Surprisingly Good-for-You Thanksgiving Day Recipes

Thanksgiving certainly isn’t the healthiest holiday of the year, but did you know that there are a few key dishes that are actually much more nutritious than you would expect? Don’t write off all of the dishes on your Thanksgiving table, because some of them are actually filled with hidden health benefits. Here are just a few healthy holiday recipes that you can be truly thankful for.

Sweet Potato-Pecan Casserole [foodnetwork.com]
It’s no secret that sweet potatoes are filled with beneficial nutrients, and by combining them with crunchy pecans and a few natural sweeteners, you can create an indulgent casserole that won’t wreak havoc on your diet.

Pear, Prosciutto and Hazelnut Stuffing [eatingwell.com]
For most people, the bread is only half of what makes Thanksgiving stuffing so delicious. The rich, flavorful seasonings also make this holiday staple a menu essential, and this unique stuffing recipe cuts back on carbs while incorporating even more flavor than ever before.

Roasted Turkey with Balsamic Sauce [mayoclinic.org]
While deep-fried turkey recipes attempt to sabotage this otherwise lean meat in the name of adding flavor, don’t be tricked into firing up the fryer. Roasting your Thanksgiving bird gives it just as much rich taste, and this recipe even tops it with balsamic sauce for an unexpected punch.

Fall Soup Guides to Keep You Warm All Season Long

As soon as there’s a chill in the air and leaves on the ground, you begin daydreaming about hot soups, hearty stews, and spicy chilies when your stomach starts to rumble. If you want to expand on your basic chicken noodle recipe, these delicious fall soup guides are sure to give you some inspiration.

Chow
The Chow Fall Soup Recipes page is full of creative and seasonal soups that you’ll love to make this autumn. With high-quality, mouth-watering photos and a gallery full of recipes to browse through, you’ll never know what delicious fall soup you’ll stumble upon next with Chow’s expansive soup guide.

Good Food
The BBC’s Good Food magazine is full of delicious recipes, but its soup recipes are really something to talk about. This delicious guide aims to help readers use everyday ingredients right from your own refrigerator or pantry to create warming, nutritious soups for your friends and family this fall season. Good Food is jam packed with recipes for soups from the unique nettle soup to your basic tomato soup, with a bit of everything in between.

Fine Cooking
If you’re a more experienced home chef looking for elegant, hearty soup recipes, Fine Cooking is a wonderful resource. The cooking magazine’s website features a Favorite Fall Soups section with recipes such as White Bean Soup with Wild Mushrooms and Chive Mascarpone that make delightful meals when the weather gets chilly.

Bring the Fall Season Indoors With These Home Decor Projects

The change in seasons from summer to fall is one of the most dramatic, from the colorful leaves filling the trees to the acorns strewn across the ground. Bring the beauty of autumn into your home with a fun and creative DIY project that you can customize to your own liking.

Pumpkin Basket How-To [Martha Stewart]
If you usually decorate your home with plump pumpkins, get a bit more creative this year by turning one of those pumpkins into a basket to hold fresh flowers, pine cones, or other decorative accessories. Use a keyhole saw to hollow out the pumpkin and create a handle across the top that looks just like a real basket.

Fall in a Jar [Midwest Living]
Natural terrariums are some of this year’s most popular DIY projects, so make one that’s filled with fall by using these simple instructions. Fill a glass terrarium with bright green moss, then top it with miniature pumpkins and cut leaves for a perfectly autumnal look.

Botanical Leaf Pages [Real Simple]
You’ve likely seen vintage-inspired framed botanical prints lining the walls of chic homes, so create your own just in time for fall by using a few fallen leaves and some wax paper. Using a standard iron on low heat, press rows of leaves together between two sheets of wax paper and get creative with the arrangement.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

If you carve a pumpkin this fall season, you might want to try roasting the pumpkin seeds instead of tossing them out after carving. Although it may seem like a complicated endeavor, roasting pumpkin seeds is actually very easy, enjoyable, and delicious. Use these simple steps to roast pumpkin seeds at home.

  1. Scoop the seeds. After you cut the pumpkin, scoop the seeds out using a large spoon. They’ll be covered in some pretty unpleasant stringy bits, so try to remove as many of those as possible while scooping.
  2. Dry with a towel. Next, dry the seeds as much as possible with a clean towel. They won’t get completely dry, but you should try to remove as much of the excess moisture as possible.
  3. Oil and season. Drizzle the pumpkin seeds with a bit of olive oil and season however you please. You can use simple salt, cinnamon, and sugar or even some spicy jalapeno if you’re feeling adventurous.
  4. Spread on a baking tray. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet, making sure to arrange them in a single layer.
  5. Roast. Finally, roast the seeds in the oven for approximately 20 to 25 minutes at 325 degrees. If you choose to, you can stir the seeds once or twice during baking to ensure that they bake thoroughly all over. Once they’re roasted, simply cool and enjoy.

How To Roast Perfect Pumpkin Seeds – Easy, Crunchy, Addictive! [Oh She Glows]
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds [Pumpkin Patches and More]
How To Roast Pumpkin and Squash Seeds [The Kitchn]

Easy Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Memory

Bombarded by a seemingly infinite amount of obligations every day, most people fall victim to memory slips every now and then. And while you likely can't cut down on your daily duties, you can implement certain tips and tricks to help boost your memory. Here are a few:

1) Create a designated catch-all spot.
Position a small bowl or tray by your front door, and use it to hold your keys, wallet, phone, sunglasses, and other easily misplaced items. The trick here is to get into the habit of always placing said items into the catch-all as soon as you walk through the door. This way, you always know where to find those oft-misplaced items!

