Thanksgiving: You’re probably doing it wrong.

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PSA: I wrote this post on my phone at the dinner table. Parents were not thrilled.

Let’s start here: Your Thanksgiving is probably wrong. Sorry.

When I was in 7th grade I was selected to read an English paper at a school event. The paper was about Thanksgiving. Aka I’m obsessed with Thanksgiving.

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In the Sheets household, Thanksgiving prep starts on Monday with pie crusts and cranberry sauce. Then on Wednesday, it’s time to roll out those crusts and cut up the onion and celery for stuffing. Normally this is a job that gets delegated to my grandma, but this year I stole it from her because frankly I longed for the sting of fresh onions (I cried for over an hour, to be honest).

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On Thursday morning, food prep starts pretty early. My sisters and I work on pies while my mom preps the stuffing and gets the big ol’ bird ready for the oven.

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Here is a breakdown of my Thanksgiving spread:

Turkey. I don’t know how I feel about turkey, because frankly it’s just a huge, weird chicken. But I admire its ability to make gravy. Also, the whole reason my family of five has a 20lb turkey every year is because of the cavity size. Mo’ cavity mo’ stuffin’.

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Gravy. The main event for me today was the gravy, and I think I performed flawlessly. I may not be cut out for sports but dang if Thanksgiving dinner is the Super Bowl I am Tony Romo. JK.

Mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are the love of my life. This year I embraced my Scandinavian roots and peeled the potatoes, trying to make my grandma proud. The final product was amazing. It’s hard to mess up a Yukon gold, though.

Cranberries. If you buy cranberry sauce from a can, please re-evaluate your life.

Stuffing. DRESSING IS NOT OKAY. If you try to tell me that dressing can replace stuffing, you are a dingus and I have no time for you. I will call the police on you because torturing soggy bread into a pan is CRIMINAL.

Broccoli. My mom insists on having something green on the table but nah I don’t think anyone ate it.

Sweet Potato Casserole. The only thing that has changed about a Sheets Thanksgiving since 1995 is the sweet potatoes, which used to be undressed with marshmallows but now get buttered and topped with pecan streusel.

Rolls. My little sister isn’t culinarily inclined, but every year she gets to make the Pillsbury Crescent rolls. And she does a bang-up job.

Pie. Pumpkin and pecan are the only acceptable pies at Thanksgiving. Period. This year I took a nice break after the turkey and napped with my cat before digging into the pies.

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Thanksgiving is the one time of year that I wake up, put on heels, and work away in the kitchen for 10 hours. And I love it. Until next year, TG.

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Eating my way through the D…

IMG_0257 copyThere are two things that I love about being home: my dogs, and my parent’s fridge.

This year, with my little sister off at college, my parents are empty nesters. When I opened the fridge to find a lot of beer, some condiments, and some sour milk. While yes, this was upsetting, it means that I’ve gotten to eat from restaurants a lot this week.

Here is a table-by-table breakdown of my restaurant experiences this break:

  1. Best Thai– Right when I stumbled out of my car after a nine-hour drive from Columbia to Dallas, my dad handed me a takeout menu. Upon answering the phone, my girl Nope at Best Thai immediately knew who I was, if that gives you any indication of how often I used to eat here in high school. The green curry was just as amazing as I remembered it.
  1. Blue Sushi Sake Grill– On Sunday night I went to get sushi with my friend’s family for her birthday. The combination of edamame hummus, mango crab Rangoon, coconut crab soup, and a Spanish fly roll more food than I’ve eaten in months, but I welcomed the food baby with open arms.
  1. Czech Stop– On Monday, my friend and I made the trek down to Austin, stopping in Waco to get a kolache at this famous gas station. When Harold’s started offering kolaches in Columbia, I remember all of my MU friends getting confused and put off by the idea of sausage rolled in dough. I mixed it up this time and got one with brisket. Oh, Texas, how I missed you.
  1. Teji’s– When we got to Austin, we met up with friends and went to get A+ Indian food by the University of Texas. I had spent the entire car ride stressing about my 4804 story, so I was happy to drown my stress in lamb curry and garlic naan.
  1. Kerbey Lane Café– On Tuesday morning, my three-month brunch drought finally came to an end with a big ol’ plate of Texas Benedict, aka jalapeno corn cakes topped with a poached egg, steak, pico de gallo, and QUESO. It was magnificent. There’s nothing like brunch in Texas.
  1. Princi Italia– When I arrived back in Dallas on Tuesday night, my grandma had flown in from Arizona and my parents still weren’t into the idea of cooking, so we went to this local Italian restaurant. To start, my parents and I shared a beet and crab salad with mango and radicchio, which was to die for. I fell in love with my boar gnocchi, but cheated on it by taking bites of my mom’s black pepper fettuccini on the side *wink*
  1. Blue Sushi Sake Grill– On Wednesday, I managed to convince my boyfriend to take my back to Blue for more coconut crab soup and a Roja roll, plus stolen bites of his tuna tower.
  2. Breadwinners– BW’s is one of those places where you’re looking at the menu thinking “Wow, so many delicious looking healthy options!” and you end up ordering something carb-y and mayo-y. In my case, a Greek salad turned into a Sonoma Chicken sandwich: grilled chicken, green chili, chipotle mayo, jack cheese, and insanely buttery sourdough.
  3. Meso Maya– As per Sheets family tradition, the Friday night after Thanksgiving was TexMex night. Meso Maya does it with a central American twist. I took advantage of my dad’s wallet and a better proximity to the ocean and indulged in some salmon and coconut rice, plus my body weight in chips and salsa.
  4. Raising Canes– Canes is basically Zaxby’s, add high quality chicken and subtract the salt burn. Also, nobody does Texas toast like Texas herself.

