Best Meal Ever + Thanksgiving Favorites

Happy almost Thanksgiving!

Eating Thanksgiving

With all my birthday festivities, I definitely feel like I’m eating at Thanksgiving level (oops). I had one last birthday dinner at Roux last night and it was absolutely fantastic. We started with a bottle of Pinot Noir and 2 appetizers to share: “Abita Beer-battered Crab Beignets” and “Char-Grilled Oysters.” I forgot to snap a picture, but both were amazing!!

For my main course, I ordered the “Not Your Ordinary Shrimp & Grits.” I tend to order Shrimp n Grits anywhere that serves them (it’s kind of a problem…) and these were definitely not ordinary Shrimp n Grits, but they were SO good. There was one large prawn stuffed with crab and delicious cream cheese grits on the side. YUM.

Shrimp n Grits
I’m embarrassed to say I completely cleaned my plate

We ended the meal with coffee and “Bourbon Butterscotch Pecan Bread Pudding.” It was so rich and delicious and was the perfect ending to our meals. I would HIGHLY recommend this restaurant and I am dying to go back.

Now for the top 5 things I love about Thanksgiving:

1. Cooking while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Every year for as long as I can remember, we turn on the parade in the morning and I help my mom cook all the delicious food. All these years of helping my mom is where I got my love for cooking and baking! Oh and the taste-testing is great too 🙂

2. Family. I love being able to spend time with my family. We always do Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house and my extended family comes over and my grandma comes in town every year. We also always have at least a few non-family members: neighbors, boyfriends/girlfriends, random homeless people from the side of the street (okay, that one is a bit extreme, but we always joke that one day that will happen because my mom is always inviting anyone who doesn’t have a place to go for Thanksgiving).

My sister, mom, and me on Thanksgiving a couple years ago
My sister, mom, and me on Thanksgiving a couple years ago

3. Christmas Season. I LOVE everything about the Christmas season and I really feel like Thanksgiving kicks off the season. My aunt already has Christmas decorations up when we go over there, there is Christmas music playing, and it’s just a really great way to start off the best time of the year!

4. The Food. I know I already dedicated a whole post to the food, but it’s just so delicious it deserves to be mentioned again 🙂

5. Seeing old friends. Most of my childhood friends live in different cities now, but they all come home for Thanksgiving and I love being able to see them!

Reunion with some of my friends last year!
Reunion with some of my friends last year!

What are your favorite things about Thanksgiving?

What are you doing for Turkey Day?

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Thanksgiving Favorites

I hope you all are having a great day and getting excited for Turkey Day!

Belt
This is how I prepare!

I have always LOVED Thanksgiving and thought it would be fun to share my 5 favorite things about the holiday! I realized soon after I started writing this post that is was going to be entirely too long for anyone to sit through reading at one time. Instead I am sharing my top 5 favorite foods today and tomorrow I will share my 5 favorite things about the holiday.

1. Sweet Potatoes. I love sweet potato everything, baked, fries, casseroles, you name it. My aunt always makes some sort of yummy casserole, it changes from year to year so I don’t have a recipe for it, but I know it will take up a good portion of my plate.

2. Brussels Sprouts. Brussels Sprouts have always been a favorite, but this year we are making this new (well, new for Thanksgiving, but we tested it out for a party and it is DELICIOUS) recipe for Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash with Bacon Vinaigrette from Williams-Sonoma.

Brussels Sprouts

3. Pumpkin. I really don’t like pumpkin pie. I don’t know why, I just never have. Random side note: when I was in college, my friend Meghan and I competed in The Unpredictable Race at Wake Forest. There were a number of challenges (e.g., crab walking down a hill, army crawling through molasses-covered sand, running UP a slip n slide, tight rope walking across a muddy creek). Some were quite disgusting, but totally doable, except one, and that was to eat an ENTIRE pumpkin pie between the 2 of us (apparently they got some great deal on pies and thought it would be hilarious to make us eat a pie, then run a couple miles). Meghan and I both hate pumpkin pie, but we made ourselves do it because because we were super competitive. In hindsight, we should have just skipped the pie and taken the penalty. That experience only contributed to my hatred of pumpkin pie, I couldn’t even look at it for a couple years.

Meghan and I after the race (and eating that nasty pie).
Meghan and I after the race (and eating that nasty pie).

However, I do LOVE pumpkin everything else. At Thanksgiving, of course we always have the pie, but we usually also have something else pumpkiny, either cookies or cake or something yummy. This year I am experimenting with some Pumpkin Cake Balls so stay tuned to see how those turn out 🙂

4. Mashed potatoes. Okay so maybe I just really love potatoes in general. My mom makes amazing mashed potatoes with SO much butter and cream. SO unhealthy, but so delicious.

5. Salad. This one may sound a little boring, but I like to at least pretend I am being somewhat healthy on Thanksgiving. My mom is making this really good salad with mixed greens, pears, Craisins, feta cheese, and a sweet dressing she makes.

Notice turkey is not on this list. All the sides are so yummy, I really could do without it and be completely satisfied!

P.S. I forgot to mention the most important thing, wine!!

Wine

What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?

Are you trying any new recipes this year?

Thoughts on pumpkin pie?