One of my favorite things about the holiday season is the family traditions. My husband has shared a sweet Thanksgiving tradition with his dad for over 25 years now that I’m going to share with you today!
Together each year, they make a delicious pumpkin pie from the same tried and true recipe. Even in the years when miles separate them, Kevin will make this recipe on his own and share the love with our neighbors and friends! One day, he’ll share it with our children. I love this because it’s a reminder that family traditions don’t have to be elaborate. It’s the simple things in life that bring us together and make life sweet. And now I present: Keith and Kevin’s Pumpkin Pie with a printable card at the end so you can try it out yourself!
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 large eggs
2 cups of fresh blended pumpkin (hollow out a pumpkin and scrape the sides of the gourd, blend it to a pulpy mix) OR 1 can (15 oz) of 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 oz) Evaporated Milk
1 pie shell (deep dish)
1) Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger & cloves in a bowl.
2) In a separate (larger) bowl, beat the eggs.
3) Mix in pumpkin and sugar mixture into egg bowl.
4) Stir in evaporated milk.
5) Pour into pie shell.
6) Bake in oven (preheated to 425 degrees) for 15 minutes.
7) Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes.
*You should be able to insert a toothpick near the middle and have it come out mostly clean.
8) Cool for 2 hours at room temperature (Do NOT put in the refrigerator)
9) Serve or refrigerate.
Feel free to add some garnish or whipped cream to the top of your pie
Take some cranberries rolled in sugar or some pie crust leaf cut outs to add festive flare
Printable Recipe Card
In honor of the Kentucky Derby this weekend, I bring you my recent drink of choice! This twist on a classic calls for bourbon instead of the vodka used in a traditional “Moscow Mule,” (hence ‘Kentucky’ instead of ‘Moscow’). It has quickly become one of my all-time favorite cocktails! Bourbon and ginger beer mix so perfectly to create a surprisingly light & refreshing, slightly (but not too) sweet drink.
Step 1: Add 2 oz. Bourbon to ice.
Step 2: Add approximately 6 oz. (or half a bottle) of Ginger Beer. My ginger beer of choice is Cock’n Bull Diet. Not only does it have zero calories, Cock’n Bull actually created the recipe for the original Moscow Mule so there’s some cool history there, which I love.
Step 3: Squeeze in half a lime, stir, use the other half of your lime to make a nice garnish & enjoy!
Shop the bar cart and the Lemons napkins.
Kate here, store manager at Katie Kime.
I told the tale of our Thailand trip last year, which is where our journey will take us again soon, this time to the arms of a child who needs a mom and dad.
My husband and I decided to pursue international adoption this past December, actually on Christmas Eve. It is something we’ve always known we wanted to do and the chips finally fell into place when I felt that the time was right and my husband agreed completely. Our story is unusual in that our journey is not born out of infertility issues, but rather a passion for taking up the cause of orphans and those who are marginalized by society.
Our visit to Thailand in April 2015, wearing purple in honor of the princess.
I am excited to share more about this journey as progress is made. To start, I’ll answer some of the most common questions I’ve heard so far.
- Why Thailand?
A couple of reasons. First, my husband is half Thai. Adopting from Thailand would keep Thai heritage in our family and our future son or daughter will be lucky enough to have a Thai grandmother who can keep their culture alive for them. There are also some unfortunate statistics surrounding human trafficking out of Thailand. Many children are sold into slavery at very young ages, especially little girls. For this reason, we would love to be able to adopt a daughter. We are keeping our options open, though, for a son as well.
- Isn’t it expensive?
You betcha! One of the most crucial parts of adoption (unless you have $25,000+ lying around) is fundraising. I was relieved to find out the wide range of activities you can do to raise money AND how eager many friends and family members are to help. Our first event will be a crawfish boil this spring and we also plan to sell t-shirts later on this year!
- How did you get started and what is the process like?
The first steps of the process have included: choosing an agency (we went with Holt International), applying with that agency and then once you receive initial approval, choosing a home study agency who will assign a case worker to you. From there, you must compile what feels like never-ending paperwork and documents and go through interviews and home studies. We just recently completed our home study process! The next step is waiting for a match to come through. This can take anywhere from 6-9 months.
Plaids on plaids in our annual Christmas card photo shoot, which will soon feature three of us!
Stay tuned for more on this adventure!
After leaving Koh Samui, we flew up north to Chiang Mai. Here we enjoyed the amazing experience of Songkran, or the Thai New Year festival. The Thai people believe in the cleansing power of water. So much so that they spend three days at the beginning of the year literally pouring water all over each other! Businesses close their doors, people infiltrate the streets, the volume knob on the party music increases and the water guns fill up. Chaos ensues. Adults and children alike revel in sneaking up on each other with buckets and dousing the old year away. It is an exciting celebration that generally reflects the spirit of Thai people: joyful and fun-loving.
In Chiang Mai, we also had the pleasure of meeting elephants and tigers at two wonderful sanctuaries: Maetaman Elephant Camp and Tiger Kingdom. Both places work to preserve these animals by giving them a comfortable and safe place to live and be taken care of. Everyone thinks I’m insane for petting a tiger, but my inner crazy cat lady was beyond thrilled to be so close to such a majestic feline.
Lastly, we visited Ban Nam Jai (“Home of the Open Heart” in English), a home for orphans based in Chiang Rai. My husband has done some work for them in the past and he was excited to show me the fence he helped build and introduce me to the wonderful couple that runs the home. We sat down with them to discover their greatest needs (both financially and otherwise) and we look forward to staying connected with them in the future and helping in any way we can. It is important to be reminded that the world does not, in fact, revolve around us like we so often think it does.
I would be remiss to not mention some favorite Thai dishes of mine: pineapple fried rice, Pad See Ewe (a noodle dish commonly served with chicken) and mango sticky rice, a dessert consisting of sliced mangos and sweet rice with coconut milk. If I’m being honest, I went a little nuts with the mango sticky rice. Because you can rarely find this delicious dessert dish stateside, I bought it every time I had the chance. And I do mean EVERY time I had the chance, sometimes multiple times a day. I have no regrets.
We have checked Thailand off of our list, but we have a long way to go before we are close to being done experiencing that corner of the world! Here’s to many more Eastern adventures!
When Kevin and I got married we made a bucket list for our life together. We both believe that life isn’t something you should sit back and let happen to you, rather life is something you should get out there and proactively experience. As we surveyed our carefully-crafted list, it quickly became apparent where our priorities lay: in traveling as far and as often as possible.
Just three years after “I do,” I found myself on a plane to Bangkok, ready for the greatest travel adventure of our marriage (so far).
We spent our first few days in Bangkok. The following were my favorite parts of this leg of the trip:
My first meal in Bangkok
Amazing street food (fried bananas for the win)
Tuk tuk rides (a small motorized cart for 2-3 people, much more efficient than pedi-cabs if you ask me)
Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha)
Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha): not photographed because of strictly guarded rules against picture-taking while inside. It is the most sacred temple in Thailand, after all.
The Reclining Buddha
We then departed Bangkok for the second leg of the trip, which the avid beach girl in me was most looking forward to, Koh Samui. Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s many islands. We stayed at a resort where I enjoyed time poolside, beachside and in the spa. We also had a beautiful dinner on the beach. Note: I would not normally indulge myself in spa treatments, but because of the exchange rate, the spa became a suddenly affordable luxury. Hello, lemongrass oil massage, yogurt facial, steam room and Thai massage!
Dinner on the beach
More about the Thai experience to come later!