Hope you’ve had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with family and friends!

meal

This was my plate of deliciousness on Turkey Day. I managed to grab all the good things: turkey (obvs), mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes (and marshmallows), cornbread corn (a family staple–it’s a baked casserole of cornbread mix, creamed corn, and sour cream), and cinnamon bread (another family favorite, made by my mom).

We had such a fun day with my family! Aaron and I drove down to Iowa to my parents’ house on Wednesday night after work, and Thursday morning we all drove to my aunt’s home for our family get-together. There were about 25 of us, which included cousins and grandparents that I hadn’t seen in at least two years. We had a great time chatting, playing games, sipping on wine, and (of course) eating all the food.

Last Monday night I whipped up a batch of apple cider caramels to bring with us. They were a big hit last year (they’re just all around goodness), so I obviously had to make them again. Here they are mid-wrapping:

caramels

It’s very possible a number of them went missing before they made it into their individual wrappers…. oops. :) The recipe I used makes about 64 individual caramels, and I used a 9×9 inch pan to let the caramel cool and set (so that’s the shape you’re seeing above). After they’re cool, I cut them up into small sections, and wrapped them up in ~2 inch pieces of parchment paper. The whole process is a little tedious and time consuming, but so worth it!!

I also volunteered to bring an appetizer for post-lunch feast munchies (our family typically eats the big Thanksgiving meal for lunch, and then we’ll reheat leftovers when we’re eventually hungry enough for dinner). I picked up a bunch of cheeses (I’m a Wisconsin girl now, so it seemed only right), salami and prosciutto, crackers, and a couple spreads (fig jam for the win!), and arranged it all on a large wooden cutting board, along with the caramels and a batch of candied pecans I made last weekend. It made for the perfect afternoon snack! My favorite cheeses are the 5-year cheddar in the top left and the black pepper Toscano cheese from Trader Joe’s in the middle. I also randomly found another TJ’s Toscano that is dusted with cinnamon instead of the pepper. It was an interesting sweet and salty combo!

cheese

We headed back to my parents’ place around 9. While everyone else crashed from their food comas as soon as we got back, my sister and I stayed up for a while longer, and she introduced me to the BBC show Sherlock. Anyone else a fan? I’m really liking it so far! I love a good puzzle, so movies and tv shows that revolve around solving a mystery have always been a favorite.

Friday morning I had an appointment with my mechanic (aka my dad :) ), who put on my snow tires (it’s only November, whyyyy…) and changed my oil. I’m a lucky girl to have my car work done for free. Thanks, Pops!

Aaron and I headed back to Madison early Friday afternoon. I hate how early the sun sets these days, but we did get to see this beautiful sunset behind as us we headed east (the photo doesn’t do it justice at all).

sunset

We’ve both been wanting to see the new Horrible Bosses film (the first one is one of my favorite movies), so instead of heading directly home, we stopped for dinner and then headed to the theater.

horriblebosses

While it definitely can’t beat the original, the sequel was pretty darn funny. Kevin Spacey just makes the movie for me. I wish he’d had a bit more of a prominent role in it!

And oh, I am so excited for this movie! Love me some minions. :)

minions

The best part of a four day holiday weekend is that after we got home, it was still only Friday night. Gotta love a long weekend!

This morning I went to the gym for a BodyAttack class and then watched another episode of Sherlock (I’m so sad each season only has three episodes, I’m practically a third of the way through the show already). The rest of the day included a late lunch and a few errands–nothing too crazy, I can’t even handle the crowds of people out shopping right now. I returned a pair of boots that didn’t fit, continued to pursue a pair of winter boots that do fit (still no luck yet), and helped Aaron pick out his Christmas gift for me (knives? what knives?). Now I’m cuddled up with a cup of cocoa (spiked with a bit of brandy) writing this! The rest of the night is going to be very low-key: planning to heat up some more turkey leftovers and watch Eat, Pray, Love (somehow I’d never managed to see it before, but I just heard the author of the book on a podcast yesterday and am now intrigued).

hotcocoa

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and stay warm!

What was your favorite Thanksgiving dish this year?

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