baby’s first thanksgiving

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble…

Happy Thanksgiving! We are celebrating today, on Sunday, though many people I have talked to had an early Saturday celebration. Then there are the lucky ones who have multiple turkey dinners to attend and will likely be enjoying more deliciousness tomorrow! In my opinion, the more celebrating you do with food, the better.

We were in full swing today with our inappropriately sized turkey. I plan on freezing a lot of it so hopefully we get to enjoy many meals from my expensive birdie here. This year I decided to try a meat injector that my mom sent me. Never having done this before, I turned to Google. There have been years when we have brined the turkey and years where we have just seasoned and roasted. This year, I felt like the mad scientist with my giant syringe. I found a great recipe that included beer (thank you Old Milwaukee), butter, Worcestershire, tabasco, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. A few shots into each breast and under the skin and we were ready to go. I slathered the remaining sauce on top and sprinkled rosemary to keep in time with tradition. Into the oven she went for five hot and sweaty hours. Accompanying our bird was homemade stuffing, green friends including sprouts, beans and broccoli, roasted potatoes and just to keep things saucy, gravy and cheese sauce. It might sound complicated but it was a very low maintenance meal when it is spread out over that amount of time.

Now that the food has all been eaten (and frozen), the sangria is drained and our bellies are full, it is time to relax and watch Blue Jays hopefully kick some butt. I am so thankful for my family and that we have a warm and cozy house to call home. I hope all of you have a fantastic Thanksgiving and enjoy this very special holiday weekend. Time to hit the gym now . . .

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Thanksgiving Meal Prep

I can’t believe we are already well into October and it is Thanksgiving weekend! Seriously, where does the fricken time go? Hallie will also be ONE on Friday! I am baffled at how the last year passed by so quickly. When you watch a tiny baby grow into a toddler it really puts time into perspective. But enough time of reflect because it’s high time we cooked a turkey. Or at least prepped for cooking it tomorrow.

It’s our first holiday in our new home and new life in Kamloops. Even though there is only going to be three of us in attendance, I still felt the need to go all out with the usual Thanksgiving meal. I found a great local butcher and though I probably shouldn’t have, ordered a fresh local  bird. I requested the tiniest turkey possible, falling in the 11-15 pound category. I had a mild heart attack this afternoon when I went and picked up (and paid a ridiculous price for) my NINETEEN POUND birdie! WTF. May as well invite the entire Food Bank over now. I have not told hubby how much I paid for this chubby chickadee either. I will drown my broke ass sorrows in wine tonight though!

Since the real cooking action does not take place until tomorrow, I had a full afternoon of preparation on my hands. Now either I have done this meal too many times, or the shiraz has numbed all nerves, but I found it relatively stress-free and enjoyable. Or maybe it’s because no one is coming over. That sure relieves the usual holiday tension as well. I have decided to share some of my prep pictures and recipes, just in case you are in a last minute scramble looking for some tasty ideas.

Fall Inspired Sangria:

This was inspired by my new neighbours. I went to a shopping party the other night (yes, a shopping party) fuelled with this sangria and boy was it tasty. I am also never one to flow recipes exactly so feel free to toy around with the ingredients. I have a feeling though that this particular concoction will result in a very happy Thanksgiving afternoon.

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1 bottle chardonnay, 2 cups club soda, 2 cups white grapefruit juice, 2 cups rum (I used spiced rum for an extra kick), 1 cup sugar, half a bag of cranberries, chopped apples (I used Honey Crisp and Granny Smith). Let it sit and simmer for 24 hours, add ice and get tanked! I will let you know how it goes…

Homemade Stuffing For The Bird:

I am known to cook up some stove top stuffing on a normal day but the holiday calls for the homemade goods. There are countless recipes out there and sometimes it is fun to try variations that include sausage and apple and nuts. This year we are sticking with the traditional flavours. Three days ago I ripped up a bag of white sliced bread and let it go stale. I combined 2 cups of celery, 2 cups of onions, butter and the usual spice suspects in a sauce pan and let those babies sizzle. My kitchen smelt amazing! In a large mixing bowl mix together 2.5 cups of chicken stock, the stale bread, 2 eggs beaten, the celery/onion combo and salt and pepper. Go easy on your salt though because once you cross that sodium line, you can’t go back. That’s it. Refrigerate the mixture overnight and stuff that birdie with it in the morning. (On a side note here, if the turkey is done and your stuffing is still a bit soggy, bake it under the grill and it will crisp right up. Most importantly those turkey juices have become one with your stuffing, all getting ready for a party in your grateful mouth.)

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Cranberry Sauce:

Every time I make cranberry sauce I miss one of my best girl friends so so much. Maria, this batch is for you. We have a tradition of making cranberry sauce (while drinking) and I feel super nostalgic whenever I have to complete this task on my own. Much like stuffing, there are a TON of recipes out there. My favourite includes orange zest but since it is a sparsely attended meal this year, I am keeping it simple. I even followed the directions on the packet so that just shows you my imagination is limited right now. I did add a splash of whiskey and a sprinkle of nutmeg because it is tradition and really adds a punch of flavour. I highly recommend you take a peak in your liquor cabinet and see what secret sauce you can add to your own recipe! Untitled

My last tip is don’t forget to keep that little one busy. Here is my attempt while my husband turned our living room in to a construction zone and I prepped for our MASSIVE meal that shall go down tomorrow. Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving prep to you!

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Decorating The Front Porch For Fall

If you read my last post, well then you know we have been in full force around the house with decorating for fall. I am a little worried as we have yet to make our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. This means more pumpkins are coming! I will need to do some strategic rearranging no doubt of the already existing decor! We have completed the finishing touches on our front porch though and that is what I am sharing with you today! I have always wanted a porch. We had a small one in our townhouse last year however it was tucked around the side of the house and it was rare that anyone saw the display. My house now has a stately front porch which is the first thing you see when you look at the house. Naturally I had to put together some fun ideas in honour of having that space. When we got married, I invested in four vintage crates as our wedding theme was quite rustic. These crates are perfect for repurposing during the fall and winter season. I started with those and a few fall mums. I am not sure if I was luckily to pick the bad bunch or I simply killed them but my  mums have died. A sad, dry and lonely looking death. So I moved on to gourds (big surprise), a couple of craft pumpkins from Michaels and small cooking pumpkins from the grocery store. Like I said, we still need to visit the pumpkin patch. We will absolutely be getting some larger, warty and witchy looking pumpkins to join in on this space. The sign was built by my husband and with some spray paint, stencilled letters and your standard burlap garland, it added the perfect touch to a very lonely looking corner. Lastly was the wreath. It is not my usual style when it comes to wreathes but it adds some festive color to the door and seems to work well with everything else.

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No holiday decor is complete without a little chalkboard art either. I can’t wait to come up with some spooky sketches in honour of Halloween as well. It’s also time to break out Hocus Pocus and watch it on repeat!

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I couldn’t resist sharing this picture. My tiny baby was a week old and we squeezed in a pumpkin patch visit with her. It will be so fun to compare this to this year’s pics and see how much she has grown. I also might cry a little!

Hope you are enjoying the start to this festive time of year!