Thanksgiving Prep 2015

We are getting excited around our house, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we are hosting this year! My parents arrive on Saturday and Taylor’s parents and brother arrive on Tuesday. We are going to have a full house and I’m sure Addy will love every minute of it, especially all of the food!

I thought I’d share our Thanksgiving menu with you this week and some recipes I’ve find that I’m hoping to try this year.

Thanksgiving will start with breakfast. Last year I made pumpkin cream french toast, that I’ll make again, and more likely some bacon and eggs to go along with it.

Lunch will likely be appetizers that we can graze on until the main meal of the day. I’ll have some cheese, meat and crackers, some veggies and dip, I’m planning on making these baked brie bites ahead of time, meatballs, rye round snacks(a family tradition that goes by another name-find the recipe below!), pumpkin stuffed bacon wrapped dates and possibly this caramelized onion and gruyere tart.

Our dinner menu will consist of two turkeys(one will be grilled the other will be put in the turkey fryer), stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, broccoli and rolls. I may be forgetting something, but those are the standards.

For dessert, I will be making pumpkin pies with whip cream, a pumpkin roll, pumpkin caramel cookies, and chocolate cookies.

We have a lot of fun ideas and activities that we can’t wait to do with our guest and we are so excited for all the cooking, eating and family time!

Here’s a look back on the last three Thanksgivings

2014: Thanksgiving with Aunt Katie and Uncle Andrew visiting us in Singapore

Thanksgiving2014-68March 2014: A Friendsgiving in SingaporeSGThanksgiving-222013: Our first Thanksgiving in Singapore with FriendsIMG_53962012: Thanksgiving in IndianaIMG_0624

Rye Round Snack Recipe

Fry 1 pound Jimmy Dean Sausage(mild) and 1 pound ground beef and drain well. Melt 1 pound Velvetta cheese adding1 tablespoon oregano, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon Worchester sauce. Mix meat and cheese mixture and spread on rye cocktail bread. Freeze on a cookie sheet and store until use. Heat in a broiler until browned.

Enjoy your holiday, we’ll be sharing about ours next weekend!

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House Project: Wine Rack

Over the last few weeks Taylor has worked on another house project, a wine rack. We were  in desperate need to get some wine storage that wouldn’t be in reach of a certain little one year old. He built extra storage in our pantry. Soon it will be filled as we start prepping for our Thanksgiving arrivals!

My help in this project consisted of standing on some wood, taking pictures, and a tad bit of painting.

These are the non technical terms for the steps in his project. He’d be more than happy to share his plans, just let us know!

First, Taylor cut all of the wood to size.
untitled-13 untitled-28 Addy got to go on wheel barrow rides during this process!untitled-35He then drilled some holes.
Wine Rack (2 of 11) He created a little box so all of the pieces would go together exactly the same. Wine Rack (1 of 11)Wine Rack (3 of 11) Wine Rack (4 of 11) Wine Rack (5 of 11) Wine Rack (6 of 11) Wine Rack (7 of 11) Wine Rack (8 of 11) He assembled the small bottle shelves to the big outer shell. Wine Rack (9 of 11) Wine Rack (10 of 11) We then primed, painted and installed. Wine Rack (11 of 11)Voila, our new wine rack that’s ready to hold 30 bottles!IMG_1694

Texas Adventure: Brenham

Last month when my mom was visiting we went on a day trip to visit Brenham, Texas which is about an hour to an hour an a half a way. It was great fun! We timed the drive perfectly and Addy fell asleep for her nap the whole way there and slept most of the trip home.

Our first stop was at this adorable park that the town created. Addy loved being able to run around after sleeping in the car. Toubin Park highlights the old cisterns system that the town relied on to catch rain water. The town turned it into a lovely place!IMG_1402 IMG_1407 IMG_1410 IMG_1411 IMG_1414 IMG_1415 IMG_1416 IMG_1417 IMG_1418 IMG_1419

We then continued walking around the downtown stopping in stores and strolling along.

