7 different ways to cook a turkey


by melissa Posted in Homeowner resources /   November 20, 2014

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Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family, football and arguably the best—and most anticipated—meal of the year. The cranberry sauce, stuffing and sweet potato casserole will definitely whet guests' appetites. But we can probably all agree; on that fourth Thursday of November, it's basically about the bird.

7 ways to cook a turkey

So, let's talk turkey! More specifically, the many mouthwatering methods in which the star of your fall feast can be prepared. Although the classic roasted bird (like this one) still reigns supreme over many Thanksgiving dinner tables, unconventional cooking techniques are steadily growing in popularity. Here we share seven nontraditional turkey recipes that your guests will gladly gobble up.

  1. Grilled. You throw burgers, dogs, chicken—even veggies—on the barbeque. So why not try your hand at grilling an entire turkey? The Greatest Grilled Turkey recipe from allrecipes.com yields a bird that's juicy, tender and less than 500 calories per delectable serving.  

  2. Smoked. Want to wow your dinner guests with a smoky, succulent alternative to traditional roasted turkey? This five-star Sage and Thyme Smoked Turkey recipe from myrecipes.com will please even the pickiest palates at your Thanksgiving table. 

  3. Deep fried. Many cooks contend that deep frying a turkey is the best way to lock in its flavor and juices. Follow Alton Brown's delicious Deep-fried Turkey recipe, courtesy of FoodNetwork.com, for a moist, flavorful bird that that will have your company talking (not squawking)!

  4. Bacon wrapped. Bacon, garlic and sage, oh my! Throw in some plump, sweet pears and your guests' taste buds won’t even know what hit them. View this incredible recipe for Bacon-wrapped Turkey with Pear Cider Gravy from Chow.com.

  5. Brown bagged. Searching for a scrumptious, savory turkey recipe that's difficult to fowl up? You'll develop a new appreciation for the basic brown bag after preparing Kidd Kraddick's Famous Brown Bag Turkey, brought to you by Food.com. 

  6. Slow cooked. Considering cooking a whole turkey in your Crock-Pot®? This Crock Pot Turkey recipe offers bountiful flavor, and the folks at JustaPinch.com will walk you through the entire process. It's easier than you might think. A favorite among Pilgrims (well, not really, but only because there were no slow cookers in the 1600s)! 

  7. Sous vide. French for "under vacuum," this trendy technique involves sealing your turkey in an airtight plastic bag and immersing it in a water bath to retain moisture, maintain flavor and ensure an even cook throughout. The Blind Cook's Sous Vide Turkey recipe requires some special equipment, but the results will be well worth it! 

Happy (and tasty) Thanksgiving from our family to yours! Keep following our blog for more appetizing recipes and homeowner resources, and don't forget to check out our Thanksgiving Recipes board on Pinterest.

The advantages of a spec home


by Matt Brady Posted in For buyers /   November 17, 2014

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Timothy in Northern California

If you've been in the market for a brand-new home, you might have heard something about spec homes—or perhaps inventory homes, move-in ready homes or homes under construction. Our personal favorite is quick move-in homes, but they all refer to the same thing: new homes that builders begin construction on before they're under contract to a buyer.

This enables new communities to keep a steady flow of homes for prospective homeowners. It also provides you, the homebuyer, with some special advantages. Read on for how you could benefit from buying a spec home.

Enjoy your new home sooner.
The most obvious perk of buying a spec home is that construction is either already complete or underway, meaning you may be able to close within weeks—or even move in right away! And a quick move-in means you get to enjoy all the exciting qualities of a brand-new home that much sooner.

For example, many spec homes already boast included features selected by professional designers. If you don't enjoy looking through swatches and samples, this can be a big plus. Rather than selecting the details of your home in a design center and envisioning how they'll look in the finished product, you could have your choice of completed spec homes that have been already been professionally designed for timeless beauty and lasting appeal—a window-shopper's delight. That brings us to our next advantage.

Try it on before you buy.
Although most builders have at least one model home you can walk through at a community, there's always the chance that the floor plan you want may not have been built as a model home. When you shop completed spec homes, you'll have the chance to explore every inch of the exact home you'll buy, from the professionally coordinated countertops and cabinets to the storage space in the pantry. Go ahead: bring your tape measure and see how your furniture will fit!


Click on the map below for quick move-in opportunities in your area.

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