Gratitude and Good Food

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Today was the quintessential fall day!  Foggy and rainy and oh so colorful.  The perfect backdrop for our first Thanksgiving in Charlotte.


I had a bowl of banana oatmeal with lots of cinnamon for breakfast.


I ran a quick 3 miles through my neighborhood, woke up the Husband, and then we drove to a state park near Lake Wylie.  We hiked with my Dad for 1.5 hours.  It was beautiful!


James came, too.  He had a blast, and his tummy got really muddy.


I munched on cashews while we hiked:


We headed back and I immediately got to work on the food.  Bless Nicole’s soul, we were only asked to bring over vegetables, corn casserole, and pie!  I had it so easy.


Munched on pumpkin bread while I cooked:


And then we headed off to Nicole and Isaac’s house for Thanksgiving!  It was fun to have a local Thanksgiving because normally we travel out of state.


Our excellent hosts:


Crack open the apple cider (thanks, DadHTP!):

IMG_5982 IMG_5981

IMG_5986 IMG_5985

Our feast:


Let’s see.. we had:


  • Roasted Brussel spouts, carrots, and parsnips
  • Corn Casserole
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Butternut squash and black bean casserole
  • Steamed kale




And then there was pie:


Lots and lots of pie.  Pie is my very favorite part of Thanksgiving!  I killed three slices.


Did I mention Nicole made homemade vanilla ice cream?


I foresee leftovers in my immediate future for dinner tonight!  That is why I prefer Thanksgiving LUNCH over DINNER because you really get two good meals on one awesome day.


Now, we are debating:  Elf, Love Actually, or another Christmas movie?  I vote ELF! But I highly doubt the Hus will give in.



  • Amanda (Eating Up) November 25, 2010, 8:08 pm

    Ah Love Actually is amazing! That’s definitely my favorite Christmas romcom…is it a romcom? Oh, well, whatever it is, it’s great.

    • Caitlin November 26, 2010, 10:37 am

      I love romcoms!!!

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat) November 25, 2010, 8:10 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving, Caitlin!! Your veggie Thanksgiving isn’t missing a single thing!

  • Lauren @ Clean Eats in the Dirty South November 25, 2010, 8:11 pm

    happy thanksgiving!
    i vote love actually. it’s my favorite movie EVER. elf is on USA at 9 PM for the next 3 nights, so i say you can’t be outvoted 3 days in a row. 😉

  • Jillian@ Reshape Your Life November 25, 2010, 8:11 pm

    ELF!! It’s probably my favorite funny christmas movie. Definitely gets my vote!

    Looks like you had an awesome Thanksgiving!

  • Lauren November 25, 2010, 8:11 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful day! Ah, pie is my favorite part too! Just when you think you can’t make room, you suddenly grow a second stomach for pie. 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving Caitlin!

  • Krystina (Basil & Wine) November 25, 2010, 8:20 pm


  • Amanda (Life in bloom) November 25, 2010, 8:24 pm

    Elf!! We watch that almost everyday right now, our kids looooove it! (and so do we !)

  • Kelly November 25, 2010, 8:27 pm

    That is a lot of casseroles haha.
    I actually vote for Love Actually, thats one of my all time favorite movies. I love Elf too though so you can’t really go wrong!

  • Wei-Wei November 25, 2010, 8:27 pm

    ELF! It’s so funny 😀 (Also, that pie sounds amazing…) Happy thanksgiving!

  • Laura (Starloz) November 25, 2010, 8:28 pm

    i love your family photograph, it’s perfect. the weather is just perfect for that picture.

  • Sarah November 25, 2010, 8:30 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving! I’m totally being a 25-year-old dork and watching the Taylor Swift concert on NBC.

  • Jen November 25, 2010, 8:42 pm

    Happy turkey day!!! (or turkeyless day!) You guys should watch Serendipity…my favourite holiday movie ever!

  • maria @ Chasing the Now November 25, 2010, 8:50 pm

    A Christmas Story!!! 🙂

  • Heather November 25, 2010, 8:51 pm

    4 christmases is my most recent fav!

  • Madeline - Greens and Jeans November 25, 2010, 8:55 pm

    Love Actually ALWAYS wins in my book!

  • Kris November 25, 2010, 8:56 pm

    I caught Love Actually on Lifetime while I was on the treadmill at the gym, then at home preparing food to take to Thanksgiving dinner. One of my fav movies; so touching!

    • Caitlin November 26, 2010, 10:37 am

      I always cry when the little boy chases the American girl down in the Airport.

