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Thanksgiving is almost here, so it’s time to start thinking about what to make for the big day! To get some inspiration, we asked Inkers to share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

Mark R., one of our product managers, shares his favorite stuffing recipe. Rice and quinoa replace the usual bread to make this version naturally gluten free!

Ojibway Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans
From Chef David Wallach

1 1/3 cup Wild Rice
1 1/3 cup Quinoa
1 cup pecan ‘bits’, toasted
1 cup dried cranberries
2 bunches scallions, THIN sliced
3/4 cup Flatleaf Parsley, coarse chop
3 tbs ev olive oil (oil from garlic confit if you can)
3 tbs Green Cider Vinegar, unfiltered if you can find it.
Ground Malabar pepper

Method: Cover the wild rice in a deep sauce pot with stock about two inches over the depth of the rice, it may take a bit more later. Bring to a boil and then lower to simmer for about 40 minutes, please don’t just let this boil, the rice is delicate and needs to be coaxed into the love mode or you will burst the ‘jackets’ off of the rice and it will lose its crunchiness. so, SIMMER the rice. when done, drain the stock, reserve, let the rice cool.

Toast the quinoa in a pot until it starts to hop and dance a bit, you will know what I mean when you see it happen. Toast the quinoa, shaking frequently so it doesn’t burn then pull off the fire and let cool a bit, shaking. Now WATCH OUT! when adding the stock, this quinoa is hotter than magma right now and will boil over if you just douse it with stock, add the stock a little at a time, let it sputter, add more, sputter, etc. Use the leftover rice stock for this, you will need more to the tune of about two inches depth above grain level. Once done, about a half hour, maybe 25 minutes, toss in the dry cranberries and let sit for three minutes off the fire, drain, discard stock and let cool.

Combine all ingredients. This is better served a tiny bit warm, NOT hot, not cold.

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Thanksgiving is almost here, so it’s time to start thinking about what to make for the big day! To get some inspiration, we asked Inkers to share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

Jennifer J., one of our team environment coordinators, shared her Mom’s stuffing recipe. She takes classic stuffing and makes it her own with the addition of apples and almonds!

Mom’s Stuffing

2 Bags Pepperidge Farms Stuffing mix the crumbly kind – not the cubes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 cups medium-diced yellow onion (2 large)
2 cups medium-diced celery (3 large stalks)
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and large diced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted

In a large saute pan, melt the butter and add the onion, celery, apples, parsley, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Saute for 10 minutes, until the mixture is soft.

Combine the stuffing mix and cooked vegetables in a large bowl and add the chicken stock, and almonds.

Stuff in the bird (my choice) or cook in a buttered casserole dish. Serves 10 – 12 stuffing lovers.

We have a really fun Thanksgiving tradition. The Friday after Thanksgiving we all grab our snowshoes and head up to the Campground about 20 minutes from our house. We have sleds full of hot Cocoa, coffee, pastries, and turkey sandwiches. We hike it all up to the top where the camp sites are- dig out a fire ring and picnic table. We usually spend more then half the day, eating, laughing, sledding, and skiing. From there usually a lot of the family has to head home, but with some really good memories!
-Jennifer J.

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Thanksgiving is almost here, so it’s time to start thinking about what to make for the big day! To get some inspiration, we asked Inkers to share their favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

Chase D.’s, sweet potato goodness will make sweet potato haters do a double take! Outside of his job as a production artist at CustomInk, Chase is a chef who hosts pop-ups, makes guest appearances at some of Reno’s finest restaurants, and is in the process of opening up one of his own. Needless to say, he has a few rad recipes!

