You’ve survived a weekend of family, food and shopping now its time to gear up for the December holiday season. If you cooked or hosted Thanksgiving dinner at your house, then you most likely still have leftovers lying around. You tried to give away as much food to your guest as they were leaving, but some how you still ended up with so much extra food. Its time to clear out your fridge to make way for delicious treats and meals that will be shared in the upcoming holiday month. So take stock of your fridge and head to the grocery store for some basic items and you can turn those turkey day leftovers into a scrumptious meal. Below we have put together our favorite Thanksgiving leftover recipes.
Deep Fired Loaded Mashed Potatoes Bites:
The mashed potatoes made by my Aunt Nancy are like my favorite thing in the world but there is always so much leftover at the end of thanksgiving. This recipe gives the dinner staple new life with delicious additions like bacon and cheese. Make these as appetizers or for a lite snack, either way you will be loaded with goodness. Click to see full recipe and get ingredient list: https://www.thecookierookie.com/deep-fried-loaded-mashed-potato-bites/
Cranberry Asiago Turkey Sandwiches:
We all know that no one ate the cranberry sauce and you probably made more turkey than you needed, so this recipe is perfect to eat up those leftovers. This four-ingredient recipe is perfect for lunch, dinner, snack or an appetizer and if you already have two of the ingredients it’s a breeze. Head on down to the famers market or the local bakery to pick up some fresh buns and delicious asiago cheese to complete this meal. Click to get full recipe: https://www.willcookforsmiles.com/cranberry-asiago-turkey-sliders/#_a5y_p=4649194
Slow Cooker Turkey Quinoa Chili:
If you are tired of the same thanksgiving turkey leftover sandwiches, why not mix it up with this delicious recipe for you and the whole family. This meal will require you to get a few extra ingredients if you don’t already have like quinoa, black beans or sweet potatoes but the reward is unbelievably scrumptious. If you double the recipe that you can meal prep lunches for the next day or week. Use up your leftovers so that you can make way for new ones. Click here to get the ingredient list and recipe: https://www.wellplated.com/slow-cooker-turkey-quinoa-chili/
Whether of not your leaving this holiday weekend or you’re hosting you need to prepare your home for Thanksgiving. There are lots of little simple task you can accomplish now to make this weekend more fun and stress free. You shouldn’t have to worry about your home or guest when you’re busy cooking up a storm on turkey day; so, prepare yourself and family by arranging everything beforehand. If you can plan out your menu for Thanksgiving, you should try and plan your family strategy for traveling and/ or hosting. These tips and tricks can help you not only survive but thrive and enjoy this holiday weekend.
If you are jet setting this weekend:
If your hosting the family this holiday:
Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Even if you don’t have a big family, cooking and planning dinner for thanksgiving is a big task. Not only do you have to prepare all the food, but you also have to go out and buy the ingredients and schedule out you prep and bake time because you probably don’t have five ovens. Maybe you’re not hosting, and you were asked to bring a side dish to a friends or family’s Thanksgiving dinner. You don’t have all day to slave in the kitchen for just one recipe or a few side dishes, so why not give our favorite quick Thanksgiving recipes a try.
