Thanksgiving Menu

collard and brussels sprout salad

Collard & Brussels Sprout Salad
             
  • 4 slice(s) (or up to 6 slices) thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 pound(s) collard greens, stems removed, cut into thin strips
  • 12 ounce(s) Brussels sprouts, shaved or sliced paper-thin
  • 1 cup(s) grated Parmesan
  • Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup(s) sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until brown and crispy. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.
  2. In a large bowl, combine collard greens, Brussels sprouts, Parmesan, and reserved bacon. Toss with mustard vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper before serving.
  3. To make the vinaigrette: Whisk together sherry vinegar, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, honey, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste.
 
 
sage butter roasted turkey
Sage Butter Roasted Turkey

                       Ingredients    
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon(s) whole peppercorns
  • 1 (12- to 15-pound) fresh turkey
  • 1/2 stick(s) butter, cut into 8 slices
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 stalk(s) celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Gravy (recipe follows), if desired

Gravy

  • Turkey drippings, in roasting pan
  • 2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup(s) chicken broth
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoon(s) butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) fresh thyme leaves

Directions

  1. In a stockpot large enough to hold the turkey, over high heat, bring 2 cups water, lemon slices, salt, sugar, and peppercorns to a boil. Remove pot from heat and add 2 gallons ice water and lemon juice. Submerge the turkey, cover the pot, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Remove the brined turkey and rinse under cold water. Transfer turkey to a wire rack, with paper towels placed underneath, to drain; dry the skin with paper towels.
  3. Run your fingers under the turkey’s breast and thigh skin to loosen. Work butter slices and sage leaves under the skin. Dry the skin again with paper towels, then rub with oil.
  4. Place carrots, celery, and onions in a shallow roasting pan; place turkey in the center. Sprinkle with pepper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before cooking.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. If any liquid has collected in the roasting pan, remove it with a baster. Tuck the turkey wings underneath the bird and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Place the turkey in the oven. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. Roast for 1 hour, then baste with pan juices. (If breast is browning too quickly, cover with foil.) Rotate the pan and continue to roast, basting turkey every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer reaches 165 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, 21/2 to 3 more hours.
  6. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and let rest 30 minutes before carving. Reserve drippings for gravy, if desired.
  7. To make the gravy: Add flour to drippings in roasting pan and cook over medium heat, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the mixture turns a rich brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
  8. Slowly add chicken broth and stir until gravy thickens, adding more broth if needed. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  9. Stir in butter until it melts. Add fresh thyme leaves, if desired.
 
cornbread dressing
Cornbread Dressing
Ingredients
  • 3/4 stick(s) butter
  • 3 cup(s) (about 2 large onions) chopped onions
  • 2 cup(s) (about 6 stalks) chopped celery
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 7 cup(s) day-old cornbread, broken into 1-inch cubes (see Cast-Iron Buttermilk Cornbread recipe)
  • 2 tablespoon(s) minced fresh sage
  • 2 cup(s) chicken or vegetable broth

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add onions, celery, salt, and pepper; cook until slightly softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and add cornbread and sage. Mix well.
  2. In the same skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add cornbread mixture. Add broth and stir to moisten. Dot with remaining butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until brown and crispy on top, 40 to 50 minutes.
 
 
citrus cranberry sauce
 
Citrus Cranberry Sauce
 
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 orange
  • Juice and zest of 1/2 red grapefruit
  • 1 pound(s) cranberries (frozen or fresh), rinsed

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil. Add fruit juices and zests, and return mixture to a boil. Add cranberries; reduce heat to medium and cook until cranberries pop, 10 to 12 minutes. Chill.
skillet green beansSkillet Green Beans
Ingredients
 
  • 1 pound(s) green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon(s) soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) sesame oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron skillet, toss green beans with soy sauce and sesame oil. Roast, tossing midway through, until just crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.
 
 
potato gratin
 
Potato Gratin
Ingredients
 
  • 2 tablespoon(s) butter
  • 4 clove(s) (large) garlic, peeled
  • 2 cup(s) milk
  • 2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 pound(s) (about 4 large potatoes) russet potatoes
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cup(s) shredded Gruyère

