November 28, 2011

New Things Monday

The last 2 weekends, I've had something I'd never ever tried. Sweet Potatoes and Sweet Potato Casserole!!! :) I definitely like the casserole better....probably b/c of the brown sugar and pecans. :) MMMMM!! Growing up my mother always made sweet potatoes for the family Thanksgiving dinners but I never once tried them. I just never found them appealing. I was also a picky eater when I was younger but I've really grown and love trying new things as an adult. :)

I saw a cute article in the local paper the other day. It's about a farmer who grew a 8lb sweet potato. You can read about it here. :)

November 27, 2011

Christmas Tree 2011

I decorated for Christmas today. :) I love sitting in the dark with the tree lit up.

Thanksgiving Dinner 2011 number 3

Nate and I went to Richmond, to his parents for Thanksgiving dinner. Nate's mom, Linda invited Chuck and Davette (their neighbors). Linda made Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, biscuits, broccoli (with cheese and rice), and gravy. We also had cranberry sauce that Linda asked me to make. When I boiled the cranberries, sugar and water I added a little sprinkle of cinnamon. It was really good and a nice little addition. :)

Nate's dad told me to get a picture of the turkey carcass after he trimmed the bird. :)

After we ate we played the game scattergories. We played 9 rounds. It was lots of fun! :)

Linda made cheesecake for the first time ever. She made Pumpkin Toffee cheesecake. It was excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

This is what was left after we all had a slice. :) And Linda packed some up for us to take home. YUM! :)

November 25, 2011

Turkey and Cranberry Sandwich

Leftover turkey is always good to make sandwiches with. Nate got a fresh loaf of Italian bread from the store. I took 2 slices. On one side I put on some mayo and the other side I spread on some cranberry sauce. I added cold turkey and there was my sandwich. I served with a little extra cranberry sauce and some UTZ reduced fat potato chips. A yummy and filling sammich!! :) What have you made with your leftover turkey?

Thanksgiving Dinner 2011

Nate and I had our own little Thanksgiving dinner last night. I had to work so I didn't feel like going anywhere so I made a small dinner for us.

12 pound turkey
Cranberry sauce (can)
mashed potatoes
Stove top stuffing

I spent $11.00 on our dinner! The turkey was $4.00. The Rolls was $1.19, Cranberry sauce was 89 cents, 5lb bag of potatoes was $1.99 (only used half of the bag), the stove top was $1.19 and the gravy was 89 cents (got 2 jars).

I also made a pumpkin roll.....

Yum! :)

For my pumpkin roll:

1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

1 cup confectioners sugar
8 oz cream cheese (soft)
2 tbs unsalted butter (soft)
3/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix your pumpkin mix ingredients. Pour into a greased baking pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for a few min and then flip onto parchment paper. Mix your filling until smooth and spread onto cool pumpkin. Roll slowly and then sprinkle confectioners sugar on top. Wrap tightly and put in freezer. Can keep in freezer for about a week but you won't have it that long. ;)

Thanksgiving with Friends 2011

Last Sunday, Kristen and Dave invited us over for a Thankgiving dinner with our group of friends. It was a lot of fun! We have such a great group of friends! :)

Sharon brought her deviled eggs. Sooooooooooooooooooooo good! And yes, they were all eaten.

Kristen made a pumpkin dip that was to die for! Everyone loved it!! We had different cookies to eat the dip with.

I brought some Wegmans pepperoni, meunster cheese and crackers! Kristen also made sausage balls. These were just the appetizers! :)

Look at the cute little napkins Kristen made! :) We had to save the paper and on the inside we wrote what we're thankful for and put it in jar.

For dinner......Sharon made homemade stuffing! :)

Crystal made Sweet Potato casserole. I'd never had it and I loved the pecan and brown sugar topping. :)

I made homemade cranberry sauce. YUM! :)

Crystal also made collard greens. I didn't try these. I was going to but forgot. I also brought some dinner rolls and pies for dessert. Thank goodness Crystal brought a homemade carrot cake b/c my pies sucked. They were frozen pies that don't expire till March but I think since I'd had them for a year in my freezer that they had freezer burn. They were just blah. Not a fan! Our Turkey (no picture) Dave had gotten turkey loins and grilled them. They were good.

Cute table! :) What a great time with great friends! We all def left FULL. haha :)

November 21, 2011

New Things Monday

If you like nutella then you will love nutella & go! It's a quick and delicious little snack. You dip the little breadsticks in the nutella and eat. I ate mine and then I ended up with no more breadsticks and just a little nutella at the bottom. What's a girl to do? Yep.....get a spoon and get the rest out and finish it off. MMMMM :)

November 14, 2011

New Things Monday

This time of year strawberries are just too expensive to buy fresh. I picked up these halved frozen strawberries from Birds Eye at the store the other day. You just microwave them for about 1:30 and they are a perfect little snack. I like to add a few chocolate chips to them. :)

November 13, 2011

DIY Christmas Wreath

I think a trend this year is DIY Wreaths! It's so easy and pretty cheap!!! You can see all It's all over pinterest! I just love them!

