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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I am so looking forward to celebrating with my family next week and getting to meet our new niece and nephew. I haven't been home since March and I know this is going to be an extra emotional visit for us because it will be the last holiday we celebrate in the house I grew up in. (I got kind of weepy just typing that out.) And since we won't be spending Christmas with my family, we're having a little family Christmas celebration the night before Thanksgiving. My mom even bought a fake tree so that we can help decorate :)
the most stunning Thanksgiving centerpiece you've ever seen? I would be tempted to add in a few pheasant feathers, but wow. I can't stop looking at it. And it looks like it would be pretty easy to assemble, which is a bonus because I do not have a gift for floral arrangements.
our wedding cocktails (which, admittedly are the perfect festive fall beverage). The Kitchn posted this recipe for a pitcher of Amber Rush cocktails last week and it just looks so fun! I love the way the star anise looks floating in the pitcher and the combination of rye, citrus, and spiced honey syrup (with the suggested addition of a little ginger beer) sounds pretty spot on.
my pecan pie fix at our Worksgiving celebration yesterday (pictured above), but I'm trying out a recipe for Buche de Thanksgiving. I typically make a Buche de Noel log for Christmas every year and when I saw this recipe in my 'Cold Weather Cooking' cookbook, I knew I had to try it. Pumpkin cake + cream cheese and toffee filling? Hello, yes please! I'll be sure to snap some pictures and if it's any good, I'll share the recipe. (I've looked everywhere online for it with no luck.)
pheasant gravy boat, the turkey platter that goes with my beloved Spode Woodland china, and these rustic glam servers.
21 November 2014
17 November 2014
This week's post will be short and sweet. Between M's travelling for work and our big Junior League fundraiser last Thursday evening, there have been more than a few nights of take-out/sandwiches/leftovers for dinner!
Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad (Nutmeg Notebook)
This recipe is an old stand-by when I'm feeling like a big, fresh salad for dinner. It's easy to throw together, makes a ton, and unlike many salads, doesn't get so gross and soggy that you can't enjoy the leftovers. Plus, look how pretty it is! It's like a little party on your plate.
Quinoa Fiesta Enchilada Bake (Skinnytaste)
Gina wins again. This was delicious and quite filling. I served it (like I do almost all of our Tex-Mex Tuesday meals) with a side of sliced mango and kiwi. Bonus points for minimal dirty dishes.
Penne with Sausage and Greens (Budget Bytes)
Meh. M seemed to enjoy this a lot more than I did. I just felt like the sauce was way too overpowering; I could barely taste any of the other flavors. M had 2 servings at dinner and polished off the leftovers, so obviously it didn't bother him. But I doubt I'll make this one again.
Butternut Squash Soup (Freckled Citizen)
My FAVORITE butternut squash soup recipe! As in, I pretty much don't make any others except for this one. Something about the Greek yogurt in the soup and then the almost-smoky mushrooms on top...yum, yum, yum.
10 November 2014
Two weeks worth of meals in this post since I forgot about last week.
Two weeks ago I went on a mission to clean out the fridge/freezer/pantry of all of the random, half-used up ingredients just taking up space. This led to some interesting, but not bad, meals.
Chicken Noodle Soup
I never use a recipe for chicken noodle soup, so this is a perfect meal for getting rid of whatever you've got on hand. I used half a bag of egg noodles, homemade stock from the freezer, the remains of a rotisserie chicken, a few mushrooms leftover from a recipe the week before, and then the usual carrot/celery/onion suspects. I added a little tarragon and that was it. Served with half of a leftover baguette that was in the freezer.
Random Sh*t Pizza
By far the most random meal I've made in a while, but it was surprisingly tast. Smitten Kitchen lazy pizza dough from the freezer, the leftovers of a can of tomato sauce from a previous recipe, a few leftover chicken apple sausage from Trader Joe's, the rest of a block of Trader Joe's caramelized onion cheddar, and some arugula sprinkled on top once it came out of the oven. Baked it at 500 degrees for 12-ish minutes.
Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (Pioneer Woman)
I had planned to just have a PB&J sandwich for dinner this night because M was headed out of town right after work. But I realized I had all of the ingredients on hand (I used a jar of roasted red peppers) for PW's roasted red pepper sauce (one of my favorite recipes ever), so I was able to whip this up (and stir in some of that arugula I'm trying to beat the rot clock on) for a nice little meal for two before M had to leave.
Last week's meals:
Chana Saag (Budget Bytes)
I don't know if I've ever posted about this recipe before, but OMG I LOVE IT SO GOOD. There is a real lack of good Mexican and Indian food up here, so I've gotten quite adept at making Indian food at home (I save Mexican food for trips back home). This served with some rice (usually basmati or jasmine...whatever I have on hand) and some Trader Joe's frozen garlic naan...GROAN. Bonus that is makes a ton and is equally delicious leftover.
