Cry Scale

I HAD to load this... 
first video I've every loaded...
so that's saying something.

I loved this interview soooo much...

Who knew Kristen Bell and I would have something in common?
I too have a cry scale of under 3 and over 7.
I even got teary watching this...
I know.

I can not tell you how many times I cried for birthdays and Christmas...
like sobbing, can't talk, shaking my head cry...
this past Christmas JW surprised me with a new camera...
I. Just. Hung. My. Head. And. Cried.

And sad crying too...
I have friends that have squirmed beside me in movies,
Extreme Makeover Home Edition - forget about it,
there's just no filter... I feel so fervently... it's a little bonkers.


Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins

After squeezing fresh orange juice and grating the zest for these bad boys,
Joel came home,
 ate one,
hummed and hawed for a minute,
and announced these weren't his favourite muffins ever...

They were sooooo good!
Apparently he doesn't appreciate fresh cranberries

His loss...
Fresh cranberries are awesome.


Santa Hats

I made some little individual cheesecakes for a Ugly Christmas Sweater Party we were going to.

I needed something to decorate the top and decided to pipe some Santa Hats with chocolate.

Things you need... 
: red chocolate chips
: white chocolate chips (mine were mint flavoured)
: 2 piping bags
: I used a number 2 and 3 piping tip
: parchment paper on a cookie sheet
: pot of boiling water 
: a metal bowl to melt chocolate

The possibilites are endless...
santa hats/snowflakes/holly...


Thanksgiving Turkey

So I've emailed out these instructions a few time to friends and family and decided I'd just post it as well...  

You'll want to buy your turkey at least 4 days ahead and let it defrost in the refrigerator 3 days prior to preparing it for the brine.
Brine, Bags and Cider are all at Williams and Sonoma (but that's more convenience... I'm sure you can get bags and cider anywhere that would work)
Prepare Brine.
You'll need a baster... a meat thermometer... and a bbq brush.
Rinse turkey and pat dry before adding to brine.
Refrigerate for 36 hours... or max. time.
On the day of cooking, rinse turkey completely of Brine (inside and out) and pat dry again.

A couple days before cube a loaf (or two) of French Bread and let stand out and dry on cookie sheets for the next couple of days until good and dry.

The night before...
Dice celery (depending on how much your making... start at at least 5), onion (at least 1 large), and a package of mushrooms.
Sautee the celery and onion together (in butter) once they begin to soften you can add mushrooms
or cook mushrooms separately (I like for the mushrooms to be nice and brown and I don't want to worry about over browning the onions and celery)
(this is probably my favourite part... I love love love the smell of all of this sauteeing... it totally makes me feel so festive!)
Cook a pack of thick-cut smoked bacon (I slice it while it's still raw and then cook).
Bag everything and put in the fridge for the morning.

- I pre-cut the carrots, and celery for the gravy stock. Bag them and refrigerate. (you'll need to keep the neck (and gizzards if that doesn't make you tummy churn) for the stock too).

The blessed day!
Preheat oven at 350. If you need a guide for cooking, THIS will help you out.
In a giant bowl... mix the bread, sauteed celery, onion and mushrooms and bacon. Add butter, salt and pepper to taste (and taste it... it's all cooked so the best way to know that it has all the flavor
you want is to taste and add what's missing).
After the turkey is pat dry you'll want to loosely add stuffing to the neck and chest cavity.
Use turkey twine to tie legs together to close off the stuffing in the chest cavity and use pins to secure skin over the stuffing in the neck.
Rub the entire turkey in butter and generously salt and pepper. (I set a little bowl of melted butter aside for basting later).
Spray the entire roasting rack with non-stick spray (just makes cleaning easier later)
In the bottom of the pan throw the coarsely chopped carrots and celery in, add 5-6 whole cloves of garlic, add turkey neck and gizzards, and add chicken stock (I think I used about 2 Cups and then
added another cup or so of water (if while cooking it starts to get a little dry just add water).
Put in oven uncovered...
I alternate basting the turkey with the pan drippings and brushing with butter every 1/2 hour while cooking... if it starts to get too brown loosely cover with tin foil.
When turkey is getting close (5-10 degrees) to being done I quickly remove the stuffing and add it to the remaining stuffing in a casserole dish and finish cooking.
When turkey is done... remove from the oven... remove from the roasting pan (I leave it on the roasting rack), cover and let rest for 20 min.
In the mean time finish cooking stuffing and prepare gravy


Gravy : I cook it right in the roasting pan on the stove top... first give it a good stir and then strain out all the chunks of vegetables and meat (I just use a slotted spoon).
Depending on how much butter you used to baste, check the grease... you may need to separate a little.

The only thing I do after that is make a water/flour mixture and slowly stir it in to the pan until I have the consistency I want.
Salt and pepper to taste. 

I hope this is clear... I'm a fly by the seat of my pants kinda girl when I cook, so writing it out has its challenges.  
If you have any questions, totally ask... I won't bite!


Team Probst

Had the good fortune of taking this super cute family's pictures when we visited them...
I really love these guys.

I should note that I do have one of the little miss smiling w/ her Mama,
but this one is just so darn funny.

Had to throw a few of Swiss and my little photo shoot...
She had these super cute new boots and we decided to snap some pictures.



Halloween is up and running around here.
We picked out pumpkins yesterday/
played ghoulish music/
decorated the house/
and the kids wore new festive jammies to bed.
I ho hummed about how to decorate the shelf this year
when I came across an image with a mantle covered in pumpkins.
It was definitely more refined than I wanted (I have pipsqueaks around)
but it gave me a great starting point.

Me and my partner in crime (Miss Mags)
wandered over to the nearest thrift store for inspiration.

I started collecting single and coupled candlestick holders.
(watching Mags mimic me by leaning back, squinting, and putting her finger to her lips was priceless)
I decided we'd just spray paint them all to match and those could hold little pumpkins.
I washed all the candlesticks, and let them completely dry.
I first used a primer spray paint and then a flat indoor/outdoor spray paint.
Super easy.

My partner worked on her letters while I spray painted.

I decided to throw some candles in there too.
And the cute print came from here thanks to Whitney's spry eye.

The other nice thing...
the shelf will be an easy transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving.

Here's some of our other decorations for the holiday
I seriously bought these Halloween silhouettes 5 years ago.
We were poor and I wanted decorations,
so I went to my local craft store...
bought them at 25 cents a piece...
painted them black...
and they've kind of grown on me over the years.
Just an easy/cute/cheap solution.



Did anyone watch this last night?
I. Love. It.
The random singing... easily my fav.
I thank you Zooey,
for I am now looking forward to winter with you by my side.