Thanksgiving Wrap up!

>> November 30, 2009

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was really low key but fun. My parents, boyfriend and I had turkey sandwiches with chips. Not traditional but works when your only feeding a few people.

During the day my Dad put all the lights on their tree and my mom and got all the decorations hung and ready to go. Tree looks great!! My mom and I also decorated Christmas cookies.

Just proves your never too old to get out the Christmas cookie cutters, whip up some sugar cookie dough and decorate them like your 5 again. They were so yummy!!

What kinds of traditions do you have with your families??

happy planning


Cookie Exchange Party

>> November 23, 2009

One of the holiday traditions eagerly anticipated by many families is baking Christmas cookies. However, it's also one of the most time consuming traditions if you hope to bake enough variety to assemble attractive cookie trays for your holiday parties. With time in short supply for most families, this can turn a beloved tradition into a dreaded chore. Fortunately, there's a solution to this dilemma that will keep the fun in the baking, yet minimize the time pressure - hosting a
Christmas cookie exchange party.

When hosting a cookie exchange party, you invite friends who also enjoy holiday baking to bring a large batch of one type of cookie to your home. You can certainly expand the definition of this party to include other treats such as home made candy, chocolate covered pretzels, or other festive sweets. During the party, everyone shares in one another's treats. This gives everyone the desirable variety, and yet only requires baking one recipe. Let everyone bring a little extra for the party table, and the host has instant refreshments to serve to guests!

10 Easy Tips for a Great Cookie Exchange

Ask each guest to bring either a dozen or half dozen cookies for each attendee, plus a dozen for the party.

Supply plastic storage bags or paper plates and foil just in case guests forget to bring a container for transporting their cookies home. Remind guests to store each cookie variety in separate containers until serving. Mixed cookie varieties lose their flavor and texture.

Request that participants bring copies of their recipe to share with others. That will avoid the necessity of mailing out copies at a later date after everyone inevitably requests them at the party!

Prepare a large table for everyone to set out their cookies. Spread a festive cloth on the table.

Place one large basket, tray or plate on the table for each guest to place their contributions.

Place an extra platter on the table for the cookies that will be enjoyed during the party.

Play Christmas music throughout the gathering.

Even if you haven't finished your holiday decorating by the date of the party, be sure the party room has some festive decorations.

A cookie exchange can be held any time of the day, but mornings are a great time during the holiday season. By hosting it in the morning, your guests will have the remainder of the day for other holiday activities such as shopping, wrapping, their own decorating, or other parties.

Plan to serve refreshments that can be prepared in advance and merely reheated at the party. You shouldn't be cooking during this party. It's more important to keep the cookie exchange flowing. For a morning party, overnight egg casseroles work very well.

Serve at least one holiday beverage such as egg nog or hot mulled cider along with coffee, tea, juices and, of course, milk!

happy planning



Cheers and Give Thanks!

>> November 12, 2009

Throwing a party or having family over for dinner this Thanksgiving? Well here are a few suggestions for drinks you can serve this holiday season!

Thanksgiving Turkey Cocktail
For a sweet and tasty cocktail, fill a tall thin glass half full of cubed ice. Throw in one and a half ounces of bourbon whiskey, half an ounce of applejack brandy, a teaspoon of lime juice and four ounces of cranberry juice. Stir the ingredients for a delicious pre-feast treat.

Fall Cocktail
Fill a cocktail shaker half full of ice cubes. Pour in one ounce of dry vermouth, three-quarters of an ounce of gin, three quarters of an ounce of apricot brandy, half a teaspoon of Creme de Cassis and half a teaspoon of lemon juice. Shake the mixture well and strain into a favorite cocktail glass.

Harvest Cider
For your large Thanksgiving get-together, nothing says Autumn like a steaming cup of cider. In a large stockpot, mix one gallon of apple juice, one gallon of apple cider, three cups of sugar, and eight cinnamon sticks. Let the mixture boil (it will make your entire house smell delicious). Once it boils, remove it from the heat source and allow it to completely cool. Once the mixture has cooled off, slowly stir in one bottle (750 ml) of grain alcohol. If you will have children at your Thanksgiving feast, before adding the alcohol, fill a small saucepan with the non-alcoholic cider to serve to them.

