Going Through The Holidays

It has been a while since my last post and a lot has happened. The holidays are full swing here at our house but lets catch up first.

Halloween was a lot of fun. I dressed us as Flynn Rider while K-Dub dressed like Rapunzel. Evie was Mickey Mouse and BrittWhitFun was a witch. Check out our pics.

No Halloween could be complete without some pumpkin carving and trunk or treating with the nephews.

Thanksgiving is and will always be my favorite holiday and this year was no exception. I made lunch for about 10 people and I made all the fixings. I made the turkey, Mac and cheese, green beans, stewed cabbage, mash potatoes, and rolls. I also made cake pops for the kids, a butterfinger cheesecake, and a apple pie. It was so good I spent the rest of the afternoon passed out on the couch.

Now we are at Christmas and our house is in the full Christmas spirt. The gifts are bought, tree is up, and the lights are shining outside.

Got some great stories coming on the blog this week after having a reader reach out to me wanting an update. Stay tuned.

 

Thanksgiving Blues

I have to say that every year around this time I get a little depressed. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is great but there is just something about how the amazing holiday day known as Thanksgiving. Now that my turkey is all gone, stuffing is almost and there are no more pies I am a little sad. 

As usual, I made a great meal and managed to nearly burn the house down while trying to make a cheesecake. The cheesecake was great but the house smelled like smoke for a day and a half. I got so many compliments on my turkey this year. Even people who said they did not eat turkey. That is always a great takeaway from thanksgiving. That’s the kind of magic I am talking about. 

My sister in law and I tagged teamed it again. Both making out signature dishes. The only difference was this year she hosted it. It ended up being a blessing cause I was not stuck with the clean up. We gathered around and ate and watched the Carolina Panthers crush the Dallas Cowboys and claim their 11-0 victory. 

The next day I spent getting Christmas decorations down from the attic and heading down to our local Christmas tree lot. It always makes me sick to my stomach at how fast we hurry to Christmas. It’s like thanksgiving does not matter at all.  

 

Now that my tree is up, gifts are bought and I am rocking my almost two month old to sleep I can say that this holiday season I am going to make it my mission to concentrate on being thankful rather then selfish. 

  

(#10) Turkey Disaster To Turkey Prefection

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The last piece of pie has been ate, the leftovers have been wrapped, and my brain is still in a turkey hangover. Yes everyone, Thanksgiving has now passed and I have to say it went off without an issue. Ok so I just lied to you. Here is the story.

Tuesday night I had to brine my turkey I made the brine and put the turkey in the brine bag and it looked like this-

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Then I went to put the brine in the roasting pan and the bag busted and brine got all over my kitchen. So I spent two hours mopping brine off the floor. It was not the best night ever.

So that was my disaster for Thanksgiving. I then got up at 6:00 AM and finished preparing my turkey and started to cook it. Three hours later it looked like this-

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Let me tell you that was the best turkey ever!!! I have to say I was worried but my first turkey was awesome.

I then started cooking all the other dishes and even had to have a few glasses of wine AKA holiday medicine. As you can see we had quite a spread.

The whole lunch went great. The food was amazing and everyone had a great time. I really enjoyed my first Thanksgiving hosting. Will I do it again? Oh hell yes!!!

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#10- Make Thanksgiving all by myself – Completed on 11/28/2013

 

Time To Brine That Turkey!

brine

 

So its finally the week of Thanksgiving and I am so excited. I am also a little overwhelmed. I still have so much to be done before I can sit back and give thanks. I spent most of yesterday washing anything I could fit in my washing machine. Nothing says that you love the holidays more than clean bed sheets in my opinion.

Tomorrow begins my holiday break from work (Thats what I am calling it) and I will be cleaning my house top to bottom while my wife works. I have about 20 people set to come to this dinner so I need to make sure everything is cleaned and sanitized.

The house is not the only thing I am focusing my energy on. I never knew how much preparation goes into a making a turkey and have a new-found respect for all the people who make them around this time. I have to say that this task is far from over in my house. Sunday I took the turkey out of my freezer and put it in the refrigerator to thaw. That does not sound too hard does it. Now tonight I am supposed to make my brine and let my bird marinate for 24 hours. One thing I am nervous about is the fact that I have no idea how much my turkey weighs. It’s not on the package so I have to find a scale tonight.

Like I said before, I am going to try brining my turkey tonight. I have no idea how this is going to turn out and I am super scared. One of my biggest fears is that I either overcook or undercook this bird. Anyways, here is my brine recipe that I will be using and the link to the site that has a little more detail instructions.

My Turkey Brine

Ingredients
  • 12 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sage
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 4 cups ice
Instructions
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a simmering boil. Add salt and sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn off the heat. Stir in 8 cups cold water, apple cider vinegar, sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and ice. The brine is ready to be used.
  2. Remove giblets and neck from the cavity. Rinse the outside and inside of a thawed turkey. Using paper towels, pat the turkey dry. Complete submerge the turkey in a large soup pot bigger than the bird and cover with a lid. Allow the turkey to marinate for 12 hours for a small turkey (8-10 lbs) and up to a full day for a bigger bird. Rinse turkey and pat dry before adding additional seasoning, butter, or oil in preparation for roasting.
 Notes
*It’s important to reiterate not to use a self basting, pre-seasoned, or kosher turkey. Otherwise the turkey will be too salty.

