Weekend Chronicles: Thanksgiving

We have had pretty consistent flow of house guests over the past few months. Which always leaves my emotional state sitting somewhere between completely overjoyed and a frazzled ball of stress and anxiety. We love company and hosting in our home. My stress comes from that internal nagging that I can’t seem to quiet. “The house is a mess. Our kids will wake the guests too early in the morning. We aren’t finished with renovations.” You know, that sort of thing. What does “finished” mean anyway? Will my home ever be in such a state that I won’t feel the need to change or rearrange something? No. Probably not. So all of the stress seems to be a huge waste of time. Funny how I can rationally express this after the fact.

But once guests arrive, the insanity subsides and a smooth flow carries the rest of their visit. Our most recent visitors, long time friends from LA,  always feel very comfortable in our home. The reason for that being that we once all lived together. A few years back we shared a four bedroom home in Los Angeles. So when they come into town there is a very natural routine that seems to pick up where we left off in 2014. Although 2 children have been added to the mix since then 😉 I think we all learned, this trip, that staying up until 2am reminiscing is something we can’t do anymore!

This will be the second Thanksgiving that they have made the drive from LA to Utah. As much as we love having the big Thanksgiving celebration with my husbands family, which is usually the case, we love hosting our own even more.   Cooking that giant meal is something we take great pride in.

If I had to choose a theme for this years celebration it would have to be “simple.” We kept the menu small and traditional. The entire day had a very laid back vibe. No rushing. No forcing the kids to wear nice clothes that would only end up covered in gravy and mashed potatoes. Matching olive colored overalls were the outfits of choice for my little ones.  We moved slowly through our morning. After brining the turkey  over night (my husband has been perfecting this brine for years and it makes for some of the most delicious turkey I have ever tasted!), we started to cook early afternoon and all was finished by 3pm. We couldn’t have asked for better weather so rather than attempt to drag the kids indoors, we brought our party outside and ate Thanksgiving dinner, sans shoes, at our pallet table in the backyard. A giant cable spool made for the perfect kids table (which we somehow failed to photograph) I find a certain appeal and warmth in everyone gathered on the floor around that rustic old table, barefoot and blissfully full! Our favorite teen even helped with the dishes which I have documented below 😉

 

The weekend began as we all sluggishly  moved through Friday in a food induced coma (yet we still decided pie was an acceptable breakfast choice) The day continued with a few toddler tantrums, a trip to the park and a last minute decision to decorate our tree together before they hit the road late that evening.

 

My husband even whipped up a quick parting gift for Jenny after admiring our stocking hanger 😉

We used our Saturday to reorganize and declutter. The idea of decluttering before Christmas is something I started last year and touched on briefly in this post. We told Cove that he could donate toys that he no longer played with to kids who didn’t have as much. He found this idea super exciting was happy to put together a box.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Caramel Pecan Orange Rolls

This recipe has been in my husbands family for years and for very good reason. He made these for me on our first Thanksgiving together and I have asked him to make them every year since. They are the perfect amount of sweet and tart. They also fill your home with the sweet aroma of oranges and brown sugar. You can eat them with your meal or as desert and by chance there are any leftover, they are so good warmed up for breakfast the next morning! Once you make these I guarantee they will become a staple on Thanksgiving or whenever you are looking for a super decedent breakfast treat.

Ingredients: 

1 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed or store bought with pulp)

1 cup brown sugar

1 stick of butter (and some extra to grease your pan)

3 7.5 oz cans of small flakey biscuits

1/4 cup chopped pecans

about 1 tbsp orange zest

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Generously butter a bundt pan and add your chopped pecans to the bottom.

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Fan the biscuits around the bundt pan.

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In a sauce pan combine oj, butter and brown sugar. Bring to low boil then lower heat to simmer until it thickens slightly (about 20 min)

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Pour the mixture over the rolls. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Until the tops of the rolls are golden brown.

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Remove from the oven. Place your serving tray onto of the bundt pan and flip the rolls over onto the tray.

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Enjoy!!