Well, it's official- we're entering the Holiday season and fast-approaching Thanksgiving. Normally I wind up making a HUGE shopping trip right before T-Day and spending a painful amount of money on that one, big meal.
Not this year.
Remember a few weeks ago when I sounded like a nutcase already planning for the big day?
Well a new tablecloth and napkins are here and ready to go. I have craft supplies for my daughter to make placemats. But most importantly?
I have everything but 5 things from my giant list ready to go- and those are perishables that will have to wait until the last minute. Rather than another hugely expensive (the kind that makes your heart seize in your chest as they're ringing up item after item...) shopping trip, I spread things out a bit. I made up my menu well in advance and made a list of every item I will need. For almost a month now, every time I've made a trip to the store I've picked up an item or two from the list.
Did this really save me any money? No, but it saved me from stressing over that giant trip and the heart attack it brings.
:-) I'm pretty excited about this whole thing! I've been so excited about the holidays this year, way more than usual. My husband pointed something out to me...
I'm excited because this is the first year when we will all be together. Every second of every holiday. The first year of many.
I've dealt with something many of you have, I'm sure- a child who splits holidays with ex-inlaws and myself. It hurts. It's just plain painful to be away from your kids, especially when you don't know that they are in a safe situation. It makes for a bittersweet season.
This year? Every year after this one? She will be with her father, brother, and me.
Her new father. Her real father. The man who has been the only stable, kind, loving example of a Godly man she has been around since she was two. Why?
Because my amazing, wonderful husband legally adopted my daughter this year!!!
That, ladies and gentlemen, is reason to celebrate. Which is exactly what I plan on doing this holiday season!
So yep, I'm going to go all out! I'm going to embrace everything about the holidays- and cook up a storm too :-)
I wrote about this once before, but one easy way to make a tasty impression on Thanksgiving this year are these Praline Pumpkin Mousse Cornucopias.
Just the name sounds a little intimidating, I know...but if I can make these anyone can. Honestly.
I was challenged to make them, along with my fellow Allstars, around this time last year as part of a partnership with Campbell's Kitchen. They use pre-made puff pastry, instant pudding mix, a jar of caramel topping...there's very little "cooking" that goes into them.
Yet they're amazing- and impressive- little things.
6 sugar ice cream cones
Vegetable cooking spray
1/2 (17.3 ounce) packagePepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 (3.4 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup caramel topping, warmed
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Wrap each cone tightly in aluminum foil, covering it completely and tucking any excess foil into the cone cavity. Spray the foil cones with the cooking spray.
3. Sprinkle the flour on the work surface. Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Cut the pastry sheet along the fold marks to form 3 rectangles. Cut each rectangle lengthwise into 4 strips, making 12 strips in all.
4. Press the ends of 2 pastry strips together. Starting at the pointed end of the cone, wind the pastry strip around 1 cone, slightly overlapping edges of pastry (strip will not reach the bottom of the cone). Spray the pastry cone with the cooking spray and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. Place the pastry cone on its side, with the end of the strip facing down, onto a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pastry strips.
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Let the pastries cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack. Carefully remove the foil cones from the baked pastry.
6. Beat the milk, pudding mix, pumpkin and cinnamon in a medium bowl with a whisk until the mixture is thickened.
7. Beat the heavy cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture. Spoon or pipe the mixture into the pastry cones.
8. Stir the caramel topping and pecans in a small bowl. Place the pastries onto serving plates and drizzle with the caramel mixture.
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