The Crazy Hat Box

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Countdown to Thanksgiving – 1 Day left!

With tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I’m sure you’ve gotten all your big stuff – turkey, sides, desserts – as prepped as they can be.  You may even have your house cleaned and table set.  Today’s post is about the little things that you may want to add to make Thanksgiving day even more special and entertaining.

Place Cards

If you have a seating arrangement for your gathering, instead of traditional place cards, why not do something a little more Thanksgiving-y.  For example, put a different Bible verse about thankfulness at each place setting.  Or, under the person’s name, write something you’re thankful for about them!

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Games

Why not fill some of the time you’re not eating delicious food with games?   Try the Thanksgiving Trivia sheet or Turkey Trivia.

For the Kids

Set out a turkey coloring sheet and crayons for a craft that requires minimal adult supervision, or, for something requiring a little more adult assistance, try the Grateful Turkey!


For more Thanksgiving ideas, check out our Pinterest board, The Pilgrim’s Hat!

 

 

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Countdown to Thanksgiving – 3 days left!

A Thanksgiving Day Poll.

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Countdown to Thanksgiving – 4 Days left!

Continuing our countdown to Thanksgiving, here’s a post about a food we feel obligated to have on our Thanksgiving table…


 Cranberries and Thanksgiving

Cranberries.  It’s the food we feel that we have to serve at Thanksgiving, but is anyone sure why?  It’s the only time I ever eat cranberry sauce, and I don’t even enjoy it – I eat it out of obligation.  So, before you open that can of jellied cranberry sauce, here are a few alternatives to incorporating cranberries into your Thanksgiving meal.

Cranberry Dip – What a great hors d’oeuvre!  And everything tastes better with cream cheese!

Cranberry Apple Sauce – A great idea, especially if you prefer to mute the tangy cranberry taste.  An added benefit is that this is made in the slow cooker, and you can even make it a few days in advance.  One less thing to worry about on the big day!

Cranberry Muffins – This recipe could be a sub for both cranberry sauce and rolls.  Brilliant!

Cranberry Cake – Want to incorporate cranberries into dessert instead of the main meal?  This is your recipe!  This is a great addition to the traditional pie, too.

Cranberry Mojitos – This festive drink is perfect for Thanksgiving.  And if you’re feeling a little stressed, this can also probably help.

Of course, if you’re stuck on having cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, here’s a simple recipe that has just three ingredients – Cranberry Sauce


Want more ideas for Thanksgiving?  Check out our Pinterest Board, The Pilgrim’s Hat!

 

 

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Countdown to Thanksgiving – 5 Days Left!

Continuing our Countdown to Thanksgiving, here’s a fun family activity to do the week of or day of Thanksgiving!

Our Thankfulness Tree

This month, to help our family focus on the things we’re thankful for, we’re doing a Thankfulness Tree.  Every night after dinner, we each put something we’re thankful for on a leaf and tape it to the tree.  If we have dinner guests, they participate, too!  I love to see our tree filling up with all the blessings God’s given us!

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My six-year-old helped me draw the tree, and we hung it on our living room wall.  The leaves were cut out on my Cricut, but you could also find a pattern online and cut it out with scissors.  The kids love putting the leaves on the tree, and I love that they are learning about gratefulness.


Want more ideas for Thanksgiving?  Check out our Pinterest Board, The Pilgrim’s Hat!

 

 

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Countdown to Thanksgiving – 6 Days Left!

Easiest Turkey Recipe EVER.

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Many of us have been there.  Our first year hosting Thanksgiving.  I don’t know why, but for me and many others, the turkey is the most intimidating.  I happily volunteered for Thanksgiving a few years back.  I had the table pictured in my head.  It would be lovely.  My best dishes, candlelight, beautiful linens.  Everyone laughing and having a marvelous time.  Then I realized I would have to make the turkey and that sobered me up quickly.  I mentioned my terror to a co-worker and she said to me, “Oh, I have a recipe that is so easy, you just can’t mess it up.”  I was on the edge of my seat.  So, here it is:

What you need:

1 Apple

1 Orange

1 Lemon

(This amount is for a smaller turkey.  If you have to make a big one, just add as needed)

Butter

Bag for baking the turkey in (if desired).  We learned the hard way to make sure you look at how many pounds the bag is made for.  That’s another story for another time.

