Category Archives: Accidentally Went to HomeGoods

Easter Guinea Pigs

No, not actual guinea pigs for Easter dinner, how horrific!  We were just pig sittin’ (and yes, when you are pig sittin’, you don’t use the second g). But I’m talking about the humans who tested my practice Easter dishes. Though the thought did scare the April Fool’s Day donuts!

So for one of the practice Easters, I made up my own ham glaze with 1 10 ounce jar peach preserves and 1 tablespoon each brown sugar and dijon mustard. Now this was a tiny spiral ham for only 5 people and it still took approximately a jillion hours to get to the safe internal temperature.  The glaze was great, but I think I’m gonna start the Easter ham this Thursday.

I might have accidentally bought this bunny with a light up egg. Ok, two. But, you’ll see come actual Easter, there is….a theme! (name that movie).

I made Cooking Light’s Artichoke and Spinach STUFFING. Yes, that’s right, stuffing. Because any reasonable 10 year old would know that if this were called a strata, it would be disgusting. And heaven forbid if one called it bread pudding, then it would be straight-up G-ROSS. But when it is a stuffing, well then, we’re in familiar territory. And it was delightful.

The only thing I did differently was used a mix of Gruyere and Fontina cheeses because that’s what I had handy. And I used canned artichokes hearts and just chopped them up a little, which I would definitely suggest.

Ok, let’s talk about this amazing simple Asparagus and Arugula Salad, also from Cooking Light.  Just greens (I used Spring mix), asparagus and hard boiled egg.

 

I grated one egg over the salad, tossed, and then grated another one. Also added 1/2 teaspoon mustard to the dressing. Don’t be tempted to add more to the dressing, I had thought about dill but then was very glad I didn’t add it. It is luscious as is.

Kevin doesn’t like asparagus so he picked it out, but still liked the salad.  I guess I could make it with other green vegetables instead like peas (Kevin – Nope), pea pods (Kevin – Nope), broccoli (Kevin – Nope).  But why mess with a classic?

Does anyone want a cocktail?  Will be making the Porch Punch from Imbibe Magazine though I cut the proportions down significantly from the 21 cups of tea and 2 bottles of bourbon! How many people does Imbibe Magazine’s porch hold?

 

Porch Punch

WHAT YOU NEED
5 cups boiling water
3 Earl Grey tea bags
1 mint tea bag
1 cup sugar
.25 ounces orange bitters
.125 ounces orange blossom water
juice of one lime
lemon and lime slices

WHAT YOU DO
Put the sugar and tea bags in the boiling water and stir to dissolve sugar. Steep the tea about 7 minutes then strain into a pitcher and cool.  When cool, add the bitters, orange water and lime juice. Refrigerate until ready.  Serve with lemon and lime slices over ice.  If you had fresh mint, that would be a lovely garnish, but don’t go out and get it just for this.

When buying the boys Easter shirts at TJ Maxx I might have also accidentally purchased these rose gold sandals.

See also: I have a problem.

That’s it, thanks to all the human guinea pigs who endured the recipe testing. See you at actual Easter for my themed tablescape. It justifies the Homegoods problem, trust me!

Have a great week everyone!

It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Autumn

My sister made fun of me because I bought this cute little mustard mug at Cost Plus World Market last weekend

fancymustard

Then decorated for fall with Skunk the Cat (#nothelpful).

catontable

and then arranged a whole Oktoberfest dinner around the mustard. Is that so wrong?

ocktoberfest

Mostly, I just wanted fall to begin and by using my condiment talisman, I was successful.  So successful, in fact, that it was 44 degrees at Drummer Boy’s soccer game Friday night.  Let me know if anyone needs any spells cast. Because I’m on it. And, speaking of witches, HALLOWEEEEEEEN time!

So what’s new this year?

