Newsy Tuesday: These three ladies are making my Thanksgiving

I’m planning my Thanksgiving menu and since I am working more hours this year, I know that I won’t have as much time to cook.  So big news — I’ve hired out my sides and pies!  This is big because not only do I love to cook, but I love my recipes.  However, I’d rather trade the time and effort of cramming in the cooking for a leisure, relaxed holiday.  There. I said it.  And, I am happy.

However, Mr. Bee will still cook his turkey. And the recipe we love to use comes from my sweet friend and super talented hair stylist Mandy Hancock (who is a #bossbabe and owns a super chic salon called Prominence Parlor).

She shared her secret with me a few seasons ago and we never looked back on our turkey prep.  It’s moist, flavorful and delish.  Here’s her recipe:

Mandy’s Holiday Cheer Slow Roasted Turkey recipe!! 🤤

Rub some olive oil all over the bird, season generously with garlic salt and creole seasoning. Garlic cloves and Cheer Beer go in the cavity (fill til it starts to barely spill out). Roast it, breast up, at 500* for 20 min uncovered. After 20 min take out, turn bird breast down then cover tightly with foil and slow roast at 200* for 45 min per pound!!! Don’t expect to be able to slice it though, it will literally be falling off the bone!! Use the juices as brown gravy! Your house will smell soooo good all night and morning!!! I always take all the leftover juices, neck, giblets and carcass and boil it down to make make an insane broth too. OMG sooo good!

*do the math on how long your bird needs to cook first! Big birds can take a long time! I always do mine overnight so it’s perfect by Thanksgiving lunch at noon 🧡

**Shiner Holiday Cheer Beer packaging has changed from this photo but the beer itself is the same!

Now for the sides, my niece is making the mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese.  Miss Bee put her foot down that she’s making Mother’s sweet potato delight, plus Dorcas Reilly’s famous green bean casserole.  However, I am having my favorite place, Hurley House, make their cornbread dressing and cranberry relish.  Oh, and I snagged a pan of her cinnamon rolls to eat while I watch the Macy’s Parade.  Call 817.349.8934 to place your order.

On to the pies, I have ordered from my favorite pie gal, Lindsey Lawing of Sweet Lucy’s Pies.  On my list are Pumpkin, Pecan, Chocolate Chess and Buttermilk.  Dear Lordy, her pies are so good and frankly better than mine.  Connect with her through Facebook to place your order.

I am so excited to delegate this out.  It will be the first Thanksgiving Miss Bee is home from college and I want to spend as much time as possible hanging out with her.  I’ll still allow myself the chance to set a stunning table, wash my crystal and shine the silver, but the time someone else is taking to make my meal perfection is a gift I plan to savor.

What’s something you can delegate this holiday?

Wednesday’s Weave: Treating Your Family Like Guests

Last fall I attended a hosting class led by Katherine Sasser at Hurley House (you can read about here).  One take away, in particular, from the class that really resonated with me — “host” dinner for your family.

A weeknight dinner at the table can be a challenge especially with everyone’s busy school, work and after-school activities. My schedule affords us the opportunity to have a sit down meal most days of the week.  I try to get ideas from Mr. and Miss Bee each Sunday on what they might like to eat for dinner during the week.  So, I have the “making dinner” part down when it comes to hosting a dinner for your family.  What Katherine was talking about are the special touches we often save for guests.  Like using china, flowers, candles, serving desserts on fancy plates, etc…

During the week, I always use the same white dishes, place mats and cloth napkins (no, I don’t use paper napkins.  I’m Southern).  Her class inspired me to prepare a meal with brand new recipes, served on pretty dishes I had put on display.

I prepared all of Katherine’s recipes — Spaghetti Pie, Spinach Salad with Basil Green Goddess Salad Dressing, Garlic Bread and Outrageous Brownies.

I’m speechless.  It was probably one of the best home cooked meals I have prepared in a long time.  Everyone had seconds, licked the plate and wanted more, but we knew we had to save room for the decadent brownies.

Back to the food.  Miss Bee’s favorite food groups are pasta, beef and cheese.  Katherine’s Spaghetti Pie was right up Miss Bee’s alley.  It made a huge 9×13 pan.  We ate half the pan and I saved the other half of the casserole and put it into two separate containers for the freezer. You may not want to be this generous and share it because I bet it tastes even better when you eat it the next day.  While I was making the casserole, Mr. Bee was making the garlic bread and doing the herb chopping for the salad dressing.  It’s always so much fun to cook with him in the kitchen.

september-2015-330Katherine’s Spaghetti Pie

1 pound of spaghetti noodles
1 24-oz jar of Prego Traditional Spaghetti Sauce
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 pound of lean ground beef
1 8-oz packaged of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 16-oz container of sour cream
4 green onions, finely chopped
12-oz grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a large stockpot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil.

While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the meat sauce. Choose a pan large enough to hold the ground beef and spaghetti sauce.  Cook the meat, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp. of pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder over medium-high heat until well browned, crumbling meat with a metal spatula as it cooks.  Turn off heat.  Stir in spaghetti sauce. Set aside.

Prepare the cream mixture in a bowl large enough to eventually hold the pasta.  Combine the softened cream cheese, sour cream, and green onions.  Mix until all the ingredients are smooth. Set aside.

When the water comes to a boil, add 1/4 cup of salt before adding the pasta.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions (about 9-12 minutes).  Remove the pasta from the water and add it directly to the bowl containing the cream cheese mixture.  Stir until all the pasta is coated evenly.

Pour the pasta into the prepared pan.  Top with the meat sauce.  Add the grated cheddar cheese.  Cover with foil that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Bake covered for 25 minutes.  Remove foil and cook and additional 5 minutes.

Your homework this coming week:  What is something you can do to make your family feel like invited guests to the dinner table?

Putting “Class” in Hospitality

September 2015 318

Below is a post from last fall when I attended a Hurley House class.  I first met Katherine Sasser, the proprietor of Hurley House, a few years ago when I spied one of her signature sparkle sandwich cookies at a party.  I immediately focused on the cookie, asked for the caterer’s name, and contacted Katherine the next day to ask her if she could cater an event for me at work.

Today, Katherine is celebrating the opening of her retail store!  Located at 5512 Bellaire Drive South, Suite A, Hurley House will serve homemade baked goods, great coffee and take-away meals.  Katherine will continue to offer her wonderful Hosted classes as well (catch a glimpse below).  And of course, a case full of those famous cookies.  Congratulations Katherine! 

September 2015…

September 2015 311I attended a fun class last night hosted by Katherine Sasser from the Hurley House.  Katherine and I met a few years ago when she catered an event I attended.  In my business, I am always seeking new caterers to prepare yummy food.  I knew right away I would like her because we speak the same language — Butter Cream!  She is the maker of the fabulous gems…the Sparkle Sandwich Cookie..a spritz cookie filled with butter cream frosting.

Katherine has created a series of Hosted classes to provide “truths about hospitality with real-world hosting plans that include a menu with recipes, skills, resources and personalized answers to your hospitality questions.”  Each class includes a folder full of resources, oh and a sandwich cookie. This would make the perfect Girls Night Out — have dinner out, then go to class for dessert!

September 2015 324As guests arrived to her home she had the tables set with “classwork.” White linen cloths and cute polka dot wrapping paper as the table runner, soft turquoise folders filled with handouts and recipes and cute, kelly green pencils. She had her dining area set with two different kinds of homemade cake (her specialty), champagne (my favorite), coffee and sparkling water.

I fixed a glass of bubbly, garnished with a blackberry, a slice of white butter cream cake and found a seat at the table.September 2015 316

September 2015 319I sat with some lovely ladies, a few that were new friends to Katherine which was fun for her.  They found out about Hosted through the fun of social media.

I left class full of inspiration to treat my family like I would invited guests… special and appreciated.  I went home with some new recipes to try, including spaghetti pie, and a bag of sparkle sandwich cookies to share with friends.

It was indeed a delight!