Wow – this is our 6th blog entry already and next week is Thanksgiving. We are focusing on the meal and table today. Every celebration needs a nice centerpiece, and we saw one which showed a flower arrangement in a pumpkin. We did our own take on that. Also, we have a recipe we got from Rachael Ray a few years ago. We’ve changed it up a bit to make it healthier, yet still delicious! Enjoy!
PUMPKIN & FLOWER CENTERPIECE
Looking for pumpkins the week before Thanksgiving can be tricky. In our area, they are not easy to find (or else we are looking in the wrong places – hmm, could be). Anyway, we adapted and created the pumpkin vase (pictured above) using the plastic pumpkin in the photo to the left.
For an 8-inch plastic pumpkin, you will need: 80 inches of orange (or the color of your choice) twisted paper cord (one brand available in most craft stores is called creative twist), hot glue gun and glue, small pot of mums or your favorite fall flower that will fit into your pumpkin. Our plant is 4 inches in diameter and 12 inches high.
- Untwist paper cord and cut into eight 10-inch strips. When untwisted, the paper cord is about 4 inches wide.
- Cover the Jack-O-Latern’s face with one of the crepe paper strips. You may have to cut the strip in 2 and piece them together, depending on the Jack-O-Lantern design. Secure with hot glue. (The face needs to be covered twice for this project so it will not show.)
- After the face has been covered once, and starting next to a handle, cover the pumpkin by applying the strips vertically. Glue top of strip 1/2″ into inside of pumpkin. Add glue to middle of crepe paper strip and then glue to the bottom. Overlap strips by about a 1/16th of an inch as you go around.
- Insert plant.
SWEET POTATOES WITH BANANAS
We tweaked a great recipe we saw Rachael Ray make so it would be healthier. Go to foodnetwork.com for the original recipe for Rachael Ray’s wonderful Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
Here is our version with less fat and sugar:
- 3 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks.
- 2 tablespoons light margerine (with no hydrogenated oils)
- 1 sliced banana
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Boil potatoes about 20 minutes until tender, drain and put potatoes aside. In the original pot, add margerine and banana slices. Cook the banana 5 minutes on medium heat and add the juice of the orange. Allow the orange juice to cook out for about 1 minute. Add the potatoes back to the pot with the stock and brown sugar. Mash together until its well mixed. Season with nutmeg, salt, pepper and orange zest to taste. Mash to combine, top with 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans. WE LOVE THESE SWEET POTATOES!!
JOKE OF THE WEEK: Can a turkey jump higher than the Empire State Building? Yes! A building can’t jump at all!
Joke source: Kidsactivities.net
FUN FACTS: According to the website Life123 the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took place in 1924. It was known then as the Macy’s Christmas Parade. Today, the parade is attended by an estimated 3 million people and is viewed by approximately 44 million people all over the country.
Thanks so much for reading, following and sharing these blogs. We have been having fun creating and writing.
1 more blog post before Thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble!
Roy & Kevin