Thursday, November 12, 2015

Coffee Talk #11

Hi, friends. How's it going? Yesterday was a day off for us, and it was a very welcome one - we used the time to spend around the house getting our lives sorted. A little easier said than done these days, but every little bit of time counts. I always enjoy Veterans Day, because my Facebook timeline and other social media feeds are filled with people calling out the "heroes" in their lives - we all have a few, and every one is special. They deserve far more than a day of recognition, but it's a good start.

Have you had time to slow down lately? The hustle and bustle of the holidays is quickly approaching - it would be a great time to take a few minutes to sit down with a friend for a cup of coffee (or a cocktail - drink one for me!!) and catch up and relax for a few minutes before none of us have time to do it until 2016! Carve out an hour or even 30 minutes to connect with someone you've been missing lately... I guarantee you will make their day.

If we were to meet for coffee, I'd almost certainly have to get a "holiday" beverage of some sort. I'm not drinking much caffeine these days, but I have a cup of coffee or two most weekends, and the occasional Diet Coke. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. I always love the standard peppermint mocha, but I think I'd branch out a little and try the Caramel Brulee latte from Starbucks this time. Have you tried it? Is it good?

PS. Have you heard about the buy 1, get 1 free deal at Starbucks right now? A treat for you and a friend - perfect timing!

If we were getting together for coffee, here's what I'd tell you...

  • I cannot wrap my head around the fact that the "red cup controversy" is a real thing. Is there NOTHING actually serious in the world that people have to focus on? Mind-boggling. And a little disheartening. Get it together, folks.
  • My mom and I are making plans and gathering recipes for our annual Christmas Cookie Baking Day. We will, of course, make our usual sugar cookies with buttercream frosting, plus a few more. Share your favorite cookie recipe with me! I need things without tree nuts due to C's allergy (silly guy).
  • There are people out there with their holiday shopping done, and I'm over here like... whaaaaa?? I am already at a complete loss for what to get anyone for Christmas this year. I always feel such pressure to get good gifts, gifts that will be used and enjoyed and appreciated, versus thrown in a closet or donated to Goodwill in a year... know what I mean? If I'm going to spend the money, I want to get everyone I know and love things that they will truly like. THAT is hard.
  • Current read: Dead Wake by Erik Larsen. Super interesting, and I really enjoy how Larsen makes non-fiction interesting. What are you reading?
  • Can we talk about Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani? I am not a fan. Not at all. Something about it just rubs me all the wrong way. Pretty sure I'm done watching The Voice for this season... too awkward to enjoy. Bleh.
  • I bought a bottle of caramel-flavored syrup from HomeGoods last week, and I've been using it to make caramel apple cider at home. SO good, and so much cheaper than my beloved Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks. It's a nice treat in the evening!
  • I am planning a day of cooking and prepping freezer meals for weeks immediately after the baby is born (like everyone does these days, it seems). Does anyone have any really good, really freezer-friendly meals? Can you also tell me exactly when in the prepping / cooking process you stop and freeze? Cooking doesn't intimidate me at all, but the freezing part really does for some reason. Help me out!
  • I spent the night at my parents' last weekend, and my mom made an amazing dinner: ribs, coleslaw, and one of my favorite fall recipes - butternut squash mac and cheese. You must bookmark that recipe! We've been using it for years, and its always a huge hit. Such a delicious, hearty comfort food - with a hidden dose of veggies. Winner.
I'm sure I'd come up with more, but time flies when you're having fun, right? And I'm sure our few minutes to chat would be over. We've got things to do and places to go and people to see. 

So, what's on your mind? What do you want to share? What are your favorite freezer meals - and how do you prep them?! (That last question is critical.)


Erin LFF said...

So fun you guys do a baking day! We did one last year and are excited to plan it again this year and make it an annual thing :) I'd say I have about 50% of my shopping done but now I have all the really hard people to buy for left haha!

I have a few freezer meal ideas on my blog:
And my friend Allison wrote a couple posts on it too!

Erin LFF said...

Also, some stuff you cook beforehand, some stuff you can freeze as-is and toss it in the crockpot the next day. Just depends on the recipe!

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life said...

I agree with the comment above, it really depends on the recipe. For the most part though, I feel like if it is a crockpot meal, you can throw it all in uncooked (meat included). If it is a casserole or something else, then you would probably want to follow the recipe to determine whether the meat needs to be cooked first. I wrote about the recipes I used when I did this same thing here, just in case you are looking for ideas. They all actually turned out pretty decently! -

Kelly said...

I'm also trying to get a couple meals in the freezer for after Baby #2 arrives. I can't take a whole day to make a bunch of different things, so my plan is to make a large or double batch of some favorites and freeze the half we don't eat that night. Was just looking at this post from The Pioneer Woman which has lots of good tips and ideas: