December 04, 2012

Turkey Day (Recipes!)


I know I'm really late, but HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
Better late than never, right?

Although Jason and I have celebrated Thanksgiving twice before, this year was extra special because we had been married exactly two months on Thanksgiving Day.
I’m  VERY thankful for him!

Our First Thanksgiving 

On actual Thanksgiving we headed to Evansville, Indiana to celebrate with my mom’s side of the family. I whipped up a homemade pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Eve (with the help of my best friend, Sarah) to bring to the festivities.

Here's Sarah!

I used the traditional Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Recipe, listed below:

 Ingredients:

1 9 inch unbaked deep dish pie crust
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 (15 oz) can Libby's 100% pure pumpkin
1 (12 fluid oz) can Nestle carnation evaporated milk

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
-Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a small bowl
-Beat eggs lightly (with fork) in a large bowl
-Stir pumpkin and sugar/spice mixture into the bowl with the eggs
-Gradually stir in evaporated milk
-Pour mixture into pie shell
-Bake for 15 minutes
-Reduce temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 45 more minutes
-Cool on wire rack for 2 hours and either serve immediately or refrigerate

We had FIVE homemade pies! My pumpkin one is on the top left.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we went over to my parents’ house for another meal with my dad’s side of the family. I made my first ever batch of corn pudding from a recipe I received at my wedding shower. It turned out great, but they didn’t write their name on the recipe card so I don’t know whom to thank! If you recognize this recipe let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!

Here's the Corn Pudding Recipe I used:

Ingredients:

1 (8.5 oz) box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 can whole kernel corn (NOT drained)
1 can creamed corn
1 stick butter (melted)
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
-Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until well blended
-Pour into flat baking dish (I used a 13x9 inch clear Pyrex dish)
-Bake for 45-50 minutes

I didn’t get a picture of my corn pudding because everyone gobbled it right up! I did get a good picture of what the women versus men were doing all day in Evansville though...

My aunt and my Mom were busy in the kitchen working on the rolls.

MEANWHILE...

My dad, husband, and brother were in the living room bonding over their cell phones!

Bless their hearts :)

Unfortunately we weren’t able to gather together with Jason’s family for Thanksgiving, but we are really looking forward to spending time with them over Christmas!

November 17, 2012

Decking the Halls


Ladies and gentlemen, the Hyatt household is ready for Christmas!

After we rescued the new-to-us tree from my aunt and uncle’s house on Saturday we couldn’t resist setting it up to see what we had to work with. Well that got us feeling Christmas-y, so we just went ahead and did the main tree and the rest of the decor too! My husband is a saint, because if it were up to him nothing would be decorated until after Thanksgiving. He knows how much I love it though, so he put his all into helping me decorate. He’s the best!

Here is the finished product in our living room:

We started outside, where we put icicle lights on our porch roof and regular white lights around the columns. We also put wreaths with a simple red bow on all of our front windows. Inside the front windows we have electric candles, which look great from the outside accenting the wreaths. The wreath on our front door is the same as the ones on the windows, but with a gold bow to make it stand out.

During the day:

All lit up:

Inside our house we have TWO trees! That’s pretty exciting in my book! In the front of the house is the new-to-us tree, which is decorated with all white and silver ornaments. I love having a tree there, because it can be seen through the front window. Our main tree is in the living room, and is decorated in red, green and gold. Naturally, I was going for classic and traditional. My favorite part is the bow on top, which I made myself! I’m pretty proud of it, along with another snazzy bow I made for the wreath hanging on the mirror above our fireplace. I know bows are the tip of the crafting iceberg, but I felt like a regular domestic goddess! Baby steps, right?

I crafted this bad boy all by myself!

Here's the tree in the front office: 

Other than the wreath, we kept it simple on the mantle with just a strand of lighted garland and our stockings, which are monogrammed with the first letter of our names. In front of the fireplace the nutcrackers my dad has given me over the years are displayed in a row; that was Jason’s idea and it looks great!  Jason also surprised me by wrapping our stair rail in garland, which I love too! Other than that we have a nativity scene set up and my Christmas Cookie scented Yankee Candle out. I think that’s it!

Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care...

It was so much fun decorating our first home together for Christmas. For me the best part was Jason hanging the ornament we bought on our honeymoon (at Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Disney World) on the tree. 

Our First Christmas Ornament

I can’t wait to add more meaningful ornaments to our tree as we spend many, many more Christmases together. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

November 14, 2012

Christmas Kick-Off


This past weekend the Hyatt household was busy busy busy! On Thursday night, we headed downtown after work to check out Frankfort’s annual Candlelight Tour. It’s sort of like an open house for businesses and restaurants downtown, and to most Frankfort folks it signals the start of the holiday season. We got some free hot chocolate, heard the KSU band play carols, and saw the mayor light up the Christmas tree on the Old Capitol lawn. That’s always my favorite part! I’ve been going to the Candlelight Tour my whole life, and this is the third year Jason and I have gone together. It’s a great local tradition!



Luminaries lined the sidewalks. 


I met Rudolph!


Jason & I


Christmas Tree on the Old Capital Lawn

On Saturday my mom’s side of the family came to see our new house. My grandmother, aunt, and cousin came from Owensboro for the day and my aunt and uncle from Frankfort came over too. It was fun to feel like a hostess! 

Afterwards, we had lunch at Cracker Barrel, which of course was delicious. My aunt and uncle who live in Frankfort mentioned they were getting rid of their Christmas tree this year to make room for a new one, so later that afternoon Jason and I rescued it from trashdom.  We strung a new string of lights on the section that was out, and now it’s looks great lighting up our front office! 

