Thanksgiving in June

Turkey + Mashed Potatoes + Green Bean Casserole + Caramelized Sweet Potatoes + Hot Weather = Thanksgiving in June

With the World Cup game on in the background, we bustled around the house to make a yummy Thankgiving dinner in the middle of June.


When Ryan’ grandma and her boyfriend arrived at Ryan’s mom’s house, we shared Brie and crackers, served with an adorable mouse-adorned knife.

Cheese & Crackers


After munching on cheese ‘n’ crackers and hanging out for a while, we were ready to dig into the big meal.

Everyone piled their plates with Thanksgiving staples.

My Plate

I gotta say, Ryan’s mom and grandma sure can cook! I loaded up my plate and went back for seconds of almost everything.

Ryan’s mom followed Emeril’s recipe for caramelized sweet potatoes and they tasted like dessert.


Though the sweet potaotes tasted like dessert, we still had to enjoy an actual dessert: lemon cake with vanilla ice cream.

Lemon Cake + Vanilla Ice Cream

Oh so sweet and oh so good.

I think Thanksgiving in June should be a tradition!

Family Time All the Time

I’ve been quite the busy blogger! Our family trip to Gettysburg for Thanksgiving has been full of quality time with our aunts, uncles, cousins and grandmothers. Needless to say, this lil’ blog has been severely neglected.

In the time I haven’t been blogging, I have been doing a lot of one thing: eating! Yow-za.

Thanksgiving Day Lunch

On Thanksgiving morning, I woke up and went for a 50 minute run with my dad. I loved the change in scenery and actually enjoyed the hills. It was a neat change from the flat roads of Florida. Plus, it was nice to have a running buddy to talk to (not that Sadie isn’t a joy as well).

After a quick shower and lunch, my sister, dad and I left my one grandma’s house to visit our other grandmother.

Me, My Dad and Leslie

When we were done visiting with our grandma, we came back to my other grandmother’s house where appetizers were waiting.


I ate way too many appetizers and by the time Thanksgiving dinner was ready I was barely hungry. That didn’t stop me from fixin’ myself a plate though. It was Thanksgiving after all!


After dinner, my cousin Andrew, my sister and I made sugar cookies using my grandma’s famous recipe.

Sugar Cookie Dough

The Bakers

Cooked Cookie

These cookies are unreal. The smell, taste, texture… everything is perfect! Yummy!

Thanksgiving was wonderful. My stomach hurt from laughing so much at dinner. I went to bed with a full and happy belly!


Today was another busy day full o’ family fun!


Three cars full of relatives gathered at my grandma’s house! I am the oldest of all the cousins and felt even older when I couldn’t help but think about how much my cousins have grown! I’m gettin’ old, my friends.

The Adults

After our relatives from Maryland left, my mom, aunt, sister and cousin Andrew headed to Boyd’s Bears, a huge barn full of stuffed teddy bears. It was ginormous!

En Route to Boyd's Bears

Boyd's Bears

Me, My Mom and Bubba the Bear

The outside was decked out with Christmas decor, but that was nothing compared to the interior.

Cozy Fireplace


We had the best time looking at all the bears and huggin’ on the stuffed animals.

I Loved the Pigs!

The piggies were so cute! I bought a lil’ pig pig. 🙂

Andrew the Bear

We also couldn’t stop laughing when we saw a bull with quite the anatomically correct appendage.

Bull... Pretty sure it's a boy, no?

I loved this store and could have spent hours looking at everything. There were three floors of bears and toys. What a dream!

When we got home we played several rounds of games, including Catch Phrase (my favorite), and made a big batch of brownies with M & M’s and peanut butter chips stirred in. Now we’re ordering subs and pizza for a cozy night of more family fun.

We’re heading back to Florida tomorrow. I’m excited to see Ryan and my little Sadie girl! 🙂 I miss my lil’ Orlando fam!

Third Thanksgiving and a Milestone

My plate of Thanksgiving goodies at our office potluck was filled with a yummy squash casserole, macaroni and cheese, honey-roasted turkey and ham, fresh veggies and fruit.

Before fixing my plate, I also nibbled on some appetizers including cream cheese pinwheels, crackers with hummus and “non-pig pigs in a blanket” (aka turkey dogs wrapped in crescent rolls).

Third Thanksgiving

The third of my four Thanksgiving meals was very tasty. My favorite dish was the savory squash casserole. I definitely had second helpings of that!

Desserts featured fudge (my fav), cookies, rum cake, my turtle pumpkin pie, my cupcakes, apple pie and traditional pumpkin pie. Once again, the turtle pumpkin pie got good reviews (and earned me a couple high-fives!), so if you’re looking for a tasty holiday recipe, I highly recommend it! It’s super easy, too.

Mom’s Milestone

Today is a huge day for my family. In October 2008 my mom began treatment for breast cancer. (You can read about my mom’s journey here.)


