Thanksgiving Week

Today, I’m thankful that it’s finally over. It’s not that I don’t love spending time with family. It’s just that it’s been a busy week with lots of travel and very little relaxation.

We had our third Thanksgiving today. It was the first one we’ve ever hosted in our home and I think it went well. The weather cooperated, so it was cool outside and gave our AC a bit of a break, and since it was nice all the kids could play outside on the trampoline.

I’m thankful that we had the chance to spend time with my husband’s side of the family — his mom and sister, our newly-engaged niece and her fiance (and his parents, who are friends of mine), and our younger niece and nephew. There was lots of good food and everyone went home with full bellies and leftovers.

What I have learned for next year: I don’t have enough serving pieces. Meaning both cutlery and plates/bowls. I made a list of what would have been useful, and my husband and I decided we need to go look for some unique pieces at Market Days and flea markets before we host again. I also learned that I need a more complete and organized to do list — my wrinkled table cloths didn’t steal joy from the day, but I wish I had remembered to at least toss them into the dryer before I had the kids put them on the table. 😉

Overall, though, we couldn’t have asked for a better day. So I am thankful for today. And for the clean sheets on the oh-so-comfy bed my tired little body is headed to right now.

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Cranberry Apple Pie {Wordless Wednesday}

Pumpkin

I made some excellent pumpkin bread yesterday and shared the recipe on the new blog. This recipe is definitely going into our family cookbook!

Kitchen Inspiration

I’m staring at my pile of recipe clippings, attempting to make my Thanksgiving dinner grocery list. Yes, I do use pinterest, but I still subscribe to several cooking magazines. Each month I tear out the “that looks like it might be good” recipes and put them in a binder, which sounds way more organized that it is in reality. I have the binder, and intended to use tabs and clear sheet protectors to organize all those magazine sheets.  So far, though, I just tear the pages out and stuff them in the binder. Yes, I’m that kind of planner.

I also love to read cooking blogs, but until my thoughtful husband (who always wants me to cook more) gave me an iPad I really didn’t like using online recipes to cook. I’d find things that looked great, bookmark them, and then think ugh… I really don’t want to drag the laptop into the kitchen or try to read off a tiny phone screen to use this. But now, it’s easy to just prop the iPad up on the counter and follow along.

So here are my must-read cooking blogs, in no particular order:

This Lunch Rox Yes, Jamie’s adorable and yummy-looking food creations are inspiring, but I really love the philosophy behind her meals. She’s helped inspire me to make sure my own kid’s school lunches are healthier, and really gives a lot of useful information and links in her posts if you want to learn more. Plus, her food photography (like her people photography) is really good.

101 Cookbooks Speaking of great food photography, I love browsing Heidi’s site. Her vegetarian recipes have really helped us with our Meatless Monday challenges. Most importantly, reading her blog and looking at her photographs really inspires me to want to eat healthier.

Simple Bites Again with the healthy. Aimee’s blog is another source of daily culinary inspiration. Not only have I gotten some great recipes and encouragement from her posts, but I also get a lot from her articles on things like organizing your kitchen for the holidays.

Whole Foods Market Last, but not least, the Whole Foods blog is one of my go-to sources, not only for recipes but for whole living information and inspiration. I check it out at least once a week, usually when I’m planning my next trip to the store.

Now to find a great app to help me organize these online recipes. Anyone know of one for iPad that will be better than my magazine sheet binder method?