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Want To Know How My First Thanksgiving Went?

by Courtney on November 24, 2011

Well, I did it! I successfully hosted my very first Thanksgiving!


Let me tell ya, it is not the easiest task to do, and for someone who suffers with horrible time management skills, it is definitely a process that will take some practice. But nonetheless, it all still worked out great, thanks to a bunch of help from everyone.


Despite the fact that I felt like I was running around like a turkey with its head cut off (<—bahaha) Jay and I still managed to get the table set, the house cleaned, and appetizers out before anyone arrived. Phew!


I ended up finding these printable place cards online a couple of days ago, along with the rest of my Pinterest projects. I used some cardstock, printed them out, and wrote out everyone’s name for a nice, personalized touch at the table.


For appetizers, I kept things fairly simple; I wanted enough to keep everyone satisfied in case I ran late with my estimated start time (which I most definitely did), but I didn’t want anyone to stuff themselves either.


Shrimp cocktail (you’re welcome, Dan)


Cheese, pepperoni, and Wheat Thins (which Jay did an awesome job of putting together, right?)


Caramelized Onion Dip with chips and celery (amazing, btw…I’d definitely recommend making this for your next get-together)


Before our family arrived, Jay and I actually had quite a few amusing moments while preparing the turkey. For one, he cannot stand to look at the innards; for me, I could care less and dug right in. Then, we realized the turkey was still semi-frozen. I freaked out, Jay kept me sane, and we eventually thawed that puppy out by placing it in a bucket of water for about an hour.


When I went to prep the bird, I realized we had no twine to tie it up so I sent Jay out to the store to pick something up. He ended up coming back with some crazy metal spike things which, in turn, resulted in us naming our turkey “Franken-Turk.” Eventually, I got our herb butter rub on there and into the oven he went.


Done and done.

Shortly after, the family arrived, everyone hung out, enjoyed some snacks, and chatted away while watching football.


I also finally got a chance to relax and pour myself a much-needed glass of wine.



As much as I was totally enjoying hosting Thanksgiving this year, I was equally excited to just have the whole family together for the day. I <3 my family. Smile




I was also super excited to be able to have hosted a Thanksgiving meal for both of my grandmas.


Even if one of them doesn’t like getting her picture taken…ahem, ahem!


Thank GOODNESS I have a family who is also very loving and understanding about dinner being slightly behind schedule. And when I say slightly, I mean that I told them we’d probably eat around 3:00-ish, but didn’t sit down until almost 5:00pm. Whoops!

In my defense, it is pretty darn difficult to try to time seven different foods to finish cooking at the same time AND have them all fit in one oven/stove top. To anyone who has mastered this, major props to you!

We were hard at work for sure, and my mom was an unbelievable help. I honestly don’t think I could have done it without her.


Of course, we still managed to have some fun along the way…


Even if the rest of the family was sitting and waiting very patiently at the table for their food.


Sorry, fam! It’s on the way!

Finally, the turkey was cooked and ready for carving.


Not too bad, right?


The rest of the food eventually started to finish up and come together. To round out the table, we had:

The turkey


Apple Cranberry Stuffing, my mother-in-law’s amazing corn bread


My mom’s stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, and homemade cranberry sauce


Homemade dinner rolls which, despite the browned bottoms, were quite tasty.


Unphotographed brown butter mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, and a of course…

A couple of happy hungry faces. Smile


By this time, I was pretty darn starving. I didn’t snack nearly as much as I usually do from being so busy in the kitchen, but that’s probably a good thing anyways. I needed to save room for the main event!


I enjoyed a little bit of everything and also went back for another roll and piece of corn bread. If there wasn’t dessert awaiting us, I probably would have gone back for thirds.

BUT, there was dessert awaiting us…and LOTS of it, too!


Apple pie, my Skinny Pumpkin Pie,


Homemade French Silk pie made by my in-laws, and my Layered Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake.


I honestly couldn’t choose; I wanted all of them. It is Thanksgiving right? I decided to skip the apple since it was store-bought, and ended up taking a small piece of the three homemade desserts.


Everything was absolutely delicious, and I was so happy with the way the cheesecake turned out. It is so rich and full of flavor. YUM!


By this time, the family was starting to get a little sleepy and SOMEbody may have passed out on the couch…three different times.

