Wednesday, November 27, 2013


OK - you now know Daddy's trick to grilling turkey.  Now for the second best meal of the year - FRIDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING!!!!  As I mentioned here, my family hails from Kentucky.  Well, it just so happens that my hubby was born in Louisville as well.  (Side note:  his Dad went to high school with my Dad and went to law school and clerked for the same Judge as my Uncle - SMALL WORLD!)

So the first Thanksgiving that I hosted, I sat there and wondered what to do the next day with all this darn turkey.  I went online to find some yummy recipes and stumbled across what is now another tradition in our house - the Kentucky Hot Brown.

Created at Louisville's (Loo-vul; not Lewie -ville or even worse, Louis-ville) famed Brown Hotel, this is the only recipe I've ever tried.  It is the original, amazing and there is no need to tinker.  I will say you better go get some pasta to serve later because it makes a TON of sauce. 

Photo courtesy of the Brown Hotel
Garden and Gun Magazine recently posted a recipe for Turkey Gumbo that I may try too.  Remember, I have a 12 pound turkey for 4 people.  I'm gonna have turkey coming out of my ears!!!
OK - off to finish my shopping and put the final touches on the house before guests arrive!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Southern Sideboard's Grilled Turkey

People always raise their eyebrows when I tell them we grill our turkey.  Not only is it ah-mazing - it frees up my kitchen.  And since I am currently a one-oven-in-the-kitchen girl, I need all the kitchen space I can get.

Step 1 - Select your turkey.  We are a Butterball family.  It was good enough for Daddy so it is good enough for me.  The rule of thumb is one pound per person serving.  I got a 12 pound turkey for four grown ups and two children......we should be good.  After all, part of the fun is the left overs!


Step 2 - Brine the turkey.  This is a new step that Daddy never used.  My first Thanksgiving as a married lady, I was hosting Thanksgiving and went a little nuts in Williams Sonoma.  I saw the brine mixture and went back and forth over whether or not to try it.  I did - it was fabulous - end of story. Daddy did have my version before he died and said I perfected his turkey.  This is the best compliment I have ever and probably will ever receive.  THAT is how much stock I put into this grilled turkey.  I bought my turkey on Saturday and it has been thawing in the refrigerator.  Tonight, Mr. Bird will get his brine bath.

Step 3 - grill the turkey.  At 10:00 am, the hubby will head outside to prep the grill.  It takes about an hour to get the coals ready and grill up to temperature.  NOTE:  KEEP AN OVEN THERMOATOR IN THE GRILL.  At this time, I take the turkey out of the brine bath, wash it and pat dry and sit out to come up to room temperature. 

Coals:  Arrange the coals in a half circle on one side of the charcoal grate to ensure higher temperatures on that side.  Fill a drip pan with warm water to help maintain the grill temperature (ideally between 300 - 350 degrees).

I stuff the cavity with onions, apples and celery.  I place the bird breast side down in a roasting pan with some chicken stock and more onions, apples and celery. 

After an hour, turn the turkey over and finish cooking.  Baste it.  Keep an eye on the legs and wings and cover with aluminum foil if they get too brown as they will be done before the breast.

Your turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh (do not touch the bone).  Anywhere between 4 and 5 hours depending on the size of your bird.

NOTE:  Every 30-45 minutes, the hubby will replenish the coals.  He has them ready to go on the grill with a helper to hold the bird and lift the grate.  The key is to keep the lid off as little as possible in an effort to keep the heat between 300-375. Baste the bird as needed.

REST - let the turkey rest covered loosely in foil for 30 minutes before carving.

Gravy - strain the pan drippings and add chicken stock to make 4 cups of liquid.  Skim the fat off the top.

Melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter, whisk in 1/4 cup all purpose flour until it is the color of peanut butter.  Add the stock/drippings mixture and add 1/3 cup white wine, bring to a boil and whish until all the lumps are gone.  Add 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

And there you have it - a crowd pleaser that folks will rave about.

