Thanksgiving Roundup

Turkey is the standard fare for a Thanksgiving table, but whether you roast a bird or make something else the center of your meal, you’re going to need side dishes and desserts. Some people stick with the traditional dishes like mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. But if you’re looking for some new ideas, check out this roundup.

side collage

1. Thyme and Maple Roasted Acorn Squash

2. Pesto Parmesan Green Beans

3. Carrot Mash Bake

4. Cheesy Pesto Bread

5. Parmesan Tomatoes

6. Spinach Squares

7. Oven Roasted Okra

8. Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

9. Bacon & Spinach Mashed Potatoes

10. Butternut Squash Pasta Bake

11. Caprese Quinoa Bake

dessert collage

1. Mini Apple Tart Tatins

2. Pots au Chocolate de Creme

3. Caramel Praline Tart

4. Butternut Cake

5. Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies with Pie Spice Cream Cheese Frosting

6. Apple Butterscotch Cake

7. Carrot Cake Roulade

8. Vanilla Coconut Rice Pudding

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~ Giving Thanks ~

I recently saw a picture forwarded on the internet, and while many of you have most likely seen it, I wanted to share.

I don’t know about you, but I am glad someone has finally said it.

I love Christmas, don’t get me wrong. But the commercialism of it has grown into a bit of a monster. What ever happened to celebrating a true, organic holiday? I mean, there are so few of them left. By the time the new year has come around there is Valentine’s Day stuff in the stores, and that is barely even over before Easter garb is in the aisles. It’s ridiculous. Christmas trees, ornaments, and whatnot have been in stores since Halloween. Does no one ever consider Thanksgiving as a relevant holiday other than the day we all feast on turkey simply because there is no commercial angle to it?

Well, I for one look forward to Thanksgiving every year for many reasons, not the least of which is to celebrate the day for the very reason it is named. I am thankful.

On Facebook I have many friends who have been listing things and people they are thankful for; every day a new reason to be thankful. It is inspiring and meaningful, and I encourage all people to at least take a moment to make a mental list of all things worthy of thankfulness in their lives. From large to small, there is much to be thankful for. So here’s my top 10:

1. God ~ I haven’t personally known Him very long, only 11 years or so, but He has made all the difference in my life; in the way I feel about myself, the way I treat others and conduct my daily life, my decisions, and how I parent.

2. Hubby ~ I don’t always show him all the love and appreciation I truly feel, but I know that he was sent to me by God, and that together, they both saved my life.

3. Number One ~ Not to be cliché by listing my children separately, but from the time Brandon was born I knew that he was my soul mate. Now that he’s older, the titles of our connection have changed, but as a baby he filled a hole in my heart that no one else could. I use to kiss and snuggle all over him so much that I actually had to restrain myself from biting him. (Some of you will understand that statement, others won’t.)

4. Number Two ~ Good heavens this child tests me every day. And as short on patience and tolerance as I’ve always been, from him I have slowly (but admittedly not completely) learned both. He has taught me so many things and shown so much love and forgiveness. I absolutely adore him.

5. Family ~ Beyond my “boys” is the rest of my family, both on my side and my hubby’s. Relationships are not always ideal and they will always fluctuate, but in the end your family is always there for you. I am thankful for my parents, my in-laws, my sister and her sons, my sister-in-law and her family, and for extended family beyond that. You can never have too many friends and you certainly can never have too much family!

6. Griffy Jr. ~ I know that seems funny to say but I am absolutely in love with my dog. I truly wasn’t a dog person at all until I got him. I am thankful for him because he showed me that not all dogs are alike 🙂

7. Diana ~ I have many friends, but Diana gets her own mention. This beautiful woman has put up with me since we were 12. I have no idea why she loves me as much as I love her, but I am so very blessed to be able to call her my BFF. I hope she doesn’t freak at me for posting this picture.

8. Friends ~ I am thankful for friends in general. I have a handful of great friends, both male and female that have enriched my life. But I am also just thankful for the opportunity to make friends. Some friends are for life and others for only a short time, but either way God has a plan for that friendship and I always walk away having gained something. I only hope I do the same for others.

9. Community ~ My husband often says that one of the most important purposes in our lives is to build relationships. This is an illustration he uses in the church, but it definitely applies in all areas of human nature. Every once in a while I see our community pull together in extreme ways. It is an awesome thing to be a part of. I am thankful that I live in a country, and a community such as this, where freedom and love reign.

10. Freedom ~ I am thankful that I have freedom. I can live where I want to live, buy what I want to buy, say what I want to say, love who I want to love, worship whom and where I want, I can blog, I can travel, I have full function of my faculties, I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, a car to drive, food in my pantry, and people to share my life with.

God is good!  Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Now I know that tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, and not to be a contradiction, but I am starting my December blog series early. I am only doing this because I will not be able to post any blogs while I am on the cruise ship. So The December series will technically start on Friday. Once I am on the boat I will not post for a few days (Tues. – Sat.) But when I come back on Monday I will pick up right where we left off and no dates in December will have been missed.

I pray you all have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Lazy Holubsti & Pittihe

Thanksgiving is almost here!

My grandmother was 100% Ukrainian. We grew up eating some wonderful authentic dishes that have become mainstays in our holiday fare. Most years my mom includes at least one of our favorites, usually Holubsti (hole-lub-chi), which is a rice mixture rolled up in cabbage leaves.

Then there’s Pittihe (pit-a-hey), a dumpling filled with any of the following: cabbage, potato and cheese, or sauerkraut. I grew up on the potato and cheese, and it’s customary to fry chopped onion in butter and serve it on the side with some sour cream. Pittihe is actually Ukrainian slang, similar to us calling potatoes spuds. There are other names for this dish, such as Pierogi or Varenyky.

Both of these recipes are rather involved (especially the Pittihe) so we have nice, easy, lazy versions of them 🙂 And when you set your Ukrainian table, don’t forget the {turkey} polish keilbasa.

Lazy Holubsti

1 cup rice, cooked

4 T. butter, divided

1 med. onion, chopped

1 1/2 cup tomato sauce

3 cup shredded cabbage

salt & pepper to taste

~ Cook rice first with water and 1 T butter. Cook onion in 3 T. butter until tender. Add cabbage and cook until wilted. Mix in 1/2 cup tomato sauce and save the rest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange cabbage and rice in alternating layers in buttered baking dish. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top. Cover and bake for 45 minutes at 350*.

 

 

Lazy Dumplings

2 cups dry cottage cheese

1 T. melted butter

3 eggs, beaten

1 t. salt

3/4 cup flour

~ Press the cottage cheese through a sieve. Beat in the butter, eggs and salt. Mix in flour. Place dough on a well floured surface and shape into a cylinder about 2 inches in diameter. Slice into 1/2 inch slices. Cut the slices in half to make half-moon shapes. Bring water, seasoned with salt, to a boil. Simmer the dumplings until they float, about 5-6 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Dribble with butter to keep them from sticking. Serve with fried onions and sour cream.

Happy cooking and extra happy eating!