Monday, November 30, 2009

It's December 1st and officially the start of the holiday season. Bring on the Christmas cards! If you haven't checked out hello lucky, you may want to. They have an incredible selection of holiday cards.

The details are stunning. Choose from Christmas cards, photo cards, Hanukkah cards or Letterpress.

For easy access to their holiday cards, see them in the left sidebar.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

If you're looking to impress this holiday season, Sucré is your answer. The perfect hostess gift.. something for that all too impossible to shop for person on your list, your spouse, your best friend, all of them will love what Sucré has to offer.

Macaroons, simple, colorful and delicious.. they're a sure fire hit and almost too pretty to eat.

When the Sugar and Spice Holiday collection showed up on our front porch, serious fighting ensued. The girls, Ryan and I all wanted them. They were heavenly, but I wanted to put these chocolates to the test (even if it meant sacrificing my own desires). I phoned our good friends, knowing they are well versed in the land of chocolate. If they gave Sucré the stamp of approval, that would be the best indicator of all.

I am happy to say they passed with flying colors. They have Dr. Greg and Sara's stamp of approval.. so it's official, they are GOOD!

and they look like pretty glass marbles. You should try some. You'll be glad you did.

Special offer for T+T readers: $10 off your order of $70+ (this can be used for multiple addresses) by using code SUCRÉ at checkout.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude Journal: Guest Post by Jenn Kirk

What I hope will be a yearly tradition for the month of November is creating a gratitude journal with my children.

At the beginning of the month, I told my oldest son Kai the story about the pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving dinner. Each day after, I'd ask him for one thing he was grateful for. I thought it would be fun to record his responses in a book and even had him photograph the things he was grateful for. There were a lot of repeats (hence the book not being very long!) with 'toys' coming up often enough to make me question my parenting skills. But the result is a handmade gratitude journal filled with sweet pictures that Kai took himself. Sweet because I love seeing what inspires him.

As for food, what is now becoming a tradition in our family is to have a very non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Having grown up on rice and noodles, I've always looked forward to turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, but the novelty is completely lost on my husband. So instead of cooking a turkey, I will be roasting a chicken and making a goat cheese and bell pepper pizza -- requests from Kai and my husband. I'm usually a straight-to-dessert type of person, so my treat will be a flourless chocolate cake.

Hope you all get your feast on and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!



Be sure to check out me out on Sensibly Styled today! They're featuring my Thanksgiving outfit pics, and lots of others. They are inspiration for sure. (not mine.. but the others).

One Final Tip and Sanity Saver from amr

Image credit

Or keep your sanity and "savor" this. This is not exactly an idea - more a tip. My mom is a world class cook. No kidding. Her stuffing is made from bread crumbs that she crumbled herself from bread she made herself a few days earlier. Thanksgiving dinner is no joke at my house. It pains me to say this (and I secretly hope she doesn't read it) but last year I had my first bite of Costco's pumpkin pie. And then I had another and another - then another. I kid you not. It tasted EXACTLY the same. I could nearly swear it was made from my mom's own homemade pumpkin pie recipe. So if you're desperate for a little help and relief from your kitchen this week - remember Costco can fool even the most home grown palates.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Lunch: Winter Squash Soup

Despite the heavy meal that looms in the late afternoon/early evening, it's still necessary to eat lunch on Thanksgiving Day. I understand that it's temptation to skip over lunch on Thanksgiving because it's one of theose things you don't want to make time for amidst all the preparation and cooking going on. But, around 11 or 12 your body will be ready for some nourishment.

Each year we like to make this soup for Thanksgiving Day lunch. It's simple, it's easy to make, it's light, and most importantly...delicious! Serve with a light salad, a crusty roll or the Gruyere toasts mentioned with the recipe and you've nailed it. To save time, make the soup a day ahead...soups almost always taste better 24 hours later! Another added time saver is to purchase pre-cut butternut squash at your local gourmet grocery store (refrigerated produce section) or at Costco.



