Don’t forget: last minute Thanksgiving details

October15

If you’re living in the U.S., this week is a big week for many of us! Thanksgiving is only a couple days away, and because it is a time when many families and friends gather together to celebrate the things we’re grateful for,  we want things to be just right!  Hopefully  you’ve already got your turkey and the rest of your meal planned, but in case you’re still putting some of your Thanksgiving details together…

If you still need a great recipe for rolls, here is my family’s time- tested recipe for Crescent Rolls.

Thanksgiving Crescent Rolls

This veggie platter turkey is a pretty awesome way to keep grabby hands and growling tummies away from the rolls while finishing up dinner preparations!

Veggie Platter Turkey {Home Sweet Homebodies}

If you want to dress up your table a little more (but need something relatively simply), Here is a nifty napkin folding tutorial if you’re so inclined.

Napkin Folding- 2 ways {Home Sweet Homebodies}

Or, if you’re ready to take your tablescaping to a new level, get some inspiration from this simple, yet highly elegant layout.

Thanksgiving Tablescape {Home Sweet Homebodies}

Or this festive fall tablescape:

Festive Fall Tablescape

Here is a delicious wassail recipe that would be another great way to enjoy the flavors of fall.

The Best Homemade Wassail Recipe {Home Sweet Homebodies}

If your refrigerator is overflowing with leftover turkey on Friday, you might want to consider using it in this fabulous Turkey and Wild Rice Soup recipe.

Turkey & Wild Rice Soup

Or this to-die-for Turkey Avocado Citrus Salad!

Turkey Avocado Citrus Salad Recipe on Home Sweet Homebodies

If your pumpkin craving isn’t satisfied this weekend, I’m sure it will be if you whip up this classic, easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hope you can get those last- minute Thanksgiving details worked out!  Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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PS: We’ll probably take a break for the next week or so, but feel free to follow along on Instagram as we post tablescapes and other Thanksgiving loveliness. Also, instead of posting our 4th giveaway in our month of giveaways series tomorrow, we’re going to spend the week with our families and hope you will too. The 4th giveaway will instead be live on Monday, November 30th. We will still be announcing this week’s giveaway on Tuesday afternoon- check our Facebook page to see who the winner is!

All Natural Organic Lip Balm Recipe

All Natural Organic Lip Balm Recipe {Home Sweet Homebodies}

I looooove making my own personal care products because I know exactly what is in them, and I could pretty much eat anything I put in them (not that I’d want to… beeswax, Mmmm!). I have been making my own products for several years now, including homemade deodorant (yah, I know, sounds crazy, but it works and I have peace of mind), facial moisturizer, various creams and lotions, shower gel, bath products like foot scrub and detox bath salts, and lip balm. Just to name a few. :) Some of the recipes are still in the developing stages, others I adapted from recipes I found on other blogs, and some are perfected and ready to be enjoyed!  I love my lip balm recipe! It has gone through so many variations, but I am really happy with the final result! It’s super smooth, but not too soft. (Note- you can reduce the amount of beeswax if you like a softer lip balm.) I usually add some nourishing oils like Rosehip Seed Oil and Carrot Seed Oil, and then whatever essential oils sound good at the time.

*Only the Good Stuff*
All Natural, Organic Lip Balm Recipe
{Home Sweet Homebodies}

2 1/2 tsp. organic beeswax
1 tsp. organic coconut oil- I get mine from Costco
1 1/2 tsp. organic cocoa butter (I have used lanolin, but I like this better)- I get this from Mountain Rose Herbs
1 1/2 tsp. organic shea butter- also from Mountain Rose Herbs
1 tsp. organic vitamin E oil
Optionally, add ~20 drops of your choice of essential oils (some oils require less or more, depending on how strong they are)

In a double boiler, add the first 5 ingredients (I use a “homemade double boiler”- a glass pyrex liquid measuring cup in a saucepan with an inch or so of boiling water in it.) and stir until they are melted. Turn off the heat and add in your essential oils, stirring to combine. Carefully pour the hot oils (careful, it will burn if you get it on your skin at this point) into your lip balm tubes or tins.  It really helps to have a disposable plastic dropper or pipette to do this. The oils will harden very quickly, and the middles will sink as it cools, so you can add a few more drops to even the top out. Then, you can put them in the refrigerator to set them more quickly, or just let them continue to harden for a couple hours. This recipe fills about 8 lip balm tubes. This lip balm is so nourishing, and the oils are naturally antimicrobial, so it will last a long time. You’re gonna love it!

Organic Lip Balm Recipe {Home Sweet Homebodies}

P.S. Our next giveaway is going to be live on Tuesday morning, and one of these beautiful balms may be included, among other fabulous things! >hint, hint< Be sure to stop by!

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Turkey Avocado Citrus Salad

Turkey Avocado Citrus Salad Recipe {Home Sweet Homebodies}

This is a great way to use up turkey leftovers- which for us happens at least a few times during the fall/ winter. Or, check out the previous post on unique and delicious ways to cook your turkey.

Is it just me, or does anyone else ever have a hard time picking a name for new recipes? It’s like I get emotionally attached to the ingredients, and I want to list each and every one in the title. Which would make this more like “Turkey- Avocado- Craisin- With- Maple- Spiced- Pecans- on Spring- Mix- Greens- and- Kale Salad with Homemade Citrus- Garlic- Vinaigrette”. Haha- oh well. Just know that Turkey Avocado Citrus Salad doesn’t even begin to cover the amazing-ness of this entree- salad. We’re talking classic fall flavors, not to mention the super nutrition of the ingredients: Lean protein, super antioxidant greens, healthy fats, unrefined sugars, and even fruit, all in one dish. Sweet!

You’ll want to start with the candied  pecans so they have time to cool and you can sneak little bites of them to get yourself even more excited about eating dinner. Then make the dressing, and finally prep your salad ingredients so they stay cold and fresh as long as possible. Or, you can prep it all earlier in the day (except the avocado) and just pull it out of the fridge when you’re ready to assemble.

Oranges and Avocados

Turkey Avocado Citrus Salad
{Home Sweet Homebodies}
(Serves ~6)

Salad:

4 c. Spring Mix Lettuce
3 c.Kale, chopped small
Turkey meat leftovers (amount depends on how much you like meat, quantity you have, etc. I did 2-3 oz per plate.)
2 Oranges (1 sliced for garnish, the other peeled & chopped to go in the salad)
3/4 c. Craisins (the reduced sugar kind)
1 Avocado, sliced
3 Green onions, sliced

Maple Spiced Pecans Recipe

 

Maple Spiced Pecans:

1 1/2 c. pecans
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. real salt

First, melt the coconut oil in a skillet on low- medium heat. Add pecans, stir to coat in the coconut oil, and toast, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes. Then add maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Continue stirring for about 2 more minutes or until caramelized. Remove from heat and spread on nonstick surface (such as parchment) to cool. Try not to eat all of them by yourself.

 

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Homemade Citrus Vinaigrette

1/2 c. orange juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. real salt
1/4 tsp. garlic
1/8- 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum (to thicken the dressing. Start with the smaller amount and add more if desired.)

Combine all ingredients (except xanthan gum) in blender and pulse. I like using my Magic Bullet for this because it’s the perfect size and I can put the cup right in the dishwasher afterward.  Add the xanthan gum last so you can see how it thickens the dressing- or omit it altogether.

Time to assemble the salads!

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I put a bit more of the spring mix lettuce than the kale on each plate. Next, arrange the turkey and avocado slices on top of the lettuce. The orange wedges, craisins, green onions, and pecans go on next. Finally, drizzle the dressing on and add an orange slice. Serve and enjoy! I hope you love this salad as much as I do!

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Rock Star Breakfast (aka Chocolate PB banana shake)

I shared this last week on our Instagram (do you follow along there? We post tons of awesome photos that aren’t necessarily shared on the blog. Check us out!) but in case you didn’t see it, here’s an awesome breakfast recipe.

Chocolate PB Banana Shake

It is totally delicious and kid- approved (I mean, hello, chocolate and peanut butter, duh!) but completely guilt free at the same time (I mean, check out the ingredients), coming in at 140 calories per 1 cup serving, and 12.6 g of protein. Everyone loved it, from my elementary school aged boys, to my 1 year old.

Here’s what you need:

Chocolate PB Banana Shake (say that three times fast)

{Home Sweet Homebodies}

10 oz Unsweetened Almond Coconut Blend Milk (I like the Silk brand, find it in the dairy section)
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds (awesome add-in, with beneficial amounts of calcium, dietary fiber, protein, good fats, & magnesium)
5 Tbsp PB2 Powder (some grocery stores carry, or a health food store would have it)
3 Scoops Orgain vegan protein powder- chocolate flavor (I got this from Costco)
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (to intensify the chocolate flavor-yum!)
1 small ripe banana (use whatever you have- you could also freeze it the night before and then use less ice)
2 c. crushed ice
8 drops Stevia (found in most grocery stores- I used a vanilla flavored kind)

Pulse everything in your blender (I love my Blendtec) for 30 seconds or so, and enjoy! I recommend drinking a large glass of water either 30 minutes before or after your shake to allow proper digestion.
Makes four 1-cup servings.

