Thanksgiving 2019 was maybe the most relaxing Thanksgiving of my adult life! I enjoyed spending the day in the kitchen preparing a meal for two, a long walk with Zoey and an evening at the movies with my mom.
I had hopes of sleeping in but woke up shortly before 7a. I made my way downstairs, put the coffee on and got started with my Thanksgiving meal prep. I spent the morning making cranberry sauce, prepping my stuffing and baking a sweet potato pie from scratch.
I had a late breakfast of toasted Dave’s Killer Thin-Slice Good Seed topped with butter, cream cheese, avocado and cottage cheese scrambled eggs. I wanted to eat a little later so that I’d be okay waiting until late afternoon for our Thanksgiving dinner.
I mentioned this in my last post but my mom and I were debating over what to do for Thanksgiving dinner. We were tossing around cooking at home, going out for a fancy meal or doing something non-traditional. I’m SO glad that we decided to cook a simple meal at home. I love cooking and it was so enjoyable to have a whole day to put together a nice meal with no rush to meet a certain timeline, without a house full of hungry people and without a toddler saying “up, please.” 😉 Never once did I feel rushed or stressed about anything I was cooking.
I broke midday to for a long walk with Zoey on the trails. It was a gorgeous Thanksgiving in Charlotte…temperatures around 60 and sunshine. We walked for a little over and hour and covered about 3 miles. I talked to my dad and grandmother in Florida while we walked.
I had originally planned to run a 10K turkey trot but I was feeling run down and tired from the past couple of weeks of work/travel/parenting (you know, life!) and I’ve also had a cold this week. While I certainly could have pushed myself to get up early and go turkey trot, I knew that what my really body needed on Thanksgiving was a break and some rest. Staying close to home all day and getting out for a walk felt just right. I seriously crave walks these days and time on the trails and in the woods.
Back at home, I took a hot shower, put on some cozy clothes and finished my dinner. I still had to make my green beans, roast the turkey breast, make gravy and bake the stuffing. We ate around 4:30p. Here’s the spread!
Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce. I’ve been making this recipe for years. I love to keep it in the fridge to use as an oatmeal or yogurt topper and to spread on sandwiches.
Butter Roasted Turkey Breasts. It made zero sense to do a whole turkey for just my mom and me so I opted for a breast, but I sure did miss the dark meat! Even still, I was pleased with how my turkey breasts turned out.
Italian Sausage and Bread Stuffing. I tried a new stuffing recipe this year and it was DELISH! While my family always does a bread-based stuffing (and I love it), we don’t include sausage in it. My mom and I both agreed that while everything in our spread was tasty, the stuffing was our favorite. I did make some changes to the recipe by using a mix of french bread and sourdough bread. I also used a ton more chicken broth than it called for. Oh and I halved the recipe and didn’t reserve any to stuff into the bird.
Green Beans with Cremini Mushroom Sauce. This was basically like fancy green bean casserole and really good. I used shiitake mushrooms and my mom and I both agreed that they were perfect for this dish. The mushroom sauce was a mix of chicken stock, sour cream (recipe called for creme fraiche, I subbed sour cream), paprika, cayenne and lemon juice. It baked with the blanched green beans and sautéed mushrooms and onions. The whole thing was topped with fried shallots to finish. Will definitely be making this one again.
All plated up + topped with homemade gravy. I used a simple turkey gravy recipe from Mark Bittman using pan drippings and stock. While the sides are my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner, it was nice to keep this meal simple and even with seconds on green beans and stuffing, I didn’t feel overly full after we ate.
I haven’t been to a movie since before Finn was born and it sounded like a great evening outing for us. I wanted to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood so I booked us seats for the 7p showing. The seats at this theater are recliners so we were extra comfortable for the movie. I brought in a to-go mug of hot ginger tea to sip on. This movie was just lovely. Tom Hanks is such a feel-good actor and so phenomenally talented. The story is a little hard and heavy, but also very real. It’s an emotional movie, but ultimately an uplifting and positive one. Highly recommend. <3
Back at home it was dessert time! I baked Joy the Baker’s famous sweet potato pie. Can you believe that in all of the years of baking and cooking I’ve done, that I’ve never made homemade pie crust!? I finally tried yesterday and it was super simple. The only problem is that the pie crust should have blind baked a bit before adding the sweet potato filling. It was pretty raw at the bottom of the pie, even after an hour in the oven.
The actual pie filling was to die for! This pie will be on my holiday table again. We also had a small slice of the apple walnut caramel pie from The Fresh Market.
Once I got settled in bed, I did a little online shopping. I had some Nordstrom gift cards from last Christmas that I hadn’t used yet so I ordered some booties and slide-on sneakers. Cannot wait for them to arrive! I also restocked on THE best dry oil of all time (Discovered this stuff last time I was in Europe. It smells and feels amazing).
Black Friday has been pretty low-key over here. I subbed a strength class at 8:15a and then Finn was waiting at home when I got back from teaching! 🙂
I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend. I am about to pull all of my holiday decorations out of the attic and get this place looking merry and bright! Looking forward to spending the weekend with Finn and my mom before she heads back on Monday.
What was the BEST thing you ate on Thanksgiving!?
Did you do any Black Friday shopping?
Did you walk, run or Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving?
Last movie you saw in the theaters?