If you’ve never made your own cranberry sauce, you’ve been missing out. It’s my most favorite side dish to prepare on Thanksgiving, in part because it’s soon easy, in part because it can be made well in advance of the kitchen madness come mealtime, and in part because it’s so pretty! This recipe is my own favorite homemade cranberry sauce and I’m happy to share it with you today. It’s such as cinch you may never go back to the canned stuff. It’s the perfect, delicious pop of beautiful red color on your dinner table, and the perfect pop of sweetness and tartness to accompany your main event. And on a turkey sandwich the next day? Just so so so delicious. Perfection. So, put that can down. Just put it down, and let’s get saucing.
- A 12 ounce bag of fresh whole cranberries, rinsed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup raspberry jam–homemade, store bought or seedless, any kind will do
- Zest and juice of 1/2 an orange
- Dash each of cinnamon and salt
If you like your cranberries extra sweet, just add a bit more sugar or jam. If you like them a bit spicier, add a bit more cinnamon. … >> find out more...
This week’s quote of the week is a small soft spot in a sea of fear and anger and sadness. There’s been so much hateful dialogue across the internet this week in the wake of the terrible tragedy and heartbreak in Paris and other, less reported parts of the world. When I wrote about my husband’s story as a refugee and why I think it’s our responsibility as fellow humans to help others in times of crisis, I was genuinely shocked by the hate mail I received, and by the mean, bitter comments on Facebook.
I understand that we all have differences. Different life experiences, different political views, different religions. I really, genuinely understand fear. But what I don’t get, and I hope I never do, is hate. I can’t abide with it. So, at the end of a long and exhausting week, I leave you with some wise, hopeful words in the form of a Maori proverb. Have a lovely weekend.
P.S. love always wins.
Petit Elefant Quote of the Week
Turn your face
to the sun
and the shadows
fall behind you.
– Maori Proverb –
If you’re just starting with this series, or need … >> find out more...
My husband is a refugee. A refugee whose family sought political asylum in the United States in the 1980’s in the face of the stuff of nightmares. The details are personal, but the bottom line is this: my husband’s life, and the lives of his family were in imminent danger; fleeing the country was the only option. They had two choices: America or Libya. They chose America, and the difference in that choice turned out to be everything.
It’s interesting, this thing about refugees. Syrian refugees. Brown refugees. Refugees from “undesirable” places. Refugees of “undesirable” or threatening religious backgrounds. It’s so easy to hate someone who didn’t get born into your fate.
My husband was young enough when his family escaped from Poland that he doesn’t have an accent. He doesn’t look that different, unless you get up close and personal. He seems just like a “regular American guy” because he is. He’s a dual Polish and American citizen, a process which, despite what you’re probably reading in the news, is not just a matter of “opening doors” for people to pour in. It’s a lengthy, nightmare of red-tape political process most natural born Americans wouldn’t want to wade … >> find out more...
It’s Quote of the Week time! This one has been on our DIY chalkboard for a few months, because we all need a little reminder everyday. A reminder that the universe is bigger than us, and that at the very same time, we’re all a part of it. That within every one of us is something huge and important, and special. Carl Sagan was a wise one, and I love looking at these words every day and feeling both critical to the universe and almost irrelevant at the same time. Space makes everything seem so wide and wonderful, doesn’t it? Especially with all the news about Mars and the photos coming from N.A.S.A.! Can you even believe we had men walking on the moon ONLY 46 years ago?! It boggles the mind. (name that movie)
This week’s quote of the week below!
Petit Elefant Quote of the Week
The cosmos are within us.
– Carl Sagan –
If you’re just starting with this series, or need to catch up, here are all the quotes so far:
… >> find out more...
Are you chocolate bingeing right now? I’m not judging, I just want to know who else is sitting in their fat pants today. Because I’m definitely wearing elastic waistbands all week while I sweat off all the delicious Halloween candy / chocolate I can’t stop
double fisting eating.
Was Halloween as fun for you as it was for us? I love having a teenager on Halloween so much, I can’t even tell you. My girl is a riot. Part of it is that is that she invents and designs and sews her own costumes. Part of it is watching her get inspired and excited about ideas. And I’ll be really honest, part of it, a huge part, is that I don’t have to have anything to do with it.
Sofie’s costume for all her random school musical performances over the last few weeks was been Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas, but the costume she really put time and energy into building from scratch is the one in the photo above: Nyan Cat, (thank heaven for soundless costumes).
Anyway, we had a fabulous holiday and yesterday we celebrated Sofie’s 16th birthday. 16!!!!!!!!!!! Shhhhh, I’m over it already (*SOB*). … >> find out more...
This year our Halloween costumes were straight up D.I.Y. and both kids decided they wanted to make their own costumes without any help from me thankyouverymuch, (hallelujah for this stage of life!). This year was double fun because our friend and photographer Justin Hackworth shot Halloween photos of the kids last week ahead of the holiday so you get a sneak peek into how they’re headed out tonight. I absolutely love how the pictures turned out! He’s a magician, that Justin.
My little Lego brick was super easy. I didn’t actually participate in any of the making of said costume, but here’s the DIY if you want to make your own!
How to make a Lego costume:
- hot glue
- furniture box
- paper plates
- spray paint
… >> find out more...
- Cut a circle in the top of the box for the head. Cut out the whole bottom of the box, so you can slide it on. Cut armholes.
- Hot glue paper plates to the front and back of the box. We used 6 to make a 2 x 6 Lego brick.
- Spray paint entire box the Lego color of your choice. We liked how true the blue was to an
Alright, so maybe you’ve got your costumes all worked out. But what about those pumpkin contests and class parties happening this week? Do not despair. Here are 3 easy last minute solutions for Halloween festivities. Solutions you can probably create with whatever is lying around the house right this minute. For reals. This is called winning at Halloween.
Let’s start with throwing together some halloween decorations for those class parties. I vote for anything printable, anything reusable, and anything idiot proof. Go for some large format prints of spooky poems or song lyrics like these here and here. Just download and print in standard sizes at home, or have a print shop print them in large poster sizes. Whip up a quick Halloween bunting with either a download like this or this, or use some colored and printed paper from your personal craft bin and cut, punch holes, and string along a ribbon. Done.
What’s that you say? Your child has to bring a decorated pumpkin to class? Today? You’ve got this, just raid your costume bin. Masks, wigs, noses and mustaches, even hats give that pumpkin an instant character and personality. In a matter of seconds! Stick to … >> find out more...
Halloween time is practically overflowing with fun occasions. Class parties, halloween parades, parties with friends, trunk or treat activities and of course trick-or-treat night on October 31st. All that fun seems also to come with candy. Lots of candy. So much candy. Not to mention popcorn balls and cupcakes and caramel apples. Whoa. That is a lot of sweets. With families trying to make more health conscious and wholesome choices, it’s nice to have some inexpensive alternatives to candy when it’s time to pass around treats and prizes. Here are some of our favorite kid-approved non-candy Halloween treats, for your next party or for passing out at your home. Yes, we even pass these out at our door on Halloween, and no, we’ve never been egged or toilet papered. In fact, I think most little ghosts and witches are delighted with something out of the ordinary.
Let’s start with stickers. All kids love stickers. Puffy, shiny, or glittery, and in all those fun halloween shapes. A mass of stickers in your treat bowl, or a bundle of foam stickers in a goody bag will impress all your little goblins. You’ll be impressed that these are totally budget-friendly.
Bouncy balls are … >> find out more...