Sunday, November 30, 2014

How to Put Fun into Your Holidays

Wouldn't we all love to put some fun back into our holiday preparations? Here are tips to help you do just that. Remember those days as a kid when the holidays were all about excitement, anticipation and just plain fun. It's time us grown-ups got to enjoy that as well.

Shop Online for Some Fun


Skip the crowds, the traffic, the lines and the surly salespeople. Shop online for just about everything you need from holiday decorations to gifts. The contributing writers for Review This put together a great holiday gift guide just to help you do that very thing. 

You can get in the mood for some fun Christmas time while still
curled up in your pj's and fuzzy bunny slippers. Just do it online. Christmas Time Treasures has lots of those great pages to help you with holiday decorations for your home, like pre-lit Christmas trees, festive kitchen towels, even holiday cats on decorative pillows (www.web-surfing-with-susan.com/christmas-cat-throw-pillows). 

Get your Christmas tree decorated with personalized ornaments or something even more fun like Eiffel Tower ornaments (www.web-surfing-with-susan.com/eiffel-tower-christmas-ornaments). Holidays are definitely easier and much more fun when you shop online from the comfort of your own home. 

Take Some Time to Relax


Since you won't need to spend many extra hours fighting the malls and the traffic, use that time to relax and do something you love. For me, it's a long hot bubble bath with festive scented soaps (www.the-bubble-bath.com/get-in-the-holiday-spirit-with-a-festive-bubble-bath) and reading a great Christmas mystery book (www.mysterybookworldlive.com/holiday-mysteries/christmas-mysteries).  Now, we're talking relaxing. 

Whatever you like to do to relax, do it. Your own holidays will be more fun. More like those days when you were a kid and the whole month of December was all about the excitement, anticipation and fun.





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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Blessings

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States.  I would like to take this opportunity to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving.  May you find a few minutes today to reflect on your many blessings and each in your own way give Thanks. 

I have been very blessed and thank God for my faith, my family, my health, and the love He has surrounded me with.

May You and Your Family have a Blessed Thanksgiving Day!






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EVA Airlines Goes the Extra Mile!

Review of EVA Airlines


Want to fly to Asia and haven't picked your airline? I've discovered a fantastic airline company, EVA Airlines.  We booked our trip to Hong Kong online at FlightHub.com which a travel group I belong to suggested and we could not be happier with our experience of EVA Airlines! (I booked our whole trip at FlightHub.com and it was smooth as silk with no problems whatsoever.)

First of all the fare was outrageously low, only $521 each from Los Angeles to Hong Kong including taxes and landing fees. It's a long long way to  Hong Kong! 

Secondly, or in my case, I should say first of all, they have Hello Kitty Jets! Okay, everyone who knows me knows I love Hello Kitty so that was the clincher for booking the deal. Then while in Taipei we discovered they have a Hello Kitty lounge in the terminal! How cool is that for Hello Kitty lovers.  

Sadly we were running to catch our connecting flight, so I could not stop to take a photo of the lounge but I did get a snapshot of the in flight magazine which did happen to feature that cute little character.

Hello Kitty magazine
Hello Kitty cover from EVA Airlines in flight magazine


So that had me enthralled but the service and the attitude of the attendants was just over the top fantastic! The attendants were all Chinese beautiful girls with porcelain skin and very sweet mannerisms. 

Then there is the fact that we got 3 full course meals for that flight! Not junk airline food either, real gourmet meals. They served things like salmon with dill sauce and veggies, roast beef with veggies, ham and cheese omelettes, rosemary chicken and rice, and all the meals came with wonderful desserts too. (plenty of chocolate!)

Plus they let you check 2 bags of luggage free too, unlike most USA airlines.  Then there were the planes themselves which were very beautiful inside and outside both. And despite the planes being gigantic, the pilots on both flights landed them like they were feathers. I just can't say enough good about this airline! 

We will definitely fly on EVA Air again! I even looked to see if they have an affiliate program; I was just bowled over by them.

