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Thanksgiving – The Aftermath

24 Nov

In this post I’d love to share some of the recipes that WORKED for our Thanksgiving dinner.  Maybe you can add them to your arsenal next year.  If I made any adjustments, I’ll note them with the link.

For the turkey:

BRINE PEOPLE, BRINE!!!!!! I’ve been doing it since it became trendy about 4 years ago.  I also follow Alton Brown’s cooking instructions in this video.  NOTE: the leave-in thermometer that reads temp as the cooking process continues, it’s a must.  Go out and buy one yesterday! It’s the BOMB DIGGITY! (yes, I just said that.) Here’s one similar, although mine doesn’t talk.

For the cranberry sauce:

Alex Guarnalththuthggh (still not sure how to pronounce her last name)

I quadrupled the recipe, we like our cranberries around here.  I left out one cinnamon stick because I like my sauce with a little bit of tang, to contrast the savory taste of cornbread stuffing.

Pumpkin Pie:

Took this to the fire station my husband works at and the fire fighters LOVED it! Normally, I’d be inclined to think that a group of men would eat anything you’d put in front of them, but fire fighters are different: they can cook.  Except my husband, who’s been banned for life from the kitchen. Anyway, the mascarpone cheese makes all the difference in the world.

Cauliflower Gratin

Ina Garten or The Barefoot Contessa, is my “Michael Jordan” of cooking.  Her recipes deliver, every time, no exceptions.  She’s my hero. I want her life. I want that AHMAZZZZZZing house/barn/kitchen thing she has just for cooking and entertaining.  And that herb garden, and all those amazing friends that show up randomly to decorate, speak french, and shower her with compliments. 

Not that I EVER give up my two kiddos:

that are sometimes booger covered and chant “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy…” relentlessly, or my home that needs walls knocked down and pastel wall paper torn off….

The other things that worked are family recipes, which have no measurements and would frustrate me trying to write them down and you trying to interpret my “pinch of this” and “handful of that” instructions.

Now here’s where we get to my weakness: leftovers.  This morning we made a Quiche (aka “egg pie” – we isn’t too fancy ’round here). But that’s all I got, folks.  Any suggestions?  I’m dying to make something new and exciting out of my leftovers!  Hit me up with a link or two if you have some favorites!

Now, we are off to pick up our Christmas TREE!!!! YAY!!!


Destin, FL

7 Aug

We decided to spend the week in Destin, since Husband was up here working. Summer is the tourist season for Destin, and people from all the Southern states come here to vacation. So it is crowded. VERY VERY crowded. Like wait in line for 3 hours no matter where you want to eat crowded. Like travel time for 3 miles is 45 minutes crowded. VERY VERY crowded.

After the initial shock of the mass mania here, I decided to suck it up and enjoy our time together. (Sometimes, I get into funks.) So we went to a couple of restaurants and on a couple of outings that we really enjoyed. Here was our itinerary and my ratings.

Monday: Dinner at the Back Porch. Yuck. (1 out of 5 stars) Mass pandemonium, I almost felt like the food was being thrown at us because the server was so busy. Here’s the catch, the view is great. So I recommend going there for drinks only and hanging out under the umbrellas right on the beach. Kids are running around like maniacs there, so don’t let your kids keep you from going. In fact, pack some beach toys and let them dig in the sand while you drink.

Tues:Breakfast at hotel. Lunch at Chick-fil-A. Dinner at Maguire’s Irish pub. The food was good! (3.75 out of 5 stars) I had a steak and Husband ordered the Shepard’s pie. Both entrees were delicious and had huge portions, so we took a lot home for lunch the next day. I didn’t get a chance to order the iced coffee for dessert but I read an article that reported it was delicious. If you go, order one for me and let me know how it tasted! (I must report that it was very very crowded. But I had already adjusted my attitude and so it didn’t make me moody.) This restaurant is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!! So despite the fact that the line was out the door and we had to start WW3 for a parking spot, we only waited for 30 mins for a table. The kids were entertained by all the stuff on the walls i.e moose heads, a million dollars in dollar bills (yep, $1 bills) and the penny squisher machine.

Weds. Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch was leftovers from MacGuire’s. Dinner at Old Bay Steamer. Dinner was YUMMY. (4.25 out of 5 stars) I highly recommend this place if you’re a shellfish lover like me. We ordered the basic steamer which was a giant stainless steel bowl of steamed shrimp and snow crab legs. It came with a simple garden salad which was made with romaine lettuce and yummy carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes. The house salad dressing was delish too. Our main dish came out piping hot and well seasoned, I was in heaven. Snow crab legs are one of my all time favorite things to eat, so please don’t think I am raving about these lightly. But they were the third best I have ever eaten in my life. (first, a little place in Orange Park, FL and second in Seattle, WA.)

Thurs. Breakfast from the Donut Hole bakery. We ordered plain glazed donuts and I ordered a banana nut muffin, but when I opened the bag, there was a carrot something muffin in there, which I ate. I am not picky. At all. I will eat anything except for five particular items. I’ll blog about later, just to keep you reading. So anyway, the donuts and muffin were okay (3 out of 5 stars). I really wanted to try the key-lime filled donut but they’re the first to sell out. Skipped Lunch. Dinner at Marina Cafe. Food was pretty good but I might have enjoyed myself more had my children not been causing a ruckus the ENTIRE time. We went there on a friend’s recommendation, and let me warn you, DO NOT TAKE YOUR YOUNG CHILDREN there. The view was nice, the decor was fancy, and the food I couldn’t taste because I was so aggrevated at my kids. Husband however, got the grouper and loved it.


Gulfarium: worth it. mostly shaded so don’t let the heat keep you away. Think mini- Sea World but friendlier staff!

Destin Commons Mall and Outdoor fountains: worth it

Outlet Mall: worth it Tip: military discount at the Kids Stride Rite store

Destin Beaches: WORTH IT! Sand and water were beautiful!!! Be prepared with cash to rent an umbrella and chairs though, we had a hard time finding a beach that didn’t require you to rent a spot. I’m sure with a little research, they’re easily found.

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