Sunday, November 22, 2015

The weekend before Turkey Day!

Two Things I am Grateful For:

1) Weekends!  So nice to spend some time with the family.

2) The weather!  It's been so nice out lately.  Love that!

From the Camera:

ASU won today!  52 to 37.  They beat U of A!  Go Devils!
ASU Sun Devil Nation Flag
From the Craft Room:

From the Heart & Spirit:
Ezra Taft Benson - Beware of Pride
From the Kitchen:

3 small apples, peeled, cored and sliced
(Granny Smith, if possible)
21/2 cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (625 mL)
1 tsp baking powder (5 mL)
1 tsp baking soda (5 mL)
1 tsp cinnamon (5 mL)
1/4 tsp salt (1 mL)
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened (150 mL)
3 eggs
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia) to equal 1 cup (250 mL)
1/2 cup whipping cream (125 mL)
1/3 cup granulated erythritol (75 mL)
11/2 tsp unflavored gelatin (7 mL)
Pecan Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 (60 mL)
4 tsp powdered erythritol (20 mL)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (2 mL)
2 tbsp butter, melted (30 mL)
Liquid sweetener (sucralose or stevia), to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Place apples in casserole dish with a little water and microwave 1 to 2 minutes to soften. Grease a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) glass baking dish. In large bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; stir together well.
In food processor or mixer bowl, process butter. Add eggs, liquid sweetener, whipping cream, erythritol and gelatin. Process a couple of minutes. Add dry ingredients; process. Spread batter evenly in prepared baking dish. Push apple slices into batter (batter does not need to cover apples). Sprinkle with Pecan Crumb Topping. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean, and surface is golden brown. Serve with Creme Fraiche or sweetened whipped cream. I like this coffee cake at room temperature or slightly warm, but my husband preferred it chilled.
Pecan Crumb Topping: In small bowl, combine pecans, Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, erythritol and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter and liquid sweetener, if using.
Yield: 24 servings

From the Schmidt's:

We spent the day yesterday just hanging out.  We watched the ASU game and then made enchiladas for dinner.  After dinner we played a few board games.  This time we ending the night with Wits and Wagers.  It was fun.  I lost every time, but it was fun none the less.  

Kevin had a rough night last night and I woke up around 3 a.m. coughing my head off.  After a few puffs of the inhaler I was back to sleep, but I woke up coughing again this morning.  My asthma always flares up in the winter.  I hate when that happens.  Kevin said he had a few issues, things we won't talk about.  So, we both stayed home from church today.  Kyle made it to church today though.  That's a good thing.

Danielle text me this morning to tell me she started temple prep classes today. Her Bishop wants her in the temple in about a month and a half.  That's fast! But, we are excited!  Another one of my children going to the temple.  One more to go.  Lexi is a little young yet.  Soon though.

Lexi does need to make an appointment with the Bishop to get her Patriarchal blessing.  She has been wanting to do that now for a few months but hasn't done it yet.  I think she is a little afraid the blessing will confirm her fears instead of help her to understand how loved she truly is.  I know how she feels.  To be honest, I never felt that my blessing was really meant for me.  I've always felt it was too generic and not about me specifically until just a few years ago. It's taken many many years to get over those feelings.  I still struggle with that once in a while and that is why I have never shared this with Lexi.  I want her to get her blessing and cherish it.  I think my issue stems from my old Junior High Principal was my Patriarch at the time.  I never felt comfortable around him.  I always felt like he could look through me to see if I was lying or something.  My blessing talked about serving a full time mission.  I got married instead.  Now I don't think a mission is possible for many reasons.  That piece has been the hardest piece for me to get through sometimes.  

Let's talk about something else.  Are you ready for turkey day? I'm not cooking a big turkey dinner on Thanksgiving this year.  We will have our big turkey dinner on the weekend, I think...or something like that.  We are doing the family get together thing this year.  So, I am making my stuffing and that's it until our big dinner.  

Let's do a little Thanksgiving 20

1) Do you cook all or part of the meal? I cook every bit of the meal! I grew up in a home where everything was cooked from scratch and that is the way we like it in my home. Nothing tastes quite as good as homemade, I think, and Thanksgiving is NOT a meal we ever cut corners on.  EVER!

2) How much do you spend buying groceries for the meal? I would say the entire meal probably costs about $200. I find it's easier on the budget if you pick things up a little here and a little there. Plus then I can plan my grocery list around the sales if I start early.   As I said before, I usually make the meal here at the house even if we go somewhere else....  I usually like to pick up one or two turkeys to have in the freezer.  Things have just been a little crazy at our home this year and Thanksgiving is coming up quicker that I am ready for.  This year we are doing the extended family get together with Kevin's side of the family.  I'm hoping that goes well.  I always feel like the red headed step child at those things. 
 I don't think that the extended family intends for us to feel this way.  It just happens, and I know that is my issue.  I'm working on that. 

3) Do you eat at home or go to someone else’s? It seems like each year is a little different. When Kevin and I first got married we never had Thanksgiving in our home. We would switch off each year. One year we went to his parents then the next we would go to my parents. As the years have gone by, that has changed.  Now a days we usually spend Thanksgiving at our house with the kids.  This year we may venture out.

