Our HOA Meetings Are Better Than Yours

When we moved to Rivermont, I was admittedly a little nervous when I heard there was a homeowners association. I’d heard horror stories about HOA meetings in friends’ neighborhoods, in which neighbors got up in arms about paint colors and flower choices. But we’d heard our organization was not a normal HOA. They were not kidding. I love our neighborhood even more now. The topics were the usual suspects, but peppered into the discussion of the neighborhood were little gems and adorable characters. The whole thing felt very Pawnee-esque so what was I to do? Naturally, I live-tweeted it. Here are just a few of the highlights:

 

 

 

Stories from the Kitchen: Jess Marcum’s Turkey

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. You may have guessed Christmas just because of the influx of glitter and Andy Williams songs, but alas it is Turkey Day that has my heart. I have such fond memories of days spent in the kitchen with several generations of family preparing a meal for guests with thankful hearts. In the past, this holiday has been celebrated on the blog with DIY decor, a game plan for beginner hosts, and even a Charlie Brown style spread. But this year, we’re doing something extra special!

stories-from-the-kitchen-logo-1I’m calling this series Stories from the Kitchen, and I’ve asked friends from around the country (& the interwebs) to share a favorite Thanksgiving recipe as well as the story behind it. The food we serve, especially around the holidays, always seems to have a little history–why not share!

Stories from the Kitchen: Jess Marcum's Crisp Maple Glazed Roast Turkey | Hannah & Husband

To kick things off: this lovely lady! Meet Jess Marcum, a kindred spirit who currently resides in California with her handsome husband and two little girls. (Go look at their Halloween costumes right now; we’ll wait.) I have read Jess’s blog for long enough now that I have no idea when I started, but I feel like we were destined to be friends. Jess helped me discover the magic of apples & brie on crusty bread, shared the hot fudge recipe that has saved more than one Saturday night, and, like me, believes fresh flowers on bookshelves can brighten even the gloomiest day. The picture above was taken at the Marcums’ annual Fall Feast, which I confess has occupied my Pinterest boards (and brain) ever since–isn’t it just lovely? When I sent her an email about this little project, I was so thrilled when she said Yes! So without further ado, here’s Jess’ story…

My father in law is famous for his hazing tactics. Hazing that is, for new members of the family. The stories my brothers in law could tell! My oldest brother in law once had to hand squeeze orange juice for the whole family (10 people in total). Needless to say I was nervous about entering the family, but as it turned out he was really quite civil to me. There were jokes made about his son marrying up, I even got a few hugs, it was quite a comfortable experience.

Then came my first Thanksgiving with the in laws….less than a year after we were married. The dish assignments went out and I was landed with the turkey. THE TURKEY. It was in this moment that I realized he hadn’t let me off the hook, he was just biding his time for something good.

Let me just back up and say that first, my father in law is a top notch chef in his own right and second, I had never cooked any kind of whole bird in my life. The pressure was on. To say I was stressed would be an understatement, but luckily my dear old father in law did provide me with a recipe to go off of, bless him. I soaked the bird in Pioneer Woman’s turkey brine the night before and did a buttery maple syrup glaze to roast (I can’t remember where this recipe came from, I’ve done it so many times since I’ve probably completely changed it anyway).

I really have to thank my father in law for this experience (I can only say that because the bird turned out beautifully), being in charge of the turkey completely cured me of my fear of cooking whole birds and gave me my go-to turkey recipe for years to come! I make this at least twice a year, I’m one of those people who have to have “leftover” turkey sandwiches more often than the week after Thanksgiving, they’re kind of my jam. So without further adieu…the recipe.

Crisp Maple Glazed Roast Turkey

Ingredients:

1 whole turkey
1 stick of salted butter softened
1 1/2 cups grade B pure maple syrup (I love the Trader Joe’s brand)
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Begin by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Wash your bird and remove the gizzard and any fun packages your butcher left in the cavity for you. (Set aside if you want to make gravy.)

Set the bird out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pat her dry with paper towels then set in your roasting pan. While she’s sitting melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the maple syrup, cook on medium heat and let it come to a simmer. Reduce heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Baste the bird in the syrup reduction and salt and pepper liberally (make sure to get the syrup in all the crevices). Make a tin foil tent over her and stick her in the pre heated oven.

Continue to baste every 30 minutes until her internal temperature reads 155 degrees. (If your syrup solidifies just heat it up again.) Then remove the tin foil and cook on the middle rack until her breast temperature reaches 165 degrees.

