This year we did an abbreviated Thanksgiving starring Maggie the puppy and our good friend Amanda. We decided that instead of roasting a whole turkey, we'd feature our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes as the meal. To which I said, "Bring on the broccoli casserole!"
Tim read an article recently that talked of how recipe websites can track what different regions of our country search on any given day. Apparently, the night before Thanksgiving, people all over the South were searching for the perfect broccoli casserole recipe.
Well, friends, here's a little tip: I have the perfect broccoli casserole recipe. It's quick, it's easy, and it's shockingly delicious! Oh, and it's completely trashy (Cheez Whiz!), but who doesn't love a little trashy comfort every now and then (hello deep-fried twinkies!).
Best Broccoli Casserole. Ever.
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can (use empty soup can) of milk
1 cup Minute Rice
1 stick of butter, melted
1 package frozen broccoli, rinsed under hot water
1 jar of melted Cheez Whiz -- that's right, Cheez Whiz! (sorry folks, real cheese just doesn't melt the right way)
Mix all ingredients together and bake for about 45 minutes at 350. Remove when top begins browning and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
Then you will die with deliciousness.
Needing some extra protein in your casserole? Just add chicken tenders! Yes, yes, you can just add some grilled or baked chicken too, but we're going for ease and quickness. Just get a few of those chicken tenders from your grocery store's deli, chop them up and toss them into the mix. You'll thank me, trust.
I just love this stuff. But beware, once you have it, you will think of it all the time.
Oh, and PS. It's amazing reheated for breakfast. You're welcome.
Marguerite "Maggie" Avett Han-Moore!!
Thanks to all of you for your votes. We are thrilled to have finally chosen a name for our little one!
We are completely smitten with her, and can you blame us?
She seems to be pretty fond of me and Tim too, perhaps liking us almost as much as she likes Friends!
I hope that you all had really lovely Thanksgivings! Ours was wonderful, but I won't be posting photos of our gorgeous decorated table. Instead, I'll be posting my favorite white-trash go-to Thanksgiving recipe. Stay tuned!
PS. Notice her last name is Han-Moore. If we hypenated the other way around, it would just be bad.
Happy Thanksgiving my friends!
I have been LOVING the gratitude lists that have been making their way around the blogosphere, and I love that Thanksgiving is a holiday completely devoted to being grateful. And eating lots of yummy food!
This Thanksgiving I am grateful for more things that I can list: my happy life, my amazing friends and family, my incredible boyfriend and partner-in-crime, our fantastic house, my health, and, of course, the newest addition to said house.
I am grateful that I'm following my dreams of having a job that I love and that makes me feel complete. I am grateful for having the courage it takes to follow these dreams, even during the scariest of times. Finally, I am grateful for the support of everyone around me in taking these hard steps. It really has meant the world to me to know that I have so many people on my side (that includes you, my internet-friends!).
Now that I've said my piece, let's get on to the other matter of business: naming the puppy. Tim and I have it narrowed down to two names. Wanna vote again?
Ok, so I promise that this blog isn't going to become all about our new dog, but I really can't resist sharing a few more pics of her adorableness. She's really growing fast, so we're trying to take lots of photos while she's in her cute, clumsy phase. I think she's gained a couple of pounds since we brought her home on Saturday!
A few details:
Tim and I are having a hard time deciding on what this little one should be called. I think she looks like a Violet but Tim contends that Violet is too soft of a name for a dog. He also says that we can't name her after any vampires (boo!) so Sookie, Bella, Alice, Esme and Rosalie are out. I wonder what he'd think about Renesme...HA!
We need your help blog readers! What do YOU think we should name this little one? Please vote! Also, if you have any other suggestions, they are welcome in the comments! I'd like to have the little one named by December!
Oh, and PS. I cut all my hair off! Fun!
This post is loo-oong overdue, but I wanted to share with you guys some of my super fun finds from my recent trip to the Alameda Flea Market.
This flea market is super fun, but I do have two tips:
My girlfriends and I stayed for a couple of hours, and by the end, we had seen about 25% of the booths and were exhausted! Exhausted, yet super thrilled with everything we found!
This is actually a wooden cake stand which I LOVE. I walked away and the immediately circled back and was so relieved to see that it was still there.
