Thursday, November 24, 2011

QUICK LAST-MINUTE TIPS for Thanksgiving Dinner


Quick Tips for the Big Dinner Success:

Breathe.
Be THANKFUL.
Look around at your table and cherish those faces-- trust me- someday, some seats will be empty and you'll regret having stressed over a menu!

Even if you don't normally pray, start a new tradition. Pray. Thanking God for each person at your table- call them out by name.

Be grateful for the blessings you have been given. If you're reading this, you have eyesight and comprehention (many have neither), you have enough money to pay for an internet connection and some sort of computer device to interact...there's your start- you take it from here!

MAKE it a day of gratefulness, YOU have that power!
*If you need a little help being grateful, read my post on my other blog, about the THANKSGIVING FLEA!(How some fleas set the tone for the day....)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Layered Cauliflower Salad ( a repost)





A beautiful and delicious salad that never disappoints. Of course it can be served anytime, but if you need a salad to serve during the holidays, this one will have your guests raving! The dressing is creamy and sweet- and the crunchy vegetables make for a perfect recipe.This salad can be assembled ahead of time which saves time while other recipes are being prepared. Once you decide to mix it up, serve immediately.





YOU WILL NEED:

1 head lettuce, washed and crisped and torn into bite-sized pieces)
1 head cauliflower, washed and cut into small pieces
1 lb. bacon, fried and drained, then crumbled
Chopped or dried onions, to taste (optional)
2 cups mayonnaise
3/4 sugar
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

In glass serving dish, layer:

lettuce
cauliflower
mayo
sugar
onion
bacon
Parmesan cheese

Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge till ready to serve.

ENJOY~Everything in Moderation

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes (a repost)




Perfect Autumn breakfast without all the fuss! My guys loved them and it was SOOOO quick and easy.

These make a heavier pancake, but very tasty!

Serve with maple syrup and butter.


YOU WILL NEED:




2 cups favorite pancake mix (plus water, or eggs/milk, as indicated on box)
1/2 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger

Substitution Options:
Substitute 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, allspice and ginger



Directions

In mixing bowl, combine pancake mix with water or eggs/milk. Whisk. Then whisk in canned pumpkin and water. Finally, whisk in spices.



Pour batter in 1/3 cup portions onto griddle. Let cook until bubbles form. Flip and let cook another 1-2 minutes.




Now how simple is that?

Just another Fast and Furious Friday recipe so you can enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Feast for the Eyes...or Presentation is Everything!




We eat with our eyes first. It's true. Especially me, a visual person. I eat with my smeller next, it has to smell good, too, but first I must be drawn to the dish with my eyes before I ever try to sneak a smell and before I take the first bite.

The photo above is from a small wedding party I had in my home for my son and his wife. They were married out of state, and plan to have a reception later for everyone, however, we wanted to celebrate their marriage in a non-fancy way before-hand, so I made up my son's favorite dishes and added a few more simple things, but served them on all nice serving pieces and it became special.

I remember back in 1979, my Freshmen year of high school, Mrs. Pappas instructed us on the importance of contrasting colors and textures for our meals. She explained how no one wants to eat an "all-brown meal" (beef, brown gravy, brown rice, chocolate cake)or an all-smooth textured one (dumplings,mashed potatoes, applesauce, pudding).At this point in my life, these are no-brainers--I rarely have to stop and think about these lessons anymore- it is automatic while choosing my menu selection.

However, something I notice often, is how many very ordinary dishes, can look EXTRAordinary just by serving them from a not-so-ordinary dish!



This is just yogurt with fruit and granola, that was first served to me at a Bed and Breakfast as a first course. (I've never served mine any other way now!)

Simple dessert can be revved up much the same way.I often go to thrift stores to purchase interesting stemware to serve pudding, ice cream, etc. It makes such a difference!

My Pumpkin Mousse is much more appealing served this way, don'tcha think?




And here, I served simple fruits and marshmallows to be dipped from a chocolate fountain. I used pretty vintage glass dishes (from an antique shop)to serve them and it took on a more elegant look, although there is really nothing fancy about this at all!


Simple pretzel rods dipped in almond bark and rolled in colored sprinkles, served on nice glass apothecary jars, even looked fancy.





Or simple veggies can look much more appetizing served in a bright contrasting colored dish ( or bright veggies served in a contrasting colored dish).

Do me a favor...DON'T serve the dish you bring to the Thanksgiving table in your plastic Tupperware (great products, just not for the serving table)or old chipped, faded dishes. Make your guests feel special just by putting some thought into the serving pieces.

You don't have to spend a lot of money. Thrift stores, yard sales and Dollar stores are FILLED with great finds.

IF you don't have time to scour the deals, and prefer to shop online, I happen to be a consultant for BLESSINGS UNLIMITED- a FABULOUS line of entertaining products, home decor, etc. all with inspirational messages or scriptures adorning them.

These are a few of my favorite pieces:

The dishes are GORGEOUS! Such beautiful detail...






This stand will hold various cookies I am making for Thanksgiving. I will use it again at Christmas- probably decorating the top. It will also hold plates and bowls full of your favorite recipes! And what an eye-catcher!









*I keep this on my island in the kitchen. SOmedays it serves as a large grocery list or to-do list, but most days, I write inspirational messages on it to remind me of the really important things!


And of course, every good cook, needs a good apron.



The best thing is you can order them securely online, and they will be shipped directly to your home and you will receive them QUICKLY-normally, just a few days- NO HASSLE! While you're shopping the online catalog, you may also find some Christmas gifts for others on your list.

The products are TOP QUALITY and really must be seen to be truly appreciated. I receive so many compliments on mine- and my sales increase each time I use them to serve some of these delicious recipes from them. :)

Click on my website SHOP ONLINE to view the products and have them delivered directly to your door!