Decorating For Thanksgiving

Ready for this week? Are you like so many of us and you have been busy today cleaning up and getting ready for the big week? Need some fun and inexpensive ideas for those last touches? Let us help!

Decorating for Thanksgiving adds an element of warmth and fun to your home. The best thing is you don’t have to go overboard or put a lot of time or effort into this. Use a few of the suggestions below, add some fall colored throw pillows or blankets to your couch, light a pumpkin scented candle and your whole house will have that special Thanksgiving feel to it.

Yard Display
Decorate the front yard with a wooden scarecrow, turkey or sign. For a little color, plant a few mums, either in the ground, or in pots and planters.

Mantle Display
The mantle over your fire place is the perfect place to decorate for Thanksgiving . For a simple display, arrange some pumpkins or decorative gourds on the mantle along with a few candles. A fall garland or wreath is a nice touch above the mantle.

Fall Flower Arrangement
Stop by your local florist for some flowers in yellow or orange. Arrange them in a vase along with some greenery.

Pumpkins and Corn
You can make a beautiful fall arrangement by setting out some miniature pumpkins and ears of corn. Look for yellow and purple varieties of corn for an authentic Thanksgiving feel. Scatter them across your dining table, or arrange them in a bowl for a nice centerpiece.

Thanksgiving Wreath
Purchase or make a simple grapevine wreath and decorate it with fall leaves and miniature pumpkins. Add a nice bow and hang it on the front door. A Thanksgiving wreath is a great way to welcome your guests in.

Display Kids Artwork
Not only will your home be beautifully decorated, but you’ll be building your children’s self-esteem at the same time. Buy a few inexpensive frames and set them out or hang them on the wall. This is of course also a great way to display your child’s artwork year round.

The First Thanksgiving
There are quite a few ways to incorporate the first Thanksgiving in your decorations. Create a small scale version of this special occasion by setting out a few figurines of pilgrims and Native Americans. Complete the scene with a small table, some turkeys and miniature trees to show that the first Thanksgiving took place outside.

Why Not Make a Memory This Week???

Cindy2015Oh! Anybody else in holiday bliss this week?

We have changed the pace for the week. A nice welcomed break after a very, very productive season. This week, we are cutting back all of our life to just make sweet memories. What about you? Why not make a memory this week? Want to?

Here are a few ideas of things that might make your Christmas special while you make sweet, sweet memories. Ready? Let’s dig in…

* Make Christmas gifts and goody baskets… Christmas does not have to break your budget, especially if we will use some of those extra craft supplies around the house to make gifts or goody baskets. A big batch of cookies in a cute basket makes an adorable gift. Give it a try! Great gift…plus you make sweet memories along the way! [Read more…]

Leftover Guilt? by Jill Cooper

The image “http://www.livingonadime.com/images/jill.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Don’t you just love Thanksgiving?  It’s the most guilt free holiday of the year.  You don’t have to worry about getting the right gifts or whether everything is decorated perfectly. You don’t have to wonder whether you made enough cookies or whether the food is on your diet. You have permission and can eat to your heart’s content! At times like this, I have to wonder: Have I died and gone to Heaven?!

There is one problem — What happens when everyone rolls away from the table? You stand there in the shadows of mounds of leftovers and the guilt sets in. You really can’t wedge in another bite, but you can’t bring yourself to throw away all that good food. You know that there are people starving in Bangladesh, but you can’t afford the shipping cost to send it to them… What do you do with it?

Here are some ideas from Living-on-a-Dime.com to help you put those leftovers to good use and keep your clean conscience!

1. Mix gravy, cubed turkey and leftover vegetables into a casserole dish. Top with refrigerator biscuits, leftover pie crust or crescent rolls (unbaked). Bake at 350 degrees until the dough is cooked and golden brown.

2. When making pies on Thanksgiving Day, save the extra dough or make extra to use to make pasties.  Roll out discs of dough in whatever size you want and fill with meat, vegetables and leftover potatoes.

3. Don’t forget to use your leftover relish dish. Chop and use in salads, soups or casseroles. If you’re really sick of the vegetables, chop and freeze to use later.

4. Use leftover mashed potatoes to thicken soups and stews.

5. Make potato pancakes: Add 1 egg and 2 Tbsp. flour to 2 cups mashed potatoes. Make into patties and fry in a pan with margarine.

Pasties

Filling
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
1 Tbsp. water
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2-1 lb. ground beef, turkey or chicken, cooked
salt and pepper (to taste)

Dough
Use leftover pie crust or use the following recipe:

1 cup shortening
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cups flour
6 Tbsp. water

In a saucepan, simmer the carrots in the water, butter, and chicken bouillon cubes. Add potatoes, onion, meat and salt and pepper. Divide into fourths.  Mix dough ingredients and roll into four 10-inch circles. Put the meat mixture on one side of the dough. Fold the other half of the dough over and seal with fingers or a fork.  Bake 1 hour at 375 degrees.  Serves 4-6.