Grandma’s Apple Pie
Love your grandmother’s apple pie? Then try it in a clean shot. In a favorite shot glass, pour in one ounce of your favorite vodka, one ounce of apple cider and a small bit of ground cinnamon. Top the liquid with some fresh whipped cream for a delicious and smooth shot.

Thanksgiving Punch
Serve this delicious punch at your next Thanksgiving feast and it will have everybody talking. Use your favorite punch bowl for this recipe. Mix six ounces of lemon juice, one can of frozen lemonade (from concentrate), one can of frozen orange juice (from concentrate) and one bottle of whiskey (750 ml) in the bowl. Slowly stir in three liters of your favorite lemon-lime drink (carbonated). Thinly slice some oranges and let them float in the punch for a delicious and fruity drink.

Thanksgiving Daiquiri
Serve this delicious daiquiri as an after-dinner treat for your next Thanksgiving feast. Fill a blender almost halfway full of ice cubes. Combine five ounces of frozen strawberries, three ounces of fresh strawberries, one peach (coarsely chopped), a quarter cup of brown sugar, one teaspoon of nutmeg, twelve ounces of bourbon, three ounces of peach-flavored schnapps and a quarter cup of orange juice. Blend the mixture until it is able to be poured and serve in some wine glasses.


Top 5 Thanksgiving Traditions

>> November 6, 2009

I have a pretty small family so growing up holidays were pretty low key. We had 1 set of grandparents for most of my life who would come over every holiday and my mom would cook. It was only 6 of us and my brother and I would get bored with all the grown up talk so we would go play or take a nap.

I started to think about what my family did every year and what my friends do with their families. Here are a few ideas I found of some great traditions...

1. Turkey and Trimmings
From the first Thanksgiving to today's turkey burgers, turkeys are an American tradition dating back centuries. According to the National Turkey Federation, 95 percent of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving. Regional twists offer variations on the traditional roasted bird, including coffee rubbed turkey from Hawaii, salt encrusted turkey from New England, and deep fried turkey from the South.

2. Time Out for the Pigskin
Throughout the United States, football on Thanksgiving Day is as big a part of the celebration as turkey and pumpkin pie. Dating back to the first intercollegiate football championship held on Thanksgiving Day in 1876, traditional holiday football rivalries have become so popular that a reporter once called Thanksgiving "a holiday granted by the State and the Nation to see a game of football."

3. Parading Around
The first American Thanksgiving Day parade was held in 1920, organized by Gimbel's Department Store in Philadelphia, not Macy's as most people believe. The NYC Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade tradition actually began in 1924, and has grown into an annual event of balloons, bands, and floats, enjoyed by more than 46 million people each year in person and on TV.

4. Making a Wish
Does your family fight over the wishbone from the Thanksgiving turkey? Known as a "lucky break" the tradition of tugging on either end of a fowl's bone to win the larger piece and its accompanying "wish" dates back to the Etruscans of 322 B.C. The Romans brought the tradition with them when they conquered England and the English colonists carried the tradition on to America.

5. Giving Thanks
Last, but certainly not least, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for the people and blessings of the past year. From pre-meal prayers to providing holiday meals to the homeless, the holiday is truly a celebration of praise and thanksgiving.


Happy Planning


8 weeks till CHRISTMAS!!!!

>> November 2, 2009

Hope you all had a great and safe Halloween! I watched the World Series and waited to see how many trick or treaters we would get at our new house. Well the waiting was turning in to me eating a bunch of the candy and we had no trick or treaters!!
Guess they all went to the busier neighborhoods. :(

We are now into fall and offically 8 weeks from Christmas. YIKES!!! So much to do before then. For the next while I am going to give you guys some ideas for the holidays and parties you may be hosting. If you have anything specific you would like ideas for..shoot me a comment or email.


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