Happy Thanksgiving!

24 11 2011


Thanksgiving Place Cards

22 11 2011

After plenty of suggestions, the kids finally chose the place cards they wanted to make for Thanksgiving. Origami is simply irresistible to Seth. We didn’t use construction paper like the instructions suggest, but nifty origami paper that reminded me of wooden boards.

We now have an entire fleet, ready and waiting for Thanksgiving.

Here are some of the other options we considered:

Happy Thanksgiving!

23 11 2010

Seth has been keenly interested in assigned seating ever since starting kindergarten. Eleanor loves the ritual of setting out place cards at dinner daily. When I saw these by Alphamom on The Crafty Crow I couldn’t resist replacing the old dirty strips of paper the kids had been using. It was the perfect project for Seth’s last day home when he was sick last week. Too sick to go to school, not sick enough to just lay on the couch.We found all the materials in the recycle bin and the kids love them.


27 11 2009

Appetizers – nuts, dried mango, dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt, herb and garlic goat cheese with crackers, spinach and artichoke dip (from trader joes) with flat break (we general skip lunch and snack all afternoon)

Dinner – turkey breast, cranberries from a can, sweet potatoes (my own recipe), stewed green beans, buttermilk biscuits from scratch, gravy – can’t forget the gravy

Note the sweet extra of napkins with machine embroidered names my mom made. No more “who’s napkin is this?”.

Dessert – pumpkin pie with whipped cream and apple upside down cake

A new tradition was born this year – thanksgiving haikus made up on the spot. Here are a couple we enjoyed:

Brown bits, oh brown bits
You make gravy the greatest
Oh, burnt turkey fat

Pumpkin pie, whipped cream
Dessert is my favorite
Roll me to the couch

The kids favorite, was the canned cranberry sauce. They could have eaten it all themselves, and nearly did. So, of course, a haiku had to be written. The great difficulty here was trying NOT to make it dirty sounding. We did not succeed:

Straight out of the can
Taste, color, rings of jelly
Ribbed, red tube of joy

It was a great day. To be sure it wasn’t all roses – I had cramps, ripped my one and only pair of jeans and shattered a pot lid. But still – smiles, love and full tummies all around. The good always outweighs the bad.

Happy Thanksgiving!

30 11 2008

We’ve had a great Thanksgiving! My parents and one of my sisters joined us for the week. Every year my older sister who lives out east calls to hear the menu, someday I hope her family can join us. This year I thought I’d include you in the fun and up it to pictures an a recipe. There was plenty of baking and cooking as evidenced by my mother’s handiwork above making almond cakes. (Not sure if I’m allowed to share THAT family recipe.) The food was plentiful, but not over the top. Breakfast was Kristin’s Overnight Lemon Coffeecake. We skipped lunch in exchange for appetizers of Tuscany style salami, apples, fig spread, water crackers and a trio of cheeses: double cream brie, Mimolette & Manchego. Eleanor was a huge fan of the Mimolette and apple pairing. Totally forgot to take a picture, but trust me it was a very pretty plate.

Dinner itself consisted of a turkey breast roast, gravy, sweet potato and apple casserole, sauted green beans, cranberry sauce the kids made at school, rolls & stuffing (recipe below). Yes, I realize it’s a blurry picture but I was in a hurry to eat. If you look past that you can see some craftiness. The bread basket was made in Carlock, IL. Interspersed with the 1940s/50s Eva Zeisel dinnerware are some lovely handmade pottery pieces by a dear friend, Rebecca. Tying it all together is a fabulous fall themed quilt table topper by none other than my talented mother. Hmmm…. I really should take a better picture of it sometime. It’s hard to see under all that food.

What’s that bowl of rocks in the middle, you say? Well, on the trusty advice of Jean, everyone in the family wrote what they were thankful for this year on a stone, starting with a community stone for my dear sister Shannon.

I couldn’t find my gold paint pen but a black sharpie did the trick. When I asked Seth what he wanted to write on his he repeatedly said “myself”. Well, I made him pick something else and I’m happy to report that other than himself he’s grateful for his grandparents. I let him draw on the reverse side of the rock as well.

You’re reward for reading this post? Our version of this stuffing:

Sausage & Cranberry Stuffing


  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced (or cheat like me and spoon it out of a jar)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 12 oz sweet Italian sausage
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2/3 cup water or stock
  • 4 cups of plain stuffing/cubed dried bread
  • 4 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • A little butter or oil for the baking dish


  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees (or whatever you’re baking other stuff at)
  2. Heat oil over medium heat.
  3. Saute onion until transluscent, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, salt & pepper, saute another minute.
  5. Add sausage, breaking up with spatula or spoon. Cook until no pink remains, about 4 minutes.
  6. Add cranberries and dried herbs, saute another minute.
  7. Stir in water.
  8. Mix in bread until all moistened.
  9. Stir in parsley.
  10. Transfer to a buttered caserole.
  11. Bake for about an hour. You may want to cover it midway through if you find it to be browning too much.
  12. Enjoy!

How was your Thanksgiving?

Pumpkin Pie II

14 02 2008

Pumpkin Pie II

Who says you have to do it from scratch? Learning to bake for adults or children can be taken in baby steps. My son and I have decided to learn and I mean really learn how to make pumpkin pie. We’ve decided to take it in levels:

  1. Purchased pie
  2. Frozen crust, canned pie filling (not puree) & spray whipped cream
  3. Frozen crust, canned pumpkin puree & cool whip
  4. Refrigerated rolled pie crust, canned puree & true whipped cream
  5. Crust from scratch, canned puree & spiced true whipped cream
  6. Crust from scratch, fresh pumpkin & spiced true whipped cream

I’m starting these entries with pie #2 as no one needs to read about a purchased pie. The taste was pretty good and we barely had to do a thing. We just followed the recipe on the Libby’s can. Seth enjoyed shaking the can of condensed milk. I opened the cans & cracked the eggs so Seth could pour them all together. He gave it a stir and I convinced him to let me have a go “for good measure”. We popped it in the oven and the waiting began. I quickly realized our timing was off. I hadn’t read the bottom line stating it would need to cool on a wire rack for 3 hours after it comes out! This would be way after bed time and Seth was none too happy. Next time we’ll bake in the morning or afternoon to avoid this problem. The following day we set to work with the whipped cream. Seth really wanted a Santa face on the pie so we practiced on a plate. While that was a heck of a lot of fun he finally settled on a heart for Valentine’s Day.

Will we learn to make the perfect pumpkin pie by next Thanksgiving? Stay tuned for another exciting Pumpkin Pie installment soon!

Pumpkin Pie II