Thanksgiving + A Very Special Visit

by Jenn (eating bender) on November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving at the Bender house was a raving success!

Our Thursday began with a beautiful hike in the Arizona mountains, which left us hungry and eager for the Brunch Egg Casserole that awaited us when we returned!

So yummy, especially with a mimosa to wash it all down. 😉

The rest of our morning was spent watching the Packers beat the Lions and go to 11-0! Once the game was over, it was time to get to work in the kitchen. The one and only Papa Bender was on turkey duty.

Mama and Baby Bender created a beautiful tablescape.

Complete with the fancy plates, placemats, napkins and silverware.

And just what did we feast on? Well, there was the delicious turkey, of course.

Papa Bender also made his apple-sausage stuffing (topping it with oregano – a very nice touch PB)!

And broccoli-cheese casserole (made with real cheese this year instead of Cheez Whiz, yay).

My contribution to the feast was the green bean casserole from Pansgiving.

Mama Bender made creamed spinach, which was incredible!

And last but not least we had au gratin potatoes, which are always a hit in this cheese-loving family.

We all had bites of every dish while chatting about what we have to be grateful for this year.

There is so much – my incredible family, friends, businesses and business partner. My writing and love for it. And of course, my wonderful husband. I feel so fortunate that Bobby and I were able to spend Thanksgiving here in Arizona.

Speaking of Bobby, he was quite proud of the work he did on the lattice for our cherry pie.

I have to agree, it’s pretty impressive! We used the Bender family recipe, which is always a hit.

Served a la mode while playing a friendly (ha!) round of poker. Bobby was ultimately victorious.

We wrapped up our evening in sweet style, that’s for sure! It truly was a fantastic holiday.

But happily, the fun does not stop there. Yesterday, we were visited by the nieces pieces!

Cara, Jim, Kelly (the cutie on the left) and Caroline (the cutie on the right) were in town visiting family for Thanksgiving, as well. They stopped by for a few hours, and we were absolutely thrilled to see them!

The girls have grown so much since my last trip to San Diego. They are getting more adorable by the minute, if that’s possible, and Bobby and I were lucky enough to feed them sweet potatoes and squash!

It was a lot of fun and a lot of orange. :) The girls love their veggies already!

I can never stop smiling when they are around, as I’m sure you can imagine just from these pictures! We took a group shot at the end of their visit, although unfortunately Cara is missing. We’ll have to bring out the tripod and self-timer next time!

I particularly love how Baby Bender is giving Bobby bunny ears and Papa Bender is giving him the, “I’m not so sure this is a good idea,” stare down. :) We had an amazing time with the girls, Cara and Jim, and were sad to see them go. Looking forward to next time!

Today we are looking forward to the final Northwestern football game of the season. Let’s hope the Wildcats can pull off a big win against Michigan State and get into a decent bowl game!

We’ll be cheering ’em on and giving thanks for this time together.

How was your Thanksgiving? What was the best thing you ate?


1 Michelle (Peachy Palate) November 26, 2011 at 11:19 am

Cherry pie! Looks incredible. I’m getting lots of Christmas Dinner ideas since we don’t do Thanksgiving in Ireland. Hope you had a wonderful day :)

2 Jenn (eating bender) November 30, 2011 at 8:42 am

Thanks, Michelle! Looking forward to seeing your Christmas dinner! :)

3 Erica November 26, 2011 at 11:52 am

SO fun!!! Hope youre enjoying every minute with the family. That broccoli dish looks fantastic! The peanuts are SO cute! Cant wait to try some real food with Kay. Best thing i ate? Orange/soy brussels

4 Melissa @TryingtoHeal November 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

What a great Thanksgiving with your family!! I’m glad it was a nice one!

5 Jenn (eating bender) November 30, 2011 at 8:42 am

Thanks, lady!

6 Megan (Braise The Roof) November 26, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Nice spread! I love that your family loves cheese as much as mine. :) Your nieces are getting so big!

7 Jenn (eating bender) November 30, 2011 at 8:42 am

We certainly know what to serve if we ever have a double family get together. 😉 And yes, they really are!

8 Cara (Twinthusiast) November 27, 2011 at 5:48 pm

We had such a blast with you – a definite highlight of the trip!

9 Jenn (eating bender) November 30, 2011 at 8:42 am

The feeling is mutual!

10 BroccoliHut November 27, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Wow, I want to eat Thanksgiving at your house! YUM.
My favorite dish this year was my own apple turnovers–they were a nice new addition to add to the dessert table :)

11 Jenn (eating bender) November 30, 2011 at 8:43 am

I have no doubt that they were a hit – yum!!

12 withasideofhope November 29, 2011 at 7:10 am

I’m glad you had a great Thanksgiving! All of that food looked delicious! That cherry pie is very impressive! :)

13 Jenn (eating bender) November 30, 2011 at 8:44 am

Thanks, Hope! Same to you!

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