Thursday, November 27, 2008

Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes!

Per my previous post, you'll see that we had a delicious Thanksgiving.  Since cooking and baking are my hobbies, I wanted to pass on a few of my favorite recipes from this Thanksgiving.  They are all awesome recipes and I hope that you enjoy them as much as we do.  Below are the recipes for my Sugar and Spiced Nuts, my mom's Pumpkin Squares and my mother-in-law's Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad.  I only took pictures of the nuts, so you'll have to use your imagination for the other two. :)


Sugar and Spiced Nuts ingredients.


Mixing it all together.



Sugar and Spice Nuts

by Recipezaar

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 egg white

1 cup salted cashews (*I used 3 cups of Mixed Nuts, which included almonds, cashews, Brazilian Nuts, etc.*)

1 cup pecan halves

1 cup dry roasted peanuts

1/2 cup dried cranberries

  1. In a small bowl, combine he brown sugar, cinnamon and cayenne; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk egg white; add nuts and cranberries.
  2. Sprinkle with sugar mixture and toss to coat.
  3. Spread in a single layer on a greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 300° for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once.
  5. Cool before storing.

Gretchen's Pumpkin Squares

*This dessert is the reason I look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas!  I have loved it since I was a kid.  It's a delicious combination of pumpkin pie and buttery cake.  YUM!

1 (29 oz.) can solid pack pumpkin

4 eggs

1 c. sugar

1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp.salt

1 box yellow cake mix

1/2 c.(1 stick) butter, melted

1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

  1. Grease and lightly flour a 9 x 13 inch cake pan.
  2. Mix pumpkin and eggs together on medium speed with mixer.  Add  in sugar, milk, and spices.  Pour into pan.
  3. Mix together cake mix and butter to form crumb mixture.  Spread over pumpkin. Top with nuts and press down gently.
  4. Bake at 375 for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and serve with Cool Whip or vanilla ice cream.

Belinda's Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad

*This dessert is probably the reason Jeremy looks forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I HATE Jello!  I can't stand the way it jiggles, but I love this dessert and it is the only way, shape or form that I'll eat Jello!  It's a delicious combination of sweet Jello and cream cheese, with a salty pretzel crust.  YUM!

3/4 cup melted butter

2 cups crushed pretzels

2 tbs sugar

8 oz. cream cheese

1 cup sugar

8 oz. Cool Whip

1 large package of Sugar Free Strawberry Jello

2 cups boiling water

2 10 oz. packs of frozen strawberries

1/2 cup cold water

  1. Combine butter, pretzels and 2 tbs. sugar.  Press into a greased 13x9 inch baking dish.  Bake at 250 for 15 minutes.  Let cool.
  2. Mix cream cheese and cup of sugar.  Add Cool Whip.  Spread on top of crust.  Cover and chill.
  3. Mix Jello and boiling water.  Add cold water and frozen strawberries.  Mix together on and off for 30-40 minutes, until it has a jelly consistency.  Pour onto previous layers.
  4. Cover and refrigerate over night.

I hope you enjoy these delicious recipes as much as my family does!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you all ate a lot of turkey, stuffing and all the trimming, plus got a chance to spend time with family and friends today!!  Jeremy and I had our Thanksgiving yesterday, since he worked today.  We hosted the holiday at our house and his parents came out from California and my parents and gran came up from Scottsdale.

As with everything holiday celebration, there was WAY to much food but it was all delicious!  Our menu consisted of the following:

Appetizers -

Sugar and Spice Nuts

Veggie Tray and Ranch Dip

Main Course -

Thanksgiving Turkey

Side Dishes -

Cheesy Potatoes

Cooked Asparagus and Broccoli

Dressing (aka stuffing)


Deviled Eggs

Strawberry Jello Pretzel Salad


Desserts -

Dutch Apple Pie

Pumpkin Squares

Dad and I got the turkey when into the oven at about 10:15am and then we all visited, watched TV, ate a light lunch and hung out until the turkey was about done.  As the turkey finished up, my mom, mother in-law and I prepared our side dishes and got those into the oven.  Everything turned out wonderfully and we ate  dinner around 4pm.  Being so stuffed, we waiting until about 7:15pm to dig into the dessert.  Yummy!


Jeremy setting the table.  (4th time we've used our Fine China!!)


Our spread, part one.


Our spread, part two.


Our spread, part three.




He doesn't normally look that that when he eats!


Jerm and Gran.

We had a great (early) Thanksgiving with our family and are very happy that they could come over to our house.  To all our friends and family, we hope that your holiday was a good as ours.

Happy Turkey Day!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ode to Steve Nash

Long time no post, I know!  I'm sorry, but nothing really exciting has happened lately.  I'm currently in Dallas...again...for work.  Got here yesterday, will be here until Friday.  Things should start to pick up when I get home though, so stay tuned for more exciting posts.  Topics might include:  Twilight coming out on Friday, Thanksgiving, possibly getting a house and Christmas!  Yay!!  I love the holiday season. 

Anyway, earlier this week I saw on the news that Steve Nash was the new spokesperson for Vitamin Water.  They showed a part of a commercial that was absolutely hilarious!!  Steve Nash is so funny!  So of course, I looked them up on YouTube and found three of them!  Here they are for your viewing (and laughing) pleasure!  GO SUNS!!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Phoenix Suns Opening Game!!


Woo!  Go SUNS!  Last Thursday evening, we ventured down to the opening game of the PHOENIX SUNS, with our friends, Jake and Kayla!  The evening started with a delicious dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and was followed by an enjoyable night at the game.


We got to the arena a bit early...over an hour actually, but if you know Jeremy and his love for basketball (especially Phoenix Suns basketball), then that shouldn't surprise you at all.  We explored the Team Shop for a bit where I found a great deal on my new Phoenix Suns hat (only $6.99!) and picked up a few presents for my sister-in-law, Heather.  (Heather, we're going to put them in the mail to you as soon as possible, I promise!) 

After our shopping, I was very excited to see my most favorite Phoenix Suns Dancer...Jenni, from Season 7 of The Bachelor!  In case you don't remember, Jenni was one of the final 2 girls for the Bachelor, Brad, to pick from.  However, much to the surprise of Bachelor fans all over the world, he didn't choose her OR the other girl, Deanna!!  He chose to stay a Bachelor!  Is he allowed to do that?  Oh it was so sad!!  Anyway, I was really excited to see her and kinda wanted to take a picture with her...but she left and I lost my moment.  Oh well, I took a picture with Amare Stoudemire instead. :) 



Me & Jerm


Jake & Kayla

The game was a lot of fun, besides all the bad calls by the refs and the fact that the Hornets could not miss a shot, which caused us to lose!  Boooo!  Oh well, GO SUNS!

On a few side notes, Jeremy got my ring cleaned while he was in California and it's so sparkly that I can't stop looking at it!  I never take my ring off, so it's gathered a bit of grime since it's last cleaning.  I don't remember seeing my pink sapphires look so pink, since he put it on my finger at our wedding. :)


So sparkly that it distracted me during the game!

Also, while in California, Jeremy picked up our FREE one year wedding anniversary cake, provided by the bakery that did our wedding cake.  Yummy!  It's a cute little, six inch cake decorated with frosting roses and a little sign.  We got to pick from any of their cake flavors, fillings and frostings, so we decided on chocolate cake, strawberry mousse filling and buttercream frosting.  Delicious!