Happy Monday! It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving has already come and gone. I am STILL reliving the thanksgiving memories through my photos so I thought I’d share some of them with you!
We had cheese and crackers on hand before the actual meal, as well as some raspberry preserves. Last year we had goat cheese and fig preserves on the platter too, which was lovely. This year we kept it simple with cheddar and swiss. I branched out with the crackers by getting the generic brand… they turned out to be a little crumbly. They tasted great but were a little messy on account of the crumbs. Next time I’ll stick with a tried and true cracker brand.
We ended up doing a combination of cooking, catering, and potluck for the meal. For the catering, we got the Classic Thanksgiving meal for 12 from Whole Foods (check out their holiday meals here) which included the turkey, green beans, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberry sauce. So great! All you do is place the order online and pick it up in store! I ordered the meal a week early because I heard they sell out — and I’m glad I did, because they totally ended up selling out! Whole Foods also provided some awesome instructions for reheating (ie, temps and times) which helped to simplify the whole process. We were really impressed with everything and would definitely be open to catering again!
In terms of home-cooking, we cooked a couple supplemented sides the day of, including roasted sweet potatoes and mandazis (Kenyan donuts). And as far as potluck, our friends brought over a few homemade side dishes (corn pie, brussel sprouts, carrots, bread rolls), which were all delicious! They also brought over drinks (wine, beer, and cider) and a few homemade desserts (pumpkin pie, mini pumpkin muffins). The pie coupled with vanilla ice cream was unbeatable. It all made for an INCREDIBLE feast!
My brother (wearing the black shirt) and his wife (wearing the white sweater) came up from NYC to spend the holiday with us. They stayed a few days and made their way back to New York on Saturday night. It is always awesome to see them and spend time together. I hope they will eventually move to Connecticut at some point! Oh and side note, we set the food out on the kitchen counter so that everyone could fill their plates buffet-style. There were so many dishes that it made more sense to do it this way rather than try to fit everything on the table!
Joel did a nice job carving the turkey! Every year he is in charge of the turkey, and has always done a nice job. We usually cook our turkey in a bag because that’s how his mom used to do it. This year since the turkey came with our Whole Foods order, we didn’t have the pressure of cooking it, which was really nice! All we needed to do was pop it into the oven to heat up (Whole Foods provides all the instructions for heating each dish). After the feast was over, he made a nice turkey soup with the bones. DELICIOUS!
This is only the second or third time we have eaten in our actual dining room. Our house has a formal dining room and a breakfast table area next to the kitchen –> we usually eat at the breakfast table, but it was super fun to use the “real” dining room! Since there were a good number of us, I used a couple benches instead of chairs. This made it easier to fit more people at the table. I’d say the 9 of us fit pretty well around the table!
After we finished up with the big meal, we packed up the food into containers and got everything into the fridge. It was nice having everything put away instead of letting the food sit out all day long (which is what we have done in the past! haha). Many hands made for light work and it didn’t take long to get all the leftovers put away.
We were stuffed to the gills so none of us were ready for dessert just yet. We decided to play some rousing ping pong to help work off the meal. Joel definitely won every game he played, and we all joked that we need to befriend a professional ping pong player so that Joel will meet his match!
After ping pong came PIE! :) I had a mini pumpkin muffin (they were similar to mini pumpkin pies –> crust on the bottom, filling on top!) they were ridiculously yummy. My sister-in-law nailed her recipe! I also had some vanilla ice cream on the side, which of course was the absolute right decision. I was way too stuffed at that point to try any of the other pies, but each pie got amazing reviews from everyone else!
While dessert was underway, we debated which game to play. We are huge fans of game nights (one of our holiday traditions is to get a new game every Christmas) and we all voted for “Bang!” If you have never played Bang, you definitely should get your hands on it stat! We always have fun whenever we play it.
It’s a game based in the wild west, and each person is a character. The only character that is known to the group is the sheriff, and everyone else’s character is hidden. There are outlaws, a renegade, and a couple deputies. There was a fair amount of shooting (of course) and everything else you’d expect in the wild west.
Thanksgiving was such a fun day and we really enjoyed soaking in time with friends and family. We were utterly exhausted that evening and rolled ourselves off to bed with full bellies and happy hearts.
Over the past few years we have gone to see a movie with family on Black Friday, and it’s become such a fun little tradition. We have an incredible theater near us that is brand new — they have a crazy amount oof stellar food/drink options (Joel took advantage of the kettle corn this time around) and big comfy seats that recline.
This year we saw Justice League! Apparently it didn’t have great ratings, but we all enjoyed it anyway. I still haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet, but now I am even MORE excited to see it! I love Gal Gadot and how she portrays the character.
We’ve been enjoying all kinds of thanksgiving leftovers over here. We probably have enough to last us through the week! I feel like the food is even tastier as leftovers. My favorite thanksgiving food is stuffing and I am pretty thrilled that it is still making an appearance on my plate! I’ve seen a couple leftover pinterest recipes for turkey pot pie, so I might give that a try at some point. I guess we’ll see where the week takes us! :)
What’s your favorite thing to do with thanksgiving leftovers? Did you do any shopping Black Friday or Cyber Monday? What do you have going on this week?