Thanksgiving by amr

To me the holidays are all about happy. Whatever I can do to brighten the experience and put a smile on my (and my family's) face - you can be assured I'm all over it! I'm an idea girl - but I've learned from experience that I can't let my brain go too crazy. All the fabulous ideas and projects in the world won't save a stressful and strung-out celebration. So I thought I would share some really simple and successful Thanksgiving tips that won't send you screaming out the back door (a reference to my dear mother who advises me in stressful situations to do that very thing - open the back door and give a good holler. Try it! You'll be surprised how much release it gives :)

First, here is my very favorite recipe for rolls. And I think the title of the recipe will be a good indicator why:


As a former roll failure, I was quite giddy to discover a recipe with such promise and encouragement in a few simple words. The biggest trick to these rolls is remembering to make them the day before you take them. Yep, that's the biggest trick. Sounds simple, right? There is one last warning and that is this: Be careful when you bring them anywhere...because they are so soft,delicious, and addictive - you'll be asked to bring them to all your holiday and family functions from then on.

Never Fail Refrigerator Roll

1c. milk
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar

Melt together, don't scorch. Set aside to cool.

1 scant T. yeast
1/4 c. warm water
Dissolve yeast in warm water. (Add just a bit of sugar to aid in dissolving the yeast.)

2 t. sugar
3 eggs, beaten
4 c. flour
1 1/2 t. salt

Combine eggs and sugar and beat with a fork. Add the milk mixture and yeast and blend with a fork. Add the flour and salt and stir with a fork. (Or just do it all with your kitchen aid- that's what I did) Put in fridge overnight, covered tightly.

Two hours before you want to serve the rolls, roll the dough into a circle on a floured surface. Your dough will be sticky, so use enough flour. Spread with softened or melted butter. Cut into pie shaped wedges (24) and roll up like a croissant. Let rise 2 hours at room temperature.
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
Next up, a fun project to send to those you won't get to celebrate with. If your family is anything like mine, you are spread across the states and don't get to spend each holiday with all your family members. This is an especially fun idea for the grandparents who won't be seated at your Thanksgiving table this year.

You know those cute hand print turkeys your kids make at school? Use one of those or make one of your own by painting and "stamping" each child's hand onto cardstock - or even simpler, just trace their hand with crayons and let them color it in with the appropriate turkey details. (Googly eyes are always a hit if you have them on hand.) Either fold the paper in half to make a card or cut it out and paste it onto another piece of cardstock.

Once you have your card, help them print the following poem on the inside:
This isn't just a turkey
As anyone can see

I made it with my hand

Which is a part of me
It comes with lots of love
And I'd like to say
I hope you have a very
Happy Thanksgiving Day

Sweet and simple and sure to put a smile on some faces.

Another fun idea that gets everyone involved in the Thanksgiving Day menu is to set up a voting station. We did this last year for Christmas dinner and it was a huge hit. This year we have used our chalkboard wall to "vote" on Thanksgiving sides about a week before the big day. Sometimes when friends and neighbors drop by, we've asked them to add their favorites to the wall. We are guaranteed our traditional favorites, but this is a fun way to add a couple new twists to the menu.
My last idea - is only an idea - or rather an unchartered recipe. I haven't tested it yet, but am hoping to get to it this weekend. If you make it before I do (or you've made it before) please let me know if it is as delectably delicious as it sounds. I found it in "Southern Lady" magazine. (How much do you love that name? In my mind I see a boardroom full of Paula Deans brainstorming oodles of ideas and recipes.)

Pumpkin Cheesecake Fudge
Makes about 3 pounds

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (11-ounce) package white chocolate morsels
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow crème
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups walnuts, toasted

1. Line a 13x9x2-inch pan with aluminum foil; set aside.

2. In a Dutch oven, combine sugar, butter, milk, pumpkin, corn syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer registers 234°.

3. Remove from heat; stir in white chocolate until melted. Stir in remaining ingredients until smooth. Quickly pour into prepared pan. Let cool for 2 hours. Cut into small squares to serve.

image credit

Phew! That's all folks! I hope you've enjoyed some of my Thanksgiving ideas. Thanks Brittany, for letting me be a part of your fantastic blog. It's always been one of my favorites...and fellow readers, please stop by Melt by amr and say hello.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cranberry Sauces by Mindika Moments

Hey! This is Mindika from A big thank you to Brittany for letting me guest post on Tangled and True!

If you’re like me, your earliest memory of cranberries has something to do with a gelatinous red cylinder of goop that your parents ate with their turkey on Thanksgiving Day. It was oddly bitter and tart, and for the life of me I never could figure out the appeal to any adult, let alone a child; still can’t. So I have a goal!

