Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Inspiration

Thanksgiving and Christmas are by far, my most  favorite holidays ever!  I love all the food, drinks and family gathering to celebrate together.  Here are some fun and festive Thanksgiving ideas I'm loving... 

Usually all of your family and friends already know they are invited to the big feast, but how fun would it be to receive one of these cute cards in the mail!  (postcard invites available on Etsy)

 I LOVE this simple and chic pillow, it's just perfect!
(available at dear lillie)

Here is an easy DIY project for place cards...they can be embellished with anything you would like to fancy them up.  (available as a FREE printable download at EAB Designs)

I love the idea of having a dessert table full of all kinds of "mini" treats!  These mini pumpkin cheesecake trifles look so elegant and sound super tasty.  (recipe available at Hoosier Homemade)

How fun would it be to have a champagne & sweets party the night before, yes please! Or even the day after, as a champagne brunch to kick of the Christmas decorating!  (more party ideas at the party dress)
Hope all of you have fabulous Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sausage, Mushroom & Potato Gratin

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

I recently received my November Cooking Light issue and couldn't wait to try out this savory and hearty recipe.   Although I hardly ever cook with meat (it's just this weird thing about me, but I actually really like eating it, coming from a girl who loves burnt hot dogs),  I was willing to  venture out on this one and give it a try.  This comfort food dish is packed with all kinds of great flavor that reminds me of my husband's Thanksgiving stuffing recipe that I LOVE and could eat all year long.  The fun thing about this recipe is that it could easily be served for brunch or dinner...enjoy!

Sausage, Mushroom and Potato Gratin
adapted from:   Cooking Light Magazine

8 ounces hot Italian sausage (I used Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage)
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups chopped onion
2 shallots, chopped
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded gruyere cheese
cooking spray

onion, shallot, mushroom mixture

onion, shallot, mushroom,  potato mixture

 onion, shallot, mushroom, potatoes, sausage mixture

Preheat oven to 400°.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan, and sauté for 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan; drain. Wipe pan with paper towels. Melt butter in pan. Add onions; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; sauté 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and salt; sauté 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.
Stir in sausage and broth. Remove from heat. Spoon potato mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with cheese. Cover and bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Starbucks Holiday Drinks

Good Morning!!!

The red holiday cups from Starbucks are out, woohoo!  There is something about these lil  red cups that make me all giddy inside, I LOVE this time of year!!!  Be sure to visit your local Starbucks to celebrate their "buy one, get one free" event, between 2pm - 5pm, November 17th - 20th!  Simply purchase one holiday drink and receive the second drink for FREE!  Cheers!

(for more details, click HERE)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall Mantel

Good Morning!

Hope all of you are enjoying the changing colors of leaves and getting ready for some Turkey Day celebrations.  Here are a few photos of our fall decor this year...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Feeling The Blog Love

I am beyond excited to tell you all that I won my first blogger awards from 2 fabulous ladies,  Leigh at Fun to Funky and from Julie at Shabby Momma!  Thanks so much for the love ladies, way appreciate it!!!

 The rules for this award are:
-Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award
-Share 7 things about yourself
-Send it to other bloggers and let them know you have awarded them

7 things about me:
1. The best Christmas present/surprise ever, was my lil sister Katie when I was 8 years old!
2.  I am usually in bed by 9:30, old lady of me, I know, ha!
3. I met my husband over a latte at Starbucks.
4.  Think I could live off of a diet of cheese, bread and maybe a lil champers.
5. I have a special place in my heart for birds and squirrels.
6. I am extremely indecisive, but I'm working on it...
7.  I STILL sleep with the silky part (only thing that has survived this long) of my childhood blanket.

Now to pass on this "Major Lieber Award" here are the rules, in no particular order:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all -- have fun!

Be sure to check out these lovely blogs: 

Emily Ann Interiors ~ I can always count on Emily for some amazing interior inspiration, love her style!
Curb Alert ~ Tami has a great eye for finding the best roadside treasures and turning them into something fab!
 Fancy Frugal Life ~ Love all of Lina's shabby chic diy projects, she's so creative!
Simply Decorated ~ If you are ever in need for a tasty treat, Alice has an amazing collection of yummy recipes!
Confessions of a Plate Addict ~ Found this gorgeous Christmas mantel on pinterest that I'm still swooning over!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Squares

With the crisp fall air out, I have been totally taking advantage of every "pumpkin" recipe I can find.  My good friend Alice, at Simply Decorated (head over to her blog to take a lil looksey at all of her delish recipes) always has the best desserts for our Bunco meet ups.  I decided to challenge myself and try out one of her fabulous recipes...they are pretty amazing and fairly simple to make.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Squares
adapted from:  Alice @ Simply Decorated

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg 
4 large eggs
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar

Mix together the eggs, pumpkin, oil, and sugar. Set aside.  

Set aside. Mix together the dry ingredients, and add the pumpkin mixture. Stir until combined.  

Pour into greased half sheet pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  

When cool,  frost with cream cheese frosting (see recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese at room temp.
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp.
2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

In a mixer, combine the butter and cream cheese on low speed until smooth.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until combined. Spread on cooled pumpkin squares.