Last week we had the absolute best time having a friends turkey dinner. The idea of roasting a turkey mid-week seemed a bit bonkers, but it was great because we all went home with a tonne of leftovers! YEAY! The best part of having a turkey is the leftovers and incorporating them into your everyday meals is surprisingly easy. With there being 5 of us at Alberta Mama’s we thought it would be a fun idea to each take our leftovers and use them to create a “typical leftover meal,” something that would typically get made in our homes. It’s actually quite telling of each family’s personality.
Bone Broth has become very trendy in recent months. The health benefits of this simple dish our Grandmothers have been making for years are hard to ignore. Who doesn’t want better gut health and great skin? There are so many reasons to drink more broth but the main one we like is that it tastes good. It is delicious on its own, is a great base for soups, and can be added to gravy’s and sauces easily. Last week we hosted an Alberta Mamas Turkey Dinner with Alberta Turkey (see more on that post and what we made here) and as delicious the whole meal was I was mostly excited for the bones of the turkey so I could make bone broth the next day.
The Alberta Mamas planned for a fun-filled evening this past Monday with delicious food and of course it had to include some Alberta Turkey! Making a roast turkey isn’t just reserved for the holidays and special occasions, but rather for sharing those great moments with friends and family.
The meal time struggle is real.
No matter what you make, bake, cook, or blend there is always someone at the table that is less than impressed with what is for supper. And for some reason it is always supper at our house that is the struggle. The boys go through phases of picky eating and being more adventurous it seems which also throws me for a loop. One day they just want plain noodles and chicken fingers and the next they are shocking you and eating a plate of fish (after 10 years of me coaxing, offering, trying, fighting, bribing… you get the idea) and liking it.
So I’ve come up with some tips and tricks that have helped me throughout the years. These may not work for every family but they have definitely helped ours. I’d love to hear your thoughts on meal times and how you make them more manageable too!
I used to go BIG for birthdays. That is actually one of the things Box Social Event Planning did when I started the business. We planned parties for parents that wanted that “Pinterest” party but didn’t have time. We would do such elaborate parties that one time we brought 8 foot trees into a play place to create a perfect Woodland Theme.
But then I stopped. Because I didn’t understand why I was throwing all this time and energy into one day for a little human that wouldn’t even remember it. I still love scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram and seeing beautiful, well curated parties but it just doesn’t work for our family anymore.
I wanted my kids to still have memorable birthdays though. Not something that just blipped by. And then we got the Birthday Banner.
I am not sure when it started but it has become a tradition in our house to hang the Birthday Banner. I remember picking it up at Target (sigh I miss Target even though the Canadian one wasn’t as good as the American one) and hanging it up for one of my kids’ birthdays. It was a September birthday and it was a very busy time for our family between school starting (being married to a teacher in September is not fun) and a busy event schedule for myself. So we threw up the banner and sang Happy Birthday to my youngest around Eggo Waffles topped with whipped cream from a can. Then I brought it out for the next one. Now a few years later it is something my kids love waking up to. It is made out of felt and gets hung in the same spot every time. Sometimes it gets fancy 3M hooks, other times it is held up by green painters tape.
But it is always there.
It took me a while but I have realized that the kids do not care about all the decorations, the cake, the late night party planning. They don’t care whether they have Pinterest worthy handmade cupcakes or a cake bought on the way home from work with a generic “Happy Birthday” on it. They want you to be there. To be present. To sing “Happy Birthday” and watch them blow the candles out not be worried about all the other stuff.
So from now on that is my goal. To be present. And hang the banner every birthday.
Deanne Ferguson is the owner of Box Social Event Planning. When she is not planning fun, family, friendly events she is finding the yummiest food for the Edmonton Home and Garden Show Food Stage. She loves her #cocktailsMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter.
Turkey may be the star of the meal this weekend but we thought we would have some fun and share with you a fun, easy pumpkin spice cocktail to serve your guests!
My husband and I do a thing called Cocktail Monday (you can see some of our ideas by following me on Instagram here or searching the #cocktailMonday hashtag) where each week we take turns making a cocktail. We love how it starts the week with some fun and it has become a great way to connect and hang out just the two of us every week.
August is halfway done which means Farmers Markets (and maybe even your own garden!) are bursting with fresh, delicious produce. But what should you do with all these veggies once you bring them home? We’ve made the easiest salad using all market ingredients with a dressing so easy we guarantee you already have everything you need in your pantry. Not only is this recipe easy, it keeps in the fridge for a while making it the perfect make-ahead meal for BBQ’s, work lunches, and picnics in the park.