Hi, I'm back. I know that I have been a bit slack in keeping you updated, but life is always happening in this household. Tonight my heart is so full of the things I have to be thankful for: my amazing family, wonderful friends, stress free jobs, health....my list goes on and on. I choose to live in an attitude of thankfulness. When you step out of thankfulness you step into discontent. I have to say I am most contented, but always choosing to move forward. My weight loss goal right now for the holidays is to maintain, then hit the loss part again strong in January. I haven't gained, which is a huge thing to be thankful for especially with all the celebrations that have happened through the season...not to mention the ones coming up ( I am staying good friends with the gym :) ) .
One thing I absolutely love about this time of year is my gingerbread family!!! I love gingerbread men and houses, there is just something so homey and inviting about gingerbread men, Okay tasty too ...but you can't eat the stuffed ones ahhaha. Every year we try to keep the tradition of making or at least decorating a gingerbread house. This year was my youngest sons turn to be in charge of decor...hahaha, 5 pieces of candy later he was done, his big sister and grammy pitched in to finish the ensemble. My mom decided to mix it up and put my ornaments on a huge wreath in the kitchen (see pic.) I LOVE it
Of course today is the day of Thanksgiving meal preparations. My menu is very traditional...I don't think my family would handle it any other way...okay okay I wouldn't handle it any other way ahhaha. I will admit to "adjusting" a few of the recipes to make them more diet friendly. What?? What am I having?? To start with we do a light brunch....because there is the Parade to consider, which is a must in our house, especially the Broadway show excepts that start before the parade. Brunch consists of : Sausage and cheese balls, Hard cooked eggs (have to have a protein balance here ..lol), 2 kinds of muffins, mandarin oranges, applesauce, cranberry orange bread....new additions this year BACON (no explanation necessary for this one...hahahah) and a Breakfast pastry ring that my mom found in the latest "First" magazine, coffee and juice. Lest you think I slaved in the kitchen, I cheated on a few of these thing, allowing Costco to do a little contributing. Around two...depending on how fast the turkey decides to cook..comes the main course, the meal that my kids wait for all year. Everyone has helped with the preparation, learning to cook their favorite part of the meal....I guess we should switch it up or the first year they each marry THEIR family will only get one side dish haha ( whoever marries my oldest daughter will be sure to have green bean casserole...LOL,While my oldest son will have all potato varieties covered and the younger two will have stuffing!) Official Menu: Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, corn minus the limas (oops, someone forgot those,...this is another thing I am thankful for, hahaha, I dislike limas, as a child I always mixed them with my potatoes to get them down ...lol) Old fashioned buttered bread, sliced, butter and warmed in the oven the way my maternal grandmother did it, Pickles and olives, 2 Pumpkin pies, 2 Pecan pies (one is an experiment this year ... healthy version made with coconut sugar and milk) , Apple pie and YES real whipped cream!!!! ...not in a can, but the kind that must be whipped from heavy cream to a thick rich topping ..YUMMM, also a sparkling moscato - Spumante, and Sparkling Apple cider . Many hands in the kitchen make the light work and fun! I did try brining the turkey this year after much research I decided on the following: Salt, sugar, oranges and Muscato wine . I can't wait to give it a try.
Right now I am thankful that everything is ready and even the table is set and I can enjoy watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Charlie Brown Mayflower.... a tradition as well, no matter how old you are, you are NEVER too old for Charlie Brown.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! Be thankful in everything!
Helpful tip...avoid shoulder ache during the prep time by wearing a Capsaicin patch or Thermal patch on shoulder blades, it really made a huge difference!