Monday, November 28, 2016

It was a Conspiracy....

Yup, it was a conspiracy and I was involved. In fact, I may or may not have been the original culprit and recruited helpers. What exactly did I do? Well.... this....

Sunday I "broke" into Jared and Karen's house... and I use the word "broke" loosely because I had permission, even if it wasn't theirs... and I decorated their house for Christmas. I know Jared's work schedule and I had Deb pry to find out when Karen would be at work this particular Sunday, then I got helpers and we went and made Christmas throw up in their house.

Hey, Karen challenged me about a month ago, so I blame her really 😁. I then got it in my head that I was going to go decorate their house. Once a couple people heard about it, they wanted to join in. I took all the help I could get. That way if Jared and Karen got mad at me, they could be mad at multiple people.

So leading up to the week of Thanksgiving I started getting cold feet. I didn't want to make anyone mad at me. I was worried. I almost backed out in fact. Luckily all my helpers (aka hubby and Jody and Deb and mom) wouldn't let me. They said this was a good thing. So we met up on Sunday and decorated Jared and Karen's house for them.

Karen likes blue and I heard Jared does too, so we went with a blue themed Christmas tree with sprinkles of silver and green just for added color. I thought it would be fun to wrap empty boxes and place Christmas lights in the boxes for added color/decoration. We went to Hobby Lobby in search of inspiration for a wreath and I absolutely adore the wreath on the front door. I went to the dollar store and bought cheap wine glasses to create a table center piece and stockings for the pooches and kitty. The stockings for J&K while a little smaller are a lot more classier. The Santa hat on the tv was taken from a drinking game (every time someone's head looks like it's wearing the Santa hat you drink). Lights on Karen's indoor wreath were a last minute thought as was placing green balls in the glass cowboy hat. Hubby wanted to make sure to put lights out on the front of the house. And so, the thought became reality and bam, we decorated their house for them. We even added personalized touches to the Christmas tree in the form of a KC Santa grilling, a Boxer dog, a naughty or nice ornament, and an ornament from where they went to college.

I just hope I didn't create any enemies because I broke into their house and decorated. I just heard that Jared really loved Christmas and Karen challenged me to decorate, especially with a Christmas tree. So I planned, I conspired, I had helpers, and we executed. Just know, we love you guys and after Christmas I'll come help clean up 😃


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving the Second

Hello Thanksgiving! Truth be told my favorite time of year is between Thanksgiving and New Years. I love the food of Thanksgiving, the fun and reasons for Christmas, the joys that come over the New Year, and then bam, January hits. I'm not a huge fan of January, sorry January, nothing against you and we can still be friends 😀.

Anyway, this year after I have a new found love of decorating sugar cookies, I thought I'd take my stab at Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies. I had no idea what I was going to do with them once they were baked/decorated, but by golly that wasn't going to stop me. I sent them with my dad to work. He said his co-workers loved them and one even took what was left at the end of the day home. Yey :). Don't worry, I ate 1 1/2 cookies. They were good 😁.

For Thanksgiving dessert, I chose a Cherry Pie. That was my initial thought even though we don't have any cherries from our old Cherry tree, but then I found them, Sour (aka tart) Cherries at the store. I bought 4 packages. I only needed 1 but put the other 3 in the freezer for a rainy day. And that is a turkey on the top of my pie, not a Chicken. Just clarifying!

After selling our house and moving in with my parents, I'm back to using my mom's stove for cooking. Her stove only has 2 burners (normal ovens have 4) so I decided to make our Green Bean Casserole the night before, then just reheat it in the oven day of. We don't normally have Green Bean Casserole but we're kind of on a healthy kick here at my house and I thought, well we needed a vegetable and we've eaten a lot of green beans so I went on the hunt for a "healthy" green bean casserole to change it up a bit. The one I found didn't let us down!!

My little sous chef busy at work helping mommy. Right now she loves to cook. I hope I can keep things that way!

So you might be asking why a pink bow on a roll. Well at Abug's birthday party my grandma made Resurrection Rolls. Jared and I were discussing on Wednesday the rolls I made at AC's versus grandma's and I said that these were better. He told me he needed to try one just to be sure. I told him I'd bring him one with a pink bow. Why a pink bow I have no clue but by golly, he got his roll with the pink bow.

My Father-in-Law hosts hubby's family Thanksgiving usually so after dropping off rolls and Strawberry Jam to Jared, we headed in to town for hubby's Thanksgiving. When we walked in the door, everyone looked shocked we were there. I'm not sure why. There was so much food, and I did oddly enough didn't take a picture of it. When we got there Abug was asleep so she sat sleeping in my arms most of the time we were there. When she woke up, she went to playing with the other little kids and I made my rounds, but I didn't take any pictures. Weird, I know. Not sure anyone else took pictures either....

