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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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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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