We’re still in the process of decorating the house for Christmas, but I’ll post more about that when we’re done. So far my greatest achievement has been the bow I learned to make to top our Christmas tree…Pinterest inspired of course!

November 03, 2012

Book Review: Decked


I’m in a Book Club that meets the first Saturday of each month. Basically, we choose a book that we all read during the month and then we get together and talk about it over snacks. It’s wonderful! September was my first time going, and we discussed Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron Foer. A lot of the ladies didn’t like it, but I really enjoyed it. It kept me interested, so I read it pretty quickly. It’s definitely thought-provoking, that's for sure. I missed October’s meeting because Jason and I were drifting around the Caribbean on our honeymoon, but they read The Vow by Kim and Krickett Carpenter. I didn’t read that one, so I can’t speak to whether or not it’s any good. I did see the movie though, and I liked it.

Tonight we are meeting again, so I thought I’d give a short review on the book we read for this month, Decked by Carol Higgins Clark. It’s a mystery novel, so that was a nice change of pace. Also, it is partially set in Oxford, England, which was exciting since I visited Oxford a few years ago. It was fun, quick read that kept me entertained, but overall I wasn’t too impressed. Maybe I’m a book snob, but I like things to either be extremely well written, make me think, or challenge me in some way. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close did that for me; this one did not. I'm not above reading literary "fluff," but I'd prefer it be written a little better. I'm a big fan of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Wiener, who are both fairly popular "chick-lit" authors with quick-witted writing styles and complex characters whose stories I can really get immersed in. In Carol Higgins Clark's defense though, I'm pretty sure Decked was her first novel, so I'll cut her some slack. It wasn't great, but it wasn't awful, and I'd be up for reading more of her work just to see if she has gotten any better with more experience. 

So that's my two cents on this month's book. It's definitely worth a read if you're even remotely interested, because it's quick paced and won't take you long to get through at all. I'm really looking forward to finding out which book we'll be reading for December! Plus I'm making a new recipe tonight to bring (Apple Cinnamon Monkey Bread), so I'm excited to see how that goes as well!

Have a great weekend!

October 31, 2012

Halloween Festivities!


Whew! Six months later and I’m BACK! All I have to say is, it’s a good thing I got that vacation in back in April, because ever since we got back my life has been crazy busy. It’s all been wonderful, with the wedding, the honeymoon, and being married in general, but I am glad to finally be settling into a routine and getting back to blogging.

Don’t worry; posts about the wedding and our fabulous two-week-long honeymoon will be up soon!

Lately it’s been all Halloween all the time around the Casa del Hyatt. Last weekend we carved pumpkins and participated in the Black Cat Chase, a 5K race put on by our local YMCA. I didn’t run particularly fast, but I finished! And Jason stuck with me the whole time, which I really appreciated. He could have smoked me if he wanted to! I was pretty nervous about the race because running is NOT my forte, so it really made me feel loved that he was so supportive and encouraging. I am really liking this being married thing!

We met each other downtown at the Old Capitol (where the race began) because I had to come straight from a wedding rehearsal at work. I hardly recognized him when I saw him, because he was dressed like this! It was HILARIOUS!



Also, here are the pumpkins we carved. I monogrammed mine (of course) and Jason carved a cat into his since I love them so much. Yep, I’m one of those people. I’d have a houseful of teeny baby kitties if he’d let me! Alas, a pumpkin-carved cat will have to do for now.





Tonight we’re heading to some friends’ house to pass out candy, so I’m looking forward to that and seeing all the tiny people’s outfits! This is my first year ever not dressing up though, which is kinda sad. Next year when we have more time to plan, I want us to be something awesome!

That’s all I’ve got for today, folks. Be safe, stay warm, and have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

April 13, 2012

Accio Suntan!


Last week my family went on our last family vacation before I get married. It was my not-so-little brother’s spring break (he’s a senior in high school) so we took a trip to Orlando, Florida. It was the first time in over a decade that all of us took a vacation together and we had a great time!

Here we are after eating at Margaritaville in Universal Studio's City Walk:


We ate at lots of tasty restaurants, including Margaritaville, Bahama Breeze, and Joe’s Crab Shack, where we met the fiancé’s parents for dinner. It was so nice getting to see them for the first time since getting engaged! I’m definitely blessed to join their family :) 

The fiancé's dad and mine at Joe's Crab Shack:


We stayed at a lovely little condo, on Britannia Blvd, which made my little anglophile heart skip a beat. The majority of the time we were at the condo I was lounging on a float in the pool soaking up the sun. It was heavenly.

When we weren’t at the condo we were busy riding rides at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Let me just say, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was AWESOME!!! I am such a dork and have read the books all at least twice and recently watched all eight movies with the fiancé, so I was eating it up.



You better believe I bought a wand. All the wands correspond to dates, sort of like horoscopes, and my wand corresponds to September 22…our wedding date! Aww :)




For part of the day the fam did their own thing and I just soaked up all the wonder in Harry Potter world. I rode the rides, toured Hogwarts Castle, wandered through Honeydukes and Zonkos and watched someone get chosen by their wand at Ollivander’s.

The fam met up with me again for lunch, and I had some tasty fish n’ chips at The Three Broomsticks. I also got a mug of frothy, frozen butterbeer that was SO good. Then I mailed the fiancé a postcard from the Owl Post and allowed the fam to drag me out of Hogsmeade to experience the rest of the park.

Yum!


All in all, it was a great trip and I’m really glad we all got to go on one last family vacation before I’m a Mrs!