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun November 25, 2010, 8:57 pm

    Elf is my #1 Christmas movie. I have to watch it every year. It always makes me laugh. I actually want to watch it tomorrow night with the husband.

  • Jen November 25, 2010, 9:06 pm

    Elf! I’ve wanted to watch that movie all day, one of my favorites. You can’t go wrong with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving either.

  • Lauren November 25, 2010, 9:10 pm

    Both are great, but I vote Elf – I think Will Ferrell is hilarious (and he runs marathons!)

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. November 25, 2010, 9:20 pm

    I love both movies…but, Elf!!! I watch it a ridiculous number of times every Christmas season (okay, all year round actually).

  • Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat November 25, 2010, 9:21 pm

    Well you just named two of my top 5 Christmas movies right there! I do love Elf–it’s a nice, light-hearted happy movie!

  • Jen November 25, 2010, 9:24 pm

    Oh your love for Pumpkin Loaves has me convinced we could be best friends :)…and your movie choices! Can’t go wrong with either of those, but I’d be in the mood for a comedy, so ELF maybe? Although it feels too early for that – makes me sad, I am working so much and have come into serious financial strain recently, so this Christmas seems like it will be another one just passing by.

    …Okay, now I need to shut up and go watch a Comedy and stop my whining 😉 (I also vote for the campy “Christmas with the Kranks” or “The Holiday” – although not really Christmassy and not sure your hubs will go for that one!).

    • Caitlin November 26, 2010, 10:39 am

      There are lots of (fun) ways to celebrate Christmas without spending a lot of money! A few years ago we were super broke and had to have a really cheap Christmas. On Xmas morning, we went on a long walk so we didn’t miss opening presents and it was actually really nice. 🙂

  • Camille November 25, 2010, 9:31 pm

    What an incredible feast!
    I’m surprised that the hubby wont give in to Elf! It is hilarious!
    Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you had a wonderful day!

  • Julie @SavvyEats November 25, 2010, 9:47 pm

    I vote ELF!

  • J. November 25, 2010, 9:47 pm

    Truthfully: I can’t even bear the thought of watching christmas stuff. I’m intentionally avoiding all holiday stuff. Its just really really hard. Its a lot to do with where I’m living. I’m trying really hard to be grateful and just breathe. But I have no furniture whatsoever, I sit on a floor. My TV is lodged by the stove. I’ve never ever had a christmas season like this. And I can’t seem to lift myself out of the funk. I’m just going to avoid any TV-related stuff and try to go out and volunteer or something.
    I’m trying so hard to be thankful, its like its such a forced thing — I constantly have to “remind” myself to be. I hope eventually it actually comes naturally.

    • anonymous November 25, 2010, 9:53 pm

      Wow. My heart goes out to you. Hopefully things will change for the better. 🙂

      • J. November 25, 2010, 10:10 pm

        Thanks. But I know there are worse off situations. Every time I look around and see the disaster of my situation/life, I try to remember there are little kids stuck in hospitals with zero chance of christmas.
        I’ve had suck-fest christmas holidays before…but never ever like this. Its new to me to not have even the bare basics of a make-shift apartment…but I’m hoping if I change my attitude, I can really actually have something better next christmas. Be grateful in the rock-bottom times, and maybe it comes back to you (?). I still have that “human” part of me though…the part that would like a piece of furniture!

  • Lacey @ Lake Life November 25, 2010, 9:51 pm

    I love watching “Miracle on 34th Street” on Thanksgiving night. It’s the perfect Thanksgiving-to-Christmas crossover movie 🙂

    • Jess-The Semi Abnormal Gal November 25, 2010, 9:54 pm

      My family and I watch Miracle on 34th Street every Thanksgiving too! out of the choices I vote for Love Actually. It was on Lifetime earlier today, so I already got my helping, while I was prepping for dinner. Linner? Feast.

  • anonymous November 25, 2010, 9:52 pm

    Elf! Glad you had a great Thanksgiving! 😀

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels November 25, 2010, 10:01 pm

    I happen to have say and I vote ELF, you’re welcome 😉

    I start watching ELF in July actually, because that’s when I start planning for Christmas

  • Emily November 25, 2010, 10:22 pm

    I love that you guys went hiking!! I really wanted to get outside a bit more today but after a 22 degree turkey trot this morning I was totally done with the outdoors! Awesome vegetarian Thanksgiving, definitely would have looooved to have had that meal 🙂

  • kyla November 25, 2010, 10:43 pm

    Love Actually!

