At my fourth birthday party, my dad took a home video of me standing by the front door welcoming our guests and trying to hand them bits of cheese and crackers I had stolen from one of the party platters. Not much has changed— although my appetizer game is a little more sophisticated now. I still love to cook and entertain (and I'm still serving cheese and crackers, but hopefully with a more appealing presentation).
That's why Thanksgiving is definitely a contender for my favorite holiday. I've always dreamed of hosting the kind of warm, crowded Thanksgiving dinner advertised by Norman Rockwell, etc. Unfortunately, I have a very small family, so I've learned to love a more peaceful, intimate Thanksgiving. And really, as long as I have a few of my favorite people, I'm good.
This year, my best friend, Bianca, came from Utah to celebrate with my husband and me. She's basically my sister, so I'm counting it as a family dinner and not a "friends giving." And I'm hoping this will be the first of many Thanksgivings we spend together.
Obviously, we had to wear matching pajamas. I can tell this new tradition is going to stick. Not only do we look awesome, but we were cozy all day and able to cook without worrying too much about ruining our outfits. Definitely a benefit of not throwing a big, formal dinner.
I found a recipe for autumn sangria on The Everygirl, and immediately knew I wanted to try it— bourbon, prossecco, and apple cider are three of my absolute favorites. We modified the recipe a little, adding 1.5x the bourbon, replacing the pears with orange slices, and adding orange zest and rosemary sprigs to wake up the bourbon flavor a little more. We like our drinks a little sassier, so it worked out perfectly for us.
I'm not sure if people realize this, but turkey is NOT the star of Thanksgiving. Oh no. For me, it's all about the stuffing. Turkey gravy and cranberry sauce? Yep, I would make those just to dress the stuffing. Turkey is just an incredible side dish as far as I'm concerned.
Bacon is a new guest at our Thanksgiving table this year, but it got along so well with the Brussels sprouts, I think it's going to be invited back.
Enzo was so intoxicated with the smell of roasting turkey, we decided to give him a little. Adam fed him like two teeny pinches, and then I think the tryptophan got to him because he passed right out and used his little paws as an eye mask. Haha!
I'm thankful for so many things. Husbands who can properly cut a turkey among them. Friends who hop on planes and battle airport crowds just to spend a day cooking, eating, and hanging out in our pajamas together. Cats who look so adorable passed out after their turkey "dinner." And mostly just this life, which, with all its challenges, opens new opportunities to learn, love, and experience beauty all the time. Happy post-Thanksgiving, y'all!