Garlic Roasted Potatoes:
Why not try and easier way to make potatoes and put a new twist on the classic mashed potato dish. When you head to the grocery store grab small red, gold and/ or purple potatoes to add some color to the table. We love Inna Garten’s garlic roasted potatoes recipe and we recommend you try it for your dinner this Thanksgiving or any other day of the week. To find the recipe, click here:https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/garlic-roasted-potatoes-recipe-1913067
Cheesy Brussel Sprout Bake:
If you know your going to wear your stretchy pants to Thanksgiving and you love cheese as much as I do; then you’re going to need to make this Cheesy Brussel Sprout bake. This dish is a great quick bake for next week’s festivities, total cook and prep time is under 45 min. If you have a large family and you know that everyone will want to take leftovers home, you might want to double this recipe. To learn more about this dish, click here: https://www.delish.com/holiday-recipes/thanksgiving/recipes/a44632/cheesy-brussels-sprout-casserole-recipe/
The turkey and gravy might be the center of attention during Thanksgiving, but my personal favorite dish has always been the rolls and bread. This recipe is a great addition to any meal, especially Thanksgiving and guess what its quick and easy to make. If you don’t have time or oven space next Thursday, this side dish can be made up to two days in advance. To find the recipe, click here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/buttermilk-cornbread
Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad:
If all those recipes above have you feeling a little heavy, why not lighten up with a great fall salad. This recipe will add a healthy bite to your scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner. Grab some fresh fruit and veggies at the grocery store to make this dish, plus you won’t need any oven space. To get the full recipe, click here: https://damndelicious.net/2014/12/08/apple-cranberry-pecan-salad/
Its starting to get cold outside and soon the holiday season will be upon us; now is the perfect time to relax and do something fun for yourself. Either you will be traveling to see family and friends or might be hosting the whole crew; before the stress and craziness dawns spend some quality time with you family and yourself. Soon there will millions of festive holiday activities you can choose from but this November you actually have an equal amount of family fun across the Seattle to explore. Whether you’re looking for holiday gifts or maybe a gift for yourself, you want to learn something new or want to eat delicious food; there will be something for you on our list. If you do anything before this holiday season with your family or just for yourself, we ask you to relax and relieve your previous Halloween stress and lastly just enjoy this holiday season.
If you are an Art lover:
It’s the 30th anniversary of the Northwest Art and Fine Art Craft show this weekend. This year the fall art event will be held in hanger 30 in Magnuson Park and there will be free parking as well as kids under 12 get in for free. Over 115 artists and artisans will be displaying and selling their art. Grab your family or friends you’re a day of art strolling and you may even come away with a stunning new piece for your home. To get tickets and learn more about the event, click here: https://nwartalliance.org/event/30th-annual-best-of-the-northwest-art-and-fine-craft-show-fall-2018/
If you’re a foodie:
The Saturday before Thanksgiving in the little town of Issaquah they host Gilman Village Sip and Shop event. Come enjoy some snacks from local restaurants and sip on a wide variety of wines while strolling through the adorable shopping center at Gilman Village. There will also be three different musical groups to entertain shoppers and set the mood. To get more info and purchase tickets, click here: https://downtownissaquah.com/event/gilman-village-sip-shop/
If you have a curious mind:
Come celebrate the 45th Julefest at the Nordic Museum November 17th through the 18th. Learn about Scandinavian culture and enjoy some authentic sweet holiday treats. There will also be traditional Nordic music and local artisans to purchase any gifts for the holidays and for the grown ups there is a Valhalla beer garden to enjoy a Juletide cocktail. To find tickets and more information, click here: http://nordicmuseum.org/julefest
If you’re a nature lover:
On Veteran’s day all National Parks across the country will have free entry this is including Mt Rainer and Olympic National Parks. In part to make more national lands accessible to all the National Parks department set up free entry days. Load up the car, grab your water bottle and head out for a day trip even in the cold these Puget Sound parks are stunning. To plan your trip and learn more about free entry day, click here: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm
It’s the night we’ve been waiting for all season and for some all year; tomorrow night is Halloween. Hundreds of little kids will get all dressed up, grab their candy buckets and stroll around the neighborhood trick or treating across the Seattle area. Its important to prepare your home and family for the spookiest night of the year. As we all know fall in the northwest usually means rain and this year will mostly likely be no different so grab your rain boots and make sure your entry way is clear and safe for every little trick or treaters. We have gathered some tips and ticks to help you prepare you home, your family and your pets for the Halloween holiday tomorrow. We wish you all a spooky and safe night.
