Thanksgiving Feast 2010

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Hubby and I spent this year’s Thanksgiving with his family.

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My mom’s family is on the other side of the world (and doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving) and hubby’s family is mostly up north, so growing up, we always had small celebrations (unless our cousins came for a visit). At my family’s Thanksgiving table, it was usually just me, my mom and dad, and my sister.

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Hubby’s family celebrations are more the traditional, large-family get-together type. There are usually about 14 people in the mix…a much larger group than our usual 4. I love my family get-togethers…but I really love hubby’s family get-togethers, too. It’s fun to celebrate a holiday in another style and with lots of people around. :)

Either way, it’s always a happy-time when you’re celebrating the holidays. And guess who was excited for Thanksgiving this year?

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I was!!!

Hubby and I headed to his family’s place around 5pm.

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We started with their traditional veggie tray. I snacked on this quite a bit before the main event got underway.IMG_0511 (640x427)

Plus, we had vino, beer, and crackers.

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I snapped a quick photo of my place setting before dinner got started. I love all the antique and heirloom pieces.

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Meanwhile, things were wrapping up the kitchen. The turkey was carved, potatoes were mashed, and gravy was created.

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I enjoyed looking at some of the family’s antique silverware. Hubby’s aunt had no idea what this little tool was for, so I made it my mission to figure it out before the end of the night. I took a picture and sent a request out to my twitter friends.

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These antique serving spoons made it into the mashed potatoes. There were two bowls – one for each spoon.

We had a lot of eats on the table….here are some photos….

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Green bean casserole

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Hubby’s mom’s famous “dry dressing”

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Rolls, including some homemade by hubby’s uncle.

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Turkey with hubby’s uncles famous beer gravy and cranberry sauce. IMG_0583 (640x427)

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It was a real Thanksgiving feast and I filled up my plate with a little bit of everything. Everything was delicious. I savored every bite. I ended up only going with one plate this year. I wanted to save room for dessert without feeling overstuffed before the end of the night.

And there were definitely plenty of desserts…

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A family recipe pecan pie from hubby’s aunt’s mom, baked by hubby’s aunt’s daughter. I had first had this pie a couple years ago at a holiday celebration and have been looking forward to more ever since. I was really excited to see it tonight!

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I brought butterscotch dough balls (I doubled the batch and somehow they flattened out! Whoops! :( ) and some of my latest creation – lemon rosemary thumbprint cookies with strawberry preserves.

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Sugar cookies

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Raspberry cobbler

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Many other pies, including hubby’s mom’s gingerbread pumpkin pie, two apple pies, and the pecan one I mentioned earlier.

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As much as I wanted to, I knew I couldn’t have a bit of everything. So, I had some of the pecan pie, apple pie, cobbler, and gingerbread pumpkin pie. Everything was wonderful!

Plus, it was fun to catch up with hubby’s family. Those guys always have such interesting things going on!

***

By the way, I figured out, with my most-awesome google-skills, that the strange antique silverware piece is a “baby food pusher”, which apparently is supposed to be used by children too small to use knives to push food onto their forks. Who knew?

***

The older I get, the more thankful I become. I feel like I appreciate things more and more every day that I never did before, especially things I used to take for granted.

I’m thankful for:

  • hubby
  • family
  • Bailey
  • friends
  • my health
  • my job
  • our house
  • the ability to teach Zumba
  • my blog readers – that’s YOU reading right now.  Thank you for helping keep TCL going. :)

***

And I leave you with a cute video. Check out these turkeys:

Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends!

What are you thankful for?

Brace for Eating

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Since we had a Thanksgiving Eve party to attend, we decided to leave to visit family Thursday morning.

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Traffic was pretty stop and go for the first part of the trip.  IMG_0449 (640x427)

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But eventually we got going. I was happy to not see too many accidents on the way. I always think accidents on holidays are extra-sad. The weather was pretty nasty most of the way.  IMG_0454 (640x427)

I kept myself preoccupied with Bon Appetit and Whole Living. Love these mags.

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Most restaurants are closed today because of the holiday, but luckily Starbucks was open. We hit them up for a light lunch and hot coffee. I got a short gingerbread latte. IMG_0459 (640x427)

We got breakfast sandwiches for lunch. IMG_0461 (640x427)

We eat split half of two types: sausage, cheddar, egg on an English muffin…IMG_0465 (640x427)

…and my usual – the spinach feta wrap.

We made it to hubby’s hometown around 1pm.

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Since we had some time before dinner, I decided to take the opportunity to paint my nails. I guess it seems silly that I pretty much never have time to paint my nails. You may remember this rock star nail polish kit I picked up weeks ago from Sephora. Yep…I haven’t used it yet. Well, not until today at least. That’s one of my favorite parts about going out of town. You get away from most of your to-dos back home and have time to do things you don’t normally have time to do.

