November 29, 2010

We Didn't Have To Order Pizza!

So, we woke up Thursday to SNOW!! I was singing Christmas songs to the boys at 8am - it may have only been a dusting but I LOVE CHRISTMASTIME!! =)

So my turkeys were a HUGE success! One of my girlfriends joked that if I could pull off Thanksgiving for 16 people, I am officially domesticated. WOOOOHOOO, I feel like I can concur the world (or next years Thanksgiving at least,  haha). Anyways, as I mentioned before I had to buy two turkeys because the biggest one I could find here was roughly 13 pounds and that was clearly not going to be enough to feed everyone. My day started bright and early at 7:45am popping in the first turkey. I literally had to make a schedule for myself (that included when I could shower!) otherwise I would have been off the wall. I know you may think I am overreacting and being silly, but cooking Thanksgiving for the first time, for 16 people, in another country that relies heavily on delicious fresh baked and home made meals (ie, RAW materials!, no Stovetop or canned jellied cranberry sauce over here!), along with a language that I am not familiar with, is a lot of work. For example, I couldn't just run to the store and pick up the following spices without hitting up my GoogleTranslate first:

-Flour...Mehl
-Onion...Zwiebel
-Sage...Salbei
-Garlic...Knoblauch

It just creates one more step, you know what I mean?

Unfortunately I wasn't too impressed with my carrot or sweet potato recipes so I am not even going to bother sharing them. Next year I am sticking with buttered carrots and my regular sweet potato with mini marshmallows and lots of sweet brown sugar casserole. YUM! I have a super sweet tooth, which is probably why I loved my cranberry sauce! I am going to share my scribbled recipes for both the sauce and turkey, mainly so I can have them saved somewhere. I have a funny suspicion we will be here in Europe next year (and I need to learn this metric system at some point), so some things are written in the Metric and others in the US System - take note if you plan on trying these out!

Cranberry Sauce
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup orange juice
3 jars (1020 grams) cranberries and their juice
Dash cinnamon
Packet of Tortenguss (not necessary, but I threw it in thinking it would help congeal)

Dissolve sugar and orange juice over medium heat
Stir in jars of cranberries and their juice, cover (they pop!) and cook for 10 minutes
Stir in Tortenguss, throw in a dash of cinnamon
Let cool, then transfer into a covered bowl and store in the refrigerator.
Don't forget about it until mid-way through the meal like I did! =)

I made this sauce Thanksgiving-eve. I found that it tasted much better on Thanksgiving, so next year I will be making it two to three days in advance. Maybe it gets better after a few days?

Tom Jr. (not to be confused with TJ) and Tom the turkeys
Turkeys! 
Salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, rosemary, oregano
Onions, oranges, apples, lemon
Melted butter
Gloves!!

Preheat oven to 160°C
Cut onions, oranges, apples and lemon
Put gloves on (unless you don't mind touching cold/slimy/bloody/disgusting things)
Pull inners out

Wash in and out, dry with paper towels
Season inside with salt and pepper
Season under skin with garlic, thyme, rosemary and oregano
Season skin with salt and pepper
Stuff turkey with onion, orange, apple and lemon slices











Brush turkey with melted butter and cover with foil
9 pounder - put in oven for 2 hours
13 pounder - put in oven for 3 hours
Remove foil, baste with butter
Crank oven to 220°C, roast for 1 hour uncovered
Let sit 30 minutes before cutting
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November 26, 2010

Turkey Hangover

I clearly had a turkey hangover and did a whole lot of nothing today:


Teej and I breakin' it down






Some of the Hannover girls and myself, showing off our sweet 80s dance moves :)


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November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


Just a quick post before hopping in the shower and then waiting for our guests to arrive - I will write more tomorrow or Saturday - HAPPY THANKSGIVING to everyone who celebrates!! I have our 2nd turkey in the oven now (I had to buy one 13lb and one 9lb) and have been going strong since 8am. We have fifteen people coming over tonight - I am really looking forward to it and hope that all of my dishes taste okay!! I hope that everyone enjoys their turkey, their family, and takes some time to count their blessings today!
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November 22, 2010

Puck Bunnies

Thank you HockeyWife for finding this very funny YouTube video:


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November 20, 2010

TK MAXX!

