Thursday, November 21, 2013

Venison Recipe Roundup

Congrats to all you hunters who have bagged your deer!  Here's a roundup to help you make good use of that new stash of venison in the freezer.  All recipes contained in this roundup are ones I use for our venison - even if it says beef or ground beef in the recipe.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November Storms = No Power

And he huffed, and he puffed...
and it sounded like the house was going to blow down...  

On Sunday, most of Lower Michigan was hit with tremendous wind storms that caused a lot of damaged and power outages across the state.  I had been in Frankenmuth for the day with the kids, my mom, my brother, my sister-in-law and two of my nieces.  If you have never been, Frankenmuth is a fun place to go and exactly the cure if you aren't in the holiday mood yet.  But I'll spare you the details on that since I promised no Christmas posts until after Thanksgiving (this was my one exception to the no Christmas festivities only because I couldn't get time to go after Thanksgiving).  

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy Hunting

Happy first day of firearm deer season to all those Michiganders in the woods today!  I've already seen the success photos and can't wait to watch the news for the local buck poles tonight!  I guess you can tell this is a hunting-friendly post so if you are anti-hunting, you may want to stop right here - or you may want to consider another point of view.  This post also contains photos of weapons and animals who have been killed (though nothing gory).

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

I know, I know - this year there is so little time between Thanksgiving and Christmas and people just want to be ready for Christmas.  But so much about life is so rushed and hurried and we don't get the time to really enjoy it the way we would like.  I am determined to enjoy the celebration of Thanksgiving for as long as possible - especially in this year when there is so much to give thanks for!

I refuse to visit the Christmas area of the stores until after Thanksgiving.  I will not put up Christmas lights or decorations until after Thanksgiving.  I will not be starting any Christmas projects or gifts until after Thanksgiving.  And I will not be sharing any Christmas-related posts here until after Thanksgiving.  So if you want to live in the moment with me and enjoy Thanksgiving for a while, you are more than welcome to linger here in avoidance of all the Christmas-y posts, pins and tweets!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Project Sneak Peek

Part of the fun of moving to a bigger house is finding out that you need more furniture!  We now have a third bedroom, a second living room, and a bigger dining room.  Plus there is the stuff we are just tired of and wanting to replace or refinish to go with the new house.  One of the great bonuses of a mother who is a bit of an antique furniture hoarder (love you, Mom!) is that every once in a while she goes on a purging blitz and gets rid of some pretty cool stuff.  Result - score for me!  

As soon as the ink was dry on the house papers, my mom already started tagging certain pieces she thought would work well for us like this adorable desk/shelf combo that is just perfect for my daughter's new room (can't you just see it full of model horses and chapter books!).

Then there is the little coffee stand you can see on the right in this picture - it has a ceramic top that makes it the perfect drink stand and that's what I'll use it for in the kitchen.  Wait until you see how cute it is with a pop of color (its been many colors over its lifetime!).

The big hutch is a special story all its own - my mom and I rescued it at auction for a steal when I was a young teen.  It too has been several colors over the years and has its own personality.  Its a fairly plain hutch but is big on memories for my mom and I.  Its not finished yet but I am so excited to see how it turns out.  I have scraped away some of the more recent years of paint to reveal even more of its story and I can't wait to finish peeling it and show you what I found underneath.  I have some awesome milk paint from Bungalow47 that I think will make this the superstar it deserves to be.

This is the top to the hutch and, while we don't know if they originally went together, they work beautifully as a set.  This piece can either hang on the wall above the lower cabinet or sit directly on top of it.  It is the perfect home for my grandpa's mother's china that was given to me by a cousin for a moving-in gift!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What Are Your Thanksgiving Must-Have's?

Ever since I was a kid one of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving was the stuffing.  Its just not a regular at the table and my mom rarely ever did Stove Top at our house.  Her stuffing is loaded with different kinds of bread and lots of onions and celery.  She uses a deep crockery baking dish that makes for an extra crunchy crust on the outside and super moist center.  Its one of those dishes that gets even better on the 2nd or 3rd day and goes with everything.  

My other favorite has always been her yeast rolls.  Soft, pillowy rolls with just that hint of sour.  I am a little afraid to attempt them because she just has "the touch".  I'm also afraid of what they would do to my waistline if I knew how to make them myself!
My Aunt Ann has always brought her highly-requested fruit salad.  I brought it to my in-laws gathering one time and now I have been tagged by my mother-in-law to bring that to the family Thanksgiving (which is good with me because it makes a huge batch so we keep a little at home for a late-night snack!).

My brother always requests my grandma's pumpkin pie.  My favorite thing at my mother-in-law's is her kapusta - a traditional Polish dish with sauerkraut, salt pork and onions.  My step-dad's favorite part is the sandwiches made with the leftovers of everything.
I think my husband and kids would say the bacon and crispy skin on the turkey are their favorite parts.

So what are the dishes that are "must-have's" for your Thanksgiving this year?  I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cement and Family

You may remember my grandpa had a serious fall in June that really impacted our whole family.  We (largely the sisters) have had to pull together once again.  A large family full of strong women.  Not the easiest group to get lined up on the same page and agreeing on movement in the same direction.  But when crisis strikes you have a couple of choices - you pull together or you fall apart.  And with these women, well, the second choice really just isn't usually on the table anyways.