Thanksgiving 2013

Who went out shopping this morning for Black Friday?  I have gone out the past few years really early but didn’t this year.  I did go to Kohl’s this afternoon for a toy and walked right out.  The line was wrapped all the way around the store.  At 1:00 pm!  I would rather spend the extra money and not spend over an hour in line.

Anyway, let’s recap Thanksgiving!  This is the third year that we hosted and it was a success.  Matt primarily does the cooking for the main meal, especially when it comes to the turkey.  And although I may not cook the main meal, I search for the recipes that we will use.  However, I do take care of the appetizer and desserts.  My two favorite things to make.

So let’s start with the appetizer.  I made a baked BLT dip.  I found this recipe from Betty Crocker, made by The Girl Who Ate Everything.

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IMG_5069As part of the Thanksgiving meal, we had sour cream and onion mashed potatoes by Glutenista.

IMG_5062I don’t know if mashed potatoes would ever look nice in a picture…

For one of the vegetables, we had green beans.  I saw a recipe for cheese sauce on an episode of Trisha’s Southern Kitchen on Food Network. Any vegetable tastes better with cheese!

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IMG_5071And then of course, there is the dessert.  I made Joy the Baker’s Pumpkin Cream Pie.  Yum!!!

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IMG_5073After we finished at our house, we headed to my aunt and uncle’s for more dessert.  I made Averie Cooks’ loaded M&M oreo cookie bars to bring.  My version has peanut butter oreos and peanut butter m&ms.

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IMG_5052Because there were so many desserts at my aunt and uncle’s, I was asked to bring them home.  I was happy to!

Choosing recipes for Thanksgiving, I looked for ones that are simple.  There is no time for complicated or involved recipes on Thanksgiving because there is so much going on.

From the food to the company, it was a great day!  Bring on Christmas now!!!

 

My First Herb Garden

For the past couple of years, Matt and I have been able to enjoy fresh vegetables from our garden.  However, Matt is the one who put in all the work so I can’t take any credit for that.  I just did the eating.  Click here to read more about our garden!!

I was never one to have a green thumb anyway.  I enjoy nice flowers and eating fresh vegetables from a garden, but not really into maintaining it.  However, I feel different about this now.  I decided I want to take part in our garden this season but to start small, have my own little project.  I am going to have my own little herb garden.

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I didn’t realize how many different herbs exist!  Like chocolate mint!  I wouldn’t even know what to do with that.  But I am keeping it simple and going with five that I will use often:

Basil

Basil

Dill

Dill

Oregano

Oregano

Parsley

Parsley

Cilantro

Cilantro

Normally, I am not really good at keeping plants alive.  But this is different.  I am excited to take care of my herbs and to start using them in my cooking.  I will update you throughout the summer with how the garden is going and how I will be using the herbs.  So excited to get started! 🙂

 

 

 

 

We Can!

One of cool things about our house when we bought it is the existing garden bed.  However, it had not been touched in years and was incredibly overgrown.  It was a jungle in there!  Matt spent a whole summer just clearing everything out.  So we didn’t even have a garden that summer.  This is the second year we have had it and it has been successful.  There is lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, and rhubarb.  There is nothing better than having a salad with dinner made with fresh vegetables picked from the garden just 10 minutes prior.  There are also zinnias and of course sunflowers!

         

Last year we grew so much that we just couldn’t eat it fast enough or give enough away before the vegetables started to go bad.  So rather than anything go to waste, we started canning!  I should say Matt started canning and I am going to give him all of the credit for the garden and anything that has to do with it.  I just eat the stuff.  Because the garden produced a million cucumbers (not exaggerating), Matt wanted to try to make pickles.  No, I will take a little credit.  I helped get all the equipment.  The recipe for these pickles was found at the blog Food in Jars.

In a previous post I talked about the great blueberry picking Matt and I did at Turkey Hill Farm.  We went back again this weekend to get more blueberries, ending up with about 7 pounds.  What are we going to do with these you may ask?  Make blueberry jam!  This recipe can also be found at Food in Jars.

         

We have plenty of blueberries left so watch out for delicious recipes I will make with them.

Overall, canning seems to be very easy.  It just takes a lot of time because you have to wait between steps.  But, if you have a garden or have an abundance of fruits and vegetables, definitely give canning a try.  There is nothing better than making something homemade instead of buying it at the grocery store.

Once the pickles and blueberry jam are ready to be opened, I will give you an update on how they taste…can’t wait!  We are hoping to try a bunch of different recipes too so I will be sure to share them.

Cassie