My Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving, holiday dinner, Thanksgiving turkey

 

I hope everyone had a Safe and Blessed Thanksgiving.  I spent Thanksgiving with my daughter and her family and one of their family friends and his children. We spend the day cooking a turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, collard greens, greenbeans and corn, sweet potato casserole, sour kraut, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, cornbread and rolls.

Since we were serving both a turkey and ham, we went with a 15 pound bird instead of 20-25 pounds. Here she is golden brown and surrounded by Golden Delicious apples on a bed of fresh parsley.  As you can see I don’t stuff my bird,  I prepare my stuffing as a side dish. One because I don’t like overly moist stuffing and second it cuts down on the cooking time. 

This year I decided to marinate my turkey overnight in a brine of water, brown sugar, garlic, kosher salt, and vanilla.  I won’t do it again, with the exception of it being saltier I didn’t notice much of an addition to the flavor. I prefer injecting my turkey with a Cajun flavor or just allowing it to roast slowly and basting it often with butter.

What size turkey do you normally prepare and how do you add flavor to your turkey?  Share your Thanksgiving memories here

 

Show Me Your Turkey Linkup

 

Thanksgiving, holidays turkey

Show Me Your Turkey!  Mother 2 Mother will be hosting a Show Me Your Turkey linky party starting November 26 and ending December 5 at midnight.  The linky will be dedicated to Thanksgiving turkeys, tables, and stories of you, your family and friends. We spend all day cooking, basting, baking, and enjoying time with family so lets share our hard day’s work and family love.  Be sure to mark your calendar and join the fun. 

I’ve planned my menu and I’m picturing the house filled with family, delicious aromas, the Macy’s Day parade, football and a huge turkey as the center piece on the table surrounded by all the trimmings. 

The posts doesn’t have to been elaborate, just a picture of your turkey or table and a few words letting us know how your day went, what you served, and any funny or disastrous moments. What will you be serving?

Get your camera and posts ready.  It’s a great way to relieve some stress and you could be the featured blogger of our Turkey Baster, Table Queen, and I Survived Thanksgiving awards. Here’s a few details on the awards: 

  • Turkey Baster: Best Looking Turkey
  • Table Queen: Best Table Setting
  • I Survived Thanksgiving: Best story (Precious or Disastrous) 

Hope to see you there.

Moscow Ballet Performs The Nutcracker

Image-Moscow-Ballet-Nutcracker1

 

I love the ballet. I’ve big a fan since my daughter starting dancing 25 years ago, and I am excited to share that the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is coming to town!  The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker s coming to Baltimore Dec. 18-19! My Readers Can Save on Tickets Now with this exclusive offer from US Family Guide.  The Nutcracker is one of my favorite ballets, and we have a special offer for our readers for the ultimate holiday tradition.  The Nutcracker is the perfect holiday family outing. Right now you can receive the Deepest Discount of the Season (up to $30 OFF!) with this exclusive PROMO CODE for US Family Guide Readers: CODE: JOY  CLICK HERE for ShowTimes and Ticket Information. Order your family’s tickets today and fell free to share this exclusive savings with your friends.
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Tips To Plan Your 4th of July Festivities

4th of July ideas, food ideas for 4th of July

 

Planning your 4th of July festivities?  The 4th of July is one of the biggest summer celebrations for most of us. So, if you’re like me you want to serve great food, have plenty of drinks, play games, put on a great fireworks display. However, hosting family gatherings can get overwhelming.

I have learned over the years to plan my summer celebrations and make lists to ensure I don’t forget anything. Here’s a few other tips that have helped make my 4th of July festivities successful:

Plan Your Menu

Meats – First, if you’re serving food that will take longer to cook, start cooking those foods on your grill or smoker at least an hour before the guest are scheduled to arrive.  Also, burgers, hot dogs and sausages can be started shortly after guests start arriving.  Because they don’t take as long to cook, reserve them for later.  For my 4th of July festivities, you will always find these items on my grill/smoker:

  • Burgers
  • Hot Dogs
  • BBQ Chicken
  • BBQ Ribs
  • Sausages

Side Dishes – Next, I fix as many of my cold dishes the night before and refrigerate them.  Furthermore, I start anything that I can fix in the crockpots on low the night before too. The house smells great in the morning.  I love getting everybody excited about the day and their mouth watering for great food.  Here’s a few ideas for side dishes:

  • Potato Salad
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Pasta Salads
  • Steamer Meat
  • Baked Beans
  • Corn On The Cob
  • Green Beans & Corn
  • Greens
  • Grilled squash and zucchini
  • Salad -(I set out various bottles of salad dressing for guests to choose from)
     
Veggies/Chips and Dip – Also, I make a dip for veggies and a dip for chips.  If I serve a salad, I don’t do a veggie tray.  But, I do make this Spinach Dip for my vegetable tray when I do make it.  It goes well with crackers too.

Fruits – Additionally, everybody likes something refreshing on a hot summer day. I love to put a fruit salad together or do fruit skewers.

Desserts – Berries are big in the summer.  As a result, I do several trifles this time of year using fresh strawberries.  Be as simple or elaborate as you would like.  But, I have been known to do a tray of brownies or cupcakes and little cups of ice cream too.

Drinks – It’s important that everyone stay hydrated.  Because liquids are important, make sure you have plenty of water and drinks.  If you’re serving alcohol, beer and cocktails, please have a designated driver for those indulging.

 


Plan Your Games – Also, I make sure I have plenty of activities for the kids and adults.  Here’s a few 4th of July ideas that I have used in the past:

  • Patriotic Crafts for the kids
  • Sack Races
  • Turn on the sprinkler
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Use printables/coloring pages for the kids
  • Horseshoes
  • Badminton or Croquet
  • Bingo
  • Cards
  • Charades

Solicit Co-Hosts – Most importantly, I have learned that I can’t do everything and do it well.  As a result, I ask my family to help with keeping the food flowing, grilling, assisting with children’s crafts, games, music etc. Things go much smoother and it takes some stress off me when I have help.

Last, I like to decorate on a budget.  So, I head to the Dollar Stores to buy items that I didn’t pick up on clearance the prior year.  If your crafty make your own center pieces and luminaries to add festive touches.  Also, the Dollar Store sells festive plates, napkins, mini flags etc.  Don’t forget to head to Michael’s or AC Moore for paint and other supplies that you can’t find at the Dollar Stores for the kid’s activities.

Finally, I hope these ideas will help you remove some of the stress of entertaining.  And, I hope they help you plan a great backyard BBQ with family and friends.  What are some of the dishes you prepare or activities you use to entertain guests?

You may also like: 9 Kid’s Patriotic Craft Ideas