Places In The Home For The Holidays: Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes Ideas

Thanksgiving dinner shines the spotlight on Thanksgiving side dish recipe ideas.

ironstone-vegetable-bowl-serving-spoon

Corn pudding, sweet potato casserole, green peas with mushrooms and pearl onions, buttermilk cornbread, and cornbread dressing pleases the Southern faithful.  Pondering Thanksgiving side dish recipes ideas provided me with delicious inspiration for dishing a new holiday side dish.

Cane Syrup-Roasted Carrots with Garlic-Herb Yogurt Sauce

Cane Syrup-Roasted Carrots with Garlic-Herb Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

¼ cup cane syrup

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

2 (16-ounce) packages peeled small rainbow carrots with tops (halved, if large)

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

½ cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

1 small clove garlic, grated

½ teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon lemon zest

Garnish: fresh mint leaves, chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°.  Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together cane syrup, melted butter, lemon juice, and cumin.  Set aside.

Divide carrots between prepared pans. Toss carrots with ¼ cup oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.  Roast for 15 minutes.

Brush carrots with cane syrup mixture, and roast until tender, about 18
minutes more.

In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, 2 tablespoons water, mint, garlic, parsley, and zest.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper, stirring to combine. Drizzle yogurt sauce over carrots.  Garnish with mint and parsley, if desired.

-Louisiana Cookin’

Potato-Apple Gratin

Potato-Apple Gratin

Ingredients

8 medium Yukon gold or other yellow-flesh potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick (8 to 10 cups)

2 cups shredded or finely chopped Granny Smith apples (2 or 3 medium)

2/3 cup sliced green onions (6) or thinly sliced leek

4 slice bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cups shredded Gruyere, provolone, Swiss, or Jarslberg cheese (12 ounces)

1 1/3 cups whipping cream

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

Green onion slivers (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Layer half of the potatoes, half of the apples, half of the sliced green onions, and half of the bacon in prepared dish. Sprinkle with half of the salt and half of the pepper. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers. In a medium bowl combine the cream, garlic, and, if desired, nutmeg.  Pour cream mixture over layers in baking dish.  Cover with foil.

Bake for 1-1/2 hours. Uncover; bake for 15 minutes more or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and top is golden.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  If desired, sprinkle with green onion slivers.

-Better Homes & Gardens

field-peas

Classic Fresh Field Peas

Ingredients

2 Smoked Ham Hocks or purchased smoked ham hocks

1 ½ cups finely chopped onion

3 tablespoons bacon drippings

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups shelled fresh field peas (about 1 lb.)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

Bring hocks and 2 qt. water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; simmer 1 ½ to 2 hours or until meat is tender.

Meanwhile, sauté onion in hot drippings in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 6 minutes.  Add garlic; sauté 1 minute.  Add peas and onion mixture to Dutch oven with ham hocks; bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until peas are tender.  Remove hocks; drain peas, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Remove and chop ham from hock bones; discard bones.  Stir ham into peas, if desired.

-Southern Living

roasted-acorn-squash-with-maple-bacon-drizzle

Roasted Acorn Squash with Maple-Bacon Drizzle

Ingredients

2 large acorn squash

¼ cup butter

2 tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 tsp. Kosher salt

5 black pepper bacon slices

1 tbsp. chopped rosemary leaves

½ cup maple syrup

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

fresh rosemary leaves

freshly ground pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine butter and next 2 ingredients.  Coat squash with butter mixture; arrange on baking sheets in a single layer. Bake 20 minutes; turn squash over, and bake 10 more minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, sauté bacon in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon. Drain drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon in skillet.  Cook rosemary in hot drippings 1 minute. Stir in syrup and vinegar and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until reduced by almost half.  Arrange squash on a serving platter and drizzle with warm maple mixture.

Crumble reserved bacon over squash and sprinkle with additional rosemary leaves and pepper.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

-Good Housekeeping

Butterscotch-Pears-taste-of-home

Butterscotch Pears

Ingredients

4  large firm pears

1  tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup packed brown sugar

3  tablespoons butter, softened

2  tablespoons all-purpose flour

½  teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼  teaspoon salt

½  cup chopped pecans

½  cup pear nectar

2  tablespoons honey

Directions

Cut pears in half lengthwise; remove cores. Brush pears with lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon and salt; stir in pecans. Spoon into pears; place in 4-qt. slow cooker.

Combine pear nectar and honey; drizzle over pears. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through. Serve warm.