Make your walkway safe and inviting while still keeping it spooky. On the 30th or during the Halloween day before it gets dark sweep your walk way and trim any trees or bushes that could impede the path of trick or treaters. If you have decorations along your entryway, make sure they are secured and wont fall down or out of any trees. Lastly make sure the path to the candy is illuminated either with overhead flood lights or small outdoor lights.
To prepare your kids and family for a night of trick or treating, make sure to check the weather before heading out. For the kiddos we recommend rain boots, sneakers, rain jackets and umbrella’s because it looks like it will rain. If your kids have a dark costume, add some reflective tape or flashlights to the front or back of their costume to protect them from cars and spot them from afar. If you’ve got little ones, you might want to start trick or treating at dusk or right as it gets dark because they may not last all night and you’ll want to keep them safe. Lastly make sure the kiddos bring home lots of sweet treats so that you can nibble off their stash.
If you plan on joining the trick or treating crew and want to bring along the doggo; make sure you grab some doggie bags and attach either reflective tape or flashlight to protect you and your pup. If your dog is very vocal or sensitive, during the trick or treating we recommend keeping your animals’ downstairs and away from the doorbell noise to help keep them calmer. If your pup can handle the commotion of Halloween, you could try keeping them upstairs but be weary not every little trick or treater may be a dog person.
With the leaves changing colors and the cool crisp air blowing outside, there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch with a warm bowl of homemade soup. You may think only the Martha Stewart’s and Ina Garten’s of the world can make mouth watering soups or stews; but if you have the right ingredients and some fall inspiration, you can make the most delicious recipes. October, November and December are the best time for hearty soups and stews, not only because of the cool weather but also access to amazing ingredients like pumpkins, squash, carrots and broccoli. Plus, you can always add fun ingredients to give the soup a twist like bacon, cheese, bread and various types of fruit. Grab a large pot, the best local ingredients and your family to start a stewin. You will find below several recipes that can provide inspiration and guidance for your next meal.
Harvest Pumpkin Soup
There is nothing more traditional during the fall than eating something made from pumpkins. While this recipe calls for pumpkin puree you get at the grocery; it might be fun to pick out some little pumpkins with your family to create some bowls for this delicious soup. This recipe only takes about an hour to make and will serve eight hungry guest so either invite some friend over or make save the leftover for future meals. Find the recipe here: https://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/recipes/a38807/harvest-pumpkin-soup-recipe-clv1112/
Autumn Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
Lets keep the orange theme going and move onto a great dish that includes two fall favorite vegetables the carrot and sweet potato. This recipe also calls for an usual twist including fresh honey crisp or Fiji apples and honey. To find the complete recipe and instructions click here: https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/autumn-carrot-and-sweet-potato-soup.html
Spicy Sausage and White Bean Soup
When its cold outside, lets kick up the heat up with this fiery creation. You can adjust the amount of spiciness according to which sausage you choose and how much pepper flakes you add. Add parmesan to the top to add some salt and extra flavoring to this dish. To find the recipe click here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spicy-sausage-and-white-bean-soup
Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce
This is a crowd favorite in my home, at least one of my family members makes it each fall usually around thanksgiving. This recipe can take up to three hours but each detail and ingredient cooking for so long is worth every bite. So head on down to the local farmers market and butcher shop to grab the best quality ingredients and start a stwein. To find the instructions and ingredient list click here: https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/beef-stew-in-red-wine-sauce
When we think of fall, the first thing that comes to mind is fields and fields of pumpkins ready for picking. Don’t settle for grocery store pumpkins, get out of this weekend and explore the gorgeous farmland that is right in our backyard. Eat some pumpkin donuts, snap some cute pics of the kids and you searching for the freshest produce and even try an old timey tradition the hayride. Many of the farms on our list are located just around an hour outside the city; so close you can almost taste it.
