Thursday, November 24, 2011

T.T.A.R. Day 3

Obviously I spent my day having fun with friends and stuffing my face which is why this post is minutes from the midnight hour. And since Thanksgiving is over and you no longer need recipes for that wonderful occasion that our digestive system is so dearly paying for now I want to share on of my favorite comfort Christmas treats! It involves the following two things:

Peppermint Ice Cream Hot Cocoa

And it's just that. You make your favorite blend of hot chocolate. I adore creaminess so I have always made mine with milk but I'm sure if you are happy with your water kind that it will work just the same. Next plop in a scoop of peppermint ice cream and enjoy the creamy peppermint flavor it brings! I always eat some of my ice-cream before it all melts! The hot and cold with the peppermint flavor is divine! And it's my favorite winter curl up on the couch treat! So after what I'm sure was a whirlwind of a day and possibly lots of fun yet stressful times with familia in your house (or travelling to theirs) you deserve to sit your butt down in your favorite spot and kick your feet up. While you're at it, sip on this hot drink - it just makes it that much better!


Okay so I really thought all of these would be from my kids but of course as soon as I WANTED my kids to be funny - they stopped being funny! Well that's not all true. They said some hilarious things today such as when my son and daughter started playing chase at our friends and my husband told them not to run in the house - my daughter quickly and politely asked, "May I walk really fast then dad?" However that has nothing to do with thankfulness so I will simply join in the spirit of the day (since it will be over in 6 minutes) and say that I am extremely thankful for a loving husband that absolutely adores me, beautiful healthy children that are respectful and love God, and for good friends, the kind that truly care, that we could spend a wonderful day with! Love and hugs to my family scattered all over the US today - love you bunches! And to my blog family - ENJOY your family and the holidays you have with them!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

T.T.A.R. Day 2

Do you see that delicious chunky sweet yummy-ness to the right in the picture above?? That would be the feature of today's recipe and one that I will be making in T-minus 1 hour. It is a Chunky Pear-Apple Sauce and I found it from a random cookbook from the library a couple years ago. Here is the description straight from the cookbook:

"During autumn holidays, the aromas of slow-cooking fruit and sugar evoke a real feeling of nostalgia. At Thanksgiving I make a point of serving a crisp-tasting apple compote, and with the addition of succulent, fragrant pears, I find that the smooth flavor combination marries well with the savory herbs and spices used in the stuffing, gravy, and-of course-the turkey."


6 Anjou or Comice pears, slightly under ripe

4 apples (preferably a mixture of Granny Smith, McIntosh, and Golden Delicious)

2 TBLS Fresh Lemon Juice, or more to taste

1 C. Apple Juice

1/2 C. Sugar, or more to taste

1 tsp. Finely Grated Lemon Zest

1. Core, peel, and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. Toss them with the 2 TBLS lemon juice in a large heavy pot.

2. Add the apple juice, 1/2 C. sugar, and the lemon zest. Stir and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until the fruit is tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes.

3. Uncover the pot, stir, and continue cooking to thicken the juices, 5 minutes more. Taste and add more sugar or lemon juice if desired, stirring carefully so as not to break up the fruit too much. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Then transfer to a container, cover, and refrigerate for as long as 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 8 cups

Thankful Thought:

Last night at dinner I asked my daughter what was something she was thankful for? My comedian of a husband pipes in before she answers, "I'm thankful I'm not a turkey!" Of course my daughter amused by this (although she probably has no idea why it's funny), then answers, "I'm thankful I'm not a dog!" Of course I follow up with why? And after a moment of thought she says, "No, actually I've always wanted to be a dog."

Oh my children, my children. (Smile)

Until tomorrow...

be thankful and make sure your turkey is defrosted!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Oh and just because it's been so long since I've linked up - I decided to post a Top Ten Tuesday thanks to inspiration from Diaper Diaries! OK my top ten are the things I want to get done over my Thanksgiving holiday:

1. Bake, decorate and of course EAT holiday sugar cookies with my kids!

2. Go on a family hike and have a picnic lunch.

3. Finish the painting I'm doing for my daughter's bedroom.

4. Complete all my homework (unfortunately).

5. Bake the most delicious chunky pear-applesauce and pumpkin pie EVER to take to our friend's that are hosting a Thanksgiving Feast!

6. Blog every day this week.

7. Enjoy some TV shows and movies with my hubby - and I was DEVASTATED to find out that this week there was no showing of "Once Upon a Time" which has become one of our favorites!

8. Make sure I'm prepared for my lesson on Monday because my boss is observing me!!

9. Get out and set up ALL my Christmas decorations!!

10. My favorite - enjoy as much hot cocoa with peppermint ice-cream as I possibly can!!

Want to participate?? Just click on the Top Ten Tuesday logo at the top of this page!


Do you like my acronym? It stands for a Thankful Thought And a Recipe! I am actually home all week and have been enjoying my time off like no body's business!! In other words I am loving this break! In my new found free time (short lived as it may be) I have been inspired for some blog posts. My first is to share a few of my tried and true Thanksgiving recipes and to also insert a thankful thought. However these aren't the mushy gushy thanks that you may be used to seeing on blogs and Facebook this time of year. Hopefully they will all come from my kids. And you all know that no one ever knows what will come out of their mouth!

So to start off I have an alternative dessert recipe, aside from the traditional Pumpkin Pie (which even when I make this recipe I STILL must make a pumpkin pie too!), and most have heard of it: Pumpkin Roll. It's goodness is incomparable! It's sugary, cream cheesy goodness! And it really is quite simple, it's just time consuming. But the great part is that you can easily make it a day ahead because it has to chill in the fridge before serving anyways.