Lots more skeletons in the yard.dsc_0250

This guy!

dsc_0247

Not new but still fun for cats to bite the tails

stairs

Accidentally went to TJ Maxx/Homegoods and came home with this skull

final1476303575250_resized

and his friend (helpful cat for scale).

skull

Did I mention Skunk the Cat sleeps in a shark head now. Yep.  But only if it’s on a pillow. He’s got cable in there, but I didn’t get him HBO. That’s where I draw the line. #notspoiled

catshark

Oh and some fun swirling ghost lights, but they are really hard to get a picture of what with all their haunting. So if you are in the neighborhood, swing by and take a look.

But what to make, now that we can turn on the oven again?

I have always wanted to try to make Momofuku’s Compost Cookie because I see it referenced so many places on the internet. However, the recipes posted are vastly different.  The most common one calls for using a 6 ounce scoop to form the dough. That is almost a cup of dough per cookie! Seems a bit much. So I kind of borrowed from this recipe from Amateur Gourmet and this one posted by the original chef.  The point is to use up whatever you have a little bit of, balancing the sweet and the savory.

The Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookie

WHAT YOU NEED
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 TBSP corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt (note: Adjust if your savory ingredients are extra salty)
1 1/2 cups total mini chocolate chips and crushed KitKats
1 1/2 cups total your favorite salty snack. I used potato chips, pretzels (crushed with my hands so there were still large lumps of pretzels) and Rice Krispies.

WHAT YOU DO
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the butter, sugars, and corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 10 minutes.  I’m serious, don’t skip this, let it go 10 minutes.  It will get all puffy.

Reduce the speed to really low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. 

Pour in the sweet items and mix on low just until broken up a little and combined.  Then add your salty ingredients and mix by hand until incorporated.  

Now here’s where some experimenting comes in.  Some recipes said to chill as scoops, some said press down lightly.  Some said freeze, some said refrigerate. I did both. The scoops (as pictures below left) didn’t cook in the middle.  And the pan you cook it on also needs to be cold. And the first batch burnt on the bottom (I say burnt, Fake Sister’s dad says they are just crispy – so that batch goes to him!)

Here’s what I did:  Heat oven to 375 degrees. Using an ice cream scoop, portion the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Flatten the scoops into a disc like the one on the right.

final1475939474445_resized

Cover tightly with plastic and put in freezer for 30 minutes.  Remove and put in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to a week.  You have to cook these from cold or they dissolve.

Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment or silicone baking mat-lined sheet pan.  To prevent burning bottoms, I put one sheet pan on top of another. Bake for 15 minutes turning the pan at the middle mark. The cookies will spread a lot.  You want them browned on the edges but looking almost not done (but yet done). You can add a minute or two if not done. Cool completely on the pan.

And voila!  Ginormous sweet/salty cookies.

final1475939417986_resized

I made this Autumn Bliss Salad with Stuffing Croutons from A Beautiful Mess.   The only thing I did differently is that instead of cooking the celery I put it in the salad crispy and cold, but added 1/8 of a teaspoon of celery salt to the crouton mixture.  You could seriously serve these croutons as a snack and no one would judge you.  Certainly not me!

salad

I also added two squirts of honey to the dressing. I would suggest dressing the lettuce before adding pumpkins seeds and cranberries, otherwise they sink to the bottom when you toss.

I’m thinking maybe next up some apple loaves are in order. And in honor of the fall weather we’re having Soup-a-palooza at work, so this coming weekend I need to make two gallons of creamy tomato soup. You say prizes, I say how many gallons you need??  More on that later.

Over the weekend we made a mandatory pumpkin farm visit.

pumpkinfarm

But didn’t get any big pumpkins because (a) last year they all rotted almost instantly, with a black moss type thing growing in them, so those strobe lights in there were sacrificed to the Pumpkin King and (2) they were out of wagons to carry them.  Grocery store pumpkins it is!

There will be both a costume October birthday party and a costume pizza night coming up, along with actual Halloween. So don’t think this is the end, because the Halloween storage bins, they are CALLING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!!!!

dsc_0259

Have a great rest of the week everyone.

What’s Black and White
and Orange ALL over?

It’s that time of year.  When we spend two solid days decorating for a holiday that will occur only between the hours of 3-7 on October 31st. Time to task ratio seems a bit off here.