Taste of Home

Sweet-Potato-roast-recipe

Crispy Sweet Potato Roast

Ingredients

5 tablespoons butter, melted and divided

5 large sweet potatoes, washed

6 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Garnish: fresh thyme

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°.  Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray; add
2 tablespoons melted butter to bottom of dish.

Using a mandolin or knife, slice sweet potatoes to 1⁄8-inch-thick rounds. Holding slices together, place in pan. Tuck in garlic among slices. Brush sweet potatoes with remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake until potatoes are tender and crisp, about 1¼ hours. Garnish with thyme, if desired.

-Victoria Magazine

Seasoned Italian Green Beans

Visit the canned good aisle at your favorite grocery store.  There you will hopefully find several cans of Margaret Holmes Seasoned Italian Green Beans.

margaret-Holmes-seasoned-green-beans-canned

Buy them.  We are six for Thanksgiving dinner, so I go with three (3) cans, allowing for leftovers.  I add a heaping tablespoon of bacon grease (a staple of the Southern kitchen) and 1½-2 cups of water.  Pearl onions and/or sliced mushrooms dress up this side dish for the holiday table.

Delicious.

enjoy

 

 

 

Tips, Tools, Thawing and Time: Let’s Talk Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is on the way to a dining table near you, and it’s let’s talk Thanksgiving turkey time.  I refer to Thanksgiving as the first leg of the holiday season which makes me think about turkey legs, which gets me to thinking about the Thanksgiving turkey plan, prep, roast, baste, carve and serve part of Thanksgiving day.

Thanksgiving-turkey-pear-stuffing

Herb-Rubbed Turkey with Pear Stuffing

Tips, tools, thawing and time is a big consideration in regards to buying, thawing, prepping, stuffing, roasting, and serving the bird.

Thanksgiving turkeyBetter Homes & Gardens

In this pre-Thanksgiving calm before the storm period, I’m utilizing my time to gather the roasting pan, carving set, kitchen essentials and necessary information needed to ensure total Thanksgiving turkey success.

turkey-roasted

Places In The Home is a design and decorating show and tell, and dining, dishing, and delicious recipes goes with the territory.  With that being said, I thought I might offer a few suggestions regarding all things Thanksgiving turkey.

Let’s talk turkey, shall we.

How Much Turkey Do I Need?

From the folks at Delish:

how-much-turkey-to-you-need-chart

Thawing the Frozen Thanksgiving Turkey

For Refrigerator Thawing:

Place turkey on a tray to eliminate leakage to other areas of refrigerator. Thaw breast side up, in original unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge (40 degrees F or below).  Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4-5 lbs.

Suggested thawing time for a frozen turkey:

4 to 12 pound turkey:       1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pound turkey:     3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pound turkey:    4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pound turkey:    5 to 6 days

Cold Water Thawing:

Thaw breast side down, in original unopened wrapper.  Cover the turkey completely with cold water.  Change the water every 30 minutes.  Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb.

4 to 12 pound turkey:       2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pound turkey:     6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pound turkey:    8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pound turkey:   10 to 12 hours

The good people at Butterball offer cooking calculators and conversion charts for everything Thanksgiving turkey.

Who and where do I send a thank you note to?

Here’s the link: Butterball Calculators and Conversions Chart

 

Thawed turkey roasting times in a 325 °F regular oven:

6 to 10 pounds:     2 to 3 hours (unstuffed)        ||    2¼-3½ hours (stuffed)

10 to 18 pounds:   3 to 3½ hours (unstuffed)   ||   3¾-4½ hours (stuffed)

18 to 22 pounds:     3½-4 hours (unstuffed)    ||   4½ – 5 hours (stuffed)

22-24 pounds:       4-4½ hours (unstuffed)     ||   5-5½ hours (stuffed)

24-30 pounds:       4½-5 hours  (unstuffed)    ||   5½-6½ hours (stuffed)

Thawed turkey roasting times in a 325 °F convection oven:

6 to 10 pounds:     1½-2 hours (unstuffed)       ||   1¾-2½  hours (stuffed)

10 to 18 pounds:   2 to 2½ hours (unstuffed)   ||   2½-3¼ hours (stuffed)

18 to 22 pounds:     2½-3 hours (unstuffed)    ||   3¼ hours (stuffed)

22-24 pounds:       3-3½ hours (unstuffed)     ||   3¾-4¼ hours (stuffed)

Cuisinart Wireless Meat ThermometerCuisinart Wireless Meat Thermometer

The turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer reaches 170 °F  in breast or stuffing.   Use a food thermometer to check the turkey in the thickest part of the breast.

