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Thanksgiving Countdown: Appetizers & Deserts

Today I will admit my lack of culinary zest and general elementary kitchen skills.

Appetizers:

1. The centerpiece fruit kabob turkey (see previous post)

2. Standard cheese, snowflake shaped crackers, black and green olives tray

3.  Grape jelly meatballs in a crockpot

2 12 oz jars Heinz chili sauce
1 32 oz jar grape jelly
1 bag meatballs (about 80 in a bag)

Put chili sauce and jelly in a large pot, heat until jelly is melted and sauce is smooth, stirring often. Add frozen meatballs; heat until meatballs are thawed and then simmer for 3 hours.

4. Bacon Wrapped Lil Smokies

  1. Set oven to 350°F.
  2. 2 Grease a baking sheet.
  3. 3 Cut each bacon slice into thirds.
  4. 4 Wrap each slice around each of the small smokies.
  5. 5 Place in foil-lined baking pan.
  6. 6 Bake for about 10 minutes.
  7. 7 Meanwhile in a small bowl mix together the ketchup with brown sugar to form a thick mixture.
  8. 8 Remove the cocktail wieners from oven and brush about 1 teaspoon of the ketchup/brown sugar mixture over the wiener.
  9. 9 Place back in the oven and bake until the bacon is lightly crisp (do not overcook or the bacon will be too hard!).

5. Cream Cheese Pinwheels

1 pkg cream cheese

2 whole dill pickles
1 pkg ham [lunch meat]

Allow cream cheese to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place slices of ham on a platter; spread cream cheese thinly over the ham. Arrange a thinly sliced sandwich pickle at one end. Roll and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cut into appetizer sized pieces and serve

Deserts:

Desserts are really standard too. We always have a pumpkin pie, an apple pie and a pecan pie. We never forget the french vailla ice cream for the side.

The kids make little pilgrim hats from Fudge stripe cookies as the base for a brim, a chocolate dipped marshmallow on top to make the “hat” and then a yellow M&M or other candy up front as the buckle – yes round buckles because I am too bust to pipe on yellow frosting and the kids would paint the house with it if I left them to do it.

My first attempt at Rum Cake! Here’s the recipe and my advice: do NOT use 151 rum. Yeeowsa!

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup rum

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour one 10 inch tube pan.
  2. Combine cake mix and pudding mix.
  3. In another bowl beat eggs, water, oil and rum until frothy. Add cake mix/pudding mixture and beat until well mixed. Spread pecans evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan and pour batter over pecans.
  4. Bake cake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry when inserted in the center. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes and remove from pan. Place in serving dish immediately, right side up. (Pecans should be on the bottom)
  5. To Make Glaze: During the last 15 to 20 minutes of baking time, combine butter or margarine, water and sugar in a sauce pan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and boil rapidly until it’s very thick and syrupy stirring very frequently. The syrup must be reduced quite a bit and very thick otherwise it will make the cake mushy. Remove from heat and add rum. While cake is still hot, poke holes all over top of cake with a toothpick and spoon glaze over top of cake. Allow cake to sit at room temperature for one day then refrigerate.

That’s that. Anyone have a recipe to share?

My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a meme from the Story Siren designed to help book lovers unite, meet, greet and follow one another in our quests to find the next most awe inspiring, tear jerking, mesmerizing or just entertaining new tome.

Mailbox Monday is a meme hosted this month at Knitting & Sundries. This is one more incredible way to get to know one another, build your following and find great new sites to add to your dashboard.

This week I had John Grisham’s “Skipping Christmas” in my mailbox. For those of you who aren’t familiar, this was the book that inspired the movie Christmas with the Kranks. I love this book and I’ve used it to lighten up my Thanksgiving frenzy for a few years now. The movie is funny, agreed, but I prefer the book and all the insanity therein. This one is guaranteed to remind you how out of hand things will get if we let them.

So, what’s in your mailbox?

Thanksgiving Countdown: Games

I know lots of people HATE games. They groan at baby and bridal showers and they tune out in any group when anything resembling a game begins. But. We Lindseys are a competitive bunch and we like our games. Thanksgiving is as good a time as any for some family friendly competition and so we take advantage. Here are some of the games we’re played in the past.

1. Do you know me? I ask all my guests in advance to tell me things about themselves that we should know or that we would never suspect. Then, I compile them in list form – minus the names, hand them our after dinner and give the family five minutes to try to assign each statement with a name. Some questions are easy like Blank has six months until retirement? Others are trickier like Blank has a hidden tattoo of a lobster. Ahhhh family bonding. *Noone I know of has a tattoo of a lobster*

2. The Race. I put everyone’s names in a hat and we pull names until we’re all paired up. Then each pair is given a coat, a set of gloves and two hats. They must put the coat on first, one arm of each person inside the coat. Other arms around one anothers backs. Then, with the arms in the coat they must put the gloves one on each coated hand and a hat on each head.