Today marks her final round of chemotherapy treatment! I cannot express how grateful I feel to have a mother who was able to successfully battle this cancer and emerge strong and healthy. Through the countless doctors visits, doctors appointments, lymphedema set back and more, my mom has  handled everything with grace and unwavering optimism. She is such an inspiration and I know my family and I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

I love you, Mama! Congratulations on reaching such an amazing milestone. I can’t wait to give you a HUGE hug tomorrow. 🙂 xoxo

Light Breakfast

In preparation for the third of my four Thanksgiving meals I will be consuming at my work’s potluck lunch today, I decided to keep breakfast nice and light.

Monday's Breakfast

I enjoyed a cup of Chobani Greek yogurt topped with homemade cranberry relish. The mix of tart and sweet flavors made this breakfast yum-tastic.

Too Much Turkey?

Is is possible to get sick of Thanksgiving meals? I am on my third Thanksgiving meal in four days and I’m already hurtin’ a little bit. I don’t want to get sick of turkey and other staples by the time the big day arrives! Fortunately I think there’s something to be said for your own family’s home-cookin’. 😉 No one makes better stuffing than my mama!

One thing I am really liked about the various Thanksgiving meal’s I’ve enjoyed is seeing what other people bring. It’s so interesting to see what dishes people consider mandatory in their Thanksgiving meal. My family always has turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas (and maybe green beans), cranberry sauce, stuffing, rolls with butter and pumpkin pie.

I know people that would be appalled that my Thanksgiving does not include sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, baked macaroni and cheese or pecan pie.

What do you HAVE to have on Thanksgiving?

I need stuffing on Thanksgiving. Also, as weird as it is, I need peas, too. My dad and I always make little “pea pockets” in our mashed potatoes before stirring them in and topping everything (and I mean everything) with gravy. I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving meal without my peas!

Second Thanksgiving Meal a Success

The second of my four Thanksgiving meals was, in a word, delicious!

Ryan and I headed over to my friend Laurel’s boyfriend’s house for a Thanksgiving potluck party. Everyone brought traditional Thanksgiving dishes and we had tons of food!

Potluck Platter

Friends and Food

Within 10 minutes of our arrival we were diggin’ in.

My Plate

I went back for seconds of the sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese and stuffing… apparently carbs and I are lovers today. 😉

The dessert options included brownies, cookies, pies, a pumpkin roll, whoopie pies and more. I brought my two pies and the turtle pumpkin pie was a hit! I really enjoyed it and it got good reviews from other taste-testers. If you’re looking for an easy, tasty Thanksgiving dessert, you may wanna give it a go.

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

Yummy Nuts and Caramel

Yummy Pie

It was a fun time with wonderful friends. I’d say Thanksgiving meal number two was even better than round one. Round three will kickoff tomorrow at my work Thanksgiving potluck lunch. I can already feel my food baby growing.

Dusting and Decorating

Though I managed to gather up the fall decorations into a pile yesterday, I didn’t get around to transforming our apartment into a winter wonderland.

When we got home from the potluck party I got to work cleaning (as in vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing) because moving picture frames around to make room for holiday decor revealed just how dusty and dirty our apartment truly was… ick. I was on my feet cleaning and decorating for more than two hours, but our place looks ah-maze-ing!

Sadie was happy because her little Santa bear (in the form of a free Victoria’s Secret PINK beanie baby) resurfaced. Fun for all!

I also totally forgot I packed up some Christmas CDs with my decorations and enjoyed listening to Mannheim Steamroller and Straight No Chaser.

I LOVE Straight No Chaser. I think acapella music is unbelievable and this group is so talented. I know this video was very popular on YouTube a couple years ago, but if you haven’t seen it, you HAVE to watch. They’re amazing!

I got my whole family hooked on their Christmas album. They just released a new CD for this Christmas and my mom already bought it for us to enjoy over Thanksgiving. Woop, woop!

Week Ahead

Another weekend bites the dust. I’m looking forward to this work week… only two days… and tomorrow will be fun since we’re having our Thanksgiving potluck lunch. I am bringing one turtle pumpkin pie and some cupcakes.

I would be bringing two pies, but look what happened when I was moving stuff around in the fridge:

Fallen Pie

Pie down, pie down! What a bummer. Not only did I lose a perfectly good pie, but it also fell on the kitchen floor which I just cleaned. Luckily Sadie’s super-fast tongue licked up a lot of the crumbs and made vacuuming round two a breeze.

I will only be working two days this week. Ryan and I are heading to St. Pete after work on Tuesday to begin the Thanksgiving fun. My family and I are flying to Gettysburg early Wednesday morning to spend the holiday with my grandmothers, aunts, uncles and cousins. I love family fun and can’t wait to see everyone.