The Great Thanksgiving Challenge – Free Pressure Cooker Giveaway

In the spirit of all things new and fun we are inviting you to the Great Thanksgiving Challenge.

That’s right. Come on over and join us at the kid’s table for an elbows out non-boring small talk free haven of good food made fast. Ok, it’s not always about making things quick, but it is about learning something new.

We challenged ourselves to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner in our pressure cooker, and the weird thing is I think it worked.

Yes we overcooked our first turkey and had to make another one (it was still pretty good just basically falling off the bones), and we had to make the cornbread twice because we ate the first batch before the video compilation day, but it was worth it. We learned how to make new recipes and more about the advantages and disadvantages to pressure cooking.

Here’s what we made (remaining posts over the next few days):
How to cook a turkey
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Sweet Cornbread
Green Beans & Toasted Almonds
Mashed potatoes
Stuffing
Turkey Stock
Pumpkin Cheesecake

The Great Thanksgiving Challenge

Here’s what we are challenging you to do:

1. Try to make something new this holiday.

Cooking Newbies: If you are new to cooking we challenge you to take that first step and try something simple, it doesn’t need to be a pressure cooker recipe or an all day thing, just find something that you know everybody really loves, find some cool videos showing how to make it, and take a stab at it.
Cooking regulars:If you are a regular cooker maybe take a step back and try something completely from scratch, or really dig down into a recipe and understand what makes it work. For example we’ve “made” green bean casserole before, but what we really did was maybe more assembling than making. Take some extra time this holiday and really get dirty. An awesome example is Alton Brown’s Green Bean Casserole. (he’s the master)

2. Share what you know

Maybe you just learned it, maybe you’ve known it since you were 8. Share a recipe, show someone how to make something, tell them the carrots are purple because they came from the farmer’s market. Cooking is about sharing and that’s what we challenge you to do.

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~W.T. Purkiser

In honor of the Great Thanksgiving Challenge:

We are giving away a Free Pressure Cooker

Fagor Splendid 6 qt Pressure Cooker

Free Fagor Splendid 6 qt Pressure Cooker

We are excited to give away to one lucky winner a 6 qt Fagor Splendid stainless steel pressure cooker! All we ask is that you try the challenge above (honor system, but we would love to hear about what you did) and help us spread the word below. The contest goes until November 30th, 2011. (If you don’t want or need a cooker maybe it’s a good way to cross someone off your list. :~D )

There are a few ways to enter and you can do one or all of the following methods once for extra chances. You can use just your first name and e-mail in the options below if you want. Here’s how to enter:



Good luck in the contest.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We can’t thank everyone enough for your questions, comments and feedback. We love hearing from you.

P.S. If you haven’t done so already, shake off those pre-Thanksgiving advertising messages and take the pledge to respect the bird.


Thanks for reading.

"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate." ~Julia ChildΒ Β 
Why learn pressure cooking?
It's 7 pm. The end of the work day stomach rumbles...

In one hand, a take out menu. In the other hand, the refrigerator door...its contents staring back almost as blankly as we are towards them. We want a homemade meal, but also want something quick and simple to make.
1. Simple and quick recipes requiring basic skills to become proficient in the kitchen.
2. Quality ingredients, not necessarily 100% organic, but meals without artificials and chemistry class additives.
3. To understand more of the story of our food and take small steps towards self-reliance.

It's true, there are many benefits to pressure cooking: the time savings, the taste, a small step towards self-reliance, sustainability... but the real benefit is in what we learn as we redefine our relationship with food. Good food can be fast. Good food can be easy.

Pressure Cooker Recipes
Looking for more Pressure Cooker Recipes? We've got'em here.
   Get new recipes and videos in your inbox.
   Looking for a pressure cooker? Read our pressure cooker reviews.
   Our favorite Pressure Cooker Cookbooks including the
   food book that changed my life.

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

michael November 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I’m glad i found this. I am planning on pressure cooking at least my turkey. maybe some sweet potatoes and regular potatoes as well. We are celebrating early to accommodate a family member who is working on thanksgiving so I will have about 3 hours from when I get home till we are serving.

Leslie November 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Thanks Michael,

We should have more details on pressure cooker turkey up soon. Let us know how it turns out.

Ben November 16, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Great idea. I don’t have a pressure cooker yet, but I’m sold on getting one. Maybe next year I’ll be ready for this.

Deborah Rosen November 17, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I taught my niece our family’s traditional stuffing recipe via the internet last week. It’s her first Thanksgiving in her new home and she’s inviting family over. It was fun – a little difficult what with taking photos and sending them off with each step – and although she’s far from me, I felt very close to her in the process.

Suzanne K November 17, 2011 at 9:23 pm

I’m going to make twice baked potatoes, but change it up with both white AND sweet potatoes!

April November 18, 2011 at 7:01 am

I don’t have a pressure cooker, but would love to have one, learn more, and experiment with different recipes. I have a small kitchen & not a lot of spare time, so a pressure cooker seems ideal to me. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the info and the give-a-way chance!

Leslie November 18, 2011 at 8:23 am

@SuzanneK Ooo! We both LOVE twice baked potatoes. Never thought to try it with sweet potatoes though! What a tasty idea!

Are the sweet potatoes going to be stuffed with sweet stuff, or savory like white potatoes?

Leslie November 18, 2011 at 8:25 am

@DeborahRosen What a great way to share an experience with someone when you couldn’t be there. I love how “close” technology can make us, even when we are miles apart.

(and stuffing’s always been one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving. It’s a very close call between stuffing and mashed potatoes) :~)

Michael November 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I’ll be pressure cooking garbanzos to make hummus – a new (?) Thanksgiving tradition.

