Wine Country Thanksgiving

Oh my goodness what a long week it has been.  The kids were out of school since last Monday and our oldest headed home for a long {x-tra long} weekend.  Doesn’t it seem that we need a day or two for us to rest after a holiday weekend?  As usual, this was my holiday to cook for family.  I do Thanksgiving every year and it is always a different menu.  This year I must give kudos to Holiday Entertaining magazine from Bon Appetit and Gourmet for the amazing recipes I used.

It was business as usual for my preparation.  About two weeks before Thanksgiving, I research magazine after magazine and pull from each and every one.  I look for something new and unique or something that I can add my own twist to {depending on how creative I want to get, OR how tired I am}.  No fancy twists this season, just followed along the recipes I found.  Cutting and pasting each one with the matching picture {I always use pictures when cooking a recipe that is not mine}.  Next, I create my shopping list and this is how it goes…

  • Produce and perishables
  • Non-perishables
  • House-hold items {this could include anything from cleaning products to candles, to whatever I need in the house}
  • Flowers
  • Grocery food {the regular we need}

I do all shopping about the week before and leave the perishables and Turkey for about 3 days prior.  This year a frozen turkey was purchased and my first year I have ever tried to “brine” a turkey.  I made every effort to use as many fresh ingredients possible for the entire meal.  I did however go with a box stuffing instead of making my own bread crumbs this year {because I opted to do so many other dishes} but added the standard apples, onions, celery etc. to it.

Cider Brined Turkey with Apples

Both my hubby and I stayed up late the night before to prepare as much as possible in order to make Thanksgiving a bit easier.  I enjoyed hanging out in the kitchen all night while the kids were in bed and creating and making food.  The house smelled so good, the mixer, the blender, the peeling, the chopping, the “bubbles” {of course} and the excitement for the next day.

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Cranberry Orange Relish with Mint

Holiday edition bubbles

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Winter Tabbouleh made with Quinoa, endive, fennel, cauliflower, mint, parsley, pomegranate drizzled with pomegranate dressing

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My fave dish of the night…Beet and Fennel soup with Kefir

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Twice Baked Sweet Potato with Bacon Sesame Brittle
Yes, I said Bacon Sesame Brittle!

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Stuffing Muffins

Bacon Sesame Brittle…You have no idea {seriously off the hook}

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Some love from my hubby

2013-11-28 04.46.58Dinner was a success and family ended up staying until after midnight.  Just chatting, laughing, sharing stories, going through old photos and drinking “bubbles”.  The next day we headed out for some family time {my hubby and the kids} and found a great spot to take some family photos.  Amongst the vineyards at a nearby winery {seemed to be a great fit for Fitnessmomwinecountry}.

Holiday in the vineyard

My Three Loves

Mom and Son

Holiday Season in California

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  1. Looks like you had a delicious thanksgiving 😉 great family time that you will all cherish 😉

  2. What a wonderful meal you made! I had to laugh at brine the turkey because it was my husbands first time as well. I didn’t like it, turned out waaaayyyy to salty. And his turkey is perfection so why mess with perfection (we won’t do that again). I’m sure yours was delicious! Your sweet potatoes look great! Your family photos are beautiful!

    • I will not brine again Melissa..Not because the turkey was salty..I actually prefer my citrus turkey I do. The sweet potatoes were off the hook with that darn sesame bacon brittle :)Just broke the brittle into pieces and placed them on top

  3. OMG !!!!!! I wish I knew about stuffing muffins BEFORE Thursday – my dad made ENTIRELY TOO MUCH………. He should have made them in muffin form and he wouldn’t be stuck eating it for the next 10 days LOL!

  4. You seriously must have the fanciest meal I’ve ever seen! I want to try ALL those things. Do you have recipes for them somewhere? That soup looks amazing and the bacon brittle…I need to know how to do that.

  5. It seems you really had a great Thanksgiving with your family, and also lots of food. It really looks delicious. So nice!

  6. I want your leftovers. Looks fabulous and such great photos.

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