I'm not a very good house painter. I think that's why it took 3 days to paint the kitchen. 3 days, 3 coats, and 1 really weird bruise on the palm of my hand.
Painting well requires precision and accuracy. I'm not so much a precision and accuracy kind of girl. I'm more of a big-ideas type who's super focused on the big picture and doesn't really want to be bothered with all of the small details. Painting means putting paint on the wall! YAY for that! It doesn't mean spending a whole day (!) washing the walls and taping. Lucky for me, Tim actually likes doing that stuff, the taping and the prepping. He also just happens to also be the most patient man in the world. BONUS.
But all that I-hate-painting stuff being said, I am beyond thrilled with how bright and happy our kitchen now is.
Here's a glimpse. I'm not ready to call this the after just yet since the makeover isn't complete, so let's just call this one the during:
Sure beats kakhi, huh? The color is actually a bit brighter than it shows up on the screen, it looks a little more buttery on the photo. Oh well. Maybe by the time I'm doing with the kitchen makeover, I will have learned a thing or two about taking better pictures!
Anyone wondering how the I'm-gonna-paint-my-kitchen-yellow thing is going?
At this point, after waytoomany trips to Home Depot, we have narrowed our choices down to Sun Shower and June Day (those were the two original choices from the ballot), and Bicycle Yellow and Lemon Drops.
I put the samples up one at a time, but they weren't painted on thick enough and some of the original khaki color was showing through. Here's what it looked like with the thinner layers. Ignore the top part. I can't remember the order I painted those on, so even if one emerges victorious from that section, I won't know what color it is.
I've shared with you guys that Tim and I are in the process of doing some painting and updating at our new place. Being renters, we are very lucky to be renting from my mom who said that we can do whatever we'd like in terms of painting and home improvement as long as we "either make it better than it was before or paint it back."
Remember this post where I showed you some of my decorating inspirations? Here's the room that I'm using as my kitchen-color-basis:
I really want a yellow kitchen. I love yellow kitchens. I think all kitchens should be yellow. It just makes sense, right?
Yeah, um, it's hard to find the "perfect" yellow for your kitchen.
I have a bowl. It's yellow. I decided that it was the color I wanted on the walls. But, not really, because when I went to Home Depot and picked up the 72 different samples of yellow paint, the one that most matched the bowl was more of a mustard color. And trust me, our house has plenty of mustard going on. And I don't even like mustard!
So, I devised a system. It might be a crazy system -- when I told Tim "the plan," he shook his head and chuckled -- but I think it's going to work.
Here's what I did:
First, I put up all of our possible paint colors onto the wall. This is a wall that is shaded in the evening and gets a lot of sun in the morning. It seemed like a good spot to judge the different light levels throughout the day.
And, no, in case you're wondering, these aren't ALL the paint samples I picked up. There are about 30 more colors that didn't make the cut. After a while, when we were going through them, comparing them to the bowl, they all started to look the same. Hence my method.
Then I taped a "secret ballot" onto the wall near the paint samples. In order to make it secret, I put a blank piece of paper over the one where we were to record our "votes." Yes, it is fancy. Thank you.
Ooh, votes, you might think? You get to vote. Heck yeah, you get to vote. That's the beauty of my process.
So, yeah, you vote. The nice thing about this is that you get to vote for more than one color at a time. It's just a way to measure which ones you like throughout the day. And if you like four colors at a time, so be it. My theory behind this is that at some point, one or two colors will emerge as clear winners and those are the colors that we'll get actual samples of to put onto the wall.
And, as you can see, it worked:
Here are the colors that have made it through to the final round:
Are you thinking that maybe we should just leave the kitchen walls the color they are? Kakhi? Yeah, me too.
I'm going to Home Depot tomorrow to pick up sample cans of the two colors, and I'll put them up in the same spot. We'll then decide which color to use. But, no worries, it's gonna be awesome.
Now if only I could decide on the perfect place for the chalkboard paint.
Mary Karr: The Liars' Club: A Memoir
Favorite book club book ever! We actually got into a (good) screaming match over this one!
Greg Mortenson: Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
Currently reading...so good!
Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
The book club loved this one! We all found it to be so very inspiring!