4) White meat or dark?  WHITE all the way!  We really are not dark meat people.

5)  Stuffing with giblets or without?  I prefer it without. My Mom has always made hers with, but I don't.  I can barely remove the package from the bird before we cook it without losing it.  I make Kevin or one of the boys pull that and the tongue out for me. I just cannot handle it.  So giblets are out!!  

6)Anything you won’t eat at the Thanksgiving meal?  Probably peas and onion pearls.  I have never liked peas and probably never will eat those.  AND sweet potatoes or candied yams.  Just not my kind of thing.  My family doesn't like them either.  We usually make sauteed fresh green beans with slivered almonds and red bell peppers and corn too.  

7)Carve Mr. Gobble at the table or serve on a platter?  I love the idea of carving the bird at the table, but realistically, we usually carve it before the meal and present the platter.  It's just easier that way with the electric knife.

8) Favorite pie?  I love Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream this time of year.  But we usually have all the others in the home too.  Apple, Chocolate, Lemon Meringue,  Banana Cream, Pecan, Cherry.  

9) Formal table or Chinet?  I love a formal table!  Even though I don't have a lot of china, I just think Thanksgiving deserves all the special dishes, and I love everyone sitting at the same table, if you can.  Only because I think it becomes more personal for everyone involved.  That way everyone that comes feels a part of the group and hopefully no one feels left out.  I know after a while our family will grow and it may be too hard to be at one table.  BUT, my goal is to try.  I don't like everyone in different rooms all spread out.   

10) Your menu:
Homemade Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Rolls with Butter
Sausage Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole or Sauteed Green Beans, Peppers, Bacon and Almonds
Cranberry Sauce
Some kind of fruit salad usually of the jello type
Cranberry Nut Bread
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Chocolate Pie
Banana Cream Pie
Iced Christmas cookies
A complete veggie tray with dip  (celery,carrots, radishes, green peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, and anything else we come up with)
An olive and (green and black)/pickle (dill, sweet, and spicy) tray
I think a fruit tray would be a good idea too.
deviled eggs
Crackers and Cheese
Ham once in a while for those that do not like turkey
Baked macaroni and cheese 
AND whatever else we feel like trying out.

11) Favorite leftover?  I love leftover turkey.  We always try to make the entire meal here at our home no matter if we actually eat at the house or leave and go somewhere else.  Just because there is nothing like Thanksgiving leftovers.  Turkey sandwiches are great for lunches!  
12)  Extended family, friends, both or just the immediate family for dinner?  I say invite everyone!  The more the merrier!  When you can. 

13) After dinner, do you go to the latest movie or watch football on TV or just a turkey induced snooze?   Football is a BIG part of our Thanksgiving Day.  The boys always go out early that morning to play in the annual Turkey Bowl with all the men and young men from our ward.  Then later in the day, there is usually a game on and if there isn't a game they want to watch, we try and watch a video.  I would LOVE to go to the movies, but I am usually worn out by the end of the day and have to work the next day.  I am a-okay with watching a new DVD here at the house.  That is always fun.  Board games have become a huge hit at our house, so we might play a game or two that night.

14) Do you watch the Macy’s Parade?  The girls and I always watch the parade.  My mother and I use to do this when I was little and now my girls like to watch it too.

15) Christmas decorations up before or after?  Christmas decorations come up after Thanksgiving.  I don't like to rush through Thanksgiving ever!  I think we need to take the time to celebrate everything about Thanksgiving only because we need to remember the reason for this holiday and what the pioneers did for us and give thanks for all the blessings we have because of the sacrifices of those before us.  Besides, it's a NATIONAL Holiday.  A day we give thanks and think about how our country, the USA came to be a free country!  We are a very blessed nation and we need to never forget that and remember to show our gratitude.

16) Black Friday shopping or sleep in?  I have always worked outside of the home and have only experienced Black Friday shopping once when my friend Julie took me with her.  She was looking for things for her kids.  She found what she needed, but frankly, I prefer NOT to go out on Black Friday.  I would rather sleep in the Friday after Thanksgiving and spend time with my family.   

17) Any special Thanksgiving tradition?  Our only tradition has always been to eat dinner around 2:30pm and spend the rest of the day with our family, but usually when we have the extended family over or go to their house, dinner is always at 4pm.  

18) Favorite thing about Thanksgiving?  I love how everyone has an attitude of gratitude.  Everyone seems a little nicer or a little less negative this time of year.  It's awesome.  

19) Favorite Thanksgiving memory?  My favorite Thanksgiving memory has always been spending the day with my parents and grandparents.  I miss doing that.

20) Describe your perfect bite!  I love one of my first bites to be of mashed potatoes and gravy.  Not too much gravy...just a little.  The second bite, turkey, of course!

I hope your week is a good one.  If you are traveling to be with family, please travel safely.  If you are cooking for a big crowd, I hope everything turns out better than ever.  Whatever your plans are this week, I hope you take the time to reflect on your many blessings and enjoy the season.
Take care friends, and we will talk again soon.

From the Missionary:
Zone Conference Photos.  Can you pick out Elder Schmidt in these photos?

Quote of the Day:

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