Now that we’re all fully geared for fall, it’s time to celebrate all the fab holidays this season has to offer: Halloween (a true delight of a night), Daylight Savings Time (any day where you get a glorious, extra, free hour of sleep is a holiday in my book), 2 of my sisters and my mom’s bdays (okay, now I might be reaching), and most of all …(pause for effect) TURKEY DAY! You might be furling your brow in confusion and checking your calendar – yes, you’re right, technically Thanksgiving is still a ways away, but one can never be too prepared for such a festive celebration.

Let’s cut to the beginning {Plymouth Rock… I kid, I kid – in reality; 2 weeks ago…}

Browsing for recipes to fulfill my fall cooking goal, I found myself smiling back at the warm faces of (my close, personal friends…) Paula Deen, Alton Brown, and Giada De Laurentiis. My eyes were bombarded with images of buttery mashed-potatoes, crispy, golden turkeys, delicious, fluffy stuffing – yes, yes, I knew that the most thanks-worthy of holidays was still woefully two months away, but… With my mouth watering and my tummy grumbling, I called my sister and together we hatched the most clever of all holiday heists: Mashed Potato Madness! {Title credit to Michael T. Holm.} We just simply couldn’t wait. I know patience is a virtue, but it’s never been my strong suit. So, a pre-Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving dinner, a cool two months in advance? Yes, please.

Co-cook/host and the two lucky guests of MPM 2010

I thought I would share with you the several reasons that MPM seemed like a brilliant idea (aside from the impatience/2 month fiasco I’ve already noted). First, who wouldn’t want Thanksgiving food now? Duh. Secondly, as young women in the extended family, the cooking for TDay does not typically fall under our list of duties – we leave that to the pros. But a girl needs some practice for the future real-deal, yes? Additionally, and very corn-ily, we wanted to have Thanksgiving with our adorable man-friends (I know – gag). Plus, it’s on my goals list – check. Plus, plus, it’s the new Christmas in July – so trendy right now.

That being said – were those valid enough reasons for you to want to emulate this pre-holiday gloriousness? I highly recommend stepping outside the box for this fun and delish activity. Try your own version of MPM or try putting a unique spin on it. It’s never too early to be thankful!

“Now let’s all go around the table and say what we’re thankful for this year…”

Our menu consisted of the essentials – take a peek for the deets, photo evidence, and recipes. Mmmm!

MPM 2010 Menu:
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes – recipe courtesy of Alton, improved upon by Sister Jen (read: double the amount of cream/butter/salt that Alton deems appropriate)
Stovetop Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole – so easy, so scrumptious
Canned Cranberries
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Metropolitan Market’s ‘Turkey Gravy’ – this is a great quick fix if you’re feeling crunched for time and we debated whether or not to prepare this item on our own, but those saucy-types can get a bit tricky…
Turkey – duh
Apple Crisp with Snoqualmie Gourmet French Vanilla Frozen Custard (to die for!)


Apples to artsy attempt

Peelin’ apples for our Ina’s delish apple crisp.

Pillsbury - Whoo whoo!

Do you like them better plain or as blankets for piggies?

A heart-shaped coincidence? I think not!

Don’t mind those little red gadgets. They pop when the temp of your turkey is juuuuust right. Ina helped us out with this recipe too… she’s such a gem.

Festive Fall Table-scape

I put these wine bottle vases together a few weeks ago and they have been quite the crowd pleasers. They’re a great way to update your seasonal décor. Start by removing the label from a wine bottle (if you have trouble with excess glue on the bottle, I found hot water and an SOS pad to be handy tools). Snag a few festive fall flower arrangements (I picked up these fake leaves and pumpkin-sticks at Fred Meyer for the right price). Tie a ribbon around the neck of the bottle and voilà!



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  1. Ashley, you are an inspiration! Here is a Day-ahead Mashed Potato recipe that came to mind when I read your blog. I thought you might like to try it and share it with your fans. xox Nancy
    Day Ahead Mashed Potatoes
    5# Russett potatoes
    1 stick butter
    8 oz. cream cheese
    16 oz. soured cream
    Peel and then boil potatoes. Drain and whip with remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper as desired. Spoon into greased casserole. Cover and refrigerate. The next day bake at 350 degrees until heated through. Enjoy.

  2. Kitten

    Mmm! Sounds good! Great writing big sissy 🙂

    Littlest sissy Kitten RF

  3. Pingback: Fabulous Fall | life unabASHed

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