Thanksgiving Menu 2016

*UPDATE: Pecan pie bar lady said I can share the recipe. So the updated shopping list plus that recipe are at the bottom.


This is a text-only post, sorry! I just wrote up our menu and shopping list, so I figured I’d share! I can’t (yet) share the pecan pie bars because it was a handwritten recipe from a follower, and I don’t know (yet) if she’s okay with my sharing it. It could be a family recipe!

Anyway, here is the menu, followed by the shopping list. I MAY add the pecan pie bar recipe (and updated shopping list) if I get her permission to do so.

One more thing! Here’s our menu from last year (we were feeding 8 people last year, and this year it’s just the 4 of us): http://www.blwideas.com/our-thanksgiving-menu/

The Feast
  1. Roasted turkey breast (smallest possible!) – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/herb-roasted-turkey-breast-recipe.html (I got a digital food thermometer. No need for a roasting pan – a casserole dish + a wire cooling rack also works) – takes about 2 hours for 6-7 pounds, plus 15 minutes before serving
 
  1. Cranberry sauce – http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/homemade-cranberry-sauce/
 
  1. Sausage ciabatta stuffing – http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/bouchon-bistro-ciabatta-and-sausage-stuffing
 
  1. Slow cooker apple cider – http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2015/09/26/homemade-apple-cider/
 
  1. Garlic mashed potatoes – just boiled potatoes and garlic, mashed with butter, salt, coconut milk (or whatever milk you have)
 
  1. Green bean casserole – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/green-bean-casserole-recipe.html (never made this!)
 
  1. Baked sweet potatoes – just sweet potatoes with some melted butter
 
  1. Pecan pie bars* (recipe shared last year from a follower)
 
Shopping List includes everything but salt, pepper, and olive oil
turkey breast (bone in, skin on, 6-7 pounds or smaller)
10 oz breakfast sausage (sweet or hot, no casings)
1 ciabatta loaf
3 garlic cloves
fresh rosemary
fresh sage
fresh thyme
potatoes
sweet potatoes
1 lemon
1 carrot
2 onions
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups green beans
1 orange
10 apples (variety!)
1 bag cranberries (we have some already)
1 cup cranberry or orange juice
1 cup maple syrup
1 (10.5 oz can) cream of mushroom soup
1 can french fried onion rings
dry mustard
ground cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
5 cups chicken stock
sugar of choice (just a little, for the cider)
butter
cheddar cheese block (grated, for green bean casserole)
rum or whiskey (to add to the cider, for us)

 
FULL Shopping List includes everything but salt, pepper, and olive oil
turkey breast (bone in, skin on, 6-7 pounds or smaller)
10 oz breakfast sausage (sweet or hot, no casings)
1 ciabatta loaf
3 garlic cloves
fresh rosemary
fresh sage
fresh thyme
potatoes
sweet potatoes
1 lemon
1 carrot
2 onions
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups green beans
1 orange
10 apples (variety!)
1 bag cranberries (we have some already)
1 cup cranberry or orange juice
1 cup maple syrup
1 (10.5 oz can) cream of mushroom soup
1 can french fried onion rings
dry mustard
ground cloves
2 cups pecans
3 cinnamon sticks
5 cups chicken stock
sugar of choice (just a little, for the cider)
1 2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
flour
butter
cheddar cheese block (grated, for green bean casserole)
rum or whiskey (to add to the cider, for us)
 
*Pecan Pie Bars
1 cup butter
2 2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 cups chopped pecans
 
  1. Line 9×13 pan with foil (leave overhang to help remove).
  2. Cream 2/3 cup brown sugar + 1 cup butter until fluffy.
  3. Add flour and salt until crumbly.
  4. Press crust into pan. Bake 20 min at 350F.
  5. Combine 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, honey, and cream in pot. Stir on medium heat. Simmer 1 minute then stir in pecans.
  6. Pour over crust. Return to oven for 20 min.
  7. Allow to cool fully. Peel off foil and cut into squares.
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A Roundup of My Baby-Friendly Pumpkin Recipes

pumpkin-recipes

If you do a quick search for “pumpkin” on my blog, you’ll find several baby-friendly recipes. In the spirit of the Fall season, I decided to compile them for easier access. You can click on the recipe titles below to find the pumpkin recipes.