If you stuff the Thanksgiving turkey, the center of the stuffing must also reach 170 degrees F.   Cross contamination between turkey and stuffing is a concern, so just make sure both turkey and stuffing reach 170 degrees F.

Let the turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.

Safe Turkey Prep, Thawing, Stuffing, Cooking, Clean Up Tips:

Always wash your hands before and after preparing or eating food.

Thaw turkeys in the refrigerator, never on the counter.

Don’t wash raw poultry before cooking. It can spread germs to other areas.

Place stuffing in the turkey just before cooking.

Cook raw poultry thoroughly to an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

Wash your counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.

Don’t feed your pets raw food. 

Amazon Fire 7 with Alexa

Amazon Fire 7 with Alexa (7″ Display Tablet)

A tablet and/or an Echo calls up Alexa the answer machine, now we’re cooking playlists, recipes, and the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® (connect with the Talk-Line through social media, live chat, texting — even Amazon Alexa).

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) Alexa-enabled Bluetooth Speaker

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) Alexa-enabled Bluetooth Speaker

I’m a fourth generation fan of the granite ware oval roasting pan. Tradition runs deep in the Places In The Home holiday kitchen, and roasting a turkey like my great grandmother, grandmother and mother did/does requires a granite ware oval roaster.

graniteware-oval-roaster-black

Graniteware Oval Roaster

The black graniteware covered roaster speaks holidays to me, but I could be swayed by the Mauviel Mtradition Roaster in copper.

copper-roasting-panSur La Table

And perhaps the Cuisinart 8-Piece Roasting Set.

Cuisinart 8-Piece Roasting SetCuisinart 8-Piece Roasting Set

Time saving multitasking marvels of kitchen efficiency are my kind of holiday helping hand!  Equally as important as the well-stocked holiday pantry is the well organized holiday baking, cooking and entertaining kitchen prep area and items used to create, delight, and store delicious dishes fit for the holiday table.

Emile Henry Artisan Deep Ruffled Pie DishEmile Henry Artisan Deep Ruffled Pie Dish

nordic ware baking pan

Nordic Ware Harvest Bounty Loaf Pan

Aluminum Bundt PanAluminum Bundt Pan

Southern Baked : Celebrating Life With Pie - by Amanda Dalton Wilbanks

Southern Baked : Celebrating Life With Pie – by Amanda Dalton Wilbanks

Stoneware Quiche Dish - Cream - Hearth & Hand™ with MagnoliaStoneware Quiche Dish – Cream – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia 

Starfrit Rotato Express Electric PeelerStarfrit Rotato Express, Electric Peeler

Lodge 5 Quart Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch OvenLodge 5 Quart Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven

silicone-spatula-set

Plymouth Silicone Spatula Set

Instant Pot Duo 6qt 7-in-1 Pressure CookerInstant Pot Duo 6qt 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot Bible More Than 350 Recipes and Strategies The Instant Pot Bible 

copper measuring cupsCopper Measuring Cups- Set of 4

mixing-bowls-hobnailTabletops Gallery Hobnail 4-pc. Mixing Bowl Set

 

Corningware French White 4-Quart Oval Casserole with Glass CoverCorningware French White 4-Quart Oval Casserole with Glass Cover

 

staub-ceramic-stoneware-pumpkin-cocotte-oStaub Ceramic 16-Oz. Petite Pumpkin Cocotte

 

Oxo OXO Twine  Cooking Twine 

Don’t forget to tie those bad boy turkey legs together with cooking twine.

goodful-knife-setGoodful 6-Pc. Knife Set, Created for Macy’s

BLACK+DECKER ComfortGrip 9 Inch Electric KnifeBLACK+DECKER ComfortGrip 9 Inch Electric Knife

Farberware 12 Inch by 18 Inch Hardwood Drip Trench Cutting BoardFarberware 12 Inch by 18 Inch Hardwood Drip Trench Cutting Board

Norpro Krona 11" S/S 12 Wire Balloon WhiskNorpro Krona 11″ S/S 12 Wire Balloon Whisk

Oxo OXO Good Grips Good Gravy Fat SeparatorOXO Good Grips Good Gravy Fat Separator, 4 Cup

Lock & Lock 4 piece Tall Canister Storage SetLock & Lock 4 piece Tall Canister Storage Set

Godinger 5-Pc. Hammered Copper Storage Bowl SetGodinger 5-Pc. Hammered Copper Storage Bowl Set

A cook is only as good as the kitchen and cooking tips, essentials, tools and accessories he or she uses.

