No Bird’s The Word

November 23, 2012

Raise your hand if you’re full and happy!


That’s one stuffed little turkey lurkey!!


We had a great night’s sleep last night (5.5 hours + 3 hours + 1 hour!) and then started the day with some Body Pump!! Matt took Maze and I took Andrew with me to the gym. It had been a while since I did regular Body Pump, and the class was good. We ended with 15 minutes of cardio and headed home.

We showered, I fed the babe and then Matt and I walked over to Karen’s for the day.


We had Pecan Swirl French toast (!!) for brunch along with some maple sausage and fruit

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After brunch we went for a walk to the bakery and back to pick up two pies that were left. Matt calculated that they made over 2,200 rolls, 80+ pies and 69 Pumpkin Oh’s – in addition to all the other goods. We were happy to donate all of our leftover bread, sweets and pies to the local food bank again this year.


We aimed to eat Thanksgiving dinner at 5pm, and 5 came so fast!


My parents and Larbs and Matt are on Bald Head Island with Matt’s family and husband Matt’s dad and Cheryl are working, so we had a low key holiday this year. Karen’s downstairs roommate Krishna joined us for dinner.

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This year, since it was just the four of us plus a non-food eating baby, we actually decided not to have a turkey. It sure took a lot of stress out of the cooking! Instead we had 3 stuffed pork tenderloins and a selection of sides.

Our Thanksgiving turkey was 12 pounds and all smiles!


For cocktail hour I made a Giada recipe I saw on the Food Network recently – Garbanzo Bean and Olive Tapenade


The perfect bite that helped tide hunger without filling up stomach space!


We had a really special wine tonight that I’ve kept on the rack for a long time – since a Kendall-Jackson event a few years ago.


This 2007 Chardonnay is from Katherine’s Vineyard and was signed by Katie Jackson! It was soooo California and I loved it.


Our three tenderloins were stuffed with Bleu Cheese and Figs, Sun-dried tomato pesto and Walnuts + Pears. See this recipe for the technique. Bleu cheese is still my favorite.



We also did Brussels sprouts with spiced pecans


And goat cheese + pistachio sweet potatoes


Plus a sausage + cornbread stuffing, which was made with Trader Joe’s cornbread mix and might have been my favorite thing on the table.


Some of our recipes came from Better Homes + Gardens (the stuffing + sweet potatoes) I loved how they were just descriptions instead of formal recipes. That’s how I cook! I know some people need specific directions, but I think this style of recipe is more approachable and simple.


I also made classic cranberry sauce (love!!)


And Karen made this amazing goat cheese, avocado, beet and watercress salad


We all agreed that this year’s Thanksgiving spread tasted so fresh compared to the usual gravy-soaked plate (although don’t get me wrong – none of these were particularly light!)


Another special wine we’ve been holding onto throughout pregnancy and beyond: a magnum bottle of Jefferson Vineyards Merlot! I only had about half a glass of each, and we have half of this bottle still left!



After a rest, we went back for desserts. Two pies from Great Harvest (pecan + sweet potato toffee!), a pumpkin oh plus a chocolate cake from Paradox.


Matt made all 80 of the pie crusts by hand!


I had a sliver of each and that put my stomach over the top!


We walked home after that helped with digestion. And I loved that we were done with the meal before 8pm – plenty of time to recoup before bedtime.

Maze, Matt and I thank each one of you for sharing our adventures with us! Happy Holidays!


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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Molly @ RDexposed November 23, 2012 at 8:31 am

I need to wear comfy clothes like babies do next Thanksgiving.


2 Kel November 23, 2012 at 8:35 am

Look at that BELLY! He is so darned cute Kath!

It sounds like a lovely day. I hope you are enjoying the Holiday music and the rest of the season!


3 Amy November 23, 2012 at 8:35 am

Looks like the perfect Thanksgiving! Mazen sure looks happy! :)


4 Lynn @ the actor's diet November 23, 2012 at 8:37 am

Not full or happy today (was supposed to be in Europe yesterday but our flight was cancelled when we got to the airport) but I do love living vicariously thru everyone else! Those Crusts look amazing. Go Matt!!! Happy thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family Kath!


5 Kori November 23, 2012 at 8:40 am

Wow, your spread looked amazing!! I will absolutely be trying some of those “recipes” soon. Love Mazen’s outfit. 😉 I hope you all have a wonderful day!!


6 leah November 23, 2012 at 8:43 am

That meal looks amazing! I love the idea of no turkey. One year we had salmon, and it was such a pretty presentation and so easy to cook and clean up. I’m going to float the idea of stuffed pork tenderloin for next year.


