Monday, November 30, 2015

Turkey Tetrazzini

Whew! Did everyone survive Thanksgiving? We had 11 adults and 2 toddlers at my house this year, but we all survived! It certainly went better than the first one I hosted. Three years ago, I sliced my finger open, my husband dropped the pie, and the turkey didn't want to go into the oven. It has come to be known in our family as the Great Turkey Drop.

But I had no problems this year, except for a crowded house. And now I have a different problem: turkey leftovers!

This is one of my favorite recipes, and one I make often using leftover roast chicken, but turkey gives it that rich flavor that I love in the days after Thanksgiving. You only need a few ingredients.

Sautee the mushrooms in about a tablespoon of butter and a little salt.

While the mushrooms are cooking, make a roux with 2-3 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour. Add your turkey broth, then add the cream when the sauce begins to thicken.

I like the "layer" effect: pasta, turkey, mushrooms, then sauce. Top it with parmesan cheese, then cover and bake for about 30 minutes.

I alway make tons of this because I can eat the leftovers for days! In this case, I made a small pan to go in the freezer for a night when I just don't feel like cooking. Hooray for plenty of tetrazzini!

Turkey Tetrazzini

Makes: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 lb pasta
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 8 oz mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups turkey broth (can use chicken)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 2 cups cooked turkey or chicken
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Sautee mushrooms in 1 Tbsp butter.
  3. While mushrooms are cooking, make a roux of remaining butter and flour. Cook 1-2 minutes, then slowly whisk in broth. Cook over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Slowly add cream to sauce and allow to cook another 5 minutes.
  5. In a 9x13 pan, layer cooked pasta, then turkey and mushrooms. Pour in sauce and top with Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

I'll be joining these link parties: Link Party List

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Holiday Slush, A Family Tradition

Have you ever had a family tradition that you thought was the same across all families? Like turkey at Thanksgiving; it's what everyone does, right?

I don't remember when I first discovered that not everyone has "slush" at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I do know that I'm still disappointed to find it missing when I visit other people's homes for the holidays.

With Thanksgiving at my house this year, I knew I had to once again teach my in-laws about holiday slush.

My grandmother keeps our slush recipe in her famous family cookbook (the one she gives to the grandchildren when they get married, meaning she refused to give me one until my wedding at age 29). I had a couple problems with this recipe.

First, it makes enough to serve my grandmother's entire family (consisting of 6 children and their spouses, 25 grandchildren and their spouses, and I don't know how many great-grandchildren). In other words, for my group of 10 adults, I really only needed half of the recipe. But the amounts were weird and not easily divided in two.

Also, once upon a time, when my grandmother wrote down this recipe, the grocery stores carried giant 46 ounce cans of pineapple grapefruit juice. At some point in the last 30 or so years, these special mixes became unavailable. So, in order to half the recipe, I needed 12.5 ounces each of pineapple and grapefruit juice. Not the easiest of measurements.

And so I just rounded it to 12 ounces, or 1.5 cups each of the juices. I rounded a couple of the other amounts to make things easier, and there you have it. I hope my in-laws love it as much as I do, but if not, I'll have no problem eating all the slush myself!

This is definitely a make ahead of time recipe, which is fine because it keeps very well in the freezer. Make a syrup of the sugar and water, and mix it all together in a large tupperware or pan. You want something wide enough that you can easily serve from, but tall enough that when you mix it, you won't wind up with more on the floor than in your pan.

I like to let it freeze overnight. Then, at least a day before you serve it, take it out and let it defrost for an hour or so.

Break it up into chunks with a large spoon, and then attack it with a hand mixer. This part is super messy, so wear an apron!

Once it's light and fluffy, return to the freezer. With it whipped, it's easy to serve with an ice cream scoop.

Serve as an appetizer with Sprite or your favorite lemon-lime soda. A wonderful holiday treat!

Holiday Slush

Makes: About 12 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Freeze Time: Overnight


  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice


  1. Make a syrup with the sugar and water over medium heat. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large tupperware or pan. Slowly add the syrup. Place in freezer until set, at least 5 hours or overnight.
  3. At least 2 hours before serving, remove from freezer and allow 1 hour to defrost. Break ice apart with a heavy spoon, then whip with handheld mixer until fluffy. Return to freezer.
  4. Serve straight from freezer as appetizer with lemon-lime soda.

I'll be joining these link parties: Link Party List

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

The Easiest Taco Soup

In case you missed my earlier post about visiting the farm, let me tell you that I absolutely love the Fall! After living in Utah for 10 years where the first snow is almost always before Thanksgiving, I am relishing my time here in Georgia. The leaves are still falling, it's warm enough to take my son outside, but everything feels cool and crisp. It's wonderful!

