Monday, November 21, 2011

Cake Inspiration – Swimming Pool

Remember how I made Hula Bear cupcakes and cake earlier this year?  Well I was just browsing Foodgawker and came across this picture for a swimming pool cake. 

image source from alanabread

It’s a very similar idea to what I did, minus the ocean theme, so I wouldn’t have to include the Nemo fruit snacks or chocolate flavored Goldfish.  I love the idea of adding the cookies around the base of the cake to make the actual pool.  And that candy ladder – oh it’s so cute!  After reading through the recipe, it’s a little unique because the blue filling is jelly…I think I would just skip that and do lots of frosting instead :)

Is it bad I’m already thinking of things to make for pool parties next summer?  We’re not even close to being started with winter yet…


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prepping for Thanksgiving

Last year was our first time hosting Thanksgiving Dinner, so I spent a lot of time planning and prepping.  I came up with a HUGE shopping list of every possible ingredient and item we would need for all the side dishes, and I also spent some time at Christmas Tree Shops in getting paper plates and napkins (we do paper for dessert instead of dirtying even more dishes) and some other stuff we would need to cook the turkey. 

We had 14 people at dinner, so I was nervous about the amount of food we would have.  I doubled a lot of recipes to make sure we would have enough.  Let’s just say no one went hungry and we had leftovers for days afterwards (seriously).  This year I’m planning on eliminating a side dish or two, not doubling recipes, and not doing as many desserts.  Here’s the Prep Calendar I made for dinner last year – it kept me on track of what I needed to make each night so I didn’t have too much to actually put together on Thanksgiving Day.  We were able to just warm up a lot of dishes instead. Sorry the type is small – if you click on the picture it should let you view in a little.

Turkey Dinner Calendar

So this year’s menu is looking like this:

Turkey Dinner 2011:


  • Mini Chicken Pot Pies
  • Cheese Ball w/crackers
  • Veggies & Dip

Main Dishes:

  • Turkey & gravy

Side Dishes:

  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Sweet Potatoes w/Walnuts & Brown Sugar
  • Corn Casserole
  • Rice Pilaf
  • Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
  • Carrots & Turnips
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Squash
  • Bread rolls


  • Pumpkin Dip w/Pretzel Sticks & Graham Crackers
  • Apple Crisp
  • Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pumpkin Parfaits


  • Apple Cider
  • Half Tea & Half Lemonade
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Soda

You might be thinking that’s a lot, but my mom brings the pies and my in-laws brought a ton of side dishes last year.  I guess one of the good things about losing power a couple weeks ago is that our fridge has been cleared out so we will have plenty of room to store some of these dishes ahead of time! 


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thanksgiving Inspiration

Sorry for the lack of posts this week…after losing power for 4 days and now feeling behind with laundry and cleaning, needless to say I don’t have much to write about.  Instead here’s some inspiration pics for Turkey Day!  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, mostly because it’s just a nice day off with family and there’s SO much good food.  And no presents involved – much less stressful than Christmas :)

Some recipes I made last year that I will definitely be doing again for this year’s meal:

Pumpkin Cheese Ball w/crackers



Amazing Sweet Potatoes with Pecans


Pumpkin Pie dip w/apples and graham crackers


Mini Chicken Pot Pies



And some new recipes I want to try out for this year:

Homemade Cranberry Sauce


Pumpkin Parfaits

Source: via Emily on Pinterest


Skinny Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes


Hmmmmm I cannot wait for Thanksgiving!