Hong Kong photo
Hong Kong view from my hotel room


So if your travel plans include Asia, give them a try. You'll be happy you did! And for more photos and comments on Hong Kong and other destinations, visit Peace, Love, Travel Light


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Best Bread Recipe for Kitchen Dummies

Thanksgiving and the holidays are quickly approaching. This time of year brings discussions of celebrations complete with good food and good company,  As a result, I found myself getting into the baking spirit.  I began to look for easy bread recipes.  Historically, I have not been able to make bread that contains yeast with any success.  But I have found a recipe, of a bread containing yeast, that I am able to bake with reliable success.  I am thrilled about it and I will share that recipe with you in a just a minute. 

First, I want to begin with why I love homemade bread.  My mom sometimes made breads such as banana nut bread and zucchini bread.  As a child, I could help make those types of delicious breads. I haven't made a loaf of banana bread in decades and have recently asked around for a good recipe. 


Photo by Cynthia Sylvestermouse
Sylvestermouse shared her banana bread recipe with me. I am excited to add this recipe to my baking successes. With the exception of having bananas most of the time, not all of the time, I always have the necessary ingredients in my kitchen. I can almost smell the banana bread baking now. 


I also spent part of my childhood raised with Amish folks, farmers, and other women who baked their own breads.  Bread recipes that called for yeast. Since I was not able to get my breads to rise properly, I look for an alternative.  I have been baking wheat Irish soda bread for some time now.  The recipe does not call for yeast, which is why I've been able to bake it successfully.  We love this full-bodied, whole grain, dense bread.  I make long loaves in this amazing bread pan and we partner our soda bread with soups.  I don't end up baking this wheat Irish soda bread often enough and the Mister ends up asking me to bake some more.  

Photo by Dawn Rae
One Thing that has been indispensable when it comes to baking my Irish soda bread has been this amazing bread pan.  I had experimented with baking the soda bread in the traditional round loaf, in a little bread pan, and then finally in this loaf pan.  I love the pan.  And if you bake bread, you may end up loving this pan too. 

Now, I will tell you about this amazing white bread, with yeast, recipe that even I can bake.  Alexandra describes it as the easiest bread you will ever bake. She is not exaggerating.  She gives step-by-step instructions for every bit of the yeast-proofing and bread baking. There are videos and photographs, but even without the videos, she describes the process in a way that made perfect sense to me.  I made her mother's peasant bread in the round bowls a few times before switching to a small square baking dish that worked beautifully too.  I have not yet baked it in my amazing loaf pan, but you can bet I'll try that soon. 

Since I found Alexandra's mother's peasant bread recipe, we have not been without homemade bread in the house.

As I said, Alexandra's tutorial about baking peasant bread comes complete with photographs and videos. So, in case there is any doubt that you should also try baking this bread, I will leave you with this tempting video: 



Written by Dawn Rae
Disclosure: In affiliation with Amazon.com, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of  Amazon  products.








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Saturday, November 22, 2014

I Was Here, I Made a Difference, I Mattered

History of Money Fridge Magnet Here
There's an Unexplainable Feeling in Your Soul; You're being Called to Contribute Something well Beyond Serving Self

It's an ache, a light, but mostly something you're driven to achieve for the contribution it will make to the greater good.

Money isn't the driver.

Money almost annoys you. You've come to terms with the fact that money isn't even the measuring stick you were told it was.

Money turns out to be something the human condition glorified as necessary paper in a desperate world saturated with mixed up priorities.

This driver goes well beyond money.

This driver is the Art.

It's the grand vision to bring a smile to someone's face, to aid a suffering heart, to tell someone they matter, to bring unexpected laughter to a troubled soul ... you know the truth about this driver. This driver is timeless. It's the immortal spark that endlessly ignites creativity and genius through multiple generations.

You have been gifted a universal secret, and you comprehend the ultimate meaning of purpose:
"When this body has sung it's last glorious song, written it's last sonnet, or penned it's final poem, you know without a doubt that just like love, the artist leaves the body and lives on"
The art is what's remembered.

The art is what matters.

The art, like the artist lives on.

