Since we're starting to put some of the items together for Thanksgiving Day dinner tonight, I am reminded that over the years, I've had more than a few people ask me how we come up with the Thanksgiving menu and (perhaps more importantly) how I can bring it all together on the big day.

Prayers and luck help.

The menu is partially traditional: Items that either [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 or my families have had over the years. Some of it is a desire for experimentation on our part. I also like having dishes (especially veggies) that people like. This is the rationale behind the Baked root veggies this year. I'm not much of a squash fan, and I actively despise brussels sprouts. But, the wife likes both, so I'm making it.

Dinner prep is all about planning. What can be made ahead of time (cranberry apple ginger chutney, spiced pears), what can be made early and kept warm, (Cornbread stuffing, baked autumn veggies), and what has to be made as we go.

Two tips I can share now: If you have a toaster oven, put it somewhere nearby but out of the way and use it to keep stuff warm. The other is to put a timeline together. Figure out when you want to have dinner, and work backwards to work out when everything needs to happen.

The biggest "hint" I can give sounds corny as hell, but it's so true. Have fun and remember why we do this. Maybe more than any other holiday, it's all about family. I've said for years that the holidays are about memories made with family (whether the family you were born to or the family you have chosen) and friends. I have many fond memories of Thanksgivings in NJ and MD, and I hope that my kids have them as well.

So, as I usually do, I want to take a moment to remind all of you of why we do this. Yeah, the food is good and the pies better, but this is a time for family and to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. In all the hustle and bustle, let us not lose sight of that.

I hope you have many fond holiday memories as well, and that you continue to have the opportunity to make more of your own.
Tasty, though I couldn't find what I would have considered to be "medium" parsnips. As a result, the larger ones we used were, I think, a bit too much and overpowered the dish.

Recipe Under Cut )
As tasty as expected. I overcooked the beans a little in the first round; may try steaming instead of boiling next time I do it.

Recipe under cut )
Well, we have set the Thanksgiving menu.
cut to prevent watering mouths )
Over the years, I've had more than a few people ask me how we come up with the Thanksgiving menu and (perhaps more importantly) how I can bring it all together on the big day.

Prayers and luck help.

The menu is partially traditional: Items that either [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 or my families have had over the years. Some of it is a desire for experimentation on our part. I also like having dishes (especially veggies) that people like. This is the rationale behind the Baked root veggies this year. I'm not much of a squash fan, and I actively despise brussels sprouts. But, the wife likes both, so I'm making it.

Dinner prep is all about planning. WHat can be made ahead of time (cranberry apple ginger chutney, spiced pears), what can be made early and kept warm, (Cornbread stuffing, baked autumn veggies), and what has to be made as we go.

Two tips I can share now: If you have a toaster oven, put it somewhere nearby but out of the way and use it to keep stuff warm. The other is to put a timeline together. Figure out when you want to have dinner, and work backwards to work out when everything needs to happen.

The biggest "hint" I can give sounds corny as hell, but it's so true. Have fun and remember why we do this. Maybe more than any other holiday, it's all about family. I've said for years that the holidays are about memories made with family (whether the family you were born to or the family you have chosen) and friends. I have many fond memories of Thanksgivings in NJ and MD, and I hope that my kids have them as well.

So, as I usually do, I want to take a moment to remind all of you of why we do this. Yeah, the food is good and the pies better, but this is a time for family and to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. In all the hustle and bustle, let us not lose sight of that.

I hope you have many fond holiday memories as well, and that you continue to have the opportunity to make more of your own.
Well, we have set the Thanksgiving menu.
cut to prevent watering mouths )
This came out very tasty. Made it a few days in advance; I suspect it benefited from the extra time for the flavors to meld.I suspect this would be best served warm as a side or perhaps over ice cream.

recipe behind cut )
...and here I am, pounding my fingers on a keyboard and my head on my desk.

In other words, it's Monday. Hey, how the hell are ya?

