Thanksgiving is officially behind us and you know what that means...it's time to decorate for the holidays! Last year, I took some photos of the finished decorations to look back at this year. I thought I might find some inspiration or maybe even come up with new ideas this year based on what I still like about last year.
Okay, maybe no one else thinks about decorating this much (I know Vickie & I do!) but I thought I'd share some of those photos and maybe add some inspiration to your weekend!
Love this little fruit tree...and it fits just right in the corner
at the bottom of the stairs!
You really can't have too much greenery...and poinsettias
are a must at our house.
Nothing says Christmas like the warm glow of the fireplace
and the little tree next to it reminds me of the frosty weather outside!
We'd love to see how you're decorating too...post some photos on our Page on Facebook or link to your photos here in the comments!
You only have until Monday at midnight to get in on the savings...don't delay!
How was the big feast? Ours was full of good food, good friends and plenty of new family memories...we hope yours was just as heartwarming!
Now that it's the day after (whew!) what will you do with all those leftovers? Try this quick-to-fix comfort food that appears in our book, Coming Home with Gooseberry Patch.
Golden Shepherd's Pies
We like making 4 little pies in individual bowls so everyone can have
their own...you can also make one big pie in a 10" deep-dish pie plate
or even an
11" x 7" baking dish.
2 to 3 c. prepared stuffing
1 c. cooked green beans, broccoli,
carrots or other vegetables
2-1/2 c. roast turkey, cubed or sliced
1 to 2 c. turkey gravy
2 c. mashed potatoes
1/4 c. butter, diced
Garnish: shredded Cheddar cheese,
In 4 lightly greased oven-safe bowls or a 10" deep-dish pie plate, layer stuffing, vegetables, turkey and gravy. Spread or pipe mashed potatoes over top; dot with butter and sprinkle with garnishes as desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes, until heated through and golden. Serves 4.
Have other great ideas for leftovers?
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A heartfelt thank-you to each and every one of you who made this donation possible. We hope this warms your hearts (as it did ours) especially as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday.
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Here's an easy (and crafty!) idea that you can whip up in under an hour...what a pretty way to turn a simple pillar candle into a harvest centerpiece.
You'll need some silk leaves from the craft store, a basic glass candle charger and a glue appropriate for joining fabric and glass. We used a quick-grab epoxy but there are lots of options...just check the labels!
Once you've reached your desired arrangement, add a dot of glue to the front and press onto your charger. Glass is notoriously difficult to glue so take your time, holding leaves in place until set.
We liked the look of the leaves extending beyond the edge of the plate and creating a pretty fringe around the candle.
Glue down another layer on the top of the charger if you like. We think it looks pretty either way!
Want to make one?
We'd love to see a photo...post it on our Page on Facebook!
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The year was 1977 and it was our first Thanksgiving in our first apartment together, after Shelby and I were married. I was so proud of how this turkey turned out and the recipe below is the one I used. If I recall correctly, I adapted it from one my mom had given me...hope you enjoy it!
Roast Turkey & Gravy
A time-tested recipe that's become a holiday tradition, it originally appeared in our book, Farmhouse Christmas.
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
1 c. butter, softened
3 T. fresh sage, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
14 to 16-lb. turkey
3 c. leeks, white and green parts chopped
8 fresh sage sprigs
3 bay leaves, crumbled
4-1/2 c. chicken broth, divided
Garnish: fresh sage and parsley
Combine bacon, butter and chopped sage in a medium bowl. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper; set aside. Pat turkey dry with paper towels and sprinkle cavity with salt and pepper. Place leeks, sage sprigs and bay leaves in cavity. Loosen skin on turkey breast and spread 1/3 cup sage butter over meat, under skin. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan and rub 2 tablespoons sage butter over outside of turkey.
Set aside 1/3 cup sage butter for gravy; reserve remaining for basting. Position rack in bottom third of oven. Pour 1/3 cup broth over turkey. Roast at 350 degrees for about 3 hours, until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of inner thigh registers 165 degrees. Baste every 30 minutes with 1/3 cup broth and brush with sage butter.
Transfer turkey to a platter and let stand 30 minutes. To prepare gravy, pour pan juices into a large glass measuring cup; spoon off fat and discard. Pour juices into saucepan, add 2 cups broth and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until liquid is reduced to 2 cups. Whisk in reserved 1/3 cup sage butter; add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 12 to 14.
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Coming from a family of EIGHT, every meal was an adventure, as you can imagine. And Thanksgiving was always a memorable event, not only because of the big feast but also because my brother DJ and I celebrated our birthdays at the same time!
The dates fall just two days apart and, often years, we overlapped with Thanksgiving. My mother always made it special for us...even down to our tiny party hats!
These pictures were taken on my 2nd and 3rd birthdays (my brother was turning a year older than me) and I thought you'd all get a kick out of them...we sure do!
Just in case you didn't get the email, we wanted to announce a great deal on Christmas cookbooks...read on for details!
Read more about each book with the links below...
Christmas with Family & Friends
With everything you love about our Christmas cookbooks, this is our newest title. Full of recipes to share with friends, recipes for family dinners and recipes for all those festive get-togethers this season.
Christmas Cookie Jar
A holiday baking essential, this cookbook is packed with cookies, bars, brownies...need we go on? It also has special pages including shipping tips for sending treats, ideas on hosting a cookie swap and much more.
101 Christmas Recipes
Sure to inspire your kitchen creativity, this book is the newest in our 101 series. Every page and every recipe features a full-color photo of the finished recipe so you'll know just what to expect. With recipes for entertaining friends or just enjoying a cozy night at home, it's one you'll use all season long.
Christmas Kitchen - You'll get this one FREE!
Over 200 recipes will have you covered for every occasion, from a holiday open house to your own Christmas dinner! There's an entire chapter devoted to cookies for the holiday baker and another filled with gifts from the kitchen.
This year, we're going to have at least part of our Thanksgiving gathering in the cabin. It's a special place for me and its cozy atmosphere is perfect for appreciating family & friends.
Over the weekend, I wanted to set the table out there as sort of a trial run, and to get into the spirit of Thanksgiving, of course. I snapped some photos and thought I'd share them here with you...
Aside from the dishes, nothing really matches and I like it that way. A little of this and a little of that makes a table really shine.
(As often happens with us, Jo Ann found the exact same dishes separately from me and brought hers in to share...but I had mine first!)
Each place will be personalized with a vintage photo of a family member. I just love the vintage postcards sprinkled around and the transferware dishes are favorites too.
Here's another placesetting and in this one, you can see the sweet little turkey candle who makes an appearance every year.
I found him way back in 1973 and he's been part of our Thanksgiving ever since...
longer than Matt & Emily!
We'll use this little table for coffee & desserts after the feast. It includes one of my favorite finds...the little brown cow platter! Jo Ann and I found this in an antique shop in Lebanon, Ohio. Isn't it dear?
Thanksgiving is all about family & friends but getting your table (and the rest of the house!) all dressed up is part of the fun too...how will you make your Thanksgiving table special?
Would you like to to spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying homecooking with your family? If so, our new book Quick & Easy Family Favorites is right up your alley!
You may have received an email from us today (and if not, you will as long as you're signed up!) with a recipe for Cranberry Wild Rice.
Here's another recipe from the book...especially for our blog friends!
We LOVE that photo on the cover...makes us hungry every time we see it!
Maybe you'll make it for dinner tonight?
Easy Chicken Pot Pie
Originally shared with us by Wanda White
of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, this homestyle recipe uses ready-made pie crusts so it's extra easy. Frozen oven-roasted diced chicken, thawed, and frozen veggies can
be used instead of canned, if you like.
2 9-inch refrigerated pie crusts
6-3/4 oz. can chicken, chopped
16-oz. can mixed vegetables, drained
10-3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup
1/2 t. celery flakes
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. poultry seasoning
Fit one pie crust into a 9" pie plate. Combine chicken and remaining ingredients in a bowl; pour into pie crust. Moisten edges of bottom crust with water; top with remaining crust. Fold edges under and crimp; cut slits in top. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes; let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 8.
Here's a surefire way to keep little ones busy
while you put the finishing touches on the Thanksgiving feast!
apples or pears
ring-shaped fruit oat cereal
To make Tom's tail feathers, set apple or pear on its side and then stick a few toothpicks into one end, as shown.
Stack cereal rings on each toothpick until it's nearly full and then place a mini marshmallow on each end.
Break a toothpick in half (Mom, you can snip with scissors for little ones.) and insert into apple or pear where you'd like the head to be.
Press a large marshmallow onto this toothpick and press cloves in for Tom's eyes. Using another half toothpick, secure a piece of candy corn to the front of the marshmallow for Tom's beak. Insert 3 toothpicks into the bottom of the apple so Tom can stand up.
Stick 2 more pieces of candy corn on the front 2 to make Tom's feet.That's it...he's almost as fun to eat as he is to make!
We can hear you shaking your heads from here...there's no dessert but pie on Thanksgiving, right? Well, we mostly agree.
Whether your favorite is pumpkin, apple, pecan or a little sliver of each, pie will always be queen of Thanksgiving desserts. But, this year, why not add another (dare we say lighter?) dessert to the harvest buffet?
(Okay, maybe you'll save it for the next day but still, it's delicious!)
Originally submitted by Annette Ingram of Grand Rapids, Michigan, this creamy dreamy dish can be found in our book, Fast-Fix Meals. Annette says it's extra tasty with a crunchy topping of crushed gingersnap cookies....yum!
Harvest Pumpkin Mousse
1-oz. pkg. sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding mix
1-1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 c. frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
Whisk together pudding mix and milk for 2 minutes; let stand for 2 minutes, until softly set. Fold in pumpkin, spice and 1/2 cup whipped topping. Spoon into 4 dessert bowls; chill until serving time. Dollop with remaining whipped topping before serving. Serves 4.
Take a closer look...
Special deal going on now!
Whether you cross 4 lucky folks off your Christmas list or keep all the goodies for yourself...we'll never tell!
Place your order before midnight EST on Sunday, November 15th,2009 to get your free gift.
We really enjoyed reading all of your heartfelt posts about Gooseberry Patch cookbooks and, rather than trying to pick a favorite, we put everyone in our trusty red bucket and selected a winner at random.
And the winner is...
A BIG thanks to everyone who posted...we're planning on LOTS more fun and giveaways coming soon so, even if you haven't won yet, please keep entering. We love to hear from all of you...and check out the new Blogroll to the right. Your name has been added!