Monthly Archives: November 2015

11/22/15

We’re Fall-ing in Love.

Our sweet Sarah girl is getting married in January.

And we couldn’t be more thrilled!

So, in honor of her and Jim’s impending nuptials, we threw a Fall-themed Bridal Shower this past weekend for her, her family, and friends, and we had such a wonderful time doing so!

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So, for the food. We served rather non-traditional shower fare mostly because Sarah doesn’t like it!  Plus, this girl’s favorite season is fall & football season and any of these recipes would be just as delicious served at a tailgate party on a Saturday afternoon. As one of the party-goers said, “This is real Southern lady food”, as she skipped back through the buffet line for seconds.

My kind of girl. #soulmates.

What we served:

  • Ham & Cheese Party Sandwiches with poppy seed dressing & sweet caramelized onions
  • Spinach & Artichoke Dip with crackers
  • Hot & Spicy Corn Dip with tortilla chips
  • Veggie Tray with hummus dip
  • Toffee Apple Dip
  • Assorted Cake Pops, in Pumpkin & Red Velvet
  • Hot Apple Cider, warmed in the crockpot
  • Cranberry Champagne Cocktail
  • Water

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One of my duties was the Toffee Apple Dip. This has been a staple in my household since Cousin Carol brought it to the first Family Christmas weekend years and years ago. It’s simple, it’s delicious, and I have yet to meet a soul who doesn’t gobble it right up!

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Toffee Apple Dip 

Ingredients:

  • 1 block Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2- 3/4 cup of Toffee bits or finely chopped Heath Bar

Directions:

  1. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and brown sugar together until smooth & thoroughly combined and no longer gritty. Add the vanilla and mix.
  2. Fold in the toffee by hand so you don’t break up the little pieces too much.
  3. Serve with crisp sliced Granny Smith apples.

So, so good.

*Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but best served the day of or the day after it is prepared. 

For games, we played the “Don’t Say It” Ring game.

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The easel instructs party guests to grab their favorite “diamond” ring and not to say the words “bride” or “wedding” and those that do, lose their ring! The lady with the most rings by the end of the party wins a prize!

Our winner turned out to be Carter, the 8 year old flower girl. Watch out for those young party-goers. They are incredibly sneaky.

And then we also played a quiz with 15 different famous & recognizable romantic movie quotes. I made a hand-out for each guest to fill out and then whoever guessed the most wins a prize!

You can get incredibly creative with this one, there is so many to choose from, but just to get your mind spinning in the right direction, I have listed one of my alltime favorites below…

“Well, it was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home… only to no home I’d ever known… I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was like… magic.”
– Sleepless in Seattle

But, as with any social gathering, the food and decor take second fiddle to the amazing company. The people certainly make the party, the laughter, and the fun. And this was no exception.

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So, happy shower day sweet Sarah! We hope this season of life with its hustle and bustle and fun and frivolity is extra-special for you, because you are oh-so-extra-special to all of us!

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Love you, precious friend.

xoxo…

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11/19/15

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey Breast

Yep.

You read that correctly.

Slow Cooker Turkey for Thanksgiving this year. And let me tell you, it’s an absolute revelation & dream to prep and prepare!

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And, as an added bonus, it is all done the night before your big Thanksgiving Day celebration. It truly is a cinch and you set it, forget it, and enjoy a peaceful night’s rest and awake the following morning to a perfectly cooked turkey breast!

So, let’s get to it!

I can hardly wait til next Thursday….

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey Breast 

Ingredients:

  • 1 5-7 lb whole Turkey Breast
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. Wash and dry the bird thoroughly. You want the skin, the breast meat, and the cavity to be completely smooth and dry for optimum cooking & browning.
  2. In a small bowl mash the softened butter with the salt, pepper, orange zest, and rosemary until thoroughly mixed and you end up with a smooth paste.
  3. Generously “paint” the bird until it is totally covered, on top and under the skin. You want this delicious herby, citrus butter to permeate and flavor the turkey meat.

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Note: We love the flavor the citrus and rosemary lends to our bird, but if you are more interested in a more-traditional route with earthy chicken stock, sage, and thyme, check out this recipe from Handle the Heat.

You can really flavor the bird however you choose, it’s more the method that we are after here! If you have a traditional rub you love using, please use it! It’s entirely up to you.

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4. Completely cover the entire turkey with a few very large sheets of aluminum foil. This will ensure the turkey stays incredibly moist as it cooks.

5. Place in slow cooker on low heat for about 5-6 hours, or even overnight, depending on size of the bird.

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Every slow cooker heats differently, so keep this in mind as well as the actual size of your turkey as you program your cooking. I would err on the side of caution with less cooking time, because you can always remove the lid and stick an instant-read thermometer inside the meat to test for doneness. If it’s not done yet, simply keep cooking.

They key to doneness for turkey breasts is approximately 160 degrees. The breast meat will continue to cross-over cook after being removed from slow cooker and optimum internal temperature before your slice and serve is 170 degrees.

6. Remove the bird from the slow cooker, peel back the foil, pour off the turkey stock that will have been produced (and use it for your dressing) and place the turkey breast on a platter for carving. Slice & serve!

Please make sure your bird rests for about 30 minutes before you slice, to allow all the delicious juices to redistribute. This will yield a very moist end result.

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Absolutely mouth-watering delicious!

Your turkey is sure to be the star of this year’s Thanksgiving table!

Many blessings to you and yours. Happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo….

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