Today kicks off a two-part series brought to you by Mrs. T’s Pierogies. I’d like to thank them for supporting Lost & Fawned and partnering with us to bring you this content.
Between big games, award season and season premiers, it’s a great time of year to entertain. Cooking for a crowd or even a small party can be a challenge for those of us who don’t have practice cooking for more than 2 people. Mrs. T’s Pierogies are a great shortcut. They have a huge collection on their website of inspiring recipes for entertaining, like Pierogy Kebabs or Buffalo Pierogies. As a main dish or appetizer, pierogies are a perfect addition to your party menu.
This time of year, I love making soups. They especially come in handy when I need to cook for family and friends. When entertaining, my time management can be shaky at best. Soups and stews are great because you can cook them ahead of time and simmer them as long as needed while you entertain your guests or prepare other components. Pierogies seemed like the perfect way to jazz up a quick and simple minestrone soup. I modified this recipe from Mrs. T’s recipe collection. For a small group double the following recipe (or even triple it for a party).
In a large stockpot, combine onion, garlic, and carrot with enough broth to cover; cook until onions are soft. Add remaining broth, tomatoes and seasonings; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer at least 15 minutes (I like to let it simmer for at least an hour personally).
In a separate frying pan, saute Mini Pierogies with a little bit of oil or butter until cooked through and shell starts to get browned and crispy. Add beans to soup 15 minutes before serving and allow to cook to desired texture. Add pierogies to soup just before serving. Sprinkle with parsley or parmesan cheese.
The holidays can be a super busy time. So when I get a night off to myself I try to take advantage of it. I’ve put together a little cocktail for a perfect December night in for just you or a few close friends. I suggest pairing it with PJ’s and wooly socks to complete the cozy atmosphere. Bonus points for a glowing fire or christmas tree.
My ultimate holiday movie. I watch this every year and I cry every year. Also always try and get Jared to watch it with me, but he insists he has seen it, and then I insist that he is thinking of “Holiday Inn” and then he rattles off the plot accurately and I concede.
I usually like to bring a project I’m working on downstairs and stitch away on the couch or spread out on the coffee table. These votives look so easy and look great on a mantle or in a table setting. (Side-note: My favorite tealights are the TINDRA scented tealights from Ikea. The vanilla perfect for every season. I have a huge stock of them and usually light one in the kitchen after I do the dishes.)
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Like many 20 and 30-somethings, we don’t host Thanksgiving at our home, but we are guests at a handful of holidays. You always ask what you can bring and often you get “Oh bring whatever…” or “Anything you like…” which usually means the potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie are already spoken for. So what do you bring? I typically stick to 3 categories: appetizer, dessert or cocktail.
What are you bringing to Thanksgiving this year? If you are a host, what dishes do you LOVE to see people bring?
Please visit the sources provided for more information on any of the pictured dishes. Link lovingly to the original source if you decide to share. Thanks a million!
It’s been a stressful year. Probably the most stressful so far. On top of dealing with a lot of personal struggles, I’ve been super busy. If at all possible, I try to find at least 15 minutes a day (in the evening before bed, in the afternoon after work, or in the morning on weekends before the boys wake up) to do something just for me. Maybe I spend the night in and put on a soothing skin mask, watch one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies (I’m looking at you The Devil Wears Prada) and give myself a pedicure. Or just spend 15 minutes on the sofa with a dog and a good book or new magazine.
Instead of reaching for a comfort food, this week I gave something new a try. neuro BLISS is a deliciously fruity beverage. It’s a blend of citrus and tropical lychee and is lightly carbonated. It also contains a smart blend of chamomile, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea which has been found to reduce stress, produce relaxation and enhance focus. Neuro drinks contain no artificial colors or flavors and are a guilt-free 35 calories per bottle.
Recently neuro did a study of a large chunk of consumers. More than half revealed they spend at least half their daily lives feeling stressed out. Additionally about 89% said a night out did NOT help relieve their stress. Check out some of the other data collected in the infograph below…
Give neuro BLISS a try and take $1 off! Print the coupon by using the widget below to print your coupon and visiting Target, Walgreens, 7-11, Safeway or using this store locator to find your nearest distributor of neuro drinks.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
We are starting to save up for some bigger projects on the house, so lately we’ve been cutting back. A big area where we have chosen to save, rather than spend is Date Night.
Instead of a movie or dinner out, this week we had a Date Night In. I made a dinner and after we ate, we gathered some fresh herbs from the yard and had a tasting. We have a few different mints we put in last year that (pineapple mint and chocolate mint) as well as some pineapple sage and lemon balm. Jared has been wanting to try some fresh herb teas (or as he calls it “survival tea”). So we got out our little tea cups (this set from Ikea) and put the kettle on. We made a cup with each type of leaf and gave them a try. 3 out of 4 were OK, but nothing special. The tea made from our fresh chocolate mint was the clear winner.
We also harvested the lavender I have been drying in the kitchen. I have a few projects planned for my lavender. We are also planning to make some mint oil. We are trying 2 methods. One with a carrier oil (in our case olive oil) and distilling out the oil with vodka. Both of these take some time, but we have them started.
It was a lot of fun, and in the end didn’t cost us a penny (other than the groceries). Stick around for more Date Night In posts over the course of the summer.
Feel free to pin, post or share, but please link lovingly back to the original post here on Lost & Fawned. Thanks a bunch!
How about something a little different this week? Usually I blog about beautiful handmade and indie finds, but most of my little treats actually come from the local grocery store! Here are a few treasures we have discovered lately while picking up our weekly groceries.