It makes me so sad that in all the years I sat by my father's side doing this, I don't have a single picture of him grilling his turkey.  This is without a doubt, one of my best and strongest childhood memories.  When I think of the holidays, Daddy's grilled turkey and Thanksgiving is the first thing that comes to my mind.  If you have ever eaten this at our table, I hope you will enjoy this recipe with your family.  We'll be out by the grill (freezing our booties off) this year and raising a glass of bourbon to my Dad and counting all our blessings.

I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.  Say it with me now.......GOBBLE, GOBBLE Y'ALL!


Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday Supper - Orecchiette with sausage and broccoli

Orecchiette with sausage and broccoli was on the menu for Sunday Supper last night.

It was a last minute throw together as I had plans for supper with some girlfriends from Church.  However, my schedule isn't exactly going as planned lately so this was a quick and easy fix.  It also serves a bunch, which is helpful for this week.  We have our Wednesday night Church dinner and activities tonight so this dish will serve plenty of meals to tie us over until our guests arrive on Wednesday.

It is DELICIOUS but be warned - unless you like salt, you may want to use 1 teaspoon in the sauce.  I don't usually need to alter Ina's dishes but this one had way too much salt for our liking.  And I have to say, I knew in the back of my mind that two teaspoons of salt was waaaaay too much - but I doubted myself.  I have learned that when it comes to salt and red pepper flakes, I should never doubt myself.  Still - very yummy.

Bon Appetite!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

City Tree Lighting

I am a stickler for tradition and normally don't like to start celebrating Christmas until Thanksgiving Day.  To me, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day kicks it off.  However, the decorations and Christmas cheer don't arrive in the house until the weekend following Thanksgiving. 

Well, my little ol' corner of the world made me have a slight bend of the rules last night with their scheduled Christmas Tree lighting in the square, which is conveniently just down from our house.  Hubby thought it was a  "lame" idea but after a day of listening to his nagging wife (and can be quite persistent [he'd say annoying] when I need to be) he caved and up we went. 


When we got home, we broke into the Hot Chocolate and Coffee Bar of which I shared the inspiration yesterday.
And then we settled into the movie room (AKA - the corner of Mommy & Daddy's room) to enjoy Planes.
It's going to be a good weekend!


Friday, November 22, 2013

Prepping for Turkey Day

As I promised, here is next week's Thanksgiving menu. I already shared breakfast with you here.

Around noon, I'll reset the sideboard with some nibbles to hold everyone over.  This fruit platter found on Pinterest is sure to be a hit.

I'll pair it with fried macaroni and cheese bites from the freezer at Target.  If the boys are still hungry, there will be leftover soup from Thanksgiving Eve.

Four o'clock is cocktail hour where I'll be serving simply a veggie platter with this yummy harvest sangria.  Just enough to get everyone's appetite ready for the main event.


Brined and grilled turkey - more on this later.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy from Family Style
Southern Cornbread Dressing
Roasted Root Veggies
Sister Shubert Rolls
Pumpkin and Pecan Pie paired with my hot chocolate and coffee bar, which will be unveiled tomorrow.  Of course, it was inspired here.

Pumpkin Pie
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs separated
1 1/2 cups cooked mashed pumpkin
3/4 cup evaporated milk (or half and half)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 unbaked 9 inch pastry shell
Whipped Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter with and gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, beating well.  Beat in egg yolks.  Stir in pumpkin and next 5 ingredients.  Beat egg whites until foamy.  Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.  Fold into pumpkin mixture.  Pour into pastry shell and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until set.  Cool; top with dollops of whipped cream.

Pecan Pie
1/4 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
4 eggs - beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 unbaked 9 inch pastry shell
1 1/2 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine first 3 ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until butter melts and sugar dissolves.  Cool slightly.  Beat eggs, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl; gradually add sugar mixture, beating well with a wire whisk.  Pour into pastry shell and scatter pecans over the top.  Bake for 50 to 55 minutes.  Serve warm or chilled.

