Pittsburgh Thanksgiving 2011

Hi everyone! As you know, I’m here in Pittsburgh this year for Thanksgiving with Matt and his family. My parents came, too! It was the first time my dad met Matt’s parents and everyone hit it off great. We all had a blast — lots of laughter and rowdiness.

Here I am with all the other “kids”!


From left — me, Matt, our friends (the newlyweds!) Thomas and Janice, Thomas’s sister Sarah (their parents also join for Thanksgiving every year), Matt’s younger brother Drew, and Matt’s older brother Chris and his wife Jess. Awesome group. :)

As in past years (remember last year’s Thanksgiving feast?), Matt’s parents created a menu showcasing all the deliciousness for us.


I love how into Thanksgiving they get. :) His parents took a trip to Italy earlier this year, so they decided to do a fun Italian themed Thanksgiving. The menu was even translated into Italian!


The festivities began in the early afternoon with appetizers and turkey frying. Matt was in charge of the fried turkey. :)


While his brother Drew “supervised.”


And I was in charge of sweet potatoes, like last year! Apron-tastic:


Last year I made my Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes; this year I decided to mix it up and try an Eating Well recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole. The recipe included a meringue topping, but I nixed that and added some baby marshmallows instead per Matt and his brother’s request. :) I love this recipe — not too sweet and great flavor from the pineapple.


Everyone arrived around 3:30 and we all mingled, enjoying appetizers and some wine and champagne.


We all pretty much attacked the appetizers — they were so good!





I especially loved the eggplant olive tomato spread (above) and the modified bruschetta pictured below. That’s sautéed radicchio on top of goat cheese! Mmm…


I wore a fun new dress that our family friend Jill passed down to me from her closet — I love it!


Before we knew it, the turkey was ready!




YUM. Fried turkey is amazing — it gets really juicy inside.


We also had two stuffed turkey breasts — mmmm. One stuffed with spinach and prosciutto, the other stuffed with sausage.



As usual, dinner was quite the experience from the moment we sat down at the table!



Before hitting the main course buffet, we enjoyed some starters. Our primi was a pumpkin fettuccine with roasted shallots!



There was also an “amuse bouche” courtesy of the chef (Matt’s dad) — another nod to Italy, anchovies on top of garlicky greens with some shaved fennel. This was also really delicious!


Next up? A palate cleanser! Which refused to be photographed.


Lol. It was a shot of limoncello! Refreshing — and fun to all take shooters at the table with our parents. ;)


After our palate cleanser, it was time for the main event! It was QUITE the feast.

Turkey, obviously:



Roasted root veggies:


Mashed potatoes:


My sweet potatoes:




Farro and goat cheese salad (SO good):


Creamed corn:


Roasted Brussels sprouts:


Omg. My plate was so stuffed my camera couldn’t even focus on it, apparently. Or maybe that was the limoncello…


After a brief interlude to digest, it was time to hit the dessert buffet hard.

I sampled the apple pie and the pumpkin chiffon pie. Amazing!


Plus biscotti, which we enjoyed with some unpictured cappuccino. Mmmm…


Amazing dinner, as always in this house. Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had great holidays, too. :)



  1. 1

    Matt is so brave to fry a turkey! You are REALLY marrying a real man ;)

  2. 2

    I never saw so many blonde’s in one family. Our fam. is all brunette’s. What a beautiful feast. It looks like you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as did we. I have never fried a turkey but have heard how juicy they are. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, they are my favorite times of the year and Easter.

  3. 3

    Holllyyyyy moly. First of all, you are going to fit in SO well with the women of the family. So many blondes! And I think I just died/drooled/swooned over that menu, okay is that real life. Hello invite me to next year’s tgivs, please and thanks.

  4. 5

    Mmmm everything looks amazing Anne!

  5. 6

    How fun!! What a cool theme! I love the dress too :)

  6. 8

    That looks like quite a fancy feast! I’m glad you had such a wonderful thanksgiving!

  7. 9

    Can I please come next year?! That’s the best looking Thanksgiving recap I’ve seen :) And I totally want to try a fried turkey!

  8. 11

    Wow! Looks absolutely super! Matt’s parents outdid themselves, didn’t they!? Guess that’s why we run, huh? (Did you have a good run before the festivities?) Thanks for sharing – and good luck with the half-marathon in Vegas!;

  9. 12

    Anne. Everything looks amazing, wonderful!! decoration of the table, apetizers and of course the turkey, is diferent you said is fried turkey…I’m sure you and Matt had a great day with your parents and family.

  10. 13

    That food looks incredible! The pumpkin fettuccine would be top of my list but I’d don’t think I’d be able to resist the appetizers. Also love the dress, anything I see in that shade of blue I’m instantly drawn to!

  11. 15
    kristen @ livinlifeinlouie says

    WOW ! looks amazing! You guys defiantly go all out- love the decorations!

  12. 16

    What a BEAUTIFUL Thanksgiving Feast!
    (and a beautiful future Bride! :-)

    Thank you for sharing the photos!

  13. 17

    I love your photography! You captured such awesome photos of beautiful food :) The appetizers look AWESOME!

  14. 19

    What a wonderful Thanksgiving you guys had for sure! Im glad that both parents got to meet too, very good thing! Its hard to do that I know, with parents both living in different states!

    Everything looked awesome, and how cool to fry a turkey like that! He has some skills!

    Glad your first thanksgiving as a engaged girl was great! : )

  15. 20

    Looks amazing!!! :) I completely approve of the Italian-ness! :)

  16. 21

    I hardly ever leave a comment, but I had to this time! You had an amazing Thanksgiving! I’ve been dying to eat fried turkey! All of the food looks so good and you def did a super job with all the decor. I love your blog and look forward to reading it everyday. :)

  17. 23
    Pat Elsberry says

    What a fabulous feast!! Matt’s parents definitely know how to do Thanksgiving and the Italian themed menu is SO awesome! Being raised by an Italian mom I was drooling! I’m so glad both your parents were there, too … very special! :)

  18. 24

    Wow! I want to come next year too:) This is one of the most amazing spreads I’ve ever seen!

  19. 25

    Quite the blonde squad for Thanksgiving. The table and food looked wonderful!!

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