Not to worry – we’re going to carry this season from pumpkin carving today to a Thursday in-costume band concert all the way to a Saturday Halloween Pizza Night (Saturday wha??? – how will the Earth stay on its access)?   So more to come on those fronts.

In the meantime, I may have obtained just a couple other Halloween decorations (hello bin number 13!).  Let’s review some favorites, shall we. We shall.

FIrst up, Darth Vader pumpkin. #Nerdfoiles. And yes, that is Vampire Mr. Burns standing behind him.

final1445530954311

These cute Day of the Dead/slightly Jack Skellington skull earrings that I picked up in Denver.

final1445531634492

And, our friend Kazza was thoughtful enough to think, “Hey, while their wine has a Halloween holder, I don’t think it has a Halloween costume!”.  And now this.

final1445531030434

Then there’s this flaming pumpkin that I got last year at 80% off, but didn’t open the box and just put it in storage. Oops, guess what, light didn’t work and I’m welllll past the return date. No worries, thanks stick on pumpkin strobe light!

20151025_081928

Since that pumpkin was so bummed out that his light didn’t work, I accidentally went to Homegoods and bought him some friends. Say hello to his leeeeettle friends (name that movie).

20151025_082133

And though I’ve had these bat plates from Pottery Barn for a while, they look good with the new dishes I got last year.

final1445532610611Here’s hoping for some good trick or treating weather. I’ll be back with the post-Halloween update. For now, enjoy the spooky lunar eclipse picture from a few weeks ago that I took with my tiny blogging camera. Yay science!

final1445531975228Have a great week everyone.

 

The I’ll Do it Someday Someday is Now!

Sure, some people might have days off between jobs and go away for a weekend.  A spa day perhaps?  Maybe just lounge about on the porch and read some of those eleven books stacked up on one’s nightstand?  Sure, one COULD do that. Or, presented with 10 days of no kids at home and a husband who can reach things in high places, one COULD also embark on the biggest organizing and cleaning spree since one moved in here eight years ago.  And it was done. So say we all. #Nerdfoiles.

First up, the most significant change was Drummer Boy’s room losing its nursery motif. Because he’s 9.  Yep, 9. I never said I moved with lightning speed.

image-1

And changing colors

image-2

To a sports/Minecraft/Art theme more suited to a boy of his maturity.

DSC_0437 DSC_0438

Next up, our closet.  Before:

IMG_1261

After

IMG_1265

Yes, I know the tag is still on it. I’m gonna wear it this fall, I swear.

But oh, it gets worse. Don’t worry, we’re getting there.  Laundry room before:

IMG_1267

IMG_1266

After

image-3image-4

photoOh dear, now we go down to THE BASEMENT. Actually, it’s been more cluttered. We recently unloaded the baby toys (like play kitchens, small vehicles) so there are lot less large items. I remember buying this house thinking, “Now we have a finished basement, so all the toys will be down there and I won’t have to stare at a mess all day”.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, woo, woo, oh.  Whew!

Anyway, the basement before:

DSC_0444 DSC_0446 DSC_0445

And after

DSC_0455 DSC_0454 DSC_0453

DSC_0456

Behind the bar, before

DSC_0447

Behind the bar, after.  Why yes, we do need more can koozies.  Thank you for asking.

DSC_0457

And finally, the utility room. Now, by way of background for those that are new here, at the old house we had a scary, spider-filled, space between the stairs where someone could easily grab you type of basement. Thus, whenever I would accidentally go to Homegoods, I would purchase a festive red platter, enjoy it, and then send that festive red platter down to said basement. Then the next time I accidentally went to Homegoods, I’d think “Hey, I don’t have a red platter” because, you know, object permanence issues. And down to the scary Hell-mouth basement that one would go too. Tablecloths would suffer the same fate. Resulting, as some  might say, in an excess of housewares. Now, however, there is no excuse as our basement is lovely. No excuse for THIS!