I Was Here by Lady Antebellum



(Lyrics) "I wanna do something that matters
 Say something different
 Something that sets the whole world on its ear
 I wanna do something better
 With the time I've been given
 And I wanna try To touch a few hearts in this life
 Leave nothing less Than something that says "I was here"
You can find the song I Was Here by Lady Antebellum on the Album 'Act of Valor' - A Compilation Album for 2008 Team USA. 

Learn more about and follow country music sensation 'Lady Antebellum' on Facebook and Twitter.


Article dedication: To George William (Billy) Tremblay, My Uncle - Forever remembered and respected. His art lives on his family; his art will forever be his family.


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Planning the Holiday Table Review

With Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas just around the corner, planning the holiday table is a part of our world. Place settings, centerpieces and serving dishes all need to fit somehow on the table. So we'll review some of those tips for planning your own holiday tables.


Holiday Table Planning with Buffets


If you are like me, your holiday table will be overflowing with lots of family and probably some friends as well. My Thanksgiving includes a sweet elderly neighbor as well. With this many people, the dinner table has to be extended to it's fullest and side tables have to be added as well. So setting my holiday table means lots of dishes, silverware and glasses.

The Stylish Buffet
Yes, I have been accused of not leaving room for the food. But, I make use of buffets for the food
instead. 

On my table, I keep the rolls and butter, relish trays and other small extras on the table. The buffet holds the main course and all the sides dishes. I have gotten many tips to creating a great buffet table from The Stylish Buffet. It's worth checking out.


Creating Tablescapes for the Holidays


When I plan my holiday table, I like to think in terms of tablescapes. Hm, never heard of this term? You're in luck then. I did an article for Cooking for the Holidays just to explain tablescapes and how to use them for your holiday meals. 

Don't worry, this isn't about a new etiquette that's expected. Instead, it's about the fun of arranging your holiday table with variation in height. This creates a more visually appealing table for you and your guests. 


Holiday Centerpieces for the Table



Holiday Centerpieces
Decorating for Events has given us great ideas for creating our own holiday centerpieces. She makes use of simple things to create a charming, yet beautiful arrangement for the table. 

Although this page shows Christmas ideas, you can easily adapt her tips for any holiday. It's the color schemes and little extras that will transform her suggestions from Christmas to Thanksgiving. Add in fall colors, like yellows, browns and oranges and accent with Thanksgiving items like a turkey salt and pepper shaker set.


 

Planning the Holiday Table


You have your menu set and all your guests invited. Now is the time to get planning your holiday table. These are just a few of the many options to help you plan. So don't panic, relax instead. Your beautiful table will soon be filled with your many family and friends to share the holiday meal with you.







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Friday, November 21, 2014

Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers

After days of cooking in preparation for Thanksgiving, it seems like no matter how well we plan or how many years of experience we have, there are always leftovers.  I hate throwing out leftovers, but I very much enjoy having a recipe on hand that makes good use of leftovers.  After all, few of us really want the exact same meal several days in a roll, so having a recipe for a totally different meal is simply awesome.


Cheeseburger Soup Recipe 

Cheeseburger Soup Recipe
Cheeseburger Soup Recipe by Mbgphoto

I want to start with a recipe that sounds delicious!  Not only will it make good use of our leftovers, but most of us don't need or even want a very heavy meal on the days immediately following Thanksgiving and soup is more than sufficient.   

This Cheeseburger Soup recipe by Mbgphoto is the perfect recipe for leftover turkey!   It gives us a great alternative meal for what is otherwise plain turkey.  I do love turkey, but after a day or two of eating it, I am ready for something different and Cheeseburger soup is most definitely different.


Curry in a Hurry

Susan Deppner offers another fast and easy recipe that uses the leftover turkey.  What I really love about this recipe is just how fast it is to prepare.  I looks like in less than 20 minutes, you could have a delicious meal without having to spend any more money for the meat. 

This also helps you make good use of that leftover apple from the fruit basket!  This recipe makes me doubly happy because it uses double the leftovers.


A Variety of Recipes for Leftover Turkey

For a real variety of salad and sandwich recipes for your leftover turkey, please visit AllRecipes.com.  Turkey sandwiches are my husband's favorite creation to make with turkey leftovers.  I have no doubt he will find several suggestions in this group of recipes that he will want to try this year.