My favorite store has come to Hannover!!! Dun dun dun dunnnnn.....
Back home I love to go to TJX for 50-70% off designer items like Coach and Michael Kors bags, 7, Lucky and True Religion Jeans, Juicy hoodies, Guess boots, Jessica Simpson heels, etc. I was ecstatic to have snagged a $1,400 Diane von Furstenberg three piece luggage set for $400 before we came over here. I get a rush from finding expensive items at low prices, its such a fun game for me =)

Besides the obvious spelling difference of TK Maxx rather than TJ Maxx like it is spelled back in the states, these European stores also feature a GOLD LABEL section that I can unfortunately only oogle over. The GOLD LABEL section carries more Luxury brands like 1,000 D&G and Versace jackets and purses and 1,500 cocktail dresses and heels. They have special tags that distinguish these items from the rest of the store that say "V.I.P. - Very Important Purchase" Ohh how I wish! I think next time I am going to try on items I will never afford just for fun and take some photos just to say I had it on =)

Even though I didn't walk away with V.I.P status, I did pick up some great stdeals! I decided to treat myself to some new workout clothes, and while it was a little investment, I saved over €200 off retail price! Gosh I love saving $$!...well actually, €! 
Under Armour Compression Running Pants - €24.99 marked down from €53
Puma Sweatpants - €21.99 marked down from €36

And my new favorite dance/gym wear:
These pieces are made in Italy with super fine materials, in bright colors and hip fashion. I LOVE the brand, and am very happy to have found it here, (especially at such low prices!)


2 pairs of pants - €16.99 each, both marked down from €70!
Jacket - €19.99 marked down from €90!
Speaking of dance - another girl and I are starting Ballet on December 2nd! I am really happy to be back in the classroom and am crossing my fingers that they use the same French vocabulary that I know. TJ says "You can dance in any language like I can play hockey in any language." I really hope he is right!!
I also started shopping for our Thanksgiving fiesta today. I currently have 10,200 grams of frozen turkey defrosting in the fridge, which converts to just over 22 pounds and hopefully enough to feed an army hungry hockey players. I am just a little bit stressed because I have never had to cook a full meal from scratch. There really aren't instant potatoes, Stovetop stuffing or canned cranberry sauce over here, but I am actually excited to plan and execute it all. I am staying positive and looking forward to sharing a nice meal with the fam =)
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November 15, 2010

Food For Thought Monday

What makes your house a home?

As you can imagine, living the hockey life makes traveling with household "things" and getting adjusted to new places right when you just got comfortable living somewhere else pretty difficult.

These houses/apartment/condos are normally a temporary 6 to 8 month arrangement before it's time to pack up and move again - and that is if you are lucky and don't get traded or fired. We have been lucky and haven't had to experience either, (as I go knock on wood...) But even without being bopped around, just in our first two seasons alone we had moved into three different apartments. Moving into our third apartment I got smart and purchased about 8 Rubbermaid Storage Containers where I divided our kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room etc., into each. Every season we seem to somehow accumulate more stuff, so when it's time to pack up, I lay everything out to see what can fit and what can't, what can come and what can go.
If something didn't fit in it's specified container, and we couldn't find an extra crevice of space in the car for it, it got dropped off at the Goodwill or Thrift Store. 

We obviously didn't have the luxury to pack up our storage bins and drive to Germany this season, so every household thing that we own is sitting in their container in my parents basement. Oh, how I miss my cutting board, blender, knives and spices. Sounds lame right? Trust me, it's not. I definitely miss our kitchen appliances, especially today since we decided to host Thanksgiving for some of the guys and their wives next week. I am really happy to have a big family dinner =)

When we came over to Germany we were each allowed 1 suitcase (under 50 pounds) with our ticket, and then we had to pay $200.00 a piece for EACH additional suitcase that we were allowed to jam pack up to 69.9 pounds. As catty as this sounds, do you know how much clothes, shoes, and makeup/hair products weigh? They weigh a LOT! I can't go naked or shoeless, and I picked through the products that I absolutely could not leave behind. In the end we each came over with our clothes, shoes and jackets, a few books, a photo album of our family and friends, Bruttys toys, all of my VIV jewelery, some makeup, and a few other things like our computers and ipods. Theres a picture of it "all" back in one of my posts from September. Our suitcases were literally pulling at the seams.

