Thursday, November 28, 2013

November 28-Thanksgiving Dinner

Today marked a major milestone: I hosted my first Thanksgiving! 

Chris and I have always wanted to host a holiday, but we had always lived in an apartment up until this year. We love to entertain and excitedly offered to host Thanksgiving as soon as we moved into our new home. What a wonderful day it was! Our home was filled with both sides of our family, plenty of laughter, and lots of love. 

Even though I've become pretty comfortable in the kitchen over the last few years, Thanksgiving dinner seemed a little intimidating. This meal would mark a defining moment for me as a woman! (Okay, so maybe that's somewhat dramatic, but it IS important!) The task was daunting but I was eager to face the challenge. I also knew I could count on my mom to be a great coach. She came over last night to walk me through the washing, de-throating, turkey-prepping process. 

The day was a success! 

I've made this dip for two years in a row and there are NEVER any leftovers. 

Pumpkin Dip
15oz can of pumpkin
5oz box instant vanilla pudding (Just the mix, do not make the pudding. Can sub sugar-free and/or fat-free)
16oz Cool Whip
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon

1. Mix pumpkin, pudding mix, Cool Whip, and pumpkin pie spice together by hand in a large bowl. 2. Sprinkle with cinnamon. 
3. Chill for several hours before serving.
4. Serve with apple slices, vanilla wafers, or pretzels.

Roasting a turkey for the first time can be intimidating. It is a lot of work, but it really is not too hard if you know what to do! Here are a few tips from a fellow first-timer!

Turkey Tips for First-Timers

1. Be sure that your turkey is fully thawed. 
It can take a few days for a large bird, so be sure to plan ahead.

2. There is a neck, liver, giblets, and a few others surprises inside your turkey. 
Remove them before you stuff your turkey. 

3. Clean your bird and pat it dry. I did this the night before and it helped save time for the morning. 

4. Make your stuffing the night before, but do not stuff the turkey until you are ready to bake it. 

5. Be sure to plan ahead for the time it will take to cook your bird. My turkey was 20lbs and needed 6-7 hours to cook. We ate an early meal, which meant that the bird needed to go in the oven around 4:30am. This meant setting the alarm for 3:45am, to give me enough time to stuff the turkey.

6. Ever wanted to be a surgeon? Here's your chance. Stuff both ends of the turkey and sew him up!

7. Cover with foil and bake.

8. Go back to bed, Sleepy Head. 

We feasted. Rolls, corn, yams, cranberry sauce, jello salad, creamy mashed potatoes (You don't really want to know what's in them, but here's the recipe. You won't be sorry.), green bean casserole, smoked ham, stuffing, and turkey.

Today was wonderful. I'm so thankful for our families, our home, and for God's faithfulness. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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