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My first Thanksgiving dinner was a success!

But why shouldn’t it have been? A 7-pound turkey breast is not particularly difficult to cook, and the roaster oven my mom sent us earlier this year made the task even easier. A good rubdown with butter and an assortment of spices and the turkey was taken care of.

The man of the house carved the turkey and did the stuff I didn’t want to do, like wash out the roaster before its inaugural use. (I promise this is not product placement for Glad cling wrap, just lazy photography.)

I know I wrote that I was so excited to put my own spin on the Thanksgiving classics, but I didn’t get too creative.

I considered a couple different takes on sweet potatoes, but we eat them year-round and never do we eat them candied with melted marshmallows on top, and the classic dish sounded too good to pass up. I used the Cooking Light recipe for classic sweet potato casserole, which simply uses less butter and brown sugar than a traditional recipe might. I don’t believe in “diet foods,” especially at holidays, but if you can lighten something without ever tasting the difference, why wouldn’t you? Fiance said he never would have known this is a light dish, and I don’t think anyone would ever guess. We loved this so much I’m already planning to make it for Christmas.

Sausage stuffing was a new dish for both of us. I knew that fiance wasn’t wild about the idea, but I was really into trying it, so he humored me, and we both enjoyed it. I used this recipe as a base and instead of butter used boxed chicken broth that was pre-doctored with white wine and herbs. Instead of poultry seasoning, I used a Greek spice blend. Honestly, the meatiness does not jump out at you; the hot Italian sausage I used enhanced the flavor and texture of classic stuffing.

I made the stuffing the night before and let it warm to room temperature before popping it into the oven on Thanksgiving Day. So easy! I think this will be my go-to stuffing.

I made mashed potatoes, too, but they were nothing noteworthy and I got nervous that, combined with the stuffing, it would be too much starch and I would have a bad reaction, because I take metformin for insulin resistance. So I skipped them.

As it was our first Thanksgiving as just the two of us, so we felt the need to document the day with  ’round-the-dinner table shots.

In the interest of full disclosure, I had to supplement the very few drippings I got from the turkey breast with gravy from a jar, but I had filled the bottom of the roaster with onionss, so the drippings and onions jazzed up the jarred stuff. But other than that, there was nothing on our table that came pre-packaged.

While we both enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner, it was dessert that really stole the show.

Martha Stewart’s pumpkin cheesecake. I followed the advice of one person who commented on the recipe on and crushed gingersnaps to make the crust. You can see where one part of the cheesecake stuck to the pan, but I was proud that there were no cracks in the top and that it exited the springform pan mostly unscathed.

As I uploaded our Thanksgiving photos, I started to think that I should have put together some sort of centerpiece and that I should have picked up some pretty serving dishes, but honestly, I would not change one thing about our Thanksgiving. It was a calm, relaxed, fun day. The sun was shining and I cooked our meal in a dress with the back door open, and later, fiance was in such a good mood/food coma that he sat through one and a half Thanksgiving episodes of “Roseanne.”

Even the puggle took a moment to count his blessings, over special doggie ice cream.

That’s his sock monkey in the background. It has since lost two limbs and its tail.

What was the highlight of your Thanksgiving?




I'm a bride-to-be who's lost 120 pounds -- and gained a whole new perspective on food and a passion for fitness! My ego would like to think I'm the Carrie Bradshaw of weight loss, but really, I'm just another former fat girl with too much to say.

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