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Is it Thanksgiving already?

I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I am just not a cold weather person, I like lots of things about Fall and Winter, warm and cozy sweaters, all of the wonderful boots that can be worn, the warm comfort foods… But the cold dark evenings, the bitterly cold weather and snow, one dump of snow is pretty and a good excuse for a day in doors but after that I’m done, done and even more done and ready for Spring! So with the days getting increasingly darker earlier, the weather getting colder by the hour I am trying to be positive, thinking of warm days in the house with my needles, hooks and yarn for company but even that cannot seem to brighten my spirits, I just do not like this time of year!

But one day I do enjoy is Thanksgiving, it’s like Christmas Day without all the pressures of presents, it’s just about food, family and relaxation… My kind of day! I am absolutely amazed that we are at this time of year already, it only seems like yesterday we were celebrating Thanksgiving last year, and now we are about to do it all over again!

On the menu in our house is warm seasoned turkey, hickory smoked ham, homemade sausage, apple and sage stuffing, a cheats version of boxed cornbread stuffing for Blu, mashed buttery potatoes and green bean casserole… Of course turkey gravy and the cranberry and orange sauce I made and froze a few weeks ago… Black Friday has become famous in our house for warm left over rolls toasted in the oven, I think my children prefer this meal to the actual Thanksgiving day meal… Crazy, but it is oh so good!

Take all your left overs, and pile them into your bread of choice, this year we have my favorite ciabatta bread from Trader Joes, we will be having turkey in one and ham in the other, warm through the stuffing and gravy, pile this on top of your roasted meat, add cranberry sauce too if you like, close the bread securely wrap in foil and bake in a 400f oven for 10-15 minutes… Take out unwrap the bread, slice, serve and enjoy… Delicious Black Friday food! Maybe it will become a tradition in your house too!

Now before I move onto another leftover meal we will be having on Saturday, I will tell you about our Thanksgiving day deserts I will be baking today, firstly a recipe I tried out a couple of weeks ago to take to friends for dinner a salted caramel apple pie, now I changed this recipe, it wasn’t gluten free as I made a pastry dough for the base and this time I’m going to make a crisp/crumble topping… This pie was delicious and with warm caramel and whipped cream topping it, it makes a great Thanksgiving desert! Secondly I found a recipe on Pinterest last night that works well with my giant bag of coconut I bought from Costco and the whole fridge drawer I have of limes I need to use up, lime and coconut cream cookies, then of course with a family of chocoholics white chocolate brownies are a must desert for the day of indulgence!

Back to my second left overs day meal… traditional pea and ham soup , another recipe I found on Pinterest, but I like the look of this one because it uses fresh peas instead of split peas, I will be using Trader Joes frozen organic peas but I am really looking forward to trying this recipe, seved with the Pioneer woman’s pizza dough made into an olive oil and rosemary flatbread!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone… Enjoy!

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A quiet life… At last!

Life has been kind of quiet recently… Thankfully! I have been concentrating on learning to not spend money, all of my life I have been reckless with money and it’s just not a good thing, so right now I’m learning how to spend our money wisely… What that means for me is a lot more days at home not cruising the aisles in Target… Ha, ha! I have been completing projects that needed doing like hats for Florrie’s Attic, replacing all my cushion covers and a lot more home baking and cooking, which really gives me a sense of achievement when I feed my family wisely! My life is usually so busy and hectic I have really enjoyed some down time to get on with things I’ve wanted to do for a while!

After months of morning sickness we are finally back on track for a healthier diet, Mabel is very happy about this… I have been kind of menu planning, but not strictly, I have ideas of what our menu will be for the week and then I shop the basics and plan each day as I go. My favorite place for recipes at the moment is the whole foods app on my iPad, everything tends to be healthy and is easy to adapt to ingredients you have in. I am trying to bake sweet treats every day to help fill the gap with so many hungry children…

What we ate yesterday…

For breakfast Florrie and I had cereal, after that I prepared the pioneer woman’s pizza dough recipe, I had run out of olive oil so I substituted it with melted coconut oil, I wasn’t sure how it would work but I preferred it. I also put pumpkin chili in the crockpot, now this is a favorite of mine, but not such a favorite for my children, so the pizza was for them, I am loving homemade pizza at the moment, so easy and very tasty! My children are all so very fussy so I am now making very basic pizzas, last night was cheese and a chicken pizza, then I make up a salad and top mine with it, so good, last night I chopped some cherry tomatoes and shredded some baby spinach leaves, to that I added a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and salt and pepper, so yummy on the pizza! Finally I made some pumpkin oatmeal muffins, now I told my children they were apple as they think they do not like pumpkin, instead of sour cream I did add apple sauce, so I was not lying and they loved them, see they do like pumpkin, they just don’t know it!

Pumpkin chili in the crock pot

1 pack of ground turkey ( I used Costco fresh meat)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 can of pumpkin purée ( I used Trader Joes organic)
1 sliced red bell pepper (I used 1/2 packet of Trader Joes frozen bell pepper slices)
1/2 pack of frozen artichoke hearts (I used trader joes)
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons of chili flakes
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 can of drained black beans (or any beans you have to hand)
1 cup of red lentils 1 1/2 cups of water
1/4 cup of flour
2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves

Lightly brown the ground turkey with the oil and then add to the crock pot, then add the can of tomatoes, the pumpkin purée, the pepper, artichokes, garlic, chili flakes, cumin, paprika, red lentils and water, mix thoroughly and cook on low for 5 hours. After 5 hours whisk in the flour to thicken, and then add the beans and spinach, mix again and let this cook for another hour… Serve and enjoy with the topping of your choice… I like grated cheddar cheese, slices of avocado and sour cream!

Pumpkin oatmeal muffins

1/2 cup oatmeal
1 egg
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup fat free milk
(1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup canned pumpkin
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan.
In your mixer whisk together egg, apple sauce, milk, butter, pumpkin, brown sugar, then add flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and oatmeal and gently fold into egg mixture until just combined. Spoon batter into lined muffin tins and bake for 22 to 25 minutes. I then decided to melt 1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of coconut oils and then drizzled it over the muffins!

Both of these recipes are adapted from the Wholefoods app… Very healthy and extremely tasty!

With the clocks going back last weekend and the evenings getting darker so much earlier, my evenings seem so much longer… How does that work, more hours in one day, more time to knit or crochet… Florrie’s Attic has some new things arriving very soon!

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