Oxbow Farm: Located in Carnation is the perfect place to take the family for a day of pumpkin picking and farm living. They have lost of fun and games for the kiddos including magic beans which is used as currency for fun activities around the farm. Head on over to their U-pick fields to fit the perfect pumpkin. While your there grab some seasonal veggies to bring home and whip up for a good dinner. To learn more, click here: http://www.oxbow.org/oxtober/
Mosby Farms: Just outside of Auburn, south of Seattle is the historic family run Mosby Farms. They not only have a pumpkin patch but also a corn maze in the shape of an owl. Along with great pumpkins, they have decorative gourds, ornamental corn and more for decorating your home this fall season. Head on down to Mosby farms for great fun and amazing pumpkins. To get more info, click here: http://mosbyfarm.com/pumpkin-patch/
Craven Farm: As one of Snohomish oldest pumpkin patches this year Craven Farm is celebrating its 35th of family fun. The fall festival is open from September 22nd until October 31st every day of the week. Activities include picking pumpkins, wandering through the corn maze, face painting, and apple slinger. The weekends can be very busy so plan ahead and come early to get the best parking spot and the best pumpkin. To see complete details and learn more, click here: http://www.cravenfarm.com/
Head on out to the countryside with your family and friends to find the perfect pumpkins for decorating and displaying. Since Halloween is right around the corner, don’t hesitate and head out to one of these great farms to experience the best fall tradition.
If you haven’t already started decorating your home for the upcoming holiday; this is the prefect time with the weather still moderately warm and no rain in the forecast. Over the past few years decorating for Halloween has become almost as intense as during the Christmas season. Some people go all out and turn their home into the neighborhoods very own haunted house and others place creatively decorated pumpkins to invite trick or treaters. Gather your friends and family to arrange home-made and store-bought decorations around your home before Halloween comes around.
Make your own:
Carving Pumpkins is the time-honored Halloween tradition that is fun for the whole family. Grab the kids, your friends and even the pups to go pick out the best pumpkin for decorating. You can always carve your pumpkins the traditional way but if you’re in the mood to try something new, attempt painting them or using glitter to shake things up.
Hanging cut outs and lights from the trees can be a fun twist to your home. Try cutting out bats and spiders from black paper or black Styrofoam and hang from fishing wire to get a spooky effect. Add some orange or purple lights to really showcase your hanging creations.
Spooky Wreath can be made from all sorts of materials including feathers, old t-shirts, toilet paper tubes, glitter and much more. The most important thing is to be creative and spooky, involve the kids in picking out colors and materials and then help them assemble the wreath. Once you’ve finished, hang outside and wait for the trick or treaters.
Cobwebs are possibly the simplest and spookiest store-bought decoration you can find. You can hang them anywhere; we recommend underneath a covered area, so it will be easier to put away after the holiday. Adding some plastic spiders or leaves to the cobwebs will bring your décor to the next level.
Grave Headstones can be a little pricey but can be used every year and don’t require any extrusive set up. You can find a variety of headstones at stores like Target, Walmart, and home improvement stores in your area. We recommend planning and carefully digging the areas before decorating as to not destroy your yard.
Fake Skeletons are a great spooky decoration that you can add to any part of your yard like sitting on the porch, hiding in the garden or hand on the side of the house. Many skeletons will come with pre-decorated paint and such but if you really want to scare your family or friends try adding red paint or fake blood for an even spookier experience.
If you need more advice or ideas try going to Pinterest.com for fun and spooky inspiration. Stores like Walmart, Target, Fred Meyer, Home Depot, Party City and even thrift stores are great places to start your Halloween decorating adventure. We wish you and your family well during this Halloween season.
Fall is the one of the best times to explore the natural beauty and remarkable culture of the Northwest. Living in the Seattle area places you in the perfect area to wander nearby cities and towns like Vancouver, Leavenworth and more. As we have said before the weather in the Pacific Northwest can always unpredictable so plan your weekend trip carefully and thoughtfully. First step is to choose who will accompany you, maybe its your family or significant other, maybe you want to make it a friend’s get-together or maybe you just want some rest and relaxation to yourself. Next is too choose your destination, whether you’re going for an entire week or just the weekend these places on our list will be perfect for either trip. Check the weather before deciding on your tip and make sure your mode of transportation can safely get you to your destination. We recommend having four-wheel drive or snow tires if you plan on going to Leavenworth or Mt Rainier any time after mid-November. Read on to learn more about the amazing places in the Northwest for you perfect weekend getaway.