A Delicious Fruit Salad with Leftover Fruit

I have personally committed several times about how much I have having a fruit basket for the holidays.  It is so easy for guest to grab a healthy snack between meals if I have a fruit basket available.  However, I inevitably have a few pieces of fruit left over, which means it is time for me to make a fruit salad.

Tossing the leftover cut-up pieces of fruit in a bowl together is perfect for leftover fruit.



More Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers

If you have a published recipe that would be great for Thanksgiving leftovers, we would love to have you share it with us.  Please leave the link to your recipe in the guestbook below.



Recommended by Our Readers!  (Thank you for sharing with us!)

Healthy Vegetable Soup with Cannellini Beans and Optional Chicken Sausage



 


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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Cards Show you Care

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year to show your appreciation and thankfulness to people who are special to you.  Christmas is the traditional time to send out cards but I challenge you to think differently this year and send a few cards out for thanksgiving.  Think of the surprise and happiness the recipients will have when they open your cards.

When you send out these Thanksgiving Cards add a sentence or two to express your thanksfulness for this person.  Here are a few of the people who may really appreciate your thanksgiving cards.

  • A teacher from the past who was special to you
  • Someone who is special to your child--perhaps a coach, scout leader or teacher
  • A relative who lives a distance away and you haven't seen for a while
  • A friend from your past
  • A friend or relative in a nursing home
  • An elderly person or one that is ill

I know there are many more people you could add to the list and I challenge you to pick out a two or three and surprise them with a special Thanksgiving card.  I have just ordered my cards and plan to send one to an old friend from my school days who lives across the country, one to an elderly aunt and uncle who live in another state, and the last to an elderly lady who use to be in my book club and is now in a nursing home.  Who will be on your list?
Autumn Leaves Thanksgiving Card
Shop for a card with zazzle.com

Stop by my Hubpages to read an article on Thanksgiving Cards.  Thanksgiving Tradition



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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sharing Thanks With Handmade Crafts for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for expressing thankfulness for all of the good things we've received in our lives. Some families have traditions where they express their gratitude during dinner while other families may find it hard to share these feelings verbally. Sometimes it takes a little creativity to find just the right words and the right way to express those sentiments.

Source

Here are four DIY handmade crafts for Thanksgiving that will make it easy for you to express your love and gratitude to your family and friends. These crafts are easy to make and most of the materials can be found in your recycle bin or backyard.

Hang Your Gratefulness on a Tree


Simply Vintage Girl designed The Thankful Tree, With Chalk using items found in her backyard. This tree is made from a broken branch that is used as the tree form. Small wooden discs are painted with chalkboard paint and suspended from the branches. Before your guests arrive, place a piece of chalk under the tree so that family and friends can write down those things for which they give thanks when the spirit moves them.

Stuff Your Thanks in a Turkey


I {Heart} Crafty Things created a Thankful Turkey Box Tutorial from an upcycled tissue box. This is an awesome craft for kids because it is so easy and downright adorable. The kids can explore their creativity and when the crafting fun is done, they can write their thanks on a slip of paper. During Thanksgiving dinner, have everyone take a turn at pulling a slip of paper out of the box and reading the words of thankfulness.

Set a Place Mat for Giving Thanks


Abby M. Interiors has 8 Ideas for Creating Your Thanksgiving Table that will show your gratefulness all through dinner. I especially like number 7 on her list. Make place mats out of upcycled paper bags or kraft paper and draw lines on the mats for guests to write down the good things in their life.

Spread a Garland of Thanksgiving


Carina Gardner shares her gratefulness with a Giving Thanks - Free Thankful Banner Download that makes it easy for family and friends to write their reasons to be thankful on a decorative garland strung near the dinner table. Use your own creative skills or download the free printout to make leaf shapes for the garland. Put the shapes in a jar with a pen and clothespins, find a convenient place to hang the garland string, and encourage your family to write their thanks on a leaf and pin it to the garland.