I’ll stop there because it gets ridiculous after that. BUT we do have tiny plastic gold trophies for the winners and take photos for posterity. Ahhh togetherness.

I hope you have tons of fun this Thanksgiving. We will!

Do you play games on Thanksgiving?

Blog Hop & Follow Friday

It’s time for the Blog Hop & Follow Friday again! I love this part of the week because  I’m meeting so many awesome bloggers, writers, readers *sigh*. So to all of you hopping with me I’m smiling widely like a doofus and waving frantically as always!!

Blog Hop is hosted over at Crazy-for-Books and Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee. These memes were created to help make the web smaller, and introduce us bloggers to one another. We can find sites and meet people and follow those we love! We increase our followers and we get some fun new sites to add to our dashboards too. Its a big win-win and I am thrilled to be taking part again this week.

So the question this week at Crazy for Books is: Since thanksgiving is coming up next week, let’s use this week’s hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our holiday traditions are.

I guess I’m all over this one because I stopped writing about writing for a week beginning yesterday. For the next seven days I am sharing what Thanksgiving is like at my house. Yesterday I talked about decorations, and I’ll share recipes and games and other traditions all week long. As for what I’m thankful for: there’s no limit. Really. My life is literally so complete and stuffed with blessings that I could never name them. I’m thankful every day for my family and friends and church and their health and presence in my life, for my home and cars that run and kids who pray, food to eat, a military to protect us, a democracy to live in, good schools, doctors, great parking spots, you name it. I am simply thankful.

Parajunkee’s question was: How long have you been book blogging?

I mostly blog about writing, but I do interview authors and slip in as many reviews as I can – but its not as often as I’d like, really. I just started to blog in June, so I’ve been at it for about five months now, and I’ve learned so much and made great friends. Hey, I guess I’m thankful for that too!

Thanksgiving Countdown: Decorations

This is my first Thanksgiving as a blogger and I’ve made so many awesome friends! I wish I could have every one of you over for Thanksgiving at the Crazies Lindseys, but since I can’t I thought I’d share what its like over at my place for the next week. My next few posts will be for the nosey people like myself who always wonder what its like somewhere else. I’ll tell you it’s nuts everywhere right now and getting nuttier. So, I won’t be blogging about writing this week. I’ll be blogging about Thanksgiving.

Topic One: Decorations

Decorations are HUGE at my place. With three kids under eight we do a LOT of crafts. Thanksgiving lends itself to this well. First, we have a Thanksgiving Tree. I bought a roll of brown postal paper when my oldest was very small, and I rolled out about four feet of it and drew a leafless tree. Every year I cut out dozens of leaves from different colored construction paper. I write a person’s name on each leaf and print a letter with an explanation and add a pic from the previous year of my kids with their tree, then I mail them to all our friends and family. For the next month, the kids receive letters almost every day filled with colorful paper leaves and what our friends are thankful for. We pray for the families as the leaves come in and my kids use stickytac to hang them on our tree. By Thanksgiving the tree and the ground beneath is full of blessings.

Our centerpiece is a Turkey made of a cantaloupe on Thanksgiving. The kids take a dozen or so skewers and alternate red & green grapes as well as chunks of other fruit. Then we arrange the colorful skewers like a fanned tail jabbing them in a row around the cantaloupe. You could make the turkey face from a pear, but my kids like to make one from construction paper and we attach it with a toothpick.

Placemats are made from 11×16 orange, red, yellow or purple paper and covered in clear contact paper. Before we wrap it in the contact paper, we trace one of each of the kids hands from biggest to smallest and the kids draw a turkey face on the thumbs. Then I write “Thankful for our little turkeys” on them. The grandparents and great aunts love seeing these and we send as many as possible home ;)

Placecards: The kids fold a rectangle of cardstock to make the place card. My oldest writes a name on each and the little ones draw something festive on them, like a leaf, or turkey, or scribbles – whatever.

I always cover the table with a flannel backed cover to help Keep it from slipping.  Until the kids are older, I’ll save my nice tablecloths for later LOL.

That’s about it. The kids take over the decorating as much as possible. Growing up, my mom did everything and I never learned to appreciate all that was happening so I could have a fun day. Now, I try to get my little ones involved any way I can. For now, decorating is the way I go.

What do you do to decorate for Thanksgiving?

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