty. A small sacrifice on your end can really benefit the life of a veteran who sacrificed everything for you.  

Flags-being-waved-at-veterans-day-parade

4. Show Your Support

Show your support by showing up! Many cities have events on and around Veteran’s Day for the whole community. These are held to show the community’s appreciation for it’s local veterans. Any veteran’s event is a great time to bring friends and family together to honor those who served this country. So find out about the events in your city and get out there to show your support!

 

5. Treat a Veteran

If you have a veteran in your life, why not thank them for everything they’ve done by treating them to something special. Bake them an all-American apple pie, take them golfing, or give them tickets to their favorite game… Whatever you do, spend the day with them and recognize their bravery and sacrifice for your freedom. Extend this day to the family of veterans as well. This simple day has great meaning to all those impacted by the military. So take the time – and make their day!

BigR-VeteransDay-Email-v2

Whatever you end up doing on Veteran’s Day, remember that a simple thank you is the least you can do to honor those who served our country. But if you do decide to treat a veteran in your life to a special day, come by Big R. We’re showing our appreciation by letting all veterans and active military take 11% off their entire purchase on November 11th. It’s a small way of saying thanks for the big sacrifices they’ve made.

Pumpkin picking father and son

9 Ways to Celebrate Pumpkin Season

dad-and-son-picking-a-pumpkin

If you’ve been dreaming about fall since July, then now is the time to rejoice! Bring out your best scarves, jump into a big pile of leaves, and, most importantly, pick out the roundest pumpkins from the harvest. Though there are so many reasons to love fall, the best reason might be that it’s pumpkin season! There’s no greater way to celebrate the season than with pumpkin recipes, crafts and carving. Here are 9 ways to help you celebrate pumpkin season in all it’s glory.
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14 Valentines Day Mason Jar Gifts

valentines-day-mason-jar-gifts

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you’re probably struggling with a few things: Do I buy a personalized gift? Chocolate? Jewelry? Make dinner reservations at a place you can’t really pronounce?

While all those gifts are nice, there’s nothing quite like receiving a gift that you know has been made with love and effort. A thoughtful gift created from the heart is something your Valentine will remember for years to come. That’s the great thing about homemade gifts — they’re unique and they mean something. We’ve put together a few Mason Jar ideas that are fun to make and give.

14 Valentine’s Day Mason Jar Gifts to DIY:

  1. Strawberry Sugar Scrub

Creating your own sugar scrub really isn’t too difficult. It’s fun to watch the process and seeing the beautiful scrub come together. With coconut oil added into the mix, this scrub will not only exfoliate but also leave skin moisture-rich. Your loved one will be smelling fresh and feeling soft thanks to this creative gift!

  1. Glowing Heart Lanterns

For the creative, DIY lovers, this gift is for you! While the process may initially seem daunting, the instructions provided on the website will easily guide you through each step. In the end, you will have a spray-painted Mason jar, cut out with a heart in the middle, displaying the glowing lights inside. How much more romantic could you possibly get?

  1. Floating Oil Lamp

This oil lamp is incredibly quick to make, so it’s perfect for those of you looking for a last-minute gift to craft! All you need to make this oil lamp is vegetable oil and water. The oil and water make the lamp even safer than a candle because the materials can help extinguish a flame should the lamp topple. And, it smells invigorating and adds to your home’s decor!

  1. Heart Hot Chocolate

It’s still winter, so don’t feel guilty about your craving for hot chocolate just yet! To make this cute little recipe more Valentine’s appropriate, replace the snowflake decals in the mix with heart-shaped candies or white chocolate. This is quick to make but so delicious, and the end result is just as pretty to look at.

  1. Doily and Heart Display

This delightful piece of decor is extremely easy to make and the finished product looks so good, it almost looks as if you bought it from the store! All you need is a paper doily, a piece of paper that you can cut out a heart with, and twine to liven up the Mason jar’s appearance. Quick and cute!

  1. Red Velvet Jar Cakes

These little cakes are delicious and so dainty in little Mason jar containers! The recipe is fairly easy to make, and the red food coloring adds the perfect touch for Valentine’s Day. The Ghirardelli chocolate listed in the recipe is rich and delicious, so you should probably be sure to make more than one – You know, for taste testing purposes!

  1. Mini Love Candles

Candles are a great way to make your house unique and inviting. The easy-to-follow instructions require a bit more effort than some of the other ideas listed above, but definitely pay off in a big way at the end. The best thing about making candles is that you can completely customize the scent! That way, your loved one will always think of you when they smell the candle burning!

  1. Pink and Gold Flower Vases

The cute, complementary colors of this vase help add a romantic feel to this decor! Putting in fresh flowers is a nice touch too, and will definitely bring a smile to your significant other’s face. The flower color coordination is completely up to you. With simple spray paint and ribbons, this is an easy gift to give.

  1. Vintage Photo Mason Jars

We all have memories that we cherish, including old photographs that may not have made it into an album. Consider creating a Mason Jar vintage photo display on floating shelves or on the window sill of your kitchen to surprise your sweetheart.

  1. Sweetheart Snow Globe

Discover your creative side by creating a V-Day snow globe for your sweetie. Fill the globe with whatever your heart desires – photos, hearts, or even memorabilia from events attended together. Makes for a great display and reminder.

  1. Mason Jar Valentine Bouquets

Mason Jar, ribbon, skewers, hot glue gun, and favorite candy is all that is needed for this adorable and simple craft. Save a few dollars in your pocket by making your own candy bouquet this Valentine’s Day! Most sell for upwards of $25 but you can create these yourself in just a few short minutes. 

  1. Confetti Mason Jar Valentine

Whether you’re looking for a craft for the kiddos or even just a little lovely Valentine’s Day home decor, these confetti Mason Jar crafts are perfect! All that’s needed to get started is any size Mason Jar, Mod Podge, sponge paint brush, confetti, glitter, acrylic paint, ribbon and labels to decorate the jar.

  1. Valentine Mason Jar Tumbler

Teachers, friends, co-workers, and kids will love this Valentine’s Day surprise! Do as little or as much as you want to these V-Day tumblers. From stickers and glitter to confetti and paint, the sky’s the limit! Fill each tumbler with your Valentine’s favorite treats and drink mixes to create a unique and completely customizable gift!

  1. Mason Jar Iced Cookies

These actually are not Mason jars — but, they are cookies made to look like them, and they seriously are cute! These cookies are iced with turquoise and decorated with heart sprinkles to show love. The little bit of twine wrapped around the top of the cookie makes it look even more authentic. With a bite so sweet, it’s an absolutely perfect treat for Valentine’s Day!

For these and more Mason Jar gift ideas, follow Big R on Pinterest. And make sure you’re always ready to create a gift from the heart by stocking up on Mason Jars at your local Big R store!

How to Cook a Turkey: 11 Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

cook-turkey-thanksgiving-recipesOne of fall’s favorite traditions is coming up: Thanksgiving! It’s a great opportunity to showcase your special family traditions and famous recipes. However, you can never forget about the star of the meal: the turkey! To help you make the perfect dish that your guests will gobble right down, here is how-to guide on the 15 best Thanksgiving turkey recipes:

1. Apple Roast Turkey

This recipe combines the amazing and warm flavor of apple to your roasted turkey and adds a tasty fall spin! What you’ll need is a whole turkey with the neck and giblets removed, ½ a cup of cubed butter, 1 cup of chopped celery, 1 ½ cups of toasted bread cubes, ¼ cup of chopped onions, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 2 cored and halved apples, 2 cups of apple juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Then, carefully loosen your turkey skin on its breast by gently sliding your hand in between the skin and the turkey. Place the pieces of butter in between the skin and the breast.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the celery, bread cubes, and onions and season the mixture with the garlic powder and salt and pepper. Use this mixture to stuff into the cavity of your turkey and place the apples halves in with it as well.

Put the turkey into a roasting bag and pour the 2 cups of apple juice over both the outside and the inside of the turkey. Next, close the bag and place your turkey into a large roasting pan with the breast side up. Bake the turkey for about 3 to 3 ½ hours, or until the internal temperature is 180 degrees F (measure this at the meatiest part of the thigh).

Remove the turkey from the bag and transfer to a serving platter. Let stand for about 20 minutes and serve!

2. Buttery Roast Turkey and Gravy

Don’t believe the idea that you need to be a master chef to achieve a juicy turkey – using butter is one of the best tricks for a juicy turkey! For this recipe, you’ll need 1 whole turkey with the neck and giblets taken out and saved, 2 chopped onions, 3 chopped ribs of celery, 2 chopped carrots, 3 sprigs of rosemary, ½ bunch of fresh sage, ½ a stick of butter, 1 bay leaf, 6 cups of water (or to enhance flavor, use chicken broth in place of water), 2 tablespoons of turkey fat, 1 tablespoon of butter, ¼ cup of all-purpose flour, 3 cups of turkey pan drippings, ¼ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of chopped sage, and salt and pepper to taste.