With the change in the weather, I am determined to get better at whipping up a soup off the top of my head. It's something I'm still learning.

This soup, however, I've been making for years. A friend gave me her recipe and I tweaked it a little to my own tastes. It is so easy to adapt this recipe to whatever you want it to be. Personally, I'm a fan of taco flavor, not chili, so this is my chili substitute.

Start by browning about a pound of hamburger meat. I love to buy the Costco patties because they're about half a pound each and I can freeze them, then pull out however much I want. So here are my frozen patties waiting to be defrosted.

I then just dump in however much taco seasoning I feel like. This can of Old El Paso recommends 1/4 Cup for 1 lb meat, and that is a good rule of thumb. But if you like a good strong flavor, feel free to add more. I also sometimes dice half an onion and add it to the meat.

Once your meat is fully cooked, add it to a large stockpot or your crockpot.

The next step is the "hardest" part...opening cans. Yup, just open a bunch of cans and add them in to the pot. I highly recommend draining and rinsing your beans, though. :)

This is also where you can get creative. I love a nice thick soup, so I do two cans of diced tomatoes and two cans of corn. I also will often buy the "fancy" diced tomatoes that are fire roasted or come with chilis, sweet onion, or whatever I feel like that day. Feel free to experiment and find your perfect taco soup.

I usually just dump these all into a pot (or crockpot) with the hamburger meat and let simmer for a while, but I've also been rushed at times and served it right then and there. This time, I put it into a Ziploc and into the freezer for my husband to make while I was out of town on business. It worked great!

Top it with grated cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips. Yum! A family favorite for sure!

Taco Soup

Makes: About 6 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time (Stove): 30 minutes
Cook Time (Crockpot): 2-4 hours


  • 1 lb hamburger meat
  • 1/4 cup taco seasoning
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans corn, drained
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • grated cheese
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips


  1. Cook hamburger with taco seasoning over medium high heat in a large skillet or stock pot.
  2. Drain and rinse the black beans. Drain corn.
  3. If you're making the soup on the stove, add all ingredients to a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer minimum 30 minutes.
  4. If you're making the soup in your crockpot, add all ingredients to the crockpot and set to low for a minimum of two hours.
  5. Serve hot topped with grated cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

I'll be joining these link parties: Link Party List

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Unwritten Link Party Rules

Link Parties. Apparently a blogger's dream. If you do it right. And they come with such cute buttons!

Please note that all my parties are organized by when they go live. 

This is why, for example, you see all these Wednesday parties listed under Tuesday. I have found that they go live on Tuesday evening. This makes it so much easier for me when I'm linking up. On Tuesday morning, I open up all the Tuesday parties, and then check them throughout the day until they go live. Then I can close everything at the end of the day and know I caught them all.

If you want to see how I keep track of my parties and which ones I've joined, check out my Link Party Tracking Sheet.


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When I wrote this, I was a brand new blogger. I just want to make that clear from the beginning. So all of these thoughts and ramblings are my own, based on what I read and experienced in the first few weeks of blogging.

Before I even wrote my first post, I was researching the internet on how to have a successful blog, and I found these things called "linkies." They are a great way to promote your blog and get the word out that you have something worth reading.

So after a couple weeks of writing silly little at home posts, I finished my first original blog post. In my case, it was my Christmas Card List. I was pretty proud of it and very nervous about putting it out on the web, but I knew I had to try it.

When you join a link party, they will often have a set of rules. Something like:
  1. Link to a specific post
  2. Don't include link parties or givaways
  3. Link back to the party via a text link or button
  4. Visit at least 2 other blogs and comment (and tell them the party you came from)
  5. Joining the party gives the host permission to feature your post
These are the basics, and they vary a little (or some parties have no rules), but stay pretty close to the same. But after my first weekend attempting to join a link party, I have put together my own set of rules.

Beginners Link Party Rules (and things you must know)

  1. Know what time the party starts and post as early as possible. This can be hard to figure out for some, but others make it easy (even including it in their button).
  2. While some parties ask that you not repost something from a previous party, it seems that linking multiple posts to a single party is totally fine.
  3. Linking up to multiple parties, visiting the other linked posts, and leaving comments, can easily turn into a full time job. I understand a bit better now why people say you spend as much time promoting your blog as you do writing it.
I'm sure this list of mine will evolve over time, and perhaps some link party veterans will correct me on my observations. Maybe I'll get good at this someday. :)