Monday, November 28, 2011

A New Thanksgiving Tradition

This Thanksgiving was the first major holiday I've ever spent away from my immediate family, and it was harder than I thought.  I mean, I cried before we even left the house...go figure.  I wanted to drive home and spend the day with my family but holidays are something we'll have to split now, and at least we get Christmas (regularly, fingers crossed).  Jon's family made me feel at home, but it wasn't the same without my mom's deviled eggs...

So in memory of my late Mamaw Josie, and in hopes of taking a piece of home to the Beckwith Thanksgiving table, I made a homemade version of her broccoli rice casserole.  Instead of the canned soup, processed cheese, and frozen veggies, I opted for a homemade version, found here!  She gives microwave instructions as well, but I went all-stovetop since we don't use the microwave very much.

I actually used 3 stalks of celery, a full cup of chopped mushrooms, and always extra fresh chopped garlic!  Once it was all mixed, I transferred to my casserole dish, let it cool, placed it in the fridge.  On Thanksgiving day, I topped it with shredded cheddar cheese and heated at 350 F until bubbly, right before serving.

A view of our Thanksgiving spread, and my casserole on the bottom left corner of the table.  My casserole was a hit!

The recipe was mostly gluten-free aside from the tablespoon of flour, so my mother-in-law especially enjoyed it.  We had lots to give thanks for this year...especially being made so welcome at a new Thanksgiving table with my in-laws.

P.S. Jon and the kitties were busy cheering on napping through the Hokies vs. Syracuse basketball game while I was slaving in the kitchen.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Low hanging fruit

We have been ready to start on our growing list of house projects and kept saying, "after the wedding I can't wait to ______."  So, we decided to start small with the hall bathroom.  Jon, being a project manager, calls these easy tasks at work "low hanging fruit," the easiest ones to complete and cross off the list.  There really wasn't much to do, but it definitely feels like a whole new room!

Before - Jon's guy-blue bathroom...
He removed the toilet tank so we could paint behind...definitely thankful he's a handy husband!
I had received most of the new bath things from our registry so I was anxious to put them to use and clean out a spot in the extra bedroom junk room.  Our good friend and neighbor Rebekah from Essence Design Studios helped pick our paint color, Behr's Scotland Isle, and we were off!  (Jon won't change anything around the house without her approval)

I cleaned out the old caulk around the baseboards and tile (LOVE taking out my aggression on the baseboards) and he finished painting the next day before I was home from work.  All I had left to do was decorate...which was trial and error, but I'm happy with how it turned out.  Definitely GREEN and bright, according to Jon, "it's a happy green."  Still need 4 medium square white frames for some artwork over the toilet, let me know if you see any...

Semi-finished product:

A little shocking, but we love it!  And Banjo (his new favorite spot is the ladder) & Fiddle supervised from the living room...more on that ongoing project later!