Throwback to Thanksgiving

It seems like a long time ago now with all the rush of the holiday season, but Thanksgiving was a fun time for us and one that I want to record.  We had Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year.  We had a lot people… Nearon, Palmers, and of course Grandma Bonnie!


Our adult and big kid table

So we had 3 different tables to accommodate everyone.

The medium sized kid's table.

The medium sized kid’s table.

I think everyone was slightly jealous of the little kid table.  It was so fun.  You could draw right on it or enjoy yummy snacks right at the table while everyone else had to wait for dinner.  I saw more than one adult sneaking goldfish crackers and pretzels.

Our 2 littlest guests were pretty happy.

Our 2 littlest guests were pretty happy.

The food was delicious.  Grandma Bonnie did most of the cooking and insisted that the turkey be cooked upside down.  She made “dead rats in butter,” (see previous entry) and yummy sweet potatoes and green beans.


The desserts were my thing.  Ali and I made cupcakes to look like turkeys.  Jacob and I made sugar cookies to look like slices of pumpkin pie.  I made combination pumpkin cake/cheesecake and also a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust and salted carmel topping.  There was something for everyone at the dessert table.


So much to be thankful for…a very blessed life with lots of family together and they all got along!!!


My favorite Thanksgiving dish

Dead Rats in Butter.
Yep, that’s my favorite thanksgiving dish.

It’s a simple recipe.  Idaho potatoes cut very thin (I use a Cuisinart) with the skins left on, a pound of butter melted and poured over the top. Then chives and a lot of kosher salt sprinkled on top. Bake at 400 for an hour. Super easy and DELISH!!!!

My mom has made this every year for as long as I can remember. Why do we call it Dead rats in butter? About 20 years ago at a Thanksgiving dinner my Uncle Fred asked my mom how she got potatoes to taste so good. My father said “You put this much butter on dead rats and they will taste good”. Whenever Thanksgiving rolls around my girls always ask “You are making dead rats right?”.  Its their favorite dish too.


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Oh Deer… The baby is almost here!




A cute lady, Ali moved into the area a few month ago from the Bay Area. She has two darling little girls and is pregnant with a BOY!

Since this is Oregon and she is having a boy my friend and I decided to do a rustic deer themed masculine shower. We kept it simple with pulled pork sliders, cole slaw (recipe) to put on your pork (If you have not tried cole slaw on pulled pork you are seriously missing out!!!) a delicious kale salad (recipe below), and to die for brownies (recipe HERE). For drinks we had water bottles and Henry Weinhard’s root beer. It was simple but yummy and fun.







For the table I pulled out yards of different wool plaids (from my rug hooking stash) layered them on the table with a cool branch covered in moss from my yard.  All the serving pieces were galvanized metal or wood. Very simple, natural and masculine.

My awesome friend that was hosting the shower with me made this darling bunting for over the fireplace out of plaid and felted wool balls.



The shower was super fun and Ali went home loaded with super cute boy clothes!



Melissa’s Super easy kale salad (with an assist from Costco)

1 bag os sweet kale salad mix from Costco

1 avocado

1 can mandarin orange segments

1 1/2 cups Red grapes

Dump everything in a bowl including pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries that come with the salad and mix everything together with the poppy seed dressing that comes with the salad mix.



Thanksgiving in the City (or at least the suburbs)

Since Thanksgiving will be at my house this year, I’ve been doing a little planning.  Today, I decided to work on how the table will be set.  I worked on the center of the table with my new gold and cream table runner from Target.  I’m going through a gold phase, as you can see.  I made the center flower arrangement with really good quality fake white magnolias and gold magnolia leaves that I purchased in San Francisco at the flower mart.


Next, I got out the cream and gold Lenox dinner plates that used to belong to my mom and dad, but were a gift to me last Christmas.  I paired the dinner plates with Queen’s Myott Factory “Thanksgiving” pattern salad plates that I purchased a few years ago.


Just to make it fun and mix it up a bit, I added my new gold and white pitcher from Target.

Now, I have to start thinking about the menu.  There will be turkey and stuffing.  Because Grandma Bonnie will be here, there might be popovers, carrot ring and her famous potato dish nicknamed “dead rats in butter.”  It’s called that because even dead rats would taste good in that much butter and salt.

For dessert this year, I’m thinking of pumpkin cheesecake with a ginger snap crust and salted carmel topping.   I found a great recipe on The Pioneer Woman.  Of course there will be pies with whip cream and vanilla ice cream too.


Halloween in the Country

The city girl and her family went to Oregon to have Halloween with the country chick and her family and grandma.  We all had a good time despite the colder weather and some rain!

Before trick or treating, we had a fun family meal of white chili and pumpkin bread.  We had a colorful Halloween table set with fun colors and vampire teeth turned into napkin rings.  We found some purple, orange and black Halloween flowers that were super festive!



After the yummy chili, the kids trick or treated on grandma’s street.  Grandma Bonnie got super into it this year.  She painted her face with glow in the dark face paint and became a scary/friendly witch.  She had dry ice in her huge pot/cauldron and would reach in to bring out candy.  It was a big hit!


I hope you had a great Halloween too!


Fall Luncheon!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of hosting an early fall luncheon for some wonderful lady friends.  I love to set a cozy fall table.  This time we had a centerpiece of hand-blown glass pumpkins, gourds and leaves from Cohn-Stone Studios in Richmond, CA. The table was set with plates and individual acorn soup tureens from Williams-Sonoma.  We had a wonderful pear and green salad followed by Southern Living Magazine’s Cheesy Vegetable Chowder.  One of my favorite fall recipes.  Dessert was Libby’s Pumpkin Roll.  The recipe right from the inside of the can label.

IMG_2787Just for fun we had a little “dirty diet coke” bar complete with cut up limes and your choice of coconut, cherry or vanilla Torani syrup to add some fun flavor.

IMG_2788I really enjoyed of having a fun meal at home instead of a restaurant.  It seems like a more relaxed environment where you are free to stay or go whenever you need to.  It’s always fun to use your creativity to come up with a fun table and a yummy meal.  Something I should really do more often.