Source
May the holiday season bring you comfort, joy, and good tidings.
Coletta



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Monday, November 17, 2014

A Season of Giving

As Thanksgiving approaches in the United States, a feeling of thanks and celebration of life begins and continues through Christmas. This also becomes the season of giving.  I have always believed that we tend to donate more to charities and to others less fortunate than ourselves during this season.
Give Thanks - Postcard
Give Thanks - Postcard by GotWords
Look at more Attitude Postcards at zazzle

My feeling about increased giving seems to have some statistical proof. As reported in a Reuters article, the results of a December 2010 survey conducted by Causes.com are:

"The Holiday season is definitely the time of year that many Americans feel like giving back. According to Causes, donation amounts on the site increase by 42% during November and December compared to other months throughout the remainder of the year. Also, three times as many people make donations during the Holidays vs. non-Holiday months."
Be Thankful Throw Pillows
Be Thankful Throw Pillows by celebrationideas
View other Thanksgiving Pillows at Zazzle.com

After having donated small and scarce amounts of my "extra" money to scams or to organizations that are later revealed as organizations that misuse the donations, I have cut back on some of my impulsive giving. Instead, I have begun to research charities that have better track records.

While recently having a conversation of a similar topic, another person responded that they give, and if the money is misused, that is on the conscience of the con-artist or person who mismanages the money.  I agree. And yet, If I give my only extra $20 to a charity that misuses it, that is $20 less that is given to someone in need.   That makes me cringe.

Initially, I was going to give a list of my favorite charitable organizations. Then I decided that rather than review my preferences, I would give you the tools to review your own.

A few years ago, I stumbled upon what appears to be an honest and neutral organization that "rates" charities based on a variety of criteria.  Charity Navigator advertises itself as "your guide to intelligent giving".  I agree with that statement.  Using Charity Navigator has helped me decide which charities I want to give to.

As I said, they rate charities based on a variety of things: transparency, fundraising, and percentage of the funds that are used for the recipients as opposed to going back into fundraising or administrative costs.  They show statistics, and financial reports, as well as create an easy to  understand pie graph.

In my mind, I look for two main things in a charity.  I want to know that a high percentage of the donations are going into the programs. I also want to know that the charity isn't under any sort of investigation.

Charity Navigator makes it easy to find charities by topic or by rating.  I typically browse in the categories of  "animals" or "military" but you can easily find a category that suits you best. I typically look at the pie chart to see how the money is both raised and earned. And I end with looking at the list of similar organizations.

I also regularly look at the Charity Navigator Top Ten Lists and the Donors Advisory list.  That way I can see the best and possibly the worst charities.  I feel as though it keeps me educated.

During this Thanksgiving season, I wish you love, peace, good company, and good food. And I hope I have provided you with some new and useful information if you are planning on giving during this season of thanks.


Written by Dawn Rae
Disclosure: In affiliation with Zazzle.com, Dawn Rae is a blogger and content writer who may earn compensation from the sale of  Zazzle products.




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Sunday, November 16, 2014

How to Create a Positive Environment for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Wall Decal
It's the Time of Year we Gather to Give Thanks

In a cynical and often condescending world, it's easier to descend into typical family battles that tend to swallow up the purpose of our assembly; to give thanks and to acknowledge and remember those who have been there for us through it all. It's cliche, but 'when push came to shove', who did we turn to, and who loved us unconditionally?

We live in divided times and many families who reunite for dinner rest at polar opposites in their beliefs, likes, dislikes, levels of tolerance and education. These differences are fast becoming the virus that devours up the most important reason we take the hand of the person next to us at that dinner table, love. Again, call it cliche, call it corny, call 'love' overly simplistic, but John Lennon got it right, 'all you need is love'.

