Thanksgiving Linner

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    photo  c/o Country Living

Hi fellow turkey lovers! I am hosting Thanksgiving this year and have started to put my menu together for Linner (lunch/dinner). It will be a small gathering this year – 6 adults and 1 little turkey. So, I don’t want to go overboard; but, I want it to be a feast and make sure everyone leaves stuffed and happy. That being said, here’s what I have put together thus far.

Appetizers – Whatever appetizers I make better be easy and good.

1| Cranberry Baked Brie – Warm, sweet and salty and oh so good. No gathering should go without a good baked brie. Plus, it takes like 3 minutes to make and 15 minutes in the oven. Score!

2| Charcuterie – You better believe I will go all out for this appetizer. Nothing is better than a plate of cheese, crackers, salumi, prosciutto, fruit and olives. It will be epic.

Linner – Must have a turkey and ham. Sides better be hearty, warm and go well with gravy.

1| Turkey – For the last several years we have used our amazing Char-Broil oil-less turkey fryer. This thing is the jam! No oil but you get the same crispy outside while maintaining a juicy inside. It really is the absolute best way to cook a turkey. No mess and great taste. Cooking time is about 10-12 minutes per pound. Marinate the turkey the same way you would if you were frying it.

2| Ham – I don’t know why anyone buys anything other than a Honeybaked Ham for Thanksgiving. First of all, it’s already marinated and cut. All you have to do is heat it up. And the brown sugar flavor is to die for. So yummy and so easy.

3| Mashed Potatoes – Can’t do Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes. They are a staple. I like to make mine in the crock pot because a) it’s easy and b) the crock pot keeps them warm until you pile them onto your plate. I used this recipe last year and they turned out great!

4| Green Beans – There needs to be something green and brunchy and semi-healthy on the table for Thanksgiving. I found this recipe on Pinterest. I have never made these but I am so excited to try them! My daughter loves bacon so that extra flare will definitely make her happy.

5| Stuffing – This is one of those side dishes that I just can’t not have. I always crave it around this time of year and I have fond memories of eating sausage stuffing at my grandmother’s when I was little. I found a great recipe that involves cornbread and sausage and can be made in a crock pot. I will be trying this recipe for the first time this year and can’t wait to see how it turns out!

6| Cranberry Sauce – If for nothing else, you absolutely need cranberry sauce for leftovers. It is the perfect condiment for your leftover ham sandwich. I have made this recipe a few times now and it is so super easy and perfectly sweet/tart at the same time. It’s delicious!

7| Gravy – Honestly folks, I am not going to lie. I buy the store-made gravy. It is good and easy and just needs to be warmed up.

8| Rolls – Did you know the Honeybaked Ham store makes other things besides ham? Well, they do. And one of those things is rolls. I plan to buy a couple dozen because my family is bread obsessed.

Dessert – While I plan to make one homemade dessert, I will definitely make a trip to my local Costco for a pecan pie and vanilla ice cream.

1| Homemade Caramel Apple Mini Cheesecakes – I always have grandiose plans for dessert but I think I will try this recipe for Thanksgiving dessert this year. I can make them the day before and then pull them out a couple hours before we eat them. Plus, I imagine them being so tasty with a cup of coffee on the side.

And of course all of this will be served with copious amounts of tasty wine. I plan on asking the parents to bring over the libations!

Keep it lush y’all!!

victoria

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Freezer Meal For New Parents

Freezer Meals for new parents. Lasagna roll-ups. Great gift for new moms. Make ahead meals.

Hey gang, I am in the thick of right now. I’m trying to transition back into work, take care of two kids, keep a clean house, make time to enroll for benefits, plan Thanksgiving….and that’s just a few things. You other moms know! I feel like I’m doing everything at about 50%, which sucks. With all this on my plate, something has to sacrifice and it tends to be dinner these days. It made me think about these amazing freezer meals I made before baby and how I wish I still had some in the freezer.

I am talking about these freezer lasagna roll-ups from the Pioneer Woman! They are so great because you can freeze small portions. Perfect for dinner for your whole family or  just for lunch when you are at home with baby and don’t have time to even make a sandwich. Pop it in the oven and you’re done. I have also made these for other new moms. There is noting better then the gift of food in my opinion!

Be the hero next time you know someone having a baby and make them these!

Maggie

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My Meal Plan this Week!

Good Morning!  I hope everyone had a great Halloween!  I know more than just a few of us are glad it’s over 🙂  Now, onto November and my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving!  Today I’m sharing whats on the menu at our house this week.  As you can tell, we’re trying to be Low Carb.  We were eating so healthy leading up to our wedding and then really fell off the bandwagon after so trying to get back to being healthy 90% of the time.  You know there will be some wine and candy mixed in there for the 10% non-healthy!   Please feel free to share any recipes we should try in the comments section!

