Why? Weekends!

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I hope you all had a fun, food-filled, relaxing Thanksgiving weekend! Mine was full of good family time and good eating, which is exactly how it should be, in my opinion.

On Thursday, Matthew and I hosted our first Thanksgiving in our new home. We moved into this house in February, so I’m really excited for our first holiday season here. We had my Mom, Dad, Grandpa, and Father-in-Law over for a Thanksgiving feast.

This year, we ordered our Thanksgiving turkey, as well as some other necessary items, from Fresh Fork Market. The turkey had a very different taste than your normal, every day Butterball. It was much fresher and a bit more gamy. It was also incredibly tender and juicy.

Almost every dish on our table had at least some Fresh Fork ingredients in them. One of the favorites was the streuseled sweet potato casserole, which had Fresh Fork sweet potatoes, maple syrup, egg, flour and butter in it. Click here for the recipe.

We also had a special bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner.

As a bridal shower gift, I received wines to be enjoyed on certain special occasions. So I was very excited to pop the cork on this bottle to toast our first Thanksgiving as a married couple.

It was a wonderful day of eating too much and spending time with family!

On Friday morning, Mom and I continued our 20-plus-year tradition of going out on Black Friday. Truthfully, we get very little gift shopping accomplished and we start later and later each year. But, we have a great time together, talking, browsing, and being a little bit silly.

As a respite from the craziness at the mall, we stopped for lunch at Rosewood Grill in Strongsville. I started with a very interesting cocktail: the 82 & Spicy. It has Hangar One Chipotle vodka, raspberry puree, lime, and bubbles. Sweet and spicy and really tasty!

We split a selection of appetizers for lunch, starting with the calamari and sushi shots.

I loved the breaded banana peppers that came along with the calamari! The sushi shots are phyllo cups, with mashed avocado and tuna, served with sriracha sauce. The sauce provides a nice kick, but these shots are good with or without the added heat.

We also shared the exotic mushroom and brie flatbread.

Brie and mushrooms are two of my favorite things and this combination was rich and earthy. The crisp sea salt crust on the flatbread added just the right texture to each bite. I definitely will be heading back to Rosewood Grill! In an area overrun by chain restaurants, it’s nice to have a foodie, independent option.

Saturday, Matthew and I loosened our belts for Thanksgiving, Round 2 with his family. Fresh Fork played a large role again, particularly in Matthew’s light, sweet apple cake dessert. This is from a recipe he found in the only English cookbook in his apartment in Italy when he studied abroad and it is one of my favorite things he makes.

It was another fun day with family, particularly catching up with our nieces who are growing up so fast and are ridiculously adorable.

Sunday was dedicated to decorating the house for Christmas. I always enjoy holiday decorating, but particularly with it being the first year in this house, I was really excited. First stop was picking out a tree.

This is only my second year having a live Christmas tree. I always had artificial trees and Matthew always had live trees. I’ve found I really like having a live tree: the smell just says Christmas! Then it was time to come home and decorate. The finished product blends Matthew’s and my holiday traditions and I know I will spend a lot of evenings snuggled up on the couch looking at the tree.

How was your Thanksgiving weekend, CLE?

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