Over The Years: Fill Your Plate’s Collection of Thanksgiving Articles

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern


Photo: Pixabay


The holidays can be filled with stress, worry, lots of work, and lots of sugar. Don’t let those things take you over! Here is all of Fill Your Plate’s best articles on how to not gain weight during the holidays, simple thanksgiving and dessert recipes, and plenty of ideas and checklists to help you easily plan your holiday, stress-free!


Thanksgiving and Recipes articles:

Fun Facts about the Main Dish on Thanksgiving

All Things Thanksgiving

Fill Your Plate with these Thanksgiving Blogs

12 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes

Prime Rib Serves up Well on Thanksgiving Too!

Thanksgiving Recipes to Thrill Your Guests

Great Grandma Griffith’s Thanksgiving Stuffing

Arizona Agriculture Can Grow Your Thanksgiving Meal!

Market basket: Classic Arizona Thanksgiving Dinner Cost increases Slightly in 2013

Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Decreases 5% in 2012

4 Creative Uses for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Plan the Perfect Thanksgiving Day Dinner With These Easy Steps

Your Favorite Recipes: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner-Arizona Style

Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Increases 9% in 2010


Turkey articles:

Now You’re Talking Turkey! Tips for Taking your Turkey to the Next Level.

Creative Ways to Cook Your Turkey

3 Easy Ways to Pick the Perfect Turkey for Your Table

Get Your Thanksgiving Turkey Smoked for a Great Cause

Let’s Talk Turkey

A Solution for Leftover Turkey


Holiday articles:

Slow Down on the Sugar During the Holidays

We Love the Holidays!

Choose Arizona Beef for your Main Course this Holiday!

After Holidays, Get Off Sugar, Save Your Teeth

Farming Family Holiday Traditions

Holiday Hacks

Celebrate the Holidays with Arizona Wine!

12 Holiday Dishes you Should Add to your Table

A Foodie’s Guide to the Winter Holidays

Arizona Pumpkins are Perfect for the Holidays!

Four Ways to Celebrate the Holidays Affordably

How to Get Through the Holidays Without Gaining Weight

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Health Conscious

How to Celebrate the Holidays- Arizona Style

Simple, Thoughtful Recipes Work Best for Holiday Feasts

6 Tips for Beating the Holiday Bulge

Give Gifts that Give Back This Holiday Season

How Holiday Checklists Can Save Your Sanity

5 Quick and Easy Holiday Desserts


Cranberry articles:

Crazy for Cranberries

Do Your Cranberries Pop?


Fall Articles:

The Ultimate Fall To-Do List: 50 Activities for Friends and Family

Arizona’s Fall Festivals

Fall Activities in Arizona

Fall Salad


Find more inspiration on Fill Your Plate by searching with specific keywords!

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10 Ideas for Honoring Your Veterans This Veteran’s Day

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern

Photo: Pixabay


Veteran’s day is this Wednesday, November 11! COVID-19 has certainly altered what we can do for holidays. Are you still deciding what you can do for your veterans this year? Look no further! Here are 10 ways you can honor your veterans this week within CDC guidelines. And of course, don’t forget to wear your mask!


  1. Have a small care-package assembling party. Maybe make no-sew, tie blankets to include, and/or beanies, gloves, or scarves. If you want to, learn to knit so you can make these.
  2. Visit a veteran’s hospital if possible during coronavirus season. Write cards and bring flowers or drop them off at the front desk for the nurses to give out.
  3. Do service for a veteran. Offer to do yardwork, bring a home-cooked meal over, or ask what they need that you can help with.
  4. Take a veteran out to dinner. (by USDVA)
  5. Write letters to those currently deployed by sending them to Operation Gratitude.
  6. Write a letter of thanks and gratitude to local veterans in your area and/or veterans in your family.
  7. Plant USA flags in your front yard and at gravesites of veterans in your area.
  8. Ask a Veteran about their time in the military, and really listen to the answer. (by USDVA)
  9. Visit a homebound Veteran in their home, talk with them, and thank them for their service. (by USDVA)
  10. Visit a homeless Veteran, talk with them, thank them for their service, and give them a care package. Here are some of the items you can include in their package. Consider putting the items in a drawstring backpack so they can easily carry it with them.


A veteran’s hat, water bottles, blankets, beanies, scarves, socks, tuna and crackers, granola bar, fruit snack or applesauce cup, crackers with peanut butter or cheese, gift certificate or card to a restaurant, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, pack of Kleenex, female hygiene products, toothbrush and toothpaste, nail clippers, Band Aids and Neosporin, chapstick, comb or small brush, mints, cough drops or gum, mini Fliers with ways the Mission can meet their needs, note of encouragement or uplifting Bible verse. (by Portland Rescue Mission)


More ideas for honoring veterans in your schools, workplaces, and more can be found here:

Honoring Those Who Served: 11 Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day

What Deployed Troops Really Want in Their Care Packages

Virtual Volunteerism at Operation Gratitude: Service You Can Do From Home

45 Ways to Honor A Veteran by The United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs

Phoenix Rescue Mission

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November and Thanksgiving Activities

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern


Photo: Pixabay


Halloween is over and it’s finally November! Lots of people start decorating for Christmas early, and I don’t blame them; with COVID-19 and CDC restrictions, the holidays are one of the few things we can look forward to! But if you’re looking for November and Thanksgiving activities specifically to do while it’s still fall, you’ve come to the right place.