 

If the boys of One Direction were pizzas…

It’s been a really long, hard week here at Mizzou. To get through all of the 4804 mishaps, the campus upheaval, and the heartbreak in Paris, I’ve constantly had One Direction crooning through my headphones.

That’s right. I’m 20 years old and I have a dependency problem when it comes to the world’s biggest boy band. The brightest point of my week came yesterday when their new album came out.

It’s been a really long, hard week, so I’m going to try to lighten things up a little with this blog post. Here is what I think the One Direction boys would be as pizzas.

nial

#1

I need to start this off strong with my favorite member, Niall Horan. I’ve had a thing for blond boy band members since my older sister and I fought over the blond Backstreet Boys singer. Because he’s my favorite member, he has to represent my favorite pizza, right? Well I don’t have a favorite pizza, and I wouldn’t want to put Niall in a box like that. Niall is like the time I got to go into the kitchen at Shakespeare’s and customize my own pizza. He brings a little bit of everything.

harry

#2

Harry is like the flatbread at my favorite Italian restaurant in Dallas, Taverna. Topped with arugula, mushrooms, mozzarella, and truffle oil, this isn’t your average pizza. It doesn’t leave you feeling icky and greasy. It makes you feel like a million bucks.

liam

#3

Liam Payne is The Works from Papa Johns. Like the thick, perfectly manufactured crust from PJs, Liam is the base of 1D’s sound, always there to back everybody up. He’s also frequently the voice of the band, so he’s got a lot of charismatic cheese and plenty of substance from sausage. And yet, with all of that heartiness, he’s still got room for some zest (i.e. olives and green peppers.)

louis

#4

Louis is a pizza with white sauce—I am definitely a fan, but it doesn’t really fit. Louis, of course, is the one who has a baby mama, so he’s definitely a little bit dangerous. Louis’s voice isn’t unpleasant, but it’s a little weak and frankly doesn’t stand up to the other boys on this list.

If I were to add Zayn to this list (#RIP) he would be a calzone, because he’s stupid and ruined a good thing. But I’m not bitter.

Cheese.

I love cheese. Like, I really love cheese.

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I was a really scrawny little kid…until I found cheese. My mom used to buy five-pound blocks of cheddar from Costco, and I plowed through those things like it was nothing.

Since my middle school days, I’ve developed a healthier (substantially less codependent) relationship with cheese, in part because I frankly can’t afford my own five-pound blocks of Tillamook cheddar.

Is there anything that cheese can’t do? From mac to grilled to cake, cheese is a super food.

But there’s something we need to address.

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Fake cheese. I indeed do not have time for that.

Of all the delicious cheese options out there, why in the world would you pick the option that comes pressed between two pieces of plastic that are the same consistency as the “cheese product” itself?

I find it personally offensive that when I go to an eating establishment, I have to say “No cheese” lest my burger be contaminated by a Kraft single.

See this?

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Not cheese.

And this?

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Not cheese.

Don’t even get me started on cheese in a can, btw.

THIS is cheese:

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Here are my top 10 cheeses:

  1. Cheddar (not to be unimaginative but come on, it’s the best)
  2. Mozzarella
  3. Gruyere
  4. Parm (I will never say “when,” just keep grating)
  5. Feta
  6. Goat
  7. Pepper jack
  8. Blue
  9. Triple cream
  10. Manchego

(Notice what’s not on there? American. Because I don’t accept that as a real cheese flavor.)

So there you have it. I really love cheese.