Over the years, my family has gotten a kick out of my turkey creations at Thanksgiving. There’s been the turkey vegetable platter, turkey cupcakes, turkey fruit plate, turkey oreos, and the turkey-topped cheesecake (we created the cheesecake topping for a contest sponsored by the canned pear industry, and won $1000 gift certificate to a school supply company, which we donated to a school that serves an underprivileged population) :

Looking around the interwebs for ideas for this year’s turkey creation, I was impressed by the many creative and whimsical ideas out there.  So, just for fun, here is a roundup of turkey-themed foods to amuse your family with this Thanksgiving.

Turkey veggie trays are easy and colorful, limited only by the produce available and your imagination:


Wow ’em with this one from Hidden Valley

Likewise, turkey fruit trays are easy and colorful:

You could try your hand at a melon turkey:

Although this turkey melon masterpiece puts all others to shame:

melon turkey 1

 Found at homecrux.com

There’s lots of cute ways to say “Happy Thanksgiving” to your little ones:

A turkey charcuterie platter will keep folks happy while the turkey finishes roasting:

A turkey cheese ball makes a whimsical appetizer:

Pretzel turkeys are quite popular:

This is my kind of turkey pretzel!


Philly Pretzel Factory

And this turkey pretzel roll would make a great turkey sandwich, don’t you agree?


Philly Pretzel Factory

Deviled egg turkeys prove that this popular appetizer is not just for Easter:


I wish I had the time and patience to make this magnificent Rice Krispie treat turkey filled with M&Ms:

rice krispie turkey

Found at musingsfromatangledmind.com

And finally, a round of applause for this M&M artwork (be sure to check out the artist’s other M&M creations here):


Perhaps one of these will inspire you to create your own Thanksgiving turkey.  If so, I’d love to see what you come up with!


Recently I was invited to try Pie Five Pizza Co.,, which was named one of “10 Hot New Restaurant Chains from Established Brands” by Forbes.  I’ve seen it described as the “Chipotle of pizza.”  Currently, Pie Five  has locations in close to 25 states, including 4 in the Houston area.

As an enticement to visit the restaurant, they sent me a $25 gift card.  I headed over to the one in the Heights at 107 Yale Street, Suite 400, which is close to where I work, bringing two others from my office.

Inside, the modest restaurant was clean and comfortable.

Pie Five’s premise is individual handcrafted pizzas with homemade sauces and fresh ingredients, made to order in about five minutes (thus the name, Pie Five).  Step up to the counter, where a “Pie-artisan” will help you build your perfect pie.  Start with the crust — choose from artisan thin, classic pan, whole grain, Neapolitan, or gluten free thin.  (Did you hear that — gluten free pizza!).  Next, select from seven different sauces, four cheeses, eight meats, and sixteen veggies.

pie five

PIzzas cost $6.99 regardless of the number of toppings — go wild!  For those that suffer from indecisiveness, there are a dozen or so “recipes” you can choose from, such as  Five Star (Tuscan marinara, cheddar, pork sausage, pepperoni, beef, green and black olives, red and green peppers, and red onions), and my boss’s favorite, High Five (Tuscan marinara, cheddar, pepperoni, Italian sausage, bacon, ham, and beef).

Each individual pizza is baked in a specially-designed oven.  Within minutes of getting your drink and being seated, your pizza arrives, piping hot.  Don’t our pizzas look great?

I need to stop here and tell you, as a PSA,  that the spicy Sriracha marinara really is spicy — and delicious.  Likewise, the oven-roasted tomatoes, which I tried out of curiousity, are really great — garlicky and bathed in olive oil.  Oh, and be sure to ask for “magic dust” —   a blend of Parmesan, Romano and Italian seasoning — to sprinkle on your pizza.  It puts those sad little containers of parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes to shame.
Fresh salads are also available.  Each salad is served in a pizza crust bowl, and starts with chopped romaine lettuce.  As with the pizzas, you can add as many ingredients as you’d like.
There are also a few dessert offerings to top off your meal, including turtle brownies and chocolate chip pizza cookies.  The brownie we sampled was light and cakey, not too sweet, and as the staff will tell you, makes a great mid-afternoon snack.
I had no expectations going in.  If anything, I presumed the pizza would not be much different than the take-out pizzas from certain national chains that my teenage son orders frequently.  But I was happily mistaken.  The pizza was really good, and everyone enjoyed creating their own pizza (especially without extra charges for toppings) — in fact, we’ve already been back.  It came out in less than five minutes, as advertised.  We joked that it almost came out too fast — we were wanting to linger a little longer before heading back to the office.  Because the restaurant sits in the middle of what is a essentially a food court across from Wal-Mart,  and is surrounded by numerous casual eateries, it can be easy to overlook.  I encourage you to seek it out and give it a try.

Pie Five Pizza Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato