Saturday, December 24, 2011

Family Feuding Christmas!

Family feud. We all have them. We all waste our time and energy on them. No, I'm not talking about an actual feud with your family, although, this also applies. I'm talking about our smart phone games. My favorite smart phone game is Family Feud. On Thanksgiving, my sister and brother-in-law were playing this game non-stop. Since then, the first thing I do most mornings, is make my coffee and play Family Feud.  It's my little bit of fun every day.  The best part, I get to play with my family and friends through facebook!

I've always enjoyed the TV show Family Feud.  Check out a few of my favorite episode clips and tell me you didn't laugh out loud!

Ha ha!  Watch the whole video.  The best part is the end!

Here's another one that brought Steve Harvey to his knees! 

My mommy came to visit me and we are going to start making our Holiday Snowmen

after watching a Christmas Carol.  Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Raspberry Black Bean Dip and a few others.

In my last post, I told you about all the activities and cooking I've been doing lately.  I wanted to give you readers some more delicious recipes to try and to again remind you to BEWARE, some of these recipes are meant to be consumed in moderation.

Raspberry Black Bean Dip

A little background on this recipe.  In college, I worked at a restaurant called So Long Saloon.

This recipe is a crowd favorite.  My friends and fellow wait staff would consume this so frequently I'm sure we created a bean and raspberry shortage.  Enjoy!

1 can black beans- rinsed well
4 oz low-fat cream cheese
4 oz shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 c diced sweet onion
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 jar Broncos Chipotle Raspberry Sauce
Tortilla chips

1.  Melt butter in a small pan over medium heat.  Add onion, and saute until translucent.  Remove from heat.

2.  In a microwave-safe bowl combine cheeses, beans, onion and microwave 2-3 minutes.  Stir.  Add 1/2 amount of Raspberry Sauce and microwave 1 minute longer.

3.  Remove from microwave and add the rest of the raspberry sauce**.  Serve with tortilla chips.

** I like a lot of Raspberry sauce, so this dish is nice and sweet.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

 Peanut Clusters

6oz semi sweet chocolate chips
6oz white almond bark
approx. 42 oz roasted peanuts

1. Microwave the chocolate chips and almond bark together until soft and stir till smooth.

2. Stir in peanuts until covered.

3. Spoon a cluster onto wax paper and allow to cool.

The Peanut Butter Balls and the Peanut Clusters make easy and great Christmas gifts for neighbors and co-workers.  To make them extra special, put these goodies inside a cute little gift bag like this one...

Enjoy these budget friendly ideas for the Holiday season.

I did not forget

Wow!  I think this has been the longest I've got without blogging in months.  I've been super busy with moving, packing, visiting family and friends, baking, and deep cleaning.  Oh, did I mention I finally got accepted to Pinterest?  Yes, this is my new, all-time-consuming internet activity.  I am obsessed!  I have some really cute ideas that I can't wait to try out, and even some that I can add myself.

While I've been away from the blogging world, I've been able to visit family and get all of my Christmas shopping done.  I've also tried some great recipes.  BEWARE!  Some of these are NOT the healthiest, so eat in moderation.

Taste inspired straight from my "20-something" birthday date at Capital Grille...

Au Gratin Potatoes

4 Large baking potatoes
3 Cups Bechamel sauce (see following recipe)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Colby cheese

Bake potatoes in oven at 400 degrees until completely
cooked. Cool for 30 minutes at room temperature, then slice
into 1/2" thick rounds. Mix together the Bechamel sauce, salt
and white pepper. Add remaining ingredients.
Fold in potatoes. Place mixture in covered baking dish in a
300F oven for 1 hour, or until potatoes are hot all the way
through. Remove the cover and allow potatoes to brown.

Bechamel Sauce
1 quart half & half
2 ounces flour
2 ounces clarified butter
salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, combine the flour and butter. Cook over a
low flame, for about 15 minutes until the mixture begins
to bubble. Stir frequently so the roux does not color.
Gradually add the half & half, stirring out the lumps as
it thickens. After the entire amount of half & half has
been added, cook for 45 minutes over a low flame, stirring
occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking to the saucepan.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

We prepared these with some Roasted Veggies and Balsamic Sauce.  This recipe is so easy.  Just choose the veggies you want, like red peppers, carrots, green peppers, asparagus, onions, etc.  Roast these on a cookie sheet in the oven with a couple sprigs of rosemary until browned and soft to the touch.  Prepare a balsamic reduction by combining 1/4 c balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp brown sugar, and 2 TB olive oil.  Cook until thick syrup forms.  Drizzle and toss with hot vegetables.  Serve immediately. 

We cooked both of these recipes for our neighbors who always do so many nice things for us  To complete the meal, we served fillet mignon and a full-flavored Cabernet. 

Look for more recipes in the next few additions.  I've been a cooking and baking fool!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

First wedding anniversary

Today is our first year anniversary.  Did you know that a traditional first year anniversary gift is supposed to be paper?  I tried to stick to the theme, by giving Mr. J a cute postcard and a personal message and set it on top a new suitcase for him.  If you couldn't tell, we travel A LOT, and we are pretty hard on suitcases, so this was a very needed gift before our big move.

I think we are going to take it easy today, and maybe head out to celebrate tomorrow.  The weekend holiday shoppers will most likely not be out on a Monday, and we can have a fun date without all the stresses of doing it on the weekend.  It will also give me an extra day to work off those extra calories I consumed when baking my Christmas Cookie Cutouts and our OTB date. 

On the Border is my guilty pleasure.  I love this place.  And by this place, I mean their salsa, guac, and queso.  Usually, I get our food TO-GO and I head home to make Jade some taco meat and beans.  I'm just satisfied with the apps.  Has anyone watched the Biggest Loser when the experts tell the contestants that Mexican food is one of the worst things you can eat?  Especially when you consume at least 2 baskets of chips... Yeah, I've watched it too!  And, I'll be sweating it up today at the gym.  Sigh! 

I did substitute the traditional OTB chips for these babies.  Yum, they are so good, and are made from good-for-you ingredients. 

I buy mine at Costco, and would buy these babies by the pallet if they would let me.  The company, Food Should Taste Good, has come out with so many different flavors.  I can't wait to try them all out.

Happy Anniversary to me and the hubs!

Did you stick to the traditional wedding anniversary gifts?  What did you get/give for year one?

Christmas Cookie Cutouts

Last night, the Mr. and I decorated Christmas cookies.  I enjoy baking and decorating cookies, but I don't do it very often.  I especially love that the Mr. J likes to do it with me.  Can you tell which ones he decorated??

If you guessed the ones on the very right, you are correct... Yep, he made me a KSU woman, but he made sure she was sad, and her KU boyfriend was happy.  What a D-O-R-K!!

Here are some that I decorated.  

This recipe was really good and easy to make.  No chilling involved!  I made my own Icing, but didn't really measure out the ingredients.  I just added enough powdered sugar and water until I made the right consistency. 

For a little randomness in today's blog, check out my new hair do.

When my sister came for Thanksgiving, she had this cute little feather in her hair.  I've been wanting to try something different, but didn't want the permanency of hair dye.  What do you think?  

What do you readers do to your hair when you want to change it up?  

PS... A VERY Happy Birthday to my MIL, Vaunda and my BFF, Abby!!  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Everywhere I goooo!"  In my head, I sound just like Mariah Carey.  And I'm looking as cute as she does in this little Santa suit. 

Oh, a girl can dream huh?

I had lunch with my friend Ashley today, you can follow her blog here, and she got me into the Christmas spirit.  I finally started my Christmas shopping today.  I'm going to try to finish the rest on Saturday and online.  I wrapped all my gifts and put them under my tree today.  Doesn't it look cute?

Between Christmas, New Year's, my sister-in-law's wedding, and moving and packing up our house, I feel a little overwhelmed.  I'm trying to get at least 8 hours of sleep and exercise everyday, but I find myself over-eating and gobbling down sweets! 

Does anyone have any tips for maintaining discipline around the holidays?

How do you decorate for Christmas?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Birthday, Shmirthday!

Yes, today is my birthday.  I'm the BIG 27 today!  Ugh.  I have this aversion to getting older.  Every year since I was 21, (because let's face it, every birthday from that birthday is not going to be as much fun), I've felt trepidation at the thought of becoming another year older.  So this year, the Mr. said, "You're not older, you're wiser." 

In honor of my year "wiser," the hubs is taking me out to two of my favorite restaurants, The Capital Grill and The Melting Pot.  I know what you are thinking... Two restaurants... We are actually having dinner at TCG and then dessert at TMP.  Who doesn't love chocolate fondu? 

Look at these beautiful flowers my Grandma sent me.


My Grandma is such a funny lady.  She probably weighs 70 lbs and is shorter than 5 feet tall.  She's so cute.  Last year, my Grandma and my Aunt and I traveled to Sweden to meet some of our relatives.  Th.

Check out some of these awesome pictures from our travels in Sweden.

My Grandma and my Aunt at a relatives farmstead.

My Aunt and me

This picture always cracks me up. 

