Being Thankful

Written By Amy


I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Our family has been in Texas visiting life-long friends of ours.

Yesterday we feasted on all the traditional dishes of the holiday, stuffing ourselves past comfortable, but enjoying every minute.  After the last busy scuffle to set steaming dishes on the table (which Jodie beautifully set with her grandmother’s china), I approached my chair to take a seat.  I took a brief second to view the overflowing dishes of turkey and gravy, creamed corn and green beans, soft, warm rolls and cranberry sauce.   Around the table, in cheerful conversation, sat my family, whom I cherish, and good friends. I felt very thankful.

The idea of thankfulness is important to God.  He reminds us to be thankful for him, in his scriptures.

David, in the book of Chronicles, actually assigned a job to some of the Levites to thank and praise the Lord before the ark of the covenant (Chronicles 16:4) .  What if your sole role in life was to thank and praise the Lord?  I can’t think of  any modern-day job with that description, but…what if it became even a small part of our every day?

Here is what David asked of a few of the Levites in the book of Chronicles:

That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the Lord in this manner:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.  Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgements he pronounced.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.  Ascribe to the Lord glory due his name.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad:

Let them say among the nations, “The Lord Reigns!”

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

1 Chronicles 16: 8-12, 25-29, 33


We are given some great tips for thankfulness in these scriptures:

1.  Remember what God has done and tell people of his greatness

2. Look to the Lord to remember who he is, which stirs thankfulness in our hearts

3. Give the Lord the praise and glory  due his name

May God bless our hearts and stir them toward daily thankfulness.


Thanksgiving Check List! It’s in 8 days!

Written By Jen

One secret to stress-free entertaining is to use a timeline, which helps you stay organized and on schedule.  You can accomplish much of the prep work in advance, freeing up your time on the day of the feast.  This is a resource from Williams-Sonoma.  Each year they have a different timeline with different recipe suggestions and expert tips and techniques.  I like the 2010 timeline as follows.  Check their site for many great Thanksgiving Day tips.  I used this last year and it was a wonderful help to a stress free Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Timeline

1 To 2 Weeks before Thanksgiving

* Carefully read though all the recipes to determine the food and cooking equipment you will need.
* Make sure you have enough plates, flatware, glassware and serving pieces.
* Shop for nonperishable food items, such as flour, sugar, butter and jarred or canned goods.
* Order your turkey.


The Weekend Before Thanksgiving

* Complete you food shopping.
* Prepare the turkey brine but do not add the turkey; cover and refrigerate.
* Make the piecrust; wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze
* Organize your cooking equipment and tableware.


A few Days Before Thanksgiving

*If you ordered a fresh turkey, pick it up.
* Brine the turkey.  For best results, brine the bird for  24 hours. After the brining time is complete, remove the bird from the brine, rinse it, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to roast.


The day Before Thanksgiving

* Peel and cut the potatoes; place in cold water and refrigerate.
* Make the butternut squash soup; let cool, then cover and refrigerate.
* Cook vegetables for the stuffing; place in a sealable container and refrigerate.
* Prep all veggies, and refrigerate.
* Bake the caramel apple pie; let cool, then cover with plastic wrap.
* Set the table.
* Refrigerate wines that need chilling.


Thanksgiving Day

* Make the stuffing and bake; set aside to reheat just before serving.
* Make the biscuit dough and bake the biscuits.
* Prepare the turkey for roasting and put in the oven at the determined time.  Note: If you plan to stuff the turkey, do not stuff it until just before you put it in the oven.
* Make the veggies; set aside to reheat just before serving.
* While the turkey is roasting, make the mashed potatoes.
* While the turkey is resting, make the gravy.
* Reheat the soup and the stuffing.
* Have a wonderful Thanksgiving



Caramel Apple Pie

Written By Jen

This pie is amazing!  We enjoyed it after our Thanksgiving Feast last year and I can’t wait to make it again.  The recipe is from the William-Sonoma Kitchen.  Laced with homemade caramel sauce, this apple pie makes the perfect finale for an autumn meal. When preparing the sauce, stir only during the first 2 to 3 minutes of cooking, as instructed below.


For the apples:

  • 4 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and each cut into 8 slices
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. cornstarch

For the caramel:

  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tsp. water
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar


Transfer 1 dough round to a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish and gently press into the dish. Trim the edges flush with the rim. Reroll the dough scraps and cut out shapes using decorative pie cutters. Refrigerate the pie shell, cutouts and remaining dough round for 30 minutes.

To prepare the apples, in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stir together the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the cornstarch.

To prepare the caramel, in a heavy 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt. Cook until the mixture is bubbling vigorously, about 9 minutes, stirring only during the first 2 to 3 minutes of cooking. Off the heat, carefully stir in 1/4 cup of the cream, then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup cream. Let cool until just warm. Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Let the pie shell, cutouts and dough round stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the apple mixture and 3/4 cup of the caramel; reserve the remaining caramel for serving. Pour the apple filling into the pie shell and place the top crust over the pie. Trim the edges flush with the rim and press the top and bottom crusts together. Brush the underside of the cutouts with egg wash and gently arrange them on the pie. Brush the entire top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.

Place the pie dish on a baking sheet. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 1 hour; check the pie after 30 minutes and cover the top and edges with foil if they become too dark. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 2 1/2 hours before serving. Warm the reserved caramel sauce and serve alongside the pie for drizzling. Serves 8.

I am thankful for:
a break from routine
family dinner
the soothing voice of a friend
my buddy sitting by me watching a movie together as I work
my husband’s care for us
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