Friends + Thanksgiving = Friendsgiving

“Friendsgiving” is finally here!

Tonight we got together with a bunch of friends from the medical school for a Thanksgiving feast.  This event is awesome for three major reasons:

1- We have pretty awesome friends and it’s always fun to hang out as a group.

2- There was a lot of delicious food.

3- Tomorrow, I am allowed to decorate for Christmas! (Waiting until after the actual Thanksgiving day is just too long for a Christmas lover like myself so Justin and I agreed Friendsgiving is technically close enough to count)

I told the host of our Thanksgiving meal, Kara, that I’d be willing to bring green bean casserole, apple pie, and rolls. I wanted to bring traditional dishes using healthy recipes (same taste, better for you!) Lately, I have been trying to incorporate more clean eating into Justin and my diets. We don’t often eat out and we rarely have junk food, but I cook a lot and I find myself using a lot of processed ingredients/foods in our meals. I’ve been researching a lot about eating clean (I’ll save my findings for another blog post) and have been trying to use recipes that are clean.

I was lucky enough to find some yummy (and SIMPLE) clean recipes on The Gracious Pantry blog. I woke up early to get the rolls done this morning, and got the others got done after school. It really helped that the casserole and pie bake for almost the same amount of time at the same temperature so they could be in the oven together.

Green bean casserole recipe here. I used my mom’s home-grown, canned beans for an extra amount of deliciousness!

Rolls recipe here. I didn’t have pastry flour, so I used whole wheat flour and they turned out a bit harder/dense than I would’ve liked,  but they were yummy when softened! I warmed them in the oven for a few minutes right before dinner.

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Apple pie recipe here. I did make my own crust using this recipe! I actually really enjoy baking and this recipe was a fun one to try. The actual recipe calls for a second crust covering the whole pie, but I didn’t have quite enough crust so I just cut the remaining dough in strips and criss-crossed it.

The thing I like most about these recipes is that they are simple and do not call for a ton of unusual ingredients. Sometimes healthy recipes call for things I’ve never even heard of, but these were all made with staples in my kitchen!  I have a feeling I will be using The Gracious Pantry a lot in the future!

Now that I’m stuffed to the max, I’m going to go relax with my hubby and plan out where I’m going to hang all my Christmas decorations tomorrow. Happy Hump Day/Friendsgiving Day!

***

Because I was up early preparing the rolls for Friendsgiving, I did not have much time to throw together an outfit. I chose some simple, solid layers and a colorful necklace as my statement piece.

Shirt: Express

Sweater: Express

Pants: Maurices

Shoes: Fegalicious by Fergie

Necklace: Premier Jewelry

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T.O.O.T. = the best acronym ever

T.O.O.T is here!

Yes, I have a bit of a childish sense of humor. But I did not make up this acronym!

TOOT

Taste of our Towns is a yearly festival in the town we moved to. As a lover of festivals, I was excited. As a lover of food, so was Justin.

We set off with our umbrellas since the morning was drizzly, but by the time we parked and walked into the heart of the festival, the actually rain had passed and we didn’t get a single drop! Justin had to take blood pressures at a booth for his medical school for an hour, so after letting him take mine (102/78 baby!!) I scoped out the booths while I waited for him to finish.

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T.O.O.T. works by using a token system. You buy tokens (1 token = $1) and then trade in tokens for food at the various booths. There were 50+ booths from different local restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, frozen yogurt stands, and food stores. Most of the food was sold in smaller portions than normal so you can sample many different types of food rather than fill up on just one or two things. And everything sold is the best of the best that the businesses offer so it is all delicious! 

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There were also different entertainers throughout. My personal favorite were the people on stilts. Scary!!

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Once Justin was done taking blood pressures, we met up with a group of our friends and got to work selecting foods to try! After a delicious pulled pork sandwich for lunch, my sweet tooth won out and I tried chocolate peanut butter fudge (seriously, how can you turn that down?!), a chocolate covered pretzel, and beautifully dipped chocolate covered strawberries. Notice the trend. I adore chocolate. It’s probably a good thing that I got my blood pressure taken before all this food!

strawberries

Justin had a bit more restraint and tried more “real” foods like a loaded bratwurst, a prime rib potato bowl, and bread pudding.

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We had such a great day hanging out with fantastic friends and sampling phenomenal foods! I already can’t wait for T.O.O.T. 2014!