My Dream Thanksgiving Meal

family meal

Let’s take a few moments from our normal busy lives and dream a little…because we can (and I think it’s good for our brains).

What if you could plan the most delicious and enjoyable Thanksgiving meal, without cooking any of it, breaking a sweat or having to worry about what anyone else wanted to eat.

If you can’t tell yet, this is a totally hypothetical situation.

What dishes would you have on your dream Thanksgiving table? What cocktails would you sip to start and what desserts would finish it all off?

Here’s my dream Thanksgiving meal:

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Spinach & Artichoke Everything

spinach artichoke mac and cheese

It never fails. When the weather turns even just 10 or 15 degrees cooler, my body is like casseroles and carbs and cheese everything!

I find myself saving recipes for baked pastas, creamy soups and filling meal options.

This Spinach Artichoke Mac & Cheese totally fits the bill with three cheeses, salty artichokes and earthy spinach that all gets mixed together with your choice of pasta.

spinach artichoke mac and cheese

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Simple Saturday: Lentil Salad

lentil salad

I find it very interesting that this was the recipe I had in mind to post today.

Lentil salad: A dish that is so French in many ways (green lentils, red wine vinegar) and one that has its Middle Eastern roots, as well.

After what happened in France yesterday, all of us are reeling with questions of why and how and how can we end all of the hate.

It’s gotten me thinking a lot about the people who have been terrorized by groups like ISIS for a long time. My heart goes out to all of the Syrian refugees, all of the Middle Eastern children who have grown up with war as the norm, all of the people in my Christian family who have had to fear for their lives because of their beliefs.

It would be so easy to live life in fear, or to think something earthly can protect us from all of it. But, at these times, I am so grateful that I have something to root me, something that is much greater than earthly hate and toil.

Today is a good reminder to take care of our fellow man, pray for them, act on each other’s behalf. As The Decemberists so beautifully sing, “And you must bear your neighbor’s burden within reason.”

A lot of people are hurting for a lot of reasons, and I believe we each have a part to play in helping them.

Maybe when you eat this Lentil Salad, you’ll think about something similar.

lentil salad

Here’s how you make it:

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Blogsgiving Dinner: Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

bourbon pumpkin pie

I’m so thrilled that it’s that time of year again: Blogsgiving!

You might remember that last year I joined a group of awesome bloggers to share fabulous, fresh and easy recipes for your T-day meal (kind of like a progressive dinner but on the internet). I made Apple Sidecars, Mushroom Spinach Farro and Sweet Potato Pie, and a bunch of other bloggers made some amazing things, too.


This year, Meghan from Cake ‘n Knife and Susannah from Feast + West are hosting another Blogsgiving Dinner with more than 60 blogs sharing recipes throughout this week!

Feel free to take a look at my recipe below, then wander on over to one of the many bloggers involved in this celebration of holiday food.

See the whole menu in Part 1 and Part 2 of the recipe round-up to get your holiday meal planning wheels rolling. There are so many drinks, apps, meals and zerts to try out!

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Fall Leaves


I hope it’s okay with all of you out there if we take a day out of the blogging schedule to celebrate fall.


I’m not exactly talking about fall flavors or pumpkin or chunky scarves (though those are all good things). I’m thinking more about looking around us, breathing in the crisp cooled air and thanking the Creator for the beauty that surrounds us.


I don’t know about you, but here in North Carolina we have had a couple weeks of beautiful multicolored trees.

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Ingredient of the Month: Sweet Potato

sweet potatoes

First off, sorry that it has been quite a few months (cough, three, cough) since I posted an Ingredient of the Month.

You can be sure that I was enjoying all of summer’s ingredients…maybe so much that I didn’t take the time to stop and write about them or photograph them.

Today’s ingredient is very close to my heart as North Carolina is the number 1 producer of sweet potatoes in the US. Even before I moved to NC, I loved the taste, health benefits and versatility of this orange tuber.

sweet potatoes

Tell me more:

Sweet potatoes grow like any other potato, in the dirt. There are several varieties (of which I don’t know much about) with varying shades of orange (and even white) inside a brown to red to purple skin.

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Whole Foods Weekday Takeaway: Week 3


Today I’ve got an amazing vegetable-filled Weekday Takeaway from Whole Foods to share with you.

If the Weekday Takeaway is new to you, check out my first and second weeks of meals prepared by the talented Whole Foods chefs in Raleigh.

Here’s the lowdown on this amazing meal plan:

  • It’s only offered at the Raleigh Whole Foods on Wade Avenue.
  • It contains 5 meals for 1 for $50.
  • You can get a vegetarian-friendly set of meals.
  • The meals are wonderfully prepared, flavorful and great to stock your fridge for a week full of dinners (or lunches).
  • This meal plan is perfect for singles but can also be split for many meals between a couple.

This third week of meals really floored me with some scrumptious vegetable-forward mains and sides. And for many of these meals, my husband and I split them by adding in an extra salad or side.

So, here’s what we ate:

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A Few Questions


First question: Have you been to Neomonde in Raleigh, NC?

If yes, then good choice. If no, then get down here and take yourself out for some freshly made pita and the best hummus and Mediterranean sides of your life.

Second question: Have you ever had or heard of mujaddara?

This middle eastern dish happens to be in the hot section of the salad case at Neomonde, and it is one of my favorites.

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Whole Foods Weekday Takeaway: Week 2

raleigh weekday takeaway

Good news, guys.

Whole Foods is letting me try out the Weekday Takeaway for several weeks, so I get to show you all of the tasty meals that I’ve been able to try.

And I know for sure that the first week wasn’t a fluke, and they’re all quite delicious. I’ve also had some super busy weeks lately, so it has been a lifesaver having these guys in my fridge to heat up and enjoy a home-cooked, healthy meal in minutes.

If you didn’t see my first post about the Weekday Takeaway meal plan, then you’ll want to know that:

  • It’s only offered at the Raleigh Whole Foods on Wade Avenue
  • It contains 5 meals for 1 for $50
  • The meals are wonderfully prepared, flavorful and great to stock your fridge for a week full of dinners (or lunches)
  • This meal plan is perfect for singles but can also be split for many meals between a couple

Click here to find out more about the meal and how you can order yours!

So, here’s what was in my meals for week 2 of the Weekday Takeaway:

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Simple Saturday: 5 Minute Cheese Plate

5 minute cheese plate

Just because you don’t have a lot of time on your hands doesn’t mean that you can’t be fancy.

And just because you’re throwing together a quick dinner party, doesn’t mean that there’s no time for some tasty apps.

Wondering what those quick and fancy apps could possibly be?

Enter the beloved cheese plate.

5 minute cheese plate

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