Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. The fast-paced tempo of our everyday life slows down so we can sit around the table with family and friends to give thanks. While the day may not actually be “slow” – cue the four nieces and nephews under three years crying or running around – the organized chaos of people is something I look forward to. This year, my family hosted Thanksgiving and it was so special seeing relatives come together and pitch in for a delicious meal. We had all the classics: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and more, but also our family’s essential appetizer: clam dip. Pretty simply it’s cream cheese, clams, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Serve with salty and crunchy Ruffles, it is actually addicting. I’m really looking forward to next year because my cousin passed off her responsibility of stuffing to me. It is my favorite side dish, so I cannot wait to start practicing recipes.
One of the biggest things I am taking away from this year’s holiday is that in the end, it’s really only the big picture that matters. It’s not worth it to sweat the small things. Wine glasses may be broken on the patio, cranberry sauce may spill on a white rug, and someone may forget to make the gravy. (Yes these all happened.) Little hiccups while entertaining big crowds are inevitable and hopefully can remind us to laugh the small thing off. All day on Thanksgiving I felt so grateful to look around and see the abundant blessings of food, family and friends. The little things that happened and “went wrong” are now just memories.
Above are my dad, step-mom, and step-siblings Brittany and Cameron. We always have a blast together and as you can tell, we can’t stay serious for too long. After we indulged in our big meal, all the family and friends sat out by the fire, drank wine and sampled the assortment of dessert options. Pecan pie has emerged as a new favorite for me. Not only was the company and conversation excellent, but as you can see from the pictures, it was a stunning evening in Phoenix to stay outside all night long. My family’s backyard is evolving into the destination for outdoor entertaining and relaxation. When a large group of guests are over, the fireplaces, big couch and heaters make it feel like an outdoor living room. I cannot wait until Christmas!
I have so many reasons to be thankful and being home over the past week was the perfect way to celebrate. Thanksgiving will always be my favorite holiday because of the delicious food and family focus, but I also love how it starts the rest of the holiday season. In a few weeks, I will be back to Phoenix to celebrate Christmas and one of my best friends’ wedding. Hopefully the weather is just as beautiful as it was this week. Hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend!
Love food. Love self. Love life.