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Something A Little Different

Something A Little Different

We traveled to the town where we used to live this Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with some of our very closest friends. This is unusual for my husband and I, because we normally stick pretty close to our holiday traditions at home. The main reason for this is because we both love food so much, and we are afraid to put the responsibility of preparing the meal on anyone else.

I am so glad that we made the choice to do something new this year. It helps that our friends are into food as well, and we have a confident understanding of their competence in the kitchen. I made a couple of sides and three pies from scratch and we packed all of the food and all of the kids and the dog into the car and headed north. The whole experience was such a wonderful reminder of all of the things that we have to be thankful for. Simply the experience of getting to connect with good friends is a strong reminder of just how much we have.

The weather was a little chillier than would have been ideal. Of course, everyone who we expected to see was not able to be there, but I still don’t know how the holiday could have been more perfect for us. When you have young children, they grow up right before your eyes. When you see your friend’s kids after four months have passed, it is remarkable to observe how much they have grown and changed. It was amazing to me; to see how quickly the kids all fell into the old familiar rhythm of getting along together brilliantly. It warmed my heart.

In the end, we had a group of around twenty for dinner. There was way too much food, but that had been expected and everyone went home happily with leftovers. My husband got to play his traditional football game in the street with all of the kids. The meal was delicious, and the discovery of every new dish as all of the sides walked in the door was a newfound delight for me. The piecrust that I made with my stepmother’s gluten free recipe amazed me. I have never even been a fan of pie. I find piecrust dry and tasteless. The crust on my Thanksgiving pies was to die for. I was thrilled.

And so we packed up the car, and the kids, and the dog, and the leftovers the next morning, still in the clutches of our pie comas. We traveled home with fantastic memories and strengthened friendships. I think that traditions are wonderful and I like to try and keep them, but there is something to be said for trying something new. I can definitely say that this adventure turned out well. 


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1. Stay In

2. Read Books

3. Let it go to Voice Mail

4. Write a Letter

5. Dance

6. Invest in Mood Lighting

7. Have Dinner with Friends 

8. Take Walks

9. Bake

10. Breathe Deeply

11. Enjoy your Morning Coffee

12. Play Board Games

13. Hug your Pillows

14. Adopt a New Ritual

15. Look Around

16. Give a Gift

17. Happy Cry

18. Smile at Strangers

19. Cuddle

20. Savor Small Portions

21. Stretch

22. Take Pictures

23. Use Profanity Freely

24. Give Hugs

25. Listen Carefully

26. Beautify your Space

27. Share your Favorite Movie 

28. Laugh Generously

29. Accept Gifts Gratefully 

30. Give Thanks

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

This sophisticated version of pumpkin pie is amazingly smooth & rich. It is also Gluten-Free & free of Refined Sugar. 


29oz pumpkin puree - 1 lg. can
1 stick unsalted butter - softened
8oz cream cheese - softened
5 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. honey
1 c. GF flour 

Whipped cream:

1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Honey to drizzle on top.

Making it Happen:

Combine all of the ingredients for the pie in a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until well combined. When the batter is smooth, pour it into a greased 9x13 baking pan and bake in an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees for one hour.

Allow the pie to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

To make the whipped cream, blend the chilled heavy cream in a chilled bowl on high speed until it begins to thicken, add the vanilla and continue blending until the cream is thick. 

Plate pie with whipped cream & drizzle with honey. Enjoy!