DowntownIMG_1420 IMG_1421 The town had different scarecrows scattered around the area all sponsored and decorated differently. They were cute and funny!

Scarecrows
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We were unsure of what to do for lunch, but noticed that lots of people were coming and going and getting takeout from one of the restaurants around the square. We quickly decided that it should be our lunch destination and we made an excellent choice. Yumm! Sweets and Eats was an excellent stop for lunch. We shared a sandwich and a pizza. I would highly recommend for an easy meal!

After lunch we tried heading to the town’s antique carousel, but it wasn’t open at the time.

Next on the agenda, Blue Bell Creamery. If you would have asked before moving to Texas what Blue Bell was, I would not have been able to tell you. Well, the sell delicious ice cream! People live and die by it down here and I now understand why. Visiting the creamery was actually my first taste! In the past month, it just came back into the stores locally, but I know that there are plenty more Texans that are still waiting for their Blue Bell. Unfortunately, they were not giving tours, but that means we’ll just have to go back sometime!

IMG_1425 IMG_1426They only had two flavors to taste at the time, vanilla and cookies and cream. The vanilla was amazing!
IMG_1427Our two cups cost us only $2 total. So inexpensive!
IMG_1428 Addy approved!IMG_1429 She may have stole it all! IMG_1430

After Blue Bell, we headed to a winery. It was nearby, but not spectacular. I don’t even remember the name, but here’s the picture that I remembered to take as we were driving a way!IMG_1431

We had an awesome adventure. There are many more things that I would love to do in the area and hopefully we’ll head their again for another day trip!

Halloween 2015

We have had a blast of a weekend celebrating Halloween! It’s been a busy last few days, but luckily it’s a rainy Sunday so we are just sitting back and relaxing!

On Friday, Addy and I headed to a play date early in the morning at our park with some of the neighborhood kids. We didn’t last long as Addy had her first accident, a busted lip. Mother and daughter survived and all is well! Later in the evening, our neighbor hosted a pumpkin carving and chili dinner. All the neighbors pitched in with food. I made pumpkin sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies and a pumpkin pie. All were delish, sorry no pictures! Addy loved being around all the kids. We didn’t attempt carving our pumpkin with the group and saved it until the next morning. Halloween-1

Addy work up Saturday morning to fresh baked pumpkin donuts for breakfast. She approved and devoured them!

Pumpkin DonutsHalloween-9 Halloween-8

Later in the day we carved pumpkins as a family. Addy was very much \into this activity. Taylor and I decided we’ll have to step up our pumpkin carving next year. This year it was pretty spur of the moment planning, but we love our pumpkins!Halloween-28 Halloween-30Halloween-37Halloween-40Halloween-46Halloween-48Halloween-54Halloween-13Halloween-18Halloween-62Halloween-64

Later in the afternoon we headed to a friend’s house for a party. There we a bunch of little kids so Addy was in heaven! She loved playing with different toys and they had a mini jump house. She had the time of her life!Halloween-92 Halloween-94 Halloween-104 Halloween-114 Halloween-115 Halloween-117 Head First!Halloween-120 Halloween-140

We then came home and Addy took a great nap. We had chili, spicy chicken soup and corn bread for dinner. It was delish!

Spicy Chicken SoupHalloween-146 ChiliHalloween-148IMG_1653IMG_1652

Our first trick or treaters arrived at 6:30. Addy thought costumes were hilarious and she was ready to chase after all the kids going along the street. We quickly got her dressed and tried to get a few pictures. She was all about the candy. We trick or treated to a few neighbors houses, but we pretty much hung out in our driveway with neighbors.

Mary’s Little LambHalloween-153-2 Halloween-154Halloween-164IMG_1668My carved pumpkinHalloween-183-2Someone was trying to steal from our candy bowl! Multiple times!Halloween-190Halloween-200Halloween-202Halloween-205Halloween-206Halloween-208Halloween-210