Thanksgiving and It’s Aftermath

Oh Thanksgiving!

This year was a little different for me.

For the last several years, I have been having Thanksgiving by myself and then when Tyler came into the picture I made dinner for both of us. It is not that I don’t like my family, I do but the holidays are wonky.

First, there is Ferly Thanksgiving at my grandparents house. Ferly = fake and early. While it isn’t a fake meal, its totally real, we just call it fake because it happens early. Fancy word play I know! It usually comes two weeks or so early because my grandparents make a yearly pilgrimage to the the Gulf Coast for most of the month of November and December. So technically I do go to that Thanksgiving but not this year. This year my grandma had to have surgery on her cataracts and then they decided to just go down to the Gulf early. So one meal was knocked out of the running.

Second, is Thanksgiving at my Grandma Imogene’s. The food is good, the noodles alone are worth going for, but the house is too small for the amount of people on that side of my family. There are also a lot of children, ranging from 4 to 15, that run amuck the entire time. Being someone who is socially awkward and doesn’t like crowds or talking or being touched, it was always uncomfortable for me.

So my junior year of undergrad I decided I was just going to stay home with Opie and make my own meal. I usually made a scaled down version including a small chicken instead of turkey but keeping all the traditional sides.

I liked my method and it was much more fun with Tyler came into my life because I could go all out with the sides and what-nots. He has his own family thing that he goes to during the day but he always saves room for what I make.

This year, my sisters and I decided to do a sister’s Thanksgiving. It was myself, Emily, Ryan, Kelsey, Kendal (my nephew) and Paisley (Kendal’s puppy). Emily and Ryan, her manfriend, recently bought a new house with an amazing kitchen that was perfect for the event. We all split up our responsibilities and got together Thanksgiving day and made an amazing meal.

I was in charge of stuffing, corn casserole, mac and cheese and the turkey. I had never cooked an entire turkey myself before and was really nervous that I would fuck up the star of the show. I did a bunch of research like I normally d0 thanks to the nerd in me and decided on the Epicurious recipe for Roasted Turkey and Stuffing. I followed both recipes to a tee and made the most amazing looking turkey. It was perfectly browned, though the breasts could have been darker, and the meat was so moist on the inside. The stuffing had flavored the meat perfectly and it tasted amazing. Of course, no one remembered to take a picture before I cut into it so I have no evidence, you will have to take my word on it.

We had some delicious sides including Ryan’s homemade green bean casserole, Emily’s mashed potatoes, rolls, sweet potatoes wrapped in bacon, and Kelsey’s amazing cranberry fruit salad. My corn casserole was really good, so was the stuffing, and the gravy I made out of the turkey pan juices. The mac and cheese fell short but I think its because we made it too early. It’s hard to take your time when you and everyone else are super hungry!

The next day we hung out and started Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. We got through two episodes together and they went downtown for the annual Christmas Lights festival and I went home to Tyler and our boys. We all ended up watching the last two episodes at different times throughout the weekend and we all agreed we needed more episodes and we needed to re-watch from the beginning.

The day of Thanksgiving we finally bombed our apartment for fleas. Opie went to Tyler’s mom’s house for the day and Percy came with me to Emily’s. He hated every minute of it.

So when we were finally all under the same roof it was nice to just veg out, eat leftovers, and be with my little family. Tyler has been working on Alien: Isolation and if you haven’t played it and you like survival horror I highly recommend it! He just finished the game last night and could not stop raving about how much he liked it. On Black Friday he went out and got a PS4 and Uncharted 4 so hopefully he will start playing that soon! I have really enjoyed watching him play the Uncharted series!

We are still treating for fleas but we think we are finally at the tail end of things. Percy is still itching his old bites like crazy but we are seeing less and less fleas. The boys are getting another bath tonight and then their monthly flea treatments tomorrow. I will be so happy when this scourge is over.

Well that’s all for our update. We finished the rest of the leftovers last night and tonight is Taco Bell night!

FOOD!

Throughout the week, Tyler and I don’t really get fancy about dinner. We have tacos every Monday from our local Mexican restaurant, Tuesdays are usually reserved for leftovers, Wednesdays and Thursdays we either make ourselves something simple or we go to Chipotle, but Friday, Saturday and Sunday we go all out. We usually eat out at least once and then spend the rest of the time making delicious homemade meals. I plan on starting a new blog post highlighting some of our favorite recipes including chicken tikka masala, baked ziti, enchiladas, and much much more. I actually planned on starting it this past weekend but every time I went to cook, I would be half way through and realize I didn’t take any pictures!

