Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Honey Mama’s 12 Step Program for an Awesome Turkey Day

Read this list and check it twice!  
Here are some fresh, fun ideas for savoring the holiday, finding a way to be in the moment, and relaxing while spending time with the people you love.  

1. Did you make a shopping list for the big day?  Well then, pull it out and check it twice.  Make sure you have the important things on your list.  It will save time and energy and help keep things running smoothly.  

2. Have you picked out a good wine to complement the meal?  If not, try Pacific Rim Rieslings.  They offer sweet riesling, dry riesling and a blend between the two, which is their standard Riesling.  Their wines are crisp, light, and refreshing.  The flavor balance between sweet and dry in the "Riesling" creates the perfect glass of wine to compliment a turkey dinner. Turkey needs all the help it can get in terms of compliments, this wine does the job and won’t break the bank in the process.  My favorite is the “Pacific Rim Riesling”.  It’s available at Brown Jug, Fred Meyer Liquor, and Carrs Liquor, bottles run $11-$13. 
3. Are you feeling adventurous and want to try out a new cranberry relish recipe this Thanksgiving?  Check out Mama Stamberg’s Cranberry Relish (NPR), complete with 12 photos and recipe to walk you through each step process along with the story behind the recipe. 

4. Now get ready get set, get your fat pants on!  Slip into a hideous holiday sweater, find those bunny slippers Great Aunt Ellen sent last Christmas and get comfortable.  Real comfortable.  
5. Then sit back and take a moment to put the whole meal in perspective with Tante Marie’s entertaining instructional cooking segment to help you get your turkey on the table with your sanity in tact and your heart and mind in the moment.  You’ll learn how to prepare a turkey and focus on the things that really matter “Just put the fu*cking turkey in the oven!” 
6. Head out on a walk, go for a ski, take the kids sledding - have fun, just make sure your oven is turned ON! 
7. When you get back inside from your outdoor adventure take a moment to select some music to put you in the holiday mood. Here are a few of my iHeart Radio
“Favorites for Thanksgiving”:
8. Now why not fix yourself a drink?  Mix up some one of these tasty holiday beverages and get some holiday cheer going on!  

Honey Mama’s Cran-Apple-Ging Tini 
An adventurous cocktail that takes a few 
minutes to prep, but is well worth the time 
spent concocting it.  

The Drink:
¼ C Vodka 
2 T Angry Orchard Apple Ginger Beer 
2 oz   Cranberry Juice Cocktail
1 t Lime Juice 
1/8 t Ground Ginger 

Sugar and Spice Rim Frosting:
1/4 C Raw Organic Sugar
1/4 t Ground Cinnamon
1/4 t Ground Ginger 
1/8 t Ground Nutmeg 

Apple Simple Syrup:
1 C White Sugar 
1/2 C Water
1/2 C Apple Juice 

Crystallized ginger and/or 
fresh cranberries 
  1. Freeze martini glasses and vodka.
  2. Mix Sugar and Spice Rim Frosting 
  3. Make Apple Simple Syrup 
  4. Prepare the martini glass:  Remove from freezer, dip rim into Apple Simple Syrup, then dip the glass in the Sugar and Spice Rim Frosting (I spread it out on a small dinner plate and dip the glass in the mix.  
  5. Blend the martini: Add ice to a cocktail shaker and shake and strain into a finished martini glass 
  6.  Garnish:  crystallized ginger and/or two fresh cranberries 
  7. Cheers! 
Honey Mama’s Pumpkin Hot Cocoa 
A deliciously decadent beverage that is deceptively rich and filling. 
 A perfect early afternoon prelude to the big meal.

3 T Hot Cocoa Mix (heaping)
6 oz Hot Water 
2 T Half and Half 
2 T Honey Mama’s Pumpkin Pie Syrup (see below)

Honey Mama’s Pumpkin Pie Syrup
Originally Featured In: Food Is Love 

 1 1/2 C    Water 
 1 1/2 C   Sugar 
 1 C  Pure Pumpkin Puree
 2 tsp.       Ground Cinnamon
 1/2 tsp.  Ground Ginger 
 1/2 tsp.  Ground Cloves 
 1/2 tsp.  Ground Nutmeg 
         tt      Love and Whipped Cream 
  1. Mix hot cocoa mix and water well, then add pumpkin pie syrup, stir, then top off with half and half swirled in.  
  2. Enjoy! 
9. Kick back, relax and enjoy Throwback Thursday, Thanksgiving style: Thanksgiving on The Muppet Show with Arlo Guthrie featuring my personal favorite, Swedish Chef, who has always charmingly reminded me of my Culinary Arts professor, Chef Robert.  
10. Are you longing to revive family traditions?  Are you “somewhere in the middle” when it comes to saying a Thanksgiving blessing?  Here are some middle of the road options I found, pick something that inspires you and take a moment and write down any thoughts, memories or ideas that come to mind.

Go with whatever you feel, write it out, then take a moment, enjoy your beverage, listen to the music, play a game with your family -- come back to it with fresh eyes and create a new family tradition. 
If you want to give your family a gift on Thanksgiving, you don’t need to run out to the store and buy the perfect centerpiece, or even the “perfect wine” (I really did just say that!).  All you need to do is tell them how you feel, assuming it’s all lovey dovey....if it’s not and you feel like you have something you really need to get off your chest then; 

11. Watch Home for the Holidays with Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr. (back in his “illicit-drug-use-on-the-set” days).  He brings a lot of charm and bravado to the movie, directed by Jodie Foster.  Featuring Anne Bannecroft as Holly Hunter’s mom.  This movie is filled with silent questions and pregnant pauses and hysterically hilarious meltdowns with the characters meditating on what all it all means.  

If this movie doesn’t make you want to embrace your Crazy Aunt Cindy, tell your mother how much she means to, and make peace with the fact that your family is imperfectly perfect, then nothing will.  This movie is a seriously underrated holiday classic and I am making it my mission in life to get the word out about this movie for the comedic holiday relief it provides. 

12. Tired of Pumpkin Pie?  Try a new twist on an old tradition, try Honey Mama’s Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (a gluten-free recipe).  Click on the recipe title for the original recipe posted on H.M.R.W. earlier this fall. 

And don’t forget, “It’s just a fu*king turkey"....just stick it in the oven and ENJOY YOURSELF, okay?” 

"Got no checkbooks, got no banks.
Still I'd like to express my thanks -- 
I got the sun in the morning and the moon 
at night." - Irving Berlin
Cooking Turkey? Use a Meat Thermometer (165 F-175 F) 

Coming Soon:  On Sunday I am kicking off a new series “Honey Mama’s Top 25 Wild Ideas to Combat Cabin Fever On A Budget!”.  Beginning this Sunday through the end of March I will be featuring one post a week highlighting an activity from the list with instructions, ideas, and ways to get in touch with the wild, right out your backdoor, whether you live in a cul-de-sac or out in the wild blue yonder!  

I’ll be featuring a variety of ideas for different interests, ages, and weather conditions.  I will also be featuring “Guest Blog Posts” including: a Restorative Yoga sequence with Tracy Johnson, Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor, musical appreciation, and a writing workshop with published Alaskan author Buffy McKay, her recently published novella, Weathered Edge was a first of its kind - a collection of three novellas by three up and coming Alaskan authors.  I will be featuring additional guest blog posts which will be announced later in the season.  

Interested in contributing to this series?  E-mail me at: honeymamarunswild@gmail.com  

Do you have an unusual Thanksgiving tradition?  Share it with me on Facebook at Honey Mama Runs Wild and Follow Me on Pinterest: Honey Mama Runs Wild

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