Over the years of my adult life, I’ve really come to LOVE Thanksgiving. I wasn’t a big fan as a kid – we ate a meal and then my boy cousins made jokes I didn’t understand and fell asleep on the floor, while my girl cousins were more than five years older than me and got to sit at the adult table. But NOW. Now I love Thanksgiving. It’s all the food and family and cooking without the stress of gifts and snow and travel that Christmas time brings. Don’t get me wrong – Christmas is still the BEST – but Thanksgiving season means 1) the year is wrapping up soon, 2) more holidays and days off of work are around the corner, and 3) SNUGGLING. Plus wine. Now I can drink wine. Cheers to you, 8-year-old self.
So anyway, in the years of this blog, I’ve managed to write about lots of different recipes, from desserts to health foods to main dishes. And so today I present you with a summary entitled:
Thanksgiving Recipes for All Your People
#1 Three (or less) ingredient appetizers that even your cousin who can’t cook can make.
Pear and Prosciutto Wraps
Baked Brie with Green Pepper Jelly
Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts
#2 Paleo and vegetarian dishes for your health-conscious Aunt Jo, depending on what camp she’s in this year.
Spicy Swiss Chard and Zucchini
Turkey Stuffed Bell Peppers
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower – IT’S SO GOOD.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chili
#3 Traditional-ish desserts for your in-laws.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Peanut Butter Pie
Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake
Katy’s Strawberry Cake
Let me know how it goes if you try any of them out! And enjoy the kickoff to this holiday season with your family and loved ones. Blessings!
Sometimes, I shop a tad bit impulsively online. It’s not always on clothes – it’s often on random fitness things or jewelry or whatever random thing I think is JUST SO CLEVER.
Recently, I did just such a thing on the website FlapJacked. As my husband can attest, I often am trying new muffin and bar recipes, trying to make them healthier and full of protein. They don’t usually taste very good…so when I stumbled on FlapJacked, I decided to try it! I bought the buttermilk pancake mix (which you can actually make a lot of recipes from) as well as a four-pack with their two types of protein muffins – apple cinnamon and chocolate.
THEY ARE SO GOOD. I mean, granted, if you are familiar with the flavor of protein powder, you can taste it a bit, but seriously these pack such a nutritional punch and seriously curb my muffin cravings.
This weekend, I finally got around to trying the pancake mix. I added cinnamon, and sprinkled each pancake with unsweetened coconut and a few banana slices. Topped it all off with a few walnuts. I was seriously full for such a long time. And again, totally fulfilled my Sunday morning pancake craving. I highly recommend trying it – I certainly will try their other mixes down the road!
I make a lot of recipes from Skinnytaste, but so far, this is definitely one of my favorites. The Skinny Eggplant Rollatini is super flavorful and rich, but yet light enough for a summer dinner. The hubs is out of town, so I made myself this nice big pan on Sunday night, so I have dinners ready-made throughout the week. It was also pretty easy. Only took me a minute to slice up the eggplant (I didn’t use my mandolin, so they are a little uneven, but it really didn’t matter…)
Three minutes to mix up the filling…
Another three minutes to roll them up, and voila! Just need to bake them!
Not the prettiest photo, I know, but these were SO GOOD. And that’s four meals or so right there, ready to go.
I don’t usually go meatless at meals, but I decided to switch it up. You could definitely throw some ground turkey or something into the mix if you wanted to up the protein. I’m sure this would make a great “lasagna,” too, but the cute little rolls make me happy. Enjoy!
Sometimes, you just feel like making cookies from scratch. And you have cookie cutters to represent the states you live in. And so you make state-shaped cookies from scratch.
I tried a new recipe – the hubs didn’t love it, but I did! Whenever you are rolling out dough and using cookie cutters, you need to make sure you are using a recipe that won’t rise or puff up at all, because that would jeopardize your shapes. They are already going to look a little wonky – don’t make it worse!
I used this VERY simple recipe from Nestle. I ended up drizzling chocolate on them to make them a little extra sweet, but you could also ice them as they show on their website.
OKAY BUT THEN our department of about 50 people were planning our “Celebrate Archie” day, as Archie prepares for a job transition, which included an Archie “trivia” game with our staff…
And then an ice cream social, with these adorable balloons…
And I thought, I SHOULD MAKE OHIO COOKIES! So I made these…some Vanilla Almond cookies with a football cookie cutter, and some of the afore mentioned chocolate chip cookies shaped like Ohio, and with a little extra chocolate love. Also I made a LOT more than six, but I forgot to take a photo, and this is what was left near the end…
I think he liked them! I’ll miss seeing this face around the building everyday…
Y’all know I love a good brunch. I ESPECIALLY love hosting a good brunch! Recently, I hosted a Sunday brunch for the ladies of my small group at church. Eight of us around my hubs’ grandmother’s table just makes me so happy!
I turned the usual “bar” area of the dining room into a coffee and juice bar, which really worked out well. See the flowers? Those were sent to me at work the week before by my hubby and they are still going strong and are a beautiful addition to the house!!
If you’ve been around my blog a while, you’ve probably also noticed my love of baby’s breath. It kind of works out that it’s one of the cheapest flowers out there, so comes in very handy when sprucing up the place for a little event like this. Sunflowers also happened to be my absolute childhood favorite – my dad and stepmom can attest to my bedroom that included a sunflower comforter, yellow walls and dresser drawers, and sunflowers stenciled EVERYWHERE.
It was a potluck brunch, but as the host I really wanted to be sure to have some main courses ready to roll. Eight people = quiche. Perfect! I made my usual recipe with a few veggies swaps, and added these mini bell pepper slices on top for a little visual prettiness.
And also bacon. And sausage.
Everyone brought AMAZING dishes, and we had such a great time just chatting about jobs, marriages, babies, etc. A very happy Sunday for all of us!
You get one crappy iPhone photo and THAT’S IT.
But it doesn’t take away from the awesomeness and easiness of this chicken. I’m kicking myself (figuratively AND literally) for not doing this sooner. How easy, you ask?
Put one pound of chicken breast and two cups of chicken stock in your crock pot. Low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4 hours.
YOU’RE DONE. I shredded mine in two seconds with a fork because it was so tender. I let it chill a little longer in the juice, but that’s completely optional.
I also diced an onion into some large chunks and threw it in there with some seasonings. You could add any veggies really: carrots, onions, bell peppers, etc. But at the end of the day, all you REALLY need is chicken and stock.
OMG WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE.
Happy Wednesday, y’all!
As I mentioned yesterday, I had a great weekend with my dad. And then on Monday, after he left, I spent the afternoon with some friends grilling out and enjoying the weather. I brought Ryman over as well, since one of my friends had his two Dauchshunds. Meeting each other was a little iffy, but once everyone settled in, I think they had a fun day playing! And Ryman has pretty much been out cold ever since…
Also, as promised, I have a DELICIOUS margarita recipe for you. In fact, it is a WATERMELON MARAGARITA. HELLO. I know it’s not the prettiest picture, but that’s life, guys.
3 cups watermelon
2 cups tequila
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar
large pinch of salt
Blend it all up, and pour it over ice!! You could also blend it with ice, however watermelon has so much water in it, that even blending it with ice doesn’t make it very “slushy,” so I recommend just skipping the blended ice and serving it on the rocks. Garnish with a lime and/or watermelon wedge!