This weekend was kicked off Chinese food from the place in our hometown, Tyler had to run up there to get a package and we always get China Garden to take home. Saturday’s lunch was simple lunch meat sandwiches but with the good quality cheese and ham from the grocery store deli, it tasted amazing! Dinner I made my chicken enchiladas. It was a simple recipe I found on a budget food blog, but I can’t let recipes just be. I always have to add something extra. The original recipe is just beans and cheese wrapped up in a corn tortilla with a homemade enchilada sauce and topped with fresh avocado. I add seasoning to the refried beans and I use refried black beans instead of plain old pinto beans. I add extra salt to the sauce and change up a little bit on how I add the spices. And finally I add chicken breasts that I have seasoned with a tex mex mix from The Pioneer Woman and seared off in a pan. These enchiladas are one if Tyler’s favorite meals.

Sunday was football day and we always try to make food that is extra special. For breakfast we had avocado toast. Avocado toast is so simple and so delicious. You can easily just use mashed avocado with salt and pepper but we usually make guacamole. By we, I mean Tyler makes guac. I tried once and misread the directions and I don’t ever think he will let me make it again. After Tyler expertly makes the guac, he makes the toast and fries up an egg. They all come together to make the most simple and scrumptious breakfast/brunch ever. The best part is the leftover guac came in handy later because I made carnitas for the first time ever on Sunday and they turned out amazing. I just browned up large pork loins threw them in the crock pot with some spices and beer and 6 hours (and several movies and football games later) we had this amazingly cooked pork for carnitas tacos. Tyler made some pico and it all came together perfectly.

We of course had a bunch of leftovers, so Monday night I just ate another 4 tacos but yesterday I wanted something different and I was craving pasta! So I made a quick pasta sauce with tomato paste, garlic, olive oil, red wine, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and some of the leftover meat. It made this delicious ragu style sauce and it only took 20 minutes!

We have already planned the meal for this weekend and I will hopefully remember to take pictures and share the recipes!

An Adventure in Sushi Making

Another week down and the first story for He and She is finished! Before I publish it on here, I want Tyler to read through it and find all of my grammar errors. He has written several short stories himself but hasn’t published any. I wish I could swipe them from him and publish them myself, they are all really good.

We had a pretty good week (minus one minor setback) in the Murphy-Ewen Household. 13325719_10153788648314075_786734642520900410_nThe fourth of July weekend was rough on the boys. We already knew Opie hated fireworks but we were not prepared for Percy. He does not get all worked up during thunderstorms so we thought he would be okay with fireworks but boy were we wrong. The whole weekend involved prying him out from under the bed and dragging him outside at night to go potty. If he wasn’t under the bed, he wanted to hide in the back of the closet curled up in a little ball. Even now he doesn’t want to go outside after dark.

I went vegetarian for the week and it was a lot easier to drop meat than I thought. But in the end I love meat, I mean really love meat. I spent another lovely two days at IHS cataloging. I had my first reading room shift and everything went smoothly, it helped that there was only one person in the room for two hours. We went to look a new apartment this weekend and it was awful. The place was highly rated but the apartment was just way too small and the model they showed us literally smelled like shit.

I got to see some of my old work friends at a housewarming party. It was a lot of fun to sit Snapchat-4971154430950138678 (1)around and chat, drink and dance. Sunday consisted of homemade sushi, Bioshock Infinite, and chicken tikka masala. Sushi is my favorite food by far. I think about it at least once a day everyday. We have a Japanese grocery store not far from our apartment, we usually go there to eat at the their cafe but this weekend we went there to shop. It was a lot cheaper than I thought it was going to be to make it myself. I read several horror stories of people trying and failing at making it themselves but I was going to try it anyway. It turned out amazing! From the homemade sushi rice to the freshness of the fish it was like eating at a sushi restaurant. Chicken tikka masala is one of our favorites and I love making it.

Overall it was a very good Sunday minus the bad news I received in the middle of my sushi making. I did not get the position at the Carmel Clay Historical Society. She said I did a great job in the interview, gave me pointers for my resume, would have been a great addition to the team but I lacked the experience they were looking for. I’ve started applying for positions that are full-time again and most of them are out of state. I don’t really know if that is the right move but I can’t afford to have a position that is only two days a week with all of the bills we have coming in. Oh well, I’m young and I am sure things will fall into place eventually.