Monday, December 02, 2013

Thanksgiving is MY kind of holiday! All the family & friends & food & love without all the presents. Its such a simple thing.  The Polls shared their thanksgiving with us! We were so happy they were free! Cami made a TO DIE FOR coconut cream pie, cheese cake, pumpkin pie & rolls & of course the green bean casserole..only 1/2 with onion so not to kill Mr. Sclater. I made a chocolate cream pie, a sweet potato casserole that was AMAZING! Roasted squash, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts with bacon, cranberry jalapeno relish, gravy, green apple stuffing & a cheese platter. We had 2 smoked turkeys to go with all the sides.  The children ate & then scurried off to the park. The little girls stayed behind and played with the doll house & got into everything (for example, hand sanitizer.) Presley loved playing with sweet Mayli. Tre & Elli picked up where they left off & Sean fit right in the mix. The kids made rainbow loom bracelets (because not a day can go by...) & ate their weight in pie buried in whipped cream. The elders had their first thanksgiving meal of the day at our home before moving onto another ward family's dinner table. We drank apple cider & chatted till the sun set. We feel so blessed to have shared the day with our good friends. We do not see them nearly enough! 
This Thanksgiving was also a bit hard. I was a big ole baby. My parents were in Maryland with my Brother & his family. We had hoped to have everyone here in Texas, But that proved tricky. I missed my parents so much.  I had a blast taking on all the cooking, but wanted to share new recipes with my Mom. Our good friend Milt did a great job carving the turkey, but I wanted a picture of my Dad doing it. By 8pm that night I was a sobbing mess. Sometimes a girl just needs her Mom. I love her so much. Rod hugged me close & rubbed my back & he said "that's why they need to live here." & they do need to live here. We are crazy about them. 


Everyone has seen it. On pintrest or social media. that quote that says "Gratitude makes what we have enough." I love that quote. I remind myself of that quote on a daily basis. Its so easy to get wrapped up in all the material things we want. (I want to own all of Sephora. and maybe Jcrew & while we are at  it, Anthropologie.) I slip into the trap of looking past all the everyday blessings. My children are healthy! Not every ones babies are. My Husband is employed! Not everyone has a steady paycheck. We live in an amazing country with freedoms others cannot even dream about. My children are getting an outstanding education. our home is warm at night, our bellies are full, we have shoes & jackets. We have advanced medicine at our disposal. We have each other. It seems foolish when I stop & think of all the daily blessings that I forget to ponder on or completely look past because they are always there. On Sunday we talked about the grace of God in relief society. I loved it! Beate is such a great teacher. The message was so timely. Of all things I am grateful for it is the Grace of God. His consistent watchful care. That alone makes me, and all His children so very blessed. We are so very very blessed. 

Next year I will be making these 3 dishes again! 

Roasted Butternut Squash (via Pioneer Woman)


  • 1 whole Butternut Squash, Whatever Size You Want (a Small Squash Serves Two To Four)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  •  Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan (more To Taste)
  • 3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
  •  Optional: Salad Greens And Balsamic Vinaigrette

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Use a knife to lop off the top and bottom off the squash. Slice the skin off the sides, then cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into large pieces, cut the pieces into slices, cut the slices into matchsticks, then cut the matchsticks into a dice. Place in a bowl and set aside.
Melt the butter in a small pan, or in a bowl in the microwave. Use a spoon to skim off the solids so most of them are gone. (Note: It's easier if you go ahead and melt the whole stick, then reserve the rest for another use.)
Drizzle 4 tablespoons of the skimmed butter into the bowl with the squash. Add salt and pepper and toss to combine. Pour the squash onto a baking sheet and spread them into a single layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, then crank up the heat to 400 and continue roasting for 15 minutes or so, until the squash is sizzling and golden brown around the edges. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
Grate the Parmesan and sprinkle it over the squash. Toss it quickly so that the cheese won't melt (it should only soften), then transfer the mixture to a plate.
Toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Add those to the plate with the squash and toss to combine.
Add more Parmesan if you'd like, then serve the squash in small dishes or over a salad tossed in vinaigrette.

Sweet Potatoes (via Pioneer Woman)

  • 4 whole Medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Pecans
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 3/4 sticks Butter

Preparation Instructions

Wash 4 medium sweet potatoes and bake them in a 375-degree oven until fork tender, about 30-35 minutes. When they are finished cooking slice them open and scrape out the flesh into a large bowl.
Add 1 cup of (regular grandulated) sugar, 1 cup of milk, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of salt. With a potato masher, mash them up just enough—you don’t want to be perfectly smooth.
Now, in a separate bowl, add 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup pecans, chopped (that means measure a cup of pecans, then chop them), ½ cup flour, and ¾ stick of butter. With a pastry cutter or fork, mash together until thoroughly combined.
Spread the sweet potato mixture into a regular baking dish and sprinkle the crumb mixture all over the top.
Bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Green Apple stuffing (via me)

  • 2 loaf French Bread, Somewhat Crusty
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 2 cups Celery, Chopped
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thyme
  • 2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  •  Salt To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Chop the cornbread and loaf of French bread up into 1-inch cubes. Spread them out on two baking sheets and let them dry for approximately 24 hours.
Warm up a large skillet over medium heat and add one stick of butter. When it’s melted add the onion and celery and cook for a few minutes until onions are almost translucent. While it’s cooking chop up any fresh herbs you will be using.
Add 4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add ½ a teaspoon of basil, ½ teaspoon of ground thyme, a few teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary and ¼ cup of chopped fresh parsley. Stir until combined.
Place all of your dried bread cubes into a large bowl and mix them up a bit. Gradually ladle the broth mixture into the bread, tossing lightly as you go. Keep gradually adding the broth mixture, tasting as you go and adding more seasoning and herbs if needed. Add salt carefully. You don’t want to over salt your stuffing. If the mixture is not quite moist enough add a bit more chicken broth and stir.
Either stuff the bird and bake according to directions or place in a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

1 comment:

Kim-the-girl said...

I'm so glad you had people to share your holiday with, even though it wasn't your family! It looks and sounds like it was a fabulous feast! Thanks for the recipes! I love trying new recipes for Thanksgiving!

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