Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  We are having a happier Thanksgiving than usual this year.  I've been keeping a big secret for months.  Last night, at his sister's restaurant, just as dessert was served, The Blog Tech got down on one knee and proposed to his sweetie!  She said yes!

Shortly after, I got a text from her thanking me for bringing such a wonderful human being into this world.  I'm a little biased but he is pretty wonderful! I am so excited for the two of them.  Tomorrow I hope to have some pics to show you.  I have one more turkey to roast today and I have to move all of the food I made down to the stone house for the big Thanksgiving feast which has been planned as an engagement party this whole time.  Way to go Blog Tech!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Fallen Leaves

 Remember when I showed the leaves on my Japanese Maples 2 days ago?  I was thinking that at least a few trees would still look pretty for our big Thanksgiving celebration.

 I as wrong.

 I guess Mother Nature told them they had to drop their leaves before the Full Beaver Moon.

 Icicles on the waterfall.

 At least I have a magical carpet  in my woods.

 Though I have icicles on my creek, I have roses blooming by the potting shed.  Weird weather.

 I even cleaned up my potting shed a bit.

All of my gardening necessities.
The Weeping Beech is always one of the last to give up her leaves but she did it right along with the Acers.  Wouldn't this be a perfect place for grandchildren to play?  Just sayin'!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

I always make my gravy ahead of time for Thanksgiving and I make a lot of it.   Gravy makes everything better.  I buy lots of turkey parts and make stock with them.
 Then, the day that I make the gravy all I have to do is melt some butter in a heavy pot.

 Add some flour.

 Whisk it while cooking it for several minutes.

Then slowly start adding the stock.  I wait until it begins to thicken and then add more stock.
 Taste it for seasoning and adjust it as needed.  I already seasoned the stock so all the gravy really needed was some chopped parsley. This will be placed in a slow cooker on the Thanksgiving buffet so it will stay warm.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Turkey Stock and Pimento Cheese Spread

I have to make some easy food for the kids after school program this week since I am busy cooking for Thanksgiving.  I made them a big meat, cheese and fruit platter this morning (forgot to take a pic of it) and I made them some pimento cheese spread.  The recipe is below.
 I harvested some of my celery yesterday.

 And today I am making pots of turkey stock to make turkey gravy.  My house smells like Thanksgiving.

 I doubled the pimento cheese recipe but I will give you the makings of a single recipe.  Combine 1 - 8 oz. bar of cream cheese, 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup of mayo, 1 tsp. of your favorite seasoned salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1 small grated onion, 1 tsp. granulated garlic and 4 tablespoons of diced pimento. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for at least a few hours.

 I use the paddle attachment on my mixer to do this.

This is so good spread on crackers and makes a good Thanksgiving appetizer.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Walk Through the Woods

 Teddy and I have been making this trip a lot lately.  We walk through the woods to the guest/stone house which from now on will only be referred to as the Stone House.

 Every time someone "guests" here, I get to do the cleanup work.  I don't like running a B&B so now it will just be our stone house in the woods!  We actually use it a lot.  After years and years of nonstop traveling, it's nice to just walk through the woods and have a getaway to go to.  I don't even have to pack up the car!

 Oh no!  Teddy is peeing on my strawberry plants.

 Our main garden is down by the stone house. There is a wonderful, cool porch to sit on down here to get out of the sun.

 And it is down the back of the mountain so it is a good hike getting back up.

Teddy likes to lay just inside the door and listen to the pond.  I am setting this up for our big Thanksgiving celebration and I will post more pics when it is ready.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rolls for Thanksgiving

I have been making these potato rolls for as long as I can remember.  My mother made them when I was a little girl.  It would not be Thanksgiving without them.
 I like to roll the dough into a big circle and cut them with a pizza cutter and then roll them into crescents.  You can find the recipe here:
 I also made  honey butter pumpkin rolls.

 These all freeze very well and then you can warm them up right before the feast.                                                                              
 So far I've baked all of the bread for my stuffing, made the cranberry relish, baked all of the rolls, ironed all of the tablecloths and napkins, polished the flatware and did all of the grocery shopping.  Now I only have about a million other things to do!  Are you ready for Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Pizza Casserole

This is what I made the kids yesterday for the after school program.  I heard that they loved it and it did look very good when I sent it off to them though it wasn't cooked yet.  I made this in the slow cooker so they could just plug it in a few hours before the kids arrived.  This would be a good dish to make when you need to feed a crowd.
 I quadrupled this recipe so I will give you the instructions for 1 recipe.  Brown 1 pound of ground beef.  Season it with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. I missed a photo but I also added 1 diced onion and 1 diced green pepper. Don't overcook the vegetables because you want them a bit crunchy like they would be on a pizza.

 Boil 1 pound of the pasta of your choice.  I used rigatoni.

 Mix 1 pint of cottage cheese into the pasta.  You can skip this step but it really adds taste and creaminess.

 Mix in the ground meat mixture.
I made pizza sauce ahead of time but you can use store bought if you want to.  Stir it around to coat the pasta.                         
 Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese over the top.

Cover it in pepperoni. You can bake this in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or cook it in a slow cooker like I did.