IMG_1279IMG_1281

DSC_0451

Or this tablecloth tower of doooooom:

IMG_1280

But, finally all is in order.  With napkins in drawers labeled by season, kitchen and hand towels bagged by holiday:

IMG_1300Tablecloths loaded into a dresser by size of the table:

IMG_1284

Often used items put within handy reach:

IMG_1301

And platters and assorted dishes organized by color. As any normal person does. Right? Normal people do that, right?!!

IMG_1283Note the number of red dishes. It was a real problem.

Along the way a number of drawers were organized (nightstand, desk), supplies were created for the holiday gift I’m going to give the neighbors (SUSPENSE – it’s only September!) and Halloween Block Party planning/organizing has begun.

But for those who only come here for the food and not the OCD ramblings of a hoarder, what were some of the food highlights I made after seven days of seven straight hours of straight up straightening up?

Made this Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce from Can You Stay for Dinner.  Didn’t have green beans so I used broccoli.  Also, only used half the chili garlic sauce and it was plenty spicy for me. Did I take a picture – no, because I was too tired from all the before and aftering.

Also grilled up some very simple chicken legs.  This is a very simple, fast way to grill chicken legs with lots of flavor.

20150919_132720

And, the never fail Ina Garten’s Baked Potato Wedges

20150919_132707

The leftovers of which became Two Peas and Their Pod’s Loaded Baked Potato Frittata (fri-ta-ta – that’s a fun word to say) for dinner the following night.

20150921_142719

20150921_144313

And for dessert during my unemployment period?

Kentucky Butter Cake cookies from Cookies and Cups.

20150925_100315

Oh, I may have also watched two entire seasons of Orphan Black at City Cousin’s insistence. Which means I also didn’t sleep very much on certain evenings.

So, ultimately, over the last two weeks we donated/gave away/boxed up for Mom’s garage sale:

  • 13 Hefty bags total of clothing and shoes
  • 4 bags of toys
  • 3 boxes of books
  • 3 boxes of ancient financial records shredded
  • 3 boxes of housewares

Buuuuuuut, nonetheless, I accidentally went to Homegoods because I had something to return (it happens!), and may have bought a new fall pillow and blanket.

20150925_110817

Which Skunk the Cat is totally fine with.

catblanket

Now go get your weekend on. I know I will as I have to go to the new job on Monday. There may be pumpkin bread involved.  Just sayin’

Happy Fall y’all.

Happy 4th of July!

It doesn’t get more patriotic than:

Red, white and blue mustaches,

DSC_0250

Pringles,

pringles

Place settings (may have accidentally gone to Homegoods for new tablecloth and napkins)

placesetting

Patriotic looking salad (more on that on Instagram),

patrioticsalad

Candles,

candles

And fireworks (being filmed on a iPhone):

IMG_1386 - Version 2

Have a safe and happy 4th everyone.   Vacation pics and best things to cook in a rental house coming soon.

 

 

What I Like About URL

Just browsing the internet this week:

This teenager is the type of teenager we all hope to raise.

However, this is more the reality of my boys right now.

I was kind of hoping these would be part of the summer sale at Nordstrom.  And they are!

Um, I didn’t accidentally buy this small couch at Homegoods, but I might go back and accidentally do so.  Wonder if it’s still there?  Will it look right in the living room?

couch

I kind of want these herb pots from Anthropologie.  Because I need more stuff on my kitchen counters. There’s still a part where you can still see a little granite.

These Fruity Pebbles Krispy Treats are going on the need-to-make-next list.

This photographer takes beautiful portraits of shelter animals.  Think, think, does Skunk need 5 dog brothers?

Happy weekend!

 

 

Appetizers vs Dodd Frank

I am often asked, why do you do the blog, how do you find the time, etc.   If you would like to know why I find joy in talking about recipes or pretty tables or crafts or parties, then you need only click on the following link and then click on the chart:

SEC Chart of Regulation

Go ahead, click on it.  I’ll wait. This is a chart prepared by a Commissioner at the SEC (the law one, not the sports one) showing every regulation imposed on a financial services company since 2010.  Two-Thousand Ten. The original Securities Act was passed in 1933 – so there have been just a feeeeew regulations in between.

