November 10, 2017

Hey Y'all! - 15 Thanksgiving side dishes that are LIFE

South Your Mouth Newsletter - Issue #3

HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL FIND IN THIS ISSUE OF HEY Y'ALL:


15 MUST-HAVE SIDE DISHES FOR THANKSGIVING 
All my favorites including Cornbread Dressing, Sweet Potato Casserole, Ambrosia Fruit Salad and a dozen more.

GETTING RIGHT AT THE DOLLAR GENTRAL
The incredible thing that happened to me in a crappy parking lot that changed everything.

YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP
Things that made me ugly-laugh or otherwise occupied my attention, mind or heart this week.

CAN I PLEASE HAVE SOME?
Recipes (not my own) I came across this week that REALLY caught my eye.

WE EAT FISH STICKS TOO
My weeknight meal plan for feeding my busy family. Because we all need ideas.
And yes, we eat fish sticks too.



15 Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes that are LIFE
Recipes listed below, left to right then down

15 MUST-HAVE SIDE DISHES FOR THANKSGIVING

All my favorites including Cornbread Dressing, Sweet Potato Casserole, Ambrosia Fruit Salad and a dozen more.

Ambrosia Fruit Salad
Cornbread Dressing with Sausage
Southern Style Green Beans & Potatoes
Corn Casserole with Cheese & Bacon
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Southern Style Crock Pot Macaroni & Cheese
Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Mama’s Best Cole Slaw
Southern Style Collard Greens
Squash Casserole
Sweet Potato Praline Casserole
Southern Style Potato Salad
Supreme Green Bean Casserole
Zucchini Pie
Southern Style Baked Beans

Keep an eye out for next week’s Hey Y’all! where we’ll talk about THE BEST way to roast a turkey to get the juiciest, most flavorful bird EVER (complete with a cooking chart so you’ll know exactly how long to cook your turkey based on how much it weighs)



YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Things that made me ugly-laugh or otherwise occupied my attention, mind or heart this week.

  • I never learned to knit but I think I want to so I can make one of these giganto sweater blankets! Something about this video mes. mer. ized. me and now I want to make one. And evidently learn French. Again. Because I retained nothing from high school or college.


  • My Monday: within one hour my dog got loose, Brutus got locked out of the house and Husband got called back into work all at the same time the Angel Baby needed to be picked up from softball practice. I literally needed to be in 3 places at one time. Fun times!

  • Pretty Much...


  • This is one of my favorite songs EVER and I bet you’ve never heard it! The Rankin Family is a folksy family band from Canada that I fell in love with right along the time I was falling in love with Husband. You can’t listen to this song without tapping your toe and feeling happy!






GETTING RIGHT AT THE DOLLAR GENTRAL

The life lesson I learned in a crappy parking lot.

I want to share a little story with you about something that happened to me years ago that changed my life.

Being thankful is what has gotten me through the roughest times of my life. Thanksgiving is a time when a lot of us reflect on what we’re thankful for but if you can make being thankful at part of your daily thought process, it will have a profound impact on your life. OK, here's my story...

The recession that started in the early 2000’s really hit us hard. I got laid off twice; once while I was 4 months pregnant with our boy. Finding a good paying job with a baby bump during a recession proved to be impossible. I was out of work with no hope in sight.

The wolf was at the door and he stayed there a long, long time. We cut back everything to the bare bones… no cable, no garbage service, no internet, no phone, etc. Every dime we had went to absolute necessities.

I operated on a cash budget of $100 every two weeks to buy all groceries and household/personal items we needed. There was zero room for anything extra. I learned what food to cook that could be stretched the most. We ate a LOT of dried beans and rice because I could make a big pot of something with little to no meat and make it stretch. Our main source of protein was ground beef and cheap bologna. Every night when we’d say the blessing at supper I meant it – thank you God that we are able to put food on this table today.

I would buy the groceries with $90 and save $10 to buy diapers with. I knew the big pack of cheap diapers at Dollar General was $8.99 so it was always my second stop after buying groceries. I pulled in one day and parked the car. Before I got out I started crying. I was sitting in a car that had almost no gas and I had no idea how I was going to buy more. I was wearing an ill-fitting shirt I knew looked horrible on me but I didn’t have anything else to wear. I was mad or sad or tired or whatever about having gone to the grocery store once again to buy food we were all sick of eating, and passing on all the things I wanted but couldn’t afford. I sat in that car and let all the fear and sadness and despair wash over me and I sobbed and shrieked and whimpered and snotted until I was numb. I was done. I was ready to give up. I was sick of fighting the fight. I didn't have anything left to fight it with. I just stat there staring out my cracked windshield, in an exhausted daze, feeling utterly sorry for myself. And then I heard a voice, just as clear as if someone had spoken right beside me, say, “What do you need right now that you do not have?”

I don’t know if I heard it in my head or my ears. I don’t know whose voice it was but it I know it wasn’t mine. What I do know is it came out of nowhere and couldn't have stunned me more if someone had smacked me in the head with a boat paddle. I have found value in all faiths so please interpret this any way that feels right to you. But what I think is that God sent me a message. A very powerful message.