7 Alison November 23, 2012 at 8:54 am

Glad to see you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Your meal definitely looks fresh and innovative. That cornbread stuffing looks so good! And Maze is such an adorable little turkey :)


8 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles November 23, 2012 at 8:57 am

Love your Thaksgiving turkey! Twelve pounds of pure cuteness!!! :) ….your holiday seems to have been a great one- full of blessings and good food! Enjoy your day after too!


9 Elise @ Expeditions of Elise November 23, 2012 at 9:23 am

Looks like you had a great Thanksgiving! It’s hard to break traditions, especially ones like turkey on Thanksgiving, but it seems like your meal was exactly what your wanted.


10 Lucy November 23, 2012 at 9:31 am

Happy thanksgiving! I’m hosting my first thanksgiving inspired dinner here in England – but next week. What do to recommend as a starter?!


11 KathEats November 23, 2012 at 10:03 am

Those olive spread endives were quite good..!


12 Lucy November 23, 2012 at 10:46 am

Thanks you’ve just given me an idea, ill do those with olive spread In some, blue cheese and pecan crumbles in others..!


13 [email protected] November 23, 2012 at 9:32 am

Maze is such a happy little guy. I love all of his smiles. We made your stuffed pork tenderloins a couple weeks back and they were delicious. We just had five for dinner yesterday but still managed to put a big dent in a 12 pound turkey.


14 Justeen November 23, 2012 at 9:33 am

Hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving, Kath! Your meal looks delicious! And Mazen looks especially adorable :)

Also, Matt’s pie crusts are so pretty! My never look quite so good :)


15 Laurie November 23, 2012 at 9:41 am

What a beautiful Thanksgiving spread! We also only had 4 of us at our table this year and I did my first Vegan Thanksgiving and it was awesome! I loved not messing with a big turkey and feeling so heavy afterwards. Mazen is absolutely the most adorable little boy and I love seeing the pictures of him growing. The holidays are so joyful with little children around and I’m missing mine who are in their 20’s and off on this own adventures this weekend! Enjoy!!


16 kate November 23, 2012 at 10:15 am

I think I count five (not four) eaters and a baby…am I crazy or just sleepy?


17 KathEats November 23, 2012 at 10:18 am

Me, Matt, Karen, Andrew, Krishna + baby. I had to recount twice…you’re right!


18 kate November 23, 2012 at 10:37 am

I had to count a few times!
Food hangover!!


19 Kerry @ Totes My Oats November 23, 2012 at 10:22 am

Mazen is too cute! All of the food looks amazing!


20 Jenny @ For Your Consideration November 23, 2012 at 10:27 am

Mmm…cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pie…It’s only 10:30 AM the day after and looking at these pics, I tell you I am ready to do it all over again. But I couldn’t go without turkey…though I confess: I totally order mine pre-made.


21 Carolyn November 23, 2012 at 10:36 am

Your baby looks so happy and healthy! Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing every day!


22 [email protected] November 23, 2012 at 10:42 am

The brussel sprouts look delicious…my favorite!


23 anne November 23, 2012 at 11:09 am

your little turkey is adorable! love all the smiley photos.


24 Amanda Cowan November 23, 2012 at 11:09 am

I love the idea of switching it up on the turkey, though I was thrilled with how ours turned out this year! And I enjoy interpreting pictures of dishes my own way. I very rarely use recipes, though right now since I’m counting calories I do write everything down. My mother and husband get frustrated with me though, since that means I can usually never repeat a good recipe. Haha. Happy Holidays! I enjoy your blog so much!


25 Susan H. @ The Food Allergy Chronicles November 23, 2012 at 11:40 am

What a lovely selection for your Thanksgiving feast! I think my son would protest if I denied him his turkey with mashed garlic potatoes and gravy on Thanksgiving! :)


26 Monica November 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Love your menu! I am planning to put the blue cheese tenderloin on our menu for this week and can’t wait to try it. We don’t have cheese often, and when we do it is such a treat! :)

Happy Holidays to you guys as well! Glad that the bakery had such booming business for Thanksgiving!


27 Averie @ Averie Cooks November 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Amazing post! The Pecan Swirl French toast, the pies, that Matt made 80!! pie crusts by hand, and there were 2200 rolls made and all the Pumpkin Oh’s.

And Oh boy! the fact that you have signed wine and had two special bottles that you had saved – that is awesome. Glad you enjoyed them and savored them!


28 the 3volution of j3nn November 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I think it’s great to step out of the turkey box and have other entrees for holidays. Those pies and pumpkin roll look SO GOOD!