So, it's been almost 2 weeks since I last blathered at ya. Been busy in that time. Between the getting ready for the holidays and putting in about 12 extra hours at work, I've been busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. So then, a quick bullet list.
  • Me: Doing OK. Trying to not think about [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0's upcoming surgery. Yeah, I know, it's routine. They probably do tens of thousands of them a day. But still - it's surgery, and there's always a risk. So, I try not to think about it. Otherwise ok, if somewhat tired last week from putting in extra time to cover the time I'll be taking off for the surgery. Had a bit of a revelation last week...but more on that later.
  • Family: Doing well. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 is off some of her meds in preparation for the surgery. Everyone's been busy with schoolwork and holiday prep; it's sometimes hard to stay focused.
  • What we've been doing. Well, since the last real update...
    • Went to parent-teacher conferences
    • Went to [livejournal.com profile] stoooooooo's and [livejournal.com profile] ginabeth's place for family, food, and football.
    • Did the Thanksgiving baking (4 loaves of pumpkin bread, 3 cornbread rounds, pumpkin pie, pear cranberry pecan pie, chocolate pie, thanksgiving sugar cookies)
    • Did the Thanksgiving cleaning (well, a lot of it, anyway)
    • Finished the Thanksgiving shopping
    • Did some Christmas shopping.
    Blearg.
  • Gaming: You may have noticed a lack of gaming listed. I think, though I'm not certain, that the lack of gaming, whether tabletop or electronic, is one of the reasons behind some of my depression of late. Gaming is far and away one of my favorite things to do, and I haven't really done any lately. No fault or blame here, just the way life has worked these last few months. Once I realized that, I tried to get myself to do something, even if it's just noodle around on WoW for a while. Haven't been able to. Too much to do. Must work on this.
  • Work: Still no word on the contract award. Still feel about 99% certain I'll have the same job come Jan 1, but about 85% likely that it'll be with a different company (in other words, I'll still be here, but someone else will be signing the checks). We shall see.
  • New Year's: Yes, we will be doing the Open House this year. Saturday and Sunday. official announcement and eVite to go out tonight, I hope.
  • Food Network shows: I liked Food Network Live this year. It gave me one or two ideass to work with. Also, the Swedish Chef made an appearance. What's not to like? Also appreciated the new Good Eats Thanksgiving special. Yum.
OK, I need to clean up and head for home. Got a 12 hour day tomorrow, and need to make some spiced pears and cranberry apple ginger chutney tonight.

Once again, I'd like to take a moment to remind all of you of why we do this. Yeah, the food is good and the pies better, but this is a time for family and to give thanks for the blessings in our lives. In all the hustle and bustle, let us not lose sight of that.

I remind you all to have a good day. The very fact that you woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning makes it a great start to a good day.
Well, we have set the Thanksgiving menu.
cut to prevent watering mouths )
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to October. The beginning of the last quarter of the Gregorian calendar year. And, as my good friend [livejournal.com profile] delazan noticed a few years ago, there's a whole lot of holidays and holiday traditions going on in those 3 months. She described her traditions, and it warmed my heart to read about them. She asked what traditions her readers kept, and I thought I'd take a bit to share them with y'all. I'm gonna do things a little differently, though, as I'm going to talk about what I used to do and what we do now.
Halloween/Samhain )
Thanksgiving )
Christmas )
New Year's )
Another winner of a recipe. Made delicious leftovers as well.
recipe behind cut )
This was fan-friggen-tastic. Tasty. meaty. easy. Can't wait to make this one again
recipe behind cut )
Very, very good. We served it with some blackberries on the side.
recipe behind cut )
So help me heaven, I'm thinking of making Alton Brown's Overnight Cinnamon Rolls> to go with breakfast on Sunday...
So, this, I think, is the menu for Mother's Day Dinner:

  • Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple Shrimp (appetizer)
  • Crown Roast of Lamb
  • Rice Pilaf
  • Asparagus with Lemon butter
  • Sugar snap peas with red pepper
  • Biscuits
  • Sugar free New york Style Cheesecake (maybe with some berries on the side)
  • wine
  • coffee


I'm doing the lamb again because my mother requested it last year, but wasn't able to make it down since she busted her leg. My mother-in-law is in California visiting her twin and won't be back until a week later.

Recipes will follow later.
Excellent recipe. If you want to reduce the heat, using Monterey Jack Cheese instead of the pepper jack is the way to go. Still gives awesome flavor. And hey, of you can get fresh crab? Better still.
recipe behind cut )
So, yeah, here we go...

Saturday, Nov 20 )
Sunday, Nov 21 )
Monday, Nov 22 )
Tuesday, Nov 23 )
Wednesday, Nov 24 )
Thursday, Nov 25 )
Friday, Nov 26 )
Saturday, Nov 27 )
Sunday, Nov 28 )
As I usually do, I find myself extremely thankful for a number of things this year:
  • [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0, B, & F.
  • My job and [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0's job
  • My clueless end-users
  • My in-laws.
  • My family
  • The fact that I have a roof over my head, food on my table, and clothes on my back.
  • And perhaps most especially, my friends, whether near or far, whether they read this drivel I write or not. (and that does mean all of you)


Even though Thanksgiving has come and gone, I would ask one thing from each and every one of you. Please, try to remember to be thankful for each and every blessing in your life every day. Let the people in your life know you are thankful for them. Let us not give thanks only on Thanksgiving, but every day.

