Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving- being with family, eating all that delicious food, and most importantly, counting all my amazing blessings!  This year, we went down to my Mom's a little early since our schedules made it so we couldn't celebrate on the actual day.  All the snow in the area tried to keep us away but we made it there and back safely (thankfully!).  We had a great time too!  All that snow made for lots of fun!  My Mom lives up in the mountains so its more snow than we are used to which is lots and lots of fun!  My Mom and I cooked all morning while the kids played in the snow and worked up an appetite.

Check out this puff ball!  
My 4 year old shoveled the snow off the porch.  He was such a great worker!
My Mom is great at making things beautiful so I thought I'd share with you her Thanksgiving table and our fabulous food!

Here's the table at a glance.  We originally had some greenery down the middle with the pumpkins and apples but were worried about them getting all dirty with the kids and all that food!  It was really pretty but sometimes we do need to be practical.
I'm in love with these plates (excuse the toddler cup)!
For name cards, my Mom took fake leaves off of a branch and had my daughter write the names.  I thought it was cute and a great way to get the kids involved.

Look at this perfect turkey!  My Mom decided to get an already brined turkey then use one of those crockpot roasters.  I love those- frees up the oven and cooks great!  She put an onion in the middle and some sage on top.  To ensure it would be more brown she put it at a higher setting for 30 minutes (425 I think) then turned it down for the next 3-4 hours (350 I believe).  It tasted really great especially with the cranberry sauce!  And I don't usually enjoy turkey!  
If you haven't made homemade cranberry sauce before- you should!  I never liked it until I made it myself and now I'm in love.  Its super simple too!  All you have to do is bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Then pour 3 cups (or 1 regular sized bag) of cranberries in.  Return to a boil.  Stir and cook for 15 minutes.  After the cranberries come to a boil, I like to throw in some orange peel.  Usually I zest it but this time I just took a cutie and threw half the peel in just in big chunks.  It really adds to the flavor!  I just took the orange peel out before pouring into the serving dish so I think I'll just do it that way from now on- why waste time zesting.  I love cranberry sauce on the turkey, veggies, stuffing, etc.  It goes with everything!  Its really nice the next day too.  You can serve it warm or cold.  I really like it warm though.

Look at this amazing salad.  Super simple but so pretty!  Its just a great lettuce mixture, pomegranate arils, and mandarin oranges.  It doesn't even need salad dressing with all those great pops of fruit flavors but you could add one if you really wanted.
These potatoes were so great!  I've never had purple potatoes before but now I love them!  They are fun to eat because the color is so vibrant.  When you cut into it you see this deep purple that is so beautiful.  I love it!  These sweet potatoes and fingerling potatoes are simply roasted in olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Simple and delicious!
All of us, thoroughly enjoying the food!
We, of course, had mashed potatoes and stuffing too plus some more veggies but the above were my favorite!  It was a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner.  Then we had to head back home before more snow got in our way.
Even the deer were sad to see us go.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thanks for joining me in this adventure!