Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Recap

Well, I’ll have you know that my Attack Plan actually worked!  My plan was to eat at 1:00, and I called everyone into the kitchen to say the blessing at 1:09!  And I didn’t forget anything!  I am so excited!!

The Hubs and I started our day around 8:00 buttering and seasoning the turkey and getting it in the oven and getting the potatoes in the crock pot.  Then we got back into bed while the kids watched tv (cause that’s how we role!).  Then around 10:00 I turned on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade which I had been TiVoing, got showered and ready for family to arrive.  C helped me set the table, and then around noon we pulled a delicious, golden brown turkey out of the oven.  Yummo!

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I got all the casseroles in and out of the oven, and then my mom and dad arrived with more food and my in-laws arrived with pumpkin pie, so I got the buffet area set up on the counter, and got the turkey, rolls, cranberry sauce, and gravy on the table and got the drinks fixed.

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After dinner and desserts, we posed in the front yard for a couple of family snapshots that included Gipper–something we have not done before.  They turned out pretty good!

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The Hubs and I went to Wal-Mart around 5:30 to catch a couple of items on the Black Friday sale, and then we came back home for left overs.  Then we walked down the street and around the corner to the street in our neighborhood that goes ALL.  OUT.  for Christmas.  The kids requested to have their picture made with some of their favorite inflatables and the Holy Family.

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It was a lovely (and delicious) Thanksgiving, and I loved every minute of it!  I have so much to be thankful for.  I am forever grateful to God for all He has blessed me with.

Thanksgiving Attack Plan

Because both sets of grandparents live locally, we host Thanksgiving every year on “neutral territory” and invite both of our families to join us.  And every year–every. single. year.–I become a spazz at Thanksgiving and end up forgetting something.  And even worse, I struggle to get the whole meal ready all at once.  For instance, the turkey will be carved and on the platter, and I will remember that I haven’t made the gravy.  Some of the food is hot and fresh and the rest is getting cold or already cold.  Not this year, I say.  Not.  This.  Year.  I started thinking through my meal and all that needed to be done and I came up with a Thanksgiving Attack Plan.  Here it is:

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I was able to get the Chocolate Derby Pies made Monday night, and there is one waiting on the counter and one waiting for Christmas in the freezer.  You can get the recipe and see how I made it here.  And the turkey is in the roasting pan in the fridge getting completely thawed as you read this.

I am one of those people who loves making a list and checking things off, so hopefully this Thanksgiving meal will go a bit smoother.  (Cut to me still being a spazz. Sigh…)

Momfessionals Recipe Club {Chocolate Derby Pie}

I looooove choclate, and I looooove every Paula Deen recipe I’ve ever eaten (as any good Southern Georgia girl does).  So combining the two is a no-brainer!  This is a holiday favorite at my house among my kids and my nephews!   It’s pretty easy and is super yummy.  Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate Derby Pie

4 eggs lightly beaten

2 cups sugar

1-12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 cups), melted

1 cup sifted self-rising flour

2 sticks of butter melted

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  I melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler while I’m combining the eggs and sugar.

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Once the chocolate chips are melted, I let them cool just a bit and then stir them in with the eggs and sugar.

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Next I add the flour.  Here is the deal with the flour.  “One cup sifted flour” is not the same thing as “one cup of flour, sifted.”  One cup sifted flour means you sift the flour first and then spoon it back into your cup measure before adding it to your batter.  It’s a bit time consuming but it keeps your pie from being to heavy.  So I add the flour after toss the sticks of butter into the double boiler bowl that I used to melt the chocolate.

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While the butter was melting, I chopped my pecans.  I bought them already chopped, but I like them is slightly smaller pieces, so I just ran them through my Pampered Chef chopper for 5-6 chops and then added them to the batter along with the vanilla.

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Once the butter melted, I poured it into the batter and then I got a good shoulder workout folding it in.  The batter is pretty think without the butter, so it’s kind of a long job getting it all incorporated but worth it!

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I make sure to prick the pie shells with a fork before pouring the batter in.  This recipe makes two deep dish pies or three traditional pies.

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Bake the pies for 30 minutes at 350.  I have tried many times to make these without getting the tops to crack, but I haven’t solved that riddle yet.

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These pies really are delicious.  And the best news is they freeze like a dream!  So you can make the two or three you plan to make, leave one out for Thanksgiving and toss the extra in the freezer until Christmas!  According to Paula Deen, Chocolate Derby Pie is great served warm with ice cream.  I’ve always eaten it by itself or with whipped cream, but I’m sure the ice cream would be great too!  Enjoy!

I’m linked up with Andrea at Momfessionals!

Recipe Club

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our festivities actually started the day before with a gobble gobble breakfast of turkey cinnamon rolls and bacon.

Then it was on to Turkey Day.  As usual, I had intentions of taking lots of great pictures of our Thanksgiving and took exactly three.  But here is a recap.  I started the morning by getting the turkey in the oven and then watching the parade while cleaning the house and getting some sides ready for the meal.  My mom, dad, and brother arrived around 12:30 and we sat down to eat around 1:00.  We had turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes (which I didn’t cook long enough because I was an hour late getting them in the crock pot) and gravy, mac and cheese, corn, squash casserole, green beans and rolls.  For dessert we had pumpkin pie, chocolate derby pie, and pecan pie.  It was delicious.

I promise to do better with pictures next year.  Really, I do.

