Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I spent Tuesday night through Sunday morning at home, and it was great to have a break for a few days before exams start later this week. Although I love being at school, I counted down the days till I got to see my family (including grandparents and cousins!), play with my dog, SLEEP, and cook in a real kitchen. A little recap from the week…
My sister and I drove home on Tuesday night after our classes ended. After grabbing my non-cuddly pup for some snuggles and having dinner with my family, I went to bed early for the first time in what felt like forever, crashed hard, and slept for 10 hours.
I woke up Wednesday morning, took a kickboxing class at the gym, ran some errands, and did some shopping before the Black Friday madness started. Pretty soon, the rest of my family arrived, flying in from Arkansas and driving up from Georgia.
We kicked off the week of food and celebrations with a birthday dinner for my grandpa. My mom made a salad and steamed broccoli and I contributed lasagna and roasted veggies.
We also made apple crisp, my grandpa’s favorite. I definitely overestimated how much I could eat and especially after taking a major break from desserts during Whole 30 and also just eating smaller meals and more snacks in general at school, I was ridiculously full.On Thanksgiving morning, I opted to sleep in a bit and then I did 7 easy-paced miles on the quiet roads. Part of me wanted to sign up last minute for a turkey trot since I did a great local half marathon on Thanksgiving for the past couple of years, but I knew rest would probably be more beneficial, especially with finals coming up.
I got back and watched the pilot episode of Lost with my cousin. I know I’m a few years behind but wow, it was so good. I feel like I could become addicted way too easily… Any Lost fans out there?
After that, it was time to cook! My mom and I decided to simplify our menu a little bit this year, so we didn’t have to make quite as many dishes as we typically do. We made turkey, gravy, healthier mac ‘n’ cheese, sweet potato casserole, fresh green beans, mashed potatoes, and salad with dried cranberries, almonds, and avocado.
I fortunately didn’t end up in a food coma (unlike the night before- hah) because I knew I had to be ready for our annual Thanksgiving afternoon tradition– a family kickball game.
We walked to our neighborhood park where there’s a big grassy field and played a few innings of kickball of my family versus my cousins’ family while the dogs ran around.
Almost every person in my family is really competitive, but everyone’s a good sport when we play together. Kickball’s my favorite Thanksgiving tradition. I loved it when I was in elementary school, thought it was the lamest thing ever when I was in middle school because I thought everything was lame, and started loving it again a few years ago.
After kickball, we saw the 4th Hunger Games movie at the theater. I thought it was pretty good and was glad there was a happy ending. After the movie, we enjoyed my aunt’s chicken enchilada soup and her chocolate chip cookie pie.
On Friday morning, I decided to pass on the crowds and craziness of Black Friday shopping and go to the “Great Turkey Burn-Off” at my gym with my sister, cousin, and mom instead. Our gym does an event every year where they host a bunch of big classes on Black Friday (and I always find the name funny since the turkey’s probably the healthiest dish most people eat on Thanksgiving). I did a 30 minute kickboxing class with my mom, and then I did weights with my sister and cousin for 30 minutes. So far, so good on my plan to incorporate more strength training!
For the rest of the afternoon, we laid around eating leftover mac and cheese and doing some online shopping. I made a double batch of roasted winter veggies for the family, which everyone surprisingly enjoyed, despite the fact that the veggies included some unusual suspects like rutabaga and parsnips.
I also roasted a big pan of broccoli, which is one of my new favorite things to roast. I wash and dry several heads of broccoli, chop them up, drizzle the florets with organic melted ghee (clarified butter- about 1 tablespoon per baking sheet) and then sprinkle them with black pepper, salt, and garlic powder to taste, and then bake them at 425 degrees for 18 minutes. It’s super crispy and delicious!
I also enjoyed some Talenti Hazlenut Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, two new flavors my ice-cream-and-gelato-loving grandpa picked up at Whole Foods. Veggies + gelato = balance, right?Our big group went to dinner on Friday night and played Password afterwards while enjoying some pumpkin bread hot out of the oven for dessert. All of the family left on Saturday, which meant it was time to face the mountain of papers and study materials I’d been blissfully ignoring for the past few days. I figured I could use a break and I wanted to be able to spend time with my family!
So tell me…how was your Thanksgiving? What was your favorite Thanksgiving dish this year?
Always the mac and cheese, even though I don’t know many people who make it on Thanksgiving.
Hunger Games fans: Do you like the books or movies better? Team Peeta or Team Gale?
The Hunger Games movies are some of the few movies that I think may actually be as good as the books.
Did you do any Black Friday shopping? Did you find any good deals?