Friday, November 16, 2018

After Thanksgiving Breakfast

Once the big meal is over, you are sure to have some leftovers. Here are a few ideas on how to use them and other fall ingredients for breakfast the next day.

   If you have leftover cranberry sauce, it can be used to make this delicious Cranberry Coffee Cake .

Still have a lot of apples in your fruit bowl? Try this Puffed Apple Pancake

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Cake is a great way to use your spices,extra canned pumpkin and maple syrup. This one is a definite crowd pleaser.
  Maple Walnut Muffins are delicious on a chilly fall  morning! 
These Apple Cinnamon Pancakes are on the menu year round at our house.  Quick and delicious!
Quiche is a great way to use extra pie dough and any leftover veggies you may have. You can substitute any vegetables you like for the broccoli in this recipe.
This fritatta is an easy breakfast, again, using any veggies you have on hand.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes are always a fun breakfast and very filling!
I hope you find these recipes helpful! Enjoy your weekend!!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Thanksgiving Dishes

The big day is just a week away! Today I want to share some of our favorite things to make for Thanksgiving,including a soup a few sides and plenty of desserts.
   Butternut Squash Soup is one of my fall favorites. It can be made ahead and freezes well. It is a great way to start any meal and also makes a perfect lunch on a chilly day.
    Acorn squash is a vegetable that is often overlooked because many feel it is too difficult to prepare, it isn't..I promise. This recipe is can also be made ahead( 1 day) and refrigerated until ready to bake.
   I usually roast carrots with a little olive oil,salt & pepper, and it is an easy,delicious,no fail way to make them.However, for special occasions,I prefer to make them this way.Wonderful flavor that perfectly compliments the Thanksgiving meal.
   What is a meal without mashed potatoes? I switch between two favorite recipes in our house. The first, is from Ina Garten which is a buttermilk recipe that is incredible! The other is a garlic sour cream recipe that is equally delicious. Whichever you choose, you will be deliciously happy!
   Very often,recipes call for fresh herbs. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere warm, you may still have some in your garden,however,if not, you may wind up paying a pretty penny for them at the market. This is how I preserve the herbs from my garden. I make herbed butter, which freezes well and is ready anytime I need it . A few days before Thanksgiving, I take a few from the freezer and slather them on our turkey. They add amazing flavor !
  Without fail,every year I make this  spinach dish from Ina Garten.
So delicious!
When it is time for dessert,I serve a variety of goodies to my family. Here are a few of our favorites.

Oatmeal Buttercotch Cookies
Cranberry Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Nut Cups
Coconut Custard Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Cinnamon Mocha Tart
Apple Pie
Lastly, here is the recipe I use if you are interested in making your own pie dough.
I hope you have a chance to try some of these recipes that we love so much! Check in tomorrow for some  day after Thanksgiving breakfast ideas!

Monday, November 5, 2018

November Reading For Children

I've always enjoyed reading with my boys. When they were younger, I'd  make sure their rooms were filled with favorite books, and change the selection with the seasons. For me,one of the greatest joys of motherhood is to curl up with a cozy blanket, a great story and my children. They are a bit older now, but my younger guys still indulge me every so often and let me read aloud with them. Naturally, the books are more age appropriate and it doesn't happen often, but I will take it whenever I can get it!
   Today,I wanted to share some favorites that were always part of our November reading. If you love spending quality time with your children, there is no better way than opening a good book.

Freddy was always a favorite character in our home. He is a little boy who loves sharks,and every illustration in this series has the word "FIN" hidden somewhere for the reader to find. In Thanksgiving Turkey Trouble, Freddy gets a part in a play that he did not want. It is a sweet story about rising to a challenge,and definitely one of our fall favorites.

This book has been a longtime favorite of mine. I remember my elementary school librarian reading it with such enthusiasm and  I was immediately enthralled by it. I'd long forgotten about it until I had children of my own, and was thrilled to find a copy at a local bookstore(pre amazon days). It takes place  near a cranberry bog in New England where a young girl named Maggie lives with her grandmother. As Thanksgiving approaches, someone is attempting to steal grandmother's prize cranberry bread recipe ,but it may not be who they think it is. It is a charming book by Wende and Harry Devlin which includes the cranberry bread recipe at the end of the story. I just love it!

Another story we've always enjoyed is Thanksgiving with the Tappletons by Eileen Spinelli. Thanksgiving Day starts out like any other, until a series of silly mishaps causes a change in plans. This is a sweet story sure to bring some giggles along with it.
I think this is probably on everyone's Thanksgiving reading list and rightfully so!  This book is a classic and my family has enjoyed it for years, I mean, how can you go wrong with Snoopy and friends?
They've also added another sweet little Peanuts Thanksgiving tale that kids are sure to enjoy. In this story , Joe Cool is hosting Thanksgiving this year! It isn't the classic tale, but still fun for little ones.