Chocolate PB Banana Breakfast Shake

Nutrition information:
140 calories (44 from fat)
15 g carbs (4 from sugar)
12.6 g protein
5.9 g dietary fiber
16% DV of Calcium
10% DV of Iron

Enjoy!

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Delicious Chicken and Veggie Yakisoba Stir Fry

yakisoba

I have been on a serious hunt to find delicious food that I’m excited to both make and eat, and this is one that I very happily discovered in my own mom’s kitchen! She made it for a family gathering and I had to have to recipe. It was sooo good. I have since tweaked and added to the recipe she told me (off the top of her head of course, because she is amazing and just comes up with this stuff as she goes) and am proud to present my own take on Yakisoba stir fry.  It is a new family favorite (toddler approved, even)!

(I apologize in advance for my not-so-good-iPhone-photography, but just know that the pictures don’t do it justice and it is seriously delicious and worth making.)

Chicken and Veggie Yakisoba Stir Fry

www.homesweethomebodies.net

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 small zucchini or other summer squash, sliced and halved
3 small carrots, peeled and julienned
1-2 cups shredded cabbage
1 yellow or red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 can of bamboo shoots – AND/OR – 1/2 can of bean sprouts
1/2 pkg chuka soba noodles, cooked according to directions on package (I used Caravelle brand)
2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
11.5 oz bottle Classic Stir Fry Sauce, divided (I used House of Tsang brand)
Cashews for garnish
1-2 TB Olive oil for frying
Optional: 1/2 tsp sesame oil added to olive oil for frying (adds depth of flavor)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil(s) in a large frying pan, and add sliced chicken.  Season with a few tablespoons of Classic Stir Fry Sauce. Cook until meat is still tender, but cooked through.  Set aside in a bowl (you will be adding it back in with the veggies at the end). **NOTE: as an alternative (to save dishes and time) you can cook the chicken until it is about halfway cooked, and leave it in the pan while you add the veggies.
  2. Add onion, zucchini, carrots, cabbage, bell pepper and celery to the hot pan. Add another few tablespoons of stir fry sauce and stir fry veggies until tender, but not soft.
  3. Add bamboo shoots and/or 1/2 can bean sprouts and cooked Chuka Soba noodles to the stir fry, and add stir fry sauce and heat through.  PLEASE NOTE: I ended up using about half a bottle of sauce in total – don’t dump the whole thing in, but you can always add more if you like a stronger flavor and think it needs it (the first time I made it, I used the whole bottle and it was too strong and salty).
  4. Serve in a bowl and garnish with cashews.

 

First cooking the chicken:

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Then cooking the veggies:

Everything added in and cooked:

The finished product:

 

Sunday Chicken

This is a recipe that we like to make Sunday mornings and have it ready by the time we come home from church in the afternoon. It is pretty low maintenance, but very delicious- my kind of meal for a day of rest!

I like to use these pretty, multicolored mini potatoes from Costco…

…so that all I have to cut up are a few carrots and an onion. It all goes in the pot (I love to use these crock pot liners because it makes the cleanup so effortless- I know it probably isn’t the healthiest as it is plastic, but right now, it takes away a barrier to me actually cooking, which is a win. Priorities!)

The spices are added to the melted butter- ok, you can reduce the butter, but I don’t recommend it, because chicken is pretty lean, and you want this to be tender and flavorful. To that end, I also recommend using the longer cook time on the lower heat setting.

Sunday Chicken
{aka Crockpot Deliciousness}

Layer in the crock pot, in order:
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • a bunch of fresh green beans
  • washed potatoes- mini, or regular sized, sliced 1″ thick
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 white onion, sliced

Mix the following and pour over chicken and vegetables:

  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. ground rosemary
  • 1-2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Stir gently to coat, and cook covered in crock pot 5-6 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low. Serve and enjoy!

By the way, this meal goes rather nicely with this Rosemary Olive Oil bread (recipe from A Hint of Honey).

Enjoy!

Roasted Parmesan Veggie Dish

It’s that time of the summer when those of us with gardens are starting to panic about what to do with all the zucchini and squash coming out our ears.  You want to eat what you’ve grown, but whatever you haven’t pawned off to your neighbors is sitting on your counter, starting to go soft because you just can’t stand to make fried zucchini one more time.  Sound at all familiar?