The girls, minus my Aunt, in front of the giant dala horse.

At an old castle.

My pretty Aunt.

In Malmo, overlooking the Baltic Sea.

I'm off to get ready for my big date.  Hasta luego chicos!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Today, my husband called me "wifey-cita."  I think it's funny because we always have cute little nicknames for each other.  Although, he absolutely hates when I call him Jaders, The Hubsters, or hubby wubby wubby wubby!  Just kidding.  I never use baby talk, except with my doggie woggie woggies!  Haha!

How could you not when you look at these guys.

I also tried on all my scuba gear... Check it out....

Yes, I look like a dork, and I totally don't know what any of the dials or buttons are for... Yet.  In Playa, Jade promises to get me certified and take me out to scuba! 

I've been thinking a lot about how to get my friends and family motivated to work out and keep the winter/holiday weight off.  The average person gains 7 lbs from the time between Thanksgiving and New Years.  This workout is to help prevent this weight gain.

I thought I would put together a workout that can be done at home.  I know, getting to the gym is sometimes difficult, especially for those stay-at-home-mommies!

1.  Start out getting your muscle warmed up with some half squats- 25

2.  Burpees- 15

3.  Staggered hand pushups- 20
** Concentrate on good form.  Tuck your hips under and keep your back flat.  Go all the way down. Drop to your knees if you need to finish the set.

4.  Flutter kicks- 50; count each leg

5.  Jump lunges- 20

6. One leg tricep dip- 20- switch legs at 10.  Drop both legs to the floor to finish the set if needed.

7.  Jump Squats- 20

8.  Plank move to side plank- 10 each side

Repeat this circuit as many times as you can for a total of 20 minutes.  Rest as little as possible.  You want to keep your heart rate up.  This will help you burn as many calories as possible. 

Remember to drink lots of water.  At least, 64 ounces a day.  This will help you avoid over-eating, and give your skin and hair a hydrated look. 

Message me for any details on the exercises.  Good luck!

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

50 personalized Christmas cards and 3 paper cuts, ON.MY.LIPS!, later, along with Christmas music playing everywhere, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.  I love this time of year.  I've decorated my tree and started baking cookies and breads! 

Today, I made Banana Bread,

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies,

and tomorrow I'm baking Fresh Blueberry Muffins.

Baking is truly one of my favorite things to do...EVER!  I love it.  I hope you enjoy these recipes. 

What are some of your favorite baking recipes??

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lose the excuses to lose the weight.

I can't believe it is already December, and it sure feels that way.  I woke up this morning freezing!  Isn't so hard to get out of bed when it's cold outside?  So I snuggled up to the hubby and stayed in bed a little longer.  :)  Snuggling is seriously my favorite thing to do. 

But I've been struggling with my motivation lately, and staying in bed, snuggling isn't helping.  I know I'm not the only one who justifies not working out.  When I was a personal trainer, I would hear excuses all the time on why my clients did not eat right or could not find the time to workout.  Now that I've gotten out of that industry, albeit I'm still very much interested in it, I find myself letting my husband, my friends, and my family make those same excuses.  My pups are even putting on the weight.  Last night we weighed both dogs because we are trying to find two large kennels for them.  Bella, my lab, and Ace, my English Bulldog, have each gained over 10 lbs in 2 years! 

Ok, so Ace is not this bad!

I try to do something active every day.  Maybe I'm not hitting the gym for 2-3 hours every day like I used to, but I still try to walk or run with my pups or go to a yoga class or head to the gym for some weight training. But, I still feel like I'm not working as hard as I could be. 

When I'm searching for motivation, I always try to look at people who've made the real, hard changes.  Contestants on the Biggest Loser have made life changes.  A friend I met studying abroad in Mexico recently lost 50 lbs while going back to school!  Real people give me the motivation to keep on working harder and to push myself farther. 

When I hear friends say, "I will go to the gym when I look better in shorts."  or "It's not worth going to the gym around the holidays because I'm just going to eat and cancel it all out.," I know it is my duty to their ultimate health to tell them that starting a routine, walking into the gym in shorts or spandex or whatever, is the only thing that will make you look better, feel better, and stay on the right path. 

Even if you wear this look to the gym, you are still winning for even being there!

I'm off to the gym readers!

If anyone has a before and after picture of your weight loss journey, I would love  to see it.  Brag about how you look now!  YOU deserve it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

VSFS... Who watched?

Last night I was home by myself and I parked my butt in front of the TV with a yummy hot cocoa and marshmallows

and watched the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.  Wow!  Those skinny bitches were H-O-T!

