10 Tips To Ease Your Thanksgiving Day Meal

 

It’s the beginning of the month and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. The time has come to start planning out our meal for the big day. There are two weeks to go. There is still time to get all of your ducks in order to have a wonderful and stress free Thanksgiving Day. I will share with you ten tips to help ease your preparation for Thanksgiving.

Plan Your Menu Early – Pick out what you will have for dinner early. You still have time to order a fresh turkey or even pick up a frozen one. Better Homes & Garden even has a printable checklist to help easy your pain. Don’t stress out over what the menu should be, keep it simple, yet tasty.

Scan Ads in Sale Papers – Look through your sales papers. Many supermarkets have started their sales for canned goods, fresh produce, turkey’s, chickens, etc.

Delegate Tasks – Ask your guests to bring a dish to help take off some of the pressure from you. Have someone bring a vegetable, a starch, drinks, desserts, even appetizers. You don’t have to cook everything yourself.

Linens – Pick out what the linen you will use for the day. Don’t worry if you don’t have the fancy lace tablecloth. You can use paper ones, most discount stores have very cute table settings that come with matching napkins and cups.

Set The Table – This can be done a day or two beforehand. Get out all of your place settings and have the kids help you set the table. This teaches them etiquette and it gives you one less thing to do on turkey day.

Centerpiece – You don’t need one but you can definitely have one. Did your kids make something in school that you could use? Add a vase with flowers, marbles or a candle to the center of your table.

Defrost the Turkey – Start to defrost your turkey 2-4 days ahead of time, on Thanksgiving your bird will be defrosted and ready to be placed in the oven.

Prep Sides Early – Most of the time you can prepare your side dishes hours or even a day ahead of time. Getting them done early gives you more time with your family.

Games & Snacks for Kids – Do you want to keep the kids occupied while you work in the kitchen? Give them games to play; board games, cards games, coloring pages. Even set them up with some snacks so they have some food to munch on. This is a perfect time to have them create a gingerbread house, decorate sugar cookies or even make Thanksgiving placemats. Check out these craft ideas from BH&G.

Enjoy Family & Friends – Now that you have done all of your work. Take the time to enjoy your family and friends. You have worked hard for this day, planning and organizing every detail. Now it is time to enjoy those who are closest to you.

I hope you have enjoyed these tips and that they help your prepare for a day of thanks with your loved ones.

 


Enjoy National Peanut Butter Month with TS!

Disclaimer: This post does contain affiliate links. Any products purchased through the link I will receive a commission.

National Peanut Butter Month

National Peanut Butter Month 

 

November is National Peanut Month. Tastefully Simple has some really great peanut butter inspired recipes. Below are just a few.

What are some of your favorite peanut butter inspired recipes?


Can’t believe it’s November already!

Family, Food, Tradition

November: Family, Food, Tradition

I really can’t believe it’s November already. I feel like it was just the beginning of summer. November is here and the weather is wonderful, the leaves have started to change and Thanksgiving is coming up. I’m really excited about the holidays, I love them. It gives me more time to spend with family, reminisce on past family functions and create new memories. For the past few years Thanksgiving has alternated between my house and my aunt’s house in northern Virginia. Since we can’t make it all the back to Massachusetts every year we do something here in Virginia together. This year it’s at my aunts and we decided to not do traditional Thanksgiving dinner, it’s going to be steak and seafood; I’m excited. I’ll be sure to keep you guys posted on the menu and will even try to do a video while we’re cooking.

When I think about Thanksgiving I think about the traditions we have as a family, the trips we’ve taken and how excited we get to spend time with one another. Through out the month I will be sharing some of those fall family traditions that we have.

  • Cooking together as a family
  • Creating new dishes with the leftovers
  • Playing board games
  • Going through sale papers and toy catalogs
  • Shopping on Black Friday (there’s an age requirement)
  • Staying home on Black Friday playing with grandpa (if you were under age)
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade
  • Parade of Big Balloons in Springfield, Massachusetts

What are some of your holiday traditions?


Healing Herbs and Spices

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Going through Pinterest this morning, I came across this photo. What do you think?

Do you cook with herbs and spices? Have you used them for other things besides cooking? I know I will drink mint tea if I have an upset stomach, but I notice the chart says to try basil. This seems like an interesting task.

This has me thinking, could herbs and spices really help with ailments? Looks like I have some research to do. It would be nice to see which items that we have in our pantry can help us obtain a healthy lifestyle.

Have you tried any of these? Got some tips to share? Feel free to comment and let me know!!


Kitchen Decor

Do you watch HGTV? Or see different ideas for decorating your kitchen in magazines, online and even on Facebook? Decorating your kitchen does not have to be a tedious task nor is it something that has to be done fast and in a hurry. Just like decorating any other room in your house, take your time to create a space that you will enjoy spending time in.

Have a favorite color or two? Use those to spruce up your kitchen. Shades of one particular color work well.

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These cabinets were painted but no worries if you don’t have the option to paint. Accent pieces work well. What can you do to give your kitchen some color?

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Colored vases, mason jars or plates hanging on the wall give your cooking space a life of its own. No one wants to cook or entertain in a boring dull kitchen.

What can you do to add more color to your kitchen? We have so great ideas coming up for you.


Labor Day Weekend Dessert Listing

Labor Day weekend is coming up, which means the summer is just about over, not happy about that! So what will you be making for this weekend? Cookies, pies, brownies, bars? Maybe some sorbets or ice cream? Let me know. I would love to feature you on my blog with what you are making this weekend.