First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Mix together the poultry seasoning and salt and pepper into a small bowl. Then, tuck your turkey’s wings under its body, and season the cavity with about 1 tablespoon of the poultry seasoning mix. Put the remaining poultry mix aside. Mix together the onion, celery, and carrots into a bowl. Stuff ½ a cup of the veggie mix, rosemary, and ½ bunch of sage into the cavity then tie the legs together with cooking string. Carefully loosen the skin on top of the turkey breast and place 2 tablespoons of butter under the skin and spread it evenly. Spread the remaining butter over the outside of the skin and sprinkle the remaining poultry seasoning mix on top. Spread the rest of the onion, celery, and carrots into a large roasting pan and place the turkey on top of it. Fill the pan with ½ inch of water and place a sheet of aluminum foil over the turkey.

Roast your turkey for about 3 and a half hours, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees F, and remove the foil during the last hour of cooking while basting it with the pan juices. While your turkey is cooking, make the stock. Place the neck, heart, and gizzards into a pan with the bay leaf and water. Simmer them over medium heat for about 2 hours. Strain the turkey giblets from the stock and remove the giblets, then there should be at least 4 cups of stock. Take the turkey out of the oven and cover it with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil. Allow the turkey to rest in a warmer or warm area for about 10 to 15 minutes before you start the slicing.

Pour the pan juices into a saucepan and set it aside. Scrape the turkey fat from the pan juices, which should be about 2 tablespoons. Heat the turkey fat and 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat. Take the onion from the roasting pan and place it into the saucepan. Cook the onion until it’s browned and then stir in the flour. Cook this for about 5 more minutes, then whisk in 4 cups of the turkey stock and pan juices until smooth; make sure to take off any foam. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and simmer until the gravy has thickened. Stir it constantly for about 10 minutes, then place the tablespoon of chopped sage in and season with salt and pepper.

3. Simple Roast Turkey

This recipe is nothing flashy or overwhelming, just a simple and delicious roasted turkey! All you need for this recipe is 1 whole turkey, ½ cup of softened unsalted butter, 1 ½ quarts of turkey stock, 8 cups of prepared stuffing of your liking, and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and place the rack on the lowest level of the oven. Take out the turkey neck and the giblets, then rinse and pat dry your turkey with paper towels. Place the turkey breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Lightly fill the cavity with your stuffing. Then rub the outside of the skin with the softened butter and season it with salt and pepper. Arrange a tent of aluminum foil over the turkey. Pour 2 cups of turkey stock into the bottom of the roasting pan and place the turkey into the oven. Every 30 minutes, baste the whole turkey with the juices from the bottom of the pan. If the drippings start to evaporate, then add stock to re-moisten them, about 1 to 2 cups at a time. After 2 ½ hours, remove the aluminum foil. Roast the turkey until you place a meat thermometer into the thigh and it reads 180 degrees F. This should take about 4 hours altogether. Take the turkey out of the oven and let it stand 20-30 minutes before carving!

4. Grilled Turkey

Take a break from the traditional oven-roasted turkey this year and make a tender and juicy grilled turkey! You only need 4 ingredients for this recipe: 1 whole turkey, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste!

Set your grill on medium-high indirect heat to prepare. Rinse your turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Turn the turkey’s wings back to hold its neck skin in place and tuck its legs under the body. Brush your turkey with the vegetable oil and season it with the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper inside and out.

Place the turkey breast side up on a metal rack inside of a roasting pan. Put the pan on the prepared grill and cook for 2 to 3 hours until the internal thigh temperature reaches 180 degrees F. Take the turkey from the grill and let stand 15 minutes before serving!

5. Beginner’s Turkey with Stuffing

If you haven’t made a ton of Thanksgiving turkeys in the past, this easy recipe will help you achieve a delicious turkey with novice skills! You’ll need one 12 pound whole turkey, one 6 ounce package of dry bread stuffing mix, 1 cup of water (if you want to add more flavor, use chicken stock instead of water), 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 cup of chopped celery, 1/3 cup of chopped yellow onions, 4 slices of toasted white bread ripped into small pieces, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Then, rinse your turkey, remove the giblets and place it into a roasting pan. Make the stuffing according to the directions on the package and mix in your water or chicken stock. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and then stir in the celery and onions until cooked and tender. Toss in the celery, onion, and toasted bread pieces into the stuffing and then season it with salt and pepper. Stuff the body cavity with the stuffing and then rub the outside of the turkey with vegetable oil.

Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and roast for about 3 ½ to 4 hours, or until the thickest part of the thigh reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Take off the foil during the last half an hour of cooking so the turkey gets nice and brown!

6. Deep Fried Cajun Turkey

Mix it up and add some Cajun flair to your Thanksgiving meal! All you need for this recipe is 1 whole turkey with the neck and giblets removed, 3 gallons of peanut oil for frying, ¼ cup of Creole seasoning, and 1 white onion.

In a turkey fryer or large stockpot, pour in the peanut oil and heat it until it reaches 400 degrees F. Make sure you don’t let the oil spill over by leaving room for the turkey. Place a layer of food-safe paper bags on a large platter. Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with paper towels. Then rub the Creole seasoning all of the turkey and on the inside as well. Be sure that the hole at the neck is opened at least 2 inches wide so the oil is able to flow through the turkey.

Place the white onion and the turkey in a drain basket, and make sure the turkey is placed in neck end first. Lower the basket into the hot oil until the turkey is completely covered. Keep the temperature of the oil at 350 degrees F and cook the turkey for about 45 minutes. Once it’s done cooking, carefully take the basket out of the oil and drain the turkey. Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh and make sure it reads 180 degrees F. Finish draining the turkey on the platter with the paper bags and serve!

7. Smoker-Cooked Turkey

This is a great way to put your smoker to use and make a smoky, tender turkey! You’ll need 1 whole turkey with the neck and giblets removed, 4 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons of seasoned salt, ½ cup of butter, two 12 fluid ounce cans of a cola-flavored soda, 1 quartered apple, 1 quartered onion, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of black pepper.

Preheat your smoker to 225 to 250 degrees F (using hickory chips or hickory wood creates a great smoky flavor). Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the garlic over the outside of the turkey and sprinkle with seasoned salt. Place the turkey in a disposable roasting pan and fill the cavity with butter, cola, the apple, onion, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.

Cover the turkey with aluminum foil. Smoke the turkey for about 10 hours, or until the internal temperature at the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F. Baste the turkey with the juices from the bottom of the pan every 1 to 2 hours.

8. Rosemary Turkey

This Rosemary turkey recipe will give your turkey a blast of flavor! All you need is 1 whole turkey, ¾ cups of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of chopped rosemary, 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon of black pepper and salt to taste.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, pepper and salt into a small bowl and set it aside. Rinse the turkey and pat it dry with a paper towel and remove any fat deposits. Slowly work your fingers between the breast and the skin to loosen the skin, but be careful not to tear it. Spread a substantial amount of the rosemary mixture under the skin and over the thigh and leg. Rub the remaining rosemary mix over the outside of the breast and use toothpicks to seal the skin over any exposed meat of the breast.

Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and add about ¼ inch of water to the bottom. Cook in the oven for about 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F.

9. Maple Roasted Turkey

Add a sweet hint of flavor to your turkey this year by adding the delicious taste of maple. What you’ll need for this is 1 whole turkey with the neck and giblets removed, 2 cups of apple cider, 1/3 cup of real maple syrup, 2 ½ tablespoons of chopped thyme, 2 tablespoons of chopped marjoram, 1 ½ teaspoons of grated lemon zest, ¾ cup of softened butter, 2 cups of chopped onion, 1 ½ cups of chopped celery, 1 ½ cups of chopped carrots, 3 cups of chicken broth, ¼ cup of all-purpose flour, 1 bay leaf, ½ cup of apple brandy, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the apple cider and maple syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook this until it’s reduced to about ½ a cup then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of thyme, 1 tablespoon of marjoram, and the lemon zest. Mix in the butter until it’s melted and season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cover the mixture and refrigerate it until it’s cold.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Keep aside ¼ cup of the maple butter and rub the remaining maple butter under the skin of the breast and on the outside of they turkey. Place the onion, celery, carrots, turkey neck, and giblets around the turkey in the pan. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of thyme and 1 tablespoon of marjoram over the vegetables and pour 2 cups of broth into the bottom. Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F after the 30 minutes, and cover the entire turkey loosely with foil. Continue to roast the turkey for about 2 ½ hours, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reads 180 degrees F on a meat thermometer.

