Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry (& planning)

I bought a planner. It’s pink with gold embossing and a thin ribbon to mark the page. It’s got a monthly overview and a weekly to-do. Very chic, very millennial.

I also got the color-coded pens – blue, black, red, green, pink, orange. All assigned to a specific sector of my life – finance, work, Ernessi, social.

It’s my hope/belief/misguided delusion that by making lists and filling out schedules and trying to be a better planner that I will somehow get my life in order.

And yet…I’ve missed weeks, I’ve missed paying bills, I’ve missed opportunities to get posts up in a timely manner.

There’s a small bit of solace in knowing that this isn’t uncommon for creative types. There’s some reassurance that my spastic scheduling and mediocre time management are byproducts of the artistic juices flowing through my veins! See? It’s not that I’m a bad person – I’m a great person – I just didn’t respond to an email for two weeks because I’m an artiste! I can’t help it, it’s how I’m wired. I can’t be expected to create masterpieces under the shackles of a schedule!

At least, that’s what I tell myself so I don’t dissolve into a heap of tears over not meeting the actual deadlines created by credit card companies or the personal ones I’ve set for myself. In reality, I know it’s a load of bull and I have to really commit to and work on sticking to a schedule if I’m ever going to get where I want to be, doing what I want to be doing.

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Sparkling Cider Sangria (& a Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up)

Our turkey was delivered via the USPS today. I came home from baking pie at my aunt’s house and there it was – just sitting on the stoop. Ready and waiting. Easy as that.

Sparkling Cider Sangria via Midwest Nice Blog

Is your turkey taken care of? What about sides? Desserts? I’ve got plenty of ideas (and one more post to share) if you need a little something sweet to finish off your meal Thursday.

Everyone loves pie. Try my perfect pie crust with your favorite fillings! Not sure what to put in the pie crust? Maybe some bourbon coated pecans? Or apples? When you have leftovers – turn them into a shake! Or throw some pie crust into ice cream and have yourself a semifreddo.

More of a cake person? This caramel apple cake is a show stopper. Or this sweet potato cake (with toasted marshmallow frosting!!!) that turns a much beloved side into an even better dessert! A bundt cake filled with brandy and pears is just as beautiful and delicious (and a touch easier/quicker) as any layer cake. Does cheesecake count as cake? Does this butternut squash cheesecake count as a vegetable dish? Let’s say it does.

Believe it or not, I have actually made some vegetable recipes before! And I’ll be making my famous bacon braised Brussels sprouts for the festivities like I do every year. And then eating this salad to detox the rest of the weekend.

The cider will be flowing at dinner, after steeping with mulling spices for over 24 hours. If you need a drink to please a crowd, try this easy sangria I made a few weeks ago. It’s to die for!

Sparkling Cider Sangria via Midwest Nice Blog

Sparkling Cider Sangria 

1 bottle dry red wine – I like a nice cabernet

2 bottles sparkling cider

1/4 cup bourbon

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

1/4 cup orange juice

juice of one lemon

1 apple, thinly sliced

1 pear, thinly sliced

1 orange, thinly sliced

3 cinnamon sticks

Pour all liquid into a large pitcher and stir in fruit and cinnamon sticks. Allow to steep in fridge for at least four hours, preferably overnight. Serve chilled with extra fruit and garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired.

*inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction

Sparkling Cider Sangria via Midwest Nice Blog