Happy Belated Thanksgiving

Yesterday I planned on blogging but with hosting Thanksgiving, cooking, baking and everything else I was exhausted by the time I could finally get on the computer. We ended up having a beautiful Thanksgiving. Everything went well. The brine worked out perfect, the turkey tasted great and was falling off of the bones by the time it was done. I have no complaints for the day.
My thanks for the day were for Joe's family. I pretty much only have my mom and she lives out of state so I rely completely on my husbands family. They are the best, we all get along so well, which can be tough when there are six siblings and always have a good time.
Now on to what I made for the day. First here's a pic of the turkey, they had a hard time pulling it out of the roaster, it was so juicy and tender it was falling apart.
The only other things that I made were my Merry cherry pie, It's a southern thing cornbread dressing, and my Orange you glad you tried it salad. That's another nice thing about big family is everyone brings something. Below are my recipes.
Merry Cherry Pie
Perfect everytime pie crust (recipe below)
2 14.5 oz cans tart cherries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 ts salt
2 tbs butter
1/4 ts almond extract
1/4 ts red food coloring
1 egg yolk

Preheat over 425 degrees.
Make perfect everytime pastry and refrigerate.
Drain cherries, reserving 1 cup juice.
In a saucepan combine sugar, flour and salt. Stir in cherry juice and bring to boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture thickens, less than 5 minutes.
When mixture is thickened, add butter, almond extract, food coloring and cherries.
Cover and refrigerate.
On lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pastry into an 11 inch circle.
Put into 9 inch pie dish.
Poor cooled cherry filling into pie dish.
Roll other half of pastry into another 11 inch circle. With a knife cut your design in center of pastry circle.
When done designing, place pastry on top of cherry filling and lightly brush with egg yolk.
Bake 30 minutes and cool before serving.

Perfect Everytime Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 ts salt
3 tbs granulated white sugar
1/4 cup crisco
12 tbs butter, cold and cubed
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and break it up with your hands as you coat it all up with the flour. Add the colf butter and work into the flour with a pastry cutter.
Work it quickly, so the butter doesn't get too soft. Work until mixture is crumbly.
Add the ice water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a dough.
Bring dough together into a ball.
Divide ball into half, flatten it slightly into a disk shape. Wrap it with saran wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
On a floured surface roll each disk out into an 11 inch circle to make a 9 inch pie.

It's a Southern Thing Cornbread Dressing
One 8x8 batch baked cornbread, cooled
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, diced
1-1 1/2 cans chicken broth
salt and pepper

The night before or first thing in the morning bake you cornbread so that it will be completely cooled by the time you are going to make the dressing.
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Sautee the chopped celery and onion in oil or butter until soft.
Salt and pepper to taste.
In a 9x13 baking dish break up the cornbread.
Add the celery, onion and diced egg to the cornbread.
Mix together with hands.
Pour chicken broth over cornbread mixture, you can make it as dry or moist as you like.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, if not brown enough on top, broil on low for 3-5 minutes.
Serve warm.

Orange You Glad You Tried It Salad
1 tub cool whip, thawed
1 small tub small curd cottage cheese
2 small cans manderin oranges, drained
1 box orange jello

In a large mixing bowl. Add thawed cool whip, 1/2 tub cottage cheese, maderin oranges and dry orange jello. Stir together, refrigerate until ready to serve.

If you haven't tried these dishes before I hope you try them out. These are some of my favorites from my childhood growing up in Atlanta. Hope you all have a great decorating/shopping weekend!


Happy Thanksgiving Eve and a third day of thanks

Today and everyday I am thankful for my two beautiful and healthy children Brenden Michael, 10, and Hannah Grace, 7 months today.
 Brenden is the sweetest and most polite boy, he always cares about others feelings. He is growing up so fast, I can't believe this is his last year of elementary school. I'm so proud of the person that he is becoming.
 Hannah is the most beautiful and precious child ever. She is such a sweet baby and her smile will light up a room. I can't believe she is already 7 months old. I'm so proud to be her mama.  