2/3 C. Pumpkin (100% pumpkin)

3 eggs

1 C. Sugar

3/4 C. Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon


8 oz Cream Cheese

1 tsp. Vanilla

1 Tbsp. Butter

1 C. Sugar

Mix all ingredients. Cover a 9 x 13 pan with wax paper (covering entire bottom and sides of pan) and spray paper w/ Pam cooking spray until covered. Pour dough onto wax paper. Bake for 17 minutes @ 375 degrees. Take it out and with a damp tea towel flip it over. Let cool for about 10 minutes then remove wax paper and roll the bread up with the towel. Cool for 4 hours. Once cool mix up first 3 ingredients of filling. Once thoroughly mixed, add sugar. Unroll the bread and remove the towel. Spread the filling on top (leave about an inch from the end because as you roll, it will push the icing). Roll it back up with the icing now. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. When ready to serve, cut into slices about an inch thick.

TOTAL TIME: 6 hours SERVES: About 12

I would have had a picture because I just made one this past week when we had some friends over for a game night, however we devoured it quite quickly and my photo thought was a little late, sorry :(

Now for the thankful thought: This morning my son was digging through his backpack and found his pen pal letter. They do pen pals within the school and he recently received a new letter. We were reading it to him and at the end of the letter his pen pal told what he was thankful for and then asked my son what HE was thankful for. My son, without missing a beat, replied, "I'm thankful for hunting for prairie dogs." And after a response of laughter we calmed down and asked him why to which his reply was, "Cause it's fun! And I get to collect bullets." Don't worry he means the bullet shells. I just found that hilarious and thought I would share. Until tomorrow...

Stay calm and ENJOY the holidays!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Silent Sundays

I snapped a quick photo of this beautiful bloom at a friend's house a couple months ago. These photos weren't even digitally altered!! (Yes I'm bragging...but just because it doesn't happen often! I mean photos not needing editing, not the bragging, lol)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Travelling?? Have kids in tow??

If you will be travelling for the Thanksgiving holidays and have some little tykes to entertain I found a perfect, affordable and creative item that is a must have for your to-go bag! I first discovered Crayola's Dry Erase Crayons at my son & daughter's doctor's office. They had a huge white dry erase board and when my kids picked up crayons and asked if they could please draw I quickly told them they couldn't use crayons on a dry erase board and I wasn't sure how the crayons ended up there.

From the receptionist's desk she kindly informed me they are new dry erase crayons and it was just fine for the kids to use! I was amazed and as a teacher of toddlers had to check this out! Sure enough - they are crayons that easily write on and wipe off of dry erase boards!

I dashed to the grocery store (yes they were at my local Kroger's store) and was even more surprised by finding a travel set of these awesome new crayons! I fought impulsiveness and just bought the crayons for me to try for now (which I have LOVED) but plan on buying one or two for my niece and nephew's - especially since my brother and his family will be moving in the spring!

So if you need something new and exciting to keep your kids attention and perhaps keep their noise level down for a bit - head on over to your local Wal-Mart, Kroger's or just click here to shop from!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanksgiving Placemat Craft

It is a tradition at our Day School for every class to make place mats for the school wide Thanksgiving Feast! I've seen tons of versions of turkeys and even the Mayflower and I just HAD to come up with something different. Leave it to me to rock the boat huh? What started out with an idea to paint USING Indian Corn (place in paint, then roll on paper to make a border) changed into thumbprint Indian Corn in itself. All because my local grocery store threw out all the Indian corn the night before I went to buy some for our art project. Of course right?!

But I'm happy with how they turned out! We used paint craft rollers to instead make the borders with and then made lots and lots of thumbprints using yellow, red and brown paint to fill in a light pencil shape of corn I had made beforehand. I added the dark brown outline and the husks coming off the bottom of them and just printed out a poem I had my husband help me with:

With my cute little hands,

this corn I have made.

Like the Indians prepared,

on Thanksgiving Day!

It is super easy and would be a fun craft project for you and your little one to do next week when they're home from school! Not to mention it will save some cleaning up after your Thanksgiving meal!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Have you ever had one of the mornings?

Have you ever had one of those mornings? Or perhaps one of those days? Today was certainly one of "those" kind of mornings and I was at my whit's end! Kids were driving me nuts, I had completely forgotten to get something I needed for my class THAT DAY so I'm frantically trying to run out the door early enough to get to the store before dropping kids off at school (which typically I'm lucky to barely get just to the school on time) and we get to the store, wait FOREVER while some guy goes in the back to see if they have any to find out the item I needed had all been thrown out the NIGHT BEFORE... yada yada yada. You get the gist right? So when I finally have dropped one child off and we're headed to the next drop off I'm praying to God pleading with Him to PLEASE help me because I just cannot have a whole day like this! I need my day to get better!

Right then as I'm driving and asking God to PLEASE have mercy and bring me some peace some flashing lights out of the corner of my eye catch my attention. And NO it wasn't a cop okay! I looked over and it was an ambulance that you can tell had just pulled up to this person's house. And my first reaction was "Oh Lord I hope everything is okay!" I mean obviously it's not okay at the moment, thus the ambulance, but I was just hoping it would turn out all right. After whispering a short prayer my mind finally realized something:

My morning really wasn't that bad after all.

When you put your circumstances into perspective things really aren't as bad as they seem in that moment. I thanked God for helping me remember to count my blessings and my "problems" really weren't a big deal.