OK - off to polish silver and press the linens!!!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Today's Thankful Thursday was not a hard decision.  While we are thankful for so many blessings, one of the greatest is to live in such an amazing community with awesome neighbors.  To our left, is a young, sweet family that we have so much fun with.  Their kids are close in age to ours and love playing together.  One of my greatest joys is sitting on the front porch with a magazine or book and watching them play. 

On our right, is an elderly lady from our Church.  She is in her 90s and can't get out much.  She has so many folks checking in on her though that my hubby and I joke she has a better social life than us!  She is sweet as punch and we adore her.

So this week, H and I simply whipped up a batch of banana bread and dropped it off at each of their houses.

Surprise Banana Bread
Three guesses where I got the turkey printable???
I am still in shock Thanksgiving is a week from today.  HOW.CRAZY.IS.THAT???

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunday Supper

I cheated again and bailed on Sunday Supper this week.  But this time I had a good excuse - the illness that has plagued our house finally got me yesterday. I felt rotten all day, got sick around 3 pm and was out cold in bed from 4pm - 8am this morning.  Sweet hubby swooped in and took care of the kids and me.  Every so often, he'd wake me up for more pepto pills (yuck) and ginger ale.  I love that man!!!

I was glad all this nonsense visited on Sunday as we had quite a fun-filled weekend.  My father-in-law came into town on Friday for a quick fishing trip to the Tuckaseegee River with the hubby and brother-in-law.  So Friday night's meal totally made up for me being out of commission last night.

It has been a cold, dreary week here in the Carolina's and I was in the mood for comfort food.  My original plan was pot roast but after chores and shopping, I simply didn't have four hours to prepare food.  So I opted for a quicker version with all the same flavors and served beef bourguignon with goat cheese crostini. 

H had a play date on Saturday that was so fun...........right up until the end when the driveway jumped up to kiss him.

 H wanted to show the driveway he was mad....
.....but his sweet nature prevailed.  My little trooper.
Never a dull moment!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Follow Me

Well, I'm stepping out and sharing my link with friends who have inspired me along the way.  As such, I've created a Facebook site for the blog where I'll share other neat ideas that aren't exactly mentioned in a blog post.  Find me on Facebook at The Southern Sideboard.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday


Last week, I introduced you to our new "Thankful Thursday" tradition. We purchased our items for a 5 year old boy, said a prayer and packed the box.  It is all ready to go to Church with H this Sunday for delivery.  I cannot wait to watch him drop it off.  He's growing into such a sweet, caring and thoughtful little boy.

I will be sharing more about the history behind Thanksgiving with him tonight.  We will then work on this week's project, which is just perfect given the Veteran's Day holiday we celebrated on Monday.  Both my Grandfather's served in WWII (my paternal grandfather was the XO of a ship and survived D-Day), my maternal grandmother drove ambulances for the Red Cross, my father was in the Air Force and my father-in-law was in the Army and actually deployed to Vietnam.  And since the hubby and I had an eye witness account of 9/11 from Washington, DC, it is very important to us that our children understand and respect their freedom.  Again, this makes me no different from any of you I am sure - but I do welcome an excuse to pause, reflect and TEACH my boys.

As such, I was thrilled to receive this package in the mail the other week inviting us to Adopt a Platoon.  I knew immediately that we would do it but was thrilled that this would tie perfectly into my segments for Thankful Thursday. 

So happy to do a small part to say thank you for the brave men and women who fight to defend our freedom.  Land of the free because of the brave!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Talkin' Turkey

I cannot believe Thanksgiving is three weeks away!  It is all going by so fast and I simply am not ready.  So last night I started getting myself organized in an effort to not be a hot mess come Turkey Day.  This made me smile as I got into the mindset of Thanksgiving - what it has meant to me in the past and what it means to me today.  And it all starts and ends with one thing - family.

Thanksgiving is chock-full of memories.  It is a great day filled with traditions that will never be broken.  I realize that I am no different from thousands of other Americans who hold this day dear to their hearts; but I did want to share with you how we "do turkey".