This recipe is a winner, and it’s simple!  A friend of mine brought this dish to me while my family was sick with bad colds several months ago, and my taste buds had enough life still in them to know that it tasted amazing!

I have made it since then and adjusted the recipe slightly based on what I had.  Here it is:

Roasted Parmesan Garden Veggies

1 Zucchini
1 Crook neck squash
1 c. Bell or sweet peppers, chopped
1/2-1 Sweet or yellow onion (depending on how much you like onion)
1 c. Tomatoes, chopped, or cherry tomatoes
2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 c. Fresh Parmesan cheese (or several tablespoons from a can if it’s all you have)
Salt and Pepper to taste

All quantities are flexible- the above quantities are just a point of reference. Slice all the veggies and toss them with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Place them in a 9×13 pan or other baking dish and broil 14 minutes in the oven.  Alternatively, if you like your veggies to be a little firmer, put the peppers, onions, and squash in for 7 minutes, and add the zucchini and tomatoes in for the last 7 minutes. (This is probably the most tasty way to do it!  Come to think of it, it might be even more tasty with fresh garlic…yummm.)

There, you have another tasty recipe option for all your squash!

Another super yummy summer veggie recipe is this family favorite: Green Beans and Veggies on the Grill!

Thanksgiving Crescent Rolls

{This was originally posted in 2010, but I still have people asking me to share this recipe, so I am re-posting it and trying not to let my mouth water too much.}
I could have titled this post “The Best Rolls. Ever.”  -and it would have been true.  My childhood memories of Thanksgiving dinners at my Grandparents’ house always include hovering with my cousins over the napkin- covered baskets full of steaming, homemade, mouth- watering rolls.  True, we loved just about everything put on the table for the Thanksgiving feast… but oh, the rolls!  We could have stuffed ourselves just on those beauties alone.  After I got married, my husband and I begged my Aunt Susan for the recipe, and she so kindly shared it with me.  I have made these rolls so many times now, and they taste just like I remember.  (I think what makes them so delicious is the butter… there is a lot.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)  I almost feel like I am sharing a secret family recipe, but I think great food is meant to be shared, and I hope you will enjoy these rolls as much as I do!

Thanksgiving Crescent Rolls

Yield: 48 rolls

1 c. + 2 Tbsp. butter
2 c. water, divided
2 rounded Tbsp. yeast
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
5-6 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder

Melt 1 cup butter in 1 cup of boiling water.  Add 1 cup of cold water and when warm to the touch add the yeast and sugar.  Allow to sit 10-15 minutes or so until bubbly (this is called “proofing the yeast”, which ensures that the yeast is active and gives flavor to the rolls).  Then add 2 eggs, mixing well (do this in a large bowl, or your stand mixer bowl).  If you have the time, sifting the flour first will help make the rolls even more light and fluffy.  Add 5-6 cups of flour, adding the salt and baking powder between the 4th and 5th cups of flour.  For me, 6+ cups of flour is what it takes.  Mix well.  The dough should still be soft and sticky.  Let rise double in bowl while covered with a clean, non- fuzzy dishtowel (about 2 hours).  You can speed up the process a bit by placing the bowl in a warm area, e.g. preheating the oven for about 3 minutes, then turning the heat completely off, and placing the dough in the oven to rise.  Punch the dough down and divide into thirds.  Roll each dough ball into a circle (about 14 inches in diameter) and cut into 16 wedges with a knife or pizza cutter.  Roll each wedge up from the fat end towards the middle of the circle.  Set on cookie sheets, cover with dishtowel, and let rise again, 1- 1 1/2 hours (or you may freeze the dough at this point).  Optional: Melt the remaining butter and use a pastry brush to top each roll with a little butter.  Bake rolls at 400* F for 9-10 minutes.
Variations: Use this dough to make orange rolls or cinnamon rolls by adding 2 tsp. vanilla extract with the eggs.  Roll the dough into 2 rectangles, butter the dough and sprinkle with (a lot of) sugar & grated orange peel, or brown sugar and cinnamon.  Roll the dough into a log shape and use a piece of long thread or dental floss to cut the dough in 1 inch intervals by sliding the floss under the log, then crisscrossing the ends and pulling tight, all the way through the dough.  Arrange circle slices on baking sheet, let rise, and bake as directed above.
Enjoy!
My additions in italics.

I look forward to baking these rolls next week.  They are definitely one of my favorite parts of the meal (foodwise of course).  I can hardly wait!  I would love to know if you try them out, and I will do my best to answer any questions you may have (with the understanding of course that I am no culinary master)- just leave a comment or shoot me an email.

What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner?