Quick Thanksgiving Hacks!

So here I am, in bed with a nasty cold, I look like Rudolph and my head feels like exploding! Makes it awfully hard to get Thanksgiving done! I am sure I am not the only one sick, feeling poorly or just plain exhausted. Let me share some tips that ought to make for an easier holiday!

  1. Hopefully you cooked a big stew or pot of soup yesterday or today so you have something to eat while prepping for Thankgiving. If not, do takeout, dont spend your energy throwing together a taco night. If you need a quick and healthy recipe, here’s a great one.
  2. Make a list early of what you need. I printed out every recipe I use for Thanksgiving, I never change my menu for main holidays, and I have it in a binder with a shopping list. So rather than go looking for my recipes, I know exactly where they are and what I’ll need. All in a nice binder titled Thanksgiving!

    Case and point this is pic from what we ate in Thankgiving 2013, its still the same! #ifitaintbroken

  3. Shop early. As most turkeys, organic, kosher etc, are frozen, they’ll need several days in the fridge to thaw. Also buy something yummy for breakfast so the day will special instead of making pancakes.
  4. Don’t forget flowers. Buy one color and lots of it, it will look chic and beautiful. Mums are inexpensive, seasonal and last forever. Few unscented candle votives and half of your table is set!

    I made these beauties for a client. 3 small bouqets in the center of a long table, low enough that people can see eachother across the table.

  5. Figure out what you really want to make from scratch. If you make an amazing dessert, make it. If not, buy one. There are some great pre-made salads out there. Make cranberry sauce ahead, ditto for stuffing, just take it out an hour before it needs to go to over so it can warm up. You can buy turkey gravy in nicer grocery stores. If I am hosting, I will ask guests what is their special dish for Thanksgiving and ask them to make that. Or have them bring wine, something that would work well with turkey. Anything acidic works, we prefer Pinot Noirs.
  6. Lay out the serving dishes and place a note in everyone specifying what its used for. This case, whoever is helping you will know what goes where. Make sure you have serving utensils to go with each platter.
  7. Do not worry about appetizers. People don’t need to nibble 24/7. Nice, low alcohol content cocktail to greet everyone, however, is a very nice tough. Prosecco with cranberry or pomegranate juice would be great or autumnal sangria like this one.
  8. When the table is set, turkey and stuffing in the oven, go shower and change. Dont leave it on the last minute. Go earlier, get ready and resume the festivities!

 

Happy Thanksgiving and I hope noone else gets sick!!!

xoxo

-h

Monday Musings

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend and are ready for this cold weather that’s to come. Here’s what’s been happening around here.

  1. My little sister works for Ali Express, a huge Chinese conglomerate, she manages the vacation and travel to Scandinavia and the Baltic States. She’ll always tell me that November is her busiest month because of 11/11. Have you ever heard of it? According to Madison Avenue Spy its Chinese version of an anti-Valentines day. “The shopping-focused day first started in 1993, by a group of Chinese college students, to celebrate the state of being single. The date November 11 (or 11/11) was chosen because of the ones– obviously. Elevens, according to numerology, is a “master number” which signifies intuition, insight, and enlightenment.”
  2. Hubs and I planted 350 bulbs – daffodils and tulips – in flower beds over the past weekend. I covered the beds where the tulip bulbs went to with netting to keep squirrels away and secured it with xxx. If you can’t do that and don’t have a dog who can keep the critters at bay, plant daffodils. Here’s an excellent article on how to naturalize bulbs. Image result for tulips
  3. Healthy and quick weeknight stew of sorts, this isn’t really a proper recipe, feel free to play with it.

Chicken or turkey sausage or ground (I used sweet italian turkey sausage links)

Chorizo – I find ground chicken to be somewhat tasteless unless heavily seasoned, so I added 1 link of chorizo, a cured Spanish pork sausage, for flavor. Most grocery stores carry it. I freeze what I am not using.

1 cup of quinoa

Corn – fresh or frozen

Vegetables – literally anything except cucumbers, empty your vegetable drawer out.

Fresh spinach or kale, you can also use thinly sliced cabbage

 

I saute some onion and garlic in my Dutch oven, then brown the chorizo and ground chicken, add 2 cups of chicken broth and quinoa and let that cook till quinoa is done, about 20 min. If using raw carrots or cabbage, add that at the same time. 10 min before done, add other vegetables, I used frozen corn from Trader Joe’s, spinach and lots of cubed zucchini. Season but taste first, chorizo is often spicy.