Tag: thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I cannot believe tomorrow is finally Thanksgiving! Even though I’ve been thinking about it and planning for weeks, it seems like November was the quickest month of all. If you follow me on Instagram (@elle.at.home) you may have seen that I’ve been buying decor pieces here and there, while simultaneously freaking about hosting dinner. And here is the finished table, all ready for our family! I love decorating and putting my vision to work and I am so happy with how it turned out! Having a Christmas tree in the mix isn’t traditionally Thanksgivingy, but sometimes you just have to go with what makes you happy and break tradition. Just ask Merida! No decor makes my heart happier than white twinkle lights, and I feel like it brings a festive and cozy feel to the entire room.

Thanksgiving Chalkboard

When you’re chasing after two kids, decorating, and baking at the same time…sometimes ya forget how to spell “Pumpkin”! FAIL

Thanksgiving Table Decor Thanksgiving Tablescape

Table, Chairs, Hurricane Vases, Candles

The menu was much easier to put together than the table, that’s for sure! Both of our families have very different Thanksgiving dinner traditions. My family always fries a turkey and cooks Boudin from our native Louisiana, which is a type of rice dressing made with pork liver and stuffed in a sausage casing. Don’t freak! It sounds funky to someone who has never heard of it (most of America) but it’s SO GOOD. My husband Michael’s family always roasts a turkey and makes a ham, which my father-in-law pairs with the most amazing honey mustard sauce you’ve ever tasted. So this year I thought it would be perfect to mesh both of our family traditions! I give you:

The Anderson-Hill Mega Thanksgiving Menu

2 Fried Turkeys
Spiral Ham with Honey Mustard Sauce
Louisiana Boudin
Ma’s Apple-Sausage Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole
Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Cranberry-Orange Sauce
Salted Dinner Rolls
Pecan Pie Bars
Pumpkin Sheet Pie
Chocolate Creme Pie
Apple Pie
Wine and Champagne

Thanksgiving Table Setting Thanksgiving Table SettingThanksgiving Place Settings Thanksgiving Table Setting

Gold Plate ChargersPlates, Runner (old, similar here), Silverware, Flutes, Place Mats

Laila has been looking forward to Thanksgiving almost as much as me, she really loves all of the anticipation and festive atmosphere of the holidays! Plus, she LOVES to eat, a girl after my own heart. Buddy really couldn’t care less, although he is excited to have everyone together. While it was a lot of work putting this together and planning it all, I’m so happy that we are lucky enough to have pulled this off and to be able to spend this special day with our family. I can’t help but to think of those less fortunate who can’t enjoy holidays with family and friends, and it really makes me thankful for each of our blessings. This day is always a reminder to take nothing for granted. Happy Thanksgiving friends, I hope your day will be filled with too much turkey and all the happiness in the world!

Pecan Pie Bar Recipeimg_5781

I’ve been doing a lot of planning for Thanksgiving Dinner decor and putting together our menu. I’m hosting a total of 22 people in my home this Thursday, which means two things:

1. We need a lot of food, and
2. It’s about to go down!

I finally figured out the seating, place settings and decor, and now all that’s left is the menu!! I do know one thing for sure: I will most definitely be making Pecan Pie Bars, one of my favorite recipes from my grandmother Mamaw Anderson. She is such an amazing cook! One of the things I love to do with my kids is let them bake with me, and it’s one of their most favorite activities. It can be tricky letting kids help in the kitchen, so there are a few things I always do to help the process.

-PREP-

img_5772

I like to prep all of the ingredients beforehand. Eggs cracked, sugar measured, butter cut up…you get the drift! This way they get to help with the fun stuff and don’t have to wait around for me to do the boring work.

-SPLIT JOBS-

img_5784

If you have more than one child, I’m sure you know that you can NEVER have uneven fun. If Laila gets something Carson doesn’t and vice versa, it’s a holy-freaking-nightmare meltdown. I give each of them a job to do in turns, that way it’s always even and they’re both happy.

-POUR and STIR-

img_5788

It seems so silly, but their jobs are literally to dump out the measuring cups and help me stir. That’s honestly all they can do at these ages. Sometimes they get to help me hand mix and they always have a blast doing it! I’ve even sat down on the floor with them and let them make brownies on the ground so they don’t have to get on stools. Laila still talks about that day!

img_5767

I’ve never had a really big sweet tooth, but Pecan Pie has always been my #1. After years of begging for her recipe, my grandmother finally shared it with me as a present at our
engagement party, along with all of the kitchen tools and dishes to make it. And as a Thanksgiving gift, I’m sharing it with you! I make these every year during November, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Let me know if you made them and how they turned out!

img_5829

Mary Ruth Anderson’s Pecan Pie Bars

Ingredients

 – 2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 c. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

3/4 c. firm butter, cut up into cubes

1 c. firmly packed brown sugar

1 c. light corn syrup

1/2 c. butter

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 1/2 c. finely chopped pecans

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in 3/4 butter thoroughly with a pastry blender until mixture resembles very fine crumbs. Press mixture into a greased 13″ x 9″ pan, using a piece of plastic wrap to press crumb mixture firmly into pan bottom and 1 1/2″ up sides. Bake at 350 17-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool while making the filling.

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and 1/2 c. butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, while gently stirring. Remove from heat, stir 1/4 mixture into eggs to temper; add remaining to hot mixture and mix in vanilla and pecans. Pour filling over crust and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until set. Cool completely, cut into squares, and enjoy!

 

 

I’ve said a few times that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but that only recently became true. I think as I get older, my interests have changed based on my values at that stage in my life. Growing up, Christmas was my favorite because PRESENTS! As a young adult it was Halloween, because having fun was the most important thing to me at that level. And now, I think that Thanksgiving is my favorite because I value family and friends, (and food) above all else. We typically do the same routine each Thanksgiving. In the morning we cook a low key breakfast and have mimosas, and I do some last minute baking. I love making gifts for friends and neighbors around the holidays, and I sent out some cupcakes last year!

12241524_10207862551702146_6521904604513468909_n 12250170_10207862549222084_3063132473031036306_n

And then it’s dinner with all of the family, and we go around the table saying something we are thankful for. We make it really specific too, none of this “I’m thankful for my family” generics. Although, that can backfire when your daughter shoots off with “I’m thankful for wine, it makes my mommy happy”! Aaaaand now we don’t joke around our kids anymore. Then after dinner we watch A Christmas Story, which is something I’ve done since childhood! Remember, TNT used to show it all day? It really is such a wonderful day!

Actually, it’s a wonderful three days. For the past few years, I’ve come to think of “Preparation Wednesday, Thankful Thursday, and Black Friday” as one big holiday! I love the anticipation of the day before a special day so much, the air feels electric! And once Thanksgiving is over, it’s immediately Christmastime for me, and we really get the most out of Black Friday. Thanks to the new policy of stores being open on Thanksgiving (what the hell retailers?!?!) Black Friday has really changed for us. We used to get up at 3am and go balls to the wall shopping spree all day, which was crazy, but so much fun! Michael and I looked forward to it every year. Now, going out on Friday is really tame, since everyone headed out for all-night shopping 13 seconds after sucking down their last bite of mashed potatoes and turkey. But we’ve adapted to the change, and now we get to include our kids in the fun! We wake up pretty early and go hit up the staples like Target and Khols. After that we go to the mall to see Santa and give him a quick squeeze, then it’s off to my favorite part of the day: Christmas Tree shopping!!!!!!!

12278661_10207862553222184_7129052071526524714_n

8971_10205180594894902_2565386781705270965_n

When we bought our house a few years ago, I knew that I wanted at least two Christmas trees. Our pre-lit artificial one that we bought 8 years ago, and a real tree. Coming home and decorating the house for Christmas while watching holiday movies all day is my most favorite part of Black Friday. I swear, I’ve made that day it’s own holiday in my mind. And by the way, am I the only one who is scrambling to get it all together this holiday season? I could have sworn that I was picking broken pieces of Halloween candy out of my rug just yesterday! I have to hustle if I’m going to pull off Thanksgiving dinner for 22 people in a week. Happy Thanksgiving planning friends!