Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thanksgiving Thursday ~~ 3 Weeks & Counting...Sorry for the delay =)

Wow it is 9:19 pm here and I'm just now finishing up this post. Whew I'm tired!!
I got a very welcome wonderful surprise this evening ~~ Sir Cuteness came to GiGi, PaPa and Uncle KoKo's (that's what he calls Dak ~~ how cute is that) a day early. Can you say Bliss?!! So that is one GREAT reason to be so late in posting. Thank you for your patience =)
Come on in at sit a spell ~~ as they say in our neck of the woods.

Kick your feet up and have some fun!!!
So glad you've stopped by for this installment of...
And just so you know that Dak loves to snap, snap, snap pictures,
I thought I'd throw this one in for free. Your welcome =)
And speaking of is my wide-eyed, beautiful boy now.
Hello Dak....Glad you stopped by to say hello to the nice folks.

So here is our front porch.
I've been telling you for a couple weeks now that I'd be taking some pics to show you
my ideas in action.

Here is Mr. Pumpkin all decked out in his Welcome best.
Yes he is looking very handsome!!!

Okay, sorry I digress.
Here is Dak in the "corner".
He was pouting because I wouldn't let him hike his leg in the air for a pic to put on the blog.
I do have my limits =)
So he is pouting and I took said pic, because I am a sucker for dark-haired, green eyed

Oops he sneaked in there again....
(Aren't you lovin' the outfit? This is what happens when he gets home from school. He takes off jeans, puts on shorts and everything else remains the same. Is that slippers he's wearing? Why yes, yes it is, and yes he wore them to school. I know. I don't know what to tell you old schoolers. I feel the same way. Just roll with it =)

Okay back to the porch...
Here is our fall porch.
The ivy stand came from a garage sale and the white fence bench thingy came from a crafts sale a couple of years ago. It has a cinderella pumpkin sitting on it. That's what it looks like to me. It is actually a Japanese pumpkin that is suppose to be really sweet and good to cook with, either way... So cute!!!

Okay so let's talk food.
I have three recipes to share with you today for side dishes.
The first is Caramelized Onions and Carrots.
Do these look delish of what?

Caramelized onions and Carrots
1 TBSP Butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander seed (optional, could use about 1/2 tsp cumin)
3 lb carrots, cut into 1/4" rounds
1 1/2 cup fat-free milk
1 TBSP Cornstarch
1 TBSP finely chopped fresh chives (optional)

Melt butter in large, heavy-bottom pot with lid over medium-low heat. Add onions and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions brown, about 50 minutes.
Stir in coriander, if using. Add carrots, cover, and cook over medium heat until just tender, about 20 minutes.
Whisk milk and cornstarch until dissolved. Stir into carrot mixture. Heat until the liquid comes to a simmer. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve sprinkiled with chives, if using.
Nutritional info per serving: 111 cal / 3 g pro / 21 g carb / 5 g fiber / 2 g fat / 1 g sat fat / 359 mg sodium

MM MMM good and good for you!!!!!

Now let's talk stuffing. If there is one thing I like it is good ole homemade cornbread stuffing.
I know. I know. It is not very good for you, but it tastes oh so good.
So in my attempt to have a healthier holiday, I am going to offer a healthier stuffing....
your welcome =)

Cornbread Stuffing ~~ The Healthy Way ~~

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons applesauce

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Combine the egg, milk, canola oil and applesauce; stir into dry ingredients until moistened. Transfer to a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut cubes into 1/2 inch sized pieces and set aside. It is best to let it dry out over night. But you don't have to.

2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup reduced-fat butter (such as Land 'O Lakes)
6 cups cubed day old bread (wheat or multi-grain is a nice choice) cut into 1/2" pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2-1/4 to 2 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

Bake bread in a 400 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, set aside. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, saute celery, onions and pecans until vegetables are tender. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the cornbread, cubed bread, eggs, seasonings and enough chicken broth to reach desired moistness (appx 2 1/2 cups).
Transfer to a 13x9" baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Uncover, bake 8-10 minutes longer until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees and the top is slightly browned. Makes 16 serves.

3/4 cup = 267 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated, boo), 67 mg cholesterol (dumb eggs), 616 mg sodium, 33 carbs, 2 g fiber, 8 g protein

Note: These directions are for cooking in a pan and NOT for cooking inside the turkey. I am not a fan of dressing in the bird. Actually, I've never had it that way. anyway...

Now onto one of my fav dishes of the season, or any season for that matter: Mashed Sweet Potatoes. Oh be still my heart!!! I didn't like sweet potatoes until just a few years ago. What in the world was wrong with me? I guess it was the fact that the only ones I'd ever had were the kind in the can with marshmallows on top. Still not a fan.
But regular sweet potatoes are absolutely delish!!!!!

Mashed Vanilla Sweet Potatoes
3 lbs Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately 3" cubes
1 Cup reduced-sodium chicken or veggie broth
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup fat-free milk
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Put potatoes and broth in large pot with tight-fitting lid and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender, about 25 minutes.
Add cinnamon, milk, and butter
Mash in food process or handheld masher until smooth. Add vanilla extract and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 8.
125 cal, 3 g protein, 25 g carb, 3 g fiber, 2 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 126 mg sodium
Today I'd like to close this installment of Thanksgiving Thursday with a song we sing at church. I am so thankful that Jesus saw fit to go to the cross to save me from my sin.
He did what I could not do. He walked a road I could not. All to bring this broken girl home to Him. I am so thankful.

Thank you for your patience and your kindness.
I love you so!!
Have a Blessed evening,


  1. Love all the pics! Your porch looks so welcoming!!!

    HI DAK!!!! Love he's so helpful in picture taking, even if he does pout! :)

    MMMMM... sweet potatoes - that looks YUMMY!!!!

    Love your heart for Thanksgiving!

  2. I love your fall decorations, Dak is pretty dapper too.

  3. Love the decorations, the teenager and the yummy food.

  4. I so enjoyed your Thanksgiving post and all the beautiful photos and recipes you shared. What a blessing. I felt like I was sitting at your kitchen table chatting with you.

    Love and hugs Sister.

  5. Glad to see Dak feeling better... even if he does where his slippers to school.

    Your porch looks so inviting!

    Can't believe we're only 3 weeks away from Thanksgiving... it doesn't FEEL like November really, does it?