Friday, November 30, 2012

Giving Thanks

So our photographer got delayed editing our wedding photos and we didn't receive them last week after all. Womp womp! I think my mom is more upset than Justin or me. I've gotten a few emoticon embellished texts from her expressing her dissatisfaction with how long the photos are taking. While I would have liked to see the photos by now, I love our photographer and I know that he's just making sure he edits everything to its fullest potential so that we have beautiful mementos to last us a lifetime.

Meanwhile, last week I celebrated my first married Thanksgiving with my new brother and sister in-law and it was phenomenal, if I do say so myself. Justin's brother Mike and wife Jessica live in Chicago and graciously came out to LA to join Justin and me for the holiday. Jessica and I both love to cook and the boys love to watch football and play guitar together so it's really the perfect holiday for everyone.

We started Thanksgiving day at 9:30 am watching the Detroit Lions game while drinking mimosas and eating a breakfast casserole I made in the crock pot overnight. I sort of combined my mom's sausage, egg and cheese casserole recipe with this crock pot one so it'd be ready when we woke up. All we had to do in the morning was brew some coffee and pop some champagne!

Sadly the Lions lost, so the ladies got started on the Thanksgiving meal. Since there were only four of us I was just planning to roast a turkey breast, which is more on my comfort level. But my sister-in-law went to culinary school and has no fear of large birds so she offered to roast up a whole turkey for us. It was inspiring to watch her confidently tackle the 16 pounder, stuffing it with leftover orange peels, onions, carrots, celery and coating it with a mixture of butter, poultry seasoning and a few other spices.

Jessica also made a yummy pomegranate salad, garlic mashed potatoes, the gravy and glazed carrots.

I contributed my favorite dijon-braised brussels sprouts, cornbread stuffing, bourbon vanilla cranberry sauce and a caramel pecan tart that I never got a picture of :(

Justin said it was his favorite Thanksgiving meal EVER and we all commented on how thankful we were for our families and starting new traditions together. As you know, Mike and Jessica also got married this year, so it's really great to have another couple to figure out the married life and family changes with. It's a huge bonus that I just adore the girl Mike chose to marry. My mom and my dad's sister have been close for as long as I can remember, and I always hoped to have a sister in-law I could call a friend too. I'm so thankful to have added another amazing sister and friend to my life, and especially one who promises to give me some kitchen tutorials in the near future!

Jessica is already great in my book because she has good taste in men, likes to cook, likes to eat and likes to travel. But then she suggested we make tamales out of the leftover Thanksgiving turkey and I was officially in love. I LOVE tamales! They remind me of home and specifically home during the holidays, since my mom makes up a big batch of them for Christmas every now and again.

Justin and I both got a tamale tutorial so we can make them again in the future. Our 'males contained turkey cooked with onions and garlic and mixed with tomatillo salsa, re-fried beans, cilantro and cheese.

They turned out awesome and Justin has been eating them like candy. I put about 12 in the freezer so we don't demolish them all at once. We go almost the entire year without eating tamales for some crazy reason, and then the holidays remind us how awesome they can be.

I have to also give a shout out to TCU for making a great Thanksgiving even better by beating UT! As always, I'm thankful I'm a Frog :)


  1. hoohoo the shoe was in the boohoo. great tday fotos tho justin was droonk rather early. luv the turkey y veggies. good luck with those darn fotos. luv, your favorite fotohog.

  2. All the food looks delish. Please bring me a tamale so I can taste them, never had a turkey tamale before.