Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

No idea why this picture is this way. I can't fix it. If anyone knows how to prevent this let me know :)

Well I'm a little late posting my Thanksgiving wishes but we were a little busy around here this week getting ready for the festivities. I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and I hope you all took a few minutes to remember what Thanksgiving is all about and really enjoyed time spent with Family and Friends.

I kicked off Thanksgiving the way I do every year watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. It makes me homesick for New York a little bit but it really kicks off the holiday season for me. Once Santa rolls onto Herald's Square that's it I feel free to play Christmas music, drink eggnog and start spreading holiday cheer!

I did all of my cooking for Thanksgiving on Wednesday. I made cookies, pies, sauce and stuffed mushrooms it was a busy busy day. My new recipes included Maple Sugar cookies courtesy Martha Stewart's Magazine and Caramel-Nut Apple Pie which came from the Jaimie and Bobby Deen's Road Tasted Cookbook. The apple pie was out of this world! I've made a few different apple pies but this one quickly became my favorite and I think it is now a staple! Mike added a corn casserole to the new recipe bank and maple glazed sweet potatoes. Like the pie we make sweet potatoes every year but these were outstanding!! We had a good day though and I think everyone enjoyed the food. I certainly had a good day and I thank everyone for coming! This year was our biggest group we had 15 people and though it was exhausting getting it all put together it was worth it.

Yesterday Mike and I spent the day in our pj's just relaxing but today I think we are going to get started decorating for Christmas. We weren't going to put up a tree but Mike being the wonderful husband that he is decided that putting the tree up in the guest room so that we can close it off when we head to Ohio would work just fine. So I'm excited to put my tree up and get all of my ornaments out.
Starting on Monday Mike and I are starting a little weight loss competition. We'll see how it goes we would like to shave off a few pounds before heading to my mom's where I fully intend to eat whatever she puts in front of me!! Also on Monday I'll get going on some crafts and working on gifts so I will absolutely be keeping busy.

What are every one's plans for this holiday season? Anyone making gifts? Anyone cooking anything special be it a new recipe or a traditional one? Leave me a comment and let me know. I'll pick a comment to receive a special prize on Wednesday!

More soon...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

They All Can't Be Winners

I guess we've been spoiled because up until this week every new recipe we've tried has been delicious, forward to this week and we reached our first clinker. I had been really looking forward to trying this recipe given my addiction to pumpkin this fall and finally on Tuesday I made Pumpkin-Potato Pie and boy were we disappointed. I followed the recipe to the letter and we just found it to be very bland. Before we toss this bad boy though we are going to try to give it a little recipe rehab, maybe add some seasonings, meat and cheese. I'll let you know how that turns out!

I did more scrapbooking this week and I've churned out some pages I'm really proud of! I have to get going on my Thanksgiving projects though I'm starting to really run out of time!! I did create the prizes for my contest winner and got those sent out so Tam keep an eye out on your mail! I took photos but will not post them until I know they have been received I don't want to spoil the surprise!

We are in full Thanksgiving mode around here. Last night we took a run to Whole Foods which I absolutely love and then we stopped and picked up our Ham and Turkey. That's right we serve both Ham and Turkey! There will be more food then we could ever possibly need but we are going to enjoy every minute of the cooking and eating process I'm sure. What I do need are some ideas for Thanksgiving day activities to keep our guests entertained between dinner and dessert. We do have several games we can play but I am certainly open to ideas, so if you have anything that you and your family do on Thanksgiving Day please pass them along!!

Well tonight we are having friends over for dinner so I have to get off this couch and get moving and ready for tonight. I'll be trying another new recipe so be ready.

More Soon...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hot Coffee and Chilly Weather

Good Morning! This morning I'm drinking a large cup of coffee, the first of what I'm sure will be many, I'm also enjoying the beautiful chilly weather we are having here in Florida! It feels so good and helps motivate me and gets me really into the Holiday spirit because it just seems natural that the weather be chilly at this time of year!!

Let's see where to start. On Friday I made my new recipe of last week. I made Tortellini with Peas and Tarragon which I pulled out of the February 2008 issue of Real Simple magazine. This recipe was super easy and really tasty. We weren't sure if we even liked Tarragon but guess what we do! Here is the recipe:

1 pound frozen cheese tortellini
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 tbs unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper
2 tbs chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Cook the tortellini according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the butter and cook until it turns golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, peas, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and cook until heated through 2 - 3 minutes. Add the tortellini, tarragon and half the Parmesan and toss. Divide among bowls and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.

