BENTONVILLE, Ark., Nov. 12, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- According to a new survey, three out of five American families are planning to serve their Thanksgiving meal on the same budget as last year(1). Dedicated to helping families deliver a Thanksgiving feast full of all the trimmings this holiday season, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) teamed with Carla Hall ("Top Chef") to provide tips on how families can trim their budget but still create a delicious meal made with love.
(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090914/WALMARTLOGO) (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090914/WALMARTLOGO) "There is a lot of pressure around Thanksgiving meal preparation," said Hall.
"One thing to keep in mind is that while the turkey may be the star, the trimmings really make the meal. I'm a big fan of side dishes because they become family traditions and they're also a great way to cook with love for less. If you get creative with how you shop, store and prepare your trimmings you'll find that you can also trim your holiday meal budget." Carla Hall's Tips for Cooking with Love for Less: Make a 7-Day Plan. By planning out your menu in advance, you can cut down the amount of work that you have on the big day and spend more time with your family. For example, vegetables like fresh green beans can be pre-cooked without losing flavor, so you can quickly reheat on the big day versus cooking from scratch. Or, you can make the components of your side dishes earlier in the week, store them separately and simply combine on the day of.
Set a Budget and Shop Early. Start early to take advantage of Thanksgiving savings. Must-have trimmings often are at great prices weeks ahead of the meal.
Walmart is starting the savings early on staple Thanksgiving ingredients like fresh green beans, stuffing mix and cranberry sauce - all items that can be bought ahead and stored. Walmart is also offering a wide selection of Thanksgiving pantry and fresh meal items for less(2), including: Twin pack boxes of Betty Crocker Potatoes for $1.50 4-pack Green Giant vegetables (four 11-16 ounce cans) for $2 Campbell's 4-pack Cream of Mushroom Soup (four 10.34-fl oz cans) for $2.50 Twin pack boxes of Stove Top Stuffing Mix for $1.50 14-ounce can of Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce for $.98 12-ounce jar of Heinz Home Style Turkey Gravy for $.98 Think Creatively about Storage. Side dishes can take up valuable space in the refrigerator, especially when storing them for a few days before the big meal.
Take advantage of resealable bags. They lay flat, they stack and they're see-through so you can see what's in them. Also, if you're marinating something, you'll end up using less marinade when using a resealable bag and have less clean up. More room in fridge means more room for your family favorites on the table.
Balance the Cooking. Because the oven is crowded on the big day, balance the menu with cold, room temperature, stove top reheat and oven reheat dishes. If you add this variety to your menu, you'll be able to multi-task more and assure dishes are ready at the same time.
Add a Twist to Tradition. The holidays are a tradition, so don't stretch too far away from America's favorite table trimmings including mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and stuffing. But, don't be afraid to gives these dishes a creative twist. Consider adding sour cream and parmesan cheese to mashed potatoes or including dried cranberries in your green bean casserole.
Organize the Clean-up. If you're planning a large party, designate a dirty dish area. Have a separate bin for plates, glasses and flatware so they aren't all mixed up in your sink. This will make the clean-up much easier and the kitchen won't be overwhelmed with after-dinner clutter.
Reinvent the Leftovers. If you look for savings on bulk items, you can use some for the big day and have enough for the next day to stretch the leftovers into something new.
As part of the new survey, Walmart identified what the most popular trimmings will be this year. Along with popular dishes such as stuffing and cranberry sauce, nearly half of all American tables will feature a sweet potato side(1).
To help families get creative and save, Carla Hall is sharing her Savory Sweet Potato Casserole: Carla Hall's Savory Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe with Wheat Chex(R) and sage crumble Serves 8 3 pounds sweet potatoes (3-4 large) 1/4 cup chicken stock 1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons butter, softened 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons rubbed sage 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper 1-1/2 cups Wheat Chex(R) cereal 2 tablespoons butter, melted 2 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage 1/2 teaspoon salt Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on half sheet pan and bake until soft and skin is blistered, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let potatoes cool. Peel.
In a large bowl or food processor, combine potatoes, chicken stock, salt, softened butter, olive oil, sage and cayenne pepper. Mash with potato masher or process in food processor until smooth. Adjust seasoning, if necessary. (Note: This step may be done 4 days ahead. Store cooled mixture in 2-3 resealable bags.) Put Wheat Chex(R) in resealable bag and roll over the bag with a bottle or a rolling pin to make crumbs. Toss the crumbs with butter, olive oil, sage and salt. Set aside.
Grease 9 x 13" baking dish. Spread potato mixture into dish. Sprinkle the potatoes with the chex mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes in 375 degree oven or until the top is golden and the potatoes are hot. Enjoy.
Become a fan of Walmart at www.facebook.com/walmart, and you'll see a number of entree, dessert, and leftovers recipes that will be holiday focused in the coming weeks. Users will also be able to share recipes with friends through the site. In addition, Walmart always matches the price of any local competitor's printed ad for an identical product right at the cash register.
(1) Walmart Customer Insights, November 2010 (2) Prices good from Nov. 17 to Nov. 25. Quantities of all items are limited. No rain checks. Prices and availability may vary in Alaska, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico and on Walmart.com.
About Walmart Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), or "Walmart," serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 8,400 retail units under 55 different banners in 15 countries. With fiscal year 2010 sales of $405 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. A leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity, Walmart ranked first among retailers in Fortune Magazine's 2010 Most Admired Companies survey. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com and on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/Walmartnews. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com and www.samsclub.com.
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