11.20.2014

Thanksgiving Menu Schedule {with printable}

In past years, when we've hosted Thanksgiving at our house, I made up a schedule to keep me organized for such a big meal. I recently mentioned this schedule to a few of my friends and they requested a copy.

I thought it would be a helpful list to have on the blog, so for those of you that are Thanksgiving newbies or just want to be more organized for Turkey Day, this list is for you (scroll down for printable).

FIRST
Create your menu. Ours is here.

7 DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING
Make cranberry sauce and freeze. I use the Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce recipe on the back of the Ocean Spray cranberry package.

Purchase beverages and other non-perishable grocery items

Wash/iron linens.

Dig out the turkey roaster, platters and other serving dishes.

Make cornbread for stuffing. Let it dry out for a few days and store in Ziploc bags.

Make room in the refrigerator for the turkey.

4 DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING
Start defrosting turkey and or ham. General rule is to allow for a full day for every 4 pounds of meat.

Make ham glaze.

Make/print out placecards.

3 DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING
Transfer cranberry sauce from freezer to refrigerator.

Arrange decorations/flowers.

Clean house

2 DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING
Make mashed potatoes. Refrigerate in Crock-pot.

1 DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING
Make stuffing.

Brine turkey.

Purchase all perishable and fresh ingredients.

Calculate cooking times and the sequence for cooking.

Bake desserts.

Set table.

THANKSGIVING DAY
Remove turkey from refrigerator. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Remove mashed potatoes from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. 

Cook turkey and ham according to time per pound (see below).

Place foil tent over turkey and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes, before carving.

During resting time, cook side of stuffing, put other dishes in oven to warm, make gravy & light table candles.


Print this schedule HERE


Not sure how long to roast your turkey for? Check out this handy dandy chart for approximate roasting times:
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Roast the turkey at 325 degrees, breast side up in a roasting pan with rack. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees.

Looking for some printables to keep you organized? Simple Living Mama has created these very helpful ones:

printable Thanksgiving menu planner
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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

11.13.2014

Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is just 2 weeks away and we will be hosting our family this year. So we will have a full house for Thanksgiving dinner. Here's what's on the menu:

Turkey (obvs). In the past, I have done a basic turkey brine, but this year, I'm thinking about doing this one from The Pioneer Woman.

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For more brining tips and recipes, check out this article from Epicurious.

Ham. While the glaze packet that comes with ham is okay, THIS ham glaze from Ina Garten is my favorite.

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Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes. This recipe from Rick Rodgers' "Thanksgiving 101" is rich and creamy and the best part? You can make it up to a week ahead! I usually make and store in my crockpot. Then on Thanksgiving morning, it goes straight into the crock to warm. Easy Peasy.

Food Thanksgiving Prep
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Gravy. I have never been very good at making gravy, but since I found this recipe for Foolproof Gravy from Betty Crocker, I'm going to try and make it this year!

How to Make Gravy
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Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing. Here is another make-ahead recipe that can be done the day before. Just be sure to increase the chicken stock and half & half amounts by 1/4 cup each if making 12-24 hours ahead. Refrigerate. When it's time to bake, transfer to baking dish and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

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Green Beans. These green beans with herbs, mushrooms and BACON looks really yummy and beautiful! Recipe from Cookin' Canuck.

Fresh Green Beans with Bacon, Mushrooms & Herbs Recipe | cookincanuck.com
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24 Hour Fruit Salad. There are lots of different variations and names of this salad. It's been called Ambrosia Salad, Creamy Fruit Salad and 5-Cup Fruit Salad. We call it 24 Hour Fruit Salad because it is yet another make-ahead dish. The variation I use calls for pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, grapes, apples and mini marshmallows. The dressing is made with egg yolks, sugar, butter and whipping cream. Here's an even easier and lighter version (made from yogurt instead of whipping cream) from Six Sisters' Stuff.

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Candied Yams. Or sweet potatoes. Whichever you prefer. Usually, my mom and I are the only ones that even go near these things, so we only make a small batch. We've made them many different ways...marshmallow topping, butter & brown sugar syrup and even topped with pecans. But this year, I'm tempted to try something new...Lemon Sweet Potaotes with Meringue Topping.

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Dinner Rolls. My Garlic Herb Dinner Rolls are perfect for Thanksgiving! They are semi-homemade (made from frozen rolls) and are delicious!

 photo rollsbaked_zps5474a6ba.jpg
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Cranberry Sauce. Making fresh cranberry sauce is SO easy and tastes WAY better than the canned stuff. We usually just follow the recipe on the back of the cranberry bag, but this Orange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce from Gimme Some Oven is looking pretty good!

