PYRC #54: Belated Thanksgiving Feast

I figured since Christmas was nearing, I should wrap up my post on Thanksgiving, and here it is two days after Christmas, and I’m just now posting (whoops). Considering we have to wait an ENTIRE year for Thanksgiving and Christmas again, maybe this post will inject a dash of inspiration to whip up something for a good ‘ole (non-holiday) family feast… or you can wait till Easter.

This year we hosted a two-day Thanksgiving slumber party with Jeff's family at our house. And to feed the 8-adult, 5-kid crew, we did nothing less than what every Thanksgiving American longs for each and every year - prepare a turkey meal fit for an army.

The menu: Cajun fried turkey, oyster dressing, giblet gravy, fresh cranberry sauce, roasted root vegetables, cauliflower mash (maybe potato, can’t remember), baked cauliflower with b├ęchamel sauce, roasted brussels sprouts with prosciutto, brussels sprouts goat cheese gratin, Pioneer Woman creamy mac n' cheese, rolls and three different types of delicious, not pictured, pies (pecan, chocolate/pumpkin, apple).

Sadly, my favorite dishes were actually things that I did not cook (tear), but that's the gamble of cooking new things. So, to my tackled Pinterest recipes: Pioneer Woman macaroni and cheese and brussels sprouts goat cheese gratin.

Pioneer Woman Macaroni and Cheese

If you've followed my cooking efforts at all, you know I've previously been unhappy with the "gritty" texture of homemade mac n' cheese (effort 1 and effort 2). It's not that my mac n' cheese hasn't been 'da bomb,' it just hasn't been as creamy as I wished. So, someone shared with me THE. BEST. mac' cheese recipe, from Pioneer Woman, who never fails. So I made it - the rue, the sauce, assorted cheeses, the breadcrumbs, baked in a cast iron pot...

...and wahhhhh, it was pretty, but not perfect. I want PERFECTLY CREAMY macaroni and cheese, which I about give up on at this point. I can't tell if I'm just overly hard on myself, if I was just too full on Thanksgiving to appreciate it or if there really is better homemade macaroni and cheese out there. I do think my version could have used less noodles so that the cheese sauce was more ooey gooey with each bite. However, I'm still on a "the best homemade mac n' cheese" mission, so if you've got a recipe for me, please share… along with any must-do tips and tricks.

Don't get me wrong, though, you really can't go wrong with Pioneer Woman's mac n' cheese recipe.

Brussels Sprouts Goat Cheese Gratin

I'm a brussels sprouts feign, which I've shared before. And when people weren't totally excited when I told them about the amazing brussels sprouts recipe I was going to make for Thanksgiving, I wanted to fall over in shock. How can anyone snub their nose at brussels sprouts WITH GOAT CHEESE? I had been dying to make this recipe, so when we switched Thanksgiving back from a Mexican theme to traditional, this was first on my list.

The recipe called for slightly steaming brussels sprouts and fresh cranberries, making a goat cheese sauce, combining the veggies and sauce in a baking dish, topping with pecans and bread crumbs, and then baking the dish in the oven.

Can I say "wahhhhh" again? I for sure thought this would be a rock star recipe, but it just wasn't. Brussels sprouts are ridiculously amazing roasted (my favorite is this balsamic reduction recipe), and I think steaming them and coating them with cheese kind of took away from their natural flavor. The cranberries were also extremely bitter (not sure if I did something wrong there), so I actually think they took away a little credibility from the dish. I also think goat cheese is ridiculously amazing fresh, so the melted version did not do it justice. It ALSO didn't help that there was a better version of brussels sprouts on the table... with prosciutto.

But hey, if you're not a brussels sprouts nut like me, there's a good chance you'll have better luck. Find the brussels sprouts goat cheese gratin recipe (which still sounds ridiculously amazing) here from Cinnamon and Spice and Everything Nice.

Hope your holidays were wonderful!



Don't forget to visit my shop, Kitsy Co!

PYRC #53: 5-Ingredient Easy White Chicken "Chili"

Y'all, I've never been dubbed a soup maker, but I'm starting to realize that it really doesn't take much to make some really awesome soup (of course topped with a pile of cheese). Here's another Pinterest recipe that had my household scrambling back for seconds, 5-Ingredient Easy White Chicken Chili, aka salsa verde chicken soup.

As I always say (broken record, yeah yeah, I know), "THIS RECIPE IS EASY." Actually, really delicious at-home soups that don't have fancy pantsy names do tend to be less complex, so I'm starting to learn. Maybe that's why people make soup so much.

Brain (and Life) Overload

A horoscope break down once described Pisces as "overwhelmed by the enormity of the universe." Well, as I lie here in bed unable to sleep, I feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the universe. I'm a hobby hopper, idea junkie, daydreamer and everything in between. I think, I brainstorm, I do and do and do. Then repeat.

I've spent the past two days at the Dallas Digital Summit. The conference was (for the second year in a row) great. I met Siri (yes, there's a human behind the voice and her name is Susan), got great tips and advice from Randi Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg's sis), and was lucky enough to hear THE Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, speak.

I also heard many other great speakers and walked away with... brain overload (as if digital overload at a digital summit isn't enough).

Holly Jolly Kitsy Co

The temperatures are dropping here in Texas (despite the fact that I gush for warm weather), and the Christmas holiday is officially knocking at our door - Kitsy Co's first ever holiday season. How might I have prepared? How about by delving into a delectable selection of printable holiday cards and invitations.

A few holiday photo cards...

Lots of specialty party invitations...

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