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I kind of wanted to use one of the darker nail polish colors, but I decided to use the gold glitter because it seemed more festive.

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Bailey’s pretty excited to have hubby’s mom’s dog and hubby’s brother’s dogs to play with all weekend.  IMG_0480 (640x427)

Anywho, hubby and I are almost ready to head to another family member’s house for the full-on Thanksgiving dinner.  I can’t wait to see the rest of Dan’s family and enjoy some delicious eats!

Dinner is at 6pm. Almost time! Brace for im…err…eating!

What time do you usually eat your Thanksgiving meal?

Thanksgiving Eve + Lemon Rosemary Thumbprint Cookies With Strawberry Preserves

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For my US friends, it’s almost Thanksgiving time!

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I have a fun new cookie recipe to share with you guys, but first…today’s eats.

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I haven’t done a coffee photo in awhile, so here’s my cuppa joe from today. It’s a locally roasted coffee that hubby and I got from the farmer’s market.

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Lunch was simply leftover spaghetti and foccacia from last night. I love how spaghetti is pretty tasty the day-after.

Re-heating fresh pasta tip: just drop the pasta into boiling water for 30-60 seconds till it’s warm again. It’s sooooo much better this way than using the microwave.

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I ended up taking a half day today. I was ready for my holiday to start. I’ll probably wish I had my half day still when it comes time for Christmas, but I was happy to take off from work around 1pm today and get into a more festive mood with some baking.

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I had a really special project in the works – an original creation utilizing rosemary and lemon.

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The rosemary is actually from my herb garden. Woohoo!

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I decided to try a new flavor profile for thumbprint cookies. I started by rolling my chilled cookie dough into about 1-inch balls.

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Then I pressed an indentation into the top of each ball…thus the name. ;)

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The last step before baking is to fill the cookies with strawberry preserves.

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I like the Bonne Maman brand, though I typically wait till it’s on sale to buy it.

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While my cookies baked, I got ready for the day and snapped a couple Bailey shots.

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I just love his little pawsl

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Post-baking. These guys made my kitchen smell so divine!

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Much like the dough balls, they won’t really brown much on top. You can tell they’re done with they start to brown just so around the bottom edge of the cookie.

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I’m not typically very good at coming up with baking ideas (working on it, though), so I’m especially proud of this little concoction. I don’t even know where I got the flavor idea from…guess that’s what happens when you constantly brainstorm recipe ideas. :) lol

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The cookies were so darn good I ended up eating 4 of them after they came out of the oven (with a little time for cooling of course)!

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I think the recipe may possibly be better for a spring recipe…

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…but who cares, right? To me, these cookies are good any time.

Lemon Rosemary Thumbprint Cookies with Strawberry Preserves

Makes 20 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 stick butter, softened/room-temp
  • 1 egg (or flaxseed-egg)
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped fine (this amount is for a subtle flavor, use more rosemary for a stronger flavor)
  • 1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 lemon zested
  • strawberry preserves (suggested brand is Bonne Maman)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix sugar and butter till creamy. (I used a handheld mixer, but you could probably just use a whisk). Add egg, rosemary, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix till combined.
  4. Mix wet into the dry. Note: it may appear there is not enough liquid for the amount of dry ingredients, but continue mixing. It will form into a dough, it will just be a firm dough. See tips above for combining. Careful to not overmix.
  5. Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes before forming dough into 1-inch balls. Press your thumb into the top of the dough balls to form an indentation. Fill each indentation with 1/4 tsp of strawberry preserves. Note: Be careful to not cross-contaminate your preserves. Don’t let the spoon you’re using to fill the cookies touch your preserves container. If you’re worried, move a small amount into a bowl separate from the preserves container.
  6. Bake balls for 13-17 minutes, depending on how soft or crunchy you want your cookies, plus to allow for differences in over temperatures. Note: The tops will not really brown, but the bottoms will. You can tell your cookies are done if the bottom edges start to brown.
  7. Let your thumbprint cookies rest on the baking sheet to cool at least 5-10 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

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Hello beautiful cookies!

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I actually also baked some butterscotch dough balls along with this new flavor to take to a Thanksgiving Eve party.

(not sure what’s going on with my mouth but the rest of my photos from tonight look weird, too, so this will have to do. haha)

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There was an insane amount of food at the party!

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I normally try to get a bit of everything, but there was just too much! I ended up with some pasta salad, ham, a tamale (love!), cheesy baked potatoes, lasagna, and a roll.

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I was actually so full from the savory eats that I didn’t dig too far into the dessert table. I had a Caribbean coconut cookie and some thin Moravian-like cookies.

Wishing everyone safe travels and fun times with your friends and family!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve friends!

And congrats to Kate and Nate on the birth of their adorable son! :)

What food item are you MOST looking forward to on the Thanksgiving table?

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