Template

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Cranberry-Turkey Pinwheels and Too Many Leftovers

The day after Thanksgiving my husband left to go visit family for a few days.

Do you know what that means?
He left me with boatloads of Thanksgiving leftovers.

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where the menu simply must stay fairly set.
I mean sure, you can add or subtract a dish here or there.

But we have to have turkey (rather, my daughter requires turkey).
We have to have cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, corn, Mac and cheese, deviled eggs, sausage balls, pumpkin pie, and other things I'm sure I'm forgetting.

Oh, also my son- who generally just doesn't eat most of what we eat- got very excited about "Thanksgiving pizza!" this year.
Read: I made a bunch of food, placed tiny bites of it on a plate for him, and then served him a single-serving Digiorno.

He was incredibly pleased with his meal.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Sausage Balls and the Perfect Recipe

I was 22 when I ate my first sausage ball.

That's right- I spent over two decades of my life completely oblivious to these fantastic little balls of goodness that have been ever-present at every southern get-together I have attended in the intervening years.
That's 22 years of my life I'll just never recover.
Ugh.  That's a hard fact to swallow.

The first time I lived anywhere outside of California I was stationed in Mississippi- which was an eye-opening experience for sure.
I'll lead with the fact that Mississippi is lush and green and beautiful.
I'll close with the fact that Mississippi has the biggest bugs I've ever encountered and more means of preparing catfish than I'd ever considered.

(FYI- I despise catfish.)

So anyway, first I spent four years in Mississippi, then I moved to Tennessee.
There simply isn't a gathering or holiday that doesn't include the ubiquitous sausage ball.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

In Which the Grinch Makes Delicious Caramel Apple Butter

I've been a bit of a grouch this week- just ask my family.
I'm just tired.

It feels like I'm being pulled in a million directions lately.
School (Which I love- just not the math part).

My family (my everything- but that's a job unto itself).

The house (which needs to be cleaned).

The car (that has been at the  dealership for a month now).

The bills.  The errands.  The laundry.  The yard.
The being a good everything to everyone.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Dulce de Leche Bars and the Holiday Season

Is it just my family that's really excited about the holiday season this year?

Normally I roll my eyes when I see the Thanksgiving and Christmas things hitting the shelves the day after Halloween but I can honestly say that this year I didn't have that reaction.

I don't know what it is, but there's something about this year that has everyone under our roof ready.
While we've held off getting out the tree and lights, it's something we're all looking forward to with a great deal of anticipation.  My daughter and I have been listening to Christmas music every morning on the way to school for at least a week now and we've already made it through several Christmas movies.

Not White Christmas, though- that one must be saved for right after we finish decorating the tree and enjoyed with gingersnaps.

It's kind of our thing.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Flavorful Stew and Changed Minds

I used to hate sweet potatoes.

No, hate isn't quite the right word.
I despised them.  Loathed them.
No candied yams at Thanksgiving, no sweet potato fries- none of that for me, thank you.
I was resolute in my stance that they were one of the world's most disgusting vegetables.

Then I found myself the mother of a picky eater.

My son is incredibly limited in the foods that he will eat, and, while I will spare you the details, trying to convince him to branch out was a traumatizing experience for all involved.
Yay for sensory issues!

Anyway, it became evident early on that if I was going to get that child to eat anything with any redeeming nutritional value at all I was going to have to sneak it into him- a task that is far easier said than done.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Meat, Cheese, and Impressive Appetizers

Things I should be doing right now:
Writing a research paper.  Studying for my Spanish midterm.  Reviewing for my math class.  Reading next week's economics materials.  Cleaning my kitchen.  Doing laundry.  Vacuuming.

Things I am currently doing:
Sitting on the couch in my pajamas actively avoiding any of those things.

I know that means I have more work waiting for me tomorrow...but in this exact moment I'm ok with that.  I may feel differently in the morning!

I needed a break this weekend, and I took one.
Actually, I cooked.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cuban Sandwiches, Finger Foods, and Much Needed Breaks

Once upon a time, long before I went back to school and found myself with zero free time, I made Cuban sandwiches.

If you look at pretty much anything I wrote here before returning to school, you'll notice that I generally went all out.  I did it all from scratch- I tend to be a bit of an overachiever.

I made Cuban bread for goodness' sakes.
The pork?  I marinated that in a citrus marinade and it was fabulous, just fabulous.

Do you know what I don't have time for these days?
Any of that.
Just...no.
I have a freezer full of convenience foods and am now well versed in which brand and variety of frozen lasagna my family prefers.

Part of me hates that.
The other part?
Well...she's pretty darn proud of me, to be honest.
My family is fed and happy- that's what matters.