Momfessionals Recipe Club {Squash Casserole}

With Thanksgiving coming tomorrow, I decided to share my favorite holiday dish with you.  Paula Deen’s Squash Casserole is a staple side dish with my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is easy, delicious, and a must have for any holiday meal or church pot luck as far as I am concerned.  I will start by giving you Paula’s official recipe from her original The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook.  Then I will share the pictures and my personal input since I very rarely make a recipe exactly as it says to!

Squash Casserole

1 large onion, chopped
4 Tbsp butter
3 cups cooked squash, drained with all water squeezed out
1 cup crushed Ritz crackers, plus additional for topping
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp House Seasoning (see below)
 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Saute onion in butter for 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and mix all ingredients together.  Pout into buttered casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

House Seasoning

1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix well and store in an air tight container.

So here is my take on Paula’s Casserole.  I really don’t measure anything any more since I have made this so many times.  The main difference in my way and her way is that I leave out the onion.  I like onion just fine, but I don’t like the extra step of chopping and cooking it.  lol

I used 7 medium sized squash to make my casserole this time and it was the perfect amount.  I slice them about 1/4″ thick, put them in a dutch oven and boil them until they are fork tender.
 

When they are cooked, I drained them and begin mashing them with a potato masher while they are still in the colander to get some of the water out.  Then I transfer them back to the dutch oven to finish smashing them.

I add in the cheese first so that the hot squash can melt it.  Then I add in the sour cream, House Seasoning, and cracker crumbs.

I have always used my oval baker from Pampered Chef to make this casserole.  It fits the dish perfectly and the stoneware helps it stay warm longer.  So I pour it in and top it with some extra cheese.  If you are making your casserole ahead of time (like me) this is wear you would stop, cover it with foil, and put it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it.

Tomorrow, I will take it out of the fridge, uncover it, top it with the cracker crumbs, and bake it for about half an hour–until it is hot and a little bubbly.  I have found that if I put the cracker crumbs on it before putting it in the fridge, they get soggy and just don’t crisp up and get brown like they should.  I will update this post with a picture of the finished product after our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.  Enjoy!

Whatever you are serving tomorrow, I hope you have a wonderful feast with family and/or friends.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday Favorites {Thanksgiving Edition}

The time between Halloween and New Years is truly one of my favorite times of the year.  And even though I don’t put my Christmas decorations up until the day after Thanksgiving, I do love seeing the Christmas stuff in the stores, I enjoy the slow infusion of Christmas music on the radio stations, and relish the gradual appearance of Christmas decor around town.

Thanksgiving is the Hubs’ favorite holiday, so I don’t overlook it by going “all out Christmas” before turkey day.  Here are some of my faves that are on or around Thanksgiving–and yes, I will kinda get Christmasy here.  😉

Baking

I know for a lot of people, the holiday baking and cooking is an added stress.  Many of my friends have someone else cook their holiday meals for them, and I don’t blame them one bit.  However, I LOVE cooking for the holidays.  I love making pies of all kinds for our family gatherings.  I love making Christmas cookies with my kiddos.  I love making casseroles and dressing for Thanksgiving.  I love it all.  And I do it for days leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  And yes, I wear my Christmas apron while cooking.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

My all time favorite thing to do on Thanksgiving Day is watch the parade while the turkey roasts in the oven.  The smell of the cooking turkey plus the festivity of the parade just really puts me in the holiday mood.  And now that I have kiddos of my own, I just love watching their expressions when some of their favorites like Buzz Lightyear or Gru and the Minions from Despicable Me show up along the parade route.  It is my routine every year for turkey day, and I don’t expect this year to be an exception.

The Hunger Games Movies

I know, I know.  These movies don’t have anything to do with Thanksgiving or the holidays, but this is the third year in a row that the newest movie has come out the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Last year the Hubs and I went on opening night for a little date night, and the movie did not disappoint.  (Confession:  I have watched Catching Fire three times in the past couple of weeks just to build my already frantic excitement about this newest movie!  I fully realize that I should probably seek treatment or need some sort of intervention.)  Some women love the Twilight books and movies, some swooned over Magic Mike, some are waiting with baited breath for the Fifty Shades of Gray movie, but The Hunger Games are my jam.  I can’t wait.  Don’t judge me.  (I realize that I am in the vast minority of women who have not seen any of the aforementioned movies and don’t plan to–I guess I have been too busy reading about Katniss and Peeta. lol)

Black Friday Shopping

Yep, I do it.  With my parents.  Every year.  Have ever since I was a child.  It’s something I actually really look forward to.  We operate on a pretty strict budget, so being able to get nice gifts for my family for a great price…it makes me happy.  The Hubs had never joined me in my Black Friday shopping until last year when he went with me to Toys R Us to get in line an hour before they opened the doors on Thanksgiving Day.  And I am pretty sure he would be loathe to actually admit that it wasn’t bad and he kind of had a good time.  Because we only get our children five gifts each for Christmas, I was done with my Santa shopping in one trip.  SCORE!  You can read about our gift giving guidelines here.

Bethlehem Breakfast

This is our Elf of the Shelf alternative, and I love it.  If you want the long explanation, you can read my post about it here.  But basically, Mary and Joseph move throughout our house until Christmas morning when they arrive at the stable and Baby Jesus is in the manger.  My kids love waking up and looking around until they can find where Mary and Joseph have traveled to during the night.  Last year, Mary and Joseph’s big arrival was marked with what I called a Bethlehem Breakfast.  I have Bethlehem Breakfast 2.0 planned for the Saturday after Thanksgiving . . . I guess I had better get to work on that.

So there you have it–my Thanksgiving faves.  I would love to hear some of your Thanksgiving faves as well.

And be sure to link up your own Friday Favorites with Andrea at Momfessionals.