Spiced Zucchini Bread


spiced Zucchini bread

My mom has made this spiced zucchini bread for years. We know that this recipe came from a neighbor who found it in an old church cookbook. Other than that we really have no idea who’s recipe this is. Regardless who came up with the recipe it is delicious and deserves some attention.

* Please note this recipe makes 2 loaf pans of Zucchini Bread

Spiced Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

3 Cups Flour

2 Cups sugar

2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. Baking powder

2/3 Cup oil

3 eggs

2 Cups Zucchini (shredded, DO NOT DRAIN)

* 2 WELL greased loaf pans are needed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a  large mixing bowl add all the above ingredients. Use a hand mixer to blend all the ingredients together. If the zucchini gets tangled around the beaters, you may have to turn them off and untangle it. Once everything is well mixed, evenly pour the batter between the 2 well-greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Cheesy Bacon Ranch Au Gratin potatoes

Bacon Ranch Au gratin

 

Recently I had the pleasure of making these thick and creamy potatoes Au Gratin from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. They were a huge hit, and I will be making them again in the very near future. If you have yet to check out A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures, then you’d better get hopping. She has so many delicious recipes that will leave you drooling. Trust me..

Catch her on facebook, also! – A Kitchen Hoor 

My Bacon Ranch Potatoes Au Gratin was adapted from A Kitchen Hoor’s recipe, thick and Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin. I had no garlic or gruyere cheese in the house. But, what I did have, was bacon, ranch packets, and shredded cheddar cheese. It’s hard to go wrong with those three ingredients. Add some potatoes and a few more ingredients to the mix and you have yourself a delicious pan of bacon ranch au gratin potatoes. YUM!

Bacon Ranch Au Gratin Potatoes 

Ingredients:

4-6 medium to large potatoes ( about 6 cups sliced)

1/2-pound bacon

1 Ranch seasoning packet

3 C. milk

1/2 stick butter

1 1/2 C. shredded cheddar cheese ( mild)

2 Tbsp. flour

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Peel and wash potatoes; slice thinly using a mandolin slicer. In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Add potatoes to the bowl of melted butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Use hands to toss potatoes in the melted butter, salt and pepper, so each potato gets coated well. Place half the potatoes, evenly, in the bottom of a greased 13 X 9 cake pan, sprinkle, evenly, with 1/2 cup of the cheese; Repeat once. Using kitchen shears, or a sharp knife, cut or slice bacon into small bite sized pieces. Cook bacon in a medium to large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the bacon has finished cooking, drain grease, and reserve 1 Tbsp. of cooked bacon for the top. Add milk, ranch packet, and flour to the saucepan of cooked bacon. Still on medium-high heat, wait for the milk mixture to come to a boil, use a whisk to scrape the brown bits up from the bottom of the pan, whisking often. As soon as milk mixture comes to a boil, turn off the burner, and carefully remove it from the heat, pour evenly over top the cheese and potatoes. Cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees for 50 minutes. Take foil off, and evenly sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of the reserved bacon and the last 1/2 C. of cheese. Bake and additional 10 minutes or until cheese is brown and crispy.

Everything you need to throw an AWESOME 4th of July Party! (recipes, Drinks, DIY)

 

4th of July Round up

Throwing a party next week for the fourth of July?  Don’t panic, I have got ya covered… thanks to some amazing bloggers! Check out this awesome roundup of everything you need to throw one stellar party next week! =)

 

1.)Buzzed-Cherry-Bombs-Recipe.jpg (round up)

Buzzed Cherry Bombs 

From- Frosting and a Smile 

 

2.) Flag-Dessert.jpg (round up)

Flag & Easy, No-Bake Flag Dessert 

From- Serving Joyfully 

 

3.) Patriotic-Whoopie-Pie-Recipe1.jpg (round up)

Patriotic Whoopie Pie Recipe 

From- “Cents” able Momma 

 

4.) Brownie pizza ( round up)

Double Decker Brownie Pizza 

From- Ally’s Sweet & Savory Eats 

 

5.) fourth-of-july-popcorn-crunch-memorial-day.jpg (round up)

Patriotic Popcorn Crunch 

From- This Momma Loves 

 

6.) rice crispy treats ( round up)

Patriotic Rice Crispy Treat Pops 

From- Baking Beauty 

 

7.) 4th-of-July-Red-White-and-Blue-Cupcake-Toppers-1-720x445.jpg ( round up)

4th of July Fondant Cupcake Toppers 

From- A Turtle’s Life for Me

 

8.)

