Giving Thanks

by Jenn (eating bender) on November 26, 2010

We made it! From Chicago to Arizona to San Francisco to Napa…and now back to Arizona again!

I have so much to show and tell from our honeymoon. Everything from fantastic farmer’s markets to wonderful wine tastings. Plus, a broken wrist thrown in for good measure.

Wait, what?!

You’ll soon find out. 😉 But today, I want to give thanks for a very special holiday spent with my family.

We spent Thanksgiving morning with Bobby, who unfortunately had to fly back to Chicago in the afternoon for work. Thankfully, we were able to enjoy a delicious brunch before he left.

Brunch Egg Casserole was on the menu! A family favorite made by Mama Bender!

You can see the full recipe here. It is essentially a “quiche” with a doughy French bread crust.

A must-have during the holidays around here. Especially when served with mimosas.

We enjoyed the good food and good conversation until Bobby needed to leave for the airport. My family wished he wouldn’t have had to go but were thankful for the time we did have that morning.

Once I had returned from driving him, the house was transformed to get ready for our special dinner guests later that day. My mom’s aunt, cousins and their kids, who are all amazingly kind and wonderful people (hello if you’re reading!!). As usual, Mama Bender outdid herself with the decor. The deep red and purple theme was both fun and festive!

She also found gorgeous flowers to use as centerpieces from the grocery store.

Meanwhile, Papa Bender was cooking up a storm in the kitchen!

While the hot meal was prepared, several cold appetizers were served. Fresh shrimp with cocktail sauce and sliced cucumber topped with Tex-Mex Gouda Dip (both from Costco) were a big hit!

We also served up vino, along with citrus-infused water and Peppermint-Eggnog Punch!!!!

You know the holiday season is here when Mama Bender whips up a batch of this punch.

Before we knew it, the leaf place mats were covered by hot pans and plates that held a feast.

One delicious looking turkey…

…plenty of cornbread stuffing (mmm cornbread!)…

and foods to please every palate. Green beans, sweet potatoes, four cheese muffins and goat cheese puffs.

I had a little bit of everything.

Plus a lovely glass of vino to savor with every bite.

During dinner, we reflected on all that we are thankful for. Some of my list included:

  • Bobby, my new husband and the love of my life
  • Mama Bender, the most talented and hardworking woman I know
  • Papa Bender, the best chef and cheesy joke teller in the world
  • Baby Bender, my amazing little brother who inspires me every day
  • The rest of my Korducki and Buss family (and there are a lot of us!)
  • My fabulous new family whose name rhymes with mine
  • My wedding party – Sam, Jill, Lauren and Caitlin, you are all truly incredible
  • All of my amazing friends – both in the blog world and out (some a blend of each!)
  • My business and business partner
  • The happiness and health of all of the people mentioned above
  • All of the memories still yet to be made

Clearly, I talked for a while. 😉 There is a lot to be grateful for and I am very grateful for that.

Another thing I’m grateful for? The gorgeous Arizona sunsets.

I can never get enough of them. Nor can I ever refuse delectable desserts!

Blueberry pie and pumpkin-pecan cakebread topped with freshly whipped cream.


Thank you.

How was your Thanksgiving?

Share links to your posts if you have them so I can catch up!

I am very thankful for all of you.


1 glidingcalm November 27, 2010 at 1:03 am

What a gorgeous spread and table scape! Your home/kitchen is beautiful!!

2 Marianne November 27, 2010 at 2:54 am

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! Looking forward to hearing more about the honeymoon :)

3 Lauren November 27, 2010 at 6:45 am

Happy Thanksgiving sweet heart!!!

Wow, your parents have the most BEAUTIFUL kitchen! I’m in awe!

4 Erica November 27, 2010 at 7:39 am

oh my gosh! All of the food looks AMAZING. Love the eggnog punch, stuffing and beautiful pies. Such a feast :) I am glad to hear the honeymoon was a blast. Can’t wait to hear SO much more about it(hope the broken bone is healing….). My Thanksgiving was just perfect.

5 Melissa @ TryingToHeal November 27, 2010 at 9:05 am

ohhhh…that breakfast casserole sounds AMAZING. I should have come to AZ and snuck some out from under the table. 😉

Love you Jenn!!!

6 Amanda November 27, 2010 at 9:17 am

I love the turkey cutouts on the pie! What a cute, fun detail! Thanksgiving in AZ looks like a dream.

7 Brittany November 27, 2010 at 10:08 am

What a lovely Thanksgiving spread! It stinks that Bobby had to fly back early, but at least you all were able to have a delicious brunch together.

I can’t wait to hear more about the honeymoon. :)

8 cbrady3 November 27, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Can’t wait to hear more about California!! Here’s my Thanksgiving post

Yours looked wonderful:)

9 Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover November 27, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Awwww – lovely pics!
That blueberry pie looked pretty delicious, too…
As all the food you had for Thanksgiving!

10 Kinsey Michaels November 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm

all of that food looks absolutely incredible Jenn! i am so excited for you guys – i snuck a peek at your honeymoon pics on facebook and loved them, looks like you had a wonderful time!!! :) so much to be thankful for!!

11 MarathonVal November 27, 2010 at 9:05 pm

So glad you had a wonderful time on your honeymoon! Happy belated Thanksgiving, I’m excited to see you next Sunday for the potluck! :)

12 sophia November 28, 2010 at 2:02 am

Where in the world is Jenn? In foodie heaven, I see! 😉

I’m glad you had a great Thanksgiving! 😀

13 CaSaundra November 28, 2010 at 8:14 am

Looks like a great time to me–and like always, great food and great company!

14 Heather Eats Almond Butter November 28, 2010 at 10:56 am

Note to self: plan to spend next Thanksgiving in AZ and show up at Papa and Mama Bender’s house for the T-day feast. Dying to try the peppermint nog! 😉

So happy to hear you enjoyed your honeymoon Jenn. You look so happy in all of your photos. Hope the broken wrist is healing!

15 BroccoliHut November 28, 2010 at 11:30 pm

So much beautiful food! I particularly like the sound of that breakfast casserole. Hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving:)

16 Rachael November 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Loved reading this post, and so many of the family-oriented pieces that popped up on the holiday. My own clan is pretty small and I haven’t made it home for the holidays in a couple of years, so it’s nice to see the warmth and good vibes that transpire between loved ones!
Arizona sunsets are hard to beat! The light in the desert never ceases to amaze me in how bold and brilliant it can be!
And peppermint ice cream alcoholic beverages might need to be replicated in my home!

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