Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Plans for the weekend -- crafting and eating

Long weekends are wonderful in the winter.  It's too cold and wet outside to work in the garden (or feel guilty about not working in the garden), and the prospect of trying to complete a house project in the damp and dreary weather is not in the least bit appealing.  Instead, we tend to retreat a bit.  I do big "winter cleaning" projects, seeing what else I can remove from our closets and house and donate.  Honey works on computer projects.  We both read.  I craft.  We eat...and sometimes we wish we were bears and could just hibernate. (Days like today -- cold, wet, windy -- are generally responsible for the hibernation urges.)

Yesterday, knowing that we have a long weekend ahead of us and happy to know that it will just be the two of us for the weekend, I started a list of recipes and craft projects to tackle.  The craft projects are, of course, the priority because the December holidays are nearly here and I need to have Christmas and Hanukkah gifts ready. Thanks to my obsession with Pinterest, it was a bit difficult to decide what, exactly, I would craft for gifts this year -- I've pinned way too many good ideas.  (And if you don't know about Pinterest, watch out -- once you start, you can't stop.)

Craft Project List

  • Embroidered family portraits (thanks, Martha Stewart!) -- this idea has inspired a baby quilt idea, too, but that will have to wait until after the holidays.
  • Mixed-media family tree -- I haven't found an idea to replicate mine exactly, but I have found some inspiration here, which is close to what I had in mind.
  • Circle scarves -- I've made a couple already and received positive feedback, so a few more are in the works.  So easy! 
  • Fireside coffee or cappuccino mocha mix 
  • Coffee cozies -- I've seen a number of designs, so we'll see what they look like in the end. Perhaps something like this?
  • Ornament vase (this may be experimental and not for a gift -- we'll see how it turns out) or perhaps just some painted ornaments.
  • Button bracelets and washer necklaces for the kiddos
  • Bottle cap magnets
  • Felt ornaments and lavender sachets
  • Felt Christmas tree bottle covers for gifts of wine
  • Fake canvas art
  • Bottle cap wine charms (just an idea floating around based on bottle cap magnets...we'll see if this turns out
  • Note cards -- I haven't made any for a while, but I've been gathering supplies for the photo note cards I make, so I'll probably make themed sets.

Obviously I'll just make a dent, not be able to finish everything in a weekend.  But at least I have a list!

Of course the holidays are times that we eat. A lot. We definitely have a lot to be thankful for this year and every year, living in a place where we can eat our fill.  Honey and I don't like the traditional Thanksgiving foods very much, and we really don't like the idea of stuffing ourselves until we're uncomfortable, but that always seems to happen when faced with a Thanksgiving table (even on the last two years, where I've limited myself to one plate, period). Since we are on our own this year with no obligations to make a turkey or stuffing or anything like that, we're keeping simpler recipe plans.  And most plans for this weekend involve vegetarian meals, since that is what we prefer.

Recipe List for the Long Weekend
Obviously we won't make all of these for Thanksgiving, but I do want to try my hand at making everything on this list by the end of the weekend.
  • Crab Rangoon dip -- I tried making this last night to see if it would work for a holiday party next month. It turned out rather well, although in the future I would add more Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and maybe a bit of ginger. It's really good with celery!
  • Cranberry jam -- I base it on the Williams-Sonoma cranberry relish recipe that Honey loves.
  • Asparagus -- my favorite way because it's easy: lay asparagus on the plate, add a pat of butter, a bit of minced garlic and some soy sauce, cover in plastic wrap and microwave until done. Yum!
  • Spinach salad -- also my way: spinach, croutons, goat cheese, and cesar salad dressing.
  • Cheese & crackers as snack foods
  • Pumpkin pie (of course)
  • Hubbard squash and potato gratin
  • Eggnog cheesecake bars -- I've never tried this before, but the combination of eggnog and cheesecake is just too tempting!
  •  Pumpkin spice granola -- I haven't tried this, either, but I'm always looking for ways to incorporate pumpkin.
  • Potato-asparagus soup -- I love potato soup and the idea of incorporating asparagus is lovely. I especially like that this recipe claims to take about 30 minutes from start to finish!
  • Knock-off Chick-Fil-A sauce (the best in the world so I hope this turns out!) and nuggets (which should be fried in peanut oil but I don't want to contaminate the fryer in case we ever have someone over with a peanut allergy)-- I really, really wish we had a Chick-Fil-A in this state because I am obsessed and only get it when visiting my sister!  Time to figure out if I can feed my own craving.
So there you have it, folks.  Plans for a productive and happy Thanksgiving.

Happy holidays!

1 comment:

  1. You know... there's a Chick-fil-A on every corner in Alabama... ;-)


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