You can also add other vegetables. This is a good way to use those leftovers, so be creative!

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What to Do with your Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey

After a big Thanksgiving meal, many people end up with quite a bit of extra turkey. Nibbling on leftovers is fine, but here are some additional healthy ways to use that leftover turkey.

Sandwiches
This is our family favorite. Simply slather mayonnaise on your favorite bread and add turkey. Enjoy! Of course, you can make this sandwich fancier by using toasted garlic bread, or adding some seasonings to the mayonnaise. You can quickly whip up some gourmet style mayo by adding some of the packet ranch dressing mix to it.

Instead of regular old sliced bread, make turkey sandwiches with fresh or chiabata bread for a different taste.

Open Faced Turkey Sandwich
Start with some really good toast. Rub a little garlic or butter on it if you’d like. Then, lay slices of turkey on it and cover with gravy. Heat up some left over stuffing and stick it in the toaster oven or your regular oven to give it a nice little crust and dinner is ready.

Turkey and Rice Soup
Use the leftover bones from the turkey and throw them in a large stock pot. Cover them with plenty of water and add some onion, celery, carrot and salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil and boil for about 45 min. Strain out the liquid, return it to the pot, add some rice and leftover pieces of turkey. Add any vegetables you like as well and cook until the rice and veggies are tender.

Turkey Enchiladas
You can fix turkey enchiladas just like you would chicken enchiladas with your favorite sauce, tortillas and cheese. Just shred the turkey, and heat it with some cheese and enchilada sauce. Spoon the mixture on flour or corn tortillas and roll them up. Place the tortilla rolls in a greased baking dish and top with more enchilada sauce and plenty of cheese. Then bake them up until the cheese is nice and bubbly. They are a great way to use turkey in something that has a completely different flavor.

Turkey Wraps
Tired of turkey sandwiches? Use a tortilla instead. Pile on lettuce, raw veggies and plenty of turkey. Top with some ranch dressing and roll it up for a portable lunch or snack. Another fun idea is to mix shredded turkey with a little mayonnaise, some chopped apple, grapes and a few walnuts for a turkey salad wrap.

Turkey Salad
Make a gorgeous, colorful salad, using all the vegetables you can find in the store. Add sliced turkey to the top and add your favorite salad dressing. Or make a turkey Caesar salad with romaine lettuce, turkey, parmesan cheese, croutons and Caesar dressing.

Turkey Chili
Shred your leftover turkey and cook it along with beans, tomatoes and your favorite chili seasonings. Of course you can also toss in any leftover veggies like corn or green beans and cook them right along with the rest of the chili ingredients. Serve with cornbread.

Teaching Your Kids to be Thankful

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to teach your kids about being thankful. Here are some ideas to teach your children how to appreciate the blessings in their lives.

Giving Thanks Placemats
The goal of this craft is to create a collage filled with drawings and pictures of all the things your children are thankful for. Cut photos from magazines, or print some photos from your computer. Older children can write captions under the photos or draw their own. Be sure to put the child’s name and the year on it.

If you make this collage from two standard letter size pieces of construction paper taped side-by-side, you can take the completed collage to a copy shop when you’re done and have it laminated. It then becomes a placemat that you can use every Thanksgiving for years to come.

Thankful Paper Chain
Another way to remind your children of their blessings is to create a paper chain. This is similar to a regular paper chain – where you cut strips of paper and connect them together as loops, but there’s one difference. You write on the strips of paper before you connect them. Write the things you are thankful for with your children. For instance, “Grandma plays games with me” or “My teacher is nice.” The fun part of this activity is to make the chain as long as possible – showing all your blessings. If you’d like to keep this up during Christmas, just use green and white paper.

Thanksgiving Tree
This is another take on the idea above and works really well if you have several kids in the family. Get each child to trace their hand on yellow, red, or brown construction paper. Cut out the hand shapes and write (or have the child write) what they are thankful for on the hand shape. Cut a tree trunk shape out of brown construction paper. Glue it on a large piece of poster board. Let the kids add their hand shapes as leaves above the tree trunk, turning it into a beautiful fall colored tree.

Thankful Book

This idea is similar to the others, except it’s more of a keepsake. Purchase a photo album or scrapbook kit and make a “blessings” theme. Add photos of loved ones, including stories about why they are special to you. Also, include pages of your favorite foods, favorite stories, favorite movies and all the other things that make you happy. Any time your kids feel down, you can open your blessing book to see all the reasons you have to be happy – and thankful for the blessings in your life.