So how do you survive a Thanksgiving Dinner with people who sit at the polar opposite of your own beliefs? Like any assembly, the best place to start is by setting ground rules. Here are 10 ways to create a positive environment for your Thanksgiving Dinner:
  1. Let everyone know (ahead of time if possible) that there will be no discussions about Politics, Religion, or Current News Affairs.
  2. As the host of a dinner, have the evening planned in advance: Plan to play games before dinner and after dinner. If it's a larger gathering, then perhaps have teams set up to play against each other for a grand championship.
  3. Do not turn on a TV set. If a sporting event is on that the entire family wants to watch, then go ahead and gather around the 'game' in front of the TV if need be. But don't allow any News shows, or channel flipping to take away the fun of the game.
  4. If someone in the family breaks the rule about conversation and starts into a diatribe of their opinions and beliefs about an issue, as the host, politely remind them about the rules and do not engage them in a discussion about whatever their point may be. Remember that no minds or opinions will change in one night anyway, so keep the evening and dinner on a strict track of fun.
  5. Have music playing in the background in as many rooms as possible. Best of all, if you know the favorite songs of the people attending, plan ahead  and have a CD compilation of everyone's fave song! When the song for that special someone in the house begins to play, turn it up, walk over to them, kiss them on the cheek and let them know, 'we did this for you'.
  6. If you're hosting a large gathering and certain people are best not sitting beside each other, use name/place tags on each plate to direct people where to sit. 
  7. Toast the Senior members of the family. Often times seniors feel excluded, unwanted, and unappreciated, and no matter how ornery they are or aren't, give them a few minutes of special thanks. You'll make their day.
  8. Go out of your way to be nice and  especially to be kind. Set the tone. Set the pace, and you may be surprised how everyone follows.
  9. Find reasons to smile and laugh. Laughter and smiles are much more infectious than anger and fear.
  10. Lastly, remember a famous quote, 'When given the choice to be right or to be kind, always choose Kind'.
Let the Music Do the Talking, Include 'Every Day' by Rascal Flatts In Your Song Selection:

The lyrics are simply beautiful and a perfect choice for that special someone who has stepped up in your life or the life of others. Acknowledge them, then turn up the volume and let them know how Thankful you are through song.


Have a joyous Thanksgiving.

To Your Happiness, 
Barbara Tremblay Cipak, Country Music Reviewer
Drageda.com - Heart of Country


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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Holiday Desserts: Thanksgiving Menu Part III

Preparing for that big Thanksgiving dinner is what we're doing here at Review This. And I get the lucky job of reviewing desserts. Ah, my sweet tooth is so happy. 

But, it's not just your traditional desserts. I've found some unique and interesting twists on old favorites and delicious new favorites to add to my own recipe collection for Thanksgiving. 

Variations for Pumpkin Desserts


Pumpkin pie is one of those traditional Thanksgiving desserts in my house. But, I couldn't help drooling over these interesting twists on the pumpkin dessert. 

Pumpkin Cake Roll by Nancy Hardin
Pumpkin Cake Roll - a truly yummy dessert. Made with a cream cheese filling, this cake makes a
great presentation when sliced. Although the directions have quite a few steps, don't let that fool you. Author Nancy Hardin does a great job of giving you all steps. This cake is actually not hard to make and even novice chefs can bake up a delicious tasting and looking pumpkin cake roll.


Pumpkin Whoopie Pies - a tasty twist on an old favorite. Now we have a fun treat for kids and grown-ups alike. Whoopie Pies have
been around even longer than I have. That's some age. But, now do these treats with pumpkin cake. Author Margaret Schindel shows us the recipe for this fun variation. 

Of course I grew up with the name of moon pie for these delectable desserts. The name Whoopie Pie originates in either Maine or Pennsylvania, depending on which state you come from. No matter what you call them, these individual-sized treats make a great way to serve pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving desserts.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie


For those of us looking to reduce the amount of gluten we consume, author Retta719 has given us a
Retta719 Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie
great recipe for gluten free pumpkin pie. It's simple, homemade and deep dish. This rich creamy version of pumpkin pie will delight everyone, even those who aren't concerned with gluten in their diet. It's worth making for a Thanksgiving dessert for everyone. 

This pie takes a long time to bake so you need to be prepared. Many ovens are loaded just before the Thanksgiving meal. The good news is that deep-dish gluten free pumpkin pie can be refrigerated for several hours and served cold.

