Tag Archives: thanksgiving dinner

Come spend Thanksgiving Day with me!

This year I spent Thanksgiving with The Man’s family and friends…

It was a glorious day full of great company and delicious food 😀

Although I missed the Fanatic Fam very much, it sure was nice to have a wonderful place to spend the holiday and the food was not to disappoint!

The Man’s Mom wanted to make sure I had some familiar family dishes at the table, so I was assigned the task of bringing two sides.  This was totally awesome, because I don’t know that it would be Thanksgiving to me without my Nanny’s sweet potato & pineapple casserole 😀

It was also great because not only were there the usual T-Day suspects, but also some new-to-me dishes that I wasn’t used to having on the holiday table.

So come on, come spend Thanksgiving Day with me!

We started the afternoon with some snacks to hold us over until an early dinner.

These olives were stuffed with full garlic cloves – oh yes – and they were delicious!

No vampires here 😛

The Man’s Mom had the table set beautifully!

Looked magazine-worthy if you ask me.

Most of the dinner prep had occurred the night before, remember the cranberry apple relish recipe from last night? 

So we didn’t have to spend all day in the kitchen, instead we got to hang out and relax… and act goofy, shocker there 😛

Cheese please?

So what ended up on our dinner plates?!

Here. We. Go!!!



My Nanny’s sweet potato casserole (wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it to me!)

Sweet potatoes, pineapple and gooey marshmallows.  Ahhh I feel like I’m 10 years old again 🙂

Recipe coming tomorrow!

Pineapple stuffing.

Yea, this stuff is pretty insane.

Mashed potatoes.

These were made with cream cheese & sour cream, skins on.  Plus they were done ahead of time and warmed in the crockpot all day, what a great idea!

More stuffing.  Plus some bubbly 😉

What did I miss?

Hmmm… let’s see.

Green bean casserole.  Cranberry Apple Relish.

Yep, I think that about covers it all.

Oh but wait, we’re not done yetttttt!

Loosen that belt loop a notch (or two) 😉

Pumpkin pie.

Baked apples w/ ice cream.

Apple Cherry Tart.

Ooooey gooey goodness.

I’m full all over again just thinking about it all 😛

What a fabulous day it was, now time to go lounge on the couch and recover from all the tasty treats that were had earlier in the day… and maybe rest up for some holiday shopping w/ the rest of the world tomorrow!

Plus be on the lookout for that sweet potato casserole recipe tomorrow, it’s a recipe that’s not only great for the Thanksgiving but also for the December holidays too 🙂



Mimosas in the afternoon!

Hello friends!  I hope all of you are having as lovely of a Thanksgiving as I have had 🙂  A day filled with family fun and delicious food, life is GOOD.

So after a morning full o’ stuffing cooking fun I got all ready to head to my parents house with Miss Priss Lucy Dog! (sportin’ my new scarf from World Market!)

The afternoon started out a lil’ something like this 😉


Nothin’ like seeing your Senior Vice President in Food Lion while carrying a bottle of champagne at 2pm in the afternoon, right haha?!  😛  Luckily he’s a pretty cool dude, so it was all good 😉

It was an absolutely gorgeous day here in the ol’ RIC…. I’m talking short sleeve weather peeps… couldn’t have asked for better!  Spent some more time with this lil’ lady

And we took a family walk around the neighborhood with this Priss 😉

Luckily since Mom & I think alike, we had prepped basically all the food ahead of time and got to enjoy a leisurely afternoon watching girly movies with lil’ sis and just hangin out…. poor Dad is so outnumbered!  Love you Dad 🙂

Turkey was in the oven roastin’

All we had to do was make some homemade gravy with the juices

Hazelnut, Sage & Mushroom Stuffing was prepped and ready from earlier this morning 🙂 and just needed a reheat in the oven.

Cranberry Apple Relish had been prepared the day before with the lil’ sis too, easy peasy!

And don’t forget my Nanny’s Sweet Potato & Pineapple Casserole which Mom had made up the night before!  Remember when I made mini-versions of this a few weeks back?



Pineapple + fresh mashed sweet potato + big marshies = happiness!

Plus a festive salad featuring apples, cucumbers, onions and dried cranberries dressed with Raspberry Walnut vinaigrette.