Love your style!

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one of the product links and make a purchase from the retailer I receive a commission from the sale.

Patriotic Pops: Happy 4th of July Celebration

Our 4th of July celebration finds me taking a few minutes between festivities to wish you all a Happy 4th of July while I enjoy a cup of tea and some quality keyboard time.  I love the lead up to the big celebration, but life, like decorating and design, is all about balance.  We’re about to get this patriotic pops party started in bing, bang, boom fashion, and I bet you are doing the same at your own Happy 4th of July celebration.

july celebration

Tradition rings red, white, and blue true in a patriotic color palette.  Variations and creative interpretations of the patriotic color palette allow for fresh takes, takes primed for impressing the eye of the new traditional loyal.

red white and blue paint colors

Drum up the drama and set off the visual fireworks in shades, hues and tones of regal reds, shades of white, and brilliant blues.  A space defined, detailed, and draped in an updated interpretation of the classic red, white, and blue color scheme pops the color in new traditional style.

Fenwick-console-Oomph

Oomph ~ Design by Annie Anderson 

red-white-blue-fabricInside Fabric

blue white brushstroke table lamp

Garvey Table Lamp 

If a space totally immersed in a patriotic color palette does not appeal to you, perhaps a spot accessory in red, white or blue is in order.

red-white-cabinets

Domino

Color as an accessory and/or focal point?

Yes, yes, and yes!

Kemble Interiors, Inc.Kemble Interiors, Inc.

Can’t find that special accent or accessory to bring the look home?

Construct it.

mid-century-italian-modern-blue-glazed-ceramic-sculptural-table-lamp

Mid-Century Italian Modern Blue Glazed Ceramic Sculptural Table Lamps

contemporary-lamp-shades

Don’t shy from purchasing a lamp(s) with a shade that does not float your boat or without a shade at all.   Celebrate your independence from the unremarkable, run-of-the-mill, and lackluster by creating a custom piece by replacing or purchasing a shade(s) suited to your taste, color preference and the canvas of the space.

Timothy GodboldTimothy Godbold

The color combination of red, white and blue is synonymous with regal grandeur.  Patriotic as well as impressive, the red, white, and blue color palette makes a bold design and home decor statement from floor to ceiling.

katie.ridder.inc.portfolio.interiors.foyer

Katie Ridder Inc.

Pop the color, say cheers to the American spirit, and savor the flavor on this Independence Day.  Place the spotlight on fun, an impressive party palette, and the snacks, the crackles and the pops that go with letting freedom ring.  I think that’s a simple yet spectacular recipe for party success!

Happy 4th of July!

Love your style!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Week at Places In The Home

Spring blooms, seasonal snaps, and a heavy dose of Easter tradition ushers in Easter week at Places In The Home.  What’s hoppin’ around your house this Easter week?

BHG-hello-spring

Red and pink beauties are beginning to bloom offsetting the brown and greenish gray color holdovers from winter’s grip.

Easter week

blooming-red-roses

From the I ♥ garden roses collection.  I’ll enjoy the arrangements for another day or two, and then use the petals for rose petal ice cubes.

garden-roses

My brother dropped by yesterday bearing gifts of gardenias.  The spring beautification process is a slowly but surely operation, but we’re getting there.

gardenia

Dave the Builder’s latest pet project, the taming of the squirrel, is proving successful.

squirrel

Maybe too successful.

crepe-window

This crazy thing perches itself on the main branch of the crepe myrtle tree right outside the kitchen window and peers through the window.  Evidently watching me washing dishes is wildly entertaining.  We are one wild and crazy crew, animals included.

I dug this photo of Dave, the Canadian snowbird and Cottontail the rabbit out of the Places In The Home archives.  If you think the photo quality is horrible in black and white, you should see the color version.  Mama Places In The Home snapped this circa 2005 pic with a throwaway camera.  Annie Leibovitz she is not.

