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Ugh! What do you mean they want to eat breakfast on Thanksgiving?! Really?

I can’t be the only person who thinks breakfast and lunch should be banned on Thanksgiving. As if waking up early to get the turkey into the oven and cook endless amounts of food isn’t enough, I actually have to come up with breakfast and lunch items to feed my little turkeys? I admit it, I dread it.

Growing up, we had a tradition of not eating anything prior to the Thanksgiving meal.   We would essentially starve ourselves in preparation for the massive feast.   Old habits die hard and still, to this day, I like to eat very little before the Thanksgiving meal.

As much as I love to cook, the idea of whipping up some complicated breakfast on Thanksgiving makes me cringe.  But, I know there will be hungry mouths to feed so I have a plan.  I will figure out ways to keep the meals very simple on Thanksgiving.

For breakfast, I will offer Pumpkin Coconut Granola Yogurt Parfaits with Pepitas.  I will make the granola ahead of time so the parfait prep will take only minutes.  Homemade granola is so simple and easy to adapt to different variations.    Here is my recipe for Pumpkin Coconut Granola which makes a nice-sized batch.

4 tbsp. pumpkin puree

4 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups of oats

1/2 cup shredded coconut

Pinch of brown sugar for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  Combine pumpkin puree and maple syrup in a bowl, stir.

Stir cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla into pumpkin puree and maple syrup mixture.  Add oats and coconut and stir until oats are completely covered in pumpkin mixture.  Spread out oat mixture onto prepared cookie sheet, lightly sprinkle with a pinch of brown sugar, and bake for 20 minutes until granola is slightly browned.  Let cool until granola is crunchy.

Here is how things should look for the granola.

After granola is dry and crunchy, I like to place mine in a nice airtight jar.

To assemble the parfaits, layer yogurt and granola.  I like to serve mine in a ice-cream dish.  Once all layers are in place, top with pepitas, which re pumpkin seeds to finish the parfait.

The pepitas are totally optional but offer such a nice finish.

With premade granola on hand, these parfaits offer a quick solution to your Thanksgiving breakfast woes.

Enjoy, watch the Thanksgiving Day parade cuddled on the couch with the ones you love, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving! xoxo

Thanksgiving Cocktail Hour: Autumn Spice Slammer

My many years as a bartender has served me well.  Aside from teaching me a ton about the bar and restaurant industry, I can also throw a pretty good party filled with lots of fun cocktails.  Since having the boys, our party hosting days have taken a back seat to play dates and juice boxes but I have never lost my love of a fun, creative cocktail.  This Thanksgiving we will be laying low but that does not mean we will not indulge in a little holiday cheer.

Like the Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps logo, I will be cooking in my kitchen, cocktail in hand, while my little yorkies stand by my feet waiting for me to drop a piece of turkey or some other Thanksgiving morsel.

I will certainly be making this little cocktail I created called the Autumn Spice Slammer.

Here is what you will need:

1 1/2 ounces brandy

3 ounces apple cider

2 ounces orange juice

1/2 triple sec

sugar

cinnamon

Apple, cut up into small chunks.  Reserve on slice of apple for garnish

Orange slice for garnish

Frozen cranberries (optional)

Mix equal parts sugar and cinnamon and place in a saucer. Rub the rim of a glass with the orange wedge and dip glass into the cinnamon-sugar mixture to rim the glass.  Reserve the orange.  In a shaker half filled with ice cubes , combine the brandy, apple cider, orange juice and triple sec.  Shake well.  Fill rimmed glass with ice and top with chopped apples.  Strain mixture over apples and ice and garnish with apple and orange slice.  Throw in a few frozen cranberries for a pop color (optional).

Cheers to a great Thanksgiving and oh, make sure you eat the apples at the end.  They are the best part! xoxo

Malt Monday’s Beer Review of the Week: Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub’s Maple Nut Brown

Tommyknocker Brewery & Pub’s Maple Nut Brown 

Style: Brown Ale

Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 4.5%

Calories: 150

Price: $1.89

 

So here we are, days before Thanksgiving and I am scrambling.  I have a ton of real-life, grown-up work to do before Thanksgiving and it’s not fun.

Currently, I have two baskets of laundry, folded, but in need of putting away; a hamper full of clothing to be washed; a washing machine full of bedding which was just pulled from the beds; I kinda (sorta) need to clean my house AND I haven’t done my Thanksgiving shopping yet.  At least I know what I am making – which is one step ahead of where I was this time yesterday.

Plus, my real-life (not so fulfilling) day job is packed with a to-do list as long as Santa’s naughty list.  What is it about holidays and time off that makes office folks go into a full-on panic; insisting that every little thing gets done before Thursday?

Whatever.  It’s only Monday and I am over it.

Fitting today’s Malt Monday post is based on Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub Maple Nut Brown.  The legend of the Tommyknocker goes like this.  “Tommyknockers slipped into the mining camps of Idaho Springs in the 1800’s with the discovery of gold in our mountains and streams.  These mischievous elves, though hardly ever seen, were often heard singing and working.  They guided many fortunate miners from harm’s way and to the gold they sought.”

Maybe I need a Tommyknocker to guide me through the mountains of Working Momma-Land and lead me to the gold I want.  In this case, my gold would be a clean house without a single piece of dirty laundry in sight – all before Thursday.  One can only hope.

I did happen to strike gold with this week’s Malt Monday pick.  Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub Maple Nut Brown is a delicious ale brewed with pure maple syrup.  This beer poured nice and dark, almost like a stout, but not as heavy.  The foam that appeared quickly dissipated, leaving spotty lacing on the glass.  This I didn’t like, but the fine taste of this beer made me quickly forget the weak foam.  In addition to the nice maple flavor, which is balanced and not overpowering, I tasted coffee, hints of chocolate and a bit of caramel.

