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Thanksgiving begins…

Planning our Thanksgiving… as a person who moved over to the US nearly 10 years ago, which believe me seems unbelievable, we were happy to adopt Thanksgiving as our own family tradition too, and now with our own two little Americans we celebrate it for them as well as for us.


I love my slow cooker, it is a must have appliance in my kitchen, for soups, casseroles and just cooking a joint of meat, I use it all the time and it is a Thanksgiving must have for all sorts of dishes.  This year I am going to make a warm soup to start of our meal, I want to use cozy Fall flavors, so I’m thinking a light Jamie Oliver cauliflower and coconut soup, cauliflower is a super food in our house at the moment, we are having cauliflower rice as a replacement for carb laden additions to meals and I just love anything with coconut added, so it seemed a perfect choice to add warmth and is sure to give me leftovers for the next few days.

My family are all huge ham lovers, so ham it is, with a little turkey on the side… I do not like handling meat so I will buy a pre-prepared turkey breast.  My plan this year is to cook the meats on the grill outside, it doesn’t matter the weather, snow, hail, rain I plan to fire up that grill, I had enough practice over the summer months cooking everything on the grill, without a kitchen, so it should be fun, and of course less mess in my new oven 😃

I’m a huge cheat when it comes to the potatoes for dinner, Costco do a fantastic tray of the lightest most buttery mashed potato, they even have a tray of sweet potatoes too, and they are both organic always a plus, 8 minutes in the microwave, stir, another 8 minutes in the microwave then stir again… serve, easy peasy. As for the other veggies, they have yet to be decided, it could even be a nice big warm Fall salad, one of my favorite meals when the weather turns chilly.


I will be making another Jamie Oliver recipe Gluten free cornbread, American style, I have become a huge fan of cornbread since moving over here, it’s easy and quick to make, you can add in anything you like for flavor and it all cooks in my cast iron skillets, making it perfect with soups, casseroles and my Thanksgiving  feast.

As for the stuffing and gravy it’s a must, I am a fan of making my own fresh stuffing but my children like the boxed kind, oh well it’s easy, so who am I to argue too much, but the gravy is always homemade, I will be using my own bone broth, and gluten free thickener this year so it should be interesting. 


I have been asked to make a salted caramel apple pie again this year for desert, so who am I to refuse, I’ll cheat a little again with buying a store bought crust and jarred caramel sauce, although both are easy to make, it’s just easier but the apples and crisp/crumble topping will be organic and homemade… perfection!


Finally Black Friday sandwiches have become a tradition in our house, many, many years ago we visited Portsmouth in England for a little shopping trip, right in the center of the Mall was a little stand that had roast meats perfected, they served them in warm bread topped with stuffing and homemade gravy, it was on that day many years before we moved to the US that the Black Friday leftover sandwich was invented, we just didn’t know it back then.  We have been having this sandwich on Black Friday ever since our first Thanksgiving over here, it is more important in our house than the dinner that precedes it, so I always have to make sure there will be enough leftovers which in our house can be difficult. These days this leftover sandwich is all over Food Network at this time of year, but I like to think I invented it way back when many years ago in the little sea town of Portsmouth in England… well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The Black Friday Sandwich my way…

Take all the leftovers, stuffing, meats and mashed potatoes, minus the veggies, drizzle with the gravy and place in a foil baking pan, for ease and no washing up, heat in a 400f oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  In the meantime cut your French baguette in half, ciabatta is also good for this too, once the leftovers are heated place it piled high into the bread, wrap each loaf with foil and put it back into the oven for another 10 minutes… take it out unwrap it, cut into wedges, wrap each wedge of sandwich in kitchen roll, good for handling and cleaning your hands after you’ve eaten, again no clearing up and serve with bowls of the warm gravy (sorry this will be your only washing up)… ENJOY 😋

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving and crazy Black Friday (remember Black Friday is Friday not Thursday, give those poor people who work in retail a break and let them have time at home with their loved ones) ✨

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Black Friday… Love it or hate it?

In my head I’m a very organized person, or that’s how I would like to be anyway. In reality I am very unorganized… Thanksgiving has been and gone, so that means one thing, Christmas is just a few weeks away! I had ideas of all presents being bought, wrapped and sent back to England, leaving me just my own children to sort out! In reality I have the presents sitting on my dining room table awaiting paper and ribbon and then their final trip to the post office!

My house is exactly the same, I have thoughts of being the most organized person, but in reality it never happens… Well now I have a new plan, well a stolen one actually… Set myself daily tasks, nothing too big so I get swamped, set my timer and go to it… Lets see if it works and I get a clean tidy house along with more rest and relaxation time for myself!

Thanksgiving dinner worked well this year, once again I stole a great cooking idea form the domestic semi homemade goddess of food network, Sandra Lee… Yes you have guessed my idea, a semi homemade Thanksgiving dinner, it felt a little like cheating at first but it worked out well, Trader Joes stuffing mix, who needs to be cubing bread for stuffing when Trader Joes has done it for you, then added to it spicy Italian sausage meat, chopped onions and celery, at this point I thought pecans would have made a good addition, but you have to remember I have fussy eaters in my house! I bought Costco ready made mashed potatoes, which by the way are delicious and then added my own pot of creamy mustardy potatoes to it… The left overs went on for days! Black Friday dinner is becoming a tradition in our house… Thanksgiving dinner in a sandwich, meat, stuffing and gravy all warmed in a crusty roll… Yummmmm, a family favorite now!

I am not usually a Black Friday shopper, in fact I usually stay as far away from the shops as possible on this day of the year, but this year was totally different, Florrie has had a cold and been waking a lot in the night, so at 4am on Friday morning I found myself sitting in bed reading my iPad, next thing I know Paul had joined me, Florrie was back to sleep again… We looked at each other and said wouldn’t it be fun to go shopping right now, so we did! The trick was to keep Florrie asleep from the house to the car, so with my iPhone as a flash light, we did not want to wake up the whole household, we carried our sleeping baby into a freezing cold car fast asleep… Then we headed off to Best Buy and the mall for a fun early morning shopping trip, and of course a salted caramel mocha in Starbucks… It has to be done!

As much fun as Black Friday was and the savings we made this weekend were good, I will not be repeating it again! I was very disappointed with the deals in the mall, there was nothing special to ever make me get up that early again, Best Buy on the other hand had some great savings if you wanted electrical goods, we managed to get a $1500 Samsung 55″tv for $800 and we are in desperate need of a new refrigerator, we have been looking for weeks now as ours is not working properly, we decided to wait for the Black Friday deals and we are glad we did, although we did order it on Saturday, so technically not Black Friday, but the deals were on for three days and we saved $1300 on a $3000 fridge/freezer… Bargain!

Happy Holiday shopping…

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