Non-Turkey Holiday Meal Alternatives

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Non-Turkey Holiday Meal Alternatives

Sorry to say it, but Christmas is less than two weeks away. Of course, you probably knew that already. That ever-ticking time bomb is the main reason why we’re all going crazy for gift ideas and last-minute preparations at the moment. If you don’t know what you’re doing on the day yet, it’s past time you decided. The holiday season waits for no one!

Somewhere among all of this preparation madness, most of us turn our attention to food. If you’re hosting the big meal this year, it’s likely that this is the only thing you are thinking about. At few other times of the year are we expected to prepare so much food for so many people. Lucky for you, there are plenty of guides out there about how to make this task a little easier. But, there’s no getting around the fact that there’s still an immense amount of pressure when the time comes.

On top of which, some of us can’t stomach the traditional option. Turkey is an acquired taste. And, for those of us who most definitely haven’t acquired it, the holiday season can be stressful at best. If you’ve only just managed to push the Thanksgiving turkey from your mind, the last thing that you want to do is eat it again at Christmas. As such, your job becomes even harder.

You’ll be glad to know that, while turkey has become a holiday staple, this is down to nothing more than convenience. While it’s difficult to say exactly when this tradition started, it was fast in place by 1863, when Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday. This is thought to be primarily due to the size of the things. There were few other types of meat available in the past that were large enough. In fact, beef wasn’t readily available until the late 19th century. So, the only alternative was chicken. For obvious reasons, it wasn’t the best for large meals, and turkeys took center stage. They were a cheap way to feed a lot of people.

We’ve taken up the tradition, and now pay more and more for turkey each year. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re hosting dinner this year, why not try something a little different? To keep everyone happy, you may want to prepare a turkey crown on the side. Chances are, though, that you’re not the only one fed up with turkey. So, before the big event, ask your guests if they’d be interested in the following alternatives:

A few different types of meat:

Turkey may have been the only 19th century choice, but that’s not the case anymore. Now, you have anything to choose from. For some families, a mixture of Christmas meats is standard. You can place your meats in the middle of the table, and leave guests to take what they fancy.

To make this work, consider meats which are relatively different from each other. It wouldn’t be any good serving chicken alongside turkey. Instead, you could opt for a mixture of beef, pork, and turkey. These all offer different taste sensations, which are sure to go down well. And, this way, you can ensure that you get a decent dinner without having to turn to the turkey.

Salmon as an alternative:

You may not realize it, but turkey isn’t the only traditional option open to you. Salmon has also found its place in the holiday hall of fame. Admittedly, most people opt for this as a starter or breakfast treat on the day. But, there’s no reason you can’t make it work as an alternative primary meal. By buying a whole salmon, like those found at Citarella gourmet market, you can ensure that you have enough to go around. These fish are huge!

Bear in mind that, if offering this alternative, you may want to provide a sauce other than gravy. While most meats would work with a standard turkey gravy, your salmon certainly wouldn’t. Instead, offer a creamy sauce or a honey mustard alternative. Other than that, you can serve your salmon alongside the turkey and again, ensure everyone’s happy.

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^^^ Another turkey alternative.

A nut roast alternative:

If you have vegetarians coming, you may already be planning a nut roast. Why not stick with that yourself? By incorporating orange peel and cranberries, you can have plenty of Christmas flavors. And, you can still enjoy all the trimmings which make a Christmas dinner what it is. As a non-veggie, you could even get stuck into pigs in blankets without worry! Still, you’ll be able to steer clear of the turkey.

While it is a traditional vegetarian option, a decent nut roast is more challenging to come by than you might think. They’re nearly impossible to find in shops nowadays, and there are a lot of dodgy recipes out there. Make sure to try this out before the event to make sure that your choice is the right one. It wouldn’t be unusual to have to try a few before settling on your winner.

Often, there are warning signs about whether a recipe will work or not. Look out for the binding ingredient, the vegetables used, and the seasonings. All of these work together to make a huge difference. You may end up having to mix a few recipes to achieve the right effect, and that’s okay. This is very much a practice makes perfect situation. By the time you reach an end result, you can be sure that your vegetarian guests will be glad for your dislike of turkey!

 

Your own concoction:

Of course, you could do away with tradition altogether, and concoct your own dish for the day. While guests may be surprised at first, this is sure to be a standout dinner for them. And, again, as long as you offer a small amount of turkey, too, this is sure to work well. Alternatives worth considering include beef wellington, roast duck, or something like a sausage and stuffing plate. Have a look through your cookbooks and decide which recipes sound most appealing. Then, think about ways to make them festive. Staple flavorings, such as stuffing, cranberries, and orange peel, could all help to get your concoction cooking.

Focus on the veggies:

You could argue that the trimmings are the best thing about the meal. For proof, consider that many vegetarians don’t even opt for an alternative (I don’t!). Instead, they’re quite happy to make do with all the lovely veggies and some fluffy roast potatoes. So, why don’t you just get rid of your turkey, and enjoy everything else?

