Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving: Stuffing

First, I should start by saying that my family's Thanksgiving would not be possible without our family friend Louise. When my mom first met Louise, she couldn't cook (sorry mom, but it's true). Luckily Louise took my mom under her wing and taught her a few things. So every Thanksgiving we give thanks to Louise for giving us these yummy Thanksgiving recipes!! 

For the stuffing mix the ingredients below:

1/2 bag herb sage dressing mix (add 1 tsp sage)
1/2 loaf bread (toasted & crumbled)
1 lb ground beef (browned and drained)
3 potatoes (peeled, cubed, boiled and mashed--save the left over water)
2 eggs (beaten)

In a microwave cook one stick of butter, 3 chopped celery, and 1 chopped onion. Add to the other ingredients. Add the saved water to make the mixture very moist. Here's a picture before I put it in the oven:

Put in a 9x13 glass dish and cook at 375 for 1 hour 15 minutes. 

We typically cook the stuffing the day before Thanksgiving. Then on Thanksgiving day we pour chicken broth over the stuffing, cover, and reheat in the oven. You don't need to do this, but it saves time on Thanksgiving day. 

Thanksgiving: Cranberry Salad

2 pkgs Lemon Jello dissolved only in 2 cups of boiling water.

Then Add:
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Can Whole Cranberry Sauce
2 Cans Mandarin Oranges
1 Chopped Apple
1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts

Pour in mold and refrigerate.

Thanksgiving: Sweet Potato Casserole

Mix the following ingredients:
2 (29 oz) cans of sweet potatoes
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 stick butter (softened)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Pour the mixture into a 9x13 dish and top with the following mixture: 
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 stick of butter (melted)

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christmas Affair

Today my girlfriends and I went to the Austin Christmas Affair hosted by the Junior League of Austin. My friends and I wanted to avoid parking downtown, so we parked at the Barton Creek Mall and took the free shuttle over to the Parmer Event Center. Once we got to the Parmer Event Center we noticed the HUGE line for tickets (fyi tickets are $15). Luckily, we bought our tickets in advance so we were able to skip the line and walk straight in. 

The Christmas Affair was full of different booths/vendors ranging from clothes, crafts, food, home decor, toys, etc. Some of the booths were a little pricey, but others were reasonable. I bought a cute pea-coat for $35 and my friends bought some scarves for $15. So you can find good deals, but the majority of the items were overpriced (in my opinion). 

I enjoyed walking around the booths, getting ideas for future crafts, looking at the different items, and looking at all of the Christmas decorations! This was a fun experience, but for the price I'm not sure I'll be doing it again. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taco Soup

1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
15 oz can black beans, drained 
15 oz can pinto beans, drained
15 oz can corn, drained (optional)
28 oz can tomatoes-diced with juices (do not drain)
10 oz can Rotel tomatoes
32 oz tomato juice
1 pkg dry ranch mix
1 pkg taco seasoning

1. Brown the ground turkey in a skillet with the chopped onion.
2. Drain off any excess fat and add in both the ranch mix and the taco seasoning. 
3. Mix to combine the seasonings thoroughly with the ground turkey.
4. Transfer the meat to a large pot or crock-pot.
5. Add in the remaining ingredients.
6. If you are cooking on the stove, bring the soup to a simmer for about 15 minutes. If you are cooking in a crock-pot, cook on high for a few hours. 
7. Top with cheese and sour cream for some extra flavor.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Color Me Rad

 My friend and I signed up for the Color Me Rad Race!! It was sssooo much fun!! The Color Me Rad Race is a 5k race, but it's more of an activity than a race. They don't have a clock and they don't have winners like a normal 5k. The purpose of this race is to get COLORFUL!! I think there were about 5 paint stations along the course. At two of the stations, the volunteers sprayed liquid paint on us as we ran past. At the other stations, the volunteers threw a powder-like paint at us as we ran past them. At the end, they provided us with our own packet of the powder-like paint and a refreshing water bottle. We stayed after the race to do a little dancing, grab a snack, throw some more paint, and take a few pictures. 

Here's what I looked like at the end of the day!!  
  My shirt and hat were originally all white!! Also, if your going to participate in a color/paint race I recommend wearing a hat or bandanna to help keep your hair clean. 

Dance Party!! The guy on stage counted down for everyone to throw their paint in the air at the same time!! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013


My friend and I went down to New Braunfels this weekend for Wurstfest. Wurstfest was one of the best festivals I've been to in years! There were so many people enjoying the festivities you just couldn't help but join in!! There were three different stages for bands, each with a small dance floor and boy were those dance floors packed!! There was also a large building filled with different food/drink vendors. I tried the $5 Sausage Sampler and it was AMAZING!! The drinks on the other hand were kind of expensive, but still yummy. My friend and I enjoyed a nice sangria--needless to say we're not much of beer drinkers. We spent the rest of our night listening to the music, drinking some nice sangria, and enjoying one another's company. I can't wait to go back next year!!

Tips for Wurstfest: Parking can be hectic so I suggest getting there early. I also suggest leaving a little bit early to avoid any drunk drivers. If you plan on drinking they do provide shuttles to all of the main hotels in town for $20.

Comparison between Wurstfest and Oktoberfest: Wurstfest is more for adults and Oktoberfest is more for families. Wurstfest had better food, better music, and more seating. Oktoberfest had cheaper drinks, a better location, and a small activity center for kids.