Sweet Potato Goodness

Yields 12 Servings so bump it up or down proportionally as you like

4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 slices Guanciale or Pancetta (if you don’t have either, smoked thick cut bacon is a decent substitute, but shoot for the other two as they have nice, creamy fat that renders down perfectly for the rest of the dish)
1 pound Spanish onions, thinly sliced not diced
1 cup pure maple syrup (this is where you can’t skimp. Buy the grade A stuff. It’s got way more body than you’d think and offers more depth than the ‘maple syrup’ that you get for pancakes which is pretty much watery corn syrup)
2 tbsp fresh thyme flowers (just pinch the top of the stalk and run your fingers down to the base to easily remove the thyme flowers)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the sweet potato chunks, olive oil, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl, and spread the sweet potatoes out onto a large rimmed baking sheet.

Roast in the preheated oven until browned and tender, about 40 minutes; stir / shake the pan after the first 20 minutes.

Cook the guanciale/pancetta/bacon until crisp and brown in a large skillet over medium heat, about 10 minutes (the lower and slower you cook these products, the more fat that will be rendered resulting in crunchy not chewy fat); transfer guanciale/pancetta/bacon to a bowl, but leave the grease in the skillet. Cook the onions in the grease until browned, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low, and cook the onions until very soft, brown, and sweet, another 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often. Mix the onions with the guanciale/pancetta/bacon in the bowl, and set aside.

Pour the maple syrup into the hot skillet with the thyme, and bring to a rolling boil. Boil the syrup until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Place the roasted sweet potatoes and onion-guanciale/pancetta/bacon mixture into the skillet, and stir to coat the vegetables with maple glaze. Transfer to a serving dish.

Feel free to smear on crusty bread, stack some leftover turkey and stuffing on top, and let those stretchy pants do their job.

“This recipe was developed while I was living abroad in Italy. As you know, Italians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving…well not the American holiday. Everyday in Italy is pretty much a feast, but my fellow American friends and I still wanted to explore our country’s tradition halfway across the world and share it with some of our new foreign friends.

I lived in front of an open air market that would start bustling every single morning at about 5 A.M. and they always had the best of the best. Local everything…all the time….always. After having to gather ingredients often for the restaurant I worked at, Tre Re, I was often tasked with coming up with a special for the day. When November came, it gave me an excuse to test out some new ideas to share with guests of the restaurant and my friends. After a few trial runs and a few cases of wine, Sweet Potato Crack was born. It was the perfect dish to show Italians what Thanksgiving in America was like. It’s hearty, warm, inviting, nostalgic, and gives the taste buds all the sweet, salty, and savory notes it could want.

To me this is the perfect dish that can be paired up or down so easily. It’s rustic, yet a little refined, and I hope you all give it a try this holiday season as I promise it won’t disappoint.”
– Chase D.

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In October 2015, CustomInk and Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic granted the wish of an Arizona teen, whose wish was to design t-shirts with us! Eric Hans, who has autism and a form of Muscular Dystrophy, made the trip to the east coast to be an honorary ‘Inker’ for two days and bring his wish to life.

First, Eric visited CustomInk’s headquarters in Fairfax, where he had orientation (including having his headshot taken, receiving the grand tour and meeting CustomInk CEO Marc Katz) before sitting down at his desk with the art team and getting to work designing t-shirts.

Eric then headed to CustomInk’s In-house Production Facility in Charlottesville for a continued tour, and to personally print the t-shirts he designed!

Watch this video to learn more about Eric and his special visit with CustomInk:

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“Volleyball Tournament” and “Dream…Believe…Dance!! What a team!!” are the winners of this week’s Ink of the Week contest!

This co-ed volleyball team practiced and trained for nearly a year to prepare themselves for a Labor Day tournament (hence the eat, sleep, and volleyball art on the design). Knowing they wanted matching jerseys for the big game, they turned to the artists at CustomInk to help bring their design idea to life. Win or lose, the team sure did have a memorable day in their custom shirts!

Repeat customer, Justine, returned this fall to order custom tanks and t-shirts for her dance studio. Pictured here are some of her dancers, moms, and teachers proudly wearing their new gear as they practice for Dance for the Cure, a performance dedicated to raising money for breast cancer research.

Visit the contest and Like your favorites.

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