A viola! A very yummy turkey! I should mention that I only do the brine on special occasions….like Thanksgiving. Normally I leave out the brine entirely and I’ve found it tastes just fine, so that’s your call!

some bonus recipes…

maple turkey gravy:

fill a pot with water and boil down the gizzard of the turkey
put the turkey drippings in a sauce pan (first, skim off the fat) and add the gizzard water and flour until it reaches your desired consistency (whisking constantly)
salt and pepper to taste

left over turkey sandwiches:

leftover turkey
toasted whole wheat bread
cranberry sauce
pomegranates
brie
apples slices sprinkled with cinnamon

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines, 1953 | Hannah & Husband

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for vintage, and one of the things I love to find are food pamphlets and small paperback cookbooks from the 1940s and 50s. These little treasures not only offer an array of recipes, but often a little peek into the era–admittedly my favorite part. So today, kicking off our Thanksgiving festivities here on the blog is this little gem from Woo-Woo’s collection: 1953’s How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines. As you’ll see it was distributed by local Gulf stations to patrons all over the country.

And, look at that man. Isn’t he just precious? I’d take that well-suited man with his winking eye at my table any day of the week!

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines, 1953 | Hannah & Husband

 

The family and guests gather around the table, admire the bird, join in the prayer of thanks, and settle back in pleasant anticipation of a delicious meal and a good show–the ritual of carving the turkey. Unfortunately, the head of the house, meanwhile, has all too often been suffering the pangs of stage fright and the feeling of being faced with a long, unpleasant carving chore.

When you know how, carving is not difficult, and it is fun to put on the expected show.

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines, 1953 | Hannah & Husband

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines, 1953 | Hannah & Husband

 

Many people have decided preferences and the thoughtful host will inquire what they desire and serve accordingly. When no preference is expressed, the helping should be equal parts of light and dark meat. In all cases, a spoonful of stuffing should first be put on the plate. Serve neatly, as appearance aids appetite.

I just love that line!

How to Carve a Turkey by Duncan Hines, 1953 | Hannah & Husband

Woo-Woo had 7 children. As you may imagine, there were many things that acted as a canvas to a young artist. 

grandmas-sugar-cookies-hannahandhusband-8

Related Posts:

A favorite this time of year: Woo-Woo’s Recipe for Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Or, if you’re hosting this year: Thanksgiving Game Plan: 8 Days Out 

 

 

Monday, Monday…

Monday, Monday. 
Can’t trust that day…

But no, seriously. This morning started out with coffee, makeup, and a little on-camera chat with Abby Ham. It quickly turned into the dog having a little party in our absence, and me writing this email to my coworkers: “Dexter made some bad decisions this morning. I’ll be in ASAP.”

Dexter | Hannah & Husband

Dog ownership is not for the faint of heart, people. You’d never know as he sits there so stoically that he had been a little tasmanian devil just moments before. I’m bringing realism today, folks!

Now onto the fun stuff…

I instagrammed this pic last night so I thought I’d better share a link to Alton Brown’s hot cocoa mix. It is delicious, and we always have some on hand.

husbands-tools-hannah-and-husband

This weekend, Husband did a ton of work outside including building us a little wood shed! Isn’t it cute? He is going to add shingles to the roof, and we’ll paint it white to match the house come Spring.

Husband built a wood shed | Hannah & Husband

I’ll show you a pic of my own weekend project later. It’s getting there.

Finally: This morning we talked Christie Brinkley, Aziz Ansari, and Luke Skywalker on Mornings with Fox 43. Watch the segment below!

TGIF!

It’s Friday! Well, truth be told, I’m writing this on Thursday night from below the dryer waiting to be blonde again. I have that song “Friday” stuck in my head, and it’s keeping me company with the incessant whirring. Not the Rebecca Black version (Yes, I had to google her name), but the spectacle version of Black’s song Colbert did on Fallon. Do you remember that?

Anyway…

Now that we’ve all had a little dance party, here’s this week’s installment of my TGIF! link list. Enjoy!

SNL killed it last weekend, but this song topped the list. Also, does anyone feel like their Facebook feed has just turned into one long “Drunk Uncle” sketch? Yeah, me too.

With the rest of America, we’ve been watching Master of None on Netflix. The writing is fantastic, but the episode that stuck in my head the most was episode 2: Parents. Did you know those are Aziz Ansari’s parents in real life? I’m assuming yes because earlier this week Aziz made the internet cry with this post about his dad. Here it is in case you missed it.

