This fun twist on the classic turkey staple is perfect for this holiday season! If you’re looking for something different this year, try this recipe for Roast Turkey Soup from SeriousEats.com
2 quarts low sodium store-bought or home-made chicken or turkey stock
1 leftover roast turkey carcass, cut into rough chunks
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2- buy 1/2- by 1/4-inch batons (optional)
1 large onion, finely sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium carrots, diced medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 ribs celery, sliced at a bias (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 pound leftover roast turkey meat, roughly torn into bite-sized pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Combine stock, turkey parts, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer, and cook for 1 hour. Strain broth into a medium saucepan and discard solids.
Add bacon, onions, carrots, and celery. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in turkey pieces and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley and serve.
November 21st, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
This unique blend of tastes is bound to be a hit for your holiday menu. Check out this recipe for from Saveur Magazine.
5 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 large leek, white part only, trimmed, cleaned, and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and chopped
1 rib celery, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup dry white wine
10 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup Cranberry Oil, optional
1. Put sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 2 large pinches salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30–40 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel and quarter sweet potatoes, then set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add wine, scraping any browned bits stuck to bottom of pot, and cook until alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
3. Add stock and reserved sweet potatoes to pot, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.
4. Working in batches, put vegetables and stock into a food processor or blender and purée until smooth, then return soup to pot. Stir in cream, season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Drizzle some of the cranberry oil, if using, over each serving.
Start your dinner off right with this great recipe for Acorn Squash Soup from the Food Network.
3 whole acorn squash, approximately 8 cups when cooked
6 shallots, 1 cup diced, 3 left whole and peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper, freshly cracked, plus more for seasoning
1 stick unsalted butter, in all
4 cups chicken stock, low-sodium
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sage, dry
1 teaspoon savory
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the squash in half on the equator and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut a flat spot on each end so the squash will sit flat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the squash, cut side up. To 3 of the squash halves, add a peeled shallot and to the other 3 add 2 garlic cloves on each. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with 1 tablespoon each of the salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast in the hot oven until very tender and starting to caramelize and collapse, approximately 1 hour. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the squash from the skin. Reserve the roasted shallots and garlic with the squash. Can be done ahead.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat and when the butter is starting to foam, add the raw diced shallots and saute until they are starting to caramelize, about 5 to 6 minutes. Deglaze with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and stir to remove any fond. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the reserved squash, roasted shallots and garlic and then the remaining chicken stock. Stir to combine, then puree with a stick blender. The mixture will be very thick. Add in the cayenne, white pepper and the herbs. Stir in the cream and Worcestershire sauce and heat slowly over medium-low heat. When the mixture comes to a slow simmer, mix again with the stick blender and stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and turn heat to low. Serve with a fresh crack of black pepper, a nice drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a light sprinkle of remaining Parmesan. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
Thanksgiving soups are a great way to start off the holiday meal. This creamy soup from FoodandWine.com gets a little smoky heat from canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, but then gets cooled down with a swirl of crème fraîche.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
One 3-pound butternut squash, peeled and diced (8 cups)
1 small canned chipotle in adobo, chopped
7 cups chicken or turkey stock or low-sodium broth
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crème fraîche
1/4 cup finely chopped chives, plus more for garnish
In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened. Stir in the squash and chipotle and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and honey and bring to a boil. Simmer until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.
Puree the soup until smooth; season with salt.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, stir the crème fraîche with the 1/4 cup of chives. Microwave until just melted, 30 seconds. Serve the soup with a swirl of chive cream and a sprinkling of chives.
For more delicious recipes, follow us on Facebook and get inspired for the Thanksgiving holiday!
November 18th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Looking for a simple, unique dessert for your restaurant guests? Try these delicious cupcakes from Southern Living. Mashed sweet potatoes give the cupcakes extra moistness, while a myriad of spices including cinnamon and nutmeg spice up the traditionally sweet dessert. A simple cream cheese frosting and sprinkle of chopped pecans is all that is needed to top of the dessert with perfection.
Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring once after 4 minutes.
Beat sugar and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Whisk together mashed sweet potatoes, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sweet potato mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Fold in toasted pecans. Place foil baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with vegetable cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.
Bake at 350° for 28 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove immediately from pans, and cool 50 minutes to 1 hour or until completely cool. Spread cupcakes evenly with Cream Cheese Frosting. Garnish, if desired.