If there is anyone out there, within cyber reach of my little posting fingers, that still finds themselves opening a can of jellied cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner, I’m going to do all I can to convince you to stop! Please, for the love of all things…there is a better way! I invite you to come on a journey with me to a land of fruity deliciousness, which just may change every preconceived notion you have about one of the oldest Thanksgiving dinner traditions on the books.

The journey starts with my favorite twist on this classic sauce. I came up with this recipe several years ago while experimenting with different cranberry flavor combinations. I made it the first Thanksgiving after I got married and my previous ‘cranberry-sauce-hater’ of a husband, fell instantly in love. Now it’s a yearly must-have at our Thanksgiving table.

Cranberry Orange Sauce
(Mindika Original Recipe)

1 C. orange juice
1 C. white granulated sugar
¼ C. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
¼ t. nutmeg
1/8 t. cloves
Zest of 1 orange
½ t. orange extract
pinch of salt
1 bag fresh cranberries (12 oz. or about 4 C.)

1. In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat combine the all ingredients except the cranberries, and bring to a boil.
2. Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries burst and sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
3. Take off the heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before chilling in the refrigerator.
4. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.


Next stop on our cranberry adventure…is a bit of an adventure itself. The combination of ingredients may surprise you, but you’re going to have to trust me. This sauce graces the Thanksgiving table at my sister’s house each year and as a side note, makes the most excellent condiment on a left over Turkey sandwich!!

Honey-Lemon Cranberry Sauce with Rosemary
(Recipe from Cuisine at Home)

½ C. honey
½ C. sugar
½ C. fresh lemon juice
¼ C. water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
pinch of salt
1 bag fresh cranberries (12 oz. or about 4 C.)

1. In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat combine all the ingredients except the cranberries, and bring to a boil.
2. Add the cranberries and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries burst and sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove the rosemary.
3. Take off the heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before chilling in the refrigerator.
4. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

*I take left over cranberry sauce and freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen I put them into a large freezer bag and pull out individual serving sizes for sandwiches and/or later meat condiments.


Final stop on our flavor train…a kid friendly cranberry creation. I think most kids find cranberries just too darn tart. I also think their little pallets haven’t quite figured out that sweet and savory can be a yummy combination. This sauce has a solution for both those dilemmas. First the apples counter the sour just enough to please the taste bud of most little tongues. Second, this sauce can be served all by itself, sans the turkey. Almost like a little dessert or side dish. And…did I mention it’s super delish on ice-cream. And…yes there’s more…for the adults, this sauce is good on grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, or fried chops. In other words, it has a year round application.

Cranberry Apple Sauce
(Mindika Original Recipe)

½ C. apple juice
¼ C. water
½ C. white granulated sugar
½ C. light brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground fresh ginger (or ½ t. dried)½ t. orange extract
Pinch of salt
2 C. fresh cranberries
2 C. apples, diced (Use your favorite variety. I like a mix of granny smith and gala.)

1. In a large sauce pan over medium-high combine the all ingredients except the cranberries and apples; bring to a boil.
2. Add the cranberries and apples, return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until berries burst, apples soften, and sauce thickens; about 10 minutes.
3. Take off the heat and allow to cool at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before chilling in the refrigerator.
4. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.


And so we come to the end of our journey of fruity deliciousness. I hope I’ve met my goal in convincing at least a few foodie friends out there to abandon the traditional cranberry jelly and try something new. I promise you won’t be sorry!

Thanks for coming along. If you like these recipes and want to see more…visit me at htt://!

gravy...pour it ON!!

I can't believe its nearly here!! Happy Thanksgiving to all--wow, I have a lot to be grateful for this year, and one thankful thing that comes to mind is my husband's A-MAZING gravy. Did you grow up like me thinking gravy was a powdered packet and you added water? Hardly the case...have you been afraid, intimidated and clueless on making your own? There is even a running joke in my family about 'gravaste' which was attempted by my sis several years back, she kept adding more and more flour to the gravy until it became a pasty nightmare, it was nearly as thick as the mashed potatoes and totally nasty.

Well T & T readers, fret no longer, this gravy is soooo yum and if you follow ALL of the instructions carefully, I promise you will have an incredible, savory gravy for your turkey day and you will never buy a mix again!!

Gravy a la Greg

Step 1…In Turkey Pan (minus the turkey, but WITH drippings)
• Drain Fat with large spoon
• Add 4 C Chicken stock to pan drippings
• Simmer for 10 minutes- put turkey pan OVER 2 burners on your stovetop. Scrape off pan drippings from bottom of pan and stir.
(while stock is simmering…move to step 2)

Step 2…Extra Seasonings (in separate pan)
Saute (until softened, onions become translucent, etc) in 4 T butter same seasonings as used in YOUR turkey (to compliment flavors)
For example:
• ½ C Carrots
• ½ C Celery
• ½ C Onion
• 1-2 Bay Leaves
• ½ t dried thyme
• 2-3 sprigs rosemary
• 2-3 sage leaves

Step 3…Add sautéed seasonings to simmering chicken stock in turkey pan. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 4…Pass seasoning/chicken stock/drippings mixture through sieve into bowl, push with spoon

Step 5…Roux in turkey pan with a whisk.
• 4 T butter
• ¼ C Flour

Step 6…Add seasoning/stock liquid back into pan with roux. Whisk and bring to a boil. Add additional stock or water to desired thickness.

We have made this gravy the last few years, the flavors are so full and rich. Don't be afraid, you can make delicious gravy...and forget the calories- its the holidays, so pour it on!! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

photo credit-

Sara G.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Turkey Bowl.

Probably my favorite tradition ever. The turkey bowl.. no not the men's morning football game, but actual bowling. We go every Thanksgiving, always with family.. and sometimes over the years we've had family friends and friends of friends come along. We don't ever miss, I can't have Thanksgiving without a pre-dinner game of bowling. Try it this year, you just may fall in love.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

5 wheat kernels

This post from the amazing Puj designer/owner Katie Richardson.

I am so thrilled to be here talking about Thanksgiving traditions. I certainly enjoy the nostalgia of homemade stuffing and pumpkin pie, but what I love most about Thanksgiving is the opportunity to reflect on my many blessings and share those thoughts and feelings with loved ones. In years past, as we gathered the family around the table, we would each take a turn vocalize 5 blessings, each represented by 5 kernels of corn placed by our plate. These tokens represent the pilgrims rations in 1623 known as the "starving time." They would sometimes go up to 5 days on these few kernels of corn. My husband and I have instituted a new tradition in our own family. The 5 kernels of corn have now been replaced with 5 kernels of wheat. This is a reminder of a time in our own family where food was quite sparse. We had turned down several job offers to pursing our dreams. Blessed with the foresight and instruction to prepare for hard times, we had been setting aside food to be stored. Soon we found ourselves in need of this food storage. Often times, the only thing we would have to eat was bread that I had made from the stored wheat kernels. This was a time in our lives that looked as though we had so little, but we knew we were being richly blessed.

A time that we never want to forget.


I love the holiday season. The feelings they stir up inside and the crispness that swirls through the air. I love the excuse to celebrate and give thanks for all that I have. Not that I need an excuse, but gratitude always shows up around Thanksgiving. Now that my boys are growing bigger, I want to start a new tradition. I want to sit around the fire with my sweet little family and take turns expressing our thanks. My little guys [four and almost three] are old enough to take part. I want to instill in them a lasting gratitude and what a better time to start than at Thanksgiving.

I'll go first...
I am grateful that my husband is alive.
That he was not seriously hurt in his motorcycle accident.
And that my family of four is whole.
For this I am thankful.

What are you thankful for?


Savoring The Day.

Hello, friends.

Thanksgiving is a lovely holiday. A time to give thanks, reflect + enjoy being with the one's that mean the most. It's a time of tradition. Feasting. Savoring. One of my favorite days all year. And not for any one of the reasons listed, but for them all. For the children being home from school. For my dear husband spending a Thursday (a thursday!) at home. For my mother's stuffing and my mother in law's pie. For games with my competitive sisters in law and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Singularly they are special, but combined...combined they are the reason I savor the day.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Best Ever Apple Pudding

*This post from reader Kylie Patterson.

Hey all! I'm very excited to share this recipe with you. This is by far my favorite dessert for Fall! This is a recipe that my Grandma used to make, and I still think of her every time I make it. It seriously tastes like Fall on a plate, it's basically an apple spice cake, with a delicious caramel sauce. So I guess you could say that it is like a caramel apple cake. It is perfect for a Fall day.

Cake Ingredients:

Add the sugar into the butter, creaming well.
Add the eggs, beat well
Peel, core, and grate the apples
Add apple immediately after grating into the creamed mixture

Add the dry ingredients, and nuts if wanted

Bake in a greased 9x13 pan for 45 minutes at 350 degrees

Sauce Ingredients:

Melt the butter

Add the sugar and cream

Cook at medium heat until it is all dissolved, then add vanilla and nutmeg

Done! The sauce comes together very quickly, I usually start it with about 10 minutes left on the cake.

Serve warm with the sauce on top!

Best Ever Apple Pudding

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup softened butter

2 eggs

4+ cups grated apples, medium fine (it takes about 2 small or 1 medium sized apple per cup)
2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Gradually add sugar to butter, creaming well. Add eggs, beat well. Add apples immediately after grating to creamed mixture. Stir in dry ingredients. Add nuts if wanted. Bake in a greased 9x13 pan for 45 minutes. (Or cut half and bake in an 8x8 pan for about 30 minutes) Serve warm with sauce.


1/2 cup butter

2 cups sugar (white or brown, I use one of each)

1 cup cream

3 tsp vanilla

dash of nutmeg

Melt the butter, add the sugar, and cook at medium heat until all is dissolved. Do NOT boil. Add vanilla and nutmeg.


Monday, November 16, 2009

grandmoms stuffing.

This post from my cute friend Natalie! I love her.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
Three years ago my Grandmom came to Utah for Thanksgiving with my parents.
She taught me how to make her stuffing.
I am so glad she came out that year
because she passed away a little more than a year later.
I have her handwritten recipe in a safe place
and this year I'll be making stuffing in her memory.

Turkey Stuffing

1 large loaf white bread
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 C chopped celery
1/2 C chopped onion
Poultry Seasoning, to taste
1 chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 C hot water
1 pkg Jimmy Dean bulk sausage

Crumble and brown sausage. Drain on a paper towel. Add celery and onions to pan and saute in sausage drippings. Slightly dampen bread and pull apart into large bowl or pot. Halfway through loaf sprinkle some poultry seasoning. Continue with rest of loaf. Add egg, sausage, celery and onion mixture and additional seasoning. Mix together.

Pour 1/2 to 3/4 C of chicken broth over stuffing.

Cook on low in crock pot same time as turkey. If basting turkey, add small amounts of drippings each time you baste.

If cooking turkey in a bag, add 1/8 to 1/4 C drippings to stuffing at the end.

Remove from crock pot and serve.


Sorry Guys, I am a little late at getting this posted. The winner is...

Congratulations!! Please contact me ( by Thursday morning to claim your prize.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thanksgiving Garland by Simply Modern Mom

thanksgiving garland

Tiffany here from Simply Modern Mom and I am thrilled to be a guest on Tangled and True. I love this time of year when we reflect on the many things we are grateful for in our lives. The last couple of years, I wanted to teach my 3-year-old Kaye to express gratitude for the many blessings in her life. Thus began the tradition of our Thanksgiving countdown. A little tradition that began with construction paper chain links a few years ago. The main idea: Write down one thing we are grateful for each day in November. Each member in the family participates in writing down things they count as blessings. Then we display it somewhere visible as a daily reminder of the things we appreciate in our blessed lives.

This year, I upgraded the construction paper chain links to a leafy garland. Here is a simple tutorial for you to count your blessings in November with a garland.

  • paper - white, scrapbook, paper bags, construction, printer, etc.
  • scissor
  • pencil
  • pens
  • raffia
1. Draw your leaf pattern. If you need inspiration, collect some fallen leaves outside then trace. You will want to make the stem about 1" long. Then cut out the pattern.

leaf pattern

2. Trace the leaf pattern on various different types of paper. Trace 30 leaves for each day in November.

trace leaves

3. Crumble the paper with the tracing on it. Then smooth out and cut.

crumble paper

4. Give each family members a few leaves and have them write their blessings.

5. This is an optional step, but it makes the garland look fuller. Cut out smaller size leaves to put in between the large leaves. Luckily, I had a large leaf punch.

piles of leaves

6. Gather about 6 or 9 strands of raffia then tie a knot on one end.

knotted raffia

7. Begin braiding. Braid about 3-4" before adding leaves into your braid, sticking the stem of the leaf into your braid.

braid in leaves

8. If you are using the small leaves for a fuller garland, insert the small ones into some of the braids between the larger leaves. Keep going until all the leaves are gone or you have reached your desired length. Make sure to do 3-4" of plain braids before ending the raffia with a knot. If you need a longer length, add more raffia into the braid.

garland front

A back and finished view of the garland.

garland back

thanksgiving garland hanging

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