 

red-white-blue-cheesecake-stuffed-strawberries-3a-wm.jpg (round up)

Red, white, & Blue Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries 

From- Snappy Gourmet 

 

9.) red-velvet-cake-pops-recipe-1.jpg (round up)

Red Velvet Cake Pops Recipe 

From- Anns Entitled Life 

DRINKS:

Twizzlers-Strawberry-Lemonade.png (Round up)

Twizzler Infused Strawberry Lemonade

From- The Chunky Chef 

 

2.) Red-White-and-Blue-Shooters-from-Growing-Up-Gabel2.png (round up)

Red, white, & Blue Shooters 

From- Growing up Gabel 

 

3.) Patriotic-Cocktail-653x1024.jpg (round up)

Patriotic Cocktail 

From- The Baking Beauty 

CRAFTS

1.) Happy4thofJulyBanner.jpg (round up)

Happy 4th of July Banner 

From- My Heavenly Recipes 

 

2.) patriotic-paper-craft.jpg (round up)

Patriotic Paper Craft 

From- This Momma Loves 

 

3.) American-Flag-Clothes-Pin-Wreath-683x1024.jpg (round up)

American Flag Clothes Pin Wreath 

From-  Diva of DIY 

4.) spindles (round up)

July 4th Spindle Firecrackers 

From- Mixed Kreations Blog 

 

patriotic-wreath-TFF.jpg (round up)

Patriotic Wreath

From- The Frugal Fairy 

25 Easter Recipes & Crafts!

easter post

1.)  Jelly Bean Bark ( Click link for recipe)

From – How to have it All ( click here to visit homepage)

jelly-bean-bark

2.) Pretzel Chicks ( click link for recipe)

From- Simplee Thrifty ( Click here to visit home page)

Pretzel-Chicks-

3.) Easter Chick Cup Cakes ( click link for recipe)

From- Thrifty DIY Diva ( Click link to visit home page)

Easter-Chick-Cupcakes

4.) 101 NON Candy Easter Basket ideas for kids  (click link for ideas)

     From- Ann’s Entitled Life ( Click link to visit homepage)

non candy

5.) Mini Egg Cup Easter Basket Craft Project ( Click link for craft)

     From- Jinxy Kids (  click link to visit home page )

mini-egg-cup-easter-baskets

6.)  Resorection rolls ( click link for recipe)

     From- The Frugal Mom ( Click link to visit hoe page)

easter-1024x436


7.) Spring Cookies ( Click link for recipe)

From- Housewives of Frederick County ( Click link to visit homepage)

rubber-duck-cookies

8.) Hoppy Easter Printable ( Click link for printable)

     From- A Spectacled Owl ( Click link to visit home page)

HoppyEasterPrintableButton


9.) Birds Nest Pudding Tarts ( click link for recipe)

From-  Suburbia Unwrapped ( Click link to visit home page )

Birds-Nest-Pudding-Tart-Recipe-540x280

10.) Easter M&M Thumbprint Cookies ( Click link for recipe)

     From- Thrifty DIY  Diva ( Click link to visit home page)

Easter-Thumbprint-Cookies

11.) Easter Muddy Buddies Recipe ( Click link for recipe)

     From- Cleverly Simple ( Click link to visit home page)

muddy-buddies-recipe

12.) Lemon Easter Basket Cupcakes ( Click link for recipe)

     From- Simply Southern Mom ( Click link to visit Home page)

lemonesterbasketcupcakes1

13.) Paska ( Click link for recipe)

     From- Three different directions  ( Click link to visit homepage)

piece-paska

14.) Easter Bunny Cake Recipe ( Click link for recipe)

     From- Slick Housewives  ( Click link to visit home page)

easter4 (1)

15.)Easy Easter Basket Cake (Click link for recipe)