2) Shift into a lower gear.
Allow your brain a moment or two to catch up. For instance, instead of speeding through personal introductions, really make an effort to remember the person's name. You could make a point to repeat the name throughout your conversation, or if you exchange business cards, you could jot down some of the person's identifying factors onto the back.

3) Make a note.
Rely on sticky notes to provide visual reminders. Tape a note to your front door, alarm clock—wherever you're certain to notice the reminder.

How to Remember That Thing You Always Forget [Wise Bread]
20 Memory Tricks You’ll Never Forget [Reader's Digest]
11 tricks and tips to get the most from your memory [Harvard Health Publications]

Happy First Day Of Autumn!

In 2014, the autumnal equinox brings the fall season to the Northern Hemisphere on: September 22 at 10:29 P.M. EDT.

Questions and Answers About Fall

Question: Why aren't there exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness on the fall equinox?

Answer: On the equinoxes, the very center of the Sun sets just 12 hours after it rises. But the day begins when the upper edge of the Sun reaches the horizon (which happens a bit before the center rises), and it doesn't end until the entire Sun has set. Not only that, but the Sun is actually visible when it is below the horizon, as Earth's atmosphere refracts the Sun's rays and bends them in an arc over the horizon. According to our former astronomer, George Greenstein, "If the Sun were to shrink to a starlike point and we lived in a world without air, the spring and fall equinoxes would truly have 'equal nights.'"

Question: The autumn leaves seem to be hanging on longer than usual in my neck of the woods. Is this an indication of winter weather to come?

Answer: There's an old weather proverb that states, "If autumn leaves are slow to fall, prepare for a cold winter." Or perhaps you just haven't had the kind of wind or rain needed to shake the leaves loose from their branches. But look on the bright side—you get to look at the beautiful autumn foliage for a little bit longer!

Kid-Friendly Museums in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.'s Smithsonian Institution provides some of the most visited museums in the world, and their vast collections have something for everyone, including the kids.

Here are two D.C. museums perfect for both kids and adults:

Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Also known as the National Zoo, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park is home to more than 400 species of animals. They offer daily tours and interactive exhibits just about every day out of the year. Stop by the Asia Trail to see the famous giant pandas, clouded leopards, and sloth bears. Go on safari through the African Savanna exhibit to find cheetahs, Cape buffalo, black rhinos, and more.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
See for yourself why the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History is the most visited natural history museum in the world. The kids will never grow tired of the more than 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts. Enjoy a guided tour that will take you back in time, or set your gaze upon the world famous Hope Diamond. The little ones will love to walk among mummies and grow their minds with one of the richest collections of historical artifacts in the world. The museum is open 364 days a year, and admission is free of charge.

Washington Redskins 2014 Season Schedule!

The Washington Redskins are currently 1-1-0 for the 2014 Season!

Their next game is this Sunday, September 21st against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Tune in on FOX at 1:00 to watch!

Next up…

Thursday, Sept. 25 vs. NEW YORK GIANTS (CBS) 8:25 p.m
Monday, Oct. 6 vs. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (ESPN) 8:30 p.m
Sunday, Oct. 12 at Arizona Cardinals (FOX) 4:25 p.m
Sunday, Oct. 19 vs. TENNESSEE TITANS (CBS) 1 p.m
Monday, Oct. 27 at Dallas Cowboys (ESPN) 8:30 p.m
Sunday, Nov. 2 at Minnesota Vikings (FOX) 1 p.m
Sunday, Nov. 9 BYE
Sunday, Nov. 16 vs. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (FOX) 1 p.m
Sunday, Nov. 23 at San Francisco 49ers (FOX) ! 4:25 p.m
Sunday, Nov. 30 at Indianapolis Colts (FOX) 1 p.m
Sunday, Dec. 7 vs. ST. LOUIS RAMS (FOX) 1 p.m
Sunday, Dec. 14 at New York Giants (FOX) 1 p.m
Saturday, Dec. 20 vs. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (TBD)
Sunday, Dec. 28 vs. DALLAS COWBOYS (FOX) 1 p.m

POSTSEASON:
Jan. 3-4: NFL Wild Card Weekend
Jan. 10-11: NFL Divisional Weekend
Sunday, Jan. 18: NFL Conference Championship Games
Sunday, Jan. 25: 2015 NFL Pro Bowl (University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.)
Sunday, Feb. 1: Super Bowl XLIX (University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, Ariz.)

Beauty Is in Bloom at These Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., is home to some of the most treasured museums in the world. These two garden-based collections are certainly the greenest, and many D.C.-based plant lovers may even say they're the most beautiful.

United States National Arboretum
Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., the United States National Arboretum is a calming retreat from the hustle and bustle of the nation's capital. Walk through numerous elaborate gardens, admiring the countless species of trees and plants. The arboretum is not only home to plants, but also houses several pieces of fine art, including "Split Ritual," a beloved American sculpture by Beverly Pepper. This historic site is also home to the National Capitol Columns, which were once an original piece of the Capitol Building's architecture.

United States Botanic Garden
Enjoy a tranquil walk at the United States Botanic Garden, which occupies the grounds of the United States Capitol. Here, you'll be reminded of the large role that plants play in our every day lives. The garden is open 365 days a year, and it frequently provides interactive classes that are both fun and educational. Stroll through the peaceful gardens on your own, or take advantage of one of the many tours this living museum has to offer.

Let’s Get Out of Town: The Cheapest Labor Day Travel Deals

Get away this Labor Day!

Here is a list of the top 10 cheapest Labor Day Travel Destinations:

1.) Orlando, Fla./Disney World
2.) Telluride, Colorado
3.) Palm Springs, California
4.) San Juan, Puerto Rico
5.) Sonoma, California
6.) Nassau Bahamas
7.) Cape Cod, Massachusetts
8.) Skaneateles, N.Y.
9.) Hilton Head Island, S.C.
10.) New York City