It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Now it’s time to decorate!  Christmas will be here before you know it!

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Turkey Day Leftovers

What do you do with all of that leftover turkey?  I mean, really, who can eat turkey for the next week and a half until its all gone?  Well, here are some fabulous recipes that I found to make that leftover turkey seem brand new to everyone at the table. 

photo via

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Pumpkin Pasta

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This is a yummy pasta dish using the last of the season’s best: PUMPKIN!  And it is so easy.  This could also be a wonderful side dish on your Thanksgiving table.  Make the sauce and pour it over orzo for a rice like side dish.  Or serve it over mini shells and let the sauce get stuck inside.  This dish is kid approved with two thumbs up!  Enjoy!

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Weekly Menu 11/18–11/22

This week, I found lots of inspiration on Pinterest.  There are so many talented cooks out there and so many creative recipes.  Several inspired me and with some tweaks, I will be giving them a try this week.

Monday – Pumpkin Alfredo with Bacon (I don’t really like Mac n Cheese so I’m making an Alfredo sauce with pumpkin, but this photo inspired me.  I’ll post my recipe after it is family approved!)

Pumpkin Mac n' Cheese with Bacon

Tuesday – Baked Chicken with Apple and Brussel Sprout Salad (I plan to cook my Brussel sprouts first.)

Wednesday – Root Beer Pulled Pork and Southern Green Beans (pork in the Crock Pot!)

Quick Southern Green Beans

Thursday – Taco Pockets (My kids like tacos so much, I feel like I serve them once a week!  I have got to come up with some inventive ways to eat tacos!)

(image from Pillsbury)

Friday – Shrimp Wonton Cups

Weekly Menu 11/18–11/22

This week, I found lots of inspiration on Pinterest.  There are so many talented cooks out there and so many creative recipes.  Several inspired me and with some tweaks, I will be giving them a try this week.

Monday – Pumpkin Alfredo with Bacon (I don’t really like Mac n Cheese so I’m making an Alfredo sauce with pumpkin, but this photo inspired me.  I’ll post my recipe after it is family approved!)

Pumpkin Mac n' Cheese with Bacon

Tuesday – Baked Chicken with Apple and Brussel Sprout Salad (I plan to cook my Brussel sprouts first.)

Wednesday – Root Beer Pulled Pork and Southern Green Beans (pork in the Crock Pot!)

Quick Southern Green Beans

Thursday – Taco Pockets (My kids like tacos so much, I feel like I serve them once a week!  I have got to come up with some inventive ways to eat tacos!)

(image from Pillsbury)

Friday – Shrimp Wonton Cups

Blue Cheese Bacon Dip

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The relatives are coming!  The relatives are coming!

That is the cry most often heard around this time of year.  What are you going to feed them?  Thursday’s dinner is a foregone conclusion: turkey, stuffing (dressing if you’re a southerner), pecan pie. 

But what about the rest of the time?

This dip is awesome!  I made it the other day and couldn’t stop eating it.  I dipped in pita chips, carrots, corn chips.  It goes with everything.

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The Thankful Tree

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This is a really fantastic craft to get your whole family into the spirit of Thanksgiving!  It’s easy and teaches children gratitude.  We all have so many things to be thankful for, now we can really display those thoughts in a crafty and fabulously Fall way!

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I started by cutting out a leaf from cardboard.  Then I traced it onto some fall foliage colored scrapbook paper. 

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I cut out all the leaves and punched holes in the bottom where the stem would naturally be.

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I let the little ones get to work writing what they are thankful for.  I put string through the punched hole and hung them on some branches I found in the yard.   In the spirit of the season, and this craft, I will tell you all that I am thankful for family, friends, creativity and ALL of our blessings!

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Weekly Menu 11/18–11/22

This week, I found lots of inspiration on Pinterest.  There are so many talented cooks out there and so many creative recipes.  Several inspired me and with some tweaks, I will be giving them a try this week.

Monday – Pumpkin Alfredo with Bacon (I don’t really like Mac n Cheese so I’m making an Alfredo sauce with pumpkin, but this photo inspired me.  I’ll post my recipe after it is family approved!)

Pumpkin Mac n' Cheese with Bacon

Tuesday – Baked Chicken with Apple and Brussel Sprout Salad (I plan to cook my Brussel sprouts first.)

Wednesday – Root Beer Pulled Pork and Southern Green Beans (pork in the Crock Pot!)

Quick Southern Green Beans

Thursday – Taco Pockets (My kids like tacos so much, I feel like I serve them once a week!  I have got to come up with some inventive ways to eat tacos!)

(image from Pillsbury)

Friday – Shrimp Wonton Cups

Beet Soup and Ballet Shoes

I know, I know.  A very unlikely combination.  But trust me, in my case, they have gone hand in hand.

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First, the beet soup.  It is a favorite of mine.  My fathers side of the family is Polish.  And this is a classic Polish dish.  Many know it as beet borscht.  Except I don’t serve mine with sour cream.  It’s mashed potatoes and bacon all the way.  Here’s the recipe:

Beet Soup

1 bunch sweet beets, greens cut and discarded

4 C. beef broth

1 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold or Russet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed

3 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled

red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Wearing kitchen gloves and an apron, peel the beets and cut into long, thin, julienne style strips.  (Trust me, you want the gloves and apron.  Beet juice will ruin clothing and stain skin for days.)

Put cut beets and beef broth together in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until the beets are fork tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Peel and cut potatoes.  Boil them until tender and mash adding salt and pepper to taste.

In a pan, cook bacon until crispy. Crumble the bacon and mix into the mashed potatoes.

Now, serve up the soup.  Add red wine vinegar to each bowl to taste.  Everyone won’t like the same amount of tartness. Then add a scoop of the bacon mashed potatoes and enjoy!

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** Now if you weren’t smart enough to wear an apron or use gloves, you now know that beet juice stains.  So this is where the ballet shoes come in!

I have had 2 pairs of pointe shoes in a closet for months.  I found them on clearance.  I wanted to dye them and decorate my daughter’s room with them.  I just haven’t gotten around to it. 

Until I made beet soup.

And saw the gorgeous color of the soup. 

And ruined a white shirt.

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I knew right then and there that I could use the left over soup to stain the ballet shoes.

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They came out the most gorgeous deep pink color.  And they are totally non-toxic.  Vegetable dye at its best!  It’s not smelly or hazardous.  It’s fantastic!

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I sewed on the ribbon (it really brought back some memories) and hung them over the side of my daughter’s headboard.  Voila!

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