     *From-  Slick Housewives ( Click link to visit home page)

rice-krispy-easter-cake

16.) Chocolate Peanut Butter Egg Recipe ( Click link for recipe)

     *From- Gator Mommy Reviews ( Click link to visit homepage)

Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Eggs-1a

17.) How to Hard Cook Eggs ( Click link for recipe)

     * From- Two Healthy Kitchens ( Click link to visit home page)

THK-Hard-Boil4

18.) C – is for Craft- Easy Easter craft for kids ( Click link for Directions)

     * From- PhilZENdia (Click link to visit homepage)

Finished-project_thumb

19.) Easter Decor & Crafts ( Click Link for ideas)

     From- The Country Chick Cottage ( Click link to visit homepage)

mason-jar-spring-vase

20.) Bunny Munch Trail Mix ( Click link for recipe)

     * From- Momma of 3 Munchkins ( Click link to visit homepage)

BunnyMunch4-2-714x1024

21.) Create a thumb print cross to teach your children about Easter ( Click link for directions)

       *From- Bare Feet on the Dashboard ( Click link to visit homepage)

crossthumbprintbakingsodadough

22.) Easy Easter Decor ( Click link to see )

     *From- A TIPical Day ( Click link to visit homepage)

Dollar decor 7


23.) Pink Lemonade Fudge and Key Lime Fudge ( Click Link for Recipes)

* From-  Tammilee Tips (Click Link to visit homepage)

Spring-Fudge

 

24.) Candy Coated Baby Chick Peanut Butter Cookies ( Click link for recipe)

* From-  Two Kids and a Coupon ( Click Link to visit Homepage)

baby-chick-cookies
25.) Bunny Bouquet ( Click link for directions)

* From- Rural Mom ( Click link to visit homepage)

Bunny Bouquet

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. This post does, however, contain ads that I will receive comission for if clicked. This post may also include affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake Box Cookies

chocolate-cake-box-cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake Box Cookies

Lately I have been working on re-photographing some of my recipes, like these Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake Box Cookies. The photos are still not where I want them to be but they are 100 times better then some of the originals. I was blessed to have one of my best friends help me with this. She was my sous chef, dish washer, hand model, and comic relief. She even painted her nails for me! I’m working on making her a permanent helper, shhh 😉 . I’ve offered to pay her with the left over food =P I think she’s ok with that 😉

Cake box cookies are so awesome. I love how easy they are to make. Normally, they require few ingredients and who doesn’t have a few cake boxes in the pantry? I have made everything from orange cake box cookies to sugar cake box cookies to these Chocolate Chocolate Cake Box Cookies. I wish I could tell you of my favorite cake box cookies recipe but I just love them all. It would be too hard to choose! That being said, these Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake Box cookies will make the perfect addition to your holiday baking list. They are soft, chewy, and everything you want in a cookie. I have also added a hint of coffee into the recipe which compliments the chocolate flavor perfectly. The coffee is not over powering, it is just enough to add a little kick to these cookies. In fact, I know people who hate coffee and LOVE these cookies. My husband being one of them.

If you give this recipe a try I would love to hear from you!

 

chocolate-cake-box-cookies-2

* Here is a photo of what the dough should look like before adding the chocolate chips. Sorry, for some reason I forgot to re-photograph the dough!

cookies final 3

 

Peppermint Bark with chocolate cream filled cookie crust + Pottery Heaven giveaway!

peppermint bark

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Ingredients:

1/2 stick of butter (melted)

1 Family size pack of chocolate cream filled cookies ( I used Oreo’s)

3 Cup’s white chocolate

1 – 10 oz bag dark chocolate chips

7 or 8 candy canes crushed

* I used a cookie sheet that was 17.25 X  11.5 X 1in

Directions:

Using a food processor, process cookies till they turn to crumbs. Add melted butter to the crumbs and use your hands to mix it in.  Press cookie crumb mixture into a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax paper. Let chill over night. Once cookie crust is chilled, it is time to melt the chocolate. Place white chocolate in a bowl and dark chocolate in a separate bowl, put 1/2 cap full of oil in to each. Place both bowls (if they fit, if not start with the white chocolate) in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds at a time until melted , make sure to take them out and stir between each 30 seconds. The white chocolate may take a little longer to melt since there is more of it. Once the chocolates are done start with the white chocolate and pour it over the cookie mixture, I try to zig zag it up and down the pan, it makes it easier to spread. Then gently use the back of a spoon to evenly spread the white chocolate, you may have some crumbs get into the white chocolate and that is ok. Once the white chocolate is spread do the same with the dark chocolate, this spreads much easier than the white chocolate. After both chocolates are on then sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Let chill about 3-4 hours or until chocolate hardens. Once it has hardened you can break it into pieces. Store in the fridge.

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 POTTERY HEAVEN GIVEAWAY! 

Now that you have the recipe, lets talk about this giveaway! Pottery Heaven has donated a coffee mug for me to giveaway ! If you have not checked out Ruth’s page Pottery heaven yet you need to. She has so many beautiful, one of a kind, hand crafted pottery that you need to see. Below I will share a few photo’s from her FB page. Enter below to win!  By entering you agree to terms and conditions & disclaimers/disclosures

* The coffee mug will be Midnight Blue color & I will be giving away only one mug to one winner. (there is no photo yet, she is in the process of making it)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post, other than the free coffee mug to giveaway. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. This post does, however, contain ads that I will receive commission for if clicked. This post may also include affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Easy Crock Pot Rice Pudding

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rice puddin 1

If you are looking for a crowd pleaser, this is it! It is an easy dessert that everyone will LOVE =)

Crock Pot Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

3 Cups white Rice (instant )

5 Cups heavy cream

2 ~ 5.1 oz boxes of Instant Vanilla Pudding

5 Cups water

1 Tsp. Cinnamon

1 cup Raisins

Holland house sherry cooking wine

Directions:

Place all ingredients in crock pot and mix with a wooden spoon or whisk. Put lid on crock pot and turn crock pot on high, cook for 2-3 hours.

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Now to kick this rice pudding up a notch you are going to want to try these raisins. Everyone who ate them so far told me they were AMAZING and I actually had two people tell me they didn’t like raisins but LOVED these. I always make the raisins and serve them on the side, just in case someone does not like them. Let me show you how to make them:

Holland House Sherry Raisins:

To make these I measure 1 cup of raisins, you could use more if you wish, but this is how I do it. Place your raisins in a bowl and pour Holland House Sherry wine just till it covers the top of the raisins, put foil over the bowl and refrigerate over night

image

 

* I say 2 – 3 hours because each time I cooked it I used a different brand of rice, it was all instant (cooks within in 5 minutes) but it seems the one brand cooks in 2 hours and the other cooks in 3.

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The next day your rice pudding will look something like this

rice puddin

All you need to do is place the amount you want to eat in a small microwavable bowl and microwave it for 30 seconds then add milk until you get the desired consistency, tastes just as good! =)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. This post does, however, contain ads that I will receive comission for if clicked. This post may also include affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Pre-Thanksgiving day party ~ Turkey recipe & Holland House White Cooking Wine GIVEAWAY!! (Giveaway EXPIRED)

turkey day

And finally I am going to share with you my turkey recipe! I am going to walk you through each step so you will know exactly how it’s done.

 

First let me show you my  two secret weapons… shhh

holland house 101

 

That’s right, I cook my turkey in white cooking wine… and not just any white cooking wine, Holland house cooking wine! I am in love with Holland house cooking wines and I usually keep the white cooking wine on hand. Cooking the turkey in Holland House white cooking wine will give light flavor that will follow throughout your entire holiday meal.

 

 

My second secret weapon is the herb butter I use, recipe as follows:

 

Herb Butter

Ingredients:

2 sticks of butter

2 cloves of garlic

1 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley (minced)

 

Directions

Melt butter till slightly melted, just enough you can smash it with a fork. Using a garlic press, press garlic into the butter. Next add parsley  and use a fork to mix everything well.

turkey 2

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Ok now that you have learned my secrets lets begin prepping this turkey step by step. These directions will be based on a 20-25 pound turkey because I have never cooked anything smaller or there would be some very hungry people!