My dad took off most of his vacation time for the year to act in Master of None. So I’m really relieved this all worked out. Tonight after we did Colbert together he said: “This is all fun and I liked acting in the show, but I really just did it so I could spend more time with you.” I almost instantly collapsed into tears at the thought of how much this person cares about me and took care of me and gave me everything to give me the amazing life I have. I felt like a total piece of garbage for all the times I haven’t visited my parents and told them I wanted to stay in New York cause I’d get bored in SC. I’m an incredibly lucky person and many of you are as well. Not to beat a dead horse here and sorry if this is cheesy or too sentimental but if your parents are good to you too, just go do something nice for them. I bet they care and love you more than you realize. I’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the Parents episode of our show. What’s strange is doing that episode and working with my parents has increased the quality of my relationship to my parents IN MY REAL LIFE. In reality, I haven’t always had the best, most open relationship with my parents because we are weirdly closed off emotionally sometimes. But we are getting better. And if you have something like that with your family – I urge you to work at it and get better because these are special people in your life and I get terrified when my dad tells me about friends of his, people close to his age, that are having serious health issues, etc. Enjoy and love these people while you can. Anyway, this show and my experiences with my parents while working on it have been very important in many ways and I thank for you the part you all have played in it.

A photo posted by @azizansari on

While you reach for the tissues, how about a little game of Wheel of Freestyle with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda?

This week marked the end of Mark Bittman’s run as on Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times. He’s moving on to the vegan meal kit company Purple Carrot (…totally a real thing). Click here to check out his most popular recipes for the site and here to read his most popular columns. Personally, these carnitas braised in witbier will always be a go-to at our house.

Hannah & Husband green screen selfie

And finally, I found this green screen selfie in my phone this week, which reminds me: We’re going to be on Mornings with Fox 43 on Monday morning. So if you’re in the Knoxville, tune in!

That’s a wrap. Happy Friday, y’all!

Thanksgiving is Coming!

This time of year—just a few weeks before Thanksgiving & the full-fledged holiday season—brings out the side of me that almost became a preschool teacher. Which is probably why I went to Target the other day and bought a $5 pack of construction paper just so I could fill my sketchbook with things like this…

Gobble… Gobble… Gobble

In addition to paper turkeys, I’ve also been working on some Thanksgiving content that I can’t wait to share beginning next week! 

Today, however, if your job is a little extra hectic like mine is these days or you are starting to stress about the influx of holidays guests: watch this video. 

“I don’t care if we have to throw everything out. I want this place looking like a new Mediterranean fusion restaurant by noon.”

Click here to watch more on Chris Fleming’s YouTube channel.

Posted on in Uncategorized |


Rivermont Lately

Rivermont Lately | Hannah & Husband

This is one of those “life lately” posts that doesn’t really have any particular point. There are a few happy things I’ve wanted to share that don’t fit in any particular box so I’m dumping them here. For instance, I snapped this pic of Rivermont on Friday night from the mailbox. I just couldn’t get over the colors. The leaves are almost completely gone, but while they’re here, I’m taking as many pics as I can!

Rivermont Lately | Hannah & Husband

Dexter love *love* loves the fireplace. He will lay there for hours alternately staring at the flames and warming his back. I have said since we got married that our next house would have a fireplace, and nightly fires are every bit as fulfilling as I hoped they would be.

Rivermont Lately | Hannah & Husband

On that same topic, I bought a decorative jar the other day just to replace the plastic bag so I could store my marshmallows by the fireplace like a lady. How’s that for adulting?

tie display, Rivermont Lately | Hannah & Husband

Finally, a little peek at the bedroom paint job. Truth be told, I am still searching for the perfect bedding, curtains, etc. But, in the meantime, we really dig the color. Also, men take note: Ties look like art if you display them right!

That’s all from Rivermont for now, but more soon! In the meantime, thank you so much for your sweet, encouraging comments on social. I love how the internet connects people. And I’m happy to have my own little corner of the interspace to call my own.

Related Reading: Opposites Attract

DIY Image Transfer

DIY Image Transfer How-To | Hannah & Husband

As I was doodling mandalas for DIYNetwork.com, I got an idea for a funky gift tag. In college, I played a bit with image transfers (like every other design student in history), and I’d been itching to try them again. So today, I thought I’d show you how I DIYed these gift tags using an image transfer. It adds such a personal touch and bonus: it’s super easy and quick–2 minutes + walk away for an hour + and 5 more minutes.

