Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Prep: Talking Turkey

Grocery stores, farmer's markets, co-ops and butcher shops across America are stocked with the season's favorite poultry product.

When it comes to selecting a turkey, it is hard to wade through all of the gobbledygook and choose the best bird for your brood.

With the terms natural, organic, heritage, pastured and free-range it can be confusing to figure out which option suits your needs, your family and your wallet.

A free-range turkey is exactly what the name implies. It means the turkey is allowed to roam around free, for at least part of the time, in a pasture without being confined to a cage or living space.

This type of farming allows the turkey to receive natural sunlight and exercise which might otherwise be prevented at other types of farms, such as factory farms.

One thing to keep in mind when purchasing a free-range bird, is to make sure the label reads all natural and organic. Not all free-range turkeys are fed a natural diet, and this is something you will want to have if you decided to invest in this type of turkey.

According to, a Bell and Evans free-range turkey costs $2.99/lb.

Heritage turkeys are about as traditional as you can get. Heritage turkeys are breed naturally, are pretty resilient when it comes to disease and most closely resemble those turkeys eaten at the first Thanksgiving. These types of turkeys live long and pretty happy lives and feast on mostly grasses.

This type of bird often contains more dark meat than white meat, and breed at a slower rate than those turkeys raised by industry farms.

This type of turkey is a poultry pal to their farmers and often help with pest control.

According to the Washington Post, a heritage turkey can run in the neighborhood of about $7/lb.

The word "natural" can mean a good deal of things. Unfortunately, some things labled natural (like 7-up) doesn't necessarily mean it is the healthiest option.

When it comes to turkey, it is important to read the label and make sure that no artificial flavorings or preservatives have been added. Typically, the USDA will closely monitor this and make sure the only things that are added are salt, water and other natural flavorings.

After doing some research and cost comparison, I think this is the route we are going to go for our Thanksgiving turkey. We will also be looking for a turkey that does not contain hormones, because this is something that is very important to my family.

Fresh Murray's Natural Turkeys can cost between $2.99 to $4.99/lb. However, I did see natural Butterball turkeys for sale at our local Wal-Mart for about $1.08/lb.

When it comes to eating healthy, organic is one of the buzz words that is heard ad nauseum. What organic means is that a food has not been produced with any type of chemical pesticides, fertilizers or additives. Food is certified organic by the USDA, who heavily regulates what is considered organic and what is not.

When it comes to turkeys, it means the turkey has been feed organic feed all of its life and has never been treated with anti-biotics.

If buying an organic turkey is important to you, make sure that it is certified organic. There are some farmers that do practice organic methods of turkey cultivation, but are not certified or regulated by the USDA.

Sometimes the organic distinction can come hand-in-hand with the natural or free-range birds. This is almost like a "turkey power up."

A Fresh Eberly Organic Free-Range turkey costs about $3.99/lb.

 A pastured turkey means the bird is allowed to roam free, and hunt and peck for its diet of bugs and grasses. It is this diet of bugs and grasses that offers this type of bird a unique flavor. This principle is similar to the difference that is tasted between cage free eggs and factory raised eggs. 

Because the turkey is allowed to roam more, it gets more exercise and offers a more developed taste to their meat (or so I have been told). 

According to (that apparently also sells grass fed turkeys) sells their birds for $8.59/lb.

Holy wishbones! In my opinion, this is way too much for me to pay for a turkey. While, I am glad to see the birds are ethically treated, are raised very natural and I am sure are very tasty, I just cannot justify spending this much money on a turkey. But, if you are able to afford this, more power to you and let me know what time to be over your house for dinner! 

I am sure there are various other kinds of turkeys available, but these are the ones that are most popular, and you are more likely to encounter at your market. 

But, just like with every other item that is on your table this Thanksgiving, it doesn't matter what you eat, it is who you spend the holiday with that is most important. If you make everything with love, you can't go wrong.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tales From the Tube: The Readables

When I get ready in the morning for work I sit at my desk in our office and watch Youtube videos while I do my hair and makeup. It seems like this is really the only time I am able to catch up on some of my favorite YouTubers. 

Since You Tube is so popular and has a wide variety of videos including anything from funny cats to "Dawson's Creek" clips (I have watched my fair share), I thought I would share a few of my favorite channels. 

First up is "The Readables."

 Priscilla, who is The Readables, does monthly books hauls that center around a theme, reviews books and will sometimes do tag videos that involve (what else) books. 

I really enjoy her videos because most of her suggestions revolve around young adult literature, and  often feature dystopian novels which are a current favorite of mine. 

Her reviews offer enough about the book and the characters, but doesn't reveal spoiler information. 

