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Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 in Come Together | 0 comments

Holiday Meal Planning: Tips from My Mom

Two years ago for my birthday (it’s today), my mom gave me a spiral-bound notebook with her meal plan for Thanksgiving. It includes her shopping list, prep timeline, and recipes. She also included some of her favorite Thanksgiving memories It was such a perfect gift for me, and I treasure it!

Here’s one of my favorite excerpts:

“Thoughts: Clean refrigerator out a week ahead of time. Have plenty of space and empty containers [for leftovers]. I like to clean my oven as well! Gather serving platters, cloths, etc.” Here, here!

Now for the confession of the century — I’ve never cooked anything for Thanksgiving. My mom takes care of it all. I usually have to travel around to a few other dinners at my husband’s family so there isn’t a lot of time for me to be around cooking. I really hate this, and I hope I can change it stat! I may just make a mini Thanksgiving meal at my house sometime. The thought of all of the logistics thrills me!

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Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in BettyBecca Bakes | 0 comments

Geeky Baking

This makes me so happy. It’s from a recent post from Pioneer Woman. If you can’t tell right away ;), it’s an animal cell cake. We drew so many of these in Bio I and II in high school. Be still my heart…cake and biology at the same time!

(c) All rights reserved by Ree Drummond / The Pioneer Woman

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2012 in Store-bought Remix | 1 comment

Store-bought Remix: Thanksgiving Edition

So I missed October Unprocessed again. I found out about it about October 27th, which is about the time I came across it last year. But let’s not kid ourselves…I had a newborn to care for this year. I’ve made myself a note for next year because I WILL be participating in some fashion or another. It’s so right up my alley.

So in the spirit of OU, I want to challenge you to make your Thanksgiving meal a little less processed.

  • My mom uses several cans of “cream of” soups for her Thanksgiving preparations. Here’s a great substitute.
  • There’s also the store-bought whipped topping for the top of the pumpkin pie. It’s so easy and delicious to make your own whipped cream.
  • Instead of canned vegetables, use frozen if you can’t find fresh.
  • Make your own broth/stock.
  • I know there’s nothing like those rings around the canned cranberry sauce straight out of the can, but there are great alternatives for that as well (Martha’s got your back).

Here are a few of my favorite bloggers who share the same mentality as me when it comes to making things from scratch. I bet you could find some great ways to make delicious switch outs from these ladies!

Simple Bites

A Cook at Heart

Smitten Kitchen

Pioneer Woman

 Happy [Unprocessed] Thanksgiving!

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Posted by on Nov 16, 2012 in BettyBecca Baby | 0 comments

Welcome Baby Chef!

Well, this new Mama is finally on the computer for longer than 3 seconds to post a pic of the newest member of Chez Ary. I’ve been operating off of my phone here lately (mostly while up at night for feedings) so you’ll have to excuse my delay. I also hope to be more regular with posting. I just wasn’t that into food while I was pregnant. Glad to be back!

Now for some details… Our little Chicken is 7 weeks old now. He’s growing all the time. He’s really starting to be interactive, smiling and laughing, and enjoying play time. I love to sing songs, read books, and cook with him by my side in the kitchen. I’m in love!

He was 6 lbs 7 oz and 19 1/4 inches at birth. We delivered naturally at Vanderbilt with Mr. J coaching me along. It was a wonderful experience, and we’ve loved every second of getting to know our little man!


*The image above is from Halloween. The outfit was a gift from my MIL, Nana D. Isn’t it the cutest?

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