The Countdown Is On

Thanksgiving this year was a lot like last year.  We went to Jarid’s Dad’s family get-together for our afternoon meal, and then to my Momma’s house for dinner.  I even made the same dish (talk about a creature of habit).  Actually, it was Jarid’s request.  He enjoyed it last year!

I forgot while I was cooking the Crantastic Cornbread Stuffing, just how much prep was involved.  Lots of veggie chopping and even double baking took place.

I always end up adapting the recipe into something of my own creation.  This time, I added an entire zucchini to the medley of celery, apples, and onions on the stovetop… one more veggie couldn’t hurt, right?

1/2 cup all-purpose flour (~I used 100% whole wheat)
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal (~I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (~I used Splenda)
1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup canned cream-style corn (~I used sweet white canned corn)
1/3 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (~I used egg whites)
1/3 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt (~I used 0% Chobani)

1 large Fuji apple, cored and chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 tsp. chopped garlic
4 slices light bread (~I used Arnold Light Wheat -45 calories per slice)
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries (~I used organic raisins)
2 cups fat-free chicken broth (~I used organic vegetable broth)
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

To make the cornbread, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well and set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine corn, egg substitute, and yogurt. Whisk thoroughly. Add mixture to the large bowl and stir until completely mixed.  Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Allow cornbread to cool completely. For speedier cooling, remove it from the pan once slightly cooled.  To make the stuffing, set oven temperature to 350 degrees. Spray a 13″ X 9″ baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.  Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat on the stove. Add apple, onion, celery, and garlic. Stirring often, cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.  Lightly toast bread slices. Meanwhile, chop cranberries and add to the large bowl. Tear toasted bread into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl as well.  Crumble cornbread into pieces and add to the bowl. Add broth and spices, and gently stir to combine. Transfer contents to the baking pan.  Bake in the oven until firm, 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!

I don’t know about you all, but Thanksgiving being over is like giving me the go-ahead to decorate for Christmas!

I really wanted to make a Pinterest inspired wreath made of Christmas balls, which I’ve actually started, but ran out of balls.  By default, we threw this boring green one on the door temporarily.

Inside, we have two small trees, thanks to Nana & TT (my Godparents), who were trying to get rid of a bunch of decorations that they no longer wanted!  I picked up this cute, gold tree topping star at the dollar tree!

The second tree is downstairs beside our wood stove.  Undecorated, but sometimes simplistic is best!  The tree topper on that one is wooden and was alost a decoration donation of Nana & T 🙂

We used more wine bottles left from our wedding centerpieces and I got a bit crafty.  The funny thing is, TT jokingly held up this old, distressed drawer and asked if we wanted it… he had no idea that I was envisioning doing something like this with it!  I snatched up some glitzy cranberry twigs and some pinecone accented pine branches at JoAnn Fabric for 50% off, and drew on “faith, hope, & love” with chalk.

I hung our stockings above the entertainment center, which were bought at the Christmas Tree Shops for like $6 each.  I’m beyond excited to stuff Jarid’s full of goodies on Christmas Eve!  I may even try to come up with something that’ll fit in that mini stocking attached for fun. (Hers – left, his – right)

I chose these little glass dishes from the sale section at JoAnn, buy one get one 1/2 off.  Considering they were only $3.99, I thought it was a pretty good deal!  Nana & T also gave us some vintage Christmas balls which were scattered all throughout the living room in dishes and vases to add color and as fillers.  The pinecones were courtesy of them, too.

I never actually thought I’d use this rectangular dish that we got at our wedding, but turns out, it was the perfect size to cover the hole in our coffee table and to hold more Christmas decor.

This time, I used red glittery tulle, pinecones, and gold jingle bells that I bought at the Dollar Tree. The little headbands were $1 each, too… I obviously couldn’t resist, but can you blame me?

Please excuse the “gym rat” look… this was taken just after our Alumni Basketball game this past Saturday.  It was a lot of fun, but wow, was I sore the next few days.  I didn’t think I’d be able to get out of bed on Monday morning.  It’s unbelievable how you use such different muscles playing a sport than you would riding an elliptical or doing workout videos in your basement.  The stres on your body in general is SO much higher!  My hips, back, and even arms were tight! [insert a joke about getting old here]

Back to the decorations… Those  three candles were used on the gift table at our wedding… I just tied them together with gold ribbon.

Momma Snyder gave me a little table runner for the house that was festive and worked perfectly for under my beaded edge serving platter which was topped with more wedding decor — the martini glass, short wine glasses, and tealight candles — surrounded by tiny vintage Christmas balls.

God even sent us some snow, so now I’m really in the Christmas spirit!  There’s something magical about the fact that each individual flake is so different and unique…

Speaking of special… watching the first snowfall of the year in your very own house with your very own husband pretty much tops the list ❤

T minus 27 days…. are YOU ready?! 🙂


5 thoughts on “The Countdown Is On

  1. Pingback: Christmas Blitz! | Savoring the Sweet Life

  2. Pingback: The Chobani Fairy. | Savoring the Sweet Life

  3. Pingback: Comfort Food. | Savoring the Sweet Life

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