Now ask me again, “Why are you oven roasting tomatoes for pasta salad when you can buy them in a jar?” Answer:  Because I know what I’m dealing with and it won’t change tomorrow.

All right, got that off my chest. So K went to a Little League meeting the other night and I had about 45 minutes before I had to pick him up and go get the boys from School of Rock.  And the meeting was taking place near a store that rhymes with Ebay Tacks/Romehoods. Sooooooo, this happened:

New summer bench pillows.

pillow

New summer throw.

20150612_125325

Oh and a couple of these Turkish style beach towels.

final1434207413720

And I may have also purchased a bag that can hold the Surface, the Samsung camera and my phone.  You know, because the other bags were lonely.

So I think we can all agree.  Sports are bad for household economies.

So now that we won’t be eating out ever again, what’s on the menu?

Tecate Flank Steak Tacos from The Mission via Bon Appetit.

taco

The only substitutions I made was flank steak (obv from the re-name) instead of skirt steak, parsley instead of cilantro (tastes like soap to me) and Queso Fresco for Cotija (because I couldn’t find Cotija).

And to drink:

drink

Grapefruit Margaritas
Adapted oh so slightly from Cookie + Kate’s Best Margarita Recipe via A Cup of Jo

WHAT YOU NEED (for 4 margaritas)
1 cup agave tequila
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup grapefruit juice
1/2 cup orange juice
4 tsp agave nectar
Salt, sugar and lime wedges for garnish

WHAT YOU DO
Combine first 5 ingredients in a pitcher and stir vigorously.  Rub the lime over the rim of whatever glass you are using.  Doesn’t have to be margarita glass if after 19 years of marriage you may have broken all but 2 that you got for your wedding.  Place even amount salt and sugar on a dish and stir to combine. Dip the glass in the salt/sugar.  Add ice to glass an pour that refresher in.  Obviously this can be doubled/tripled if you have a big crowd.

As you may have seen on my Instagram, my dill plant was infested.

bugs

So, now obviously this army of creepy crawlies is on its way up the side of the house to come in upstairs and crawl over my face while I’m sleeping.  YES, IT COULD HAPPEN.  My cousin has a friend whose brother’s roommate’s ex-fiancee had them lay eggs in her ears in tiny dill nests.  True story.

Stay ever vigilant, my resident bug killer.

catinbox

 

Tomorrow – Hawks win video!    Congratulations to the Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks!!!!!!

Happy Spring Break and Easter Happenings

Hello all.  We’re back from a fun, but lacking in sleep, trip to the Wisconsin Dells.  There was:

Surfing

surfing

Lazy rivering

image

Partying (Hulk say, “Drinks too small”)

image

And…sitting inside the waterpark watching Spongebob.

image

 But a good time was had by all.

image

Then of course the 9th Avenue Egg Hunt:

image

image

Then, right on to Easter for 30 people at my house.  Yikes.

Main dishes were my standard roast salmon (see prior Easterpost) and glazed ham using The Pioneer Woman’s glaze with its secret ingredient:

image

This glaze is for you, Fake Sister.

image

Also made a wonderful Melon Salad with Prosciutto from NotWithout Salt

image

And the rest of the sides were asparagus, green salad, scalloped potatoes, lemon jello (even better when you eat it with your hands, says Baby D):

image

and of course, the spécialité de la maison – buttered noodles.

image

For dessert:  Lemon Cupcakes from The Alchemist with Fresh Blueberry Frosting from White on Rice Couple. I am not responsible for the use of the word “moist” in the recipe’s title.

Look at the rest of the cute desserts from the oh-so-talented Ellen Anderson

image

The boys and I tried to make dyed Rice Krispie easter eggs.  Essentially just use the Rice Krispie treat recipe, add food dye to the marshmallows when stirring. Note to file: in the future, do not try to make purple marshmallow krispie eggs unless you realllllly like gray food.  Do not blame Ellen for the gray eggs!