Looking for more Thanksgiving inspiration? Check out our Pinterest page for some ideas!
November 15th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Rich and creamy pumpkin ice cream makes this ginger-spiced cake even more irresistible. Made with Earl Grey tea and maple flavors baked right in, this Thanksgiving dessert from Better Homes & Gardens is a delicious combination of favorite fall flavors!
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups pure maple syrup
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves, ground
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 recipe Pumpkin Ice Cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl stir together eggs, maple syrup, sour cream, and melted butter. In a large bowl stir together flour, ground tea, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir until well combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
3. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm with Pumpkin Ice Cream.
Pumpkin Ice Cream
1 quart vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon orange liqueur or orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Directions1. In a large mixing bowl combine vanilla ice cream, slightly softened, canned pumpkin, orange liqueur, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Transfer ice cream to a freezer container; cover tightly and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.
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November 14th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Pumpkin is the perfect fall flavor to give your guests this Thanksgiving! This spiced pumpkin cake from Martha Stewart is enhanced by layers of a delectably rich frosting that features cream cheese and goat cheese. Quince, available in the fall, has a fragrant, apple-like flavor. If you can’t find fresh ones, use pears or apples instead.
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans and parchment
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for parchment
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups solid-pack pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 cup buttermilk
Goat Cheese Frosting
Quince-Ginger Compote (optional)
*Note: Make Ahead! Unfrosted cakes can be stored, wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush two 8-inch round cake pans with butter; line with parchment rounds. Butter parchment; dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in pumpkin; add vanilla and ginger. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of buttermilk; beat until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden brown, edges pull away from sides of pans, and a cake tester comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks to cool completely.
Place bottom layer on a cake stand or platter, and spread evenly with half the frosting. Top with second layer, and spread remaining frosting over top. Top cake with some quince-ginger compote, and serve remainder on the side.
Do you have a Thanksgiving dessert recipe you would like to share? Email it to us at email@example.com!
November 13th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Wrap outside of an 8-inch springform pan with heavy foil. Grease the bottom and sides inside the pan; set pan aside.
2. In a very large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is smooth and sugar is dissolved, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs and vanilla, beating just until combined. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
3. Place springform pan in a shallow roasting pan. Place roasting pan on the oven rack. Carefully pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken.
4. Carefully remove springform pan from water. Remove foil from pan. Let cheesecake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a thin metal spatula, loosen the edge of the cheesecake from sides of pan; cool for 45 minutes more. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
5. To serve, remove sides of the pan and cut cheesecake into wedges. If desired, top with Cranberry Sauce, sugared cranberries, and/or mint leaves.
Place 1 cup of whole cranberry sauce in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until combined.
November 12th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
The turkey might be the main event, but offering a variety of side dishes–from sweet potatoes to green bean casserole–will keep your guests full and happy this holiday. We’ve pulled some of our favorites for this post, but you can see all 74 side dish recipes at CountryLiving.com.
Potato and Celery-Root Gratin
Celery root lends unique flavor and freshness to this variation on a classic potato gratin.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring heavy cream, milk, onion halves, and garlic to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, peel, halve, and thinly slice celery root; cut slices in half. Peel and thinly slice potatoes. In a buttered 8-inch casserole dish, arrange a layer of celery-root slices followed by a layer of potato slices. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat.
Remove onion and garlic from cream mixture and discard. Pour mixture over casserole. Cover dish with a piece of buttered aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove foil and sprinkle casserole with Gouda. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer casserole to a wire rack and allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.
Pumpkin Cheese Bread
There’s nothing like a piece of soft, home-baked bread, and this recipe—which combines the sweet flavor of pumpkin with sharp, savory Cheddar cheese—is perfect for fall.
3 3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and bowl
1 tablespoon(s) light-brown sugar
1 package(s) rapid-rise yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/8 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper
3/4 cup(s) pumpkin puree
4 ounce(s) shredded sharp Cheddar
1 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, softened, for buttering pan
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
In a large bowl, stir together 3 1/2 cups flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt, and cayenne. Add 1 cup water, pumpkin, and cheese; stir to combine. (Dough will be slightly sticky.)
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a smooth ball. (Add up to 1/4 cup more flour if needed.) Sprinkle a large bowl with flour and add ball of dough, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Butter a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and use hands to flatten to a rectangle, about 9 by 10 inches. Roll dough into a log and place seam-side down in loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, slash loaf down center. Brush loaf with egg wash. Bake until loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 40 to 50 minutes. Turn out of pan onto a wire rack to cool.