For those of you who may be wondering the point of this post, I tried my hand at a little interior design, haha. It would obviously be stupid to buy anything expensive since its not coming back to the US with us - so as you can imagine, I am happy to report that for under €25, I was able to throw all this together:
Picture 1
Glass plate - €1
Candles - €3
Fall assortment - €3

Picture 2
Basket - €2
Apples & Cinnamon Assortment - €4

Picture 3
3 Glass Vases - €3
Assortment - €5

Picture 4
3 Glass Candle Holders - €1

So - I don't have a career in interior design and my little creations won't make it onto the cover of Elle Decor or Martha Stewart. So what? =)

To wrap it up - every September and April when we pack up to move, I learn how to simplify our possessions and choose what means the most to us, but this year I didn't have a choice as we could only pack up our clothes and bare necessities. With the Thanksgiving/Christmas/Holiday/Family season soon upon us, I have been reflecting and realized:

1. While we are sad we are away from our families, we have a pretty great "family" here, too 
2. How important it is to me this year for TJ and I to start creating our own holiday traditions
3. No matter how many states or COUNTRIES away we are from home, it is very important to make our temporary place one that feels lived in, cozy, and comfortable...and that doesn't mean some picture perfect scene from a magazine - its a cinnamon scent candle burning, Brutus snoring drool on the couch, unmade beds, an overflowing pile of clean laundry that needs to be ironed, and some pinecones thrown on a plate to remind me of Massachusetts, that make our temporary "house" feel like home.

So again I ask, what makes your house a home??? Hope to get some comments :)
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November 13, 2010

Paris Recap

Is it really November 13th? I feel like the past three months have been played out with the fast forward button held down! 

Paris was great! I am so glad we took the opportunity to go. We decided to leave early Monday, dropped Brutus off at the dog sitter at 7:30, and were on the road for 8am. We traveled through Belgium and into France - the trip there took a total of eight hours. (We decided next time we go anywhere we are flying!!) After parking, checking in, getting settled, relaxing for a few and freshening up, it was seven and we were out the door for dinner, to see the Eiffel Tower lit up, and to watch Moulin Rouge. 
I read mixed reviews online about Moulin Rouge, so I was hesitant about paying 80 euros per ticket (about $260), but I decided if we were in Paris with the opportunity to watch the show live, I would be more disappointed if we didn't go than if we did and it was terrible. With that being said, I honestly wasn't impressed with the show. Maybe I am bias because I am a technically trained dancer and I can never watch a dance performance without having somewhat critical eyes, but it irks me when I pay to go to a show and can confidently say that I could dance alongside their lead. The male dancers were TERRIBLE, I cannot believe they are getting paid to be on that stage. They reminded me of clowns. The girls looked tired, but I would be too at 11PM after just dancing a 9PM show. They need some new choreography and a red bull! All negativity aside, there were two ballet pieces in the show that took my breath away, I am no ballerina and always appreciate their dedication and pride to their art. The Russian ballerinas have been coined the best in the world, and I have to agree, they gave me the chills. I loved the vintage vibe of the theater, the costumes were big and beautiful, lots of rhinestones and feathers. The live show is completely different than the movie - and while I wouldn't pay to go watch it again, I am glad that we did get to experience it. 
The next morning we slept in a bit because we got into the hotel at 2:30am. We went to see the Eiffel tower again and then we were on the road to DisneylandParis. It was misting rain mostly the entire time we were in France, but I didn't mind. I would have liked to see a little more of Paris, but Mickey was calling my name and I know we can always hop on a plane for a day trip to check our more of the sites. 