 

Pre-Heat oven to 450 degrees 

1.) First step is to make sure the turkey is thawed. If it is frozen it usually takes about 5 days to thaw (depending on the size). Follow the directions on the turkey. Check your turkey the day before you cook it to make sure it is completely thawed. If your turkey is still slightly frozen then place the turkey in a clean sink  in it’s original packaging. Fill the sink with cold water till water comes up to the half way point of the turkey then lay a dish towel on top of the turkey. Change the water every 30 – 40 minutes, until turkey is completley thawed. Then place turkey back into the fridge. (I keep my turkey in the roasting pan I use to cook it and then into the fridge, that way if it leaks it leaks in the roasting pan and not all through your fridge)

2.) Once the day has come and your turkey is thawed, unwrap it and place the turkey in a clean sink. Rinse the turkey off using cold water. When you reach inside the turkey you will find the neck, a bag of “guts”, as I call it, and sometimes they put a pack of gravy in there. I always throw the gravy and the bag of guts in the garbage, But I save the neck and put it in the pan with the turkey.

 

3.) Once the turkey has been rinsed, place it on an old dish towel. Next take paper towels and keep patting the turkey dry. You want the turkey to be as dry as possible. I normally use 1 whole roll of paper towels just for patting it dry. You want to use about three paper towels at once because if you use just one it will stick  to the turkey, and you do not want that. Always make sure to keep things sanitary, if you touched the raw bird then touched your roll of paper towels they are no longer good to use on anything other than drying the raw bird. This is why I dedicate 1 whole roll of paper towels to my turkey, what ever I don’t use I throw away, but I normally use all of them.

turkey 1
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4.) Once the turkey has been patted dry. Season the bird on both sides with sea salt and pepper. I normally put my salt and pepper in little dishes that way I do not touch the salt and pepper containers after I have touched the raw bird.

turkey 3

 

 

5.) Using your hands rub the butter mixture all over the bird on both sides. I use all off the butter.
turkey 5

6.) Once you have added the butter to the turkey now it is time to put your stuffing in the bird.

Click here for my – STUFFING RECIPE 

** First I want to stress that it is very very important you add your stuffing right before you put the bird in the oven. Never put your stuffing in the turkey then let it in the fridge till it’s time to cook it, I know that seems like you are saving time but it is very unsanitary and could make you and your guests sick, so lets play it safe. **
To stuff the bird grab a handful of stuffing and form it into a ball, then press it into the turkey, do as many balls of stuffing as you can. You want to press it in but do not pack it in if that makes sense? Just lightly press it into the bird till you have some stuffing peaking out.
stuffing 2

stuffing 3

7.) Now that the bird is prepared, pour 1 1/2  cups of water in the bottom of your roasting pan. Carefully lift turkey and place it in the roasting pan breast up and throw the neck anywhere it fits, usually I put it on the opposite side of the pan as the stuffing. Place a piece of foil over the stuffing only, so it does not burn. Cook the turkey for 40 minutes at 425 degrees.

turkey 12

 

8.) Once the 40 minutes are up turn oven temperature to 250 degrees, when the oven has reached 250 degrees take the bird out of the oven, remove foil and pour 1 1/2 cups of Holland House White Cooking Wine all around the bottom of the roasting pan.

turkey 13

9.) Cook the turkey at 250 degrees for about 5 hours, you will need a turkey baster to remove the juice as it fills the roasting pan. I like to keep the roasting pan at least half way full with with the broth. Once it gets past half full remove util it is half full in a separate pan, let cool and store in the fridge to use for gravy later.

10.) when there are 3 hours left in the cooking time add the bacon. To do this I place the uncooked bacon on a paper plate that has been lined with paper towels, make sure the bacon is flat. Continue to alternate bacon and paper towels until the whole pound of bacon has been prepped on the plate to microwave. You will have a few layers of bacon and paper towels. This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cook bacon! The microwave cooks it perfectly crisp, while the layers of paper towels soak up all the grease, so that the bacon isn’t lying in a puddle of grease. And the best part? Clean up is a breeze!

turkey 8
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11.) Next line your turkey with the bacon. start at the back and work your way up. You will have a few extra pieces, I just run them the opposite way… the photo should be pretty self explanatory, I hope! =P

turkey 10

12.) Put the turkey back in the oven and continue cooking an addition 3 hours or until turkey has reached a temperature of 170 degrees F. or 77 degrees C. and the stuffing has reached a temperature of at least 165 degrees F.