29 Lisa Langenfeld November 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm

M is such a cutie!! Happy Thanksgiving to you too! :) :)


30 rebecca @ blueberry smiles November 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm

holy moly, that must have been the best French toast ever!


31 Sarah (The Simple Dietitian) November 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

What a lovely feast! 😀 And Maze is so happy, so full of smiles. Love him. 😀

Happy Thanksgiving! 😀


32 Michelle (Peachy Palate) November 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Without a doubt the best plate of Thanksgiving food I’ve seen on all the recaps today! Sweet potatoes with pistachios sounds amazing and the Brussels…I could eat a whole bowl full of them! Can’t get over how big Maze has gotten, he’s such a cute baby!


33 Kristen @ Change of Pace November 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Your meal looks so perfect. I love how fresh everything is :)


34 Stefanie @ Thin Vegetarian November 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I like cooking without formal recipes also. I find it better, since I usually change it anyway, but when I write them down for later, I try to be very specific.


35 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I love your non-traditional Thanksgiving meal! That pork sounds amazing – figs and blue cheese is such a good combination. It reminds of me of this fig, blue cheese, and proscuitto pizza I had over the summer that was absolutely to die for!


36 Emily Butler November 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Wow! That plate looks amazing, love the little twist on tradtitional hanks giving foods, I love doing that when I cook. I made a cornbread stuffing for Easter that had bacon and pecans, it was the best stuffing ever, something about stuffing made with cornbread and extras that makes it so much more special!


37 Sara @ November 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I’ve never seen a meal like that. Looks great though! If I tried to pull that off I would have some unhappy people! I love all your pictures!


38 Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite November 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I swear your little boy gets more and more adorable every day!! I just want to squeeze his cheeks through the screen! love!!


39 Allison @ Can't Wait For Breakfast November 23, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving Kath! Mazen is soooo cute! I also made a sausage and cornbread stuffing using the Trader Joe’s cornbread mix! We had a lot of guests so I made three pans of cornbread but it was totally worth it – so delicious!


40 Tracy November 23, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I just have to say the pic’s of M in this post were A Dor Able!! So cute!


41 K November 23, 2012 at 11:44 pm

On an unrelated note: it still says you are 29yrs old on the left hand sidebar below your picture. You need to change it to 30 I think!


42 KathEats November 24, 2012 at 1:15 am

Ahhh I forgot! Someone already reminded me. Thanks!


43 Tina B November 24, 2012 at 1:04 am

This was my first Thanksgiving to stay home and make whatever meal I wanted. Because I eat turkey year-round, I chose rock cornish game hens, one of my favorites!

I’ve been reading your blog since just before M was born. I have loved watching him grow and develop in just this short amount of time. He’s so adorable. I enjoy looking at the pictures of him as much as the pictures of the food. (His pics are better!) :-) All the Best to you and your family.


44 KathEats November 24, 2012 at 1:14 am

Matt is dying to make Cornish hens for thanksgiving but they keep getting vetoed! Maybe next year


45 Chris November 24, 2012 at 10:42 am

My mom used to sell pies to stores and she baked them at home – several hundred a week. She would roll out the dough for approximately 8 to 10 at a time and then cut squares and trim them up once they were in the pie pans. Once she temporarily had to bake for a grocery store whose roof caved in from snow and she was up to 1,000 pies a week. I do not remember how long that lasted. Of course, she had to do some things like freeze the pie dough for later in the week – because of the volume.


46 KathEats November 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm

1,000! Wow!


47 Alicia @ Wanna Be Ina November 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm

OMG I just love that first pic of Mazen! He looks like a little cherub!

Hope you and your family are having a fabulous Holiday weekend.


48 Erin Motz November 24, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Wow, I don’t even know which food item to comment on first 😉 Those pies… sweet potato toffee is a combo I’ve never heard of it! How amazing! I think I’ll have to come up with something like that to make. Like you, I pretty much just need an idea to cook something, not precise directions. Happy Thanksgiving! :)


49 Jodie November 25, 2012 at 5:32 am

We don’t celebrate thanksgiving in Australia however my American friend gave me some baked goods from her cookfest (as could not go to her thanksgiving dinner). We always ask what pumpkin pie is like, after trying tonight it was “AMAZING”…OMG :-) can’t quite put my finger on it what it was like but I can’t wait till tomorrow night to have more!


50 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More November 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I’m so glad you guys didn’t eat that 12-pound Turkey! 😉
And so happy you had a great Thanksgiving. Sometimes low-key is just as nice as a big gathering.


51 Patty November 26, 2012 at 11:09 am

That face! That food! A precious post.


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