Instructions:

As far as actually baking the turkey, there should be instructions on how long and at what temperature you need actually with the packaging of the turkey.  If it doesn’t, try this website.  I follow the instructions for the stuffed turkey, even though you don’t eat the stuffing.  Also, make sure you remove the bag that has all the “guts” of the turkey.  You really don’t want to roast your turkey with that inside of it.

To prepare the turkey, we always butter the outside.  This is a very slippery project so I highly recommend doing it over a nice clean sink.  Next, you want to wash and quarter your fruit.  If you have to add extra, just do a slice of each at a time until you have a nice full cavity.  It doesn’t need to be packed in like sardines, just pretty full.  Place the turkey in your bag if you are using it (also do this over the sink, we almost lost a turkey this way).  If not, go ahead and place the turkey in your roaster pan in the oven.  Now, I don’t use my oven.  I highly recommend a roaster oven.

Roaster Oven

It does a beautiful job of roasting the bird and it leaves room in your oven for all of the other delicious food you need to put in there.  When your turkey is done, it should be moist and tender.  You will smell citrus, but it won’t taste citrusy at all.  It has worked every time for me without fail.  Thank you Carolyn for saving the day with this great recipe!

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Countdown to Thanksgiving – 7 days left!

Here at the Crazy Hat Box, we love Thanksgiving!  We love it so much, some of us celebrate it twice a year!  So in honor of this great holiday, we’re doing a countdown to Thanksgiving filled with recipes, activities and all things Thanksgiving!

First up, a recipe that puts a spin on the normal mashed potatoes you see on the table on Turkey Day.


Recipe:  Sinful Potatoes

My family has had Sinful Potatoes at our Thanksgiving table for as long as I can remember.  They are so creamy and tasty, and they go great with turkey, dressing, and gravy.

Ingredients

2 lbs frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

1/2 C melted butter or margarine

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1 can cream of mushroom soup

2 C grated cheddar or colby-jack cheese

1/2 C chopped onion

2 C sour cream

Unseasoned bread crumbs

 

Combine all ingredients except crumbs in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Spread in 9×13 pan and top with bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

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That’s it!  Super easy and super yummy!

For more Thanksgiving ideas and recipes, visit our Pinterest Board, The Pilgrim’s Hat!

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The Kids in the Car go…

We took a family vacation to Florida over the summer.  This was the first long trip we’ve taken since our youngest was born, and I was a little worried about how to keep a six-year-old and a 3-year-old entertained in the car for two days.  I looked for all kinds of ideas on the internet, talked to people who had taken long car trips with their kids, and then packed everything I could think of that might help at some point along the long road.

Being on the other side of that trip, I can honestly say that I packed entirely too much (but I always overpack, so that’s not really any different than usual).  I can also say that the number one thing that made our trip better was something so simple, it seems a little too simple.

A plain cookie sheet.

That’s it. With a plain cookie sheet, you can do so many activities in the car!  First, cookie sheets are magnetic, so I bought some trays and pencil boxes at the Dollar Store and put magnets on them to create crayon and marker containers that aren’t easily dropped and that don’t slip around!  I also bought magnetic clips at the Dollar Store to help hold papers in place.  The Dollar Store also had magnetic dry erase boards, and I even bought a Lego board and put magnets on it so that my oldest could play Legos in the car!

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Just add coloring books, stickers, markers, crayons, and other craft supplies, and you’ve got everything you need!

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The cookie sheets fit perfectly across the arms of the kids’ car seats, but could also be held vertically on their laps.

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I even packed some play-doh, which worked great on the tray!

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If you’re planning a long trip with kids, I highly recommend investing in a cookie sheet; it might save your sanity… or at least part of it.  Happy traveling!

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