Here’s the Reader’s Digest version of the bunny backstory:

Dave and I were checking out the newly planted flower beds late one spring afternoon.  I was in the color in bloom zone, laser focused on the budding design features detailing my mad lawn and garden skills.   Dave on the other hand was channeling his inner Dr. Doolittle with the just discovered addition to our flower garden menagerie.  Cottontail the baby rabbit hopped right up to Dave in are you my father fashion.  We brought him inside that evening and set him up in a toilet paper box direct from the discard bin at the local Kroger.  We lined the box with newspaper and grass clippings hoping to emulate a natural surrounding, and placed a water bowl and rabbit food over to one corner.  Cottontail was in high cotton for the evening.  The next morning it was back to the outdoors where he thrived and frolicked, nested in our yard and flower garden, adapted to the daily comings and goings of our schedules, and waited in the driveway each afternoon to greet Dave.  As mysteriously as he appeared he disappeared, leaving a hole in our hearts.  We got so attached to that silly rabbit, so much so that I cried for three days when he went away.  Dave stills tears up when he talks about that silly rabbit.

Easter-basket

My Easter Eggstravaganza centerpiece is a build upon canvas.  Deconstructing the Mardi Gras King Cake centerpiece, it dawned on me that by adding to instead of taking away from the existing tulle a shimmering color rich nest effect would be created.

Easter-eggs-vase

What nature does not provide, the Walmart-Michael’s-Hobby Lobby floral department will.  Faux flowers serve the purpose in certain decorating for the holiday situations, and when quality stems are selected the finished result can be faux fabulous.

eggs

The incredible, dyeable, edible egg.

dyed-Easter-eggs

Marbled Indigo  ||  Silk-Dyed Eggs  ||  Botanical Easter Eggs  ||  Natural-Dyed Easter Eggs

pineapple-pie-meringue

Fresh mint.

Fresh lemon.

Fresh orange.

lemon-orange-fresh-mint

Fresh parsley.

Fresh carrots.

Easter!

carrots

Easter week sets spring into motion.  Another season, another wonderful reason for decorating, planting, entertaining, and gathering round dining and picnic tables of stylish tablescapes and delicious dishes with dear loved ones and great friends.  Dave and I hope your Easter week, weekend and Sunday is one of blessings, love, laughter, and making wonderful traditions and memories time spent with family and friends who are like family.

love your style

With Only Five Days Until Christmas

With only five days until Christmas, it’s beginning to look, taste, sound and feel a lot like Christmas.

Five Days Until Christmas

In the spirit and the groove of the season, visions of holiday food, fun and festivities dance in our heads to the tunes of classic, traditional, rock, jazz, country and instrumental Christmas music.

A moratorium on talk radio and smooth jazz is in place in favor of my ‘Tis the Season For Christmas Tunes playlist on Spotify.   The sounds of the season window is short at best, so we go all in December 1st through New Year’s Day.

Sitting-Santa

Ho Ho Holly Jolly Santa sits holds court in the Places In The Home candy kitchen.  I wasn’t sure this particular holiday vignette would translate, but translate it does.

vintage-Santa-mug-lights

A wisp of whimsical paired with a spot of vintage in the spirit of bygone days fits perfectly into our Christmas motif.

rosemary-tree

Fresh, fragrant and fa la la la lovely – Christmas smells so good!  A tradition of sorts dating back to the days of Hopefully Classic, Dave the Builder picks up a fresh rosemary tree shaped in the form of a mini Christmas tree on his Black Friday run.  Fresh orange slices, ground cloves and bay leaves brought to a boil and left to a simmer- divine!

boiling-oranges

With only five days until Christmas, things are heating up in the Places In The Home kitchen.

Candies and cookies, and dishes, oh my waistline.

We’ll  count calories in January, but for now we’ll feast upon traditional and regional holiday dishes in traditional tastes and colors of the season.

rice-dressing

No respectable Southern cookie, candy and cake plate is without Kentucky bourbon balls, the quintessential southern Christmas goodie.

bourbon-balls

reeses-peanut-butter-cup-dishReese’s Peanut Butter Cups commandeered from Dave the Builders candy dish make a delicious addition to a cake mix sugar cookie.

Reese's-sugar-cookie

dining-roomTry, try as I may to deviate from a pastel palette of pink, French blue and winter white, the lifelong preference invariably wins out over traditional and new-traditional colors.

ornaments-on-tree

Christmas-tree-2017

Walmart surprised and delighted the decorating and the savvy consumer side of my brain this holiday season.

Christmas-plates

I could not be more pleased with the presence and the price point of the tabletop pre-lit silver artificial tinsel Christmas tree and the Better Homes and Gardens holiday plate set.

