Taking Back My Twenties

Posts Tagged "Thanksgiving"

Spanish Feast

Posted on Nov 27, 2013 | 1 comment


Happy eve of Thanksgiving. I’m writing from the plane, where I enjoyed a glass of merlot and a Whole Foods salad. I was in such a rush that I forgot the salad dressing though, so it was kinda gross. But the wine and all the food I’ll eat tomorrow will make up for it. We’re spending the holiday with Matt’s family outside of Annapolis and I’m pumped for four days of relaxation and family time, plus the Allens’ awesome beer selection.

Speaking of awesome, I wanted to write a post to share the amazing spanish feast I enjoyed on Monday night. One of my friends was entertaining clients to develop new business, and invited Matt and I to join for dinner at a new tapas restaurant in Dallas. Casa Rubia just opened in Trinity Groves and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a food adventure!

We started the evening with a bottle of Spanish Grenache and a massive meat and cheese platter – presented with fig jam, quince, apple butter, and fresh honey.


As for the tapas, we ordered just about everything on the menu for our group of eight, plus the paella special. I didn’t get a snap of everything and the lighting was poor, but these were the highlights:


Octopus, Saffron Potatoes, Pickled Onions, Romesco Verde


Crispy Artichokes, Meyer Lemon, Fresno Chile, Mojama, Saffron Aoili


Texas Quail, Merguez, Sunchoke, Kale, Smoked Onion Broth


Maitake Mushroms, Quince, Duck Egg, Idiazabal, Soft Herbs


Lamb Belly, Moorish Spiced, Pomegranate Molasses Pickled Mustard Seeds Parsnip (who knew you could even order lamb belly – dare I say this was better than pork belly?)


And this giant Nantucket bay scallops and lobster paella easily served all eight of us.

I enjoyed every single bite and loved the experience of tasting so many unique creations.

If I don’t talk to you tomorrow: have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

I know I haven’t been the best about posting frequently these days, but I’m thankful for those of you who still come over to visit.

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Geer Street + Giveaway Winner

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 | 4 comments

The best part about the end of Thanksgiving is the beginning of Christmas!!

Coming home from our holiday travels was still a bit sad. We had a fabulous time and I’m hoping Matt’s parents did too! We had warm-ish weather on Friday and a fun lunch in Wilmington before our drive home.

When we arrived, Matt got right back to his studies while I unpacked and started on the laundry. Around 5 though, we remembered that it was Saturday night! I brewed some simple syrup on the stove so we could make bourbon + orange bitters cocktails to sip on. And then we braved the cold and walked to Geer Street Garden for a date.


We just sat at the bar and ordered a few appetizers. I enjoyed a Pranqster, which ended up being a perfect Belgian!


I didn’t really know what I was in the mood for, so Matt chose the food: jalapeno cheddar hushpuppies,


fried chicken and arugula salad with hard boiled egg and parmesan,


and mac and cheese. All the southern foods complimented each other and really hit the spot. I loved all three items, and I’m going back for those hushpuppies.

Did you enter The Meat House giveaway?

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Well, the winner is Brittany from Itty Bits of Balance, and she doesn’t like cranberry sauce! I’m not surprised:) Congrats Brittany!!!

I’m off to snuggle in my fresh flannel sheets. Night.

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Island Feast

Posted on Nov 23, 2012 | 3 comments

We’re having an amazing time here on the island. It’s chilly, but the clear blue sunny skies make up for it.


A margarita kicked off the vacation and then we spent most of Wednesday afternoon catching up and showing Matt’s family around the island.



Of course, we visited the wedding chapel. It’s so cute!




And we enjoyed our Thanksgiving feast at the reception site!!


There was Beach House red to start and then tons of family-style Thanksgiving regulars, some with unique twists.





Like the sweet potatoes, which had apples and cranberries mixed in. I loved it, but I can see how some might think it was too sweet…


Almost everything I tried was delicious, but the family serving style meant some things were on the cold side:(

I only had two plates so that I could eat two pieces of pie!

There were four choices, and since I couldn’t decide, I had a piece of pumpkin and a piece of bourbon pecan – the pecan was probably my favorite thing at Thanksgiving dinner.

With full stomachs, there wasn’t much else to do other than enjoy each other’s company while watching football and drinking wine. It was perfect and I feel very thankful.
See ya back in Durham.
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Thankful For It All

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 | 2 comments

Well, I guess it’s clear that cranberry sauce is the least popular of the Thanksgiving dishes! I’m surprised at how many people don’t like the sweet potatoes though…

We usually go to Matt’s house in Maryland for Thanksgiving, but this year we’re heading to Bald Head Island! Since our wedding will be on the island this June, we thought it would be nice to show Matt’s parents the venue, the chapel, and the island in general!


In years past, I’ve written a Thanksgiving post about what I’m thankful for. This year, I’m not even going to attempt to write that list because there are just too many blessings to count. I don’t know if it’s Thanksgiving or all the changes this year, but recently, I’ve just felt overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m thankful for it all.


