Thanksgiving Prep

I’m not much help in the kitchen (besides my mad dish washing skills), but I always eagerly volunteer to set and design the table. In honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow, I’d thought I’d share some pretty tablescapes to get you inspired as well as a few reminders on the ins and outs of holiday meals:

My favorite place setting of all time from Mrs. Lillien because it provides for three types of wine.

But, for those who may want to focus more on the meal and less on the wine pairings, this graphic prepares you for all scenarios:

Also, check out Cup of Jo’s wonderfully illustrated guide to table manners.

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Thirsty Thursday: Irish Coffee

For a brief moment we had 30°F weather here and it gave us a chance to finally break out the Jameson’s for a little cold-weather cocktail. The Husband has spent the better part of the last two years perfecting his Irish Coffee recipe and he has it down to an art. It (and a little Redbox action) makes for a great little date night in.


The Real Irish’s Irish Coffee

  1. First, preheat your proper Irish coffee mug, with hot water and then dump the water after a few seconds. (We picked this method up in Doolin!)
  2. Fill the glass with freshly brewed coffee until it is about three quarters of the way filled.
  3. Stir in a heaping spoonful of light brown sugar, depending on how sweet you like it.
  4. Add a shot of Jameson’s or any other favorite Irish whiskey. Stir again.
  5. Whip up some heavy whipping cream until you have a thick consistency that you can dollop on top. You can refrigerate the left over whipped cream for a couple of days.
  6. Drizzle Creme de Menthe on top and enjoy!

Thankful for Good Neighbors

Since the Hubs and I moved into our house two years ago, we have become really great friends with some of our neighbors. They would all do just about anything to help out one another and it is such a peace of mind to live in such a tight knit community. So with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I wanted to be sure they knew how thankful we are, so I made them a little pumpkin bread as a little pre-Turkey thank you. If you have someone that could use a little past-due THANKS, check out the recipe below.


Sabrina’s Pumpkin Bread (makes two 9×5″ loaves or 3 smaller loaves)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup salad oil
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cups water

Directions:

  1. Cream sugar and oil together.
  2. Add eggs and pumpkin. Mix well.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients.
  4. Add dry ingredients to mixture alternating with the water.
  5. Pour into well-greased and floured loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour 30 minutes if using large loaf pans. If using smaller loaf pans start checking after one hour. Knife should come out clean when done.
  7. Cool completely before removing from pans.
  8. Wrap in your favorite paper, adorn with ribbon and spread the neighborly cheer.

Finally Fall

Well October was supposed to be our “slow” month, but we don’t do slow very well, so I am way way behind on posts. I was, however, finally able to decorate for fall. Just in time for Turkey Day…

Also, the ever-amazing Kathryn recycled her wedding centerpieces and made these amazing wreaths (one of which now proudly hangs on my door).

In Texas, our seasons are like a roller coaster – it went from 80 to 30 degrees here in one week. But, that is not stopping me from appreciating all of the autumn goodness out there. Checkout all of this fall love:

Interior Inspiration: Ginger Jars

Kathryn, my own personal style maven, has me completely lusting after a vignette of ginger jars. She has a perfectly curated guestroom with a dresser full of these beauties. I feel like these classic blue and white urns are a staple for a traditional home. I even love the use of them in prints or pillows. This is definitely my next flea market/estate sale/antique store target.

Kathryn’s Ginger Jar Perfection

From a cute shop in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District

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P.S. Check out Kathryn’s teal living room here.

Go Vote!

Civic Duty – Check! (notice I used the word DUTY)

Election Day is my third favorite day of the year (closely behind my birthday and Christmas) and I just got back from casting my ballot for this super important election. This isn’t just a big year because of the Presidential election. There are tons of important U.S. Senate and local races too, so get out there and vote!

Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite electable goods and some articles and links for your political perusal:

  1. Romney’s hilarious speech at Al Smith’s Dinner. (Obama’s was pretty funny too).
  2. Jimmy Kimmel’s inquiry into the First Lady debate is hilarious and embarrassing all at the same time
  3. A good primer on the biggest foreign policy issues of the day.
  4. This is a little dated in news terms, but its a great piece on the top 50 politicos to watch.
  5. A political Tweet poet. She has got some serious rhyming skills.
  6. I have to take Ezra Klein with a grain of salt, but he makes some great points. I think what Romney brings to the table is exciting.
  7. Dear Powers at Be, I want to be an election attorney. Have JD, will travel. Sincerely, Katy

Daily Candy hunted down some of the cutest RW&B wares around – check out their list:

West Elm is even getting in the spirit – Check out the Dallas store [Photo from @nikkirap]:

Which Wich Sandwiches taking a poll:

Traveling Tuesdays: New England

Everyone says Fall is the best time to go to New England because of the changing colors of the trees and I don’t think they were exaggerating. It is absolutely beautiful. The trees are amazing, there are mums on every porch and the air is crisp. We were in Boston for Chris and Hope’s wedding, but we squeezed in a lot of other things between the festivities.

Our very first stop was the Sam Adams Brewery (priorities, people!). One of the best tours ever. The tour guide was hilarious and very informative, we got to sample 3 different beers and a trolley took us to one of the famous Hollywood-Boston bars, Doyle’s who has some of the best clam chowda (my attempt at the Boston accent) in town.

Our next destination was the Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston close to Fenway Park. If you are in Boston, this should be a mandatory trip. We tried six different types of oysters (from a selection of about 20), the lobster roll and a few of their craft cocktails. All of it was out of this world. The design of the restaurant is amazing with an industrial coastal feel – there was clustered pendant lighting, lots of light woods and stainless steel. Oh and the graphics of the menus and business cards and signage is amazing – so much so that I bookmarked Oak’s handiwork back in September without even realizing it.

We (mostly the Husband and his uncle) spent several hours filling in some holes in the family tree, which involves a little Marble Orchard hunting. It sounds morbid, but these New England cemeteries are beautiful.

Chris (the Husband’s cousin and groom of the weekend) raves about this Tony’s Clams on the North Shore and we’ve never had time to go, so this time we made a point to fit it in. It did not disappoint. So much fried goodness! They also do it steamed, which I might try next time, but oh my – the clam strips were AH-MAZING (I hate when Penny says that on Happy Endings, but sometimes it just needs to be used).

My favorite stop of the trip was the United First Parish Church in Quincy. I’m a total nerd for American History and there is not only one former president buried there, there are two! The tour of the church is really good with tons of interesting facts and history, plus you get to tour the crypt. The Husband and I immediately went home and bought his and her John Adams and Abigail Adams biographies.

One of the Husband’s favorite stops was Fort Independence, the oldest Fort in America. It is located in South Boston and is massive. My favorite was the state flag display. The fort has gone through 5 revisions to get what you see today. Its pretty crazy to think about what went down there.

One of South Boston’s staples is the famous Amrheins Restaurant that has been around for a really long time. We went for the Brunch buffet that was most excellent. This is also where we discovered Ciderhouse Whiskey (keep an eye out for this in an upcoming Law School Thursday).

We almost missed our flight because of it, but we made one last stop at JFK’s childhood home. Rose Kennedy bought this house after her son’s death and restored it to close to its original state from when they live there. The Kennedy history is just so interesting and this is a really neat glimpse into more of their beginnings.

There is so much to see and do in this city, but we definitely crossed off a few things on this trip. Can’t wait for the next one. And, check out our last trip to Boston, here!

Matrimonial Monday: New England Nuptials

As you may recall, the Husband’s family is from Boston so we try to get up there for a visit as often as possible. Well this month we had the perfect excuse – Chris and Hope’s wedding! They got married at a sweet little church in Weymouth and celebrated in Quincy in a great ball room with beautiful tall centerpieces. We drank many cocktails, danced, caught up with lots of family members and made some new friends.

Wedding Favorites: (1) The church – It was my favorite kind of church: small with a huge steeple; (2) the bag piper they hired to honor those Bruce Scottish roots; (3) the cocktail hour – open bar, a table devoted to cheese and great hor d’oeuvres; and (4) the late night supplemental snacks.