Christmas-dessert-plates

We had a little “this never, ever happens here” excitement this week.

snow-showers-prediction

For a split second the Christmas Day forecast for Central Louisiana looked like we would need to break out the snow boots and snow booties.

snow-booties

Snow in Louisiana on Christmas Day?

Could it be that a miracle of snow on Places In The Home Street will take place?

Although it will not come to pass, the prospect of it could happen only adds to the excitement of a White Christmas.

Christmas-figurines

I realize a gold picture frame with black and white zebras and a black and white photo of our son and his groomsmen does not necessarily qualify as a Christmas or holiday decoration, but leave it to me to find a way to incorporate it into an I’ll be home for Christmas theme.  The Canadian snowbirds will not be home in Canada or Louisiana for Christmas, and for an excellent reason.  The snowbirds are flying south as in the tropical south  for a holiday honeymoon.

groom-groomsmen

With only five days until Christmas I suppose I should push back from the keyboard if for only a day or three to enjoy all the season has to offer.  May your holidays be merry and bright, safe and sound, healthy and happy and your heart always be Home for the Holidays.

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Treasures On The Tree: Christmas Ornaments

it's

 

beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Let’s take a look at the history of Christmas ornaments, shall we?

 

History shows the decorations used to trim and bedeck Christmas trees included white candy canes, fresh apples and pastries shaped in the likeness of flowers, hearts and stars.  Garlands of glass beads, tin figures and the famous glass bauble made in Lauscha, Germany by Hans Greiner captured the eyes and the hearts of admirers.  Artisans crafted the original ornaments in the shape of fruits and nuts.

peach-german-ornament

William DeMuth created the first American-made glass ornaments in 1870.  American businessman F. W. Woolworth discovered glass bauble ornaments on his travels to Laucscha, Germany in the 1880s subsequently importing the Lauscha ornaments to the United States.

Germany-glass-ornament32° North

The F. W. Woolworth Company went national in 1910 with 1000+ stores introducing glass Christmas ornaments into its inventory.  Over the 20th century, Woolworth’s would import 200,000 Christmas ornaments and top $25 million in sales from Christmas decorations.

christmas ornaments

Over the last decade, decorating the Christmas tree has become more than strictly a holiday ritual and more of a trip down memory lane starring Christmas ornaments notably in what Christmas means to me magnificence.

decorated-tinsel-tree

Small in size, but oh-so-large in representation of our individual style, personal interests, defining milestones, landmark events, choice destinations, memories of yesteryear;  Christmas ornaments become delicate, shiny, glittery and wonderful winter wonderland pieces to add to or start a these are a few of my favorite things collection.

Snow-Great-Smoky-Mountains-National-ParkGreat Smoky Mountains National Park  ~  Photo by Nick Yarnell

East Tennessee is our second home, and even though we will spend Christmas at home in Louisiana, the GSMNP ornament will allow us to be home for Christmas if only in our Great Smoky Mountains National Park dreams.

ornament-smoky-mountains

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

ski-winter

Load ’em up and let’s hit the slopes memories.

ornament_ski_gondolaSki Gondola 

Winnipeg- JetsWinnipeg Jets

The newlywed Canadian snowbirds eat, sleep and drink all things hockey, namely, the Winnipeg Jets.

Jets-games

This one’s for y’all or  celui-ci est pour vous tous.

ornament-hockey-puck

Instead of the traditional our first Christmas ornament denoting the happy couple’s first Christmas together as man and wife, I thought I’d go in a different direction.

pizza-food-truck

The food truck was a huge hit at their wedding reception, and a food truck ornament serves as an appropriate token of their make it our own style.

ornament-food-truck

Christmas ornaments somehow become more than objects of beauty, they become ornamental objects of ourselves and treasures from our lives and the lives of those we love.

Houmas HouseHoumas House

Now for an array of Christmas ornaments celebrating the food, music, landmarks and culture of Louisiana  and ones that capture the essence of the there’s no place like home for the holidays sentiment.

ornament-landscape

Dagmara Landscape Printed Glass Ball Ornament

I fell in love with the Dagmara landscape printed glass ball ornament at first sight.  Monochrome topography fittingly depicts a scene reminiscent of the homes, buildings and churches along the parish roads and bayous of Louisiana.

Flying_pelican_grand_bayBrown Pelicans

cloisonne-Louisiana-state-ornament

Kitty Keller Designs Cloisonne State of Louisiana 

The announcement of Ultra Violet as Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 coordinates with the holiday color fest.