Fall asleep once? We’ll let you be and just laugh at you.


Fall asleep twice? We’ll throw peanuts at you.


Fall asleep three times? Well now you’re just askin’ for it.


But hey, I have no idea who did that. Winking smile

Gotta love family, right?!?


Today has definitely been a FULL day but an amazing one at that.

I am so incredibly thankful for so many things; the loving, supporting family I have, my amazing friends, my health (for the most part), my wonderful husband, my adorable fur ball Cody…I really could go on and on.

But anyways, I hope everyone who was celebrating today had a wonderful Thanksgiving, ate lots and lots of delicious food, and were able to spend time with those you love. I know I sure did!

So now it’s about time for me to go slip into some cozies and zonk out on the couch. Luckily, I don’t have anyone else here to throw peanuts at me in case I fall asleep.

Questions for the Evening:

What was the best part of your Thanksgiving?

What was your favorite thing you ate today? Did you try anything new?

If you weren’t celebrating Thanksgiving today, did you do anything fun?

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kaliesthoughts November 24, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I think you did fantastic!
Kaliesthoughts recently posted..Bloggers I am thankful for,how they inspire me, or why I love them


2 Shana November 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I think that you should automatically add two hours onto whatever time you plan to serve Thanksgiving. Its inevitable! All of your food looks so tasty and delicious. For a first Thanksgiving, you put out an AMAZING spread! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!
Shana recently posted..Mini Thanksgiving


3 Amanda @ Let Me Be Whats Underneath November 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Wow…looks like it went well! So happy for you. I’m thankful for so much today! The best thing I ate was something new I tried–mashed sweet potato casserole- made by me! :) Happy Thanksgiving!
Amanda @ Let Me Be Whats Underneath recently posted..New Here?


4 Liz November 24, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Congrats on hosting a successful Thanksgiving dinner! I remember the first time Dh & I did it. We were terrified and sure we were going to poison everyone… It turned out fine! Once you get one under your belt, you’ll never have a problem again..


5 pat November 24, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Such a fabulous day…you did a wonderful job. (must have had a good teacher!) love you both bunches!


6 pat November 24, 2011 at 9:21 pm

and the caramelized onion dip was amazing!!!


7 Courtney November 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Thanks, Mom!!! :-D


8 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 24, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Thanksgiving is the one holiday where a double oven would be super handy! It’s tough! Congrats on your hosting your first :)
Gina @ Running to the Kitchen recently posted..What we ate Thanksgiving edition


9 Courtney November 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Congrats on hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner! It looked yummy!
Courtney recently posted..Single girl swag


10 Yaara November 24, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Wow Courtney! Your Thanksgiving feast looks fabulous! That skinny pumpkin pie looks to die for!! It looks like you have such a sweet, loving family–I’m happy for you that you got to spend the day with them–and great job for your first time hosting!!
PS: you look adorable as usual!!


11 Clare @ SweetnSimple November 24, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Wow.. looks like you did such a wonderful job! I wish we did Thanksgiving, I’m loving reading about everyones delicious food :)


12 Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn November 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Ahahahha omg. Should have made it I’M A SNOOZING TOOLBAG but both are funny ;)


13 TheBloggersBrother November 25, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I am thoroughly offended ;-)


14 Courtney November 25, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Haha no you’re not…you got at least 5 photos of yourself in this post ;)


15 Khushboo November 24, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Wow Courtney- you did a GREAT job! I always knew you had a killer hand with desserts but looks like your savory one is pretty amazing too!
Khushboo recently posted..Attitude of Gratitude


16 Jessica @ The Process of Healing November 24, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Woohoo, congratulations!!!! That’s NOT an easy task!
Jessica @ The Process of Healing recently posted..A Return to Blogging


17 Amy November 25, 2011 at 6:09 am

Happy Thanksgiving! No celebrating here in Australia but I went and got my hair dyed and styled – always makes me happy :)
Amy recently posted..Making your own luck: my best recipe ever


18 Lauren November 25, 2011 at 6:51 am

Yay for a successful Thanksgiving! It all looked wonderful. :)


19 Lauren November 25, 2011 at 8:19 am

I am BEYOND impressed!!! You did amazing for your first Thanksgiving! I would be an absolute wreck haha. Great job with everything and so glad you had a fun day with your family :)


20 Sonya November 25, 2011 at 8:23 am

LOL at the elders in the family. We too have elders that have that same ‘look’ of when do we get to eat?!


