Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gravy Snob

This Thanksgiving was the first time that I ever attempted making gravy from scratch.  It always seemed so intimidating before that I just cracked open a jar and moved on.  This year I decided that it was time to tackle my fear. So, when I saw this recipe for Giblet Gravy posted on Simply Recipes I decide to go with it. 

The process was relatively simple.  Make a stock out of the giblets.  Add pan drippings. Add chopped up giblets.  Thicken.  So that's what I did.  It was divine!  I, as a rule, do not eat liver or any kind of filtering organ, however, I slurped up every last drop of this gravy, little bits of live and all.

Sadly, I didn't take any pictures, but trust me it was good.  I didn't really know how good until last night when I was heating up leftovers and had to use jarred gravy.  Oh my god!  Swill... jarred gravy is swill now that I have tasted the nectar of the Gods.  No, not ambrosia... giblet gravy!

Who knew I would turn out to be a gravy snob?

5 Random Things for Wednesday -- The Chirstmas Edition

1.  I have never read/seen the Polar Express.  I understand that it's about a train.
2.  I completely do not get/understand the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon.  It kind of seems creepy to me.
3.  I refuse, flat out refuse, to decorate before December 1st.
4.  I have never tasted eggnog or anything eggnog flavored... and I have no idea why.
5.  I swear up and down every year that I will only wrap presents with what I have in the house and every year I end up buying something... I did it this year with Thomas the Train wrapping paper for Nate's gifts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lucky Girl

So yesterday I turned 35.  I am officially half way to 70.  Ugg... there are a couple of things that I would like to do with this year... birthday resolutions if I may.

For one, I am going to make a concerted effort to use my camera more.  Hubby gave me his old DSLR when he leveled up and currently it sits in a drawer.  I make way better use of the camera on my phone.  But starting now, I am going to use my DSLR more!  Thanks to hubby I now have this snazzy new camera bag to tote my toy around in.  Thanks Babe!

Next, I am going to improve my eating habits and move around a little more.  I started this before my birthday actually, by making and drinking my green smoothies.  I also need to say adios to most (not all, lets be realistic here) of the sugar in my diet.  I made a good choice today be eating some leftover water chestnuts wrapped in bacon that my brother-in-law made as appetizers for Thanksgiving.  This is in direct contradiction to four of the cook books that hubby and Nate got me for my birthday:

Finally, I want to work on my nails.  I am a chronic nail and cuticle biter.  I have been since... forever and a day.  But I really hate the ways my fingers look, so it is time to work on that.  My mother in law swears by biotin for nail and hair growth.  I picked up a bottle today at Target so here goes nothing.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Thanksgiving Buffet-Scape

This will all be disassembled tomorrow to make rom for the food, but for today, it looks very festive.

I cross stitched the picture on the stand many many years ago.  Here is a close up:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Green Smootie

So the
holiday season is officially upon us.  This is when things seem to get out of control and there are more things to be done than there are hours in the day.  This is also the time of year when I, usually, get rundown and then sick.  This year I am taking a stand... I will not get run-down!  I will not get sick!  Here is my plan for this hoilday season to ward off run-downness and sickness:

1.  Drink a lot of water!!!  Do not get dehydrated, or under hydrated!
2.  Take a multivitamin every single day!
3. Three plus times a week drink a green smoothie.

I have been reading about green smoothies for a while, but just recently decided to take the plunge.  I mean, I eat relatively well... most of the time... but the one thing I have trouble getting enough of is leafy green veggies.  This is mostly because I don;t really like salads... I don't... I just don't like them.  I like all the veggies in them, but I don't really want to eat them raw. 

So I decided to drink them.  So far, so good.  My "recipe" if you can call it that is:

1 banana (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup of frozen raspberries
1/2 cup of frozen peaches
2 cups of fresh spinach
1/2 cup water


It looks completely disgusting and tastes a little spinch-y but it is a very good and easy way to get 5 servings of fruits and veggies in your diet.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Week Plan

Ok, so Thanksgiving is Thursday, and I am trying to not feel overwhelmed by everything that is going on and everything I have to do.  I am trying to do as much ahead of time as possible to on Thursday all I really have to worry about it the Turkey and the gravy..

Sunday:  Go to the supermarket and buy T-Day supplies (Done)
Monday:  Make biscuits and freeze, make ice cream for dessert, Clean the house
Tuesday:  Work, Make cornbread for cornbread dressing and let it get stale
Wednesday: Make Brine and start brining turkeys.  Prep carrots, make stuffing, make the caramel apples that will be place card holders, pull out table and chairs
Thursday: Cook turkey, make gravy, set table and buffet, cook carrots

Cinnamon Bun Waffles

Perhaps you have seen these on a blog or on Pinterest?  At the moment I am seeing them everywhere and they lookes so good and so easy that I had to try and make them.

First, you will need a waffle iron of some sort.  This is mine.  It makes 2 square waffles at a time.

Then you will need a tube of cinnamon rolls like these. (oops I popped the can before I remember to take a pic)

Then you take a cinnamon bun out of the tube and place it on the hot and buttered (Pamed, lubed in some way shape or form, etc.) waffle iron.

Close the lid of the waffle iron and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Open the iron, remove the "waffles" and plate them.

After I made them all, I look the icing packet and spread a little icing on every waffle.  They are so good!!!  And whole process takes less time and energy than baking the cinnamon buns in the oven.

Try it, you'll like it...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon** to use at just for voting!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thinking about Thanksgiving

It hasn't really dawned on me than Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away... even though people are calling and asking what they can bring.  Oh, well, I guess I better put a menu together.  This is what I am thinking about having:

Smoked Turkey
Roasted Turkey
Cornbread Stuffing
Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Chunky Cranberry Sauce
Creamed Onions
Green Veggie
Creamed Corn  (from scratch, which, ironically, contains no cream)
Mashed Potatoes
Glazed Carrots

Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie

Wow, that is a lot of food.  Maybe we don't need the cream corn...  or maybe we do. What are you making this year?