Even though I was born and raised in Las Vegas, I consider ‘home’ to be anywhere family is really, and right now that is North Carolina. It has been so nice getting to visit with my mom, step dad and grandparents!
I just feel so relaxed and happy here. It’s nice to have a break from school and work, but I really shouldn’t be taking too big of a break.
Our flight was without hiccups and we arrived late Wednesday evening. Thursday we didn’t do a whole heck of a lot and slept in late, which was really nice. We drove to Trader Joe’s and picked up a few last minute things. For dinner I decided to make the Sausage Broccoli Pasta that is always a hit and my mom’s favorite dish. It’s so easy and yummy! She also had a bottle of Charles Shaw Chardonnay and it wasn’t all that bad actually. I had a glass and a 1/2.
After dinner we decided to watch The Hangover. I’ve never seen this one before and it was pretty darn funny! I sure hope that doesn’t really happen in Vegas! lol
Of course there was some munchin’ during the movie and we broke out the stash of popcorn my mom has. Think we have enough? The Trader Joe’s Lite Kettle Corn is my fav and I had a small bowl of that mixed with the regular lite popcorn and a few small clusters of the moose munch. That stuff is too rich! I also had a glass of Celestial Seasonings Mint Green tea which is my favorite after dinner tea.
Today my mom had to work, but I just spent most of the rainy day prepping the sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie and turkey for dinner while Chris and my step dad watched sports.
Here’s what I had for lunch while drooling over the Southern Living Magazine and their praline pull-apart bread recipe :) A simple pressed turkey sammie with roasted red pepper hummus, muenster cheese and 1/4 avocado. I think I could just read recipes all day . . .
I had an apple for an afternoon snack and my cat Tweety likes to lick the core! So funny!
I was a little worried about the turkey though because my mom had only taken it out of the freezer a day and a 1/2 before! It was only 14 lbs, but it needed at least 3-4 days to defrost. So when I got up this morning I made a quick cold water bath for it, changed it a few times during the day and prayed that it would defrost and not get too warm.
At 2:30pm when I went to get the bird ready it was still kind of frozen in the middle, eek!! So we ran some cold water down the cavity and pulled all the bagged middle stuff out. It was actually the first time I have made a turkey all by myself! After patting it dry, I rubbed the turkey and underneath the skin with this mix:
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1-2 tsp poultry seasoning
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
Place it in a roasting pan, breast up with 2 cups of chicken broth in the bottom of the pan. Roast at 425 F for 30 min, then turn down the oven to 325 F and roast until the meaty part of the thigh reaches 165-170. Be sure to baste it with the broth every 30 minutes or so. Take it out of the oven and tent with foil for 20 minutes to rest. This was the moistest turkey I think I’ve ever had!! I was so relieved that it tasted good and everyone enjoyed it :)
My mom had a Charles Shaw Merlot, and while it was nothing to sing home about, it was an easy red that didn’t over power anything else too much.
I also made a sweet potato casserole from Cooking Light. It was great, but next time I think I will reduce the sugar a bit more.
Everything else we had alongside was really yummy too!
Here’s my plate . . .
And then . . . DESSERT! I made another recipe from Cooking Light called vanilla bourbon pumpkin tart, except I didn’t have a spring form pan or bourbon and made a gingersnap crust, so it’s kind of like pumpkin cheesecake. I also doubled the spices of course :) FYI a few teaspoons of amaretto in whipped cream is amazing!
Oh boy, I think I’m going to pop! It was all so delicious. I only had 1 glass of wine and 1 plate and I’m still full, but not uncomfortably full. My biggest weakness is when we put all the food away I find myself taking more little bites and licking spoons darn it!
I hope you all had a nice Christmas if you celebrate and I can’t wait to read about all your holiday festivities soon!
I think tomorrow my mom and I are going to wake up early and do a little shopping to try and find some deals. Maybe we’ll stop by the Carolina Blonde Brewery for a little tour? So many things to try and do still with the family, and I love that nothing of it has to do with work or school :)
What’s your favorite part of the holidays??