Just a short two- and half-hour drive north from Seattle and you find yourself not only in another city but another country. Vancouver is an amazing city full of so many fun and exciting things to do like, visit Granville Island, explore Stanley park, see the 2010 winter Olympic village and more. Like other major cities, Vancouver is a hub for incredible food and being one of the most diverse areas in Canada, chefs and restaurants share the world with you right in one place. There are a range of great hotels and variety of Airbnb options for you and entire squad. So, grab your passport, pack the car and start your journey up north. To help plan your trip: https://www.tourismvancouver.com/plan-your-trip/maps/
The cutest little Bavarian town outside of Germany can be found right in the middle of Washington. A two-hour drive east from Seattle and you’ve have arrived in Leavenworth, the breathtaking views and stunning architecture will transport you. There are so many fun activities to do including, hiking to Icicle creek, strolling in waterfront park or trying some delicious German food. Many of the hotels can book up during the winter and fall season; start planning your trip as soon as possible. To learn more about Leavenworth: https://leavenworth.org/
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Further south from Leavenworth is Mt Rainier the highest Mountain in the Cascades and state symbol that can be seen from Seattle on a clear sunny day. If Mt. Rainier national park is a great place to spend for a day trip, a weekend or more. During the fall and winter months part of the park closes due to safety, but Paradise visitor center is open during the winter to help patrons get information and learn more about the stunning landscape. If you are strong enough to brave the cold and snow, there are snow camping options; if you love a warm bed and delicious food try booking your stay at the National Park Inn. Every Washingtonian should visit Mt Rainier once in their life, why not now. To start planning your trip: https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/index.htm
With Halloween right around the corner, its time to start planning your costumes, trick or treating route and buying up all the candy before its gone. Whether you choose to buy your Halloween costume or make it from scratch either way it should be a fun activity. Gather the kids together and choose a weekend to go exploring for fun costumes or pieces to complete an outfit. Stores like Fred Meyer, Party City, Spirit Halloween and thrift stores are the best places to start for your Halloween costume adventure. Now start thinking up ideas of the perfect costume for you and the entire family; if you are up for it try coordinating outfits for Halloween night around the neighborhood or an event hosted around the town.
If you choose to make your or your family’s costume from scratch, start with what you have in your own home. Look in your closet to see if you have any fun pieces you would like to use or can be the focal piece for your costume. Then see if you have any art materials around the house you can use to craft an outfit like using, spray paint, cardboard, markers, paper and more. Just remember if you are modeling your Halloween costume after a TV or literary character, animal or even a real person; you don’t have to identically look like that person, animal or character. Try incorporating pieces, colors and prints from their look to inspire and create your costume like creating a blue, red and gold ensemble to be Wonder Woman or wearing all white with black spots to be a Dalmatian. The possibilities are endless when you create your own costume.
On Halloween night check the weather before heading out and we recommend bringing a rain jacket or heavier coat for you and the kiddos; since October in the Northwest is always cold and usually rainy. If your kids’ costumes are dark blue or black colors; try attaching reflecting lights or tape to their costume or treat bucket. Don’t forget the rain-boots or tennis shoes since many neighborhoods in the Seattle area can be hilly and people’s pathways to their homes are often paved with rocks and concrete. Lastly if you’re thinking of dressing up your furry friend, you can find great costumes in variety of sizes at most Halloween stores and pet stores.
Finding or making you and your families Halloween costume should not be stressful; you should have fun exploring around town and building together. Remember to relax and take care of yourself this hectic Halloween season.