We needed to be home by 2 at the latest to put our turkey in the oven to cook. Hubby came up with his own concoction this year to cook the turkey. It was so awesome. That on top, that's apple sauce. Yup, he coated the turkey in apple sauce. It was so juicy.

After we got the turkey in the oven, we were kind of twiddling our thumbs like usual. There wasn't a whole lot to do right away so we decided to go saddle up Kansas and go for a ride. Abug didn't object.

While we were out playing with the horses, we went ahead and weaned this years colts.

Abug's favorite thing is chores. She loves doing chores with papa.

I was trying to be healthy so we had a Caesar Salad. It's out of a bag mix. I went all out huh... haha.

Did you see the Cauliflower stuffing going around Facebook? We made it and HOLY COW it was so scrumptious. 

Again, I mentioned trying to be healthy eating so I found a healthy loaded mashed potato bake. I mean, come on you need mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, right?

And these rolls. That's all. Sadly I burned this batch a little bit, but they were still awesome. I made Cinnamon Honey Butter to go along with it plus Grandma's Strawberry Jam.

After dinner Abug and I played with Snapchat to entertain ourselves for a while. Then we went to the basement and watched Hallmark movies with daddy.

And that was our Thanksgiving. I love this family time!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Post "Turkey" Coma (Thanksgiving Part 1)

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that all your meals turn out as fabulous as our first Thanksgiving of the season did. Holy Wow! 1st Thanksgiving what? So, the NCHA futurity is going on in Ft. Worth, Texas right now and my uncle has some horses entered. When we started discussing Thanksgiving plans last month, we weren't sure when he'd draw to show, plus the fact that this isn't our year to have Tbug on Thanksgiving so we just decided to celebrate Thanksgiving last weekend. It was perfect.

There are 6 of us that headed to my aunts house in southern Oklahoma and right now we only have vehicles that will haul 5 people at a time so Abug, Mom, and I loaded up first thing Friday and drove down to AC & UB's. Hubby took the day off to try his luck at deer hunting and be ready to pick Tbug up after school, come home and have chores done, pick dad up after work, and then they headed out. I should mention that they swung by J.L's BBQ in Pryor (which is a little out of the way.....) for dinner before heading on to AC & UB's but that's okay 😘.

When AC & UB were up last month for a horse show, we ran to Sam's Club and AC bought me a Cast Iron cookbook with the "stipulation" that I had to make something out of it for Thanksgiving. I decided to make the Orange Rolls (kind of like Cinnamon Rolls) for breakfast for Saturday morning. They were a little dry, but very good.

AC then made these Knock Your Socks Off Eggs. Holy cow were they awesome. She can come make them for us again, I wouldn't deny her that 😉.

Then we started in on making dinner. Plans were to eat dinner around 4pm or so. We had breakfast and then snacks around noon time, followed by linner or lunner... you know, Lunch/Dinner. Our first task was to do the green beans. AC found a recipe in one of the Southern Living Annual cookbooks for Crockpot Green Beans which is perfect because you start them and then let the Crockpot finish them. Funny story about the Green Beans... After we made them and they were done, AC had to move the Crockpot out of the way and well.... we forgot to put them out at dinner until we were almost all done eating. Then after dinner we realized we forgot to put the bacon bits on the top. haha. Good times, good times!

This is where I become a nerd. I keep a notebook with all recipes used for Thanksgiving dinners so that every year if we had something we loved from the previous year, it's easily found. Plus I write out a list of all things to make, oven temps, cook times, etc. I usually have a game plan. Yup, I'm a nerd.

AC and UB went on a vacation here recently where they had this posh salad. AC decided to try and recreate it. There were figs on the salad that they ate so we thought we'd try them. No one had had figs before so we ate them raw, then roasted them to see if anything tasted like that salad. I'm not sure, but I can tell you a raw fig is very good! Sweet and tasty!

While we cooked, Abug played with the few toys I brought down for her. That and played with Papa and Tbug and grandma and whatever she could do to keep herself entertained.

It's not a family meal without Grandma's Corn Casserole. When we moved, I've kind of misplaced the Corn Casserole dish and yes, there is a dish, but we had the corn casserole none-the-less.

Like our turkey? So UB doesn't really care for turkey. That's okay, when they suggested doing Prime Rib instead, we all jumped and said YES! DEFINITELY! So AC gave us a lesson on how to cook Prime Rib. I've only tried once and hubby and I tried Pioneer Woman's recipe. It was good, but I think this was better. Don't tell PW 😂.

We decided to have asparagus as a side dish and discussed using Balsamic Vinegar some how in the making process, but we weren't sure what to do. Enter my phone and google. Finally after reading multiple recipes, we decided on a Balsamic reduction glaze. OMG, it was excellent, except I wish there would have been a little more on our asparagus.