Monday: Skinny Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps.  This is a go to in our house.  It’s SO easy, healthy and super satisfying.  I sometimes serve it as an app if we’re having people over but for just the two of us, it’s dinner.

Skinny Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps! #healthy and #delicious

Tuesday:  Taco Salads.  Nothing too exciting here, just taco beef over salad topped with tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado and black beans.

 

Wednesday: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Best Chicken Stir fry via Designer bag and Dirty Diapers.  Looking forward to trying this one!

Gwyneth Paltrow's Best Chicken Stir Fry! via Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers.  Looks amazing!

Thursday: Steve’s Healthy Spaghetti Squash Casserole!

Healthy Spaghetti Squash Casserole!  Gluten Free and Low Fat but so Delish!

Friday: Out!

Have a great Tuesday!!

Annie

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Friday Five!

Woowoooo!  It’s Friday!  For the first time in a while we are going to be home this weekend without any major plans.  To say I’m excited would be an understatement.  We’re planning on staying in tonight, making dinner and watching a movie.  Saturday I’m going to a Blast workout class in the am and have dinner plans with my mom and sister.  Steve is going to the Phish concert with some friends (so glad I get to skip this one!).   I hope you have a fun/relaxing/crazy/wild/productive weekend!

Now, on to my Friday Five!

ONE || Has anyone else had the issue of Squirrels eating their pumpkins?? I have never heard of this issue but we are now on our third pumpkin that has been nibbled on by the squirrels.  I put up a snapchat about it earlier this week and a few people commented that squirrels hate the smell of chili powder and mint so I’ve sprayed my newest pumpkin with a mix of water and chili powder and am hopeful that those little rodents (with cuter outfits SATC reference) stay away from my pumpkins!

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Ok ok, this isn’t our actual pumpkin but this picture made me laugh via

TWO || Ponchos.  I’m poncho obsessed right now!  I just wish it would get colder so I don’t look so ridiculous in my long sleeve shirt, poncho, jeans and booties.    Here are a few under $100 that I either own or have my eye on.

THREE || Tradsey.  I might be late to the party on this one but have yall heard of Tradsey? or the RealReal?  They are consignment boutiques online where you can find amazing deals on new and lightly used items.  I’m on the prowl for a new purse for Fall/Winter and refuse to pay the insane price tags for the brands I like which is where these sites come in!  I have already purchased a pair of Brand new with tags driving mocks from the now defunct C. Wonder for $20!  and I loveeee them.

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I’ve also got my eye on this Tory bag..

Multi Season Tory Burch Tote from Tradesy!

FOUR || Something to look forward to!  Two of my best friends are amazing planners and when we all used to live in Charleston I got to benefit from that.  I pretty much always had at least one fun plan during the week and weekend plans made for me because they were so good about thinking ahead and getting everyone together.  Now that we’ve all moved away from Charleston and I don’t benefit from their planning as much, I’m working on becoming more of a planner.  This is mainly because I love to have fun activities to look forward to.  I think at least half the fun of travel is the pre-travel anticipation.  From the shopping for outfits to wear to the research on what to see, eat and drink while you’re there it makes me so happy to think about all the fun we’re going to have.  SO, all of that is to say, I have 2 fun trips booked for the coming months and I’m so excited about it!  We’re going out to Colorado with some friends to Ski for a long weekend in January and then Steve and I are taking our big Honeymoon trip to Paris and Italy in April!  Any and all recommendations welcome!  We are thinking about going to Venice, Tuscany/Florence and Rome 🙂

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Picture from our Ski Trip to Deer Valley Utah 2 years ago

FIVE ||  Our Pizza Stone!  We received a pizza stone from one of my best friends for our wedding and finally go around to using it a couple of weeks ago and let me just say, WOW.  I never really thought twice about a pizza stone because I always liked the pizza we made at home on a regular cookie sheet.  But I was so wrong.   To use it you put it in your oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the pizza and then transfer it to the stone in the oven and let it do its thing.  Because the stone is hot when you put the pizza on it you get this amazing crunchy crust that makes you feel like you’re eating pizza at one of those places with a wood fire pizza oven.   Seriously everyone needs one of these things!   This is the one we have.

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I hope everyone has a great weekend! xoxox,

Annie

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On this week’s menu!