Directions

  1. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish or enamel-coated cast-iron skillet, then rub with 1 garlic clove. Discard garlic.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine milk, cream, salt, and remaining garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove garlic and discard.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, peel and rinse the potatoes. Pat dry with a paper towel, then cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
  4. Overlap the potatoes in a circular pattern to cover the bottom of the dish. Top with 1/4 cup of the milk mixture, a few grinds of pepper, a sprinkle of salt, and 3/4 cup cheese. Repeat process (reserving 1/2 cup of the cheese) until layers are 1/2 inch from the top of the dish. Pour additional milk mixture up to top of potatoes (you may not need to use all of it). Top with the reserved cheese.
  5. Place the dish on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until casserole is bubbling, cheese is brown, and a knife easily pierces the potatoes, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 to 12 minutes before serving.
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10 Holiday Crafts You’ll Love

red and white pillows

 

Joyful Pillows

Upgrade store-bought throw pillows in a jiffy with simple appliqués. To make them, type JOY into a word-processing document, using a font you like. Enlarge each character to full letter-page size. Print, then cut out the letters and trace them onto white felt; cut out. Next, pin strips of fusible bonding web, such as Stitch Witchery ($2.99; joann.com), to the back of each felt letter. Center each one (with webbing underneath) on a pillowcase and carefully remove the pins. Iron on according to the package instructions. Once the letters have adhered, add decorative stitching with embroidery thread, if desired.

 
 
hannukah menorah craft

Hannukah Menorah Craft

Arrange a memorable menorah in minutes! Who knew plain old salt and pepper shakers could look so sophisticated? Simply unscrew the tops, fill each shaker with decorative blue sand, and place a menorah candle inside. Once the candles melt down, use tweezers to remove residual wax before reusing.
 
 
glass ornaments
 

Upgrade a Plain Glass Ornament

At around a dollar each, these empty orbs offer an affordable catalyst for creativity. Fill one with small wooden chips, another with a single stunning peacock feather (attached to the ornament’s top with hot glue). Or compose a more obvious Christmas scene by dropping a model fir tree into a globe dusted with artificial snow. You can also use tweezers to position branches inside and even hot-glue a tiny cardinal in place.

(Ornaments, starting at $4.99 for four, and cardinal, $1.99; michaels.com for stores. Peacock feathers, $2.99 for three, and artificial snow, $2.99; joann.com. Wood chips, $3 for 4.8 ounces; walmart.com for stores. Model tree, from $2.99; hobbylinc.com)

 

Christmas Tree Skirt

A literal take on the Christmas tree skirt, this resourceful project makes clever use of old duds gathering dust in your closet. All you need are two kilts (or other pleated skirts) in complementary colors and a little sewing know-how. For instructions, visit countryliving.com/tree-skirt.
 
 
 
 

Snow Globes

For a cooler-than-cool stocking stuffer, create a mini winter wonderland with a snow-globe kit ($13.95 for two; snowdomes.com). Here’s how to get the ball rolling:

Step 1: Decide what you’d like to put in your globe (we chose cupcake toppers from fancyflours.com), keeping in mind that plastic and ceramic work best underwater.

Step 2: If desired, cover your globe’s base. Since ours feature outdoor scenes, we used sheets of model-train “grass” ($2.49; modeltrainstuff.com), adhered with waterproof epoxy. Spray with Watco’s clear lacquer ($7.99; woodcraft.com); let dry.

Step 3: Position your figure on the base; affix with the epoxy.

Step 4: Once the epoxy has dried, attach the dome to the base and fill with distilled water and the included snow, following the kit’s instructions. To hide the seam where the base and dome meet, use glue dots to affix a decorative ribbon around the globe’s circumference. Looks like it’s a small world, after all.

 
w Thumbnails

Crafty Kits

Instead of a single present, treat loved ones to a customized kit packed with stuff they’re sure to use — buttons, thread, and needles for a friend who likes to sew; polishes, brushes, and buffing cloths for a well-dressed dad; or cookie cutters, sprinkles, and icing tubes for a friend who bakes. To re-create these kits, start by spraying a clean tin (we used old metal cookie containers) with Rust-Oleum Universal All-Surface paint in white; let dry. Next, download an image to match the tin’s contents at countryliving.com/dec-templates. Print the silhouette and cut out, then spray the back with adhesive. Using a pair of craft tweezers, pick up the graphic and place it, right side up, on the tin’s lid. Once it dries, coat the lid and base with a spray sealer (try Krylon’s Make It Last) and let dry. Use black card stock, cut to the tin’s dimensions, to create dividers, if desired. Then fill with your goodies
 
 

Enjoy some good clean fun with these easy-to-make soaps, shaped using animal-themed cookie cutters ($3.99 for six; ikea.com for stores). For your own menagerie, heat a medium-size chunk of melt-and-pour glycerin ($6 for two pounds; sweetcakes.com) over a double boiler or in the microwave. While it melts, place the cutters in a deep metal baking pan. Once the glycerin liquefies, tint it with food coloring, then pour it in the middle of each cutter so the glycerin fills it to the top (use only one soap color per pan, in case any spills over). Spray with rubbing alcohol and let sit until the glycerin hardens. Using a knife, cut around the inside of the cookie cutter, then gently press the soap through to release it. Wild!

 
 
 

A sweet alternative to store-bought cards, these greetings put your tree-decorating skills to work — on a small scale. Download our illustration at countryliving.com/dec-templates, and print in color onto 8 1/2- by 11-inch card stock. Fold the stock in half lengthwise, creasing with a bone folder. For the card at top left, attach small bugle beads and paillettes to the tree (use craft glue for all designs). To replicate the middle version, cut out ornaments (made by tracing a button), a tree base, and a star from patterned fabrics and adhere. Make the last card by zigzagging a length of ribbon across the tree. Fold the ends under and glue, then try other widths of ribbon to craft a base, star, and gift. Or use your imagination, and whatever supplies you have on hand, to make your own one-of-a-kind cards.

 
 

STOP What Your Doing & Listen..

Now that i have your attention .

I have but 3 things to said !

1.) Don’t be your child’s bestfriend.

Why?

Answer : Parents often feel that if they are a their child’s  FRIEND instead of parent that the child may tell them more, and be more open to them.

There is a fine line between being a friend to your child , & being to friendly.

One day your child may come home with a tattoo or maybe a new biker boyfriend. With you being a “friend” they expect you to be excited & supportive.  Therefore causing more arguments when you don’t agree. Picture this , what happens 70% of the time when you tell a child “no” ? they rebel right? Not always , but quite often. They might even rebel just because of the fact of you disapproving. 

 

2.) STOP making your child do sports or instruments they don’t want to do ! 

Why?

Answer :If your child is constantly doing  something just to impress, honor or make YOU happy , they could feel as if they always have to impress you. Causing more fights & arguments later on.

 

3.)Believe in your child no matter what !

Why?

Answer: Even if the both of you know for a fact your child will never be president, an astronaut, or an outer space alien give them encouragement . Without encouragement they may never reach their full potential .

 

 

 

 

Options For Unplanned Pregnancy

One of the most difficult situation in life is to have an unplanned pregnancy. It is difficult to judge the thoughts and feelings because they are so confusing when you face an unplanned pregnancy. It is challenging to make a decision to know what to do at that time. Each and every woman has an individual right to make a decision on their own to handle an unplanned pregnancy. Before making any decisions, please make sure to confirm whether you are pregnant or not by taking a pregnancy test.

Home Pregnancy Test: Home pregnancy test can be bought from over-the-counter stores. This test can be done by measuring the level of HCG content in urine.
Clinical Pregnancy Test: This test is done by clinical people and taking sample of your blood test and urine test to confirm your pregnancy. This test gives you 100% result if you’re pregnant or not.

If you have confirmed your unplanned pregnancy, then you have two options :

• Parenting Your Own Child: If you and your partner feel ready to be parents, please select this wise option.

Placing The Baby For Adoption: If you want to give up your baby after 9 months of your pregnancy, select this option.  If you and your partner is not able to take care of the child, it is probably best that you find parents who want to adopt your child. There are so many foundations regarding adoption of a newborn.

Before Making Up Your Mind, Ask Yourself These Questions:
• How do you feel about this unplanned pregnancy?
• Do you want to parent this child?
• What about your partner feelings about your pregnancy?
• Can you handle the financial needs to raise your child alone?
• Does your partner support you in raising the child ?
• Who is going to support you?
• Are you ready to take care of the child 365 days/year?
• How will you manage your future goals with a child in your hand?
• How will you feel if someone else raise your child?
• How will you feel if you choose abortion?
• What will be your life as a parent in 1 or 2 years?

Getting Pregnant : Tips & Secrets

How you become pregnant

First off though, it is important to understand what is occurring during conception and to understand that it is not one singular event but a combination of several. Each month, you ovulate, or your body’s hormones stimulate the ovaries to release an egg. This generally happens on or around day 14 of your menstrual cycle, although this day can vary among women or even on a month to month basis. After the egg has been released, it will travel to the fallopian tubes. This is the optimum time for fertilization; you only have about 24 hours to unite the egg with a sperm. This does not, however, mean that you have 24 hours to have sex and get pregnant. Sperm can stay in the female reproductive tract for about two days, so it is best to engage in intercourse regularly during the days leading up to ovulation and increase your chances of becoming pregnant. If the egg becomes fertilized, it will travel to the uterus in about two-four days and there it will attach to the uterine lining. Congratulations, you’re pregnant! If this does not occur, the egg will break-down and you will simply have your period as normal.