Irish Ice Cream Chocolate 


Alright, I'll admit it. I have to have something chocolate as part of my Thanksgiving dessert. Irish Ice Cream Chocolate is for the grown-ups only. It's made with Irish Cream liqueur. It's one of those delicious treats that makes for an interesting and unique Thanksgiving dessert. 

BritFlorida presents the recipe and how to in simple steps along with some great variations. There's even a vegan option to try. You can prepare the majority of treat ahead of time, then add the liqueur before serving. Simple tasty and delicious.



Thanksgiving Menu on Review This


The Thanksgiving Menu is brought to you by Review This in 3 parts. Part I gives you that great turkey baking. A staple for the main course in many Thanksgiving dinners. Then Part II presents side dish options for all of us to enjoy. Everything from fruits to nuts, and vegetables, too. And now, Part III, rounding out the dinner with desserts for you. 

So relax, enjoy your own Thanksgiving dinner preparations with many new ideas and recipes. Have a happy holiday with friends and family sharing in the bounty.





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Friday, November 14, 2014

Thanksgiving Side Dishes ~ Part II of Thanksgiving Recipes on Review This!

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 ~ Photo by Julie on Flickr.com

Thanksgiving is historically the time for a great feast and celebration. Therefore, we have joined together to offer a fantastic "feast" of side dish recipes today on Review This. I asked my co-workers, which just happen to be an awesome group of writers and online contributors, to share their personal side dish recipes for Thanksgiving. They have been most generous and I am certain we have something here for everyone.

The "first Thanksgiving" in America was celebrated in 1621 and lasted for 3 days. Some of us have family, friends and guests who drive or fly long distances to spend 3 or more days with us during the Thanksgiving holidays. Therefore, we have 3 day Thanksgiving celebrations too, which means we serve multiple meals and we need a variety of recipes to see us through the festivities. 

 

Fruits First


A holiday would simply not be complete without the fruit dishes. They always round out a meal with a healthy treat for all of us, but for the Vegans and Vegetarians in our mist, they are a absolute must.

Cranberry sauce is often found on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner table.  However, Mbgphoto shares a recipe for her very own creation of Cranberry Applesauce that sounds out of this world delicious. Plus, I give you my very own submission for a Quick & Easy Fruit Salad recipe that my own family requests for every holiday.


 

Green Vegetables

Green vegetables are essential to a healthy diet, but for some reason, they seem to be the hardest to get people to eat, especially children.  Perhaps, these delicious recipes will help.

A photo was not available for my personal favorite green vegetable recipe that was submitted, but I would be rather remiss if I didn't at least give you the link for Cherylsart's Green Rice and Spinach (2nd recipe in this article). It sounds fabulous and would surely be a wonderful way to get the kids, and husbands, to eat their spinach.




Rice Recipes


Rice is a staple food for many of us and while we are most content to eat it by itself, it is truly an excellent additive to many recipes.  Elsie Hagley and Merry offer recipes that include rice.  Either, or both,  would be perfect side dishes for this Thanksgiving. 
 

 

Potato & Yam Recipes


All of my life I have considered potatoes and yams to be as "traditional" as the turkey when preparing the Thanksgiving dinner. The only question was which sweet potato casserole recipe to use. It seems like every member of our family has a different personal favorite potato recipe. As a result, we have actually started preparing and serving several potato recipes so everyone can enjoy their preference on Thanksgiving.  After seeing these recipes, we may well be having a few more on the table this year.

 


 

Great Mixed Vegetable Recipe 


For a awesome vegetable mix, this would be the recipe of choice. Adventuretravels combines carrots, beetroots, parsnips & onions with fennel to deliver a divine side dish for Thanksgiving.
 

 

Delicious Extras


I am going to quote Margaret directly here because I don't believe I could say it any better any other way.  "These healthier candied walnuts or pecans make a wonderful, healthy holiday nibble (or any other time), and if they're chopped up they're yummy sprinkled on or tossed with nearly any Thanksgiving vegetable or side dish."

That one quote was enough for me.  I will be serving Margaret's candied pecans this year on Thanksgiving.  My whole family loves nuts!