And the Easter drink this year was Pineapple Sangria from How Sweet It Is.

image

The Tables

For grown up table favors I went with the pretty blue and purple Mason jars as vases.

image

For grown up table #2, I busted out my napkin folding skills.

image
image

For the kids’ table, little Easter take out food boxes with Game of Thrones dragon eggs. Fine, they aren’t GoT but are called dinosaur eggs (with a tiny dinosaur inside) on Amazon. But the Mother of Dragons can dream, can’t she?

image

By the way, I accidentally went to TJ Maxx/Homegoods last week and bought pretty dishes. What?!  You never see twelve of anything at HomeGoods. It was a sign from above.  And when my sister went to her TJ Maxx/Homegoods to look for extra plates for me, she found the mirror she had been looking for. Divine intervention indeed.

image

Mother Nature again cooperated beautifully for the egg hunt.

image

Even the dyed eggs got dressed up.

image

And in the end, it was good day to relax. On a couch. In the yard.  Seriously, why won’t anyone on Craig’s List buy this couch. Best offer. Text me. Drummer boy not included.

image

Happy Easter everyone!

We Need a Little Christmas

Christmas is UP!   So let’s take a look.   In order to save us all time and effort, let’s just assume that if I don’t state where something is from, you can know that it is from TJ Maxx/HomeGoods.  It’s either that or we turn this into some kind of “Hi Bob” type drinking game.

The Sparkly Trees

Many years ago, a former colleague at Merrill Lynch and I took an epic lunch trip to the Tag outlet store called the 1730 Outlet on the north side of Chicago which had no sign, no parking, was in the back of a warehouse and was only open for about 3.2 hours a day. But in this glorious space were items you normally see from Tag at Crate & Barrel, Macy’s or the Container Store at ¼ of the price.  Now, this was before the Internet allowed Tag to sell to just anyone, not just to those with the stamina to forego lunch and race up the Kennedy to save a bunch on housewares, and then lug them, piece by piece, home on the train over the course of the next two weeks.  But it does explain why I have Easter napkins, Halloween appetizer plates, Thanksgiving napkins, 67 napkin rings, seasonal doormats, and these:

image

I put Starry String Lights from Restoration Hardware inside them on timers.  They are tiny little lights on copper wires so you can bend them. Looks cute in mercury glass too.

The Santas

Once again, I find myself with a collection of things that I don’t actually collect.  It started with one wooden Santa that Marge and Dad gave me, then I found another in an existing Christmas bin, then someone else gave me one as a hostess gift, then I saw another at *do a shot*.   And so on, and so on,

image

In honor of this non-collection, we also decided to do the family room tree as a Santa theme:

image

image

The Christmas Art

I love this Christmas Motawi tile that we purchased at The Art Stop here in town.

image

Favorite Christmas pictures of Baby Guitar Boy:

 image

And Baby Drummer Boy.  Frames from Exposures.

image

As an aside, here is Guitar Boy performing at his first gig at a bar yesterday with the Hinsdale School of Rock band.  They played Tom Petty songs:

image

Ok, so it was at 3:00 p.m. on a Saturday, but still, pretty cool.   Drummer Boy has just been promoted up to the performance group as well, so he’ll join his brother on stage later in the year.

Back to this business of Christmas.

Other Stuff

Front Room Tree

Went with a turquoise and red theme on this one. Turned out cute, huh?

image

image

The White Elephant Party

This is a great group and we always have a blast.  The gifts are always ridiculous and we each collect stuff throughout the year/run to Walgreens 5 minutes before the party to come up with the most irrelevant items you never wanted to own, but yet somehow were mass produced anyway.

Here is what we gifted:

The Date Night In Package consisting of a Big Bang Theory fleece blanket, a White Castle scented candle, (Yep, scented like a slider.  Yep, it smells as disgusting as it sounds), bacon lip balm and a yodeling pickle.

image

The Dessert Package consisting of a set of Presidential Pez, blue rock candy that looks like meth from Breaking Bad (was supposed to go with Kevin’s Halloween costume but we forgot) a chocolate zombie Santa and a unicorn shaker where sprinkles come out of its butt.    Happy birthday baby Jesus.

image

About 10 years ago, the white elephant gifts would lean towards inappropriate adult gifts. This year, 5 of them were toilet related.  We received two humorous toilet paper roll holders, including one that looks like a Polaroid camera with toilet paper that looks like Polaroid pictures. We are old.

