November 17, 2010 at 10:14 am , by Sara Dayton
Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and I’ve barely started to think about what décor will grace my table this year. Luckily, there’s a great selection of holiday-themed products available online. Here are my top picks for a beautiful turkey day table.
1. Snap up a new platter
These serving dishes are from West Elm‘s collaboration with Sesame Letterpress, a boutique letterpress printing studio based in Brooklyn, NY. I especially love the Turkey Platter: it’s perfect for heaping piles of mashed potatoes or sliced turkey, and right now it’s on sale for $31.
2. Make homemade place cards
To avoid any drama when it’s time for my friends and family to sit down and tuck in, I’ll spend Wednesday afternoon making place cards and figuring out seating arrangements. Pick up rubber stamps and blank place cards from Paper Source—they have a wealth of Thanksgiving-themed options to choose from. If that’s not your style, try a simple floral design like the one at left. Use gold ink on a dark place card for extra impact. Read more
November 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm , by Ladies' Lounge
Why is it that time always seems to speed up during the holiday season (does everyone else realize that Thanksgiving is next week?!)? It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it goes so fast, and it gets more than a little hectic.
Our friends over at The Motherboard put together this holiday survival guide. It’s got 25 sneaky ways to shop smart, reduce the stress, and get ready for a happy, healthy holiday. Read it now and hopefully it’ll help you slow down the season.
November 11, 2010 at 9:08 am , by Ladies' Lounge
Making apple pie at Thanksgiving is something I’ve always left up to my mom. She is an absolutely amazing cook, but when it comes to baking she bakes one thing (and only one thing) really well: apple pie. I’m really the baker of the family. I make cookies, brownies, bars, cake, cake, cake… but for some reason never pie. So for “Dishing It” this week, I chose to make Ina Garten’s Deep Dish Apple Pie. Not only did I want to try my hand at pie, but I have to admit I have always joked that Ina Garten was my second mom — or at the very least, an aunt. So for this challenge I decided to pit Ina Garten’s apple pie against my dear mom’s apple pie. (That’s my mom on the left, and of course Ina on the right. You have to admit, they could be related, right?)
First off just glancing at Ina’s recipe I see a few major differences. She uses lemon and orange zest as well as fresh lemon juice and orange juice! Whoa, I don’t think citrus in any form has ever entered mom’s pie, but I digress (sorry shameless Golden Girls reference there).
So, to begin, I started with Ina’s perfect piecrust. I followed the directions exactly, but when it came time to roll out the dough, the problems began. No matter how careful I was, the crust kept tearing. So I decided to ball it back up and add some more cold water…thank goodness this mostly did the trick. The recipe calls for 6 to 8 tablespoons of ice water, but I think it needs more, perhaps 8 to 10 tablespoons. Maybe this depends on the climate or my over-eager radiator, but mine was too dry on the first attempt. After I figured this out the rest of my pie making night went pretty smoothly. The only other change I made was after about 30 minutes of baking the top of the pie started to get too dark, so I just covered that section with a bit of tin foil.
After 60 minutes, it was time to take the pie out of the oven. I let it cool slightly, maybe 15 minutes, before I had to have at it. And the verdict is… Sorry Ina, mom wins this one. I’ll admit the crust was delicious and flaky, but I just found it way too citrusy and acidic. I think maybe a little orange zest would have delivered a hint of citrus to compliment the spice, but not with lemon zest and juice and orange juice. My mouth was on citrus overload! Mom, I’m sorry for ever doubting you. And “Auntie” Ina, I’m sorry but this pie just wasn’t for me. (Don’t worry I still love you for your coconut cupcakes and every other baked confection). — Laura D’Abate, associate photo editor
November 10, 2010 at 8:07 am , by Julie Bain
I met Jen Singer at a writer’s conference and became a fan of her blog, where she describes herself as “the mother of two boys who talk to me through the bathroom door.” We got to talking about the holiday season and how it’s fashionable to keep a gratitude journal. As LHJ’s health editor, I have to point out that expressing what you’re thankful for has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, help you sleep better and make you feel more happy. But we already know all the obvious ways: yes, we’re grateful for our families, our health, our jobs (if we’re lucky enough to have them). But beyond the big stuff, what about those unsung simple pleasures that can really make your day? For me, for example, I love that on these bright, dry, crisp days of November, my hair doesn’t frizz. Here’s Jen’s list. What’s on yours?
10 THINGS I’M THANKFUL FOR THIS NOVEMBER
By Jen Singer
1. Chilly weather is an excuse to drink chocolate.
2. I no longer spend my extra “fall back” hour explaining to a toddler why 4:30 a.m. is an ungodly time to awaken for the day.
3. Mom jeans may be inheritable but, luckily, there is a cure.
4. I didn’t grow up at a time when every bad perm, lousy boyfriend and stupid choice (i.e. “upside-down margaritas,” belly shirts) are chronicled online forever.
5. “Forgot My Password.” Because too often, I do.
6. The Halloween candy is gone (except for the emergency stash I keep behind the coffee maker. Shhhhh.)
7. My wrinkles mean I have smiled a lot in the sun.
8. Politicians have stopped sending me mail—until 2012.
9. Nobody is wondering why I haven’t sent out Thanksgiving cards.
Okay, now it’s your turn. What’s on your list?
Jen Singer is the editor-in-chief of MommaSaid.net and the author of five books. She is also grateful that this week is her third anniversary in remission from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. We say cheers to that!
October 1, 2010 at 11:39 am , by Catherine LeFebvre
This year, we want to make sure we have the ultimate Thanksgiving menu nailed down, and we need your help! Every day we’ll post a poll on different Turkey Day options, and you tell us what’s best. First up: stuffing!
November 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm , by Catherine LeFebvre
We’re just about ready for the big day here in New York. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone! We’ll catch up with you all on Monday.
Snoopy’s almost up and at ‘em
Spiderman ready to make his Thanksgiving Day Parade debut
Making sure Sponge Bob’s knees are okay
More manageable balloons to take home
November 25, 2009 at 8:52 am , by Lisa M. Gerry
In honor of Alton Brown’s new book, “Good Eats: The Early Years,” and the 10th anniversary of his show, we asked Alton for ten tips and little-known facts about Thanksgiving. True to his form, his factoids range from practical and historic to quirky and downright weird.
1.) The first Thanksgiving was a three-day alfresco affair—late September, early October, 1621. Hardly any of the “traditional” foods appear at the first meal, however, Turkey, Goose, Swan, Venison, Lobster, Oysters, Cod, Bass, Eels, Pumpkin, Purslane, Gooseberries, and Chestnuts all make the menu.
2.) Sarah Josepha Hale, an editor with a magazine, started a Thanksgiving campaign in 1827 and it was result of her efforts that in 1863 Thanksgiving was observed as a day for national thanks giving and prayer.
3.) Turkey was the first meal eaten on the moon.
4.) 90% of American homes serve turkey at Thanksgiving. That’s about 675 million pounds.
5.) More than 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving.
6.) The largest turkey on record weighed 86 pounds and was raised in England.
7.) Give your frozen bird at least two days to thaw in the refrigerator and be sure its drippings are contained to avoid contamination of fresh food.
8.) On the big day designate zones for raw, cold, and cooked foods.
9.) Involve your kids –it’s the best way to keep your traditions alive and well. Little hands seem to have an easier time peeling than mine do anyway.
10.) Volunteer or Donate. As some 8 million Americans are without jobs this year, it’s especially important to share resources, be it time, money or canned goods.