To ensure a turkeyless dinner works well, go all out with your additions. Make sure your stuffing is extra good and roast those parsnips in honey so they have an extra something special. You could also make cauliflower cheese, which would form an alternative centerpiece of its own. And, of course, don’t forget all of your traditional festive veggies. Brussel sprouts may divide the crowd, but they need to feature on there somewhere. Rich greens, such as curly kale, can also provide a fantastic Christmas taste sensation. You might even want to go all out with your gravy. Adding spices and herbs while cooking this can make a massive difference to the taste.

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Mmmmm

A final word:

You don’t have to eat turkey if you don’t want to. But, if you are going all out with something different, you may want to warn your guests. We are creatures of habit, after all, and a last minute change of plan might not go down well. Instead, let them know what you’re going to do. As mentioned above, turkey is rarely a favorite. The chances are that your guests will surprise you with how willing they are to try other things. And, of course; that small turkey crown will please those who simply can’t go without tradition.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

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Sick As A Dog :(

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Sick As A Dog :(

Helloooooo. No offense to all of the beautiful dogs in the world, but I sure was sick as one this past week. From Friday until Monday I was suffering from a nasty sore throat, aches, fatigue, and nausea – it was seriously enough to make a grown man cry. And, because I turn into an overemotional mess while sick, cry I did. You seriously take your health for granted until you start feeling like a big bag of butts.

But, I am feeling much better, and now things are back to normal here on lifewithlilred! You just didn’t get to hear me complain about my disease ridden self because of a little thing called pre-writing. But, I promise that you weren’t missing out on much! How do you cure the winter flu? What are some of your tried and true home remedies? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

New Red Glitter & Black Nails

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New Red Glitter & Black Nails

Howdy! Last week, I indulged in a much needed fill for my nails to last me until the new year. I have been holding very true to my four plus weeks without a fill challenge as a money saving technique, and I am rocking it. Now, I get a fill every four and a half weeks or so instead of every three weeks and it makes getting pampered that much more sweeter. Take a look at my new December nails featuring my watermelon bed sheets (lol) and let’s discuss:

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I’m not entirely happy with this fill, if a woman is being honest. My nail tech, Steve, used the UV top coat on my nails and it did make them way shinier. BUT, when I went home and tried to do my middle finger crosses, the rhinestones would not stick to the super glue and nail to save my life. A five minute task turned into a half hour easily and I was pissed. Worst of all, Steve didn’t really ask me if he could switch it up, he just kind of did. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a change up as much as the next person, but not if it makes my bedazzling a big, fat pain in the buttinski!

Despite the above irritation, I do really like the red sparkles accent nail color. I was going to go with neon green, but I thought that a lovely, glittery red would be more appropriate for Christmas time. My crosses are not as on point as I would like, but at least the accent nail is distracting enough that hopefully no one will notice! Fingers crossed! Ba dum chhhhhhh.

What would you do if a beauty tech did something that you didn’t ask for? What color of polish do you have on right now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Unsung Wardrobe Heroes: Hollister Flannel Edition

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Unsung Wardrobe Heroes: Hollister Flannel Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! Today in Unsung Wardrobe Heroes, we are going to discuss a Goodwill find that has been giving and giving for well over FIVE YEARS now. My favorite flannel is said Goodwill find and I got it for a whole four dolla holla. It is Hollister brand, which I normally never wear, but at four dollars and a new but used condition – how can you not? Take a look and let’s discuss:

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What I love the most about this button down is its versatility. I can wear it unbuttoned over a crop top, buttoned up with a blazer over top of it for work, or buttoned with a moto jacket for play. And can we talk about its ability to create the perfect pinup girl look simply by tying it in a cropped knot? So flirty and fun! This top looks great with virtually anything and the checked pattern is classic, which creates a timeless look with every wear.

My favorite way to wear this top currently is buttoned down under a blazer. I love wearing it like this for work, because it creates a really true business casual look. My oversized boyfriend blazer looks cool and chic over this more closely fitted top and it takes it from a top for play to a top for work in an instant. At twenty-three, I never want to look stuffy when I’m with my clients, and this look keeps me feeling youthful and fresh, while still professional.

I normally don’t shop Goodwill or Plato’s Closet for the simple reason that I’m a pretty intense germophobe, so I don’t get a lot of pleasure in going. However, I faced my fear and I wound up with one of my go to tops in my wardrobe so maybe I should do it more often!

So there you have it, this week’s issue of Unsung Wardrobe Heroes: Hollister Flannel Edition! How do you fight germophobia while thrifting? What is your favorite thrift store find? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

December Jams

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December Jams

Hellooooo! I have been doing So. Much. Driving lately so I have been listening to lots of music in my car.

BUT WAIT… I thought you only listened to French tapes in your car!

Not anymore. I now listen to my French tapes when I’m getting ready for my day in the morning, instead. And, I have to say, listening to music in my car is way more fun! Here’s what I’ve been jamming out to as of late. And, as always, I have no rights to any of these songs or videos.

As you can see, my above selection is a solid mix of emo, princess pop, and indie – which is exactly how I like it! I am currently LOVING U2’s new album, “Songs Of Experience”, and you can always catch me rocking out to Arcade Fire’s “Everything Now”, as well. And, as per usual, Marilyn Manson and AFI is always a must!

These are my December Jams and I want to hear about all of yours! Who is on your playlist right now? Who has the best holiday music mixes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Collar Coolness: St. Tropez Edition

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Collar Coolness: St. Tropez Edition

Hey everyone and happy weekend! So yesterday we talked about some Collar Coolness with my new faux fur Modena collar and today we are going to stay on that topic with this gorgeous St. Tropez piece. Take a look and let’s discuss:

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^^^ The collar is lined with silk fabric in a floral pattern. So pretty!

Of course, I couldn’t have just one collar and I chose to get another one in this sultry, smokey mauve shade. This St. Tropez accessory is a lot fuller than my Modena one as seen in yesterday’s post and I really like that. The added fluff makes for a more over the top piece, and we all know that Lil Red loves making a statement!

I’m definitely excited to style this collar into my outfits, but I’m actually more looking forward to the makeup that can be worn with it! I am thinking a lush, purple smokey eye and a nude lip to create a really posh overall look. I do love this collar with my moto jacket as seen above, but I think that I would wear this one with a sleek little black dress for a swanky New Year’s Eve party look.

These collars are so fun but they also add such an air of chicness to every single piece that they’re paired with and I love that. My green Modena collar is edgy and funky, while this St. Tropez piece adds such a luxe touch to everything. The color is very high fashion to me and all of the extra volume doesn’t hurt in creating an interesting and fashion forward silhouette to all of my outfits.

So there you have it, some more Collar Coolness: St. Tropez Edition! How would you style this accessory? Do you prefer the green Modena collar or the mauve St. Tropez one? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Top Gift Ideas For The Whole Family

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Top Gift Ideas For The Whole Family

If you want to find a gift that the whole family can enjoy, then you are not alone. Every single year, people try and find gifts for a group of people rather than buying gifts for them individually and this can cause real problems. This is especially the case if the family members in question don’t share many common interests. Thankfully, there are plenty of ideas out there for you to choose from and you’d be surprised at how easy it is to find something that matches your family perfectly!

Family Mugs: A lot of people feel a relentless sense of anger when they find someone else using their mug. We all have a favorite mug, one that we use to get us through those cold winter nights and even those long nights after work. If you want to put an end to those mug-wars then why not consider buying a family mug set? You could personalize each one with the name of the person and even a cartoon picture of them, as well. You can also create one for any guests that come to your home, so there will be no more arguing or bloodshed when the time to make coffee approaches.

Ice Cream Machine: An ice-cream machine is a must-have in the summer months. The best thing about having an ice-cream machine is that they are very easy to use and they are also good for the kids to use, as well. All you have to do is add the mixture to the machine and turn it on. The machine will then chill the ice-cream over time and when it’s ready, you can scoop it right out of the machine. This is way better when compared to making it yourself because you don’t have to worry about putting it in the freezer or even blending it properly. You can then add your own flavors if you’re feeling adventurous!

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YUM.

Family Bucket List: We all have things that we want to do before we kick the bucket, so a family bucket list is really fitting if you know that everyone has a mental list of what they want to do. It’s actually possible for you to buy kits that give you the chance to do this, and each one comes with a container and a list of slips for you to write what you want to do on there. Everyone can see the list going down as feats are accomplished, and it’s ideal for those who have adventurous family members!

Games Consoles: A gaming console is a brilliant way for you to get the whole family involved. You can buy quiz games and you can also buy family-fun games as well. If you have a family of console-lovers or even mobile app gamers, then games such as Final Fantasy 15 are great for this. You can even buy in-game extras and this can include currency and so much more, so it’s ideal if you want to give them a head-start.

Family Charades: Charades is quite possibly the game that causes the most arguments in a family. It is incredibly fast-paced and it is also very fun. When you do play charades, you will be given something to act out. It could be a movie, an actor, or anything else. You can get the kids involved with this and it is a great way for you to make sure that everyone is included. These sets don’t cost much, either, so if you want to have something that the kids can play then this is a good option for you.

Sweets Basket: Who doesn’t like sweets? Sweets baskets are the easiest way for you to get something for everyone without breaking the bank. They show that you thought about the recipients and you can put tags on the individual sweets, too. On top of this, you can add extra goodies to the gift basket. This could be a mug or it could be a selection of coffee. You can make something for each family member or you can make a joint one. Either way, this is ultimately the easiest way for you to appeal to everyone and you can do the whole thing yourself with bows, ribbon and more!

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 YUM again!

Finding the whole family a gift is relatively easy and there are plenty of ideas above to get you started. Happy holidays!