More to Come


Festive cheese and garlic bread  by BritFlorida

Last week, we provided an easy and delicious way to bake a Turkey for Thanksgiving. Today, we featured side dishes and tomorrow we will be concluding our Thanksgiving recipes series with desserts. I hope you will all join us again tomorrow to delve into dessert recipes with us here on Review This!

If you have published a side dish recipe that would be great for Thanksgiving, we would love to have you share it with us.  Please leave the link to your recipe in the guestbook below.


A note of my own Thanksgiving:  I want to thank each of the writers and contributors who responded to my request and submitted recipes for this special Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes article.  You are all a true treasure trove of resources for which I am most grateful.

Wishing everyone a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving!
 


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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Enjoying the Last Colors of Autumn

Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year and photographing autumn color ranks high among my favorite things to do.



Since my retirement several years ago, my husband and I have taken to traveling around the country and timing our travels so that we can make the most of fall colors. 

Fall Season One

 In September we travel to the northern states in the US or to Canada where we can get a first look at fall colors.  The photo here was taken on our trip to the Northeast this fall.  It shows fallen leaves by an old rock wall in Concord Massachusetts.   


Fall Season Two

In October the colors are beautiful in Missouri where we live so we try to stick close to home and enjoy the beautiful midwest falls.  Here is a photo taken at a lake near our house. 

Fall Season Three

Now it is November and we are enjoying our last bit of fall as we traveled south to visit our daughter and family in Atlanta.  The colors through Kentucky and Tennessee were gorgeous as we headed south.  My daughter's yard is full of beautiful colors.  Here are a couple of the shots I got early this morning in their back yard.

After taking the photos, I like to make them into products to offer in my Zazzle store.  Here are a couple of the autumn photo items that are available at Zazzle/mbgphoto

Autumn Leaves Trinket Box
Autumn Leaves Trinket Box by mbgphoto
Browse more Autumn leaves Gift Boxes
This card is made from a photo taken last fall in Quebec City Canada.

Thanksgiving Blessing Cards
Thanksgiving Blessing Cards by mbgphoto
Look at more cards from Zazzle.



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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

You Can Own a Rare Richard Burns Print, Signed by the Artist

Richard Burns Art Prints are Available Online

*Click any photo to buy the prints at Amazon.com
Richard Burns Snow Leopard
Thru the Pass by Richard Burns


I'm totally biased because he's my husband but I love Richard Burns' art. This year he released a few prints from his archives that are now available at Amazon.

All of the prints are from the 1990's when he did a series of wild animals. Each print was created in a batch of from 500-2000 prints only, and signed and numbered.  After the initial run many of them sold out, but somehow we ended up with around 10-20 prints of some of the animals, so Richard released them this year.

My favorite one is his Snow Leopard perched on a rock. The wound up energy is palpable! It's called Winter's Veil and was one of his most popular prints. His other Snow Leopard is also a best seller called Thru the Pass. (yes we know it's misspelled, but that's how it was printed so we're stuck with it now.) It's the one pictured above. Below is Winter's Veil.


Richard Burns Snow Leopard
Winter's Veil by Richard Burns


We have a friend who has all his "cat prints" as he calls them on one wall of his house. The Snow Leopard ones are my favorite and he has them in the middle of that wall. Then on the end of the wall is a huge print of Tigers, called Icy Courtship. (Another best seller of Rich's.)


Richard Burns Tigers
Icy Courtship by Richard Burns


Rich seems to have a way with animals as the Los Angeles Zoo had him go into the cages to paint these magnificent animals in their habitat, for a series of cards he did for them. He did coyotes and wolves too, and swans and owls. But the cats were the best sellers and continue to be used on calendars, mugs, puzzles, needlework kits, and t shirts.

Still there's nothing like a wonderful art print on your wall to remind you every day of the animals who used to roam  whole continents. You can see all of these at RichardBurnsArt.com and buy original art, but to buy the prints, you would now need to go to Amazon as we sent them all our inventory! So just click on any of the prints you see here if you are interested in purchasing. They won't last, so best to get over there soon.

Which cat print is your favorite?




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