I of course added more garlic and peas and I don't add very much salt at all since the cheese is so salty but it's not my recipes so you make any changes you like :)

I also did a bit of scrapbooking last week. I am excited to work on projects using pictures I just took. I don't scrapbook in any sort of order anymore. I used to try to do everything in chronological order but I would end up not feeling inspired and then I would do nothing! So thanks to all the blogs I visit and all the magazines I read I let myself off the hook and now I scrap what is inspiring me at the moment I get into the scrap room or sometimes I find I'm inspired, thus motivated to head into the scrapbooking room! And now that I do that I get a lot more done. So last week I worked on pictures from Nicole & Andrew's visit and also from Kevin & Trish's visit. Here are pictures of the pages I did from Kevin and Trisha's visit let me know what you think!

Yesterday I dragged Mikey for the 3rd straight year to Super Soap Weekend and Disney's Hollywood Studios. And for the 3rd straight year I didn't make it to the big stage show that ends the evening but we saw a lot of the people from the shows I watch and Mikey and I had fun riding Toy Story Mania twice so it was a good day. Unfortunately they aren't planning a Super Soap Weekend next year but hopefully one day it will be back and I'll make it all the way to the end we shall see!

It's full blown Thanksgiving planning here at the Taylor house now, I think we are coming up with some great things and I'm exciting to put this meal together. Naturally there will be loads of pictures and loads of leftovers so if you are in the area and want to stop by around Thanksgiving just let me know.

More Soon...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Flavors of Fun Tour

Nicole and Andrew have come and gone and now it's time to get back to real life which I'm finding difficult considering all the fun we had with our guests. It was a jam packed visit and we did more eating then anything else. It's the one good thing about Nicole and Andrew leaving is that I don't think my stomach could have handled them being here one more day! Some highlights: We took on and conquered the Kitchen Sink Sundae, we ate and drank our way around Epcot's Food & Wine Festival, we enjoyed a character breakfast at Animal Kingdom, went to the Festival of the Masters at Downtown Disney, had an incredible meal at Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and then we finished the visit with breakfast at Whispering Canyon Cafe. Whew it was an incredible whirlwind.

Now I have kicked the holiday preparations into high gear. I will be in my craft room working on different holiday themed projects and some homemade gifts for loved ones. I also have started pulling recipes to use for our big Thanksgiving dinner this year and I'm putting a couple recipes aside to take with me to Ohio so I can pitch in there too! It will be a very busy and happy time and I fully intend to enjoy every minute of it especially since I'll be starting a job hunt after the holidays are all said and done.

I haven't made a new recipe this week yet but I think today will be the day. I am so fully of energy. After the food fest this weekend I felt motivated to get back into shape so I did a high impact workout yesterday and today and last night Mike and I went for a walk and I hope to do that again tonight as well. So today I will try to find a delicious but healthy new recipe to try or at least semi-healthy!! I will of course keep you posted. With all of the exciting things happening this season I will be trying to update my blog much more often so stay tuned!!!

More soon...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And The Winner Is...

As promised I am announcing the winner to my first little blog contest. There will be more of these contests in the future so keep checking back and please let me know if there is anything you would like to see on this blog!

And now for the winner of my first blog contest:

Tam said...
Wow do those food pics look yummy! You're so cute how you get all excited about holidays. I'm the same way. Halloween was a ton of fun w/ the kiddies and the parade at school but Thanksgiving will be really special. Without my step dad and Grandpa, my mom, Grandma and I were kind of worried what the day would be like but my mom decided even though she's going thru so much that she wants to play hostess and have over my dad's side of the family. A little amusingly dysfunctional maybe but I think it'll be so nice and we're all super excited

Thank you so much Tam for participating, keep and eye on your mail I'll be sending our your prize very soon!!

I try to avoid discussing politics on my blog because there are just so many differing opinions out there and it has the potential for bringing out the worst in people but given the excitement of this year's election and the history making outcome I wouldn't feel comfortable not mentioning it and extending my congratulations to our next president Barack Obama and his family. I know the last 24 hours have been very emotional for many people and I am hopeful that this change will improve the climate in America.

Tomorrow my sister and Andrew arrive so I'll be back in a few days with many many pictures! Stay tuned!

Monday, November 3, 2008

New Kids on the Block and a New Recipe!