21 Shannon @ Healthiful Balance November 25, 2011 at 8:44 am

Yay! Glad everything worked out and that you had a great Thanksgiving! :) Everything looks SO delicious!
Shannon @ Healthiful Balance recently posted..Win a $25 iHerb Shopping Spree!


22 Heather @ For the Love of Kale November 25, 2011 at 8:59 am

Wow, Courtney! You did an amazing job. I give you so much props, love! Everything looks delish.

Honestly, I know it’s cliche and corny, I was simply happy to get all of the family together. It’s not often that we come together because of…life…and it’s so great to be able to sit and talk, laugh, and eat with everyone!
Heather @ For the Love of Kale recently posted..Thankful


23 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy November 25, 2011 at 9:36 am

Our Thanksgiving start time was about 3 hours later than originally I think it happens to everyone :). I fell asleep on the couch last night but then got back up for Black Friday. Now I’m kind of regretting it because I still woke up fairly early this morning!
Emily @ Perfection Isn’t Happy recently posted..Memories LiveOn


24 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries November 25, 2011 at 9:47 am

Awesome job, Courtney! It looked like it went really well, and all the foods looked delicious. The best part of my Thanksgiving was just being with all of our family. We live out of state, so it was such a blessing to be able to be with them. We went to THREE different Thanksgiving dinners, so it was quite the day! My favorite thing was my stepdad’s sweet potato casserole! Yummm.
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..Happy Thanksgiving!


25 Ari @ Ari's Menu November 25, 2011 at 9:47 am

Congrats on your first time hosting!! It looked awesome!
Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..A Milestone


26 Jessica @ How Sweet November 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

I’m so glad you guys tried the brown butter mashed potatoes!! OMG… that cheesecake! I need!


27 katie Carso November 25, 2011 at 10:52 am

I say you rocked the thanksgiving dinner ; )
katie Carso recently posted..Thanksgiving { stuffed } with love


28 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake November 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

Congrats! Hosting Thanksgiving seems like quite a feat! I’m sure it’s difficult to coordinate everything & make sure everything is out (& hot!) at the same time.
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..Happy Thanksgiving


29 Shannon November 25, 2011 at 11:08 am

That french silk pie looks delicious! I really want a slice. :)

Great job! It looks like your family had a fun time. The food looks delicious.

My favorite part of Thanksgiving was eating the turkey, mashed potatoes, and corn on my plate and talking with my family. The people at the table this year was my mom, dad, two brothers, sister, one of my three uncles and I. It was a small group as it normally is but we all have a good time together. Everyone on my mother’s side was up north in Ticonderoga for Thanksgiving (well, except for my uncle) and my uncle (dad’s brother) was with the in-laws- we don’t ever have Thanksgiving with him- and my dad’s cousin was just with his wife this year. That’s ok, though. I think Thanksgiving is more enjoyable with a small group of loved ones.

I also watched more TV than I should have yesterday- the Macy’s parade, the National Dog Show, and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving before Black Friday shopping at 10 (WalMart). Let’s just say that what I supposed to get was the thing I didn’t get. :(
Shannon recently posted..Thanksgiving Parade


30 Nicole November 25, 2011 at 11:31 am

Congrats Courtney!! Always a feat to host people for ANY meal – let alone Thanksgiving! The desserts look amazing!! Would you MIL be willing to share her cornbread recipe??


31 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile November 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Awesome job on hosting!! Everything looks amazing. Glad you had an awesome thanksgiving! :D


32 Brandi November 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm

A day late…..but congrats on hosting your first Thanksgiving! The pictures are great…:) The best thing was just being around my family…….and dessert..:) My mom made some pecan pies that were amazing! Oddly enough, I did so well not stuffing myself that a few hours later my tummy was grumbling….:)


33 Courtney November 26, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Wow! Now that is impressive ;)


34 Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Beautiful spread!! Looks like a very lovely Thanksgiving. :)
Mary @ Bites and Bliss recently posted..Some come and go…


35 Donna November 30, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Can we get your MIL’s cornbread recipe? It looks so good!!!


36 Courtney December 1, 2011 at 11:22 am

I just asked her for it – should be getting it in the next day or two!


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