And I am thankful for all of you. Believe me when I say that even when I don't comment, I am reading what you write, and rejoice with you in your triumphs, and weep with thee in thy sorrows.

If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings.

--Bing Crosby, Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)
Well, we have set the Thanksgiving menu.
cut to prevent watering mouths )
So, it's been farrrrr too long since I've done any update of substance.

So here we go. Get some coffee (or beverage of choice) and get comfy.
  • Administrivia: Please give a warm welcome to the three newest readers of this little slice of insanity: [livejournal.com profile] magsmom, [livejournal.com profile] _luaineach, and [livejournal.com profile] onezumi. Pull up a chair and help yourself to somethin' to drink. I generally suggest that people read this post if they want to know more about me.
  • Me: Doing well. I'm in good spirits. Hallowe'en is done, and the planning and prepping for Thanksgiving begins in earnest. I'm feelin' good and looking...well, like myself. Which is to say that I'd lose to Godzilla in a beauty contest, but hey, that's normal, so it's all good. In early to work this AM since the kids are off from school (Teachers Professional Day) and I can drop F off at his after-school care as early as 0700. I'll use the time towards my day off for AnimeUSA later in the month.
  • I probably don't need to say this to y'all, but it bears repeating: Please, tomorrow, go out and vote. Thank you.
  • Family: Well, everyone is doing pretty well. The kids are on a bit of a sugar high (Duh!) and are enjoying the long weekend. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 & B are gearing up for NaNoWriMo; I'm staying out of the way. F was dealing with some sorta low-end stomach bug about half the weekend. No barfing, just stinky gas, gas pains, mild nausea, and the runs.
  • NaNoWriMo: To everyone who is participating, good luck to you.
  • Work: We seem to have passed the first milestone. Now for the next big one. After that, things calm down a bit. We hope.
  • What we've been doing: Well, lessee, it's been over a month since last update. EEP! OK, by week then:
    • Sept 27 - Oct 3: Cleaned up from painting the Living room. Went to MD Renaissance Faire. Went to [livejournal.com profile] stoooooooo & [livejournal.com profile] ginabeth's for football and to celebrate [livejournal.com profile] luvmomh's birthday. [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 made an awesome tiramisu for the shindig.
    • Oct 4 - 10: My car wouldn't start after getting cup of coffee (connection to starter motor was bad). Total was ~$130. Touched up paint in LR. Replaced trim around front door (had to do the whole thing because I couldn't find matching trim). Cleaned front of condo. Brought Halloween decorations out of storage.
    • Oct 11 - 17: Enjoyed day off on the 11th. Car needed jumpstart at work on the 15th. Bought battery for my car and tires for [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0's car. Decorated front of condo.
    • Oct 18 - 24: Not much other than take long weekend to go to NJ to visit lighthouses (which will get it's own post).
    • Oct 25 - 31: Watched horror movies. Had car starter die on me. Had starter replaced. Took F. Christmas List shopping. Gave out candy.
  • Gaming: Not too much, not even WoW. I logged on a few times to try for the Headless Horseman's mount, but never got it.
  • What's coming up: Well, lessee, this week, we're going out to dinner on Thursday to celebrate the birthday of [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 and her sister, then grocery shopping on Saturday for Thanksgiving dinner (the menu for which gets it's own post). Also need to defrost the freezer and rearrange and clean out the fridge. Lots of food coming in. Need space. The following weekend is AnimeUSA, which, while we are attending, we will no longer be staying at the hotel (see auto repairs above). If we can get and keep things cleaned up, then one or more of us may go up to [livejournal.com profile] stoooooooo & [livejournal.com profile] ginabeth's for football on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
  • Horror flicks: My son F. doesn't care for them, neither does [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0. My daughter B & I watched several over the last few days, most of which she hasn't seen before. I had the joy of introducing her to:She seemed to enjoy them, and jumped at the end of Carrie. Like I still do. And I've probably seen it two dozen times.
I think that's all I've got for now.

Remember: You woke up on the proper side of the grass this morning. By definition, that makes today a good day.

Peas. Out.

Convention Countdown
Anime USA: 11 Days!
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to October. The beginning of the last quarter of the Gregorian calendar year. And, as my good friend [livejournal.com profile] delazan noticed a few years ago, there's a whole lot of holidays and holiday traditions going on in those 3 months. She described her traditions, and it warmed my heart to read about them. She asked what traditions her readers kept, and I thought I'd take a bit to share them with y'all. I'm gonna do things a little differently, though, as I'm going to talk about what I used to do and what we do now.
Halloween/Samhain )
Thanksgiving )
Christmas )
New Year's )

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