Hi and Happy Tuesday!  I’ve recently been trying to be better about planning our menu for the week ahead of time.   We have a tendency to fly by the seat of our pants each night for dinner which means the inevitable back and fourth about what we’re in the mood for, last minute trips to the grocery store and eating out way more than we should.   So I thought this week it would be fun to share what I have on the menu because I am trying some new and different recipes.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday: (Leftover) Turkey Chili.  I made this recipe this weekend to have with some friends on Saturday night before we all went to my 10 year High School reunion!  It’s a recipe my sister found and I recently tried and fell in love with.  Its a little different than your standard turkey chili and is amazing!  I followed the recipe to a T and only added a can of Kidney beans.

T

Tuesday: Easy Beef and Broccoli from Damn Delicious because a week doesn’t pass without making some sort of Asian inspired dish.  Served over Cauli Rice from TJs.  Trying to step out of my usual Skinny Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Peanut Chicken.

Damn Delicious Beef and Broccoli

Wednesday: Out, we’re going to a concert with some friends so we are planning to go out to dinner all together before

Thursday: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats from Pinch of Yum. Planning on leaving out the Turkey and having a vegetarian meal.

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Friday: Grilled Chicken Breasts and Brussels Sprout Gratin + Big Salad.  I told my mom I’d bring this Gratin for Thanksgiving so I want to make sure to try it before serving it to everyone on Thanksgiving.

Brussels Sprout Gratin!

Saturday: Out!

 

We usually eat leftovers for lunch since we both work from home 🙂

Question: What recipes are on your normal weekly meal rotations?? I’m trying to get out of my rut of cooking the same 10 things so I’d love some ideas!  You can see our other recipes/meal ideas here.

Have a great day!!!

Annie

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Quick and Easy Lunch Idea – Healthy Pizza

Thanks to my mom, I have been eating the most delicious, quick, easy, and healthy lunch for the past couple of weeks. I am so obsessed I wanted to share. It’s not a recipe, but more of an idea. Check it out…

First off, I take low carb tortillas, put them on a baking sheet, and spread my favorite BBQ sauce all over it.

Easy and healthy lunch idea - low carb pizza

Then, I add my toppings. I typically use rotisserie chicken, black beans and black olives.

Easy and healthy lunch idea - low carb pizza

Lastly, I top with mozzarella cheese and bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.

Easy and healthy lunch idea - low carb pizza

The crust gets really crispy, which I didn’t believe at first, but it does! So it’s really like a thin crust pizza. This is the perfect lunch or even dinner. You can make any kind of pizza you want – for Matt I make a more traditional red sauce and pepperoni pizza. Yummm!!

Maggie

 

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Easy Chocolate Cream Cheese Croissants

There are plenty of nights that we finish dinner and have no dessert, but something sweet and delicious is all I can think about. One of my go-to throw-togethers are these chocolate cream cheese croissants. I typically always have these ingredients lying around and it satisfies my sweet tooth.

Easy chocolate cream cheese croissants

 

Here is what you need:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Cream Cheese
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Crescent Rolls (even biscuits would be delicious)

Easy chocolate cream cheese croissants
Directions:

  • Preheat your over according to your crescent roll directions. Roll out your crescent rolls onto a greased baking sheet.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar to taste. I typically use about a cup of powdered sugar to 8oz of cream cheese, but there is no wrong measurement here!
  • Scoop the cream cheese mixture into the center of the unrolled cresecnt rolls and then drop a few chocolate chips.
  • Roll the crescent rolls up and try to close all the ends so that nothing leaks out in the baking process.
  • Bake according to the crescent roll directions.
  • Optional: I melt some chocolate chips with a little milk or cream to drizzle on the top.

That’s it! Super easy! If you aren’t a fan of cream cheese, leave it out. It’s still great with just the chocolate. Enjoy!

Maggie

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The best summer salad

A few weekends ago some of my best friends’ mom’s threw me the most fun bridal shower of all time!  It was a cooking class shower and it was everything.  Stay tuned for a full post about that but in the meantime I MUST share the recipe for the salad we made that was absolutely the most amazing salad I’ve ever had.  It’s a combination of melon, prosciutto, arugula and Parmesan and its truly amazing how all the flavors come together and compliment each other so well.  It would be one of those salads you could easily throw together with some grilled chicken for a week night dinner but would also really impress your guests for a dinner party.IMG_0943

Prosciutto and Melon Salad

Serves 2 (you can easily double/triple this recipe) 

4 slices of prosciutto

1/4 of small to medium sized cantaloupe

1/4 of small to medium honeydew

2-3 cups of fresh arugula

1/2 small red onion

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

4 leaves of fresh basil

Salt and Pepper

Dice melons and red onion.  Mix together in a small bowl.

Add sherry and olive oil.  Chiffonaide bail and add to bowl with melons and vinaigrette.

Lay down about a cup or a little more of arugula on each plate.

Slice prosciutto and place on top of arugula.