After breakfast hubby and UB went to work cows with their farm hand Ty. After we were kind of caught up on food, AC told me to run up and take some pictures of the guys working the cattle. You don't have to twist my arm hard when pictures are involved. When I got up to the barns, hubby was on UB's Viking so I hopped on and we went and picked up UB. They were done but missed a couple head so we went looking through the lot of cattle to try and find them. The 3 of us were on the Viking while Ty was on the four-wheeler. I've never herded cattle on anything but horse back so it was fun and entertaining!

This gal was one we were after. I think she knew too because she kept avoiding us.

Once all the cattle were worked, off to the pasture they headed.

On Friday when we got to AC's, we all hopped in her truck and headed to Southlake, Texas (outside Ft. Worth) to go grocery shopping. They had an assortment of mushrooms that looked gorgeous so I picked up a couple packages to make for our meal.

But these. Oh my gosh these. These rolls are the bomb diggity! Another recipe found in one of the Southern Living magazines. Totally worth the time and effort and calories and whatever else. OMG! I had to start these Friday night. I'm glad AC told me Friday night I was making these. I asked if we were doing them then or Saturday and she said Saturday was fine. Then I read the recipe and realized they sat up to 8 hours or overnight in the fridge for the first proofing stage. Luckily I read that so we could start them in time. OMG can I tell you how awesome these were. There were like 4 or 5 left over from lunch. By the end of the night they were all gone.

So our salad. I was a HUGE fan of this salad. AC made her own dressing and I absolutely loved it! Not everyone was impressed but I sure was and when it comes to salads, I'm pretty much a Ranch or Caesar Salad type girl. It was 3 types of lettuce, feta cheese, pecans, strawberries, and the homemade buttermilk feta type dressing. Only thing I could have done without was the tomatoes and I ate them anyway. Let's just say this was AWESOME!

After lunner, AC told us to leave all the dishes, she'd clean up as she went along, so I grabbed my camera and Tbug and I went walking. Dad and hubby went out with UB on the Viking to check cattle and I don't know what all to be honest with you.

A few of the cattle realized we were walking on their turf. We got caught.

Then I got a text from hubby telling me to get my camera ready, he was coming to get me so we could go out for sunset pictures. I told him we were already up by the barns so we waited and that's when we heard them come flying in from the field. Dad and UB loaded up into UB's feed truck and Tbug and I jumped on the Viking with hubby and off we went.

This... This right here is one reason I love Sunsets! And in the middle of a cow pasture, how great is that?!?!

Pretty much right after I got my sunset pictures, the cows came running toward me to figure out what I was doing. I started laughing and ran back to the Viking (I was standing outside the Viking taking my sunset pictures).

We drove on to other places on their farm and scared up deer left and right. I caught this beauty, and then when we got back that night, I created the photo below. I couldn't help myself and I laughed the entire time I did that picture.

And that was all the sunset wrote. God's beauty at work!

So when we decided to come to AC/UB's for Thanksgiving, mom said we'd bring the desserts. I brought a Pecan Pie and a Pumpkin Pie. Let's just say, YUM!

Abug fell asleep on my lap during dinner so I placed her on the chair before Tbug and I went off exploring and taking pictures.

Before we went to bed, hubby told me we were taking the Viking out first thing Sunday morning for Sunrise pictures. I thought he was nuts because I"m not a morning person. Then I looked at the forecast... you know the low.... Yikes! But the view (which you'll see in a few) made me think if I lived here, I could be a morning person!

Sunday morning I was up at 5:30 waiting for his alarm to go off because I wasn't sure when it would. btw, it went off at 6. So we got up, got dressed, and out we went to brave the weather.

When we got outside hubby had to scrape both the inside and outside of the Viking windshield to be able to see where we were going.

See, this. This could make me a morning person!

We rustled up a bunch of deer Sunday morning too. In fact I had one walk very close to us and stop just out of view of my camera. If I would have looked past this window thing... well I'd have spooked the buck and still not got my shot, so we just enjoyed the view and I didn't really take pics of the deer that morning.

And finally, around 7:07, the sun made its appearance.

After we got our pictures, we went back up to the house, packed up our stuff and headed toward home. Our goal was to eat lunch in Tulsa, mom and dad would take Tbug back to her mom, and hubby, Abug, and I would head to one of our favorite grocery stores there in town. And that's how it went down.

And someone needed a nap after the long weekend. We can't blame it on the tryptophan. We didn't eat turkey (and I'm not complaining).

One comment made throughout the weekend was UB asked if I knew my AC at all... Once she gets home from a trip, she immediately starts laundry and has it done most times before bed. I laughed and said so do I, which is the truth. I got home, started laundry and sent them a picture laughing 😜😙

This is my favorite time of year.... Thanksgiving through New Years. Happy Thanksgiving!

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