Mommy Daughter Delights

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Treat Tuesday – Easy Apple Pie

HolidaysRecipes

I don’t make my own pie crust. Because who has time for that? Especially during the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving week through New Years. If I’m going to make something from scratch, it wont be a pie crust.

Since I’m vegetarian I buy the Marie Callender brand frozen pie crusts, which come in a set of 2. These crusts don’t have lard in them. Either get this brand, any brand you prefer or make your own if you’re fancy like that.

Ingredients:

* 2 Pie Crusts

* 6-7 Medium Apples – I used Gala (peeled, cored and sliced)

* 1/4 Cup Sugar

* 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

* 2 Tablespoons Flour

* 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

* 1/2 Teaspoon Grated Lemon Peel

* 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

* 2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle the apple mixture into the pie crust. Either top completely with the second pie crust cutting slashes or designs  in top crust. I used little cookie cut outs that make Turkey and Apple details making a design on top of the pie.

Bake 40-50 minutes in the oven at 425 degrees until the crust is golden. Enjoy!

Christmas Decoration Tips

DecoratingHolidays

If you haven’t started decorating for Christmas, you’d better get on it! It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving. Pull out the trees, Santa Clause’s, twinkly lights and anything else that screams Christmas to you! It’s time to get festive!

My mom always had Christmas decorations all over our house when I was a child. I remember specific ornaments that I would love to look at on the tree. Now that I’m a mom, I hope that the decorations at my house will make my little one get excited for the holidays. Hopefully it will feel a little bit magical to her.

I put up my snowmen, angel and Santa Woof’n’poofs on the back of my couch and in my window sills. I have a few trinkets that get placed around the house so nothing feels to empty. Adding little cheerful winter/Christmas decorations can make your home feel inviting and festive. The fireplace mantle is a good place to decorate, giving the room a pop of color.

You can have themed Christmas tree decorations. I put up an assortment of decorations. The bottom has unbreakable ornaments, because I have a toddler who has grabby hands, but I still wanted my tree to look complete. I think having wrapped presents under the tree helps it to look finished. I can’t have presents, once again, because of tiny and curious hands.

Get a couple or a few Christmasy or Wintery pillows, swapping them out with your everyday or accent pillows. Get some holiday table runners and place them on your tables and accent tables to bring all the decorations together. Little figurines can be placed on coffee tables, end tables, in the windows, or hanging off your door knobs. You can place colored ornaments or glittery pinecones in a glass bowl or jar and place it on the middle of a table. Sometimes just a simple centerpiece can feel elegant. You just need a few special holiday pieces to make your house Christmas ready.

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Holidays

(PC: Love This Pic)

Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday. While I think the holiday season starts in October, things really start to feel festive around Thanksgiving. Hopefully, we realize how blessed we all are and think about those who aren’t as fortunate than us.

I have been thinking about what I want for Christmas. The list isn’t big. I have to struggle to think of anything I want, let alone need. There isn’t anything I need. That is definitely something to be thankful for. I hope that I will always remember how lucky I am to live the life I do. I hope that if I can ever do something kind for someone else, that I take the opportunity to do so.

You will not see me Black Friday shopping. You will absolutely not see me Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving should be focused on what all we have, not what we can get by saving a buck. Let’s let everyone have the opportunity to spend the holiday with their own families. I’m thankful I don’t have to work on this day, but so grateful to all those people who do have to work on this day to keep society safe and healthy.

Happiest of Holidays to you all!

(PC: Love This Pic)

Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Feast

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Not every holiday party needs to be decked out with your finest tableware and decorations. Some of the best parties are the simple ones. As long as you have good company, any party should be a hit.

I love this time of year. The holidays are becoming more magical since I have a little one. We can watch all the holiday movies together to help get us in the spirit. And Charlie Brown is a classic.

With the new Charlie Brown movie coming out I thought this would be the perfect time to have our own Charlie Brown feast. I was talking with my sister the other day and told her if she came over I would give her popcorn and jelly beans. She said it would be just like CB Thanksgiving. That gave me an idea to have a little CB picnic of my own.

I’m sure several of people have had their own CB Thanksgiving meal. If they haven’t, they probably should. I remember watching the show when I was little and actually thinking the meal that snoopy prepared was appetizing. I don’t think most kids are into regal meals. I know my 2 year-old would gladly eat a meal of pretzels and jelly beans. Who could blame her?

(Image from Google)

I covered our coffee table with a tablecloth in our living room. My husband did the grocery shopping for this one. He picked up the popcorn, pretzels and jelly beans. I just needed to make the toast and serve it all up on “fancy” aka paper plates. Makes cleanup a breeze.

My daughter had 2 of her buddies come over for the picnic. While eating their feast they watched a CB Thanksgiving. A perfect snack for a perfect cartoon. I think we will start making this a pre-Thanksgiving tradition. If you have little ones, I do hope that you have your own Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Snoopy was really onto something here!