So what are we eating this year? Well, my parents arranged for rooms at the Inn where we always stay (usually at Christmas time though). It’s really cozy during the holidays and has a roaring fireplace, but the lack of our own kitchen means no cooking of the traditional feast. At first I was sad, but then I saw the menu! We will actually be eating at the wedding reception site! I hope the food is good because we’re stuck with it for the wedding:)

Enjoy the the feast, the time with family, and all the fun that comes with!


Bald Head Family Style Thanksgiving Menu!

First Courses for the Table

Assorted Cheese Plate | Waldorf Salad | Broccoli Salad | Orange-Cranberry Relish

Traditional Sides

Turkey and Sage Stuffing Roll | Cranberry-Walnut NC Sweet Potato Casserole | Whipped Potatoes

Roasted Turkey Gravy | Green Bean Casserole | Braised Collard Greens | Roasted Heirloom Potato Salad

Maple Glazed Roasted Carrots | Butternut Squash Ravioli with Hazelnut Brown Butter and Parmesan

Main Courses

Herb Roasted Breast of Turkey | Honey Glazed Spiral Ham | Crab Stuffed Flounder with smoked shrimp cream


Pumpkin Pie | Sweet Potato Pie | Bourbon Pecan Pie | Cinnamon-Apple Cake

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A Meat House Thanksgiving {Review + Giveaway}

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 | 78 comments

Way back when I lived in Boston, I stumbled upon a modern butcher shop of sorts, called The Meat House. The store wasn’t close to our apartment, so we only shopped there once, but we did enjoy the wide variety of meat and the neighborhood grocery feel. So, when the social media coordinator asked me if I would like the opportunity to review something from the store, I wanted to say sure! Only, I was asked to prepare a Meat House turkey for Thanksgiving and we’re not cooking this year (we’re traveling and eating out…), so I declined. But then she asked me if I’d be interested in preparing a turkey right before Thanksgiving (friends-giving?), but I was too overwhelmed by the idea of cooking a whole Thanksgiving spread by myself, and declined again. ‘No problem’ was her response! You see, the beauty of The Meat House, is that they have all kinds of prepared sides and pre-marinated turkey, for busy, lazy-on-the-couch, no-experience-cooking-turkeys-people like me!


So, with a gift card in hand, I went to The Meat House and picked out a mini Thanksgiving spread consisting of cilantro lime marinated turkey tips, sweet potato casserole, bacon brussels sprouts, and bourbon baked beans! The meat seemed really reasonably priced to me and there was so much to choose from! We chose turkey because of the holiday, but I’d love to try some of the spicy marinated meat too.


The store seemed bigger than the one I had visited in Boston, and meat aside, it has lots of other gourmet goodies, and beer + wine too! Oh, and pie, but I didn’t think Matt and I needed a whole pie between the two of us.


I love these kinds of stores because they always have great ideas for house-warming gifts or stocking stuffers for cooks. I couldn’t resist picking out a few extra things – I need more good seasonings around this kitchen!


We actually arrived only 15 minutes before closing, and I thought the staff might be annoyed that we were taking a while to decide what we wanted, but the staff were helpful, upbeat, and friendly, making it really feel like a small neighborhood market.


I cooked the turkey last night, and I’m a little embarrassed to say I wasn’t exactly sure of the best way to prepare turkey tips. Nothing a little googling can’t solve:) I bet this would have been great on the grill! I ended up searing the outside and then baking the tips in the oven until they reached 165 degrees.


And everything else was prepared by magic micro waves!


It was so much fun to have this feast on a chilly Sunday night – I actually couldn’t finish the whole plate though – gotta save room for the real thing.


The turkey was good, and I especially liked the hint of cilantro and lime, but I have to be honest, I think I butchered it with my cooking method because the inside was dry – totally my fault I’m guessing?


But the sides were fabulous! The rolls are actually from Great Harvest (we keep a stash in our freezer), but the rest of the prepared sides were from The Meat House. The bourbon baked beans and the sweet potato casserole were sooo delicious!!!


I wasn’t a huge fan of the brussels, mostly because we cook them at home all the time (and I’m kinda of addicted to the maple roasted ones we make), but I do enjoy bacon with my brussels.


Overall, I really enjoyed my shopping experience at The Meat House and I thought the food was very high quality. I believe the turkey was all-natural, but I don’t think it was organic (and I can’t remember if I saw organic or grass-fed options for the other meats) But, like I said, the prices were good for the meat and the sides, which you could also buy by the pound.

And now, the fun part – I’m giving away one $50 giftcard to The Meat House – it looks like there are locations in about ten states nationwide, so check the website to see if there’s one near you. To enter, leave a comment on this post – we’ll switch things up a bit – tell me what your least favorite Thanksgiving food is and why! I’ll pick a winner on Sunday.

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