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Q&A: Thanksgiving 911

Every Thanksgiving hostess has his or her moments of anxiety. Hell, I've been making holiday dinners and hosting dinner parties for a decade, and I still get a little nervous when it come to roasting the perfect turkey. That combined with kids, houseguests, and having to make an endless supply of side dishes all timed in perfect harmony...it's a lot for one person. Hopefully by the time you've read this post, I will have answered any of your looming questions, but if there is still anything you are concerned about, please leave a comment at the end of the post, and I'll be sure to answer. Pictured above: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
1. What if I overcook the turkey, and the breast meat is dry? Slice it thin and soak it in warm chicken or turkey stock.
2. How do I get the skin beautiful golden brown? Lots of butter! Separate the skin and push butter directly over the meat then spread more butter over the outside of the skin. Also cover just the breast of th…

Longwood Garden's Orchid Extravaganza to Open January 24th, 2015


One of the many places I miss since leaving the east coast is Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. I've blogged about it before, but as the Orchid Extravaganza opens on January 24th for the 2015 season, I wanted to remind you guys. It's truly one of the most magical and romantic places I've ever been. If you're looking for a special and unique place to spend a date, this is it.

It's not just any conventional garden. I truly think it's one of the best in the U.S., and I've been to some really gorgeous ones in D.C. and the surrounding areas. What makes Longwood Gardens so special are the seasonal displays they do, like the Orchid Extravaganza. The outside itself is amazing with the Italian fountains, the topiary garden, and so many little treasures along the way. When you make your way back to the conservatory for the special exhibits, walking inside is like being transported into Alice in Wonderland. The flowers are displayed in such a way that they create a special world of their own.

If you love to take flower photography or simply have a thing for orchids, this is also a place you must visit during this special exhibit. Longwood displays so many differed kinds or orchids. I've seen some beautiful orchid displays including at The Smithsonian, but nothing compares to the variety shown at Longwood Gardens. I can't say there is much to do in the area, but there is a children's garden and play area, a shop, and a few dining choices on-site as well as a very long outdoor walking trail; so it's well worth it even if you have to drive a few hours to get there. The Orchid Extravaganza exhibit for 2015 runs January 24th through March 29th. Get more info here.

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