Category Archives: Thanksgiving

There is still time to plan for Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is almost here and we all know preparations for Thanksgiving dinner can be hectic. There is so much to do, in such a small time frame that things can be overwhelming. Having a plan in place helps ease the stress of the big day and helps you relax and enjoy your loved ones.

Create a menu- Having a menu planned ahead of times helps for many reasons. Knowing ahead of time what groceries you need to buy; Ideas for left overs; Knowing you’ll have enough food for everyone invited. Once you create your menu get your loved ones involved, have them bring a dish. This cuts down on what you have to cook.

Designate tasks and dishes- The holidays give us time to spend with family and friends. Make these special days count by not doing everything yourself. Make being in the kitchen a fun family event. Share responsibilities in preparing the food, setting the table, playing games with the kids, etc. If you know certain family members are good with particular tasks, use that to your advantage.

Cook/Bake/ Prepare in advance- Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. A lot time the side dishes that you are making can be made a head of time. String beans, collards greens, butternut squash, mashed potatoes even macaroni & cheese can be made the day before. this is also perfect for your cold salads, such as carrot slaw, potato salad, macaroni & tuna salad and pasta salad. Season your meats down a day or two before this way you can cook them the night before or early Thanksgiving morning. Use your time wisely so you can enjoy your day with your family.

Make use of your slow cooker/crockpot- Do you own one? You know the appliance that you haven’t used in months, the one that comes out for times such as this. Many items can be cooked in your slow cooker, it will cut down on the amount of pots and pans you use and you can serve from it. Hot dips, soups, chili, gravy, vegetables, meatballs, all can be cooked and served directly from this dish.

Hopefully these tips will help you with your planning. Remember you don’t have to do everything yourself, enjoy this time with your family.

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10 Tips To Ease Your Thanksgiving Day Meal

Host your day with ease

It’s November 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 ease your pain. Don’t stress out over what the menu should be, keep it simple, yet tasty.

2. Scan Ads in Sale Papers – Look through your sales papers. Many supermarkets have started their sales for canned goods, fresh produce, turkeys, 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, 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 Turkey – Start to defrost your turkey 4-5 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, card 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 you prepare for a day of thanks with your loved ones.

 


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?


Taste Test Tuesday: Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Pumpkin Butter

Happy Tuesday Everyone! We’re so glad you decided to stop by and visit with us today. We took a trip to William-Sonoma to see what they had in store for the holidays. We were having a craving for pumpkins. While in the store we found Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Bread with a Pecan Pumpkin Butter.

Williams-Sonoma Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Quick Bread Mix

You can get them separately for $11.95 each or together as a set for $21.00. All you add is two eggs, a melted stick of butter and water to the mix, stir, then bake. Our kitchen smelled amazing during the hour it was in the oven. Imagine trying to take bread out the oven with two other adults and a toddler staring at you wanting to savor the spiced pumpkin goodness.

Once we got it out the oven and let it cool for a minute, everyone dug in. You can taste the crunchy pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg and just a hint of ginger. Add on some of the Pecan Pumpkin butter and it was heavenly. A smooth texture with a little crunch of the pecans, we tried it on biscuits, toast, bagels, french toast (pumpkin bread) and even added on sugar cookies.

This was definitely a snack that we enjoyed . The bread and butter each come with additional recipes of items you can try with them. If you do not have a William-Sonoma store in your area you can order these items and more from their website. Just click the button on the sidebar of our blog.

As always we thank you for stopping by the kitchen today. If you have a product or something you would like us to try on Taste Test Tuesday please feel free to contact us. We love to eat!!