Very light and easy to drink, this beer tasted good cold and even at room temperature, without any negative aftertaste.  In addition to the flavorings, the beer had a nice, sweet aroma tempting my interest on multiple levels.  Low on carbonation, I didn’t end up feeling overly full which sometimes happens when I drink the darker beers.

This is an easy-going beer for an easy-going day.  Totally what I needed even if my day wasn’t exactly easy. Tommyknocker Brewery and Pub’s Maple Nut Brown is GGG approved.

Cheers and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Disclaimer: The purpose of this review is to offer GGG readers an objective opinion so they can make an informed decision before buying this beer.  This review was based on quality, flavor and overall taste.  GGG will always deliver an honest and unbiased opinion.  No goods or money were exchanged as a result of this review.

Gobble ‘Til You Wobble: Let’s Talk Turkey

Given the name of my blog is Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps it is only fitting to talk about Turkey, especially this time of the year.

I have to confess.  I am in a little bit of a panic this year about Thanksgiving.  Usually I have my game plan together and have thought about my Thanksgiving Day menu way in advance.  However, this year, I find myself running a little behind and I haven’t really thought about my menu all that much.  One thing is certain, the highlight of my meal will be the turkey.

For the past several years I have been making bacon-wrapped turkey. Bacon-wrapped anything is great in my opinion and this recipe adds an amazing amount of flavor, color and moisture to the normal, everyday Thanksgiving turkey.  I have to admit, it is darn good and turns things up a notch.

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the turkey from the bag and remove the neck, heart and giblets from the cavity.  Set the neck, heart and giblets in bottom of roasting pan to add flavors to the turkey drippings.  Rinse turkey thoroughly under cool water.  Place on cooking rack and set cooking rack in roasting pan.

Begin by generously rubbing entire turkey with salt, being sure to get the salt under wings, drumsticks and within the cavity.  Then, drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the turkey and massage into skin.  Next, do a rub of equal parts pepper, garlic powder and chili powder depending on the size of the bird.  The spices should dust the turkey.  Then, take 1 pound of pork bacon.  Place the strips on top of the turkey, tacking into place with toothpicks.  Lightly salt the turkey, now covered with bacon strips, one more time.  Place a whole white onion, garlic cloves and 2 slices of bacon in the cavity of the turkey. Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven.

Let cook for one hour untouched.  After the hour of roasting start basting the turkey with the drippings every 15-20 minutes.  If needed, use pre-made chicken stock to baste the turkey.  Cook until turkey skin is golden and crisp.  Check cooking instructions for your turkey, based on its size and your oven strength, and cook until the turkey reaches and internal temperature of 170 for dark meat and 160 degrees for white meat.  Remove bacon for the last 30 minutes of cooking.  Reserve bacon strips and use for side dish, such as Brussels sprouts with bacon.

Once done, remove turkey from oven and let rest for 15 minutes.  Then, carve, serve and enjoy.

Cooking a turkey doesn’t have to be hard or intimidating.  By using simple techniques and flavorful ingredients your turkey can be the stand-out dish this Thanksgiving.

Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving recipes.  Gobble, Gobble!

Easiest Thanksgiving Dessert Recipe Ever – Pumpkin Squares

Remember the Williams-Sonoma event I attended last month?  Well, I have been saving this one recipe from the event.  I have been waiting for just the right time to share it with all of you.

The fantastic gang at Williams-Sonoma whipped up this dessert in minutes and with one taste I knew I would make this recipe  again and again.  I asked the gang at Williams-Sonoma if I could share it with all of you and, of course, they said yes.

I think one week before Thanksgiving sounds like perfect timing to me to finally reveal this amazing recipe.  This recipe will go down in Thanksgiving Day history.  It is easy and delicious.  What more could you ask for?  Here it goes …

I typed the recipe up for you and attached it  so you can either save the image onto your computer/phone or print it out and keep with the rest of your holiday recipes.  Trust me, you will want to keep this recipe in a safe place.  You will get requests to make these again.

Easiest-ever Pumpkin Squares

One of the tips I learned from the Williams-Sonoma gang is to purchase Saigon Cinnamon whenever you can.  What is Saigon Cinnamon you ask?  Exactly, right?  Cinnamon is cinnamon to me, but apparently there is much more to cinnamon then I thought.

Saigon Cinnamon (which you can find at Williams-Sonoma, just click here) is known as the finest, most flavorful cinnamon of all its varieties.  I happened to purchase some Saigon Cinnamon to check it out for myself.  When I opened the jar I noticed how rich the color was and how fragrant it smelled; definitely better than the cheap cinnamon I normally buy.   With all the holiday baking coming up, investing in a good cinnamon is an investment well made and will only add a better, more distinct quality to all of your holiday baking and desserts.  You should totally pick some up, I am glad I did.

Anyway, once you have cooked your Pumpkin Squares, with your specially added Saigon Cinnamon, this is how they should look.  Talk about delish!

 

Here’s another close-up shot.

Aren’t they pretty?

You have to give these little goodies a try.  They take minutes to pull together and with the busy holiday season, fast and simple is always the way to go.

Oh, and here’s a little tip.  You can substitute the pumpkin butter for apple butter or cranberry relish.  Keep everything else in the recipe the same and you can totally transform this recipe from season to season with ease.  I think the Cranberry Squares would be perfect for Christmas.  They rock!  Enjoy, xoxo.

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