Nothing Says Thanksgiving Like…


Happy (post)Thanksgiving! I hope you are recovering nicely from your turkey hangover. ;)

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We kicked things off yesterday just as I told you we would…with cinnamon rolls! (Yeeeah, between me, Ben and Ben’s little brother, who spent Thanksgiving with my family this year, we crushed the mini cinnamon rolls on Wednesday night…whoops!)

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The three of us walked into my parent’s house at 8:30am and my Mom proclaimed “Oh! I was just about to put the cinnamon rolls in the oven!” To which I laughed. :)


Enjoyed warm and in about 3 bites, with a hot cup of coffee with a splash of eggnog. Have you ever tried this combo? Life changer right there!

I made sure to get the crew up, ready and over so we could watch every minute of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – my personal official kickoff to the holiday season. Attending in person is pretty high up on my bucket list. Has anyone ever gone?


I contentedly watched the Rockettes, Broadway shows and high school marching bands on the lazy boy with Black Friday ads in my lap, and a cold champagne mimosa in my hand.

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It’s the only way to start Thanksgiving Day, I’m tellin’ ya!


Throughout the morning we munched on my Mom’s special Chex Mix – another Thanksgiving tradition I forgot to mention.


She puts like, triple the amount of Worchestershire sauce in each batch so it comes out tasting like salty crack. Iloveitsomuch!

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When the men broke off to enjoy beers and cards,


my Mom and I took to the kitchen to finish getting our Thanksgiving feast ready.


This year she insisted I learn how to cook a turkey. Blerg! Since I had to learn, you do too. ;)

How to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

By Iowa Mom Eats

1. Thaw the bird in the refrigerator for at least 4 days. Remove the giblets and pat the entire bird, inside and out, dry.

2. Stuff the insides with stuffing, then seal with a wire skewer.

3. Flip the bird over, stuff the neck, then seal with another skewer.

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4. Bend the wings back so they don’t burn.

5. Brush the entire bird with vegetable oil. IME says this results in an evenly golden brown bird.

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6. Open a turkey-sized baking bag and toss some flour around on the inside. IME says this is so the bag doesn’t explode, but she doesn’t know why it would explode, or how the flour keeps it from doing so. JUST DO IT she says!

7. Sprinkle salt & pepper over the entire turkey and seal the bag.

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8. Stab 6 holes in the bag and cook!


Whee! Seriously this makes for THE most juicy turkey. Like, unbelievably juicy! So yum!


When all the food was finally ready, we set the table.


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Aaaand feasted. This was one of the best yet! :D


The gang was all there. Party Potatoes Deluxe,


mashed potatoes & gravy,


and Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots.


Can’t forget Grandma’s Holiday Salad or Sweet Potato Stuffed Apples with Toasted Marshmallows. DELICIOUS!


The afternoon took an unforeseen turn after lunch when we decided to light a bonfire in the backyard. It was too pretty a day to stay inside, as it was 67 degrees outside!


Nothing says Thanksgiving like bonfires and balmy weather! ;)






We ended up staying outside, enjoying the fire and sipping some cold ones, until nearly 7:00 at night. The temperature never dropped after the sun dipped below the horizon, and nobody wanted to end the perfect evening… That is, until our stomachs started growling, which meant – leftovers! :D


Hope your Thanksgiving was as happy as ours! :)



What was the highlight of your Thanksgiving? Did you participate in any Black Friday shopping this year?

My Mom and I went out for a few hours this morning. I got some SWEET deals on stuff to start redoing my guest bedroom!

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  1. Jennifer 11.25.2011

    You asked about the parade. It’s our family tradition to watch too. Along with the cinnamon rolls and mimosas.

    I was actually in the parade in 04. My high school marching band marched in it and did a thing on the star in front of Macy’s. It was pretty much awesome. If you ever get a chance to I highly suggest going to watch!! It’s really pretty awesome.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Manya 11.25.2011

    I was looking forward to your Thanksgiving post. I read it every year and I feel part of your family. Love mom’s kitchen and of course grandma’s food!!! I grew up in NY so yes I have been to the parade….now I live in Greece and we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I keep my skype on and I talk to my family in the States while I watch them prepare their turkey! We in Greece say “ke tou hronou” which means “and next year”…in other words, may you be healthy and happy and have the same good time next year too!

  3. What a lovely Thanksgiving day. Homemade chex mix is my favorite, and I just love the looks of those cinnamon rolls!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Kira 11.25.2011

    We actually went to the parade last year. Something that is awesome to say I’ve done, but it was an exhausting day…don’t know that I would go again. :o)

  5. Jenn 11.25.2011

    We had a thanksgiving bonfire too!

  6. LisaL 11.25.2011

    Looks like a great Thanksgiving day! Tell IME that I made her potatoes as part of our feast. My husband said afterward that I really hit a homerun with those potatoes! Had to pass that on–! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  7. Kelli H 11.25.2011

    What great weather you had! It was cold and raining in Sonoma County! So jealous! Your feast looks great!

  8. Foodiku 11.25.2011

    Chex Mix is also a tradition in my husband’s family. We each get our own plastic bags full of it. I shamefully admit that I polished half of mine off this morning.

  9. The highlight of my Thanksgiving was definitely a successful meal without the use of any canned goods!!!! Thanks in part to green beans with crispy shallots.

    Sadly, I have to admit that I was at Younkers at midnight buying Christmas gifts :) But, we were home and in bed by 12:30, and my Christmas shopping is DONE

    • OH, and IGE, I was proud to see that you were the only one is the pictures rocking a BOTTLE instead of a can… I can’t do beer in a can. It tastes like the can. The end.