13.) Take turkey out of the oven and let rest for about 15-20 minutes before carving. Make sure to tent it with a piece of foil to keep it warm while resting.

turkey 20

 

Now that you know how to make a delicious turkey lets get into the Giveaway! I am Giving away 1 bottle of Holland House White Cooking wine courtesy of Holland House to one lucky winner. I will be using Rafflecopterwhich to determine the winner. By entering this contest you agree to Terms & Conditions and Disclaimers & Disclosures 

How to get 5 extra points!!:  To get 5 extra points, Simply tell me one of your favorite holiday memories in the comments below and I will add them to your Rafflecopter points for more chances to win

a Rafflecopter giveaway
   

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” //

Pre-Thanksgiving Day party ~ Today is all about Tips & Sides!

 

thanks giving meal final

Today we are talking all about the sides. Sure the turkey is good; but what good a turkey without all the trimmings? smothered in gravy of course. With that being said, I also think we can get a little carried away with sides. I am going to share with you a few of my own tips along with some great side dish recipes and why I choose the ones I choose.

Tip #1 ~ When planning a big meal such as Thanksgiving you want to not only think about that day but also what you can do with all the left overs the day after. Here are a few examples of what I am talking about

* I choose pickled eggs over deviled because I know in the following days a refreshing turkey salad will do my body good since I spent the whole day in a carb/sugar coma.  Or I can make a turkey sandwich on toast with lettuce, mayo and of course a sliced pickled egg.

* I like green bean casserole or my broccoli casserole because they are delicious wrapped in a crescent and baked with a nice bowl of caned tomato soup… and yes I said caned! you spent a week preparing for Thanksgiving day, once the holiday is over lets take it easy for a few days 😉

 

 how to make pickled eggs

lets start with how to hard boil your eggs. This is the method my mom uses and they always turn out perfect, aside from the one or two that crack… hey, it happens.

 

 

How to hard boil an egg:

First place very carefully place the eggs in a pot. Fill the pot with COLD water, fill till water covers the top of the eggs. Turn heat on high and wait for water with eggs in to come to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes are up turn heat off, but keep pot on that same burner, cover eggs with a lid and set timer for 12 minutes. Once the 12 minutes are up carefully drain the water in the sink and fill the pot up with cold water to help them cool quicker. Once cooled they can be peeled.

 

I got my pickled egg recipe from my best friend. I’m not sure where she got it but I know it works and they are delicious!

Pickled egg recipe:

Ingredients:

1 dozen eggs

2/3 cup white vinager

1/2 cup sugar

2 cans red beets (16 oz each)

 

Hard boil eggs, cool, & peel. set a side. In a small to medium size pot heat vinegar, sugar, & beets. Cool slightly. Pour over peeled eggs and refrigerate over night or until eggs turn a deep purple.

* Tip # 2 ~ If you are planning on making pickled eggs often you may want to find a container just for your pickeled eggs. I bought one at ollies. You want it to bee deep and wide enough to get a spoon in it. The Utz party mix barrels would work perfectly! similiar to the one below.

Now lets talk mashed potatoes. I love them! They are cheap to make and a little go a long way. You can purchase a 10 lb bag of russet potatoes for right around $4. And please don’t go instant, not for the holidays.

I also love mashed potatoes because they are great left overs to use in casseroles. I will be posting a chili cheese dog casserole next week if my Granny has enough left over mashed potatoes… Oh that is something I should have mentioned, Granny does Thanksgiving but I do a similar meal on Christmas, thats why I know all the do’s and don’ts of holiday meals.

Here is a fantastic recipe for Mashed potatoes!

Click Here for recipe! 

mashed potatoes

Here is another fantastic side dish… Brussels sprout casserole. I made this for Christmas last year and people couldn’t believe how good it was, even the people who HATED Brussels sprouts.