Reasons My Thanksgiving Dinner Could Go Wrong

We are one week away from Thanksgiving! WOOT! WOOT! I am getting excited and a little scared. This time next week I will be slaving over a hot stove and tearing my hair out trying to put on an awesome meal. I hope you enjoyed the video above cause that song is now in my head and I will be singing all day next week.

This will be the first time I ever cooked Thanksgiving ever. I am so nervous that I am going to mess it up. I sat in my thinking chair which is in the living, while K-Dub was bouncing along with Mickey Mouse and “The Hotdog Dance” gang, thinking about every possible scenario that could go wrong next Thursday.

My biggest fear is that my turkey comes out either undercooked or dry. I have never made a turkey before and all week I have sat at my computer at work and googled “How to make a turkey”. Lets face it. The turkey is the nucleus of the meal and if that is not good, people just turned their nose up at the rest of your meal. It’s a Thanksgiving fact.

Another fear of mine is that my relatives get into a fight. I could just something being said or someone foaming from the mouth thinking they are funny and then someone taking it the wrong way. The next thing you know you are cleaning blood out of the carpet and the police are putting Uncle Willey in the back of a police car. Maybe I am being a little dramatic or its the wine that I drank while writing this but family arguments are always a holiday tradition in my family. Oh, and I don’t have an Uncle Willey.

One of my fears is the possibility of having too much sauce. By sauce, I mean wine. The last thing I need to happen is for everyone to find me in the coat closet pretending I am camping. This actually happened but not on Thanksgiving and I was also trying to make smores out of people’s shoes. I know that its weird. I better pace myself.

So here is to a hope to be awesome Thanksgiving. With only a week left to prepare, lets see if I can keep the disasters down to a minimum. Good luck to you all too!

Gearing Up For Turkey Day!

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We are a little over a week away from Thanksgiving, which to me, is the Super Bowl of family gatherings. I love this holiday and now I am even more excited to finally knock number 10 off my list. To finally cook a Thanksgiving dinner and host it at my new house is a very big deal for me. Its my chance to show off my cooking skills to my family and friends. They all know I can cook but this is the time to really shine.

This past weekend I spent some time cleaning the house. BrittWhitFun and I swept the kitchen, vacuumed the floors, and picked up all of K-Dub’s toys. I still have a lot of cleaning to do but already plan on spending the day before cleaning the rest of the house. I also got the table already decorated for next Thursdays feast. It’s complete with Karsyn’s decorated pumpkin from her most recent trip to the pumpkin patch.

I also spent some time on Sunday organizing my shopping list. I finally have my menu set for Thanksgiving. The only thing I am worried most about is that I have never cooked a turkey before. I heard that you have to stick you hand in the dead bird’s butt and pull out all of it’s organs. I am not sure how I feel about that. I will have to let you know how it turns out.

So as you can tell, I am more than a little excited about next weeks lunch. This is a first of hopefully many Thanksgivings at my home. I hope everything goes well and no surprises derail my Martha Stewartesk meal.

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The Great Scarecrow Race Of 2013 And My Annual Holiday Rant!

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So yesterday I shared that BritWhitFun and I spent our weekend celebrating our favorite season of the year. We took K-Dub to the pumpkin patch and got some pumpkins to decorate the front of the house. If was an all day process on Monday but there was one thing our little front door display was missing. After much debate and brainstorming, I decided to find a scarecrow and put it on the bale of hay. This sounds easy right? I had no idea that this was going to be a journey of epic proportions.

Our journey started after we left the pumpkin patch. I was so excited that I could barely contain myself. I love holidays and decorating is so much fun! Our first stop was a Big Lots. We ran inside thinking that they would be at the center of the store. After about five minutes of walking we could not find the Halloween stuff. We walked to the back corner to find one aisle of Halloween decorations but no scarecrows. I went to the other side of the aisle to find a Christmas bomb had went off for the next three aisles. If you remember last year when I wrote about how it was not even Thanksgiving yet and Christmas was already everywhere. I guess this year the Christmas rush is starting early.

After we left Big Lots feeling sad, we rode over to Wal-Mart and ran into the garden center area to find it had been redecorated for Christmas. Nothing fall related was out. I could not believe it. I had to walk all the way to the front of the store only to find that the only outside decorations they had were those tacky inflatable ones. I was starting to feel that this was a lost cause.

The last place we checked was Dollar General and that was a bust. I got home and felt defeated. I asked my Facebook friends where to find a scarecrow. Most of them said to go to Old Time Pottery or AC Moore. I will be making the trip this weekend. It amazes me how stores are already done with Halloween, skipped Thanksgiving and already set for Christmas. On the bright side I did get some amazing Duke ornaments for my tree this year.

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Update I found a scarecrow today at Old Time Pottery.

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