Food · Holidays · Recipes

Thanksgiving 2017

I hope you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving! We hosted ourselves this year, with my sister and her husband coming up to join us! Naturally, I made WAY too much food… which we then ate for days and I haven’t cooked all weekend so that’s been kind of nice 😉 And man, it was good…


I really had fun this year setting a beautiful table. It was basically all DIY and I think it really turned out lovely!


Those are dollar store charger plates spray-painted an aged copper color, (as well as some rocks and little pumpkins) and those napkin rings are toilet paper rolls with twine glued on, topped with this cute little printable on brown paper! The table runner is a roll of wide burlap “ribbon” sewed together three across. Plastic silverware and napkins are good ol’ Walmart and the placemats are from IKEA. I really liked that blue and orange/copper combo! I will say the spray-painted chargers looked awesome, but even after several days of drying they still felt a little tacky and as soon as we lifted the plates off, paint peeled up with them. So… probably a one-time deal only, ha! But they looked awesome!

I spent half the day Wednesday prepping and making pies (cherry and apple… I LOVE a good tarte aux pommes! My sister brought the pumpkin pie, don’t worry, we didn’t skip the classics!) with Adelina and it was really fun to spend so much time with her. She made her own little mini apple tart, and loved playing with the dough and assisting in every way possible. Oh, and cranberry jello! It’s this delicious creamy, mousse-type concoction a friend’s mom makes and we’ve been hooked ever since! Adelina really liked the little rubber molds we used, and licking all the foam off the top, obviously…


Jonas made himself useful by snacking while we worked, and Andrew had the day off so he ran interference and support!


Unfortunately, once she got home from her dance class, Adelina was getting really grumpy, and that night she woke up a mere two hours after bedtime crying — and wouldn’t go back to sleep for two hours. We realized she had an ear infection, poor girl, and she was miserable. I’ve never dealt with this until this week and we were both desperately googling home remedies. We eventually got her back to sleep and in the morning she felt a lot better — although it was still rough: she spent half of Thanksgiving Day asking to go to bed, which if you know her, you know that’s definitely a shock.


A dear friend saved the day by dropping off a little roller of essential oils that really seemed to give her some relief. Even if it was just a placebo, I think having something to give her and apply helped her feel like I was doing something about it, you know what I mean? Either way, by the next night she was good to go.

But all that meant we started Thanksgiving Day totally exhausted, and suddenly Jonas was really grumpy too… yes, he was sick too. No ear infection though, just a nasty cough. Thanksgiving happened anyway though, in between all of the craziness, and both kids were actually napping by the time we sat down for dinner so it was strangely calm. Honestly, I actually really missed them 😦 But this is real life, right?

Adelina cuddled with Papa and watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning.

Then, Sylvia & Kyle arrived early in the afternoon and she was thrilled to see them, as were we! They came bearing gifts from the “big city,” A.K.A. things we can’t buy at our little local grocery store: sparkling apple cider from IKEA (have you tried it? It’s really good! Less sweet than Martinelli’s and seriously perfect) and brie and prosciutto raclette cheese! (yes, we’re nuts, the day after thanksgiving we had another feast: raclette. Mmmmm. The whole house smelled like stinky feet for about a day but it was so worth it, ha!)

We made two little appetizers while she helped me put finishing touches on all the food. These cranberry brie bites were divine. I don’t have a pretty picture but seriously, pin that recipe for later because it’s amazing. I did ours with puff pastry instead of crescent dough though, and we omitted the nuts because my brother-in-law is allergic. Even sans nuts though they’re so tasty! The other one was crackers with ricotta, a little apricot jam and prosciutto.

The Turkey came out perfect and right on time, so I threw literally everything else in next and we got ‘er done! Yup. A Thanksgiving feast cooked all in one oven. Admit it, you’re impressed. Ha!


And then we sat down to eat after Andrew carved the turkey!


We really need something better than a pyrex measuring cup for gravy… ha, someday! I made sweet potatoes this year — we usually feel pretty meh about them but Jonas loves sweet potatoes and I felt brave. I asked around and someone shared a divine concoction that did NOT disappoint. Jonas loved it, and my sister and I finished up the rest ha! No pretty pictures of that one though, sorry. Here’s the recipe though! I asked for help on Facebook and came up with this winner — thanks Andria!


And how about this divine apple tart….


It’s a rustic french recipe that I use, but I like to drizzle on some salted caramel sauce before putting it in the oven. It is soooo good! (And yes, I totally serve it with extra sauce after, too!) Here is the recipe for the salted caramel sauce although be careful when adding the cream after the sugar has caramelized: the recipe says to remove from heat and then add the caramel, but I find that tends to make the whole thing harden and clump. Instead, keep it on heat but just turn it down so that you can slowly incorporate the cream without hardening the caramel. Once the cream is mixed in, you can take it off and add the salt and vanilla.

We did have to take a break of a few hours before attacking the desserts, ha! And you can see in the corner there a little thankful tree I made, but with all the craziness we never ended up putting leaves with things we’re thankful for… such is life, I guess. We did talk about gratitude with Adelina throughout the week though, so that’s something.


Anyway, there’s our Thanksgiving in a nutshell — a little crazy, but still delicious, and I’m grateful for all the family time we got over this long weekend! Now to recover from a three-day lack of sleep and the cold I now have… ha!


Conference Morning Orange Rolls

I’ve shared my love of little family traditions many times, and this is one of them that has developed over the last few years: I love making orange rolls for LDS General Conference. (This is hardly unique ha, pretty much all of mormondom is making cinnamon rolls twice a year for conference!)

Speaking of which: conference was amazing this year. So much to ponder and study again. Sister Cordon, Elder Holland, Elder Rasband, Elder Sabin, Elder Choi, Pres. Jones and Elder Uchtdorf gave messages that especially stood out to me. What were your favorite talks?)

Anyway, I shared a photo of my favorite orange rolls on social media and someone asked for the recipe, so here you go! These are a little more “cakey” than airy bread because they’re quick rolls, but honestly I’m not at a point in my life where I have the patience for dough that takes more than an hour to make. And this one is quite tasty!


I use this 30-Minute Dinner Roll recipe for the dough, then once I’ve mixed it I make up the filling and icing.

  1. Prepare dough
  2. Filling: mix about 6 Tbsp of softened butter, the finely grated orange rind from one orange (wash it well before!), about half a cup of sugar (add more if you need so it’s nice and thick and not runny. I tend to eyeball things…) and I like to add some cardamom.
  3. Icing: I use this Sour Cream Icing from Our Best Bites (those sugar cookies are SO good by the way, and this is now my favorite icing! It’s a little on the runnier side just FYI) Just whip up the following:4 tablespoons softened butter
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    I usually let the icing chill while I’m finishing everything else up and waiting for the rolls to cook

  4. Roll out dough into a large rectangle after you’ve let it rise (about half an inch thick, ish? it puffs back up pretty fast so don’t worry about making it too thin!) and spread filling over it. Leave a little space on one of the long sides, roll it up from the other long side and press the dough so it holds in a long roll.
  5. Use this dental floss technique to slice the roll into 12 pieces, arrange into large casserole dish. You can let it sit another 10 minutes if you want, the rolls will rise a bit more and squeeze together.
  6. Bake at 400° F for about 15-20 minutes (until barely golden on the top — make sure the center roll cooks through though!)
  7. Drizzle the icing all over, and serve fresh from the oven!

All told, it takes about an hour to an hour on a half, depending on how distracted by little people you are 😉 Hope you enjoy them, they’d be lovely for Easter breakfast too! I want to try out this Challah Bread this year, and I love this sweet Resurrection Rolls idea for kids.