Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Bloopers 2011

This year’s bloopers didn’t involve any Jell-O. 
No, the disasters this year all focused on baking.

Earlier in the week, I went to pull my file of Thanksgiving recipes…and they were nowhere to be found! I panicked. I cried. I ranted. Then I searched for a while online and finally…finally found the recipes again!
My pie recipe (which is nothing spectacular~ it involves Jell-O Pudding & Cool-Whip!) is pretty yummy & it’s my husband’s favorite of all the Banana Cream Pie recipes I’ve tried over the years…so I was pretty upset that I had misplaced it.

The next disaster involved rolls. Homemade rolls. I do not consider myself a novice baker. I used a roll recipe that I’ve used dozens of times…but the dough would not raise. I made 2 batches of rolls. Both with different yeast & different flour, neither batch turned out.
The picture makes them look much better than they were. They tasted fine~ but they were really small.

(These are my back-up plan)
I was going to blame the mishap on the altitude here…but the back- up rolls (Rhodes) raised just fine~ in fact they raised more than I wanted them to…so I guess that throws the altitude theory out the window!
Either way, we had plenty of rolls to go around! And my family had plenty to harass me about~ so I guess the rolls were a success after all.
And finally…the piecrusts…(yes, they are Marie Callender’s Frozen pie crusts….don’t judge me!) For some reason I thought I could bake them without using pie weights….yeah, no.  They puffed up in the center.  I gave in and substituted Keebler’s Graham Cracker Crusts instead~ which everyone liked better than the traditional pie crust that I usually use.  So, now I know.  Next time, I’ll make my own graham cracker crusts though…
Disasters aside, it was a great day! We had 16 people here to celebrate Thanksgiving. There was plenty of yummy food to go was a perfect day!  I love Thanksgiving!!!
 I started the day off by making Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins for breakfast.  They disappeared in a hurry! 
 For Thanksgiving Dinner, we served:
Turkey, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Sage Dressing/Stuffing (my grandma’s recipe), Candied Yams (my mom’s recipe) Green Beans w/ Bacon & Onion, Rolls, Stuffed Celery, Pickles, Olives.
And for dessert: Pumpkin Pie, Mincemeat Pie, Banana Cream Pie, Chocolate Cream Pie.

My dad was at his all- time funniest. He had been sick the week before, so I think he was just happy to be feeling better. I did tell him he might need to lay off the Nyquil.  :)

Shane was our official photographer.  Here are a few of his better shots:

 I guess he likes taking pictures of the backs of people's heads?

These are interesting...

 At least he got a picture of the puppy!

Other Thanksgiving Weekend fun included:

*A partially flooded basement.
No one will confess to plugging the toilet & then letting it overflow. All. Night.
We suspect is was "Blaine" (name has been changed to protect the not so innocent.)

*Season 4 of "Prison Break"
The whole entire one day! (That's for you, Vern).

*Breaking husband has declared it the stupidest movie he has ever seen. Even worse than "The Polar Bear King" (I know it looks like a good movie...I chose it as a rental years ago & have never lived it down.) 

Now we are switching gears for the Christmas season.
I love the Holidays!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Give Thanks

Taking a break from prepping and baking and cleaning
to wish all my wonderful blog friends~

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderful, joyful day as you Gather Together.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween 2011

It was a very busy Halloween weekend around here!
We started off with a last minute family party with Rick's family. Not a Halloween party, just a family get together.
I made these Sugar Cookie Bars and frosted them with my

They were a big hit!
The icing recipe is quickly becoming one of my most asked for recipes.
Sadly, my family still scraped the icing off!!!
I don't know what's wrong with them...

Then it was time for our 3rd Annual Halloween Party!!!
This year, I decided to do a
"Mystery Menu" Dinner:

 (I had a cute graphic at the top, but it's not one I can share...)

 We had so much fun!!!
Everyone was a good sport and played along.
My dad was the best at choosing his menu items~ he pretty much had it all figured out & was the only one who ate a mostly normal meal.
There was much laughing!
Everyone has commented on how much fun it was.
A great night, for sure.
I almost didn't do a Halloween Party this year...
So glad I did!

The Slimy Red Goop salad actually turned out for me. That's 2 Jell-O's that I've actually had work!
It was not very appetizing though. It had kind of a yucky texture. Hey~ but if you want the recipe, let me know!
The punch was also weirdish. It tasted great...but also involved Jell-O...which I don't think I dissolved enough before I added the cold it set up a little and had an unpleasant texture as well.
So another Jell-O failure!
I'm happy to share that recipe too... :)
(Hey~ it was Halloween, so failures were funny....not distressing!)

On Halloween, I helped out with Shane's Halloween party at school.
I was in charge of the craft.
We made these cute mummies~
The kids loved them & so did the parents!

The kids did a great job, and they all turned out so cute.
It was fun to see how creative some of the kids were.
I used a 1x4 cut into 5" lengths.
Rick cut and sanded the boards for me & then spray painted them with an ivory paint.
I bought some muslin and ripped it into strips about an inch wide.
I had the kids tie 2 strips together and then they just wrapped it around the board.
Then we glued on the eyes...
And they were done.
Super cute!
Super easy!

Last of all was the Trick-or-Treating
These are the ghouls that made the neighborhood rounds this year:

Punk Rocker, Captain America, The Ghost of Lou Gherig, Gangsta

They spent the whole afternoon & evening together & had their own little party.
They cracked me up! They were so funny!!!
So glad for my neighbor who helped me get the boys together. It was great for Shane & really helped him make form some great friendships.

Now, Halloween decor is down and Thanksgiving is UP!
I'm hosting my extended family at my house this year.
So excited!
I might even make Jell-O!