by Jenn (eating bender) on November 21, 2012

Because tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

How did that even happen?! It seems as though this fall season has gone by in a complete blur. There is a lot to be excited about this week, though. My aunt- and uncle-in-law came into town on Sunday, Bobby’s parents get into town tonight and on Friday we get an entire day with Cara, Jim and the San Diego nieces pieces, much like last year. It’s going to be amazing.

But tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and tomorrow we feast. It’s going to be a big meal up at the Benders, and I’m excited to share the results. We’ve prepped and shopped for the ingredients. Now, we cook.

Here is the menu:

Turkey with Papa Bender’s Apple-Sausage Stuffing

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes with Gouda and Crispy Pancetta

Green Beans Almondine

Spinach and Gruyère Gratin

Whole Foods Challah Bread

Jalapeño-Cheddar Cornbread

Aunt Lisa’s Pecan Pie (recipe to come!)

Costco Pumpkin Pie

Bender Family Cherry Pie

My contributions will be the jalapeño-cheddar cornbread, a Williams-Sonoma find that I hope turns out as good as it looks in the picture. I’m planning to use a skillet pan, so fingers crossed.


I will also be making the Bender Cherry Pie, which I’ve been doing for several years now. Last year, Bobby got in on the action with his expert lattice work. Here’s hoping I’ll have him as a volunteer again in 2012. 😉 With so many people, Mama Bender has requested two!

I am grateful for so much this year. My wonderful family and friends, a new neighborhood we adore, a transition to new jobs for both Bobby and me, as he joined a team in Arizona and I decided to pursue freelance writing full time. It has been a year with a lot of change and with that its fair share of ups and downs, but through it all we have had a lot of great memories and things to smile about. I’m excited to reflect on the year more fully this week and beyond – ’tis the season, after all.

See you from the other side of the holiday!

What are your Thanksgiving plans? What are you most looking forward to gobbling up?

It’s impossible for me to choose – all the dishes this year sound and look so delicious!


1 natalie @ will jog for food November 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

Yummy! Ours will be a small Thanksgiving (3 people), so Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed & Sweet Potatoes, Salad, and chocolate pecan pie.
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2 Ari @ Ari's Menu November 21, 2012 at 11:45 am

Challa!!!! For a hot minute I considered making some for Thanksgiving, and then decided to be lazy and make beer bread. 😉 I’m most excited for stuffing, sweet potatoes (you know the super healthy ones with marshmallows on top) and dessert (obviously)! Happy Thanksgiving Jenn!
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3 Erica November 21, 2012 at 11:45 am

What a menu! Sounds fabulous!!!!!!!! Ow- I want a slice of that cornbread. I”m making cookies, apple crisp & a butternut squash side. I’m most excited for cranberry sauce
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4 Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles November 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm

What a delicious menu! I started the prep today…just finished cranberry sauce and about to bake the pumpkin pie. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, Jenn!
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5 Marianne November 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Sounds like a delicious feast! Have a great Thanksgiving with the family :)
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6 Melissa @TryingtoHeal November 22, 2012 at 9:57 am

Happy Thanksgiving Jenn! Looks like a nice hearty spread and a great time you’ll have today with both families!
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7 Megan (Braise The Roof) November 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Wow, that is a beautiful spread! I need that spinach gratin in my face immediately. :) Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
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