You may have noticed I have another new affiliate in my sidebar. I’m so excited to partner with Uncommon Goods to bring you today’s post! The fine folks at Uncommon Goods offered to let me pick out something special to try out and share.
Men can be hard to buy for. I know Jared just buys what he needs/wants and whenever a gift-giving occasion rolls around I get the “I don’t need anything” shrug. So for our “halfiversary” (yes, we still celebrate our half year anniversary) I decided to treat him to a lunch date in our dining room. I picked up this tasting plate and this adorable tea towel and planned our date around them.
One of our favorite easy meals is from scratch chicken nuggets. I bread them using olive oil and a mix of panko, whole wheat bread crumbs, parmesan and spices and bake them for 5 minutes on each side. I know it’s not terribly fancy, but it makes for a nice lunch with a sliced pear and some veggies. We like to splurge a little on fancy dipping sauces (here we tried a spicy mustard, Carolina style barbeque sauce, yogurt ranch and a sweet and spicy barbeque).
I can see us using this plate a lot. It would be great for bread, olive oil and cheese or fruit with honey, yogurt and chocolate. It makes a simple meal a little more special. Find more great gift ideas for the guys in your life here.
I adore the tea towel as well. We already have an Oregonian tea towel to celebrate my childhood home. It’s time we added some Ohio pride to our kitchen. I love the handmade details and rik-rak trim. It looks so sweet hanging in our kitchen.
As a bonus, Uncommon Gifts to offering one lucky L&F reader $50 to treat themselves with a little something (or perhaps find something special for an upcoming birthday).
There are so many amazing items at Uncommon Goods, seriously something for everyone. $50 can go a long way. You can find lots of great ideas under $50 here.
There are a ton of ways to enter this giveaway. Use the widget below (if you are reading from an RSS reader, click here to view the widget) to enter. Some entries can be done once per day to earn bonus entries. Giveaway will close at midnight on March 6th, 2013.
This giveaway is courtesy of Uncommon Goods. I was provided with the reviewed products, but the opinions and description are my own. I only review products I love.
We are big tea drinkers in our house. I love fruity teas, herbal teas, a good black tea, any tea. I have been a Tazo drinker for awhile, so when I got the chance to affiliate with Tazo I jumped at the chance. I love their teas, but I had no idea that their online shop had so many beautiful gifts. Between their selection of drinkwear, accessories, tea enhancers and of course artisan teas, it would be so easy to put together a lovely care package for tea lover.
It’s time to start planning your Thanksgiving menu here in the US! Whether you are hosting and have to plan the bulk of the meal, or a guest (like me) who brings one special dish to add to the menu, it’s best to plan ahead so you are not scrambling to throw something together last second. Besides the turkey, I think veggies are one of the most important parts of the meal. Done right, they can also offer a healthy option to round out a heavy meal. Using Country Crock, which has 0g of trans fat, instead of butter makes your healthy sides even healthier. And with Country Crock’s seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Spice and Honey you can get pretty creative.
Country Crock asked me to share a healthy vegetable side dish option and use Country Crock instead of butter. I used the last of my garden rainbow carrots to put together this festive option to go with your turkey and mashed potatoes. You could of course use regular orange carrots as well.
Approx. time 30 minutes. Serves about 6 (as a side dish). Ingredients:
- about 1 lb of carrots (I used a rainbow variety)
- 2 tbsp. Country Crock
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 whole lemon for zesting
- kosher salt to taste
1. Cut carrots to lengths of about 1.5″. All pieces should be 1/2 inch in diameter. Half and quarter as necessary. I useds a mix of rainbow carrots from our garden and organic carrots from the local grocery store. Peel them if you prefer. I wanted a rustic look, so I scrubbed them really well and left them natural.
2. Once the carrots are all cut, place them in a large pan in a single layer. Fill the pan with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and about half way up the carrots. Add your Country Crock and honey. Zest the lemon over the pan. I added about a teaspoon of zest. Since we are using Country Crock instead of butter, you shouldn’t need much seasoning. I added just a pinch of the kosher salt.
3. Turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-high and leave pan partially covered to cook carrots. This should take about 10 minutes.
4. Test carrots with a fork. If cooked, remove lid and allow to continue boiling until remaining liquid evaporates leaving a nice thick glaze. This can take anywhere from 5-12 minutes depending on your stove top. Once the water evaporates, the carrots will quickly start to caramelize. The glaze should be a nice golden color. Remove from heat and serve.
As a bonus, we also have a giveaway today to make your holiday a little more festive! This week you can enter to win this beautiful Thanksgiving kit provided by Country Crock! Kit contains Harvest Pumpkin Tiny Taper Holders, 10″ x 6″ Italian Scalloped Bakers and 13” Wire Baker Rack. There are a number of ways to enter, and you can tweet the giveaway once a day to earn bonus entries!
For more yummy side dish ideas, visit The Country Crock Chronicle’s Thanksgiving Side page.
Thank you to Country Crock for being a sponsor. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.
This evening I have been pouring over recipes to find something special to bring to Thanksgiving. No luck yet, but I did find a bunch of other recipes to add to the card file to try. Here are some of my favorites.
Roasted Pear, Gorgonzola & Honey Toast – Naturally Ella
Apple Cider Sangria – How Sweet It Is
Caramelized Pumpkins Seeds – Cooking with my Kids
Pulla – Pure Vegetarian
Pork & Apple Potstickers – Katie at the Kitchen Door
Spiced Brown Butter Pumpkin Pretzels – Top with Cinnamon