Thanksgiving hadn’t even passed and J and I were busy getting our home ready for the Christmas holiday. Decorating our one bedroom apartment last year didn’t provide nearly enough room to deck out for Christmas. This year we have not 1 but 2 trees and lights trimming the outside of our house. I’m not 100% done, but I still have a couple of weeks before the Creighton alumni party we’re hosting later this month.
Our work in progress
Our finished work!
Basement Christmas tree with the first presents!
J and I hosted our 1st Thanksgiving last week. My parents drove in from Iowa on Wednesday evening, so we got cook, shop, and eat, eat, eat together for the whole weekend!
As far as the menu was concerned, I stuck with a few traditional favorites, swapped out some old recipes for healthier alternatives, and even found some new dishes to give a try! Here’s the rundown….
Autumn Salad with Pears and Gorgonzola: This was a brand new recipe that ended up being SO good! Very fresh and crisp with great fall flavors! Find the recipe here!
Red Hot Applesauce Salad: This salad appears at nearly every family gathering at the Olson house. It’s easy to prepare and is a great option to use in place of cranberries for picky eaters. (recipe at the end of this post)
Stuffing:I used a Chicken Sausage and Herb Stuffing recipe from SkinnyTaste. I opted for turkey sausage instead of chicken. Everyone really liked this dish – definitely a keeper!
Roasted Parmesan Green Beans: Found this side on SkinnyTaste. Super easy and really good! Definitely prefer it to the standard green bean casserole!
Corn Casserole: I found a lightened-up version of one of our favorites. It uses Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. I actually think this version is even better! I can thank SkinnyTaste for this gem as well (yes, there is a pattern here)!
Caramel Apple Pie: This is my all-time favorite apple pie recipe. It’s absolutely amazing served warm with a side of vanilla ice cream! (recipe at the end of this post)
All that was left was gravy and some crescent rolls. My mom has a great recipe for butter horns, I’m definitely going to need to get that from her before I host another holiday meal!
The great thing about this menu was how much of it I could prepare ahead of time. I had the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes all ready to go on Wednesday. All that was left was to pop them in the oven before lunch!
How did your Thanksgiving go? Try any yummy new dishes?
And as promised, recipes……
Red Hot Applesauce Salad
1/2 C cinnamon red hot candies
1 – 6oz pkg cherry jello
2 C applesauce
Bring water to a boil. Dissolve red hots in boiling water. Mix in and dissolve jello. Transfer to a medium bowl. Mix in applesauce. Chill for 4 hours or overnight.
Caramel Apple Pie
Prepare a pie crust and place in bottom of pan
1 C sugar
1/4 C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
6 C peeled and cut up apples
Filling: In a large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 C flour and cinnamon. Add apples and toss to coat. Place in unbaked crust.
Combine 1/2 C caramel apple dip (Marzetti’s) with 2 Tbsp milk. Drizzle over apples. Save some to drizzle over top of pie.
Topping: In mixing bowl, combine 1 C flour and 1/2 C brown sugar, 1/2 C cut butter. Cut in butter until course crumble. Sprinkle over apples.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pan on baking sheet. Cover edge of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning. Bake 30 minutes until golden, remove foil and bake 30 more minutes.
Cool, drizzle remaining dip mixture over top of pie. Cool on wire rack.
Wow, it’s been a LONG time since I last posted! I guess I got preoccupied with *finally* figuring out my first semester back in school and preparing to host my parents for Thanksgiving here in Milwaukee (more on both of these later). Insanity has been put on a hiatus for the foreseeable future. The type of activities required in each workout starting really taking a toll on my left leg. After going through 2 broken heels and damaging my MCL, my body has developed coping strategies for protecting my injured limbs.
My orthopedist warned me of this exact thing and told me it would be important to learn how to walk/run normally again. Well, turns out I never quite got these issues resolved. Watching my gait as I run and even looking at the uneven wear on my shoes shows just how much my left leg compensates for my right. So, I’m returning to the basics and sticking with my tried and true running. It takes a lot of mental power to change my gait – I literally have to remind myself how to plant each step. I really want to give Insanity another shot once I have my body at a better place. I’m setting March as a preliminary goal – NOT giving up :)
Well, today was a first. I skipped Insanity. I wish I had a good excuse, but I don’t. I got dressed, went downstairs, started the DVD, got 6 minutes into the warm-up, annnnnnnnnd bailed. I just walked away.
I was in a bit of a funk, and I just wasn’t mentally motivated to make it through today. I’m trying to sort out my future (yes, my entire existence) and it’s not an easy task when I keep getting the runaround from the folks in charge. Bleh. I talked to my mom (which is generally the best solution to any problem), and I feel a renewed spark to keep my chin up and push ahead with my goals.
To give you a quick update, I’m in the middle of a career change. Leaving the corporate marketing world and returning to college for early childhood teaching certification. I am incredibly excited and so blessed to be able to make this dream a reality. I just wish getting started didn’t involve so much paperwork, unanswered emails and general uncooperativeness.
I’m a smart, passionate individual wanting to give you money to get my licensure. Surely that means something to someone?! :) I’m weighing several options right now along with their relative costs (some being quite substantial) – UWM, Mount Mary and Marquette. I don’t want to sound completely down about the application process because I definitely have encountered some GREAT and helpful people along the way. Hopefully this will all be worked out by the new year!
Anyways, back to Insanity. Now I have a decision to make. Either do 2 workouts tomorrow or sacrifice my rest day on Saturday. I’m guessing Saturday the healthy thing to do. It’s not a good feeling going to bed failing to complete today’s workout, but… tomorrow’s a new start!