Sunday, December 8, 2013

Giving Thanks

This year for Thanksgiving we literally didn't have a set plan until the Monday before.  For months it was, we're going to Crystal River to Chris's grandmother like last year.  However, things changed and we decided to stay in Tallahassee.  We kinda didn't want to drive so we told Chris's sisters and mom that we're staying in town.  Chris's mom decided to stay too so she came over.  We decided to also invite over the Bell family. 

Monday I called Alisha and we planned what each of us were going to bring and make.  Neither of us had ever made a turkey so Chris and I thought we'd try this guy off Tharpe (Smoklin' Los; that little smoker trailer a little ways after Old Bainbridge) because Chris's mom usually would get a fried turkey from him.  Well, Chris called and they stopped taking orders on Saturday... dang it.  Well, Chris and felt confident we could do it (most of that confidence came from pinterest and reading different recipes).

Wednesday night came and Chris was the soul chef for the turkey.  He prepped it and we opted for the low and slow method.

We used two different recipes.  We used one recipe for all the things stuffed in the bird (which was a pear, a apple, onion, and rosemary.  We added a few baby carrots around the outside) and then one recipe for the cooking time. 

The MAIN thing I was not looking forward to was the giblets.  YUCK!  Thankfully they put them in a bag.  So Chris is trying to get all the giblets out and he pulled on the neck but then he could not for the life of him find the bag.  Seriously!  Had no idea where it was.  So he just didn't worry about it and continued to prep.

Thursday morning I went and ran the Turkey Trot with the fabulous Maggie Anderson while Chris went and played football.  Chris's mom came over early just to watch the turkey and make sure the house didn't burn down while it cooked.  The turkey finished while she was there so at least we had a finished turkey. 

Also in the morning I set the table.  Check it out, it's a little different from two years ago.

I even made little name tags for the four Bell children.  The kid's table was set right before dinner so unfortunately no picture, but they got to sit at our coffee table in the kitchen on pillows.  They were so excited that they barely ate anything but liked sitting on the pillows.

During the cooking I totally realized that this Thanksgiving was TOTALLY non-southern.  For reals, there was no collard greens, no mac & cheese, no chicken and rice.  I started to feel bad because those are things Chris really likes.  I then remember, "Oh yea, Alisha and I planned it all and we're not southern so of course we're going to revert back to what we had in our childhood."  Oh well, everything was still SOOO yummy.

I made mashed potatoes, cornbread muffins, green beans, gravy and this ABSOLUTELY delicious pumpkin trifle.  Alisha made this fabulous sweet potato casserole, rolls (actually made by Chance), stuffing, jello salad and three kinds of pies; pumpkin, rassleberry and pecan.  We ate and ate and ATE!  Then we took a little break and then ate dessert.  I had a little of all the desserts, so worth it!  Here's a picture of the finished bird!

It was so moist and really good.  Chris did a wonderful job.  For his first time making a turkey I was quite impressed.  Soooo.... guess what Chris found while carving the turkey?  Oh yeah, that pesky bag of giblets.  Chris's mom was like "oh yeah it's usually in the head region."  Crap.  Oh well, it was in plastic and I think they know this happens a lot so the bag must somehow be okay to cook and then eat the turkey.

 I think the Bells really enjoyed themselves as much as we did.  The kids LOVED playing the Wii.  It was so fun watching them.  We played a few games and watched The Rescuers Downunder.  We had some good Hudson snuggle time and like I said, ate A LOT and yet still had lots of left overs.

All in all a great Thanksgiving.  I'm happy we decided to stay here; it was so fun spending the day with Chris's mom and the Bell family.  I have a feeling next year is going to be just as exciting!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dessert and Sewing!

Chris and I don't go out very often.  I really don't know why but I think it's because by the time the end of the week comes, on Friday we just want to chill at home.  Now you say... ummm... well what about Saturdays.  Well, Saturdays from the end of August to December are dedicated to college football.  So, therefore, no date night than either.  (FYI in terms of watching football it goes both ways, we both love our football.)

On Friday, November 15th we decided we needed to do a little something.  It was sorta a celebration.  Chris just recently was promoted at The Florida Bar.  He is a program coordinator for the center of professionalism and he's loving it!  This promotion and new job is a wonderful and huge blessing that we have been praying and fasting for pretty much this entire year.  We feel so blessed!  Chris is doing something along the lines of hospitality and really enjoying it.

Anyway, back to November 15th.  So November 12th was his first day of work and as a little celebration I told him I was going to surprise him with a yummy dessert date.  We arrived home after work and had homemade pizza and then headed out.  I took him to Food Glorious Food.  After going there on a girl's night out for dessert I had been thinking about the hummingbird cake ever since then.  Chris was surprised and really liked it and his first time going to FGF.  I wanted to choose somewhere that wasn't froyo, because, let's be real, we're always going for froyo so it was between going to FGF and Cypress.  Since Chris had never been to FGF I decided on that, plus they have WAY more options.

It was a fabulous night and it was nice to get out with one another.  It is important to still date each other even once you're married.  It's just tough when your couch and pjs look so comfy!

 Chris had red velvet cake, one of his favorites.
 I HAD to have the hummingbird cake again.  It was just a delicious as the first time.

The day following this date, Saturday, was pretty much one of the best Saturdays ever.  We did nothing.  Well, Chris did a ton of laundry for us and I started on this sewing project.

Our good friend Andrea (Candrian) Reeve is having a baby girl any day now.  I made a baby blanket, three burp cloths and a bib.  I LOVE the bird fabric for the blanket.  The package went out over a week ago so hopefully she got it, so this post won't be a spoiler.  They're not the greatest looking things, I really tried.  I was proud of myself because I free hand drew the three birds embroidery.  I really hope she likes them, like I said, not the best looking but I think the fabric is cute at least.