Thursday, December 4, 2014

We had a really great Thanksgiving this year! Every year is great, but this year felt really great! Maybe because we had a combined Thanksgiving, so I wasn't disgustingly full from eating two full meals? 

I kick-started my Thanksgiving break with another flat tire the day before Thanksgiving. Thanks to my dad for changing my tire and participating in a conference call at the same time! (That's his phone balancing on his leg.) Disclaimer: I do know how to change a flat - Adam made me learn in the dark, on a hill - but I was in work clothes and super close to their house. 

On Thanksgiving morning, Adam and I headed to my parents for a Thanksgiving Brunch with Mamabear. Since she's continually going downhill with her memory, we knew bringing her to the big celebration would be stressful for her and everyone else. But we all had a great morning!

Papabear did join us for all of the day's festivities - after relaxing in my mom's new Costa Rica chair.

We had three turkeys at the Bakers'! Dave smoked one, Debbie baked one and Adam fried one. They were all so delicious.

This turkey.

Check out this table! Yum, yum! So much to be thankful for! It was actually pretty hilarious, because there were 15 of us that had to keep passing all of the dishes all around the table. Buffet, next time. 

The day was really just a big game of "Pass the Baby". Precious Jude with his mama and aunts! (He's currently going through this fun phase where he doesn't really like me much. I get lots of pictures and hear stories of his big smiles, but lately all he does is cry around me. We'll fix this soon, I'm sure.)

Content! But no smile.

Adam had to work on Black Friday, because he works 2984792837 hours a week so why wouldn't he?  Saturday night we planned a get together with our friends. They hadn't been over for a bonfire this season, so we figured it was perfect timing! We had a great time, even if it wasn't even that cold out. I think the high was 60 during the day.

On Sunday, Adam and I volunteered in the nursery at church. Our room only had one kid - Jack - so he had our full attention. He was hilarious and so smart, even though he can't talk, yet.

After church we headed back to the Bakers' for Grandma's birthday lunch! It was so great to have her here to celebrate. Post-birthday lunch, Adam and I headed off to Pike to pick out our Christmas tree!

It was such a beautiful day, so we decided to take the pups to the dog park before we decorated. Hi, Ruth!

Ta da! Sticking with tradition, the top of this year's tree is one of our tacky hats from last Christmas. 

And check out our AMAZING outside decorations this year! I'm SO obsessed and want them to stay up FOREVER!!! Thanks to Adam for slaving on our roof to get those set up. I'll take credit for wrapping the handrails. :)

Seeing as last week was Thanksgiving, I have a recipe! I decided to make these Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes after a recipe I saw in Food Network Magazine. Mashed Potatoes are my mom's favorite part of Thanksgiving, so no pressure! I got rave reviews, and I actually liked them, too! (I made two dishes because we had 15 people at Thanksgiving - of course, we only went through one. Adam was happy - he ate the leftovers all week!) 

Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes

Servings: 6-8
I made this two days prior, and then just threw it in the oven on Thanksgiving.

3 pounds large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 3/4-inch chunks
5 large garlic cloves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
7 to 8 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese, at room temperature, such as Montrachet
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup half-and-half or milk
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the potatoes, garlic and 1 tablespoon salt in a large pot with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until very tender.

Drain the potatoes and garlic and process them together through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade set on top of a bowl. (A FOOD MILL? Yeah, I don't have one. I just used my hand mixer, and it worked fine.)

While the potatoes are still hot, stir in the goat cheese, butter, sour cream, half-and-half, 4 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a 9-by-12-by-2-inch oval baking dish, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the parmesan on top and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve hot.

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