    Or Home Alone

  • Dianne November 25, 2010, 11:16 pm

    We always have Thanksgiving meal early in the day, too…but it takes all afternoon to finish so I’m usually too stuffed for dinner! Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  • Sarah for Real November 25, 2010, 11:25 pm

    I just watched Elf yesterday! I forget how hilarious it is. Hope you were able to convince your husband!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal November 25, 2010, 11:29 pm

    ELF! ELF! ELF! Or Bad Santa:)

  • allyson November 25, 2010, 11:47 pm

    ELF all the way unless Its A Wonderful Life is a contender!

    Everytime a bell rings……

    Me and my husband watch the movie every year around this time…love it!

  • Carly November 26, 2010, 12:34 am

    Elf! I love that movie. Now I want to make my husband watch it with me. haha

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Ashley @ Ashley's Adventures in Alaska November 26, 2010, 1:04 am

    Hope you chose Elf! It’s one of my favorite Christmas movies ever- after How the Grinch Stole Christmas, of course. Glad you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

  • Juani November 26, 2010, 1:35 am

    Two of my favorite movies to watch around Christmas time,is Family Man (with Nicholas Cage) and While You Were Sleeping (with Sandra Bullock).Both of the stories happen around Christmas,but isn’t just about the holidays.I watch them every year!

  • Nancy November 26, 2010, 1:41 am

    I made your baked apples for our dinner tonight and they were perfect! Great recipe. Oh and I signed up for my first marathon! It’s not until Oct. but I wanted to do the Victoria, BC 2011

    • Caitlin November 26, 2010, 10:39 am

      I am so glad you liked them and GOOD LUCK on your marathon!!!

  • Vera November 26, 2010, 1:48 am

    Sounds like a great Thanksgiving day!

  • M November 26, 2010, 6:52 am

    Caitlin I amped up roasted veggies yest-so good I had to write in case you might like this too!(hope so!)

    I chopped up mostly parsnip and some carrots and sweet potato,chopped onions ,chopped some fresh ginger(needs to be fresh stuff, not powdered!)and tossed it all in a bit of olive oil with salt and pepper (sometimes I put a wee drop of tamari,sometimes not) and roast it all! The onions and ginger mixed in really make this super yum and a bit of a nice change from my usual roast veg!
    I’ll be excited if I ever see this on the blog 🙂


    • Caitlin November 26, 2010, 10:53 am

      That sounds pretty awesome!!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 26, 2010, 7:38 am

    Mmm your vegan Thanksgiving feast looks so good that I don’t even think I’d miss the turkey!

    I love Love Actually! Especially the Colin Firth storyline. 😉

  • Charlie November 26, 2010, 7:48 am

    Love Actually is one of my favorites! I had a friend that had a tradition of watching it on Christmas every year :).

  • Marieke November 26, 2010, 8:23 am

    you should watch Bad Santa, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and The Muppets Christmas Carol. Awesome!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit November 26, 2010, 9:09 am

    Looks like an awesome meal! I would have been happy with it and I’m not even a real vegetarian 🙂

  • Ella November 26, 2010, 9:25 am

    Mmmmm see vegetarians can still have a great thanksgiving! My cousin and I don’t eat meat and the two of us both made veggie friendly dishes and it was one of the yummiest thanksgivings yet!
    I watched Elf last night! I’ve been wanting to watch Love Actually soooooooooooooooooooooo badly but I couldn’t convince my mom to watch it last night or my friends the night before. Ugh its so sweet, makes me cry every year.

    • Caitlin November 26, 2010, 10:55 am

      I would’ve watched it with you!

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans November 26, 2010, 10:00 am

    I love Elf! Oh and The Family Stone if you are looking for a festive romantic comedy.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 26, 2010, 10:06 am

    I love Fall days like that. 🙂 And how great is it that it fell on Thankgiving? Glad you had a good one!

  • Lisa @ Early Morning Run November 26, 2010, 12:30 pm

    Looks like a great Thanksgiving!!

  • Jolene ( November 27, 2010, 1:40 am

    I am a little late to weigh in on the vote … but I would always pick Home Alone.

  • Janice/ down the veggie road November 28, 2010, 6:50 pm

    Oh the Family Stone and Four Christmases I love!!!
    Love Actually is another great choice though;)

  • Lisa November 28, 2010, 8:01 pm

    Favorite Christmas movies: The Ref, Scrooged and Die hard!

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