Thursday, November 17, 2011

Preparing for Thanksgiving

“But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)

Are you anxious with Thanksgiving right around the corner? Don't be! Make your list of things that need to be done and do them in a timely manner so that you aren't stressed over Thanksgiving. This is especially important if you are preparing for a large number of family members. Here are some tips to add to your list to make things go smoother.

Turkey tips: If buying a whole turkey you need 1 pound per person. For a boneless breast plan 1/2 LB per person. Thawing: Frozen turkey needs 1 day in the fridge for every 4 refrigerate a 12 LB turkey for 3 days. Basting: It can help the turkey brown evenly but the opening of the oven door can prolong baking time. A better way to keep it juicy is to pour some warmed broth over the carved slices.

Bread: Make the dough for your bread or rolls at the first part of the week. Allow the dough to rise fully once, shape it, wrap it well in freezer-safe plastic wrap or foil and freeze. When ready to bake, thaw the dough in the refrigerator. This will
usually take at least a few hours or overnight. Set it in a warm place and give it its second rise and bake.
If you have a bread machine use it to mix the dough. Bake the bread the night before the big day and refresh it in a 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 10 minutes just before serving.
Want to make your guests feel special? Set a vase of Sunflowers in their room! They are a touch of fall, freshness, & color to their room.

Having a Woodwick Pumpkin Candle will add a fall scent as well, getting your guests in the mood for a fabulous holiday!

Remember that you don't have get stressed out for your Thanksgiving Dinner to be a huge success. Plan what to do each day leading up to the big day, enjoy your friends & family during this time counting your many blessings that God has given you.

Enjoy your week with those you love~

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You make it look so easy...

Well, that is what a friend told me this week. She asked me how I did all that I did and make it look so easy. Some days, I think, "It is anything but easy", but I did share some tips with her that seem to help out. I look at staying at home, my job. And just like any job you have hours that you work, tasks that have to be done, and projects that need to be seen to. My job just happens to be taking care of a house, husband, & 3 children. Everything that needs to be tended to gets put on my calendar, if it isn't on my calendar it is not a high priority.

When school starts, I take my calendar and put the school year on it. Because I am VP of our Elementary PTO, those meetings & events are added, so is Dance, Piano, Guitar, & any other child function that comes up. Yes, I even have a day set aside for our date night... If I didn't it would get overlooked & let's face it, we need to keep an intimate relationship with our husbands. They need to feel important in your life too.

Our children have 2 chores a day, they are alternated so that they never have the same chore every day. They are: Unload the dishwasher, Set the Table, Clear the Table, Gather clothes & put in Laundry room, Clean their Bathroom, Feed & Water the Pets. They do have to keep their rooms cleaned, but I don't consider that a chore, it is to build self respect & self pride. The rest of the house is mine! These chores I do with a timer... Yes a timer. I set it for 15 minutes and do NOTHING at all in that 15 minutes but the targeted area. If the phone rings, the machine gets it. It doesn't sound like a lot of time, but you would be surprised how long it really is. When the timer goes off, return phone calls, start supper, read your bible, etc. Once you get in the habit of this trick, you will find that you can get your housework done in less than 2 hours. That is everything, laundry, sweeping/mopping,dusting,bathroom, etc. Then you have the rest of your time to work at the school, scrapbook, paint, etc.

So last week I added some fun to my schedule & now on Saturday Nights I paint. It is a fun adult time event. Two hours with other Christian women that allows our creative minds to expand. This was our first painting! I can't wait until this weekend!

So what is on the schedule for the rest of the week? Wednesday: 2 loads of clothes, grocery shopping, my nails/toes done, make bread for supper tomorrow night at Church, clean the downstairs. Thursday: 2 loads of clothes, clean the upstairs, pinestraw in my flower beds. Friday: 2 loads of clothes, Dust, sweep & mop (touch up cleaning), date night. Saturday: Family time & Paint, Start defrosting the Turkey for Thanksgiving. Sunday: Church. Friday marks the beginning of Thanksgiving Break~we have fun plans for the week the kids are out of school. Movies on Monday, Making Christmas Presents on Tuesday, with Cooking & Baking on Wednesday prepping for 20 for our Thanksgiving Table. Fun filled days when they are out of school~got to love it!!!
So my morning starts with Bible study, prep/cook breakfast, wake the kids up for school. I start my first load of clothes before they leave. Once they leave, on the eliptic machine, second load of laundry. Around 9 I start my household cleaning and done by 11.
So see we all have the same 24 hours in the day, we just have different ways that we manage it. Work out a schedule that will accommodate your schedule and see how smoother your day can go. You will love the extra time to go walking enjoying the beauty that God made, find that time you wished you had for the gym, or to have lunch with your girl friends, volunteer at the school, volunteer at your local food bank, visit local nursing homes for the residents that never get visits, or anything else. Enjoy the added time you find~you will love it.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Recipes~Pumpkin Themed

Just a few ideas for your upcoming Thanksgiving Dinner. Or any event this month!


1 tsp grated orange zest
3 cups powdered sugar
15 oz can pure pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup sour cream, room temp
1/2 cup molasses
3 large eggs
1 cup + 6 tbs unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups all purpose flour

HEAT oven to 350°. Line two 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together ginger, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cloves and salt. Beat 1 cup butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Beat in pumpkin and molasses. ADD flour mixture, mixing until incorporated. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake until done, 25 min. Let cool 5 min. in pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. MAKE FROSTING---Beat powdered sugar, sour cream and remaining butter in a bowl until smooth. Increase speed and beat until fluffy. Stir in orange zest. Refrigerate frosting until stiff and spreadable, 1 hour. Frost cupcakes just before SERVING


1 cup heavy cream
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla
15 oz can pure pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 6 tbs maple syrup
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tbs sugar

IN A FOOD PROCESSOR, combine sugar, flour and 1/4 tsp salt. Add butter and pulse to form coarse crumbs. Add 2 tbs cold water, pulsing until dough begins to come together. Transfer dough to a piece of plastic wrap, shape into a 1" thick disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.

HEAT oven to 350°. On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12" circle. Fit it into bottom and up sides of a 9" pie plate, trim overhang 1/2" from the edge of the rim. Fold overhang under itself and crimp as desired. Refrigerate until ready to fill.
IN A BOWL, combine brown sugar, eggs, milk, pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon and remaining salt. Transfer to crust and bake until filling is set in the center and crust is golden brown, 65 min. Let cool. 10 min. before serving, beat remaining cream and 6 tbs maple syrup until soft peaks form. SERVE with pie