  1. Make a gratitude jar: Write something you are grateful for on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. Have your family do it with you too add more entries. Do this every day of November until Thanksgiving, and then open it and read them!
  2. Do some early Christmas shopping: lots of stores are doing early black Friday deals, so you wont have to deal with the crazy late hours and crowds. And don’t forget to score some deals on Cyber Monday!
  3. Go to a local farm and buy a farm-fresh turkey!
  4. Got extra pumpkins from your Halloween decorating that haven’t been carved? Learn how to make homemade pumpkin puree from them and jar it.
  5. Start a gratitude journal. Write in it during November, but keep writing in it after the month is over. See how many entries of gratitude build up over time.
  6. Try some new Thanksgiving recipes from Pinterest.
  7. Decorate your house for fall with maple leaves and fall tones.
  8. Get some fall candles and light them.
  9. Go on a walk and enjoy the cool weather!
  10. Make Thanksgiving sliders the day after Thanksgiving: use extra rolls, turkey and cranberry sauce to make the best thanksgiving sandwiches ever!
  11. Make thanksgiving crafts: banners, blocks, wooden signs, and more. See Pinterest for ideas.
  12. Make a Thanksgiving charcuterie board – find ideas on Pinterest.


For more fall activities see our other Fill Your Plate article, The Ultimate Fall To-Do List: 50 Activities for Friends and Family!

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History of The Day of the Dead (El Día De Los Muertos)

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern

Photos: Pixabay


Today is the final day of the Day of the Dead celebration. What is it’s significance, when did it start, and why is it celebrated?

It’s earliest roots can be traced back some 3,000 years ago, to regions in Mexico and Columbia. Aztecs and Nahua people honored their dead with rituals, recognizing death as an essential part of life. When one passed away, their spirit went to Chicunamictlán, the Land of the Dead. This began a 9 stage journey completed over the course of years. Flowers, candles, food and drink were placed by surviving family members at gravesites or altars inside their homes known as ofrendas each year to assist their departed loved ones in making the journey to Mictlán, the ultimate place of rest.

After the Spaniards came to America, this ritual came to be combined with the Catholic holidays, All Saints Day and All Souls Day. The History Channel’s website features an article (see the full version here) that gives a good explanation of these days and the celebrations that go with it, stating, “[This] holiday is celebrated each year from October 31- November 2.” “Historically, Halloween, which is celebrated in many nations around the world on October 31st, began as a way for individuals to add humor and lightheartedness to the difficult theme of death,” Garza Blanca Residence Club states.

The History Channel continues by saying, “While October 31 is Halloween, November 1 is “el Día de los Inocentes,” or the day of the children, and All Saints Day. November 2 is All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead. According to tradition, the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31 and the spirits of children can rejoin their families for 24 hours. The spirits of adults can do the same on November 2…

During this brief period, the souls of the dead awaken and return to the living world to feast, drink, dance and play music with their loved ones. In turn, the living family members treat the deceased as honored guests in their celebrations, and leave the deceased’s favorite foods and other offerings at gravesites or on the ofrendas built in their homes. Ofrendas can be decorated with candles, bright marigolds called cempasuchil and red cock’s combs alongside food like stacks of tortillas and fruit.

The most prominent symbols related to the Day of the Dead are calacas (skeletons) and calaveras (skulls). In the early 19th century, the printer and cartoonist José Guadalupe Posada re-envisioned Mictecacíhuatl, the Aztec goddess of the underworld, as a female skeleton known as La Calavera Catrina, now the most recognizable Day of the Dead icon.

During contemporary Day of the Dead festivities, people commonly wear skull masks and eat sugar candy molded into the shape of skulls. The pan de ánimas of All Souls Day rituals in Spain is reflected in pan de muerto, the traditional sweet baked good of Day of the Dead celebrations today. Other food and drink associated with the holiday, but consumed year-round as well, include spicy dark chocolate and the corn-based liquor called atole. You can wish someone a happy Day of the Dead by saying, “Feliz día de los Muertos.”


Looking for more ways to celebrate holidays? Find more holiday articles on Fill Your Plate’s blog!

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Halloween Candy Cookie Recipes

By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern


Photo: Pixabay


Tomorrow night, your kids will come home with buckets full of candy to eat (or, you might have bought a big bag of candy for yourselves instead of trick or treating this year). What are you going to do with all of it? If you want to spend more time with your kids this holiday season, consider making Halloween candy cookies!

Instead of finding your kids eating all their candy in their secret hiding place and getting overly excited from a sugar rush, try this method. Put your kids candy buckets high up on a shelf they can’t reach (even with the stepstool). Then let your kids pick out all of a certain kind of candy bar. Put them all in a pile and put the rest of the candy back on the shelf.

Then unwrap them together, have an adult chop them up, and put them into cookies! This way, you can space out the amount of sugar your kids get each day. No more binging, sibling candy raids, or tummy aches!


Here are some great recipes for cookies with common Halloween candies:


Robbi’s M&Ms® Cookies

Soft and Chewy Snickers Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Twix Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Milky Way Stuffed Cookies

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Heath Bar Cookies

Chocolate Candy Cookies Recipe! {Nestle Crunch}

Kit Kat Cookies


Find more cookie recipes through Fill Your Plate’s searchable recipe database!

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Posted in Fall, Fill Your Plate, Food, Fun and Games, Halloween, Holidays, In the Kitchen, Just For Fun, Kids, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment