It’s Brussels Sprouts season! Here are five Brussels Sprouts recipes that would make a good side at Thanksgiving:
Leather Pen/Make-up Pouch $1.50, Shipped. You can use it for make-up, pens, paint brushes, whatever. $1.50! Free shipping!
ETA: This also says “Twilight” on the inside, which I guess means it is related to the books/movies. I don’t know; it costs $1.50. Make some allowances?
Limes are tart. Cranberries are also tart. What, then, would happen if you used cranberries instead of limes in a margarita? DIY Cocktails and I decided to find out.
Turns out that a cranberry margarita is a festive alternative to your traditional margarita. It is tart, elegant, and satisfying. It would make a great aperitif for Thanksgiving or a nice addition to any holiday party.
We used 100% cranberry juice for this drink. If you wanted to go sweeter, you could add simple syrup to the drink, or just use a cran/apple mix instead.
(Makes two cocktails)
3 oz cranberry juice
2 oz tequila
1 oz triple sec
In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with cranberries, if you so desire. Enjoy!
I like this idea from Design Sponge. It’s a dresser with milk crates instead of drawers. It’s kind of edgy and cool, plus a good way to reuse a dresser with broken/missing drawers.
Someone asked me for my pie crust recipe. I use my mother’s pie crust. It comes out perfect every time and tastes good in both savory and sweet pies.
The secret? Believe it or not, it’s Crisco. Although I also make pie crusts using butter, I find Crisco makes a flaky texture in a crust. I keep a container of it in the pantry specifically for this use.
The below recipe makes enough for a double pie crust or two single pies.
If I’m making a single-crust pie, like my recent butternut squash pie, I typically roll out the dough and put in two separate pie tins. I bake the pie crust I’m not using for 10 minutes so that it is partially cooked, wrap it up, and put it in the freezer. Later, if I want to make a quiche or another custard pie, I pull it out, let it defrost, and bake according to the directions. It’s great to have a pie crust on hand for an easy dinner or fast dessert.
My mom made up this recipe through trial and error, so it’s a little odd, but it works. Here it is:
Savvy Housekeeping Pie Crust
(Makes two pie crusts)
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 c Crisco
1/3 c cold water
In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add a scant cup of Crisco. With your hands, mix until the Crisco is integrated with the flour. It will look chunky and crumbly, like you are making biscuits.
Remove 2/3 cup of the dough and put in a separate bowl. Add 1/3 cup cold water to the 2/3 cup dough and mix with a fork until it is soft and mushy.
Add the wet dough to the dry dough and mix.
That’s all there is to it.
If you are making a double crust pie: divide the dough in half, roll out each section, and proceed according to the recipe you’re using.
If you are making a single-crust pie, and want to pre-cook the dough: divide the dough in half. Roll out and put in two pie pans. Crimp the edges of both pies. With a fork, pierce all over the bottom of the crust so that it won’t bubbles when you cook it. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven. Proceed with your recipe.
Pies are good.
My butternut squash plant went crazy this year. I’ve brought in about a dozen so far and I still have 5 or 6 out in the yard waiting to be harvested. So I decided that instead of pumpkin pie this year, I would make butternut squash pie instead.
Butternut squash pie looks and tastes like pumpkin pie. The main difference is texture. The butternut is lighter and airier than pumpkin, and it had a delicacy that I really enjoyed.
Here’s the recipe:
Butternut Squash Pie
1 9 ” pie crust
13 oz cooked butternut squash (about half a large squash)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
12 oz evaporated milk (1 small can)
Whipped cream to top
Cut the squash in half. Roast in an oven at 450 degrees until the squash is soft, about one hour.
Prepare your pie crust.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Combine the squash and all the other ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour the batter into the pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Then, lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.
Wait until the pie cools completely before serving. Top with whip cream, if you so desire.
A green track circles the Christmas tree so a motorized plastic snowman can circle it. Here is a video of the monorail in action:
I like the creativity and humor in this DIY Christmas decoration. Read how to make it yourself on Instructables.
Here is another good deal from Amazon: Crochet Hook Set For $3.65, including shipping. You get 12 crochet hooks ranging from 2 mm to 8 mm. Given how much one crochet hook can cost in the store, this seems like a steal.
Check it out, Hogwarts from Harry Potter made out of gingerbread. The gingerbread castle was made by Jessica at Cherry Bay Cakery in Michigan. It’s made with gingerbread, ice cream cones, Rice Krispies treats, and 50 pounds of fondant.
It took 100 hours to complete. Wow.
Here’s a how-to on making your own, more attainable gingerbread Hogwarts. In theory, it should look like this, right?
First of all, why should you smoke a turkey? A couple of reasons:
1. It’s faster than cooking the turkey in the oven. The last time we smoked a 14 lbs turkey using the below method, it took a little over 2 hours. It would take twice that long to cook it in the oven.
2. It’s more likely to be moist. Between the steam and smoke and constant temperature control, it’s hard to dry out a smoked turkey.
3. It has a lot of flavor. Smoke penetrates throughout a turkey, even down to the bone, in a way that a rub on top of the breast will not. If you’re one of those people who thinks turkey is bland, this method is for you.
To smoke a turkey, you will need a smoker. I recommend getting one. You can do all kinds of cool things with it, like make smoked salmon or your own bacon or kickass ribs or a host of other impress-your-guests dishes.
We use a conversion kit that turns a Weber grill into a smoker. Here is what it looks like after you convert it:
For the heat, we use a combination of charcoal briquettes and wood. You can use any fruit wood to smoke a turkey, such as apple, almond, or cherry. We used pecan wood. For a more smokey flavor, you can use mesquite or hickory.
As for the briquettes, Mr. Savvy recommends a briquette that doesn’t have any additives, like Kingsford Competition Briquets.
How To Smoke A Turkey
Salt/Pepper, or rub of choice
A thermometer, preferably one that allows you to monitor temperature remotely
A pan for water
Thaw the turkey as you normally would.
Apply the rub of choice to the turkey. We used salt and pepper.
Put one or two Chimney starter’s worth of briquettes in the smoker, along with a few chunks of wood.
Put about a dozen briquettes in your Chimney Starter and light them. Once they are red hot, dump them on the unlit coals and assemble your smoker.
Add the turkey, breast side up. Put a thermometer in the deepest part of the breast.
Put a pan of water in the bottom of the smoker. This allows you to collect drippings for gravy, but more importantly, it adds a steam element that both speeds up the cooking, adds moisture to the bird, and helps regulate the heat.
Let your smoker’s reach between 325-350 degrees.
Monitor the temperature of the turkey carefully. When your thermometer says the turkey breast is 160-165 degrees or the thigh is 175 degrees, it’s done.
Let rest for 20 minutes.