First off - all day long, my parents would answer the phone, "Gobble, Gobble".  All.Day.Long.  It used to drive me nuts but guess how I answer the phone on Turkey Day?  Secondly - somewhere along the line it ceased to be called "Thanksgiving" and simply "Turkey Day".  I guess if you've had my Daddy's turkey, you would know why.  Lastly - we grill our turkey.  Daddy perfected it and passed it on to the hubby.  No waiting by the oven, no frying - just hours of drooling by the grill.  It is amazing and yes, I will share how it is done.........later.

I had to laugh when I tried to come up with my recipes.  This menu never changes.  Never.  I mean, you cannot mess with tradition! 

As a child, I would wake up to coffee cake and eggs on the sideboard.  I'd watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and be all giddy when Santa would pull in at the finale.  (As I got older, my brother and I would wake earlier to run the Atlanta Half Marathon).  After the Parade, I would help Mom prepare for Thanksgiving dinner.  There were two families in our neighborhood whose houses we would rotate for holidays.  We would customarily show up around 4pm and eat at 5pm.  Then we would all pile in cars and drive to downtown Atlanta for the lighting of the Christmas tree at Riches Department Store.  After the tree was lit, we would ride to the top of the building to ride the Pink Pig.  The highlight of this visit was getting your, "I Rode The Pink Pig" sticker, sitting on Santa's lap to tell him what you wanted and then Daddy would buy me the Rich's Christmas Bear.

Obviously, I no longer live in Atlanta but many of those traditions are still upheld.  The family wakes up to a breakfast platter inspired by the Barefoot Contessa that I partner with breakfast breads.  We watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, followed by football while the hubby gets our grill prepped to grill our turkey.  I answer the phone all day saying "gobble, gobble", and we enjoy a wonderful meal.  After dinner, we watch a classic Christmas movie and ready our hearts for the most wonderful time of the year......Christmas.  It is a warm day that means so much to me.  It is my hope that one day my children will have as many powerful memories of our holidays together that I shared with my Mom, Dad and brother.

So I'll share with you my menu next week.  Stay tuned and practice saying it, y'all - "GOBBLE, GOBBLE".   Yes, I know I'm nuts...........


Monday, November 11, 2013

Creating Fall Vignettes

Happy Monday!  I was out of town over the weekend and so Sunday Supper in our house was nothing to blog about.  Hubby warmed up frozen meatballs and made spaghetti with garlic bread and a salad.  It was yummy and I was thrilled not to have to cook.  So I am simply going to remind you to hop over to A Stroll Thru Life for her segment on creating fall vignettes. There are so many fun, fall activities for you. Enjoy!!!


Friday, November 8, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Yesterday we had our first Thankful Thursday.  I had so much fun with the boys Spooktacular Surprises in October and have already shared with you how I plan to celebrate Advent here - so this was just a fun idea to keep the suspense going.

Each Thursday, we are taking time to learn about the Thanksgiving holiday and to do something special for someone else.  And since our Church is already working on Samaritans Purse Shoeboxes, I thought that would be the perfect place to start.

Harrison has picked a 5 year old boy to pack a box for this year.  I shared with him the history of the project and explained to him how fortunate he was to have a nice warm house, warm clothes, warm food and more than enough toys to play with - that not all children had such luxuries.  I am not sure if he understood but last night when we said our prayers, he listed every single friend he knew and said he wanted to pray for them.  He told me how lucky he was to have good friends too.  Oh, sweet boy!  We will go this weekend to pick out the goodies and pack the box.  He can't wait and that warms my heart.

So we will do this every Thursday right up until Turkey Day.  Can't wait for next week's installment.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Just a few thoughts to share with you today from quotes that have been haunting me.

1.  The first one comes from a Bible Study I've been doing on Wednesday nights on the book of Ruth.  It is by Kelly Minter who is fabulous.  In it Kelly challenges us to realize that God doesn't want our best answers, he wants our true answers. 