Photo Credit: The Berry

Treat Tuesday – Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Sweet Potatoes

HolidaysRecipes

I really like brussel sprouts. I usually top mine with mayo. Weird, I know. My dad and uncle do it. Probably a weird family thing that you just do because you see someone in your family doing it. I quite like it. Here is a yummy way to make them and get your greens.

Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts:

* 2 lbs. halved Brussel Sprouts

* 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

* 7 Cloves of Minced Garlic

* 3 Tablespoons Butter

* 1/2 Bunch Fresh Thyme

* 1 Large Spring Fresh Rosemary – halved

* 1 Teaspoon Salt

* 1 Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar

Cook brussel sprouts, uncovered in boiling water for 3 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

Place a large skillet over high heat for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add oil and garlic. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 the butter. Increase heat to medium-high. Carefully arrange 1/2 the sprouts cut side down in the hot skillet. Top with 1/2 the thyme, rosemary and salt. Cook, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes or until the sprouts are well browned. Remove and repeat with the rest of the ingredients. Return all sprouts to skillet along with the vinegar and toss.

Step 1 may be done 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate the well-drained sprouts.

 

Sweet Potatoes:

* 4 1/2 lbs. Sweet Potatoes

* 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

* 1 Tablespoon Salt

* 1/2 Cup Butter

* 2/3 Cup Whipping Cream

* 2 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup

* 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

* 2-3 Cups Tiny Marshmallows (optional)

* 1/4 Cup Pecan Halves, Toasted (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub potatoes and prick with a fork. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Place the potatoes in a baking pan. Roast uncovered for 30-40 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Increase the oven to 450 degrees. Halve the potatoes, scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Press through a sieve (or use a food processor), transfer to a bowl.

In a saucepan combine the butter and whipping cream over medium heat. Let it simmer. Fold into sweet potatoes along with the maple syrup, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt. Put into greased baking dish. Sprinkle marshmallows and bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes. This will either be until the marshmallows are golden brown, or warm without. Sprinkle toasted pecans over the mixture and serve.

You can make the sweet potatoes a day ahead. Wait to put on the marshmallows and/or pecans until right before serving.

These make yummy sides any time in the fall or winter. Very comforting. They make tasty additions to a Thanksgiving feast! As always, enjoy! I know I will!

Ways to Help Others this Holiday Season

Holidays

Photo Credit: Brainy Quotes

With the holiday season fast approaching it seems that we are all rushing to get things done. With families, work, shopping, cleaning there is hardly enough time to think of ourselves, let alone others. I find it important to do something kind for others, especially this time of year. There are plenty of ways that you can serve the community on a big or small scale.

Donations:

Our neighborhood has put together a turkey and coat drive this season. The Denver Rescue Mission is hoping to get 15,000 turkeys donated this holiday season. While our neighborhood alone can’t raise that, we can absolutely contribute. I’m sure other neighborhoods, community centers, churches, etc. have places you can donate food, and gently used winter wear. If you can’t afford something new, maybe look into getting rid of some items you don’t use anymore that someone else could benefit from.

Toy Drives:

For the past 5 years my husband and I buy toys for kids and typically either donate to Toys for Tots or Salvation Army. This gesture includes spending money. I stock up throughout the year so it doesn’t feel as overwhelming on our bank account. Clearance sections can have wonderful toys that won’t break the bank. I also stock up on toys at stores like Tuesday Morning and Zulily. When looking for toys I try to get sets that have more than one thing in the package. Kind of sad, but if this is the only gift that child may get this year I want it to have a few things for them to do.

Adopt a Family:

Again, many churches, grocery stores, community centers have Christmas trees up with tags on them. The tags list a child, their age, and a wish list. If you can afford to adopt a child and get them something off their wish list you could help make it more special for a child who may otherwise not get much of anything. At the same places they also sometimes that have whole families that are in need; which you could split up with a group of friends.

Volunteer:

Doing something kind for other people doesn’t have to cost anything. We all know time is precious and there doesn’t seem to be enough of it. If you do have a bit of downtime; volunteering could help someone out. During the holidays the homeless shelters get a lot of volunteers helping pass out meals. People tend to be more generous this time of year. There are many places you can volunteer. Homeless shelters, food banks, humane societies, meals on wheels, shoveling someone’s driveway. A small gesture can go a long way. If you can’t find a place to volunteer during the holidays, maybe put a group together to volunteer throughout the year.

Time with Others:

Nursing homes and hospitals have lots of residents and patients that are lonely. Not only that, but the staff work long hours to take care of these people, while spending time away from their own families. Spend some time chatting with an elderly person. Bake some cookies and bring it into a nursing home or hospital. Bake something and drop it off at your local fire station or police station as a way to say thank you for their service.

These are just a few suggestions that could possibly make your holidays more fulfilling. I’m so excited to spend the holidays with my family and eat all the yummy goodness. I also want to get involved in my community and do something, even on a small scale, to leave the world a tiny bit of a better place.

What’s your favorite way to help others?

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”

– Mother Teresa

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