Last night was the night, the night that hurtled me back in time, sort of. Last night me and my friends Leslie and Sophie went to see New Kids on the Block. I had only seen NKOTB in concert once before and that was a very long time ago and I was with my parents so though I found I was dancing and singing along to the same songs I listened to as a pre-teen this concert experience was definitely different. Partially because we had rockin' good seats and partially because of the beer but it was more then that, I was watching the New Kids on the Block but they weren't the same guys from 15 years ago and I'm sure not the same girl but it was one great experience. It started from the moment I got in the car and we started cranking the NKOTB cds and to be honest I don't think the experience is truly over, I've been spending the day looking over all the pictures and telling anyone who will listen about the show and tomorrow I plan on scrapbooking the whole thing. I think that is one major difference between this concert and other concerts I've been to usually after they are over you have that let down feeling that it's over and this one I'm still just so excited at the thought of having been at this show at all. And though taking a walk down memory lane is always fun I don't think you can never truly go back in time.

I think one of the side effects of this New Kids concert high I've got going on I was super productive today, I cleaned both bathrooms and vacuumed, got the guest bedroom all ready for Nicole and Andrew's arrival. Then tonight I made another new recipe. It was another Rachael Ray recipe: Chicken Salsa Verde Bake it was delicious!! It was easy and it made a ton of food so we'll be eating it for a couple of days. I'm so excited to be getting all of these recipes under my belt!

Just a reminder I'm still hosting a little contest on the previous blog post I'll be picking a winner on Wednesday so don't forget to leave a comment!! More soon!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hangin' Tough

Today's the day, after months and months of waiting for this day to roll around it's finally here - New Kids on the Block day!! Talked to Leslie this morning and the plan is set and now I just have to try and contain my excitement until around 5:15 when the gals come and pick me up and we head on our way. I am planning on digging up some of my old New Kids stuff like pins and such to bring with me for old time's sake. I will post a full concert recap tomorrow!!

So this week I didn't make a new recipe but I made two recipes that bring me right back to childhood. They are very different but for me the ultimate comfort food. One dish I made last Sunday is a chicken dish that our family refers to as "Chicken Daddy's Favorite Way" any guess how it got that name? In my excitement of both eating this meal and watching the Giants win I forgot to snap a picture, yes it happens from time to time believe it or not. But it's a perfect Sunday dinner it's easy and quick but the combo of chicken, breadcrumbs, onions and cheese just says Fall and Winter to me and it warms my heart and reminds me of Sunday meals with my family. Then on Halloween I made hot dogs stuffed with cheese and wrapped with crescent rolls, super easy, nothing fancy about it but it's fun and delicious and reminds me of being a kid and what better day to be reminded about the joys of childhood then Halloween right?

I did do some baking for Halloween I made cupcakes for Mikey to take to work and a cake for us to enjoy at home. Halloween I had big plans and we got a ton of candy for our trick or treaters but we didn't get any trick or treaters. I have no idea why we have gotten trick or treaters every year since we moved into this apartment and now we have pounds of candy left over. Luckily for me Nicole and Andrew will be here on Thursday and I'm counting on their help to get rid of some of this candy. Mike and I also planned to watch Ghost Hunters Live - it was on from 7PM until 2AM we watched about five hours of it but we weren't impressed so we went to bed and will just watch the big reveal show on Wednesday.

This week aside from the uber excitement of tonight's concert I will be getting the house ready for my Nicole & Andrew's visit. I already took down all the Halloween decorations and put up all my Thanksgiving decorations so the place looks super festive. I have some cleaning to do as well in preparation and I'll do some baking because even though Nicole says it's not necessary I have to take care of my Andrew!! Before my guests arrive I will also have to try to get scrapping and to try some new recipes this week. I am going to start yet another Ali Edwards project which you can read about in her blog but it's a Days of December book. I figured the Week in the Life project turned out to be a success maybe I will try this one and I love the idea of having an album all done by the time January 1st rolls around. I bought the book I want to use yesterday and now I just have to put the pages together so it's as simple as adding pictures and journaling at the end of each day. I will be sure to keep you posted!!

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween and I hope you are all as excited about Thanksgiving as I am! Any big plans? Any special recipes? Leave me a comment including special Thanksgiving thoughts and ideas and it just might mean a treat for you!

More Soon...

About Me

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I live in Champions Gate, FL with my husband and our four fur babies (3 cats and 1 dog)I spend my time either being creative or trying to get the creative juices flowing. I love to cook, go for swims and take the dog for long walks.