DIY Image Transfer How-To | Hannah & Husband

You’ll Need:

Mod Podge (Don’t worry about the sheen!)
foam brush
wooden gift tag
spray bottle full of water
an image to transfer*

*Note about the image: You can easily transfer a variety of images, but the easiest is a print made with a laser printer. If you want to make some bohemian printed gift tags like mine, click here to download the mandala I used from DIYNetwork.com

DIY Image Transfer How-To | Hannah & Husband

The first thing you’ll do is trace your tag with a pencil on the mandala. (I’d suggest doing several at once.)

DIY Image Transfer How-To | Hannah & Husband

Cut out your traced shape And put a good layer of Mod Podge on the image.

DIY Image Transfer How-To | Hannah & Husband

Lay the image on top of your tag and walk away.

Let it dry for one hour.

DIY Image Transfer How-To | Hannah & Husband

After an hour, use a spray bottle to dampen the paper. As it dampens, it will start to become translucent.

DIY Image Transfer How-To | Hannah & Husband

Gently start rubbing away the paper.

DIY Image Transfer How-To | Hannah & Husband

Alternate between gently rubbing away the paper and dampening until all remnants of paper are gone.

DIY Image Transfer How-To | Hannah & Husband

And that’s it! You can put a little message on the back of your label and then affix it to your gift.

 

 

 

TGIF!

hannah-bean-boots-leaves

I know, I know. Could that photo be anymore 2009? I just get ridiculously sappy this time of year about going out to breakfast in the morning and trudging through the leaves in my bean boots. These are the moments I will savor when it is 38° and raining (but not snowing) in the middle of January. Tennessee really knows how to do Fall–winter not so much. Anyway, that’s what’s happening in our neck of the woods, here’s what I’m digging on the rest of the interwebs…

When I first started following @thedogist on Instagram, I got ridiculously excited and told all my friends. Having a bad day at work? Check out @thedogist. The line for coffee is ridiculously long? Check out @thedogist. I couldn’t get enough of his pup portraits. Well, Elias Weiss Friedman was recently profiled on CBS Sunday Morning, and it turns out he’s published a book.

[image source: The Dogist]

[image source: The Dogist]

Click here to order The Dogist on Amazon! (I’ve already bought a couple extra copies for Christmas gifts.)

southerners-and-their-dogs-jonnyp

In that same vein, photographer Caroline Fontenot and writer Jess Graves have collaborated on a site: Southerners & Their Dogs. It’s been around for a bit, but I just ran across it because of this fab image. Definitely worth a bookmark!

lonny-interior-design-hollywood-squads

Hope you don’t have plans for the next few hours because if interior design is your thing, allow me to point you to Pandora’s box: Lonny’s seriously in-depth map of Hollywood’s designers and their squads.

lena-dunham-podcat-women-of-the-hour

Lena Dunham released the first full episode of her new podcast, Women of the Hour, this week, and it totally exceeded my expectations. The first episode was on friendship. Between readings of the first letters between Lena and her pen pal, writer Ashley Ford (who has a super sultry voice), were conversations between BFFs young, old, and famous.

lena-dunham-pen-pal-twitter

Other highlights from the podcast was an advice segment with Emma Stone and June Squibb and a profile on Edna St. Vincent Millay. (P.S. Millay has become a favorite of mine, and I got to see the very narrow house Lena mentions when I was in NYC earlier this year with the Madcap Heiress. So cool!) Click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

Finally, this performance knocked my socks off. Check it out!

It’s Time to Color! Coloring Pages for DIYNetwork.com

Some of you may remember that I instagrammed a mandala I was doodling recently. Well, it was part of a bigger project I just did for DIYNetwork.com: Coloring Pages!

Coloring Pages for DIYNetwork.com | Hannah & Husband

There are 5 designs to download and color while you’re watching tv, flying to see family over the holiday, or sitting at your desk on those super long conference calls. It’s such a relaxing activity and made me think of the hours Grandma and I put in on all those Snoopy coloring books when I was little.

Click here to download all 5 on DIYNetwork.com. You’ll also see a few ways you can use the final products. The best part? They’re free!

Coloring Pages for DIYNetwork.com | Hannah & Husband

If you end up coloring, we’d love to see! Instagram them and tag @diynetwork & @hb_belle

More…

If you’re interested in what I do when I’m not blogging? Click here to see hannahbdesign.com