How to know when is the best time to get pregnant

The key to getting pregnant, is knowing when your ovulation schedule is. This can be difficult for many women, especially if you have an irregular period. Some tools and methods that can be helpful in determining your peak times to get pregnant are the following.

Keep an eye on the calendar and know when your periods are and track them month to month so you can better predict your ovulation.

Look for changes in your cervical mucus. Just before you ovulate, a slippery clear mucus will appear and is it there to help the sperm have a better chance in reaching the egg, when this mucus turns a cloudy color, your chances of becoming pregnant are much more slim.

Monitor your basal body temperature (your body temperature when you are at rest), you will generally become warmer by approximately 0.5-1.6 degrees when you are ovulating, it is best to engage in intercourse for the few days before your temperature rises. There are also ovulation monitoring kits that you can buy over-the- counter for about 30-40 dollars, or more advanced ones that can cost up to 200 dollars. These test the urine for a surge of hormones that generally appears just before you ovulate. Another, more expensive, high-tech option is the ovulation wristwatch that monitors the sodium level in your sweat; these changes also reflect what is happening in your cervical mucus.

How to increase your chances of becoming pregnant

While knowing when you ovulate is the key to getting pregnant, it is also extremely important to make sure you take care of yourself.

Eating healthy, regularly exercising, and keeping your stress level low will help you as well.

Also, take your vitamins, especially your B vitamins, which are good for the baby and can help reduce the chances of them from suffering from neural tube defects.

Having regular sex, 3-4 times weekly, will increase your chances of hitting a fertile time period and for many couples, this is all they need to do. Increasing sexual intercourse to at least once daily during the 2-3 days before you ovulate will also increase your chances of becoming pregnant.

It is important not to smoke, drink alcohol, or uses any other kinds of drugs, prescription included, without first consulting a doctor. These things (especially the tobacco), can and will change the cervical mucus and make it more difficult for the sperm cell to reach the egg. If you are serious about becoming pregnant and becoming a mother, you would have to take these precautions anyway and it is better to make yourself healthier before you take on the responsibility of carrying a child for nine-months and then bringing them into the world.

How your partner can help

It is important to remember that you are not the only factor involved in whether or not you become pregnant. Your partner will also have some things that he should do in order to insure that his sperm have enough motility to reach the egg. While you are trying to have a baby, your partner should avoid wearing briefs and other tight apparel. He should also avoid Jacuzzi and hot baths. He is more likely be less fertile if he does not avoid these things. There are over- the-counter sperm fertility test available as well; these generally test the motility of the sperm rather than the actual count as a sperm analysis will do. These test are basic and if one says that your motility is bad, it’s bad and your partner should go and see their doctor and assess what there options are.

When to see a doctor

If you are under the age of 35 and you and your partner are both healthy and have been trying on your own for a year with no success, then you should see a doctor to see if there is an underlying medical problem that you don’t know about. If you are over the age of 35 you should see your doctor sooner, preferably before you start on your own to see what you can do to increase your ability to have children.

Kindergarden Poem

K is for Kindergarten—hip, hip, hooray.
I is for imagination we use everyday.
N is for numbers—we know one, two, three.
D is for drawing, the best you can see!
E is for exercise to keep our bodies strong.
R is for reading books all day long.
G is for good friends. We made more each day.
A is for the alphabet we know how to say.
R is for remembering everything we learned.
T is for treats every Friday we earned.
E is for excitement. This year we’ve had some.
N is for next year. First grade here we come!

 

 

The First Day
I gave you a little wink and smile
As you entered my room today.
For I know how hard it is to leave
And know your child must stay.
You’ve been with him for five years now
And have been a loving guide,
But now, alas, the time has come
To leave him at my side.
Just know that as you drive away
And tears down your cheeks may flow
I’ll love him as I would my own
And help him learn and grow.
For as a parent, I too know
How quickly the years do pass
And that one day soon it will be my turn
To take my child to class.
So please put your mind at ease
And cry those tears no more
For I will love him and take him in
When you leave him at my door.

 

*THESE ARE GREAT TO GET PRINTED & FRAMED FOR MEMORIES*