Surviving Your Relatives: Ask Amanda Holiday Edition


Q) I love the holidays, but really dread having to be around some of my in-laws and other family. We look forward to being with most of our family, but others not so much. How do I enjoy the holidays and keep them from getting under my skin?

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Your Pet's Christmas Wish List


As a kid, I remember every year about this time making my Christmas list and waiting so excitedly for Santa to come on Christmas Eve. Now as a parent, it is still just as exciting (if not more) to play Santa. Last year was Jack’s first Christmas, which we spent away from home in Texas, so the dogs and cats didn’t really get any Christmas love. This year, I am taking the opportunity to restock a lot of the toys. In general, here are the types of toys I like:

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Mediterranean Turkey Breast: Recipe of the Week
Mediterranean Turkey Breast
I love Thanksgiving, I love cooking, I do not love cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  As the head chef of a pescaterian household, I rarely cook poultry or meat, other than a bbq or two in the summer.  So the notoriously difficult to cook Turkey has always been a challenge.  How to make the skin crisp while keeping the white meat moist and making sure the dark meat is cooked through?  A couple of years ago I hit upon a crock pot recipe that has saved my hide.
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Joli's Dream Thanksgiving: Recipe of the Week


I have always dreamed of having one of those big New England homes you see in movies, surrounded in snow and festooned in classy holiday decorations. I long for one of those dining room tables that seats an absurd number of people, so I can cook an elaborate meal for extended family. Alas, I have neither, and even if I did, my dream still would never happen. My own family is spread far and wide. My husband is the youngest of three, and his siblings have oodles of children, but they are a lost cause. Everyone lives in Indiana, so we do still sometimes get together for the holidays. We are, in fact, gathering for Thanksgiving tomorrow, if you can call 20+ people eating pizza in four different rooms gathering for Thanksgiving.

No one on my husband’s side can cook particularly well, so I guess I am thankful I won’t have to swallow dry turkey and bland mashed potatoes. On Thanksgiving Day, my RN husband has to work, so my daughter and I will be hanging out with a friend, and our menu isn’t set yet. So, this blog post is an ode to some of my favorite classic, holiday-worthy recipes. My husband hates turkey, so if I were cooking, it would probably be a ham, or maybe a standing rib roast, but I will save those for another blog. (You may quickly notice I once had a love affair with Epicurious).

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What I Wish I Knew About Making Mom Friends


Female friendships are some of the hardest relationships I’ve ever had to endure in my life, but they’ve also ultimately been some of the best. It’s always been important to me to have a strong group of female friends, but that doesn’t make these friendships easy to maintain. Emotions run high amongst ladies. Then feelings get hurt and drama ensues.  It’s just part of our DNA, apparently. I really thought as I got older and wiser, female friendships would mature especially once I had children. It’s not always the case. 

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Pumpkin Fluff: Recipe of the Week


Pumpkin Fluff 

We were recently at Kroger and had a sample that made the kids and I so happy. This is wonderful for Thanksgiving as a dessert or sweet snack. I wish I got a picture before it was all gone. 

Recipe from

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Turkey Day Workout


No turkey trot this year due to lots of cooking and preparations for the yummiest holiday of the year? We’ve come up with some fun yet challenging exercises you “CAN” do to rev up your metabolism before one of the highest calorie days of the year! 

Go to your pantry and grab 2 cans of food, as this is all the equipment you will require for this great little Thanksgiving Day workout!

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Not Because They Are Easy...


Dear Benjamin,

You will be born tomorrow. It is a very surreal experience for me knowing that after almost ten months living inside me you will be making your grand debut in less than 24 hours. Don’t get me wrong, I am ready to meet you, to hold you, to bring you into our family, but I am also scared. And not just for the cliche and predictable reasons like the fear of the physical pain of birthing you or the anxieties about my capacity as a mother or the chaos of living in a home where the adults are outnumbered by the children. No, I am scared because you are being born into a scary world.
This is not a story about politics, though. This is ultimately a story of hope and a deliberate effort to seek out the good in the midst of so much pain and hate. That is my promise to you and your siblings, to always look for the good.


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Dorothy's Thanksgiving: Recipe of the Week




It's November. Halloween has come and gone. The “busyness” of the holiday season has officially begun. Retail stores are boldly displaying Christmas decorations and Black Friday Deals; people have tagged their trees for pick-up in December; and everyone’s family calendars are sure to be overbooked with holiday social events, but FIRST … Thanksgiving! Personally, I love Thanksgiving --- not because I allow myself to indulge a little bit on my nutrition, but because it’s a time that I get to share with those I love the most, without any expectations. It's simply a time to just be truly THANKFUL. Who's excited? Anyone anxious about how they are going to avoid putting on the “Freshman 15” (or more!?!) over the next few months? We can all relate, right?!

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#WCW: Angela Ganote

wcw.pngShe grew up in an Indiana town … Fox59’s Angela Ganote grew up in Brownsburg before heading to Bloomington for college. The IU graduate has worked at WLFI in Lafayette, WSBT in South Bend, and WCMH in Columbus, Ohio. This busy mom is our #WCW because she’s got a great attitude about work and family life – especially working those early morning hours on Fox59’s Morning News beginning at 4 a.m!

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