This Year’s Thanksgiving Tablescape

Happy Day Before Thanksgiving, everyone!

How on earth we have arrived at the very end of 2017 is beyond me but I look forward to tomorrow all year long.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  There is something about quality time with family, the gorgeous foliage outside transitioning to fall colors and of course, the amazing feast that awaits.  We are lucky enough to be able to host both of our families each year which definitely helps create a truly special atmosphere for David, the kids and myself.  We have everything down to a science after several years of celebrating together in our home.  Each family member has their roll…whether that be whipping up traditional favorites or entertaining the kids.  It’s great because it allows for the day to run fairly seamlessly.  Speaking of food, the dish that I look most forward to the entire year?  My mom’s stuffing.  Despite the fact that she and I make it together each year, I will always consider it “her” recipe.  We make it from scratch by toasting what seems like 895 slices of bread.  Because I don’t eat red meat, we always create a separate little container free of sausage.  Okay, so “little” is not the appropriate word.  I make a MASSIVE amount for myself because I love to indulge for several days afterwards.  What is the dish that you most look forward to each Thanksgiving?

One of my favorite parts of hosting Thanksgiving each year is the opportunity to create the tablescape.  I try my best to switch it up a bit each year using the same main elements but incorportating some new decorative details.  It’s a great way to make the table feel different but not spend a fortune doing so.  At this point, I have several items packed up that I can bring out and just put them together differently than I have previously.  I always use our Pottery Barn dishes and silverware that we received when David and I were married.  This year, I opted to order some faux lamb’s ear to add some greenery to the table in lieu of the pinecones that I typically spread out along the table.  A friend of mine owns an adorable boutique, Molly + Kate, located near Buffalo, New York.  She posted a picture on her shop’s Instagram account of adorable little concrete pears and amazing melamine chargers that look like wood.  They “had to” become part of our Thanksgiving table so she shipped them down to me and, honestly, they helped create my favorite table yet.

Here are some images of our dining room and the final tablescape…

| You can shop decorative items by clicking on images below |

 

 

Wishing you and your loved ones a beautiful Thanksgiving!  As always, I am so incredibly thankful for all of you!

xoxo

Lindsey

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Raise your hand if you LOVE a delicious banana bread.  How about a banana bread that calls for yummy chocolate chips?  Pretty close to perfection if you ask me, personally.  Funnily enough, I actually remember the first time that I ever tasted this combination…and it was over two decades ago.  It was the summer between eighth and ninth grade and I was attending basketball camp at Princeton University.  My close friend was meeting me there and we would be rooming together in the dorms.  When she arrived, she began unpacking and pulled out a loaf of banana bread that her mom had made for us.  When I tasted the first bite of banana mixed with bitter chocolate, I was hooked.  Ever since then, it has been one of my favorite treats.

While searching for a new recipe to try, I stumbled across one that used a special trick.  Instead of mashing all of the bananas before mixing them in, you set one to the side and add it in at the end.  Before tossing it in, you gently cut that banana into thin slices.  This is what sold me on the recipe and let me tell you, this is genius.  It adds such great flavor to the end results as well as providing the perfect amount of moistness.

I gave some to Ryan last night after dinner and he kept saying, “Mmmm…yummy.  So yummy.”  Because he was so cute while eating it, I chose not to be offended when he kept asking where the banana bread came from and then when I would respond, “Mommy made it for you” he would ask where it came from again.  The kid didn’t believe that I was responsible for such deliciousness.

By the way, I made the banana bread yesterday afternoon and we now have two slices left.

 | Recipe source:  Cookies & Cups |

 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

                                                                                                 ___________

Ingredients 

3 extra ripe bananas

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (you could easily go up to 3/4 cups)

1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional…I chose to keep the recipe free of nuts)

                                                                                              ___________

Instructions

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Next, line the pan with a piece of parchment paper.  Spray paper with cooking spray.

2. In medium size bowl, mash two of the bananas, leaving them a bit lumpy.  Thinly slice the third banana and set to the side.

3. In large bowl, mix together butter and sugar.  Next, stir in eggs and vanilla until mixture is smooth.  Add in the sour cream, mashed bananas, baking soda and salt.  Stir until well blended.  Add in the flour and mix thoroughly.

4.  Fold in chocolate chips, walnuts (if using) and banana slices.

5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.  (I pulled the pan out at 55 minutes and it was perfect!)

6. Allow bread to cool for 15 minutes (if you have more willpower than I do) and then using the parchment paper, lift the loaf out of the pan to finish cooling.

7.  Slice this amazing bread and slather butter on top.  Enjoy and please let us know what you think!

 

xoxo

Lindsey

Blueberry & Lemon Froyo Popsicles

Fourth of July is just around the corner and we are getting excited to celebrate with friends and family!  We would love to hear your plans for the holiday.  This time of year is always so exciting.  It truly feels like the official summer kickoff.

We thought it was the perfect time to share a delicious (and simple) summer treat with you all!  We jumped on the frozen yogurt popsicle train and are so happy that we decided to do so.  These blueberry and lemon pops are so refreshing and were a breeze to make…our favorite kind of recipe.  We tried a couple of different popular recipes that we found but, ultimately, made the recipe our own after some experimenting.

Ingredients 

2 cups fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (you can cut this in half if you don’t love lemon)

1 cup agave syrup

2 cups vanilla yogurt

                                                                                             ________

Directions

1. Add 1 cup of blueberries, lemon zest and 1/2 cup agave syrup to a saucepan.  Simmer for just a few minutes until blueberries are coated with syrup and a little softened.  (It is important to keep heat as low as possible so blueberries do not start to peel.)

2. Set aside until cool.

3. Once cooled, in a mixing bowl, combine the blueberry and lemon mixture to yogurt and gently mix.

4. In a separate bowl, crush remaining blueberries.  In a small saucepan, simmer remaining blueberries and remaining agave syrup for approximately five minutes or until the blueberries turn into a syrup.  Strain the mixture so that you have the syrup in a separate bowl and discard the solids.

5. Add syrup to yogurt mixture and lightly swirl to give mixture a marble look.

6. Pour mixture into popsicle molds.

7. Freeze for 4-6 hours.

8. Eat up and enjoy!

Our Take

These popsicles made us want to try experiencing with all types of fruits.  Hopefully, we will find a coupe more great popsicle recipes and share them throughout them summer!

As I mentioned perviously, you can tweak the amount of lemon depending on how much you want to taste the citrus flavor.  You can easily do the same with the agave sugar if you want a more tart taste instead of a sweet one.  Also, when initially heating the first batch of blueberries, if you heat too long and they start to peel, you can use that batch for your syrup and start over with the rest of the berries for your whole ones.

This treat is such a hit with kids and a great healthy dessert option!

As always, we would love to hear your feedback once you try this recipe!

Ive linked the popsicle molds that I use as well as a coupe of other fun options…

xoxo

Tiffany & Lindsey