Spoon melon mixture with vinaigrette over each plate.

We topped with a Parmesan Crisp with is so easy to make in the oven following these steps

 Amazing summer salad of Arugula, Melon and Prosciutto!

Hope you enjoy!! xoxo

Annie

 

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Friday Five!

ONE || Maggie is now a mom of two!!  Maggie had Tucker on Wednesday early morning around 4:30.  Both Mom and baby are happy and healthy.  Victoria and I can’t wait to meet the little nugget!  Check out Maggie’s awesome post about Lucy’s Birth Story.

Induction Birth Story

 

TWO ||  Please stop everything right now and go watch Stranger Things on Netflix.  Steve and I crushed it in one weekend.  We had to force ourselves to take breaks so we could actually be social/get shit done around the house.  So so so good!  Please don’t judge this show by the description.. I promise you will love it.

StrangerThings

 

THREE ||  I’ve recently become obsessed with Gaby from the blog, What’s Gaby Cooking and I cannot get enough of her simple but inspired recipes.  I also follow her on Snapchat and she is AWESOME.  She does these great snapisodes where she goes through a recipe or takes you shopping to Trader  Joes.  It’s great.  I’m thinking I need to make this delish Loaded Summer Hummus before the summer comes to an end!

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FOUR || Steve and I are getting packages everyday with gifts from our registry and it is so much fun!  Now if I can just keep up with my note writing…. we received this door mat yesterday and I am in loveeeee.  We have the nicest friends and family ever!

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FIVE || I have my final dress fitting today for my wedding and I am SO excited.  We are really in the home stretch and I am getting so excited for our wedding weekend!  We are so lucky to have so many friends and family traveling near and far to celebrate with us the last weekend in August.  I have a few wedding posts planned to talk about the actual planning (I am NOT a natural planner), my diet/workout plan leading up to the weekend and of course all the details from the actual day so stay tuned!  The below picture is from the morning we got engaged on Sullivan’s Island at sun rise 🙂 Can’t believe it’s almost been a year!

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I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!! xoxo,

Annie

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Building an Epic Cheese Board

Here are my tips and tricks to put together a (self proclaimed) epic cheese board for a fun girls night.  All the cheese board ingredients came to under $40 and I have plenty leftover for Steve and me to have our favorite kind of meal… cheese and bread for dinner!

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This story, of course, starts at Trader Joes.  Tjs has a great selection of different cheeses at amazing prices.  I’m always surprised by how affordable their cheeses are (especially compared to WF) and they always taste great!  For cheese I like to try and vary the flavors and textures I have.  I always like to have a soft cheese like a brie, St Andre or in this case a Port Salut.  Then I choose a harder, stronger cheese along the lines of a cheddar or comte.  I don’t personally love blue cheese but I think its always nice to have along with one unexpected or different type cheese.  Its always nice to have at least 2 vehicles for the cheese in the form of crackers, bread or veggie.  A good sweet nut adds good dimension and some fruit like grapes, pears or strawberries add color and freshness.  Layered all together on a pretty wood or marble cheese board and you have a lovely spread for a girls night!  Just add plenty of wine 🙂

I started with my cheese board and 4 cheeses:

  • Unexpected Cheddar Cheese- tastes like a mix of parm and cheddar… yum
  • Italian Truffle Cheese- anything with Truffle is great in my book
  • Castello Soft Blue- very mild creamy blue cheese
  • Port Salut- great soft cheese from France, sort of like a brie but a little milder flavorTrader joes Cheese favorites!

2 types of crackers:

  • Pita Bite Crackers
  • Raisin Rosemary Chrisps

Add ons:

  • Sesame Honey Cashews
  • Sweet and Spicy Pecans (amazing!)
  • Fig jam- I like to have a little something sweet with cheese and this stuff is awesome
  • Strawberries
  • pickled okra

Assembling an epic cheese board from Trader Joes!

I decided I would pre-cut 2 of the cheeses and leave two whole both for convenience and the look of my board.  It must be Insta worthy of course!  So I cut the cheddar and the truffle and left the others whole.  From there I laid down the cheeses first and then started adding layers of the other goodies until it started to look full.

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Cheese board was a gift from the amazing hosts at my recent cooking wedding shower… more details on that soon but you can get the marble board here.

Cheese Spread for Girls night!

I threw some cheese knives (courtesy of my future Sister in Law, Melinda) and some pimento cheese on the side and that’s that!

Cheese Spread for girls night!

There is just something about cheese and wine for dinner along with girl talk that is good for the soul.  I also served a simple green salad so we felt at least a little healthy 🙂

What’s everyone’s favorite cheese?? I’m a brie girl myself.

xoxo,

Annie

 

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