Thanksgiving 2011: The Menu

After hours spent on pinterest, foodgawker, and recipe blogs, my Thanksgiving menu is complete and I couldn’t be more excited! Not super fancy, but all things I am very very excited to be eating!


  • Skinny Mini Corn Dogs
  • Baked Sweet Potato Chips with Yogurt Dipping Sauce (Inspired by this recipe)
  • Deviled Eggs (made by Lisa)


  • Cornbread Stuffing Balls (Inspired by this recipe)
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows (made by my mom)
  • Cream of Pumpkin Soup (made by Janie)
  • Roasted Veggies (made by my mom)
  • Roasted Garlic Mushrooms


And of course there’s turkey, but honestly the turkey is the least important part of the meal in my opinion! Bring on the carbs!!!

I am so excited!!! Holiday cooking begins tomorrow!! Also, did I mention I am cooking for about 20 people? Holiness.

What’s on your menu?

Counting Down to Thanksgiving!

Hi friends! Today I am super productive in all the wrong ways. I have SO MUCH work to do, but can’t tear myself away from Thanksgiving planning long enough to do any of it. I’m a little burnt out on work, obviously. This morning started out amazingly. I got to sleep until 7:00 which is a really nice change for me, then I resisted the urge to get up and get things done and laid in bed and snuggled with my favorite guys. Winston is so funny in the morning. He rolls around and gets all up in my business and is perfectly content staying in bed for hours if I stayed there with him. I love that dog :)

I also woke up with absolutely no work out plan since Kara and I had decided not to do spin. I REALLY wanted to take today off because my body is tiiiiired, but I know I have to take tomorrow off in order to have fresh legs for our 7 mile long run on Saturday, so I took Winnie out on a short and easy (hah yeah right, even a jog is NEVER easy for me, but I wanted to be one of those people who talks about an “easy run” for a second) jog around the neighborhood. We went 1.6 miles, and called it good. At least I got some movement today, right? Yeah, I’m being a little lazy. Maybe tomorrow if I have time I will go and do some upper body to make me feel like less of a lame-o.

After our jog, I showered and made myself a pumpkin pie smoothie and headed top Starbucks to get some “work” done. But so far all I’ve done is decide that one project cannot be done on my computer, and spend a ridiculous amount of time browsing Thanksgiving recipes. I am hoping to get my recipes together ASAP and post them before Thanksgiving, that way if anyone would like to snag one and use it, you will be able to. So far, here is the menu


  • Fresh bread (haven’t decided exactly what kind yet–suggestions?)
  • Sweet potato chips with yogurt dipping sauce
  • Deviled eggs (made by Steve’s mom, Lisa. Hers are deliccciiiooouuus.)


  • Stuffing (still haven’t found the right recipe and stuffing is my fav part!! Suggestions?)
  • Soup (butternut squash or sweet potato or pumpkin–or some combo of the 3, got any great recipes?)
  • Roasted garlic mushrooms (made them last year and LOVED them!)
  • Roasted veggies (This girl loves vegetables, so more than one veggie dish is totally acceptable! My mom is making these)
  • My mom’s famous (at least to me) mashed sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top


  • Turkey 😉


  • Pumpkin cheesecake (that I will modify from this recipe. If you’ve never visited Eat Better America, DO IT!!! Tons of great healthy recipes!)
  • Brownies with BUTTERMILK ICE CREAM!!! (I’ve never made ice cream, let alone tried to modify a recipe–any tips or suggestions?)

And there you have it folks, my 2012 Thanksgiving Menu! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!! November is right around the corner, and I have my unexpected day off on November 11th to get ready and also do some early holiday shopping. I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!!!! Also, if any of you AZ peeps I know and love find yourself without a family to spend this Thanksgiving with, PLEASE let me know. My doors are open and I would NEVER want anyone to spend this holiday alone! Sharing food with people I love is the epitome of happiness for this girl :)

Thanksgiving Recipes


It’s almost here, it’s almost here!!!!!! My very favorite time of year!!!!!

For me, the holiday season kicks off every year with my best friend Bethany’s birthday on October 30th. I plan for Bethy’s special day and then immediate switch gears into holiday craziness. I know most people enjoy the holidays, but I’m a little nuts about it. Shopping, cooking, spending time with family, finding the perfect gifts–it all just makes me so happy!!!!

Last year, Steve and I had just moved into our house and gotten Winston and we hosted Thanksgiving for the first time. In previous years we would do Thanksgiving lunch at his mom’s then dinner at my mom’s and we were dying to bring everyone together and take over the hosting duties. Our mom’s were both happy to let us take over. I went ALL out and did brunch and dinner and cooked everything without any healthiness in mind. I ended the day exhausted and just not feeling so great about myself. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was an AMAZING day and I loved the company, but this year I definitely plan on doing things differently.

I’ve come a long way in my eating and healthy to me no longer means strict calorie budgets and things that I pretend are good, but no one else wants to eat. I am finally in a place where I can enjoy my food and enjoy eating food that makes me feel good and fuels my body. So this Thanksgiving, I am making things I actually want to eat. Things that will taste good, that everyone will love, and that I will feel good about. I’m so excited to do a balanced Thanksgiving that is both healthy and even a little bit indulgent–you gotta have the best of both worlds!

That being said, it is time for menu planning! I would love recipe ideas and suggestions for dishes that will make this Thanksgiving extra special.

***Please share your favorite Fall/holiday/anytime recipes!!!***

Even if they aren’t necessarily healthy–I can modify :) I would love to see the recipes that everyone else loves!

Here are some of the highlights from last year’s Thanksgiving Extravaganza!

Back then Clementine did not exist and Winston was so new to us that he was carried around and adored like a king. This is Steve’s sister Ashleigh with him.

“Hello and welcome to my Thanksgiving. We will be starting with chocolate chip pumpkin bread french toast!”

“And yes, I do plan on wearing my onesie pjs all day long. This is my party and I’ll look ridiculous if I want to!”

And copy cat Starbucks pumpkin scones

Winston loved all the attention he got. This is him and Hank (my step dad).

Mom, Hank, Charlie and Winnie Bear!

Everyone loves my puppy, but look I love him most!

I invited all my favorite peeps including several friends to stop by between family visits and celebrate. This is my fabulous friend John!

Me, John, Michelle and Hermano

I took care of almost all of the food that came from our house, but I left a very special and important job up to Steve

He was the master of the turkey!

“Oh yeah, master of the turkey, you’re so cool. Why isn’t it ready yet, huh?!?!?!”

I forgot how much food I made! There was a cheeseball

And fresh home baked bread!

Roasted garlic mushrooms

Finally, we all sat down to dinner

Before we were “Ziskin-Bailey” 😉

The best part! The wish bone! Make a wiiiissssshhhhh…..

Grrrrrrrr :(

I am competitive, and thus, a sore loser!

“It’s okay, I will drown my sorrows in the sugar coma that will be dessert.” Fresh out of the oven brownies a la mode.

And pumpkin cheesecake (this was actually a healthy recipe that I plan to recreate this and every year!)

I absolutely loved hosting my first Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to do it again, this time a little smarter and a little healthier! I am lucky to have lots of family that I love so much and I can’t wait (especially after this crazy Fall) to get to spend some quality time with the most important people in my life!

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Please don’t forget to send your fav recipes! Happy almost holiday season everyone!