Thanksgiving Favorites

Thanksgiving Favorites

Usually I’m all about planning out a Thanksgiving feast. I research new recipes, I make a plan on when I’ll start each dish, figure out what I can make ahead…you know a game plan. However, this year I’m trying to take it easy since little baby might come anytime. Plus, standing and cooking in the kitchen for a lengthy amount of time just sounds like a backache, literally. I feel a bit like I am giving in, but I know it’s the right thing to do. Being 38 weeks pregnant for Thanksgiving is a bummer, man.

To take it easier, we decided to order a small pre-cooked turkey from Whole Foods this year. I was actually impressed that the price wasn’t as terrible as I anticipated given a raw turkey plus all the brining and cooking ingredients would come out not that far off…not to mention the price of your time and labor. Hopefully it’s delicious!

Another shortcut this year is on dessert. Our realtor, Harber Home Group, offers a free apple pie every to his past customers every year. This year we’re taking them up on it. It pains me not to make dessert. Baking is one of my favorites. If we get the pie and it’s not up to snuff, then I’m hunkering down and baking something (see below: Dessert).

I already make the stuffing and froze it, so all I need to do is defrost it. Then, I’ll make a simple side the day-off and there we have our feast. It’s just Josh, Caleb, and me so it doesn’t have to be a huge meal. Just a nice way to celebrate together and eat some delicious food.

Maybe you’re reading all this and saying, “man, I’m totally down for a huge feast with all the homemade fixings.” Power to you! I would reply telling you to check out this game plan I wrote a couple years ago . Also, How Sweet Eats timeline or the Faux Martha Cooking Schedule have some organized schedules for you.

Or, maybe you want to know some of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes. You can pick and chose if you want to make any of them. YES! I love sharing, let’s do this.

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Shaken, Not Stirred, Rice Colored Easter Eggs

Shaken, Not Stirred, Rice Colored Easter Eggs


I know I said I was going to do Kool-aid dyed eggs this year, but I lied. I didn’t know I was lying, but I did. I was surprised to find the markets all lacking in Kool-aid flavors in the small packets. I wasn’t about to purchase a big thing of Kool-aid powder nor was I ready to go on a crusade to different stores to find it. I went to two different Safeways and Target, but nothing. Sure, I could have gone to Fred Meyers or Walmart, but I decided it wasn’t meant to be. 

I also think the Kool-aid idea went down in favor ever since I came across this rice idea. The rice seemed like a less-mess and more kid-friendly craft. Kool-aid can be a terrible stain to get out. And I imagine Caleb would want to keep trying to grab the eggs in the cups. So I swapped ideas last minute. 

Overall, I felt like this craft a mom win moment. Caleb was intrigued by the whole process and wanted to touch and do all. the. things. I don’t think he would have been able to be as involved in the Kool-aid, or regular dye projects. He’s too hands-on — a curious fellow, I tell you. He wanted to put the egg into the container and then back out when the coloring process was over. He loved shaking the containers, although I did have to get him to go easy on the shaking a few times. When we took them out after shaking, he said, “wow!” Ahh, too cute. He even straightened the egg’s position in the crate. 

The whole activity only took like 30 minutes, or so. We did it outside so clean-up was easy and no worries about too much mess (and thank goodness for no rain!) 

Here’s how we did it…

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Hip Hippity Hooray for Easter

Hip Hippity Hooray for Easter

Drumroll, please…. I am happy to announce my Easter post is finally up! No joke, I’ve been working on this post for over a week. Guys, I’ve been stressing about it, too. I was grumpy yesterday because I felt it was so late that it would all be irrelevant. Shipping is not an option at this point unless you do Amazon Prime. Then again, I think 98% of our purchases are Aamzon, so maybe it's okay. And you have plenty of time to shop still, right? Just say you do, please, it’ll make me feel better. 

But enough of that. Easter is next week, and we have a lot to cover. There are things to wear, meals to cook, baskets to fill, eggs to hunt, and bunnies to visit. Are you with me? Huzzah!

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Let's Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day: Dinner, Treats, Crafts

Let's Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day: Dinner, Treats, Crafts

I feel oddly committed to the Saint Patrick's Day holiday. Or, well, maybe it's not so odd. I do have the maiden name O'Neill. Growing up I thought it was such a cool last name even though that apostrophe caused so much trouble in computer systems. Not to mention, there is enough Irish in my father for him receive dual citizenship. Some of that got past down to me - somewhere about 25% Irish. That's enough to make my Irish eyes smile. Oh, and fun fact, if I had been born a boy, my name would have been Patrick. That's all pretty Irish. 

To celebrate, my mom would cook corned beef and cabbage for Saint Patrick's Day when I was growing up. However, my dad would tell you that this is one of the last things you'll actually find in Ireland for Saint Patrick's Day. He actually can say this because he has been to Ireland. He's been more than me (I've been once). The first trip was when we all went together as a family. I was much younger - high school, I believe - and all I recall eating was tomato soup and brown bread. Oh, and there was an Italian restaurant I really enjoyed. I also remember being very cold. Beautiful, but cold.

Okay, enough of my Irish jibber jabber and memory lane stuff. Let's talk celebrating. Every year, I make an effort to have a meal, treat, and/or craft. Generally, they end up being something green, Guinness, rainbow, leprechaun, or shamrock themed. But I hate it when someone says, I made avocado toast and deem it Saint Patrick's Day fare. That's all wrong. Just wrong. I want to be a little more authentic, but it's tough to do and not as cute or fun. So I tried to find a middle ground.

I started by consulting Wikipedia to be sure I was accurately informed on Saint Patricks' Day. I learned that Saint Patrick was thought to bring Christianity to Ireland. Green is associated with Catholics in Ireland and that it's said Saint Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity. So we can say green and shamrocks are authentic. Of course, Guinness is authentic. I'm not sure about the rainbows, though. Now that we know what's more authentic, let's talk food and crafts.

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