Thanksgiving Preparation, Products, and a Picture-Perfect Turkey Recipe

It is turkey time again! Who can complain about this time of year, with all the food, family, and fun? The only real complaint is preparation for T-Day! To ease the stress, I have assembled a few helpful hints and ideas to make Thanksgiving a breeze. I will also supply a DELICIOUS no-fail recipe for all you turkey enthusiasts who like to experiment and want to cook your bird beautifully — but that’s a bit later in the post.

Christmas usually gets all the attention, but there are ways to make Thanksgiving Day a bit more special. We all love spirit and decorations (we’re big on stress ball decorations here at QLP), so I hope this guide will help set the mood for an often-overlooked holiday that deserves decorations and a mascot, too! Let’s start with a few seasonal giveaways.

Turkey Stress BallFirst, there is the ever-squeezable Turkey Stress Ball. It’s ideal for décor or to help ease the tension when inevitably you have to achieve a balance between crazy cooking and crazy relatives insisting they know what’s what. For better or for worse, you can’t control your family, but you can control and ease that stress with this adorable turkey!

Niagara Cutlery Carving SetNext, I would like to show you some fancy wares to help kick off your day. Your relatives, employees, or customers will love this unique carving set. You can personalize and engrave your company’s name on it, which would certainly catch some attention with its beautiful design and quality (it may even be an heirloom someday). I know people often use the modern electric knife, but what says more about tradition than doing the slicing with this beautiful, classic set?

Digital Meat ThermometerBefore you start carving up your perfectly prepared turkey, you’ll need to make sure it’s cooked all the way through. There is no easier way to measure the temperature of your bird and show off your logo than with this customized Digital Meat Thermometer. This high-tech thermometer will help any chef stay on top of their holiday meal with accurate measurements in Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Apron with PocketWhile you’re cooking, you don’t want to forget about that beautifully tacky sweater that Grandma gave you (and insists you wear). How do you politely cover it up? Give the gift that keeps on giving with personalized aprons! Get these for yourself and everyone you know, and put your brand name and logo on it! When you are disguising that fashion faux pas in the kitchen, you can let everyone know what brand you demand. Trust me, your employees, customers, or friends will give thanks to you for such a neat gift. To top it off, the apron I mentioned had a handy front pocket to keep your spices, spoon or oven mitt (which you can also print your logo on)! Who says you can’t be super trendy in the kitchen?

Serving SpoonOnce dinner is complete and it’s time to put your beautiful dishes on the table, there is only one thing you will need to complete your ensemble: customized Serving Spoons. Finding enough serving spoons for all your holiday dishes can really become a challenge, so your relatives, employees or customers are sure to cherish this gift every holiday season. Choose the color that’s perfect for your brand or family and pair it with your favorite holiday recipe!

Okay. Now that you have your stress relief, your cutlery, and your trendy kitchen duds, you are ready to cook! So, to send you off to Turkey Day the right way, here is a recipe that is guaranteed to give you a marvelous bird so tasty your friends and relatives will be awed and never trust turkey cooking to anyone but you!

Serenity’s Tasty Turkey Recipe

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 2 large onions, large dice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 3 (3/4-ounce) packets fresh herbs poultry herb blend (sage, thyme and rosemary). It is best if it is fresh.
  • I find it’s better if you use your usual homemade stuffing
  • 1 beautiful turkey (thawed, approximately 12 pounds)
  • Sandwich bag
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Tin foil
  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Before you cook your turkey, combine poultry seasoning, Italian seasoning, crushed garlic, and ½ diced onion in a medium-sized bowl. Dice up your poultry herb blend and melted butter. Now pour the mixture into a sandwich bag and stick it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Once you take it out of the freezer, you should have a nice solid brick. Take it out of the bag and cut it up into cubes.
  4. Line your pan with foil.
  5. Wash up your turkey and dry it of (it is easier to separate the skin) and place cubes underneath the skin. Try to get as many cubes as far in as you can. Use remaining butter cubes for the top and sides of the outside of the bird. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Now take the remaining onion, dice it up, and put in and around the turkey.
  7. Slice the lemon and squeeze juice all over the turkey. Stick the remaining lemon slices inside the turkey (on top of your stuffing). If you want more than just stuffing, you can place veggies on the sides, but not too much (you don’t want it to get soupy). I like my pan to be very minimal so that the turkey really cooks.
  8. Slather your turkey in olive oil and make sure every side of the bird is covered in it.
  9. While all of this is in your turkey pan, put the finishing touches on it and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Do not cover the bird completely (I recommend tin foil with an opening so the steam can escape). Don’t forget your meat thermometer! The turkey is done when meat in the thigh reaches 180°F.
  10. Place in the oven (lower temp to 380°F) and use standard weight to cook time depending on the size of your bird. Check bird every 20 minutes to make sure it is not drying out. If it seems to be cooking too fast, then lower the temperature and add a little more olive oil or baste with the juices in pan. Ovens all vary, so please adjust temperature accordingly to ensure a well-cooked bird!

Serenity's Thanksgiving turkey

When you’re all done, it should look something like this…

This recipe is typically used for a 12-pound bird, so you’ll want to adjust ingredients depending on size of your turkey. I have used this recipe for years and it is an amazingly flavorful turkey experience that needs to be had by all. Try it out and let me know how it went! Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Gobble Gobble!

How long does it take you to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday? Do you have any special family recipes to share? What are YOU thankful for?

Serenity Morris

Serenity is on the support staff for Quality Logo Products. Cynical and straight to the point, this no-nonsense gal is loveable and passionate about her various nerdy interests. When she is not geeking out about music, British television, and politics she is usually doodling her troubles away! Her artistic abilities are often commissioned for internal and external QLP promotional materials. You can also connect with Serenity on Google+.


  1. Amy Swanson

    What a fun post, Sam! My grandmother actually gave me an ugly sweater that I “lost” when we moved a few years ago 😉

    Ps Your turkey recipe sounds a-mazing! And I’m now craving Thanksgiving like right now! My dad puts our turkey in a brine a few days before the big day and it makes such a difference! Thanks for this!

  2. Mandy Kilinskis

    I love that cute little turkey stress ball! Amy found it in our box of samples and it’s currently sitting under the Christmas tree in my office. In addition to being adorable, he’s really squishy. And those aprons would make a nice holiday gift for all of your holiday cooking and baking.

    I, like Amy, am also hungry for turkey now!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Sorry I am making everyone so hungry! 🙂 But yes, I agree turkey stress balls are super cute!

  3. Cybernetic SAM

    Thank you! That is hilarious about the sweater, and they always ask “hey, where is that cute sweater I got you!?!” Even though I don’t eat turkey anymore, for years I swore by this recipe. Even the first time I ever made a turkey, it turned out amazing and I had never cooked something so difficult before. It was actually a breeze!

  4. Stantz

    Since when do you eat turkey, veggie-girl? Or was this a throwback to your younger days? How old is that picture, anyway!? :p

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Well, I was not always a vegetarian, and I know this is an amazing recipe so I like to share in my cooking success by giving people a fail proof recipe.

  5. JPorretto

    I tried REALLY hard to read the whole post, but my eyes kept drifting to the recipe. Every time I would (tuuurkey… mmmmm….. dammit there I go again!) start reading again I’d realize I wasn’t comprehending anything and just thinking about butter and lemon on my turkey.

    EXCELLENT (though hunger inducing) post!

    • Eric

      Going to agree with Jeff and say the attention-deficit kicked in right around that turkey recipe, which looks crazy delicious. I only wish I could get someone on-board with me to deep-fry a bird one year, but the general consensus seems to be turkey + deep fryer = house fire.

      Carving sets, though…handy things to have. If ever you’ve seen a person try to carve a turkey without the proper tools, well, it’s not good (whoever thought electric knives were a GOOD idea?!?!) These would most definitely come in handy at many a household and spare some folks an embarrassing attempt at carving a turkey.

  6. Cybernetic SAM

    Haha! Thanks! I am telling you, it is a to die for recipe!

  7. Jill Tooley

    Great post! 😀

    If Thanksgiving were a person, it would be the kid who happens to have a birthday close to Christmas. In other words, people would essentially ignore his/her special day and try to get away with combining holiday gifts and gatherings! Haha…

    I wonder if the turkey recipe would work for Tofurky? Then again, you can’t really stuff a Tofurky, but the basting itself may be really tasty on it! Hmmm…we should try it and find out! 🙂

  8. Cybernetic SAM

    Oh! I definitely think with a few alterations it would work! That is actually a great idea!!!! I just bought my Tofurky loaf last night and I was soooo excited, as Thanksgiving is almost if not my favorite holiday, so many traditions with it that I love and THE FOOOOOD!

  9. Jen

    Great suggestions Serenity! I wouldn’t mind if someone gave me a sweet personalized apron. And your turkey recipe looks really good! Yumm!!!

    I can’t wait for Thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Thanks Jen! Yeah I think that apron is indeed pretty darn nifty!

  10. Alex Brodsky

    My Thanksgiving this year MIGHT consist of making tuna, salmon or vegetable lasagna for another “veggie-girl”. You wouldn’t happen to have any awesomely amazing recipes for those, would you?

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Actually I do! Let me know which one you want to make and I get the recipe to ya! 😉

  11. Joseph Giorgi

    The Turkey Stress Ball is a memorable standout among our seasonal selections. Nice pick! And that cutlery set would be ideal as a holiday giveaway. No client or business associate would pass up an item like that — and they’d certainly remember who gave it to them! And aprons? Well, any practitioner of the culinary arts appreciates a good apron.

    That turkey recipe is making me hungry just reading it. “T-Day” can’t come soon enough! 🙂

    Excellent post!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Thanks Joe! I really picked those items because I feel like they could be put in T-Day Survival Pack and everything would turn out. I agree they would make most excellent giveaways!

  12. Candice J.

    The post was great but that Turkey recipe sounds amazing! I just thought i’d let you know i’m going to try and make it for Thanksgiving for my family. Praying i don’t burn the turkey or my house down, it should be a great addition to our holiday meal!

    • Cybernetic SAM

      Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that! That picture of me with the recipe was the first time I had really ever cooked anything like that before. I was very nervous and convinced it was risky as I could have ruined Thanksgiving, but sure enough it turned out like a dream! So much so that I had to photo document it! Good luck and let me know how it turned out!

  13. Amanda

    I still can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week!!!! Your turkey recipe looks great-I’ll have to give it a try sometime!! I’ve yet to cook an entire turkey, I’ve always just bought the breast…. The whole bird scares me….all the inside stuff, keeping it basted, heck, even cutting it right is intimidating….

  14. Cybernetic SAM

    It is not as bad as it seems. I wouldn’t do it now being a veg-girl, but in the time I did cook I was rather intimidated. Once you start going, you get into a mindset that just works out. Now I am just trying to master making the perfect Tofurky! 🙂

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