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
To keep mashed potatoes warm until the meal is served, place them in a heat-proof bowl and cover with foil. Set that bowl in a pot of barely simmering water that reaches halfway up the side of the bowl
2 pound(s) Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoon(s) kosher salt
1 cup(s) milk
4 tablespoon(s) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper
Cook the potatoes: Heat oven to 250 degrees F. Place the potatoes in a pot and fill with enough water to cover. Add the salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender — 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes, transfer to a baking pan, and place in the oven until thoroughly dried out — 7 to 8 minutes. (Shake the pan occasionally to ensure all excess water evaporates.)
Puree the potatoes: Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it simmers. Mash the potatoes until smooth, taking care not to overwork them. Alternately add the butter and milk in thirds — gently folding with a rubber spatula. Stir in the pepper.
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November 8th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
We know what you’re thinking: how can you celebrate Thanksgiving without turkey?! While his staple item is essential for most diners on this traditional holiday, there are others who would opt for a vegetarian option.
According to this article from the NY Times, many vegetarian diners are happy to fill their plates with delicious sides and salads, but if you want to make these diners feel special, consider one of these main course vegetarian dishes from Martha Rose Shulman. All of them are inspired by Greek cooking, which has a rich tradition of vegetarian meals.
“I know that Greek food is not exactly what comes to mind when you hear the word “Thanksgiving,” yet why not consider this cuisine if you’re searching for a meatless main dish that will please a crowd? It’s certainly a better idea, in my mind, than Tofurky and all of the other overprocessed attempts at making a vegan turkey. If you want to serve something that will be somewhat reminiscent of a turkey, make the stuffed acorn squashes in this week’s selection, and once they’re out of the oven, stick some feathers in the “rump,” as I did for the first vegetarian Thanksgiving I ever cooked: I stuffed and baked a huge crookneck squash, then decorated it with turkey feathers. The filling wasn’t nearly as good as the one you’ll get this week, but the creation was fun,” said Martha Rose Shulman.
Here are five new vegetarian recipes for your Thanksgiving table — or any time.
According to theKitchn.com, a holiday table isn’t complete without a big basket of fluffy dinner rolls. How else are you going to sop up the last bits of gravy? These soft and airy sweet potato rolls are perfect for the job. They’re also very nearly fool-proof, making them one less thing to worry about when planning the meal.
These rolls get a very mild sweetness from the mashed sweet potatoes. We think they go perfectly with all the sweet and savory foods on a holiday buffet table, plus they’re pretty great slathered with jam for breakfast the next morning! You can also substitute regular potatoes, yams, or pumpkin for the sweet potatoes.
When it comes to large dinner parties and holiday buffets, we appreciate no-knead recipes more than ever. The dough can be made the day ahead, refrigerated, and made into rolls the next morning. You can also make them ahead of time and freeze the baked rolls. Warmed in the oven, no one will be able to tell they weren’t baked fresh!
3/4 cup (6 ounces) warm water
1 scant tablespoon (1 package) active-dry yeast
1 cup (9 ounces) mashed sweet potatoes (see note below)
1 cup (8.5 ounces) milk – whole or 2% preferably
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter – melted
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 cups (20 ounces) all-purpose flour
Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl and let stand until the yeast is dissolved. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, the milk, the melted butter, the brown sugar, and the salt. Stir until all ingredients are evenly combined. Add the flour, stirring until a shaggy dough is formed and no more dry flour is visible. This dough will be very sticky.
Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let stand until doubled in bulk, at least 2 hours or as long as 5 hours. The dough can be used immediately, but it’s easier to work with if you can refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. The dough can also be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
When ready to shape the rolls, sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and turn the dough out on top. Sprinkle a little more flour on top and press the dough into a thick disk. Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into 24 pieces. Shape into balls and place about 5 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise until the rolls are roughly doubled in size, about 45 minutes in a warm kitchen.
About 20 minutes before the rolls are finished rising, preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
Remove the cover and bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes, until they are puffed and toasted brown. Serve warm or room temperature. Rolls are best the first day, but will stay fresh for several days after if stored in an airtight container.
• To make the mashed sweet potatoes, roast a medium-sized (roughly 9 ounce) sweet potato in a 400° oven until completely soft. Strip off the skin and mash.