Take the turkey out of the oven and place on a platter to let it stand for 30 minutes. Drain the pan juices into a large measuring cup and remove any excess fat. Add enough chicken broth to the pan juices so it measures about 3 cups and transfer the liquid to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix ¼ a cup of the maple butter and 1/3 a cup of flour until smooth in a small bowl. Whisk the flour and butter mixture into the broth and juices, then stir in the remaining thyme and the bay leaf. Boil this until reduced to the consistency of a sauce, and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes. Mix in the apple brandy and season with salt and pepper!

10. Herb-Glazed Turkey

Add a delicious herb taste to your turkey with this recipe! You’ll need one 16 pound whole turkey with the neck and giblets removed, ¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, 1 ½ teaspoon of ground thyme, 1 cup of honey, ½ cup of melted butter, 2 teaspoons of dried sage leaves, 1 tablespoon of minced parsley, and 1 teaspoon of dried basil. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and rinse and dry the turkey. Brush the inside and outside of the turkey with olive oil. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, and thyme in a small bowl and sprinkle this mixture over the turkey.

Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and place the turkey in oven to roast for 2 hours. Mix together the honey, melted butter, sage, parsley, basil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper in a bowl and mix until blended. Remove the turkey and brush the turkey with the honey glaze, then put the turkey back into the oven. Roast the turkey for about 2 more hours, or until the thickest part of the thigh reads 180 degrees F on a meat thermometer. Continue to glaze the turkey while it cooks. Once the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and cover it with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil to allow it to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.

11. Orange-Maple Glazed Turkey

If you’re a fan of citrus tang, this recipe is perfect for you! What you’ll need for this recipe is one 20 pound whole turkey with the neck and giblets removed, 1 teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, ¼ cup of softened butter, 3 tablespoon of chopped thyme, 3 tablespoons of chopped sage, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, ¼ cup of orange juice, ½ cup of maple syrup, 1 cup of divided chicken broth, and ½ cup of dry vermouth.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and grease a roasting pan. Mix together the salt and pepper in a bowl and set it aside. In another small bowl, mix together the butter, thyme, and sage. Place the turkey into a roasting pan and carefully separate the skin from the breast through the neck cavity. Spread the butter mixture over the breast and press the skin down on top of it. Brush the outside with the olive oil and sprinkle it with the salt and pepper mix.

Whisk together the orange juice, maple syrup, and half of the chicken broth. Cook the turkey in the oven for about 3 hours, basting it every 30 minutes with the maple syrup mixture. Cook until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F. Remove the turkey and cover it with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil and allow it to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. After the turkey is done resting, place it on a serving platter. Put the roasting pan on a stove and stir in the remainder of the chicken broth with the vermouth. Bring this to a simmer over medium-high heat, then scrape the bottom of the roasting pan to dissolved the browned pieces and simmer over medium-low heat until the gravy gets thick, which should take about 10 minutes. Strain the gravy before serving with the turkey.

Whisk together the orange juice, maple syrup, and half of the chicken broth. Cook the turkey in the oven for about 3 hours, basting it every 30 minutes with the maple syrup mixture. Cook until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F. Remove the turkey and cover it with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil and allow it to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. After the turkey is done resting, place it on a serving platter. Put the roasting pan on a stove and stir in the remainder of the chicken broth with the vermouth. Bring this to a simmer over medium-high heat, then scrape the bottom of the roasting pan to dissolved the browned pieces and simmer over medium-low heat until the gravy gets thick, which should take about 10 minutes. Strain the gravy before serving with the turkey.

The 13 Best Halloween Costumes for Kids

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It’s time for the spookiest holiday of the year – Halloween!

Candy, costumes and spine-chilling decorations will once again take over your neighborhood revealing the spirit of fall.

But don’t be stuck in the over-used, done-to-death costumes for your kids!

Here are 13 of the best Halloween costumes for your kids for 2015:

Costume #1: Cowboy or Cowgirl

Time to saddle up and ride for Halloween trick-or-treating! Cowboy and cowgirl costumes are a classic go-to, but can easily be altered to fit your child’s personality.

From belt buckles and boots to hats and pearl snap shirts, Big R is your one stop shop for your little buckaroo’s needs! Get a few costume ideas from Annie Oakley or John Wayne if you want to add a little more originality.

Costume #2: Hunter

Ducks, geese, and deer. Oh my! Those creatures don’t stand a chance against your little camouflaged hunter!

Hunt down camo gear such as overalls, shirts, boots, and more at your local Big R Store. Add an orange hat for the full effect and throw a goose decoy or two around your child’s neck for the full hunter look.

Costume #3: Carpenter

Grab a tool belt, hammer, nails, and tape measure to build your way to a great children’s carpenter costume! Allow your child to design his or her own costume by adding a variety of different touches such as a hat, work boots, overalls, carpenter belt, and more!

The costume can be as simple or as complex as you make it. They’ll be ready to conquer any renovation project that comes their way!

Costume #4: Farmer

Every day we eat, we should be thanking a farmer. If your little one wants to grow up to be a farmer, this is the perfect costume idea. A simple, DIY costume that could be used for the entire family! Add a cow and pig and the whole gang will be ready to hit the streets for delicious treats!

Overalls, boots, bandana, and a hat are just a few essentials that you can find at your local Big R Stores! Add a plaid shirt and a little bit of straw to the pockets for the entire farmer experience!

Costume #5: Horse Trainer

Some best friends have four legs! If your child loves riding, then why not dress them as a horse trainer this Halloween? Big R carries many horse supplies and accessories to make the costume that much easier on you!

Boots? Check. White shirt? Check. Khakis? Check. Throw a bridle over their shoulder and they’ll be off to the the races in no time!

Costume #6: Joy from Pixar’s “Inside Out”

An extremely popular film among kids nationwide this year, Inside Out has inspired a costume for its happiest character: Joy.

Dress your daughter in this cute and accurate representation of on the best characters of the film!

The film is set in the mind of a young girl where five of her personified emotions (Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust) try to help her through life as she moves to a new location with her parents.

Teaching kids that their moodiness comes from little feelings inside their head, this Pixar film gives children a real chance to relate.

Your little girl will love brining this happy little character to life as she trick-or-treats!

Costume #7: “Big Hero 6” Baymax/Hiro

This clever and action-packed movie teaches kids that being a nerd is nothing short of awesome!

Baymax, an inflatable robotic nurse and Hiro, a 14-year old genius, team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.

Your child can dress up as either one of the movie’s main characters in the heroic versions of bot Baymax and Hiro’s costumes.  He will be the talk of the town, and the envy of his friends when he flaunts his super-cool Big Hero 6 costume!

Costume #8: Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen”

An idol to almost every little girl in the world today, an Elsa costume is sure to be a huge hit with your child!

The movie shows Elsa trying to master her secret gift – she has the power to manipulate ice and snow!

Filled with fun songs, a heart-warming story and funny characters, Frozen has been one of the biggest hits in recent years and a costume reflecting the main character will make your daughter feel like the ultimate princess!

Costume #9: Captain America/Thor/Iron Man/The Incredible Hulk from “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Allow your child to fly to new heights with one of the many mighty heroes from the second Avengers movie! With one of these costumes, they will feel like they can save the world (or at least make it through two hours of trick-or-treating!)

Each character displays impressive powers throughout the movie so your child has my options to choose from!

Ditch the Superman idea and give your child a more relevant costume from this amazing Marvel creation.

Costume #10: “Despicable Me”/ “Minions” Minion Costume

Who doesn’t love these little guys?! From the popular “Despicable Me” movie and “Minions” movie debuted in July, “minions” are the talk of the town!

Evolving from single-celled yellow organisms at the very dawn of time, minions live to serve but find themselves working for a continuous series of unsuccessful masters!

These adorable, little yellow creatures are loved by kids and parents everywhere and would be a perfect costume for your child (available in girl or boy costume) this year!

Costume #11: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

With the new and re-vamped movie that just came out, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is back in the hearts of boys and girls everywhere!

Just coming out last year, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael are back beneath the sewers of New York and ready for action!

Bring out your little, green ninja by letting them choose a costume of their favorite turtle.

Costume #12: Catwoman from “The Dark Knight Rises”

Let your daughter bring out her claws by being Catwoman for a day!

The sassy and cunning character in “The Dark Knight Rises” is a well-known cat burglar and disguised mistress.

Costume #13: Zombie Hunter

This costume is flexible so you can give it your own flare! With zombies being a popular topic of movies and TV today, your child will release their inner zombie with this costume!

The basics of this costume you can find in stores, but have a little fun with it. Add a little fake blood spatter and give him or her some cool glasses that will make them look like a force not to be reckoned with!

Make your fearless little child feel like they can take on a zombie apocalypse at any time with this wicked costume!