Birthdays, Thanksgiving and Decking the Halls: Food, Food, Food!

birthday cake 2Thanksgiving is a time when we often stop and reflect on the things we are, well, thankful for and even if you don’t post something to facebook everyday, make scrapbooks or make a big production about it we still find ourselves reflecting on the more lovely things in our lives, at least for just a moment.  It is a good exercise and one we should consider practicing more than once a year.

I am thankful for people to share life with, people to celebrate and celebrate with and for being able to make someplace for people to feel at home.  It was an awesome week.

The Process: For a full explanation visit this page

1. Sit down, relax and plan (or pick some meals from here)

2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money

3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip

4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy

The Meals:

Provencal Vegetable Soup: Food Network  Chef: Ina Garten

provencial vegitable soup

Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ease: Simple

Review: Soups are warm and comforting by nature, but this soup is especially comforting.  It is the kind of soup you eat while curled up in front of a fire with your favorite blanket.  Do not let the pistou scare you, it is an additional step, but makes all the difference in the flavor.  I believe in you, I promise even with this added step I still call it simple.

Tip: Saffron can be expensive and sometimes we just have to watch the budget.  Try the Hispanic section of your grocery store for a more affordable option, it still adds nice flavor and color.

Glazed Asian Chicken Thighs:  All Recipes.com

asian chicken 3

sauce

stir fry

Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ease: Simple

Review:  I try to make chicken at least once a week and learned something this week; my family prefers dark meat, hmm I think I should have know this already.  They loved this dish! It was easy to prepare and the flavors were nice with a little heat, but not so much as to scare off my heat sensitive people.  Try experimenting with your own stir fry  as side dishes.  For this one I added Ginger, thai chili paste, reduced sodium soy sauce, and a little pepper.  Just enough flavor without taking away from the fresh, crisp, vegetables.  Yum!

Sliders/ Mini Man Burgers  Food Network    Chef: Alton Brown

Ooops, we ate them too quickly!

P1080561

Time: 15 minutes

Ease: Simple!

Review:  These burgers were so good, that we all ate them so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to take a picture! What you see above is the review: gone, good, and quick! I think you’ll like them; clearly we did!

Thanksgiving Day and Birthday Celebration #1:
thanksgiving day

  • Turkey with sweet Italian sausage, sage, parsley and breadcrumbs stuffed under the skin and apple, onion, sage and lemon in the cavity.  Brushed with olive oil.  I used Food and Wine Magazine as a guide and adapted to what I thought we would like.
  • Chantilly Potatoes with a Parmesan Crust
  • Broccoli Salad
  • Cranberry Salad:  My husband made this with orange jello, lemon jello, red wine and nuts.  It was great.
  • Rolls
  • Chocolate Truffle Cake ( we didn’t do the eggs) with Whipped Ganache and poured Ganache: Birthday Cake for the birthday boy

It was a wonderful day celebrating, enjoying family, and just hanging out.

Chili and Birthday Celebration #2chili & Spoons green

Time: 2 hours

Ease: Simple

Review: I have made this recipe for years and years and everyone loves it!  The go to chili recipe.

This recipe uses a jar of spaghetti sauce and you might think “what!! no way!” but trust me it is great.  No one would ever guess.

Tip: Adapt this recipe to suit your family.  We omit green peppers, sometimes, and always omit corn just because we aren’t fans.  I like this slow cooked to develop a lot of flavor.

And Aunt Lacie‘s Carrot Cake for the birthday girl.

Apple Sausage Stuffing Bites  For Decking the Hallsapple sausage stuffing bites

We finished the week by decorating for Christmas.  Each year we invite a bunch of people over and have apple cider, coffee, lots of food, and decorate.  We are loud, silly, and have so much fun!

This year’s feast included some of the following items, prepared by me and my friends:

tomoato cheese sandwich bites

Now, it is time to put the house back together and start fresh for another week.  Remember to take a dinner time breather, relax and relate.

Photos may be used, but please link back to this blog and credit Lisa Burbach, recipes are links to existing recipes and I have no ownership of recipes other than the ones I Have created.  Thank you.

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