  10. It looks like you had an amazing Thanksgiving with yummy food! I’m so glad! I had a really happy Thanksgiving and then a very hectic Black Friday. I worked 1:30AM to 11:30AM at Macys!

  11. Sarah 11.25.2011

    Your family is SO cute! I had a chill Thanksgiving with friends since tickets to Ohio were too expensive. And I did do some shopping at Kohls this morning and stood in a crazy long line!

  12. JennyV 11.25.2011

    Warmest Thanksgiving in Iowa on the books – 67 degrees! I had the pleasure of doing cartwheels in my front lawn w/ my 5 and 3 year old nieces (even after eating tons of turkey, homemade rolls, stuffing, red velvet cheesecake, the works!)

  13. robin flores 11.25.2011

    I just want to say I love your blog, it is my new favorite one to read and I look forward to your posts every day! Love your healthy recipes, have tried tons of your oatmeal combos and others.
    I especially love the Friday favorites, have tried some of recipes because of you posting them there!
    I went to college in Iowa so I can relate to some things you write about and smile. Now I am a Colorado girl after living in CA for a while after college so I have to say it was almost 70 here yesterday! Awesome. Ran a 5K so enjoyed the warm weather for that early morning Turkey Trot!
    Also, eggnog in coffee!?!? Yum! Can’t wait to try this idea!
    Thanks for your fun and all your hard work, keep it up! You are adorable :)

  14. VeggieGirl 11.25.2011

    Im not American but since moving here I’ve embraced Thanksgiving and this was my first proper Black Friday shopping spree! We went to the mall at midnight and I got some awesome boots and perfume!

  15. Ada 11.26.2011

    I actually grew up and currently live right on the parade route, so I can watch it from my window! It’s always so much fun, though my neighborhood gets crazy crowded.

    Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving! That turkey looks divine.

  16. skinnyrunner 11.26.2011

    morning mimosas is where its at. please send my invite to the correct address next year.
    i went to a few black friday sales, kohls had the best deals of anyone!

  17. Happy Thanksgiving! We went shopping at midnight this year, which was a lot of fun!

  18. Dawn Marie 11.26.2011

    Don’t freak out… but last year, this year and next year we all went to a local restaurant. I used to think that was “sad” but now I LOVE it. All I have to do is get dressed and show up and its lovely!!!

    I did splurge and bought me and my tween our first iPhones and I also bought myself a much needed piece of workout equipment.

    Your familiy is so cute!!! Can you believe how fast the time goes!

    • Dawn Marie 11.26.2011

      I meant we are planning to go to restaurant next year too, it was that good!

  19. Summer 11.26.2011

    Sounds like a great Thanksgiving!

    I had to laugh at the “balmy weather” comment though- I live in southern California (between LA and Santa Barbara) and we had about the same temperature… everyone was FREEZING!

  20. sharon weaver 11.26.2011

    My son in law did black friday all night long, didn’t go to bed till after noon. Crazy..
    I also made your green bean with shallots and it was the hit of the dinner. I also am glad that you showed me how to make the turkey in a bag. My kids did it this year and it didn’t turn brown. They did’nt poke holes in the bag or rub it with oil. I will be sure and tell them your moms secret before next time.

  21. Lo 11.26.2011

    In Canada we had our Thanksgiving a while ago, in October. I think it’s a bigger deal in the States though, by the looks of your post. (And your Thanksgiving looked lovely with your family). I’m pretty sure we don’t have any parade or televised event hehe.

    We don’t really have any tradition for Thanksgiving in our family, I think we usually go to one of my grandparents’ houses where all the extended family gathers for dinner, and the next day (Monday) is a holiday. I had never heard of Black Friday until this year when I kept hearing the term on the radio! I’m still not sure what it is! But anyway, happy Thanksgiving to you!! :)

  22. Your Thanksgiving looks like so much fun! We bought a new TV on Black Friday! :)

  23. Nicole G 11.26.2011

    We had Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast too on Thanksgiving morning! My kiddos love them! I had to work STL’s Christmas Parade in the morning and then we headed to my brothers and had a great day! You guys looked like you had a wonderful holiday!! Oh, and I made the green bean and shallot recipe you posted and it was very popular! Thanks! And the party potatoes are a regular at our family gatherings as well. :)

  24. Michelle 11.26.2011

    I want to say one thing I was thankful for this year was your sweet potato stuffed apples recipe! They were a HUGE hit with everyone and a unique addition to our normal fare. Everyone was already talking about what would be the next ‘perfect’ meal to have them. So thanks!!

  25. Looks like you had a very happy Thanksgiving! Lovely. :)

  26. Awww, the bonfire looks awesome! I’m so jealous! I love to read the Black Friday ads too, but I don’t actually go shopping. My hubby’s family does Chex Mix as a Christmas tradition. He also LOADS it with Worchestire sauce. I’m having heart palpitations just thinking about eating all that salt. ;-)

  27. Micah 11.28.2011

    Your family is the cutest!!

  28. Elle 11.29.2011

    I remember the year that my mom made me learn how to cook the turkey, my family’s way is so different. I’ve never known anyone who learned how to cook a turkey from a recipe, most people learned from their parents who learned from their parents, each generation a potention for small changes that then get passed along. Culinary evolution at it’s finest.

    • Elle 11.29.2011

      *Potential – eek, spell check fail.

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