Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The 12 Days of Christmas

Last year I did a 12 Days of Christmas series on my blog. Check it out and stay tuned for my attempt at the 25 Days of Christmas this year. Let's see if I can keep up!

I need to update Day 8 with more songs for the mixed cd and I was late on Day 12 so hopefully this year I can do better even though I'm taking on the bigger task of 25 instead of 12! Wish me luck!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Fifth Day of Thanksgiving

On the fifth day of Thanksgiving, get creative with your Thanksgiving leftovers. Drinker's in Philadelphia does a taco of the month and for November they did a Thanksgiving taco. That gave me the idea to do tacos for lunch the day after turkey day. I put mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries and turkey on mine but you can do any combination you'd like with your leftovers. A taco is a new twist on the classic sandwiches people make with their turkey leftovers.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Fourth Day of Thanksgiving {This the Day of Thanksgiving}

On the fourth day of Thanksgiving, this the day of Thanksgiving, make some delicious and fun appetizers.

The first appetizer I made was a Veggie Turkey, basically a vegetable tray designed in the shape of a turkey. This is simple and super cute to make. Pair it with ranch dressing or your favorite veggie dip.

Ingredients needed:
Baby carrots
Colored bell peppers: I used red, yellow and orange, you could also use green

Try to use a round tray to help with the shape. First spread the lettuce out on your tray. Then line up the carrots at the top in a half circle. Then slice the bell peppers and cut each one in half. Save the end of the orange or green one for the face and cut a tiny piece of the yellow and red one for the beak and gobbler thing. Spread out the scalloped pieces of pepper underneath the carrots. Then slice up the cucumber and pile the pieces in a circle under the peppers for the body. Take the orange or green pepper top for the head and place it on top of the cucumbers. Then take two cloves and stick them in for the eyes. Break the tip off of two toothpicks to attach the beak and gobbler. If you'd like, cut two pieces off a stalk of celery and cut the middle out of each piece to make feet for your turkey. Once you put it all together it makes an adorable veggie tray that looks like a turkey!

Veggie Turkey

The other appetizer I decided to make was a cranberry dip. I wasn't sure how it would turn out but everyone in my family loved it! It's delicious and fairly easy to make.

1 12 oz package of fresh cranberries
1/4 C green onion, chopped
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper (optional, I left this out)
1 1/4 C sugar
1/4 t cumin
2 T lemon juice
dash salt (I forgot to do this but it tasted fine without)
2 8 oz packages cream cheese

1. Put your cranberries in a food processor.
2. Chop up your green onion, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper into small pieces.
3. Add all ingredients (but the cream cheese) into a bowl. Mix them all together, cover and store in the fridge, the original recipe I read said for 4 hours but I did it for about 10 minutes and it was a fine.
4. When you are ready to serve, place your cream cheese bricks on a plate.
5. Spread the cream cheese out as evenly as you can.
6. Pour your cranberry mixture over the cream cheese.
7. Spread it all around.
8. Serve immediately with crackers.

I spread mine on a plate and it was a little runny so I'd recommend a shallow bowl or dish.

cranberry dip

The Third Day of Thanksgiving

On the third day of Thanksgiving, make cute pilgrim hats and or turkeys to put at everyone's place setting. I attempted to do both but the pilgrim hats are very cute and easy and the turkeys are much more complicated so I made one turkey and the rest pilgrim hats.

pilgrim hats

Supplied needed for the pilgrim hat:
Fudge stripe cookies
Mini reeses peanut butter cups
Yellow writing icing

All you do to make the pilgrim hats is place a fudge stripe cookie upside down, pipe some yellow icing around the hole and place an unwrapped reeses cup upside down onto the cookie. Then pipe a yellow square for the buckle onto the peanut butter cup. You can also pipe a yellow line around the cup if you would like but I thought they looked cute without that.

oreo turkey

Supplies needed for the turkey:
Double stuff oreo
Chocolate icing
Candy corn
Mini reeses peanut butter cups
Yellow, red and blue icing

For the turkeys you need to take an oreo and pipe chocolate icing on the top of the cookie and place 5 candy corn in for the feathers. You then cut an edge of the reeses and "glue" it onto the oreo using the chocolate icing. Then glue a malt ball on for the head. Then cut the tip of a candy corn off and glue it with the red icing for the nose and add a little woddle (the red thing on turkey's beaks). Then make two dots for the turkey's eyes. Then pipe little feet using the yellow icing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Second Day of Thanksgiving

On the second day of Thanksgiving, make an affordable centerpiece for your turkey day table. You can get all the supplies you need at the dollar store for a $4 piece of art!