My family has always loved the Big Red Dog! Norman Bridwell's beloved Clifford is hoping to spend Thanksgiving with his mother. He braves cars,trains and lots of traffic to make it happen. Be sure to check out Clifford's Thanksgiving Visit
  and  Clifford's Puppy Days Thanksgiving Feast 
 The Night Before Thanksgiving is a playful look into all of the fun that comes along with family celebrations. Natasha Wing has a wonderful "Night Before..." series and we've always enjoyed reading them together.

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed A Pie is a silly story, filled with repetition so that children can easily join in. They are also always shocked by how many things this old lady can ingest and what the surprise is at the end.
Patricia Reilly Giff 's Polk Street School series offers some wonderful chapter books for children. Turkey Trouble was a favorite of ours and we read it every November. Amazon still has some copies available, and if you can get one, you should. Her stories are always funny and uplifting. 
The Berenstain Bears were always a favorite in this house.,with lessons about fairness,sharing,love,sibling relationships and so much more ! My boys loved reading about Big Paw, a story that teaches children to not judge others based on appearances.
Stan and Jan Berenstain have also written so many other Thanksgiving/Fall stories that children have enjoyed  for years. Here are a few of our favorites. Thanksgiving Blessings
Thanksgiving All Around
Give Thanks
Harvest Festival
We hope you are able to enjoy some of these wonderful children's Thanksgiving stories with your little ones. Happy Reading!

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Monday, October 22, 2018

October Happenings

October is my favorite month of the year. Naturally, I love December, but there is something so special about the fall.I love the crisp air, which is perfect for long walks,the beautiful colors and what is the start of a season filled with holidays. We also have two birthdays,my oldest son and my hubby, and this year celebrated my youngest son's Confirmation. Lots going on! Here is a bit of what we've been up to lately.
  My oldest celebrated his birthday away from us for the first time this year. He is studying at the Univ. of Illinois,so I made him a care package filled with delicious treats. These are some of the cookies I sent.
A week later, we celebrated my husband's birthday. He requested pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream.

The cool weather has really kicked in here. Last Sunday,after a trip to the farmer's market, we came home and I immediately made hot chocolate! I had leftover whipped cream from the pumpkin pie, and it was the perfect drink for a chilly morning. I purchased the cups on Etsy from this shop . 
I love all things pumpkin, and when I came across these adorable labels I had to order them!I think the pumpkin labels may be sold out at this point, but they have some other really cute labels still available like these .
They made the perfect finishing touch for these fall gifts for my nephews. If you are looking for fun gift ideas for the little ones in your lives,this is a great one. I put together a fall themed fleece throw,a pair of Halloween pjs and some fall books. Wrapped them up in cellophane with a pretty ribbon and these cute tags!  So cute!

    I found these sweet little treats on my last trip to Trader Joe's...they are a perfect small bite when you just want a little something sweet.
  I haven't been baking cookies as much as I usually do, but now that it's cooler outside my boys have been asking for sugar cookies. I surprised them one day after school with this platter.
   Well, that is what has been going on around here lately. Looking forward to a productive week. I have a lot of household projects on my list, starting with cleaning closets! Fun stuff! Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fall Meals

 Now that fall has arrived and the weather is cooler, I thought I'd share a few favorite autumn dinners with you. Many of them are easy to put together and they are filled with flavor! Soup,pasta,protein and fish are on the menu today!

When their is a chill in the air, my go to dinner is often soup. It is a great way to use leftover vegetables and  is just comforting. I always have enough to save for lunch the next day which makes it an even better option. I am sharing three favorites in this post.

 One dish on repeat in our house is this  Vegetable Tortellini Soup
Another soup that I love to make is Butternut Squash Soup. The recipe is an easy one and the flavor is amazing.It has apple,potato and pumpkin spice in it making it the perfect fall soup. Find the recipe here
  We also love  this Minestrone Soup. It is loaded with vegetables and is hearty enough to be a meal in and of itself, but a little additional bread never hurt anyone !

This Pasta Pie involves a few steps, but the end result is so delicious. Makes a great meal along with a side salad,and is a nice way to use any leftover pasta and vegetables you may have.

Here is another pasta dish that is quick,healthy and delicious. Pasta with Zucchini is a winner served warm or at room temperature.

On a cool night, this comforting meal hits the spot. These Glazed Pork Chops  are so simple to make,and can be served with any sides you like. Here they are paired with mashed potatoes and a salad.
  If you are looking for lighter fare, this Lemon Sole makes a wonderful dinner with minimal effort. Pair it with a salad and/or potatoes and you have a satisfying,healthy  meal for your family.
I hope you are enjoying the autumn weather and have an opportunity to try a few of these recipes!Have a great day!