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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Season is Upon Us!

Just as we did last year, our family hosted Thanksgiving dinner this year for my parents, siblings, and our friend Ali.

We kept the meal budget friendly by not purchasing enough food to feed an army. We prepared a variety of small dishes, so that everyone could enjoy, without having enough leftovers to feed 10 families, or worse, throw it all away!

This year's meal consisted of:

fresh turkey, 22lb.   $16
tofurkey with stuffing, compliments of Trader Joe's (for my sister and her soon-to-be hubby) 
stuffing, stovetop  $3
(I always add an onion and a few apples to keep it moist and fresh!) 
carrots and parsnips  $3
mashed potatoes 
sweet potato tartlets
baked apples
one bottle of red, and one bottle of white wine ($3 each, compliments of Trader Joe's) 

I asked everyone to bring a dish, so my sister contributed stuffed mushrooms, vegetarian stuffing, and wine. My parents brought more wine, squash, and a pumpkin pie, my brother brought his world-famous banana cream pie, and our friend Ali brought her amazing-to-die-for brownies! 

 Budget Friendly Tablescape:

* borrowed tablecloths
* used Christmas "china" ;)
* centerpiece was compliments of our friend Ali and her mom!
* I bought the candles for $2 for a pack of 12. I re used old wine bottles and some raffia to make the candle holders

Budget Friendly NEW recipes:

Here are the recipes of some of the new items from this year. I found all the recipes via Google or Pinterest, using items I already had in my pantry and fridge: 

Sweet Potato Tartlets (these came out AMAZING btw) 
oranges                                                    1 tspn vanilla extract
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes                  1 c softened butter
1 c sugar                                                 1 tbspn orange zest
1/4 c orange juice                                   1 c brown sugar
2 eggs                                                  1 c nuts (I used carmelized, flaxseed coated walnuts for $3/bag)
1/2 tspn whole wheat flour

To make: 

* cut the oranges in half and "core" them so you just have the shells
* combine the sugar, OJ, sweet potatoes, eggs, vanilla, 1/2 c butter, and orange zest
* spoon into shells in deep casserole dish or as you'll see I used- a cupcake pan) 
* in small saucepan, over MED heat combine remaining butter, brown sugar, flour and nuts
* cook until sugar dissolves in butter and spoon over oranges
* fill casserole dish with about 1/2 in of water 
COOK AT 350 for 30 min. 


Pear and Goat Cheese Appetizer: 


cracker of your choice (I used raisin rosemary crackers from Trader Joes) 
goat cheese
bartlett pears

To make; 

* spread crackers over serving dish
* top each with a slice of bartlett pear and crumbled goat cheese (I used honey infused goat cheese) 
* drizzle honey over top and SERVE


Baked Apples: 


1/4 c brown sugar
2 tbspn butter
1/4 c nuts (I used another bag of the carmelized, flaxseed coated walnuts) 
1 tspn cinnamon
1/2 c apple juice 
optional- 2 tbspns orange liquor 

To make; 

* core apples
* mix everything but the juice and fill the cored apples
* place in crockpot on HIGH for 3 hours
* cover with apple juice (and liquor) before covering


AFTER. Apple pie without the guilt!

 * you can serve these by themselves, topped with whipped cream, or topped with Noosa Honey yogurt! YUM! 

Enjoy!! How was YOUR Thanksgiving?? Did you try any NEW recipes??

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