Susan November 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Tempted to make green bean casserole from scratch. I love Alton’s showing us how to make the ‘durkee’ onions from scratch.

Gregory Wright November 18, 2011 at 10:18 pm

MAking a Thai pumpkin curry soup and of course a mash of potatoes and celery root.

Sigrid Trombley November 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I don’t know how you did the video, but it was very clever.

Heather G November 19, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I love the blog , esp while caring for my mate who is battling cancer and both economizing and wanting healthy as possible grub. Like many I am working to dispel thoughts of my mom blasting a whole pot of potatoes through the tiny pressure cock onto the ceiling! But then I wouldn’t have the hilarious memory (and she never gave up that pressure cooker-still has it!) Thus I can be thankful for the OLD pots as well as the NEW ones that help avoid such mishaps!

Edward Antrobus November 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I will not be participating in the challenge this year. We are going to the in-laws for dinner. But that brings me to what I am thankful for this year. 1)my wife and her parents have reconciled their past differences and are a family again. and 2)I don’t have to do this dishes this year!

Dee November 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm

A pressure cooker would be a much welcomed addition to my kitchen and would certainly make whipping up certain meals easier! πŸ™‚ And this Thanksgiving I am thankful for a roof over my head, my beautiful family, and my great educational experience so far! πŸ™‚

Leslie November 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm

@Heather G. So sorry to hear about your mate with cancer. We’ll keep him in our thoughts!

And wow – I can only imagine the mess that potatoes on the ceiling would be. As long as no-one got hurt, I don’t think I would be able to stop laughing if that happened here.

Leslie November 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm

@Singrid Thanks!

Leslie November 20, 2011 at 10:33 pm

@Susan I know, isn’t that video great? I’m tempted to make it even though we are going to my aunts for Thanksgiving this year.

Nancy Goodman November 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I used the pc to make brown rice for the first time! Love it! Will think about getting rid of my rice cooker…..

Suzanne Kaiser November 24, 2011 at 10:15 am

I used my pressure cooker this morning to prepare the neck of the turkey. My mom always cooked this with onion, and celery, to add it to the dressing – along with the flavored broth. The pressure cooker makes the process go quicker.
I need to replace the ring as it is only my second set of seals on a 29 year old pressure cooker. I received this as a wedding gift and had no idea how to use it when I received it. I now love this!
One of my family’s favorite dishes using this is porcupine meat balls. That is on the menu for tomorrow.
What I’m thankful for – so many things. My family – the love we share, my husband’s job, our health.. I am truly blessed.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Mary November 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I love my pressure cooker. It is one thing I would not be without. I concur with Nancy-it makes great brown rice. It is the only way to go in my opinion. FAST AND EASY!

Claire November 27, 2011 at 8:26 am

i didn’t try the challenge, lol. i’m most thankful for the health and company of my family πŸ™‚

Jade November 27, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I didn’t complete the challenge…because I don’t have a pressure cooker. It’s something I’d love to learn, though! It’s new to me but seems like a really efficient way of cooking.

Sarah November 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I love pressure cooking! I am a newbie so still learning new things specially from your videos, recipes, etc.! I love learning and trying new things. this thanksgiving I made Sweet Potato Pies for the first time and pressure cooked my sweet potatoes instead of bowling them and they turned out so good and it was so quick which I loved!!!!

kasey November 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I did! I didn’t do so well, my experiment didn’t taste the best, but I taught someone how to make awesome mashed potatoes!!

gretchen e. November 29, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I made beef stew for the first time in the pressure cooker last night and I will NEVER wait and do it the SLOW way ever again, it was excellent!!!! Thanks!

cindy November 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm

my experiment wasn’t the best idea

Schmidty November 30, 2011 at 11:16 am

I don’t yet own a pressure cooker but my grandmother did and she loved it! I’d enjoy owning one of my own!

Kelly November 30, 2011 at 11:17 am

I made chicken with mustard, garlic, and onion in the crock pot for Thanksgiving. Delicious.

Patricia Hancock November 30, 2011 at 11:27 am

I made an apple crumb this year. I usually make pie. The thing I am most thankful for is that my inlaws still have their health. My MIL is a breast cancer survivor and FIL is a stroke survivor. It was nice having them at my home for the holiday.

Stacy T November 30, 2011 at 11:33 am

I did not complete the challenge but I did bake my usual pumpkin pie.
I am thankful to have spent my Thanksgiving with family this year and for everyone being healthy and happy.

Leslie November 30, 2011 at 11:38 am

@cindy – oh no! What happened?

Leslie November 30, 2011 at 11:38 am

@Gretchen E. Awesome! We made some this Monday, so we’d have lunches all week. Yummy!

linda s November 30, 2011 at 11:41 am

My gram and mom taught me to pressure growing up (a long time ago) and I love it!

Diane W November 30, 2011 at 11:52 am

My sister and share recipes from our childhood. My sister asked about a hungarian goulash that my father use to make. Our father loved pressure cooking. Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook page 972. Very rich comfort food which my sister could believe I remembered and could share the recipe. My father has been gone for over 16 years now. He still lives on in our memories and the cooking skills he passed on to his six children.

Sherry Conrad November 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Made 2 new to us desserts- supposedly self crusting pies- flavor was great- texture really off.

Definitely most thankful for family.

Anne November 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I made roasted carrots for something different for thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately I didn’t roast them long enough, so most of them weren’t cooked. I will try again though!

Shawn Farigan November 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Thanks for the chance!

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