Here was the table set up, complete with some Malbec for sipping of course 😛  (thanks Laura & Robbie, this vino was perfect!)

And my plate o’ Turkey day lurve of course! 

I really enjoyed the dark meat on the turkey this year (yea this girl will never be a vegetarian fo’ sure), Mom cooked it perfectlyyyy.  Everything else was also superbly deelish and nothing was too indulgent so I felt great after dinner!!  No turkey day bloat here friends 🙂

Of course there was pumpkin pie later too, however sorry but my mouth beat my camera to it!

The Man spent the day with his family and check out their Turkey Day feast!

Get this, they had pineapple stuffing in the mix, I have never even heard of such a thing but my curiousity hat is definitely on!

Alright friends, I am back at home with my man and my pup and ready to enjoy a movie in front of the fire and some more wine (bc that’s what I need haha)….


A balancing act?

Hi-dee-ho Neighbors!  🙂

How is everyone doing today?  Did you know that Tuesday is the new Friday? 😉  Yes yes it is, at least in my neck of the woods!  Whoop whoop to that.

So in honor of the upcoming holiday I thought I’d post some fun tips on how this Fanatic tries to have a balanced Thanksgiving day of eats — because let’s face it folks, there are some things that everyone should treat themselves to during this festive season!

A balancing act?

To me, Thanksgiving dinner involves making some trade-offs in order to get the most “bang-for-your-food-buck”!

The trick is knowing when the indulgence is worth it, which can obviously be subjective based on your own personal likes & dislikes.  For me, homemade stuffing with all the goods is a MUST.  So is pumpkin pie 🙂  However when it comes to turkey & buttered up potatoes… I could take it or leave it.

Here are some ways Fanatic Family will be “trimming the turkey” this year 😉

Serve vegetables, but try to keep them healthy (i.e. don’t drench them in butter).  Adding spices or nuts is always a fun option. 

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This year we are having sweet potato casserole, but instead of drenched in brown sugar and butter we serve it with pineapples & marshmallows just like my grandma used to.  Essentially fat-free!

Homemade stuffing is a must in my book  However, if you are making a homemade stuffing, try cutting down on butter by adding moisture using other ingredients (i.e. broth, wine, diced vegetables/fruit). 

Our Hazelnut, Sage & Mushroom Stuffing recipe calls for 1.5 sticks of butter, but with a lil’ extra wine & chicken broth I always cut that down to well under 1 stick without compromising flavor.  Every bit counts!

If you don’t love turkey skin, then don’t eat it!  You’ll get enough juicy flavor without all the added fat.

Serve a fruit side dish, such as cranberry salad, which does contain sugar however tends to be lower in fat and offers nutritious vitamins.

This year we are making a Cranberry & Apple Relish we learned at a Whole Foods cooking demo, the ingredient list is short and dominated by fruits.

Dessert to me is a “just-do-it!” & enjoy every bite kind of event!  Let’s face it friends, pumpkin pie is a fairly good dessert choice & if eaten in moderation never hurt anyone!!! 🙂

Also, for me, it’s important that I surround myself with not only my loved ones & good food during this time — but also some physical activity “before and after” style!

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Day Before:  A.M. Cardio3 Class at gym to get my body ready for some good eats.

Day After:  A.M. Kickboxing class at gym to sweat it all out.

This will leave me feeling debloated  refreshed and rejuvinated!

Do any of you have steps you take for staying healthy during the TDay holiday? 

Okay all this turkey talk has gotten me hungry, onto lunch eats for today!

First I started with the leftover salad from last night – including the Cheesecake Factory bread croutons which have apparently morphed into pizza-taste overnight… yes, holy yum.

Then I topped it with a variety of items from our work salad bar:  cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, banana peppers, carrots, sunflower seeds, shredded cheddar, grilled chicken and balsamic vinagrette.

And last but not least that sneaky leftover barbecue followed me to work 😉 so I had to put some on there too!

I also picked up some roasted veggies (zucchini, mushrooms & onions) to go alongside however don’t know that there is room in the ol’ belly after this ginormous salad beast!

Gotta save some room for chocolate 😉

So tonight is going to be a sisters in the kitchen kinda night… it’s Friday as far as I’m concerned so we plan on having some vino and cookin’ it up! 

See ya’ll back for more & have a lovely day  🙂