Thanksgiving Game Plan

This will be my first year hosting Thanksgiving dinner. I'm a little nervous, and not just because my kitchen currently does not have a floor. Really. All of the baseboards in my kitchen are being ripped up. Hooray for water damage.

As excited as I am to share my new home with my family, I'm really worried about is cooking the turkey. I've been told it's easy, but my main Thanksgiving duties are usually limited to pies and Brussel sprouts. 

This year's menu may be a bit ambitious, especially when you consider that I'm only cooking for five people...

You may be thinking, girl has no idea how much food is too much food. But you are wrong. I know this is waayyyy too much food. My goal is to have enough leftovers for at least a week. So I'm about 92% sure that I know what I'm doing. 

For the other 8% I'm taking a few short cuts and making a game plan.

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Living in Lexington means even buying shortcuts need a game plan. I'm buying the cranberry salsa, gravy, whipped sweet potatoes (so all I have to do is spice and top with marshmallows), mac & cheese, and the rum pie's graham cracker crust pre-made. Since I live over an hour from the closest Fresh Market, that's a good amount of travel time to work into Thanksgiving prep, but TFM is totally worth it. Sorry Kroger.

For the things I may not be able to find at Kroger or TFM, there's D'ArtagnanI've recently become enamored with D'Artagnan after receiving their duck confit legs from Plated.  I bought their Duck & Veal Demi-Glace, Duck Fat, Duck and Armagnac Sausage, and Wild Boar Sausage for the big day.

I am also buying the Rye Whiskey Caramel Sauce from Terrain, because making my own caramel is certain to set off the smoke detector. 

Lastly, I'm asking my favorite local cheese shop, Cheese to You!, to curate a charcuterie plate for the big day. It will be amazing without a doubt, my only concern is that I'll eat it all absentmindedly throughout the week.

With all my shortcuts in place, here is my game plan for a successful Thanksgiving day!

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Monday: Make pie crust dough for pecan pie and pumpkin pie. Make and freeze rum pie. You can also make (and devour) a practice pie. Don't forget to pick up charcuterie fixins (unless, of course, your favorite cheese store is restocked on a regular basis). 

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Tuesday: Grocery time! Pick up preordered items (Turkey, Cranberry Salsa, Mac & Cheese, Cornbread, and Sweet Potatoes) and rest of grocery items. Fry shallots and make the mushroom mix for Green Bean Casserole. 

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Wednesday: PIE DAY!! Bake all the pies, make the salad (dressing and all), then make the stuffing (but leave out any liquids), blanche the green beans, and par-cook the turkey.

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THE BIG DAY: Mull cider (which will make your home smell lovely) and add bourbon. Finish making stuffing and stuff the turkey. Preheat oven to 375 and cook potato gratin and sweet potato casserole; raise oven temp to 425 and cook green bean casserole; raise temp again to 475 and roast turkey. Cover all dishes with foil to keep warm after removing them from the oven. When carving the turkey, return other dishes to oven and turn the oven on to warm dishes. 

 

Now I'm at 100% confidence for hosting Thanksgiving. After all, where could a turkey covered in duck fat go wrong?

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Valentine's Day

The first month of 2015 just flew by! I had been planning to do a Valentine's Day post, but it really snuck up on me.

Now February is here, and Valentine's Day is right around the corner. No matter who your valentine is, you want to give them something special. But with time flying by, it can be stressful trying to find the perfect present.

I've rounded up gifts for homebodies, busy bees, jetsetters, foodies, and the homesick honey to help find the perfect gift for your valentine! 

 

For the Homebodies:

 

For the Busy Bees:

 

For the Jetsetters:

 

For the Foodies:

 

For the Homesick Honeys:

Happy Valentines Day Darlings! 

Resolutions

Happy new year! 

For 2015, I have decided that my resolution is to do something to better myself each month. I usually pick something that is too easy and get bored, or I pick something to hard and give up. 

But not this year! With my 12-mini resolutions decided, I'm jumping into January's...

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Merry Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve is my favorite night of the year. Since I can remember, my family has thrown a party on Christmas Eve with all of our family friends who don't have family coming into town. 

The party has grown larger over the years, and as the kids have grown up, it's become more.... spirited (in a good way, of course). 

Last year, the party ended with a family beer pong tournament, at which my mother was surprisingly good. 

So my house is a whirlwind of cooking, cleaning, and runs to the liquor store today. But I wanted to take time to share my 5 Christmas Eve essentials! 

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01. A little sparkle. Every party outfit needs a little shimmer and sparkle. This Loren Hope necklace is so versatile and beautiful, it's sure to make a statement with every outfit!

02. Festive Nail Polish. This year, I am obsessed with Essie's She's Pampered, Crocadilly, and Good as Gold

03. Chic cold weather accessories. Protect your hands (and festive mani) from the cold and travel to your Christmas Eve destination in style with these Buffalo Check gloves from C. Wonder.

04. Party Shoes! While heels are great, I love these Stubbs and Wooton classics! You can dress them up or wear them casually. Plus, if you're not the most coordinated individual (like me), these are much better dancing shoes!

05. PJs to wait for Santa in. I love LL Bean, bean boots, and these cotton flannel pajamas. The soft fabric and classic design will surely have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head in no time! 

Merry Christmas everyone! And God bless us, everyone! 

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