To close, we present one of many awful pictures that Drummer Boy took with Santa at the mall over the years.  Even the presence of Fake Sister could not cheer him up.

This has a “let’s re-create this picture when we’re in our 30s” written all over it.

Happy pre-Christmas everyone!

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Cheers!

image

Oh relax, its a pomegranate/apple juice spritzer. But Cousin Minecraft’s face does have a Dorothy Parker Algonquin Round Table “bored with you all” kind of look to him.

The Table

Because this is the smallest of McNamara/Guilfoile/Kuhn holidays, what with people going to various in-laws’ houses, we can, for this one-time only, fit at one table.

These are my new dishes that Kevin got me for my birthday.   My other ones are almost 20 years old and are starting to show their age.   I’ll still keep the ones that aren’t chipped, but I thought it was time to class things up around here.

 image

The aforementioned salted butter:

image

The Final Menu

image

The Gravy  While the gravy made with the turkey was good, it was not that different from the gravy made two weeks ago and frozen.  Therefore, that gravy wins as it doesn’t require sweating over the stove at the last minute until your previously flat bangs turn into water buffalo horns.

The Turkey from Epicurious.  Was done even faster than the recipe said (maybe because I only did one pan, not two).

The Pumpkin Cornbread Stuffing

The Salad.  I used the dressing from this Brussels sprout slaw from The View From Great Island but poured it over butter lettuce, toasted walnuts, shredded carrots and dried cranberries.

Also Colleen & Mitch’s cheesy potatoes, sweet potatoes, Mom’s stuffing, corn and fruit.  So for those counting, yes, that is 3 potato dishes and 2 stuffings.  For 13 people.   Irish Thanksgiving.

Dessert Table

Chocolate Pie from the Pioneer Woman.  Guitar Boy’s comment:  My life has been changed forever.   So I think he liked it.

Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats   I’d seen so many food bloggers comment on Smitten Kitchen’s recipe that I had to try them.  Plus, Drummer Boy doesn’t really like cake, pie, pudding or candy which leaves him a bit stranded in the McNamara dessert oasis.

Apple Pie – from Kirschbaum’s bakery.   Why mess with greatness.

Cranberry Orange Scones from Trader Joes – because GG likes them.

And Aunt Colleen brought brownies.   Because you can’t have only 4 desserts for 13 people!

image

Who Was There?

 image

But Really, Who Was the Cutest Person There?

image

Why it was Colleen and Mitch’s grand-nephew, Sweet Baby D.

So what now?

Christmas is going up.  I’ll come back with a post about some of my favorite Christmas items a little later.  With respect to recipes on deck, I’ve got to take something to Rob and Nancy’s most awesome white elephant Holiday Party that we look forward to every year.  But my company’s party is the same night, so it’s going to have to be cookies that I can pre-wrap on the tray I’m giving them:

image

And then Kevin can just bring the cookies with him when he picks me up at the train from the company party.  Note, the tray is not our white elephant gift as it is not impractical, inappropriate, useless or hilarious. I’ll let you know what we gave/received after the party.

Here are some of the possible choices on the cookies though:

The Pioneer Woman’s Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

I’ve made them before and they are quite tasty.  However, the Chocolate Pistachio Sablés from Bon Appetit look delicious and fancy (you can tell they are fancy because of l’accent aigu over the e).    Food always tastes better with an accent aigu or accent grave.  It’s a fact.  I’m sure it’s on Wikipedia somewhere. Or it will be shortly.

If I find myself slacking off and sleeping more than 4 hours a night, I might do these wonderful, but time-intensive, Lemon Wreaths from Martha Stewart.

Now go get your weekend on!

.