• For extra richness, brush the tops with melted butter or egg yolk before baking. So good!
• These rolls can also be frozen if you’re making them ahead of time. Allow the baked rolls to cool completely, wrap them in aluminum foil, and freeze them. To re-heat, let them thaw on the counter and then warm them in a 300° oven for 15 minutes.
November 6th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Preheat oven to 300°F. Spread bread cubes out on two large rimmed baking sheets and bake until dried but not browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up chunks with a spoon, until browned, about 6 minutes. Add apples, celery, onion and butter and cook, stirring occasionally, until apple and vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes more. Add to toasted bread. Stir in broth, sage, salt and pepper.
If using to stuff a turkey, cool completely before stuffing. If baking separately, heat oven to 350°F and bake in a buttered casserole dish until lightly browned and crisp on top, 50 to 60 minutes.
Per Serving:260 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 3.5g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 620mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 6g sugar), 9g protein
Note: for a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and substitute vegetarian sausage or a few cups cooked shiitake mushrooms for the meat sausage.
November 5th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
As the Thanksgiving season swiftly approaches we want to give you the inspiration you need to make this festive holiday a hit! We’ll be sharing one recipe a day leading up to the grand celebration on the 28th to help inspire and prepare you for this season of Thanksgiving.
Let’s start with the most important component of any Thanksgiving meal: the Turkey.
According to bonappetit.com, when it comes to turkey, there’s a zillion variables to calculate: heritage breed or Butterball? Brined or dry-rubbed? Roasted or grilled–or deep-fried? However you cook your bird this Thanksgiving, New York Times National Editor Sam Sifton wants you to know these four basic truths about turkey:
Truth No. 1
Rosemary + butter + turkey fat + a little soy sauce = a great bird.
Truth No. 2
Never let ‘em see you sweat–or slice. Carve before you bring the bird out. So much easier.
Truth No. 3
In the oven, on a grill or in a fryer, the thing that matters most is how it tastes.
Truth No. 4
The party may be over, but tomorrow there will be leftovers.
If you are in need of a recipe, try this collection from Spoonful.com for some great ideas on how to cook your Holiday bird.
November 4th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
Take these simple steps to help your children have a fun – and safe – Halloween
Children shouldn’t snack while they’re out trick-or-treating. Urge your children to wait until they get home and you have had a chance to inspect the contents of their “goody bags.”
To help prevent children from snacking, give them a light meal or snack before they head out – don’t send them out on an empty stomach.
Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
And follow these tips for Halloween parties
If juice or cider is served to children at Halloween
parties, make sure it is pasteurized or otherwise
treated to destroy harmful bacteria. Juice or cider
that has not been treated will say so on the label.
No matter how tempting, don’t taste raw cookie dough or cake batter.
Before going “bobbing for apples,” an all-time favorite Halloween game, reduce the number of bacteria that might be present on apples and other raw fruits and vegetables by thoroughly rinsing them under cool running water. As an added precaution, use a produce brush to remove surface dirt.
“Scare” bacteria away by keeping all perishable foods chilled until serving time. These include, for example, finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit or tossed salads, cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry, or seafood, and cream pies or cakes with whipped-cream and cream-cheese frostings. Cold temperatures help keep most harmful bacteria from multiplying. And don’t leave the food at room temperature for more than
We wish you and your family a safe holiday. Follow us on Facebook more helpful tips on how to stay safe!
October 31st, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed
In a recent report from Nation’s Restaurant News by Mark Brandau, we get an inside look into how the 2013 breast cancer awareness fundraisers have panned out.
Many restaurant companies jump into Breast Cancer Awareness Month every October to raise money for charities studying the disease, and marketers have found that the different fundraising programs create a positive cycle rather than a zero-sum competition.
For instance, Denver-based Smashburger has chosen this October to roll out its first national cause-marketing program, benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The chain will donate 40 cents from every sale of its new Raspberry Sorbet Shake, which combines Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream and raspberry sorbet to produce the signature pink color of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Smashburger has promised a minimum donation of $25,000 to Komen, but the brand’s senior vice president of marketing, Jeremy Morgan, said it was well on its way to clearing that threshold. He added that the buzz about breast cancer fundraising in October made this month the right time to launch a national campaign.