All you need is the following:

*Ornaments (Any size and color you want. I got mine at the dollar store. They were in rolls of 15. I got 6 packs and used all but 3 or 4).
*hot glue and gun
*wire hanger (undo and shape into a only use 1 hanger per wreath....I have extra hangers to make more wreaths)

Put your ornaments in a big bowl. Glue the tops on them. I will be honest, some (most) of my tops were on pretty tightly so I didn't glue them on. :)

Put them onto your wire until you can't fit anymore on then put the hang part back together. I'm going to find some Christmas ribbon to put around hanger hook to cover.

Woodstock, Virginia

I went on a little weekend trip with my mother and older sister, Natalie this weekend. We visited my mother's childhood friend, Big Laura. (Big Laura got her name from us kids. When my mother would say to us we're going to Laura's we didn't know if we were going to my mom's bff or to our cousins. So, we would say..."Big Laura or Little Lora" and that's how it started. haha) Big Laura and her husband Dale live out in Woodstock, Virginia in the mountains!

They have a beautiful house. Dale found the blue prints and then gave them to a builder who then helped them change the rooms up to their liking and then built their home.

This is the living room. I think just about every room in the house has a beautiful mountain view.

This is a framed cross stitch that Big Laura's mom made. She said in the Mitchell Street (the road my Mom and Laura grew up on in Northern Virginia) this picture hung above a fire place. The fabric was glued onto some board that Laura carefully, pulled off and then framed it. It's really awesome.

I saw this picture and recognized it immediately. After Laura's parents moved out the Mitchel Street house (and gave their house to Laura) they moved to Timberville into this gorgeous house. I remember coming here. Laura's mom has since passed away but her dad is now living in Florida.

Laura made us some purple potato soup. It was DELICIOUS!!! I had 2 big bowls full. :) We topped off the bowl with some chives and crispy bacon. We also had some homemade garlic bread, and corn bread to go with it. YUM! :)

Here's a picture of a purple potato. Dale's son (from his first marriage) grew purple potatoes on his farm in New York. :)

Laura made pumpkin dump cake for dessert. Sooooooo yummy!!! It's like a pumpkin pie but cakey instead. I will need to get the recipe so I can make it. :) After dessert, we put on coats and gloves and went out to explore the property. We walked all around. Laura showed us a part of the property where a tornado came through at 2am at the end of April. Luckily, for them when the tornado was heading right to their home it veered off to the left and up the field across from them. Thankfully, the tornado missed all of the homes in the path but it did leave a lot of topped off, and uprooted trees.

Laura asked me if I'd ever had a Persimmon and I have not. I took a stick and threw it up in the tree and knocked one down and figured I would try it later. :) Then we sat outside for a bit and just chatted.

We then rode up to a farmers market stand to check out the local produce.

Behind the stand is a orchard.

Each apple section had a bucket with a apple you could take to try. I took a pink lady apple. I haven't tried it yet but I will. :)

Lots of veggies inside the shop.

No purple potatoes. LOL

We then drove down a little ways to the town of Woodstock! :) Laura took us to a little coffee shop that also had local merchandise as well.

Cute little town.

These little 'gems' are soaps!! Sooooo cool. I thought about getting a garnet one for Nate but I didn't get it. They looked so real.

We stayed the night in Strasburg at a Fairfield inn. This was the mountain view we had from a window. Very cool! :)

On the way home, we found a Starbucks and I got my Caramel Apple Spice (with extra Caramel). I got one on Saturday too so this is my second one of the season. :)

We saw a sign for Skyline Caverns (5 miles ahead) on the way home and decided to go ahead and go tour it.

And we go into the caverns........

Rainbow lights! :)

This is a good luck rock and it's the only rock you're allowed to touch in the cavern. It's kinda of waxy like and very cold.

So I touched it. Picture or it didn't happen.....see picture. LOL :)

Walter Amos is the guy who found skyline caverns. If I remember correctly, the tour guide told us that Skyline is the youngest caverns out of all of the ones in the U.S. but it's 55 million years old. That's unbelievable!!!

The only souvenirs I got this weekend......a sticker and a post card for my rain man book. (calendar) It's a little thing that I do for each yearly calendar. I like to put ticket stubs and stickers etc to places I've been that year. :)