Because the answer to the question was nothing. At that moment in time, there was nothing I truly needed. I had food to feed my family. I had the money I needed to buy the diapers. I had enough gas to get home. I had a shirt on my back. So I started thinking about everything else I had. I had a home for my family, clean beds to sleep in, warmth in the winter, a husband who loved me, thriving healthy happy children, good friends to share my life with, amazing parents who loved unconditionally and so, so much more.

So I decided to focus on all the things that were right instead of all the things that were wrong. I would spend time each day being thankful for the blessings in my life and trust that so long as I did my absolute personal best to make things better, everything was going to be OK. And it was. I eventually found another job. The economy improved. The wolf finally left our door.

Each of us has something to be thankful for. Even if it’s just that we woke up today. Fill yourself up with thankfulness when you feel defeated or scared or hopeless. You won’t believe how much harder you can fight, how much farther you can go or how brave you can be when your heart is full ❤


CAN I PLEASE HAVE SOME?

Recipes (not my own) I came across this week that REALLY caught my eye.

PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE SWIRL MUFFINS by The Novice Chef
OK, even if you’re over pumpkin spice right now, save this recipe. IT IS PERFECT. We’ve made these several times and there is nothing that can be improved upon here. They are super moist, flavorful and absolutely beautiful. They’re Husband’s new obsession. View Recipe



CRISPY CAJUN SHRIMP FETTUCCINE from Jo Cooks
If the pictures didn’t get me, this description would have. Jo describes the dish as: Crispy cajun shrimp fettuccine with a super easy creamy sauce and crispy cajun shrimp that can be on your dinner table in 20 minutes tops! Well, OF COURSE I have to make this. View Recipe



NO BAKE SUPERFOOD BROWNIE ENERGY BARS by Ambitious Kitchen
OK, I don’t want to make these because they may or may not be healthy. I want to make them because I LOVE 90% of the ingredients (never had or heard of some of them but I’m down for getting my goji berry on) and think the chewy dates, nuts and dark chocolate sound absolutely dreamy together. View Recipe






WE EAT FISH STICKS TOO

My weeknight meal plan for feeding my busy family. Because we all need ideas.
And yes, we eat fish sticks too. 

I can’t share my meal plan from this week because I haven’t hit a lick in the kitchen! We had a super busy weekend then practices and scrimmages and lions and tigers and bears every night this week and have been eating a combination of drive-thru and frozen crap because I STILL haven’t gotten to the grocery store! It’s slim pickins at the ol’ Rivers house right now!

But with the weather turned so cold and rainy right now, I sure wish a had a big pot of my Tuscan Chicken Stew!

Tuscan Chicken Stew - View Recipe


Thanks for catching up with me this week! Don't forget to like, share and pin the stuff you enjoy from South Your Mouth - it's what keeps the wheels a' turning!


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“What if, today, we were grateful for everything?” - Charlie Brown



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10 comments:

  1. Love, love, love everything in your post!!

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  2. Dear Mandy,
    Your story about Dollar General has touched me deeply. Things have been going bad for me for some time now, every since February when I lost the use of both my legs. You have shown me that I need to look at the good things in my life and all the things I should be thankful for. Thank you for your story.
    My Deepest Gratitude,
    Joan Abbott

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    Replies
    1. Oh, Joan. I am so sorry to hear that. To everything there is a season. It's hard to imagine now but there will come a season in your life when you'll have adapted and it won't feel so devastating. Keep focusing on everything that's good and know I'll be sending positive thoughts your way :)

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  3. May I just say thank you for writing this blog. It never fails to make me laugh a little, cry some, and take away a recipe for something I can't wait to make. Looking forward to the next one.

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    1. I think this might be the best thing anyone's every written here. Ummmmph. Thank you friend.

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  4. Girl, you are wealthier (and wiser) than anyone I know! You opened your heart and soul describing a very personal, difficult time in your life that few people would be willing to talk about, let alone blog about! I knew I liked you, but now I REALLY like you. Mandy, you rock!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Husband says I over share but I figure the bad stuff isn't anything to be ashamed of and if someone else might be helped by hearing about it then we should tell our stories.

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  5. Mandy, I don't know which I adore more, your musings or your recipes. This morning (and really as always), it was a strong tie. Sitting quietly in the early morning, listening to The Rankin Family, sipping my coffee, and reading your Dollar General experience, and I recognize an intense feeling of thankfulness. You have a gift with words and the work you put into your blog, recipes, and family is greatly appreciated.

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    1. Oh my goodness... when I sat down to write this I had no idea so many of you would take something away from it and I am SO grateful to get such heartfelt feedback. Truly. I've never wanted to be just another food blog with recipes and canned writing ("I love cherry pie. Do you love cherry pie? If you love cherry pie you will love this cherry pie."). I love people and living this life and engaging with other people and learning about new things and experiences.Thank you for taking the time to comment - you've made my day :)

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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