As for me, there are a few things on my list that I would like to make, just don’t know if I will have the time to do it but I will definitely try.

1. Cake Pops
2. Orange Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
3. Red Velvet Cupcakes with  Cream cheese filling and Frosting
4. Whoopie Pies (Yeah I said it!!)

These are the four desserts I want to make this weekend, hopefully time will allow these things to happen. Ready to see what you will be making!!!


Hello August

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Hey Everyone!! We made it to August which means summer is almost over (I’m not happy about this.) But it also my birthday month, so that gives me something to be excited about. Since it’s my birthday month I am going share some of my favorite things and lessons that I have learned this past year.

It's my birthday month

It’s my birthday month

 

Things I learned:

– It’s okay to make mistakes, just learn from them.
– As you move forward in life your circle gets smaller
– No, is a complete sentence. No explanation is needed.
– Take care of you first and don’t apologize for it.
– Take some time to enjoy you.
– Date yourself.
– Being different is a great thing.
– Read a variety of books.
– Take a social media break.

Things I love about myself

– I’m happy with my body type, it took me years to get to this point.
– Cerebral Palsy doesn’t define who I am, but it has become my super power.
– My facial expressions will tell you how I really feel.
– I’m addicted to books.
– I travel a lot (I go somewhere every month.)
– I’m spoiled and I know it.
– I love the bond I have with my family. I talk to my parents and siblings a few times a day.
– I don’t mind being single.
– I am quick to take a trip or go to an event by myself.
– I’m really passionate about writing.

One thing that sticks out about this whole year, is that I don’t know how to cook for just one person! This is crazy. I will cook a meal and have enough for at least 3-5 people. I really need to make smaller portions, especially when most of the time it’s just me eating the food. This is something that I’ll have to tackle soon.

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Check Out Groupon Coupons

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine. 

Groupon Coupons

I have a confession to make…I love Groupon. I’m always on there looking for deals. They have great opportunities for gifts, getaways and things to do in your area. One thing I really like about Groupon are their coupons. They have so many to choose from. You can often find really great deals for almost anything. The coupons are for things you would use in everyday life and the best part is you can look for them directly from your phone.

I’ve used Groupon coupons for trips and various attractions and I love how I can now use them for local retailers. It’s so easy to use and who doesn’t love to save money? Here are just some of the retailers that I have found and used on Groupon Coupons.

  • Kohl’s
  • JC Penney’s
  • Macy’s
  • Home Decorators
  • Tea Collections
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • BJ’s
  • Edible Arrangements
  • Sam’s Club

Sometimes you can catch the 1-day free pass for there Sam’s Club and get some really good deals. If you don’t see the Sam’s Club one, BJ’s has a $5 deal for a membership too. The Popcorn Factory usually has really great gift coupons for the popcorn lovers in your life. Groupon Coupons is definitely one of the first places I look for deals when shopping. Be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you have any favorite retailers on Groupon Coupons?

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TS July Client Promotion

Corn and Black Bean Salsa has improved.

So I received some messages from clients and readers asking if I would post the client and host promotion information for Tastefully Simple not only on my website but also here on the blog. It’s a great idea, not sure why I didn’t think of it before but I will make sure that I continue to keep you all updated.

This is a sponsored post. Affiliate links are included.

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Tastefully Simple does very well with providing their clients and party hosts with really awesome gifts and discounts. Each month they try to offer the host or client an extra incentive for purchasing our products. For the month of July the client promotion is the Corn, Black Bean Salsa at a discounted rate of $3.99 with a $50.00 buy (before tax and shipping). If you purchase directly through my website once you add $50.00 worth of product in your cart the system will automatically ask if you would like to add the current promotion. If you place your order directly through me I will ask if you would like to take part in the monthly promotion.

Corn, Black Bean Salsa has tomatoes, corn, black beans, green chiles, sweet red peppers, vinegar, cilantro, garlic and chipotle peppers. It’s a great addiction to any dinner, get together or just eat it as a snack.

This is a product that I enjoy. Most of the time I’ll just open the jar and dip a chip in. Tastes wonderful on tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, or even with scooped into some avocado halves. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

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Cooking Does Not Have to be a Chore!

Fast food and daily take out does not always have to be your ‘go-to’ option for any meal. You can cook your favorite meals and enjoy them at any time. Cooking is not a chore but an experience that you can enjoy.

  1. Pick a recipe that you want to try out. This doesn’t have to be something extravagant, it can something as simple as baked chicken and vegetables. Just make sure it’s something you want to eat.
  2. Make it a family affair. If you have kids, get them to help you in the kitchen. Use cooking as a game to help with vocabulary, spelling and even math. If it’s just you and your significant other, make it a date night in the kitchen!
  3. Pretend You Are On TV. That’s right, pretend you are the host of your own food show. Get creative and talk your way through the show. You can even record yourself, just to see how it goes when you are done.
  4. Play Music. Do you sing in shower? Or just around the house in general? Well this is another way to enjoy your music. Sing, dance and have a good time while you are cooking…we do!
  5. Have fun. This is chance for you to try something new, you are not being graded so enjoy it.  Once you are done cooking, plate your food as if you are serving it at a restaurant. Presentation is everything. Take a picture to include with the recipe for the next time you make it.

Cooking should always be fun. You work hard during the day and need time to relax, let cooking become an outlet for you. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Even if you mess up, skip a step or change an ingredient…it’s okay. Cooking is a fun experience.