CLICK HERE FOR BRUSSELS SPROUTS RECIPE (don’t mind the photo, it was from when I first started blogging and had no idea how important a photo was, it also did not have the french fried onion topping yet. I will try to take a better photo next time I make it!)

 

 

Tip #3 ~ It is ok to have an EASY microwave side! If you are going all out with Turkey, mashed potatoes, and a few other sides, it is ok to have a side such as cream corn that you just throw in a bowl and throw in the microwave….Trust me no one will complain!

 

Tip #4 ~ Sit down and look over your meal the week before. Try to think about what can be pre-made and what has to be made the day of. Also, figure out what prep work you can do a day or two before such as: cutting the stuffing, frying up any bacon or sausage, chopping any veggies, etc.

 

Tip #5 ~ Buy the aluminium casserole dishes for your sides! I always do this when I am the one having the meal, it saves on clean up after words! when the dish is empty I just throw it away, no clean up there! DO NOT, however, buy one of these for your turkey.. they are flimsy and the turkey is just too heavy, just don’t do it! =)

 

 

Tip #6 ~  Figure out what cooks when at what temp and how long. Write it down. Then yourself a list letting you know when to put what in the oven. This will help you stay on track so you don’t freak out!  =)

 

 

I hope you found this post helpful. I wanted to share a few tips to make the holiday less stressful! =)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. This post does, however, contain ads that I will receive comission for if clicked. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Pre-Thanksgiving Day Party! ~ Stuffing Recipe

stuffing

 

So I have decided to kick things of with my stuffing recipe. Every year that’s the one thing people say they crave the most. Once I show you this recipe you will be shocked by the simplicity of it! The question I get asked the most is how I achieve the flavor without sauteing onions and chopping celery? Well I’m about to let you in on my secret. Ok… Here we go, let me break it down for you

 

Ingredients:
2 loaves of white bread (the cheap store brand, that’s what I use)

1 tsp.  Sea Salt

4 pinches of ground celery seed ( It must be ground!)

1/2 tsp. pepper

2 sticks butter

 

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1.) Cut bread into small cubes.
Some people like to tear the bread, I find it much quicker to cut it…much quicker.

*** This is something that can be done 1 – 2 days in advanced. Cut the bread into cubes then place it back into the bread bag it came in, replace the twist tie and you can cross this off the Thanksgiving Day To-Do List!

 

2.) Before you get the turkey out you want to add your spices, you do not want the turkey sitting out of the fridge any longer than necessary! You want to be able to stuff the bird and through it straight into the oven.

– Adding the spices-

***  You want to use a very large bowl for this part. Place the cubed bread into the bowl and add the salt, pepper, & ground celery seed. Use your hands to toss so that spices are evenly distributed throughout the bread cubes.

 

3.) Now is time for the butter, this is the most important part, in my opinion.  Normally it takes about 1 stick of melted per loaf of bread. Here is the trick… and it’s important! Melt the butter in the microwave, slowly pour into the bowl of bread cubes. You want do not want it drenched in butter.. you want to be able to form the stuffing into a ball and have it stay, that means you have the right amount of butter.

stuffing 2

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4.)  Form your stuffing into balls and stuff them into the turkey. You want to press it in so you can get as much into the bird as possible. I had a 22 some pound bird and used about 3/4 of the stuffing made from 2 loaves of bread

stuffing 3

 

5.) Whatever stuffing that did not fit into the bird place into a grease casserole dish… It is hard for me to tell you what size because it just really depends on the size of the bird and how much excess stuffing you have. I did not have much so I used a very small one.

** This is an important tip! For the stuffing that is in the casserole dish, squirt a few basters full of the COOKED turkey juice  onto the stuffing. Just enough to moisten it slightly. This will give it that amazing turkey flavor. Bake stuffing in the oven for about 20 minutes, enough to warm it up. I just through it in when the turkey is almost finished.

 

There you have it, the secret is out! When the turkey comes out you will have a beautiful bird with with this glorious stuffing peaking out making your guest drool!

stuffing 5

Here is a photo of the meal all put together
thanks giving meal final

** Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. This post does, however, contain ads that I will receive commission for if clicked. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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