“We wanted to choose a reputable charity that our consumers could connect with, and Komen fit the profile pretty much perfectly,” Morgan said. “We thought about what would be the most Smashburger way to do that. A ‘breast cancer burger’ felt a little weird, but then we had an idea session with our Haagen-Dazs partners, and we came up with the Raspberry Sorbet Shake.”
The new shake was tested in several markets and performed very well, especially among Smashburger’s female guests, he said. The brand always has tried to differentiate its menu with native appeal, such as burgers with local ingredients or partnerships with local craft breweries, but the national effort around one systemwide offering has worked well, Morgan said.
With dozens of restaurant brands joining the cause to fund breast cancer research in October, the industrywide effort has helped Smashburger’s program rather than competed with it, he added.
“Whenever you do cause marketing, first and foremost it’s about how you can do the most for the charity partner,” he said. “The fact that so many other restaurants and retailers do this in October for breast cancer reinforces the cause we have. … As a marketer, you always want a differentiating program, so we thought hard about what’s the Smashburger way to do this.”
Several brands have made October their signature cause-marketing month for years, including Atlanta-based Hooters, which has partnered to raise money for cancer research with The V Foundation for the 11th consecutive year.
Through Nov. 27, Hooters will donate $1 to The V Foundation for every sale from a special drink menu that includes Montevina Pinot Grigio, Simply Naked Red Blend, a Tropical Long Island Iced Tea or a non-alcoholic strawberry lemonade. The chain will also donate 50 cents from the sale of every Hooters Girl calendar and other merchandise.
Since 2002, Hooters has donated more than $2 million to The V Foundation through the Kelly Jo Dowd Breast Cancer Research Grant, established in honor of Hooters Girl and manager Kelly Jo Dowd, who died from breast cancer in 2007.
Similarly, Caribou Coffee has run its Amy’s Blend program for the past 18 years. The Minneapolis-based coffeehouse chain honors its first roastmaster, Amy Erickson, who died from breast cancer in 1995.
Caribou will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from its Amy’s Blend collection of products — including Amy’s Blend coffee and tea, hot and cold drink ware, and apparel and accessories — to CancerCare. For every 11-ounce bag of packaged coffee sold in grocery stores, Caribou will donate another 50 cents to CancerCare.
This year, the brand also introduced the “Caribou Knits” social-media campaign. For every post or message a fan shares on Facebook or Twitter using the #CaribouKnits hash tag, a volunteer from the brand will knit one inch of a scarf for a person in need.
Hard Rock Café’s Pinktober campaign is in its 14th year this October. The Orlando, Fla.-based chain will donate proceeds from its Strawberry Dream Milkshake, Strawberry-Basil Lemonade and Strawberry Cupcake to local and international breast cancer research foundations.
Throughout the rest of the restaurant industry, dozens of independents and chains find their own ways to give money and support to breast cancer charities, often by leveraging the nationwide pink theme of October.
A spokeswoman for Hungry Howie’s Pizza wrote that the Madison Heights, Mich.-based chain has raised more than $800,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, or NBCF, in this year’s “Love, Hope & Pizza” campaign. Hungry Howie’s is making a donation for every pizza sold, every Facebook story shared, every new Facebook “like” gained, and every picture tagged with the #LOVEHOPEPIZZA hash tag.
Pizzas are being delivered in pink boxes with the NBCF logo on them, and Hungry Howie’s hopes to surpass the $1 million mark this year.
East Coast Wings & Grill also has a pink-themed promotion this year. For the fourth consecutive October, the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based brand will donate 10 percent of sales to Komen every time a customer orders pink tortilla chips and salsa, priced at $2.99. The brand also will have a “give back night” on Oct. 29, in which 10 percent of all sales systemwide will be donated.
Other chains introducing pink menu items for their cause-marketing campaigns include Fazoli’s, which will sell a Pink Lemon Ice through Nov. 3, and Tijuana Flats, which will sell a charity hot sauce in its units and allow customers to switch to a pink tortilla for their tacos for a $1 donation. Lexington, Ky.-based Fazoli’s will raise funds for the NBCF, while Orlando-based Tijuana Flats will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Las Vegas-based Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop is running a “Save the Bobbie’s” campaign, in which the chain will donate 25 cents to NBCF per purchase of a signature sandwich, The Bobbie.
Are you running a promotion for the month of October that focuses on Breast Cancer Awareness? Let us know! Share your pictures and comments on our Facebook page.
October 25th, 2013 | Category: General | Comments are closed