We stayed at the Sequoia Lodge - it was a great rustic themed choice for our little relaxing vacation from hockey. We had passes to go between Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios for three days, and all of our meals were included. When all is said and done (Bruttys dog hotel, gas, hotel in Paris, Moulin Rouge tickets, Sequoia Lodge hotel, food, Disneyland passes), we paid right over 1,000 euros for the both of us for four days. Amazing!!
I have been to Orlando five times that I can remember. It was always jam packed with people and wait times for rides were always over an hour. At DisneylandParis I felt like we never had more than 100 people around us and we basically walked on every ride - it took more time walking through the winding aisles that are normally filled with people than it took to actually wait for the group ahead of us and walk on the ride. It was great!
Well, that is our trip in a nutshell. We are back in Hannover, ready to grind out the next four months of the season. After seeing all of the Christmas decorations at DisneylandParis, I am really looking forward to going to the Christmas Markets with my girlfriends and buying a few small decorations for the apartment. 


TJ and I have never bought a tree, but I told him this year I am going to find a small, fake, and pathetic little one that we can pop in and out of a suitcase :) I know I need to focus on preparing to cook for our first Thanksgiving away from family, but Disney put me in the Christmas spirit - it is only 41 days away and Santa will be here before we know it!! =)
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November 5, 2010

Disneyland/Paris is booked!!

So our trip to Disneyland/Paris is booked!! So excited!! Now I am just in the middle of arranging Brutters stay at a fancy-schmancy Hunde Resort, taking care of last minute details, and then we will be in Paris from Monday-Thursday :) I feel terrible leaving our little man for six days - I hope he doesn't hate us when we get back. 

I forgot to mention a very important update yesterday - WE HAVE A VEHICLE!!!!!! Surprisingly it is not decked out in Hannover Indians signage, but I won't be surprised if they logo it up one day while TJ is at the rink. 

Funny story - after TJ texted me that he was off to pick up the vehicle from the dealership I looked out the window and there was a brand new tricked out black and chrome Range Rover in front of our apartment. I looked at the last 2 digits of the license plate and they were 84!! Most of the guys here have their jersey number as the last two digits of their license plate and I thought to myself  "No effing way!!" (TJ sold his Range Rover a couple of days before we came over to Germany, and would have been the happiest man in Hannover if he had one back in his possession!!) Well, I was clearly wrong - here is what we have for the rest of the season:
The silver one is what the rest of the team has, ours is the maroon one in front of it.
Not as nice as the Range, but no complaints here, its a free vehicle for the season and it certainly takes the blow off the monthly payments for "Rover" ;)

It is a rainy day here in Hannover - I am not really looking forward to sitting in the open arena tonight but I have a positive feeling that they are going to win so hopefully freezing my buns off will be worth it. When we get home tonight I am going to upload more pictures to our online photo albums and add some more videos to our YouTube channel, so make sure to check it out later.
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November 4, 2010

Family Dinner

I just finished cleaning up from a delicious 8 person "family dinner" (insert Patting Myself On The Back here!) and thought I would write while Teej is passed out with a full belly and Brutes is snoring hard after winding down from his excitement of our visitors.

Trust me, feeding six North American hockey players is no easy task!! Our dinner menu went from me making lasagna, to lasagna rolls, to meat stuffed cannolis, to a new concoction that we dubbed "lasagna pizza". Haha, yep, cooking here in Germany hasn't gotten any easier, especially with our itty bitty oven. We have no casserole dishes, so I thought I would just make lasagna rolls in our deep baking sheet. I usually just use regular lasagna noodles and roll them to make lasagna rolls, but when I saw the cannoli shells at the store I bought them without thinking about how impossible it would be to fill floppy shells with meat. Oh well, this new "lasagna pizza" tasted great, all the guys were happy, and if any of them put up points tomorrow, I take full responsibility for cooking them a kickass pre-game! ;)

TJ has a 5 day break next week and we are planning a trip with another couple to DISNEYLAND PARIS!! Teej and I are like kids in a candy store giddy excited over it. All of the parks are currently being decorated for Christmas - the castle is being transformed into an ice palace, and Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and the rest of them will be decked out in festive outfits.
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