2018-Pantone-Ultra-Violet

A splash of non-traditional color livens the look, and complements the colors featured in the all I want for Christmas Limoges oyster plate and oyster ornament.

Limoges-oyster-plate

Hand Painted Limoges Plate With Sea Oyster Shell Decoration

ornament-oyster

Old World Christmas Oyster with Pearl Glass Blown Ornament

Beignets_and_Café_au_Lait_at_Café_du_Monde,_New_OrleansBeignets and Café au Lait at Café du Monde

Beignets and Café au Lait at Café du Monde is a delicious New Orleans tradition.

ornament-coffee-beignets-cafe-du-monde

Coffee and Beignets New Orleans Christmas Ornament 

Our pets are members of our family.  Sadie the black Labrador Retriever and Beau the white German shepherd keep our nephews company on the hunt.

Sadie-black-lab

pet-ornaments

German Shepherd

white-German-shepherd

Creativity and color make up a large part of my day, every day.

french-artisit-oil-paint-palette

French Artist Oil Paint Palette

It’s a color your world Christmas.

ornament-artist-paletteOld World Christmas Artist’s Palette Glass Blown Ornament

The piney woods are well-represented through adorned packages in shades of blush, gray, and gold wrapped to impress.

pink-holiday-gift-wrapping-ideas

Decorate your Christmas tree as you would your home- with a sense of you.

Love your style!

 

Places In The Home Hostess Gift Ideas Holiday Edition

Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday deals are an excellent vehicle for hostess gift ideas.  The ’tis the season soiree and holiday dinner party highlights the festive spirit of the season, and is the most wonderful time of the year for the holiday hostess to pull out all the stops.

retro holiday party

A gift of holiday hospitality expresses thoughtful appreciation to the hostess (or host).  Entertaining what special token of ’tis the season appreciation to gift the merry hostess or host is a scroll away with the Places In The Home Hostess Gift Ideas Holiday Edition.

hostess gift ideas

I sourced ginger jar ornaments and even went as far as to post the image, note the source, and hit the update button.  That is until I checked out the clearance sale at Lamps Plus for a blue and white ginger jar lamp.

happiness-blue-white-table-lampFelicity Blue and White Double Happiness Table Lamp

Turns out the ornaments are more expensive than the lamp.  Ginger jar ornaments shine in the holiday hostess gift ideas spotlight for roughly 30 days.  The Felicity Blue and White Double Happiness Table Lamp on the other hand shines 365 days in the hostess gift ideas~home decor spotlight.  How’s that for hostess gift ideas holiday gift giving happiness?

Louisiana-cabin-print

Cabin Canvas Art Print

Hostess gift ideas that work of a central theme such as one that features items native to your corner of the world is a fun and unique way to emphasize the home for the holidays spirit.

River Road Recipes: The Textbook of Louisiana CuisineRiver Road Recipes: The Textbook of Louisiana Cuisine

The look and the taste of take me home Louisiana river roads and bayous is year round present in a Louisiana lagniappe gift trio of a rustic Cabin Canvas Art Print, River Road Recipes cookbook, and gold alligator salt and pepper set.

2-piece-gold-alligator-salt-and-pepper-set

Gold Alligator Salt and Pepper Set

These whimsical Dapper Animal appetizer plates are stylishly dapper indeed.

dapper-animal-salad-platesDapper Animal Plates

Stylish accessories for dresser or desk gets the hostess or host gift job done.

Haircalf Storage Box

 Large Haircalf Storage Box

broyhill-tray

Small Haircalf Tray

 French finial fabulous gift gorgeous with a lovely price point.

scroll-finialsPenelope ~ Francis Finial Accent Pieces

Farmhouse style remains a favorite theme to work with to build your hostess gift ideas upon.

Delano+Farmhouse+Share+0.5+qt.+Kitchen+Canister

Delano Farmhouse Canister

farmhouse-theme-hostess-gift

Dave the Builder wonders aloud why I am sourcing dirty Wellies as a hostess or host gift.

welly-boots-planter

Oh you silly man, it’s a  Welly Boots Planter.  “Hey, I like that!”  Hopefully, the host or hostess will give it a green thumbs-up too.

green-curl-wreathWood Curl Green Square Wreath

On sale and on trend, the Wood Curl Green Square Wreath from Pier 1 Imports hits the holiday high notes of year round indoor or outdoor color, pattern and texture style.  Pop the holiday color with a fabulous bow for a super good look!

scottie-dog-cookie-jar

 

Ceramic Scottie Cookie Jar

Cookies for Santa, hostess, and pet lover alike.

scottie-dog-shortbread-cookiesWalkers Shortbread Tin, Scottie Dog

tartan-plaid-appetizer-plates

philosophy-pure-grace-duophilosophy thinking of you pure grace duo

Scents and sentiments to melt away holiday stress.

soap-petalsFloral Bouquet Soap Petals, 20-Piece

The gift of gold is in style all year long.

lips-pillow

OLIVER Velvet Lips Pillow

decorative-round-mirrorDecorative Round Metal Feather Mirror

gold napkin ringsSaro Lifestyle Classic Design Napkin Ring ~ Set of 4

the-art-of-the-bar-cart

Cheers to the holiday hostess and host and the art of the bar cart.

Rhum-Agricole-bottleRhum Agricole 

alligator-wrap

All things house that make a home becomes a smarter and easier proposition with the Amazon Echo Dot  2nd Generation.

Amazon-echo-dot

Hands-free and voice controlled ability controls lights, electronics, thermostats, garage doors, and sprinkler systems.  Call or message anyone hands-free with your Echo device.  The built-in speaker works on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, the ultimate sous chef in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer.  Connection to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth to your preferred music library is the selling point for me.  

fleetwood-mac-rumours

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

Classic tunes stand the test of time and rocks the holiday soiree.

Eagles-Hotel-CaliforniaEagles~ Hotel California

Holiday gatherings with friends and gifts that express love, thanks and appreciation enhance the spirit of the season!  The gift really is in the giving, and spending holiday times with good friends is always in season.

Love your style!

Southern Sweet Potato Puffs

Culinary contemplation over how I could up my holiday side dish game brought me to a delicious conclusion.  How ’bout pairing the highly holiday requested Southern Sweet Potato Casserole with the OMG as in oh my goodness of puff pastry.   Southern Sweet Potato Puffs it is!

southern sweet potato puffs

Impressing the palates of those who gather together is a part of the holiday dinner and entertaining equation.   As someone who puts stock in the you eat with your eyes first approach to dining, the looks so good has to match up to the tastes so good.  Let’s begin with the recipe for Southern Sweet Potato Casserole.

sweet-potatoes-pecans-flour-brown-sugar

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ cup milk

¼ cup Southern Comfort whiskey

1/3 cup butter, melted

For Topping:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F.   Lightly spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.  Boil  sweet potatoes under tender.  Carefully remove from heat, drain, peel and mash sweet potatoes. 

sweet-potatoes-vanilla

In mixing bowl, mix together the mashed sweet potatoes, brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, milk, vanilla extract, Southern Comfort, ground cloves and ground nutmeg.  Spread mixture evenly in prepared baking dish. 

stirring-sweet-potatoesIn a separate mixing bowl, mix together brown sugar, chopped pecans, flour, and melted butter.  

sweet-potato-toppings

Spoon over sweet potato mixture.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.  

Southern-sweet-potato-casserole

Southern Sweet Potato Puffs

Ingredients

southern sweet potato casserole for filling

1 box puff pastry sheets

1 egg

flour

Directions

Allow the casserole to cool before using as the filling for the puffs.  The reason I elect to fill the puff pastry with cooked sweet potato casserole is to work with a dryer filling.  Baking off the casserole absorbs the liquids into the baked casserole, and makes it easier to work with a firmer filling.  The next step in the making of Southern Sweet Potatoes Puffs brings puff pastry into the mix.  I used the defrost in the refrigerator overnight method of thawing the puff pastry sheets.  Unfold 1 puff pastry sheet and place on  lightly floured countertop or large baking sheet.  Roll puff pastry out using a lightly floured rolling pin.  Lightly dust pastry sheet with flour.  Using a knife, cut the pastry sheet into six (6) squares.

sweet-potato-puff-pastry

Spoon 1 tablespoon of the Southern Sweet Potato Casserole mixture in the center of each pastry square.

floured-puff-pastry

Pull corners of each square up over the filling and twist at top to seal.  Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.  Place the pastry squares onto a large baking sheet that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

sweet-potato-twist-puff-pastry

Beat 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of water together in a small bowl with a fork.  Brush each puff with the egg mixture.

southern-sweet-potato-puffsBake for 20 minutes or until puffs are golden brown.

Note:  Southern Sweet Potato Puffs make an excellent small bite appetizer for the holiday cocktail hour.

enjoy