Tacos (Elefantitas Alegres)
I used 93/7 ground turkey, added some chopped garlic to the onions, and didn't drain the meat/onion mixture. I also used Budget Bytes' recipe for homemade taco seasoning, including the cornstarch and doubling the amount of cayenne pepper. Big hit with M. We enjoyed the leftovers with some scrambled eggs the next morning. Yay breakfast tacos!
Chicken Tetrazzini (my mom's recipe)
Every other week for the past 6 weeks or so, we've been hosting a group of M's players for dinners. We started with the seniors, then juniors. Last Wednesday was the sophomores. I keep forgetting to take pictures, so here you get a picture of the table set before they arrived.
I made my mom's recipe for chicken tetrazzini (below), although I doubled it and I always add some frozen peas to the mix (I just add them in with the chicken and eyeball the amount).
Fair warning: this is NOT a figure-friendly meal. It is, however, delicious.
Sausage and Kale Skillet (Budget Bytes)
This is so gross looking, I'm sorry. But it was really, really tasty. And maybe one of the fastest/easiest meals to make. I followed the recipe exactly and served with leftover garlic bread. This one's going on the repeat list fo' sho.
There you have it: two weeks worth of meals in our house. Not always pretty, but pretty damn tasty.
07 November 2014
1. I know I already shared this on Instagram, but it's too great not to share here too. My mom works for Orvis and a few weeks ago they received the following email:
We are being visited this week by a friendly mallard duck, who has been greeting associates at the entrance all morning.
A wild bird expert I contacted told me he is fine, has recently molted (lost his flying feathers) and is probably seeking a quiet place to hang out away from the pond while his feathers grow back. He is harmless and will probably waddle away when he gets hungry or thirsty.
The bird expert I spoke with said we should not feed the duck. Not only are the foods we have here not particularly good for the duck…if we feed him, he might get confused and decide this is a good place for him to stay.
That said, please don’t feed the duck, watch your step around the entrance to the building, and be extra careful driving in the HR parking lot. We don’t want to hurt or confuse our duck friend as he resolves his own unique and personal issues!
On Wednesday, I received the following text from my mother:
Apparently he also now quacks when greeted. I know they are still working with the wildlife expert to make sure their little friend is A-OK, but I can't help but anthropomorphize here and think the little guy looks like he would like to come inside and join the folks in Finance. I'm quite jealous; I really wish we had an office duck at my workplace!
2. Forget everything I said about not being into dressing up for Halloween. Next year I'm going as Ina. Now I just need to convince M to go as a bottle of "good" vanilla or olive oil or Jeffrey. (Thanks to Food & Femininity for the inspiration!)
3. I love, love, LOVE the idea of giving this necklace to a new mama or a recently married friend. I happen to have some engaged friends and some pregnant friends, so ladies, please act surprised when you receive this from me :) M, this would make a wonderful gift for your wife (hint, hint, wink, wink).
4. I'm an aunt! My sister-in-law gave birth to the most beautiful twins early yesterday morning. I am counting down the days until I get to meet my adorable niece and nephew!!!!!
31 October 2014
Great article on the inimitable Wes Anderson. #hatersgonnahate
this popcorn-marshmallow-candy confection immediately.
3. I love the way these turkey pheasant and magnolia wreaths look. The perfect wreath for this time of year.
I wrote about army coats and military parkas, so Elements of Style and Habitually Chic wrote about army coats and military parkas. You guys, I am obviously a MAY-JAH (that's "major" in Victoria Beckham speak) trendsetter. Word to the wise, I got that Gap coat and it runs HUGE.
vintage", which means they no longer make the parts to repair it. That sounds a bit like a rip-off to me, but whatever. My needs are pretty simple when it comes to a replacement: I want something that I can run Microsoft Office on for those rare occasions when I bring work home. I don't want a tablet (I think). Mainly I use it for blogging, online shopping, social media stalking, uploading pictures, and watching the occasional movie. I'm leaning towards the adorably small 11-in Macbook Air. I am not tech-savvy in the slightest bit. I just want something that works and that I can tote around with reasonable ease. What say you, interwebs? What do you have? Do you like it? Do you have it? What do I need that will meet my basic needs and not have me shelling out $$$ for fancy things that I will never use or understand?
29 October 2014
There was dancing.
There was smooching.
There was pie.
There were family and friends.
There was a freak snowstorm the night before.
But most importantly, there was the beginning of a marriage.
It's been a hell of a journey so far. I love you, M. Thank you for 3 wonderful years and the many more ahead of us.
28 October 2014
A few weeks ago I tweeted about the weirdo Matthew McConaughey commericals for Lincoln and was relieved to find out that I'm not the only one who just doesn't get it. They are all major strange rangers, but the one with the bull absolutely kills me. They are ridiculous.
And on Saturday night, the genius that is Jim Carrey + SNL writers gave the world a gift:
And on Saturday night, the genius that is Jim Carrey + SNL writers gave the world a gift:
Jim Carrey is spot on.