Enjoy!

 

(1) Pumpkin Pancakes

(2) Pumpkin Muffins

(3) Pumpkin French Toast

(4) Pumpkin Drop Scones

(5) Pumpkin Flatbread

(6) Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

(7) Pumpkin Smoothie

(8) Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo

 

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Spray Pal Review (Video)

product review- spray pal

This post may be gross and graphic if you don’t yet have a baby! Just a warning! :) 

We use cloth diapers. And before you start with solid foods, dirty diapers aren’t that big of a deal. Breastmilk poop is sort of watery and cleans off without effort.

Once your baby starts eating solids, it’s sticky and thick and doesn’t just wash right off, at least not easily.

When Alexander was a baby, we used some diaper liners, but honestly, ours always shifted, so half the diaper was still really dirty.

We got a diaper sprayer, but every time I used it, little drops of water would get all over me and the bathroom. Dirty water drops, on my face. No thank you. So I got rid of it.

After those two attempts at cleaning dirties, I just resorted to grabbing a big wad of toilet paper and physically scraping off whatever I could, into the toilet. It was really gross but mostly effective.

Fast forward to about 8 months ago, before Annabelle was born. I was asking my Instagram followers about how many cloth diapers I would need if I had a newborn and an older kid in diapers (FYI Alexander is out of diapers now, so I only had two in diapers for a very short time!). Among the many answers I got, I got several recommendations for the Spray Pal. It’s a diaper spray SHIELD. So many people tagged the company, someone reached out to me and asked if I wanted a shield and sprayer, for the purpose of review. Of course I said yes.

Now that Annabelle is 6 months old, and she is eating solids (like actually eating), I am using the Spray Pal once more. It is so crazy convenient. Once you get the hang of setting it up, it really saves time, and it’s far less messy than the other things I’ve tried. I mean, cloth diapering means you’re going to get your hands dirty here and there, so I’m used to it. This product just makes the whole process a lot less dirty!

If you want to get your own Spray Pal, you can get it HERE. You’ll see there’s also an option to get the sprayer from the same company. 

NOTE: In a few days, I’m giving away ONE Spray Pal in a giveaway!


 

Here’s a video I made showing how we use the Spray Pal:

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Annabelle’s Foods: Week One

Annabelle's FirstWeek of Solids

Week 1! What a fun experience. Annabelle really took to solids, so fast. I was really impressed with her. And Alexander just thought everything about it was hilarious. Here is week 1, by the numbers:

Number of minutes spent cleaning up after her: about 35*
Number of foods tried: 7**
Number of times she gagged: 3
Number of times she choked: 0***
Number of allergic reactions: 0 !
Number of times I freaked out: 0 !

*I shared this on Instagram, but it takes 5 minutes or less to clean up after each meal. And she ate about once per day. I wish I liked dogs… I hear they are pretty handy when it comes to cleaning up after meals.

**She tried banana, sweet potato, chicken, avocado, blackberries, egg, and potato. She also had a breastmilk ice pop, but that’s not a new food!

***Remember, gagging and choking are not the same! Gagging happens with most kids, especially at first. Choking might never happen. I get asked A LOT, “How can I avoid choking?” Well, you can’t, not 100%. You can avoid the known choking hazards, like whole grapes (until at least age 3), whole nuts, hot dogs, popcorn, and a few others. [NOTE: Grapes, hot dogs, sausages, cherry tomatoes should be cut in half lengthwise, at least.] You can leave a little cup of water available to help wash down bigger bites. But once you’ve done those things, be sure baby is sitting upright — not reclined or slouched over. There should be a straight shot from mouth to tummy, if that makes sense. You can take an infant CPR course which should include the Heimlich for babies (in fact, I recommend you at least find a good video for it online… doing it in person is ideal since you can hold a physical dummy and practice the movements). And THEN, it’s always possible to choke on anything. Choking hazards are a special sort of food: a certain shape, hard to retrieve. But ANYthing can be choked on. So just know your “rescue” steps and forge ahead. Try not to worry too much!! Easier said than done, but hey, it gets easier as time goes on. 

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