Thanksgiving Day Menu

My Thanksgiving Day Menu is the #1 google search under "Thanksgiving Day Menu"! How fun is that? Here is my original menu from 2006

Each fall I sit down and start gathering recipes for our Thanksgiving Day Menu. This year is no exception. Being pregnant has made a bit of an impression on my menu choices. I am avoiding garlic (so yucky right now), and certain other flavors I find myself steering away from. Nonetheless, I am excited about trying some new recipes, repeating old ones, and having a great day with my family.

Thanksgiving Day Menu 2009

*Most of these recipes can be found online (I'll link to them) and most of the menu is make ahead~ which is my favorite way to cook and entertain.

Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Sourdough Croutons
Spicy Three Cheese Spread with toasted baguettes (Williams Sonoma recipe)

Apple, Dried Cherry and Walnut Salad with Maple Dressing

Main Dishes
Perfect Roast Turkey
Maple Glazed Carrots
Cranberry Sauce with Cider and Cinnamon (Williams Sonoma)
Peachy Sweet Potato Casserole (I am going to mash this together~opposed to the recipe directions)
Classic Green Bean Casserole (use your favorite)
Mashed Potatoes (also use your favorite)
Pear and Pecan Stuffing


Pumpkin Pie
Coffee Pecan Tart (from Once Upon a Tart Cookbook)
Alsatin Apple Tart (Once Upon a Tart)

*Make A Couple of Days Ahead*
Soup~ Cranberry Sauce~ Pie Crusts

*Make A Day Ahead*
Cheese Spread~ Prep Salad and Dressing~ Cut Carrots~ Assemble Sweet Potato Casserole and Green Bean Casserole~ Make Bread for Stuffing~

*Thanksgiving Day*
Prepare Turkey~ Assemble Stuffing~ Assemble and Bake Desserts~ Bake Casseroles~ Assemble Salad~ Toast baguette slices~ Make Mashed Potatoes~ Make Carrots

Fall Mornings with Ezra

Ezra and I have been having great fun playing outdoors, crafting, and enjoying the season. As much as Canaan loves school I do miss having him home to enjoy these days with us.
On the other hand though, I fondly remember my special days with Canaan before Ezra came along and now it is wonderful to have these kinds of days with Ezra before the new little one arrives this winter.

Each family has their own philosophy on having children. Some like to have them close together so they will play well together and grow up together. We have found that we thouroughly enjoy spacing our children apart and having these precious times with each one. It will be quite a difference having a 7 year old and a newborn in the house, but for us it has worked beautifully.

(more on this craft to come...)

Shop Order

After hours of sewing over the past couple of weeks, I have finally caught up on items for the store. It is SUCH a relief! I have sent my sewing machine away on vacation to a dark, quiet corner of the house and cleaned the dining room of all traces of fabric , pin cushions, and spools of thread.
As much as I enjoy sewing, I also enjoy being fully caught up and not having to sew for a while....probably about a week.
So this week, we'll enjoy fun days outside, baking, cooking, organizing the house, and playing games.

Welcome Fall

We took our first riverboat ride yesterday. It was a gorgeous fall afternoon as we drove down to Shaker Village and suprised the boys with a boat ride. The weather seriously could not be more perfect and we had such a fun time as a family.

A fellow boat passenger offered to take a photo of all of us. I love how the sun reflected a light right on my belly~where sweet baby boy #3 is.

Life These Days...

Soccer practices

homemade cheese



long walks in the backyard

Wool Christmas Stockings

I find it nearly impossible to find good quality 100% wool at our local fabric store. I have been wanting to make wool stockings each Christmas but have been frustrated by my lack of supplies to do so. This weekend I decided to venture out to a few thrift stores and see what ideas came to mind.
What I came home with was 1 wool sweater, 1 pair of plaid wool pants, and 2 wool skirts. All which now have become these...

I also have scraps leftover to make some patchwork pillows.

The stockings were incredibly easy. I used a simple McCall's pattern and had four done within 2 hours (after cutting the fabric). Plus it is nice to know that the materials are re-purposed and thus I am "eco-friendly girl!!"
These, along with alot of other things, are headed up to the shop today. I am busily getting ready for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
My project list includes:

1. wool mens scarves
2. more aprons
3. vintage fabric necklaces
4. throw pillows
5. notecard packs

I'd better get busy!

Poverty of Purpose is Far Worse Than Poverty of Purse

A few years ago I came across this book at a resell shop. I really love it. I have never read it cover to cover, but its one of those little gems that I enjoy picking up from time to time and reading. It gives all sorts of homekeeping advice from a 19th century womans perspective. It really is such a fun and interesting book.
The other day I grabbed it off the shelf and turned towards the back of the book. In the authors final remarks she writes these challenging words:

"There is for each of us a place of perfect self-expression. It is a place in life that only we can fill, no one else will do, and we are happiest when we are in the center of it. Many of us have no idea what this perfect self-expression is, or we doubt that we are worthy of such a blessing. I believe that each person has some talent which is unfulfilled or developed, even though many live their entire lives unaware of it. But it is there, for each of us, designed by God to be our life's work. This "life work" will be so completely absorbing and satisfying that it will seem more like play. Your soul will long for it....

We must ask God to manifest His plan for our life. As we consistently ask Him, God will release the genius within each of us. He will guide us to our destiny if we but ask for it and stay ever watchful for new experiences and opportunities. When we realize that there is an invincible power that protects us and all that we love, and brings us to every righteous desire of our hearts, we can relax and all things fall into place.

Dear children: We are not here merely to make a living, or exist for our own amusement. We are here in order to enrich the world and lives of others, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. And poverty of purpose, is far worse than poverty of purse."

Fall Mantle

(click on picture for a larger image)

I already added this picture to the header but I thought I'd share it in a post. Each season I like to change around our fireplace mantle. The trick is doing it on a limited to no spending budget. This year I spent $10 on the leaf garland (50% off at Michaels) and the rest are items from around the house. Most things, like the gourds get re-used year after year. This year I added the sconces which were a thrift store find about a year ago. I changed the color from black to silver with spray paint.

The painting is something I did one afternoon while painting with Ezra. It is VERY simplistic and almost childlike. No fancy painting techniques. I had an old frame in our spare room and decided to use it to frame this little fall tree painting.

I have been collecting lots of pine cones to start making a winter garland for the fireplace mantle. Shouldn't cost a dime...

Apple Picking

Each year we trek out to an off-the-beaten-path orchard in Paris, Kentucky. Its a gorgeous drive through horse farms, rolling hills, and tree lined winding roads.

We love this gorgeous orchard and each fall they put on a fantastic little apple festival complete with FFA kids hosting a petting zoo of their animals as well as my favorite part...the line dancing team that comes out each year and puts on a great little show.

The weather was amazing~just cool enough for some old OshKosh overalls and jean jackets.