A very happy Thanksgiving

22 Nov

I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve been busy with my new job and some weekend adventures (some of which even have supporting photographic evidence that should have made it to this blog). So, I just wanted to pop in and share some pictures from Thanksgiving which included all the things this blog usually includes: running, cooking, eating, spending time with family and general Midwestern goodness!

We started the day with the St. Anne’s Turkey Trot 5K, which winds up and down the roads and trails through Lowell Park along the Rock River on the north side of Dixon. More than 450 people showed up!

Christopher and I fared well on the tough, hilly course; he finished in about 27 minutes, while I finished in 31:30 – without a walk break! I felt a little nauseous at some spots and wanted to walk, but I convinced myself to just go slow and put one foot in front of the other. We treated this “race” purely as a fun run and a means to stay active on the biggest eating day of the year. We’ll be back next year.


We came home, cleaned up and prepared the turkey, which sat in a brine (in a cooler on the back porch) of vegetable broth, water, salt, brown sugar, lemons, oranges and spices from late Tuesday night to this morning. First, we thoroughly rinsed the bird in cold water, then patted it dry. Next, we placed cut carrots, onions, apples, lemons and oranges in the bottom of the roasting pan and in the cavity of the turkey, along with (in the cavity only) fresh rosemary, sage and thyme, as well as some garlic. Then, we rubbed compound butter (basil from our garden, chopped and frozen in the butter after the last harvest, plus some rosemary, sage and thyme) and oil all over the bird. Last, we put it in the oven, 30 minutes at 500 degrees, then 2 hours at 340 degrees.

The family arrived and contributed their dishes. We noshed on a caramelized onion, gruyère, and bacon dip, as well as an eggplant-walnut pate, both of which my dad made. We had a couple beers, which my brother brought. And we watched football.

My mom and I made gravy from the pan drippings, turkey stock and heavy cream, and we heated up all the side dishes. Christopher carved the turkey.


Everyone filled their plates, gathered around the table and toasted each other and the day.


We feasted on:

  • Turkey



  • Apple-cranberry-mushroom dressing
  • German-style red cabbage
  • Bacon-wrapped asparagus bundles with a sweet-and-savory butter sauce)


Christopher and I made pumpkin crème brûlée for dessert, and everyone loved it as an alternative to pumpkin pie!

All in all, we have a lovely Thanksgiving, full of football, food and family (human and canine). I am so very, very blessed to have a loving husband, a caring and supportive family that doesn’t mind make the trek to our house for the holiday and a wonderful home. I hope you had a great day, too!


6 Responses to “A very happy Thanksgiving”

  1. Lisa @ Lisa Living Well November 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    It sounds like you had a great holiday! Ooh and pumpkin creme brulee sounds lovely!

    • kaylabee18 November 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

      Thanks, Lisa! We had a lovely day. I saw your post, and it looks like your family had a great day, too. 🙂 If you’re feeling adventurous, give that creme brulee recipe a try; so easy and tasty!

  2. Emily November 24, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    It sounds like everything is going well! Congrats on the new job!

  3. Joanna @ Running Places November 25, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    Mascarpone chive mashed potatoes?? How did you not tell me of this recipe prior?? Well, Thanksgiving’s over, but I’m definitely busting that one out at Christmas!!

    & I love the diverse flavors and ingredients you used in all your dishes. Everything sounds amazing! I wish my family would let me do that stuff, but my Dad and brother INSIST on traditional dishes and no creativity 😦

    • kaylabee18 November 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      Oh my goodness, please make them for Christmas. They are delicious and oh so creamy.

      Thanks for the sweet words. We had a lovely time. This was the second time my husband and I hosted my family, and this is the second year in a row of fabulous food with twists on the traditional stuff. I’m very lucky; my family loves to eat and is pretty adventurous. 🙂 I say you make a couple dishes next year with slight twists; I bet your dad and brother don’t even notice.

      Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

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