Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

*Whew*
Thanksgiving was a blast! My mom and sisters were the last to leave, yesterday :(. We braved Black Friday, but did it really low key this year. It has been a tradition for years and since I lived in Arizona last year, I went alone and just to the fabric store. My main goal this year was to get a Cricut Expression and I came out victorious! I've spent many hours using it already and I think everyone should have one...seriously.

It was a lot of fun hosting Thanksgiving and I think I would like to host every year. We had a lot of good food, including my first turkey (which turned out moist...my biggest concern). I had watched a couple of Food Network programs and talked to my mom to get as many tips as I could. My hunny even bought me a nice roasting pan from Costco. So the tip that I can pass on is use chicken stock (2 boxes) in the bottom of the roasting pan (w/the turkey on the rack). It just seemed to keep the turkey moist as it cooked. It also helped when it came to making the gravy. Combined with the turkey drippings it made plenty of gravy.

My other favorites from the meal were homemade Cranberry Sauce & Pumpkin Caramel Flan. The Cranberry Sauce was super easy and delicious. It took about ten minutes in a sauce pan with some orange zest & juice, a little white & brown sugar, cinnamon, plus some water. I cooked them long enough for the berries to pop. The flan was yummy too, though I'm not sure you really would call it that. It had some same charicteristics, but I think it needed more eggs to get a flan texture. It was almost like a crustless pumpkin pie, but lighter texture and a light caramel sauce. I also enjoyed the flavor a lot more than pie. It is a good option for a healthier dessert or for someone who can't have wheat (like me). I thought I'd share the recipe (courtesy of Nestle). I made it ahead of time, so it was one less thing I had to worry about.

Pumpkin Caramel Flan
Estimated Times:

Preparation - 20 min | Cooking - 45 min | Cooling Time - 4 hrs refrigerating | Yields - 8
Replacing some of the eggs with egg whites and using evaporated fat free milk make this elegant dessert low in fat without sacrificing any of its richness.

Ingredients:

Directions:
PREHEAT oven to 350° F.
PLACE 8-inch-square baking dish into a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; fill outer p
an with hot water to 3/4-inch depth.
HEAT sugar in small, heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted and golden brown; pour into square dish. Remove square dish from pan of water; working quickly, swirl melted sugar around bottom and sides of dish to coat. Return dish to water.
COMBINE eggs, egg whites, pumpkin, honey, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and salt in medium bowl. Add evaporated milk; mix well. Pour into prepared square baking dish.
BAKE for 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Remove square baking dish from water. Cool on wire rack. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
TO SERVE, run small spatula around edge of dish. Invert serving plate over baking dish. Turn over; shake gently to release. Caramelized sugar forms sauce. Cut diagonally into quarters; cut ea
ch quarter in half to form triangles. Spoon sauce over each serving.

We spent the rest of the day with a walk and playing games! I'm so fortunate to live in a place with so many beautiful things in nature. I'm grateful to be living in Washington once again with a lot of family nearby. It was wonderful to spend the holiday with them!

On a business note, I'm working hard on things for my shop...which means less posting this week. I'm crazy to start all this before Christmas, but I'm just rolling with it and having fun! My new toy (a.k.a. the Cricut) is giving me lots of inspiration for more projects. I took my mom to our country store and she got a bunch of fresh herbal teas with cute jars and a spoon sifter. I used my Cricut to personalize it, making it my first project using it.

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