Fall Hurricane Centerpiece

Supplies Needed:
Hurricane vase
Candlestick holder
Candle in a jar
Fall leaves (can get pretty real ones outdoors or buy fake ones)
Hot glue gun

You simply glue the hurricane vase to the candlestick holder. You then place the candle inside the vase. You can glue the candle in there but I prefer not to so you can easily replace the candle with a new one when it burns down.

Once you have your basic centerpiece, you can add colorful fall leaves to make it pretty. My original plan was to find some pretty leaves outside but it is raining and gross out today so I didn't get a chance. I had purchased some fall table confetti that was made of fall colored glittery foam leaves that I decided might work well.

I was pleased with the end result. I might add another bag of the little leaves just to make it look more full. I can also easily remove these leaves and add real ones or something else to change up the look. You can make this centerpiece themed for all occasions by changing up the decoration inside. Have fun and get creative!

30 Day Photography Challenge: Day 21

Day 21: Faceless self-portrait

Monday, November 21, 2011

The First Day of Thanksgiving

For my "5 Days of Thanksgiving" series, I decided to try and make a recipe I found on tablespoon.com for the first day.

Pumpkin Pie Shooters with Bourbon-Vanilla Whipped Cream

Pumpkin Pie Shooters with Bourbon-Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 2 graham cracker rectangles, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
Whipped Cream:
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 dash vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp bourbon
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
 Basically you take the melted butter and graham crackers and crumble them up. I made the mistake of buying low fat honey graham crackers, I would recommend buying regular cinnamon ones, I imagine they would taste best here. Next you mix the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and sugar together. You then layer the graham cracker crumble and the pumpkin mix in a shooter glass and put in the fridge. Mix all of the whipped cream ingredients together and either use a mixer or a whisk and fluff until you get a whipped cream consistency. Then top the shooters with the whipped cream and sprinkle some leftover graham cracker crumble on top.

I thought they were tasty but not amazing. I think these are a good substitute for pie after Thanksgiving though because most people are so full after dinner. They also look cute and would be nice to put at each place setting. You could also make more smaller ones by putting them in smaller shooter glasses, I saw some 1.5 oz ones at Party City that might work.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The 5 Days of Thanksgiving

There are lots of different options for countdowns but for Thanksgiving, aside from starting on November 1, I wasn't sure what the best number to attempt would be. Ultimately I decided 5 made the most sense. You have 3 days to count up to Thanksgiving, turkey day itself and Black Friday or creative Thanksgiving leftover ideas for the day after. Stay tuned next week for some fun Thanksgiving themed blogs as I go through my version of the "5 days of Thanksgiving."

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Day Photography Challenge: Day 20

Day 20: Bokeh

DIY Candy Cenpterpiece

While browsing Pinterest I discovered a lot of great ideas for fall and Halloween. One of my favorites which I used for a Halloween party this year was a candy centerpiece. You can use this for any holiday, just change up the candy and color scheme! The one I saw that I wanted to try and do included ghost and pumpkin peeps, candy corn, marshmallows, black and orange gumballs, black licorice and orange and black rock candy and lollipops. I went on a mission to find all of these items and had success minus the lollipops but I found some cute Halloween cookie pops to use instead.

What you will need:
-Bag of mini marshmallows
-Bag of candy corn
-Bag of orange gumballs
-Bag of black gumballs
-A couple pices of black licorace/twizzlers
-Ghost and Pumpkin Peeps
-Some type of Halloween themed lollipops/cookie pops

Once you have everything you need, you simply layer the different candies in the vase and stick the lollipops on top. It's very simple but makes a fun/festive centerpiece! I used a smaller vase, I think this would be more successful and impressive looking with a larger vase. The vase I used was narrow so the items filled it up quickly and didn't have enough space to even use all of the layers properly. You can't even see the orange gumballs. I think it still looks good though and I know to use a larger vase next time I do something like this.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Leftover Halloween Candy

Now that Halloween is over, what to do with all that leftover candy? Eating it of course is the best option but here are a few creative ways to enjoy your candy after Halloween is past.

Friday, November 4, 2011