Friday, November 25, 2011

{HOLIDAY} Thanksgiving 2011

My parents came to town for Thanksgiving this year. What a treat! My sister hosted and it was one of the tastiest Thanksgivings ever! And quite low key being just 9 of us and a baby. We started the morning off with a walk/bike ride in the canyon. Then the girls got cookin and the boys played football. Perfect. The table setting was really simple: fabric for the table runner, mini pumpkins painted gold, turkey place card holders, gold chargers, cloth napkins, and gold votives. We spent dinner saying things that we were grateful for. The kids got creative "China" "Braces" "Justin Bieber". But really, the things to be grateful for are endless.
How was your Thanksgiving?

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Monday, November 21, 2011

{HOLIDAY} Thanksgiving : The Table

I found these pictures from a Thanksgiving at my parents house in Seattle from 2009. I love going home for Thanksgiving. I've always loved being part of the process the shopping, menu planning, cooking, table setting. And my mom is a great teacher too!
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I loved these cookies my mom made that year to use as the place cards. The back was dipped in chocolate and then white frosting added detail. The 2 cookies sat in a tiny dish of chocolate covered sunflower seeds.
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Need a centerpiece? How about a collection of real fruit. Pretty colorful pears.
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Looking forward to decorating this years table!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

{RECIPE} Thanksgiving Pies

Pie is arguably the best part of Thanksgiving. My mom likes to try new recipes but there have been a few stand out favorites. A couple of my sisters and I each help with a pie and maybe compete for prettiest and tastiest pie.PieTime2

Thanksgiving circa 2009

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Thanksgiving circa 2008

Our favorite Chocolate Cream Pie - recipe here

And here is a recipe for Gingerbread Pumpkin Pie The ginger crumble on top is to die for!
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What is your favorite pie for Thanksgiving? Or do you prefer a different dessert? I tend to take a small slice of each cause I just can't decide which I want more of.

{BIRTHDAY} Guest Post by Annie: Quinn's Golden Birthday

My sister Annie is a mother of 4 and a master of hosting parties and group events. She's an amazing cook and goes above and beyond in everything she does. It puts the rest of us sisters to shame. Her youngest daughter Quinn turned 3 this month and she put on a darling Golden birthday. Thanks for sharing Annie!

The Golden Birthday.
This birthday happens only once in a person's life. It is a GOLDEN birthday when the day of your birthday matches your age.

Our daughter turned 3 on November 3rd so it was pretty easy to come up with a theme this year. We went for all gold. I know she didn't really understand at all but she was thrilled with all the attention and love.
The invitation was created by my sister Egan:
The party was a really simple, little evening affair. Friends stopped by for dessert and a swing at the pinata.
Decorations: Gold balloons and a giant gold #3 balloon. I also made some gold and white tissue paper pom poms. I sewed a felt garland out of variations of gold and yellow felt. The childrens book Goldilicious is a favorite and served as a great centerpiece.

The Favors: Gold and sparkly star wands. I bought the wands at Hobby Lobby for $1.50 and spray painted them with gold metallic spray paint. Then tied a gold tulle ribbon around it. Gold necklaces - cheap mardi gras type necklaces (8 for $2 at the local craft store Roberts). Gold Crowns that were found at Zurchers.
The Food: I wanted a gold dessert and my kids aren't the biggest cake fans. Although I learned that they really want a cake they just don't really want to eat it. Go figure. But all the adults seemed to love the dessert.

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Frosting Whoopie Pies from the authors of Baked.

Chocolate Marshmellow Whoopie Pies from Annie's Eats.

Ice cream cones with Carmel Ice Cream




Party Game: A large #3 pinata. We made the pinata out of cardboard and tissue paper and filled it with gold chocolate coins and other gold wrapped candies. The kids loved it!


A perfect birthday for a 3 year old!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

{RECIPE} Apple Galette


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Oh, you're looking for a really easy apple dessert? I've got one! Apple Galette from 3191 Miles Apart. And it's a breeze to make.

Monday, November 14, 2011

{HOLIDAY} Thanksgiving: Dress yourself and your table

I'll be at my sisters house for Thanksgiving this year. We've been menu planning and trying to search for some new ideas for the table. Turns out shopping for clothes is inspiring a look for a Thanksgiving table.
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

{RECIPE} Easy Pumpkin Bars


This is a traditional Recipe--good old-fashioned goodness.

For best results use home-baked pumpkin puree rather than canned.

Easy Pumpkin Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour (I did 1 cup white, 1 cup whole wheat)

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 2/3 cup sugar

2 cups (or 1 15 oz. can) pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup cooking oil (or applesauce)

3/4 cups chopped pecans -- optional

1 recipe cream cheese frosting (see below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat together sugar, pumpkin, eggs, and oil with an electric mixer on medium spped. Beat in the flour mixture until well mixed. If desired stir in pecans.

Spread batter in an ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick isnserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Prepare cream cheese frosting. Spread over top of cooled bars. Cut into bars. Store in refridgerator. Makes 24 bars.

Cream Cheese Frosting: in a large mixing bowl combine two 3-ounce packages cream cheese, softened; 1/2 cup butter, softened; and 2 tsp. vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medum speed until fluffy. Gradually add 4 cups sifted powdered sugar, beating until smooth.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

{HOLIDAY} Halloween Mystery Dinner 2011 Part 2

Here is the final post in my Halloween Mystery Dinner series. I helped my sister Jen put together this dinner for her family the Sunday before Halloween. Last year my niece Brooklyn thought it was too scary so we tamed it town and didn't go for the scary feel.


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A menu was on each plate and the kids took turn ordering. I found the printable for the front cover here.
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Spider Fish Tacos. Idea from here.
Bat Fruit Skewers. Idea from this darling party.
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Boston "Scream" Pie. Wasn't as delicious as hoped.
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After dinner the kids opened their surprise balls!

photos: Dave

Thursday, November 3, 2011

{HOLIDAY} Halloween Deadly Dinner Part 3

Here are Shauna's detail shots of our Halloween Dinner party.



The Menu:
Ham and Mozzarella Panini Sandwiches
2 Soup Options:
Butternut Squash
Tomato Bisque
Apple Walnut Salad
Roasted Vegetables

Cinnamon Rolls
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie

We paired everyone off at the beginning of the party. You sat next to your 'coffin companion' and Cami handed out a Halloween trivia mid dinner to work on together. The winning couple got Skull Candy headphones as a prize.

The favors were incredible. Shauna is a master and made candied apples for each guest.


(all photos by Shauna)