UM - WOW!  If you are anything like me, you go around trying to please everyone and cater to their needs and wants.  Granted, this is mostly in my work life, but is applicable to family and friends as well.  I know what pushes peoples buttons and try (fail - but try) to avoid them and do only what pleases them.  Well, you can't fool God! 

I have grown more comfortable in my own skin to speak up when I don't think something is right or if I have another suggestion.  But I am not so hot at having my ideas or opinions rejected.  I don't cause a stink but I do have an internal pity party (and a verbal one to the poor, poor hubby). Furthermore, it is one thing to say, "this is how I am and I believe this, this and this" but have your actions not measure up.  I'm good at making excuses - "Oh, I'm just too busy", "work is insane" , "kids got sick", blah, blah, blah - so on and so forth.  At the end of the day, God knows why I did or did not do something...........and he holds me accountable. 

How powerful is that?  I can rationalize excuses away all day but God knows my true my answers - not my best answers.  And I am sure he isn't impressed with little ol' me trying to outsmart him.  hmmmm...........

2.   "If you have done the best you can do and if you have gotten all you could extract from something -- you have given all you had to give, then the time has come when you can do no more than say thank you and move on."
~ Maya Angelou

Love that quote.  I find myself at a crossroad of having to make a decision and this has been ringing in the back of my head.  Who I am and who I want to be aren't exactly in the same place these days so stay tuned........

3.  I posted this on Facebook awhile back.  It makes me giggle.  And since 1 and 2 were sortof deep and heavy - I want to leave you with a giggle.  Meet me on the front porch!!!

Have a great day!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Sunday Supper

After a week of eating off of Pumpkin Stew and then our Halloween chili, I was ready for a light and healthy dinner this week.  However, H came down with what S had all week (though not as severe) and the hubby woke up sick as a dog Saturday as well.  So - after all three of them pitifully lounged around the house on what was a gorgeous Carolina weekend, soup was the winner for last night's Sunday supper. 

I opted for Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons.  The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa's Foolproof cookbook.  If you don't have this cookbook, you owe it to your family to go get it today.  It totally lives up to the name - foolproof.  And what is better than a bowl full of yummy goodness when you are sick?  I will say I prefer her roasted tomato soup from her original Barefoot Contessa cookbook - but this is version is less involved and also very delicious. You can't go wrong with any of her recipes.

Since my weekend plans were cancelled in order to play Nurse Mommy, I took advantage of the time to take down the Halloween decorations and get ready for Thanksgiving.

The sideboard got a Thanksgiving makeover

I've opted to put the pads on my table since grubby hands seem to LOVE it and it also became "The Island of Sodor" over the weekend (for all you Thomas mommy's out there).  As much as I would love to see my Grandmother again, it certainly won't be for her coming back from the grave to snatch me baldheaded for allowing trains to be run across the table!!!  I need to find a cute tablecloth as the only one I have is her linen cloth that I use on holidays.  Not a good everyday choice.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, Marty at A Stroll Through Life will be hosting a week's worth of creating fall vignette's next week.  You don't want to miss out so mark your calendar today and hop on over there November 8-12. 

Have a happy & HEALTHY week!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Boo Breakfast and a Spooktacular Supper

We survived!!!  Halloween was a hit this year despite the wee one having the croup.  The boys woke up to a "Boo Breakfast" that they preferred to eat by the glow of our pumpkin tower.

Sadly, this was how the majority of the day went for S.  Poor fella....

He rallied through the day just in time to enjoy trick or treating at a few houses.....but only after their Spooktacular Supper.  The kiddos enjoyed mummy hot dogs and ghost mashed potatoes while the adults enjoyed chili with cornbread.

The Pick Your Poison Tray went untouched so we'll be ready for another party soon!

H's school is closed today and he has a classmate coming over to play.  After all this excitement, we are ready for a long, fun weekend. 

May the Force Be With You!