Next month I will share another favorite YouTuber. In the meantime, let me know who you like to watch/are subscribed to. 

Here is the video from her November book haul:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thanksgiving prep: The planning process

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. Where has the time gone?

For the past three years, the husband and I have hosted our families at Thanksgiving. My parents come for dinner and his parents join us for dessert.

Usually I get pretty overwhelmed when it comes to planning for Thanksgiving. But, this year I wanted to make it more relaxing and I decided to be a little more organized than just writing a schedule on a half sheet of paper and then flipping out when I couldn't find my shopping list.

The first step for my organization project was to purchase the necessary supplies which included a binder, divider tabs and binder sleeves.

We really don't have any tried and true recipes that we stick to each year. Since, our newly instated clean eating diet, we decided to hit the internet, Food Network and Martha Stewart magazines.

 Here is our menu for this year:

 After going through all of our recipes I placed them in the sleeves in the binder. And decided what days to prepare the food. I indicated that by adding a post-it note on the bottom of the page and wrote either Wednesday or Thursday and what time to make the food.

After looking through all of the recipes, I made a list of the ingredients that I needed, how much and what days to buy them. I also highlighted the least perishable items and picked them up this past weekend.

So far this plan has worked pretty well. We still need to make another trip to the store on Saturday. We are also shopping around for turkey prices. It seems this year the price is still a little higher than it was last year.

I hope to post an entry on decorating the table for Thanksgiving. So look for that in future blog entry.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

October Favorites

October is my absolute favorite month out of the whole year. It is the month I started dated my husband, it is our wedding anniversary, we take our annual vacation, plus it is the time when the leaves change and we get to start wearing our favorite sweaters and scarfs.

When, I sat down to think about my favorite things in the month of October it was a little difficult because I really enjoyed this month.

A sampling of a few of my favorite items

Favorite Book: "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff
This book takes Taoist principles and explains them through the characters and situations in the various Winnie the Pooh books. I really liked the book because it explained a lot of principles, such taking time to relax, and related them to modern life. It goes to show that Winne the Pooh was not just a "silly old bear."

Favorite Beauty Product: Say Yest to Carrots lip gloss
I picked up this on markdown at Target. The color is a nice pinkish-peach color that is natural looking. With a slight mint scent, the gloss wasn't too sticky and had a nice shine/

Favorite Beverage: Pumpkin Spice K-Cup
Nothing says fall to me like pumpkin flavored coffee. The pumpkin spice K-cups aren't overly spicy or too sweet. While I do enjoy the Starbucks variety it is sometimes too sweet and too oily for my taste.

Favorite Shower Item: April in Paris Shower Gel from Bath and Body Works
I am a fan of floral and spicy shower scents. I am not a big fan of vanilla or food type smells in the shower. This particular body wash has a pretty floral scent that is not too overpowering. What I really like about it is because it lingers on the skin long after I am done in the shower.

Favorite Seasonal Product: Leaves candle from Bath and Body Works
I am sure you are seeing a trend here. In my opinion, nothing can beat the candles at Bath and Body Works. Since we have cats, unfortunately we can't light the candles, but we can put them on a candle warmer and still have the scent. This particular candle smells very autumnal and has a slight spicy scent. 

Favorite Household Product: Doctor Watkins All Purpose cleaner
This product is great on counter tops, is non-toxic and has a terrific lemon smell that makes the whole kitchen or rooms smell so clean. Plus I don't worry to much if little cat feet step in it while it is still drying.

Favorite TV Show: American Horror Story (first season)
We recently began watching the second season of American Horror Story on FX and we were curious about the first season. We decided to rent the DVDs from our local video store, and I have to say I was really impressed. I think the problem with a lot of movies/shows that are "horror" are too bloody and either have vampires or zombies. Whatever happened to a good old fashioned ghost story? I think this particular season does a great job with the ghost story genera. The actors are really good, and you genuinely care about what happens to the characters. While the series is adult in nature, if you are looking for a good TV show with drama, a little humor and mystery I suggest the first season of American Horror Story.

Well, there you have it! Those are my favorites for the month of October. Next month, I will share my favorites for November. 

What were some of your favorite things this month?

I'm back

After a long hiatus I am pleased to announce The Daring Domesticate is back!

I am sorry I have been very neglectful with my posting, but I promise I will update more in the future.

This week, I will unveil a new feature that showcases my favorites for the past month. So look back later to see my favorite book, beverage, TV show, beauty product and more for the month of October.

If you aren't already a fan of The Daring Domesticate, don't forget to check out the fan page on Facebook. If you are a fan, thank you so much for sticking around during my quiet period.

Hope you and yours are having a wonderful Sunday, and that you are enjoying the extra hour we gained today!