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For dessert, my mom is bringing Apple Pie and Pumpkin Cheesecake. I don't know which recipes she will be using, but this Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake from Roxana's Home Baking looks divine! YUM!!

Pumpkin cheesecake
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And there you have it. Our traditional Thanksgiving menu. Now I'm hungry!

So, now the question is...what time do you eat Thanksgiving dinner? Do you do it early in the day? Or more towards supper/dinner time?

11.10.2014

Holiday Giveaway Pack



I'm so excited to introduce you to some awesome Etsy shops and give you an opportunity to win a rad giveaway package...just in time for the holidays!

Enter to win at the end of the post and then go check out all of their shops! So many fun things!

With this giveaway, one lucky winner will receive:

One 25-pack of the Santa Claus in the Snow Paper Straws and one 25-pack of the Christmastime Red & Green Paper Straws from Twigs & Twirls.

Melissa has so many fun combinations of straws in her shop!

Santa Claus in the Snow Paper Party Straws, 25 ct. Kids Christmas Straws for holiday party decor, Christmas supply, red blue straw decor  


$15 gift certificate to spend on your choice of party printables from Dandelion Kissed.

Jill has party printables  for every occasion. And they are adorable!

Baby Blue Red Nautical Whale Birthday Baby Digital Food Label Buffet Name Tags DIY   Red Blue Chevron Nautical Anchor Happy Birthday Digital Printable Invitation DIY Personalized Custom


$15 gift certificate to spend on anything from Kiss Me Kate Studio. Tina makes all sorts of cute party things, including wands, bubble necklaces and party decor.

How cute are these cake toppers?

Gold & Kraft Polka Dot Cake Bunting Pennant Flag Cake Topper-MANY Colors to Choose From!  Birthday, Wedding, Shower Cake Topper  Lime Green & Grey Modern Geo Print Birthday Cake Bunting Pennant Flag Cake Topper-MANY Colors to Choose From!  Birthday, Shower Cake Topper


4-pack of Santa Cards made by Creative Creations by Amy.

These are so sweet!




$20 gift certificate to spend on your choice of printables from CraftMei.

Chelsea has over 300 adorable prints in her shop!

  


Two fabulous adjustable, non-slip headbands from A Rose So Sweet.

These are perfect for runners, athletes and mamas. And since you get two, you can keep one for yourself and give another as a gift! Woot! Woot!


















And last, but not least, the winner of this giveaway will receive One Digital Christmas Card Design from Mandy Brady Design. Just in time for the holidays!

  Digital Christmas Card Design | Chevron Christmas Card | Mustard Yellow Christmas Card | Printable Christmas Card | Holiday Card | DownloadDigital Christmas Card Design | Photo Christmas Card | Picture Collage Christmas Card | Printable Christmas Card | Holiday Card | Download


GIVEAWAY TERMS:
Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents and will run from November 10 to November 24 at 12:00am PST. Winner will be contacted via email. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. All entries will be verified. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are in no way affiliated with this giveaway. Please read all Terms & conditions prior to entering.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

11.07.2014

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders


Happy Friday friends! Do you have a busy weekend coming up? Need an easy dinner to throw in the crock-pot? Then, I have the recipe for you! Hop on over to 30 Days to get the recipe for these Buffalo Chicken Sliders.

Have a great weekend!

11.04.2014

Halloween 2014



Halloween has come and gone and we now need a major sugar detox! If you need some ideas on what to do with all that Halloween candy, I have a few ideas here.

Here is a little recap of the festivities...

My mom planted pumpkins in her garden for the kids and they had a great time harvesting them


We then got to carve those suckers!


I love dressing up. I think it's fun to put on crazy costumes and make-up. So when we got invited to a costume party we, of course, said yes!

My hubby and I went as hippies


On another evening, while my hubby went to a football game, I went to a neighbor's party. This time, I went as Cleopatra.


I found a Cleopatra make-up tutorial here. FYI, you need A LOT of black eyeliner.

The kids had their fair share of dress opportunities too...school carnival, church trunk-or-treat night, school parties and Halloween night.

Bigfoot & Snow White at the school carnival

Craft-makin' Froggie at her preschool party

Sumo wrestling at the church Harvest Party

Trick-or-Treating with monks (Daddy & Uncle Willy)

Another fun holiday in the books for the Turcos. I hope you had a fun and safe Halloween!