In the words of my cousin Sam,  "It's a good thing the VSFS doesn't last longer than 4 hours because I would have to consult my physician!"

Kinda gross, yet kinda funny!  LOL!

I recently read, Adriana Lima prepared for the VSFS by going on a liquid diet 9 days before the event, then 12 hours before the show, she stopped drinking altogether. 

It's a good thing she already has a successful career, because she would make a terrible nutritionist.  But seriously... her body is rockin'... 

I read that she is 5'10'' tall and weighs 110 lbs.  I kinda hate her like my hubby hates Tom Brady.  Ha!

Yeah, she's hot!

Yeah, he's hot!

Today, I didn't necessarily get any closer to looking like a Vicky's model, but I did take some strides in looking better.  After a good workout with my pups outside on this beautiful day, I purchased Latisse and hopefully will have longer, fuller lashes to brag about soon.  

Oh... girl issues!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend

My Thanksgiving was officially a hit!  When I decided that I would be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, Jade warned me to not go overboard.  Anyone who knows me really well, knows that moderation is not routinely in my vocabulary.

I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner a few times before and have always used this recipe for my turkey.  I would like to take credit for this delicious creation, but I must give credit first to Jamie Oliver and then to my brother, Dan for introducing me to this talented chef. 

Here is Jamie Oliver's advice for cooking a delicious, moist turkey.  

One of the biggest challenges when cooking a turkey is the legs take longer than the breasts. The breasts dry out in the oven while you’re waiting for the legs to cook. I like to push stuffing between the turkey’s skin and breasts, increasing the thickness of the breasts so they take the same time to cook as the legs. The result? Juicy turkey all round!


• 4 tablespoons butter
• a sprig of fresh sage, leaves picked
• 12 strips of pancetta or thinly sliced bacon
• 1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
• 4 medium red onions, peeled
• 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
• a big handful of breadcrumbs
• a handful of dried apricots
• 10 1/2 oz ground pork
• zest of 1 lemon
• a pinch of grated nutmeg
• 1 large free-range or organic egg
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 12 small fresh rosemary sprigs, plus a few extra
• 9–10lb turkey, preferably free-range or organic, at room temperature
• 2 carrots, peeled
• 1 large orange
• olive oil
• 2 tablespoons plain flour
• 2 pints chicken or vegetable stock

Preheat the oven to maximum. Heat a saucepan until medium hot and drop in the butter, sage leaves and 6 of the pancetta or bacon strips. Peel and chop 2 garlic cloves and 1 onion. Add the garlic, celery and onion to the saucepan and fry everything gently until soft and golden brown. Take the pan off the heat, add the breadcrumbs and, while the mix is cooling down, chop the apricots roughly and stir them in. When the stuffing has cooled down, add the pork, lemon zest, nutmeg, egg and lots of salt and pepper, and mix everything together well.

Slice the remaining strips of pancetta or bacon in half and slice 1 peeled garlic clove into thin slivers. Place a rosemary sprig and a garlic sliver on one end of a halved strip of pancetta and roll it up tightly. Repeat with the other pieces of pancetta until you have 12 little rolls. Stab the thighs and drumsticks of the turkey in 6 places on each side. Push a little pancetta roll into each hole until it just peeps out. This’ll give your turkey thighs a fantastic flavor and will keep them moist while they cook.

Chop the remaining onions in half and slice the carrots thickly. Give your turkey a good wipe, inside and out, with paper towels, and place it on a board, with the neck end towards you. Find the edge of the skin that's covering the turkey's breasts and gently peel it back. Work your fingers and then your hand under the skin, freeing it from the meat. If you're careful you should be able to pull all the skin away from the meat, keeping it attached at the sides. Go slowly and try not to make any holes! Lift the loose skin at the neck end and spoon the stuffing between the skin and the breast, tucking the flap of skin underneath to stop anything leaking out. Pop the orange in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up and stuff it into the cavity. Weigh the stuffed turkey and calculate the cooking time (about 20 minutes per pound).

Place the bird on a large roasting pan, rub it all over with olive oil and season well. Surround with the chopped carrots, onions, remaining garlic, cover with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven. Turn the heat down right away to 350°F, and roast for the calculated time, or until the juices run clear from the thigh if you pierce with it a knife or a skewer. Remove the aluminum foil for the last 45 minutes to brown the bird. Carefully lift the turkey out of the tray and rest on a board that’s covered loosely with foil for 20 minutes while you finish off the veg and gravy. Skim the surface fat from the roasting pan and add the flour and stock. Place the tray on the stovetop and bring to the boil on a high heat. When the gravy starts to thicken, strain it into a bowl. Carve your turkey, serve with the gravy and dig in!

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Recipe from cook with jamie
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This is actually a picture of the turkey I made a couple years ago when we celebrated with our good friends Travis and Abby. 

I remembered to take before pictures of my turkey, 

Ain't Tommy the Turkey a beautiful bird.  He was a nice free-range, happy turkey.

but not another after!  Hey, I had my hands full with preparing the rest of Thanksgiving dinner. 

Like this yummy Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie...

 Ah... perfection!


  • 65 vanilla wafers cookies, finely crushed
  • 1 stick butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup peanut brittle, ground into crumbs
  • Chocolate Pudding, recipe follows
  • Peanut Butter Cream, recipe follows
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut brittle, broken into bite-size pieces


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a deep 9 by 2-inch pie plate.

Drizzle the crushed vanilla wafers with the melted butter and stir until blended. Press on the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Pop in the oven and bake until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.

Toss the banana slices with the orange juice, making sure all the slices get coated. (This helps keep the bananas from browning.) Place the slices on a paper towel-lined plate and pat any excess juices dry.

Arrange half the banana slices in a single layer over the cooled crust. Cover completely with the Chocolate Pudding, spreading it with an offset spatula or butter knife. Top with the rest of the bananas. Sprinkle the peanut brittle crumbs over the bananas. Place dollops of the Peanut Butter Cream on top, spreading it out evenly. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Whip the cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Whip in the almond extract and sugar until stiff peaks form.

Take the pie out of the refrigerator. Place dollops of the whipped cream on top and spread it out evenly. Scatter pieces of peanut brittle on top and serve.

Chocolate Pudding:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 cups milk, divided
Whisk the sugar, cocoa powder and flour in a bowl until there are no lumps. Crack the eggs into the bowl, add the yolks and whisk into a paste. Slowly whisk in 1 cup milk until it is fully incorporated, and then whisk in the remaining 1 cup milk. Put the milk mixture into a saucepan and put over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until it starts to look like pudding, 10 to 15 minutes. It will begin to bubble and it will hold soft peaks when you lift the whisk out. 

Take off the heat and cool to room temperature.

Peanut Butter Cream:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned or freshly ground)
  • 2/3 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
Beat the cream cheese and confectioners'sugar with an electric mixer until completely smooth. Add the vanilla and peanut butter, beating until fully incorporated. 

In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Working in batches, taking care not to deflate the whipped cream, fold a large spoonful of whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Fold in the remaining cream in 2 additions.

 And this for my mom and me...

My mom is vegetarian and I don't eat a lot of meat either.  Especially after pulling out Tommy the Turkey's insides and giving him a good wipe... Gross...

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna...

Doesn't this fresh spinach look so beautiful?? 


  • 20 lasagna noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 cups tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook mushrooms, onions, and garlic in olive oil until onions are tender. Drain excess liquid and cool. Boil spinach for 5 minutes. Drain, then squeeze out excess liquid. Chop spinach. 
  4. Combine ricotta cheese, Romano cheese, spinach, salt, oregano, basil, pepper, and egg in a bowl. Add cooled mushroom mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Lay 5 lasagna noodles in bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread one third of the cheese/spinach mixture over noodles. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese on top. Spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce over cheese. Repeat layering 2 times.
  5. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes before serving.


And these cranberries...


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated


Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries and return to a boil, then lower the heat so that the liquid simmers. 

Add the apples, walnuts, raisins, Grand Marnier, orange and lemon juices, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the sauce cool.

And Thanksgiving in my house is not really a holiday without a little pumpkin and some booze.  My sister made a delicious pumpkin pie and I made this...

Pumpkin Pie Martini


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ice cubes
  • 4 ounces vanilla vodka


In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 cup water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes. Syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Mix together the granulated sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and put it onto a shallow plate. Pour 2 tablespoons of the simple syrup onto a plate. Dip the rims of 4 martini glasses into the syrup, and then in the spiced sugar. Set aside.
In a large measuring cup, combine the half-and-half, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and half the simple syrup and whisk until well blended. Pour in to a pitcher filled with ice. If using the vodka, add it to the pitcher before serving and stir. Pour into the prepared glasses.

  ** I added a few crushed graham crackers to the rim of the glass too. 


These are a few of my favorite recipes from the day.  I also made 4 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese, Broccoli Salad, Deviled Eggs, Mashed Potatoes, Cream Corn, and Green Bean Casserole.  Did I go overboard??

 If anyone wants all my recipes or my Thanksgiving Day menu, just send me an email.