Today I am brining our turkey. This was my husband's idea, I take no credit. I only have to do it because he's at work and it has to start today at noon. So for his sake hopefully it turns out good. We have a 21lb. turkey and we are going to brine it for 18-20 hours. We are using a 5 gallon bucket we bought at our local grocery story which has a hardware section. We are using as much water that will fit in the bucket along with the turkey, our measurement isn't exact.

Joe's First Thanksgiving Brine

3/4 cup table salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbs sage
1 tbs thyme
1 tbs rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tbs peppercorns
1 chopped onion
1 chopped celery stock
1 chopped carrot
4 cans veggie broth

Fill standard stock pot half way with water, bring to boil. Add salt and brown sugar, stir until dissolved. Turn off heat, add all other ingredients. Fill stock pot rest of way with water, cover with lid and cool in fridge for 3 hours. Do not add turkey to brine without cooling first, this could create salmonella. Once cooled, pour brine into 5 gallon bucket, slowly lower turkey into brine. If there is still room for more liquid add more water, make sure turkey is fully submerged. Cover with lid and refrigerate for 18-20 hours.

We luckily have a fridge that you can adjust the shelves to accommodate a 5 gallon bucket. If you don't, check out google, they have several different brining techniques and ways to store the turkey while brining.


Second day of thanks

Today I give thanks to my wonderful husband who wakes up Tuesday through Friday at 3:45am to go and work a very physical 10+ hour shift as a beer truck driver so that I can stay home with our daughter. Then on his days off he's always fixing something and working around the house. He is the hardest working, most loving man and the best father I know and I'm so lucky to be his wife.

Today I'm also thankful for Belgium Chocolate Truffle Coffemate, it is making my day today.

and my new favorite song, it makes me cry everytime I hear it. This is how I'm trying to live my life.

The breath you take- George Strait

Life’s not the breaths you take
The breathing in and out
That gets you through the day
Ain’t what it’s all about
Ya just might miss the point
Try’n to win the race
Life’s not the breaths you take
But the moments that take your breath away


First day of thanks and my first ever scrapbook page

First I want to give thanks today. Today I am thankful for my husband's work supplying us with a turkey so tonight when we go to get our Thanksgiving groceries we don't have to worry about spending alot on a turkey big enough to feed our big family. I'm also thankful for my crockpot because I was supposed to go grocery shopping today but my husband took the only vehicle I can drive, our 4x4 truck, to work because it's going to snow so now we have to brave the grocery store tonight and because of my crockpot we'll have a nice warm pot roast waiting for us when we get home.

Now on to my scrapbook page for my daughters baby book, pretty much all I'm going say is I'm glad it's done and I'm going to respect my inner creative spirit by accepting it for what it is and moving on from there.

Run like a mama

Today I want to write about a new book I'm reading. "Run like a mother", mothers all over the world unite with a common bond but mothers who run unite on a whole other level. Finding the strength within to push yourself out of your comfort zone is hard for anyone, finding the time when you are a mom makes it that much more difficult. But we do it because we like a challenge, it makes us feel good and the weight management isn't bad either. This book is an inspiration to all running mothers, even if you don't run yet but have thought about starting you should definitely read this book. It has all kinds of tips and it really makes you feel like you are part of special group.

blog numero uno

This first blog won't be much. Today so far I've only managed to get this blog going and drink alot of coffee. But I wanted to post something. I plan on this blog being about everyday life, my crafting, baking and being a mama. The simple pleasures in life. Recently my life has changed drastically. I went from commuting 1+ hours daily, working 40+ hours a week at a job I loved but a boss that didn't love me, living in a part of town and house that my husband and I hated ~ to commuting from my bedroom to the living room, being a stay at home mama to a boss that can't live without me and finally living in the country closer to family. We've made huge sacrifices to get here, but the dark clouds are lifting and we're finally happy living a nice, quiet, simple life. The lessons I've learned in the past year are priceless and I thank God everyday for blessing us.