Thanksgiving 2013

Hello, friends! I hope those of you that celebrated Thanksgiving had a holiday filled with good food, family, and great friends.


As you know, Matt and I spent the holiday up in Pittsburgh with his family. We had a small crew this year – just me, Matt, Matt’s brother Drew, and their parents. We had the best week – so relaxing and fun.


Some snow even joined us for the occasion. It felt more like Christmas than Thanksgiving!


I love spending Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh – I’ve been joining Matt’s family for the holiday on and off since Matt and I started dating back in 2004, and it’s always so fun. Matt’s dad is a big foodie and goes all out with the food; this year’s feast was just as creative as ever!


Every year, we have an official menu for the occasion highlighting the whole feast.


We started with some cocktails! Applewood Smoked Old Fashioneds, using small batch organic rye whiskey from Pittsburgh’s Wigle Distillery. Matt’s dad used a hand held food smoker to add smoke into the whiskey bottle. You could definitely taste a hint of smoked goodness! Yum.


As for the food, our starter was a Wild Mushroom Soup with Sherry & Thyme (click for the recipe he used) with a drizzle of white truffle oil on top. I LOVE anything truffle. It adds the most amazing flavor! We all loved this soup.


Next up, continuing with the smoked theme, we had Mesquite Smoked Salmon Sashimi with Dill Cream. This was made simply by purchasing some sushi-grade salmon, and then using the hand held food smoker to put some smoke into a glass that went over the salmon. Unique, right?


It was REALLY good! The smoke added a ton of flavor – and made it look cool when you took off the glass. :)


For our “palate cleanser” before the main event, we enjoyed some hard cider! We all went downtown to buy this at the Allegheny Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar the day before – really cool, historic place.


The kind we choose was not too sweet – kind of like a lightly flavored champagne. Really good!


Then it was time for turkey! Per tradition, we enjoyed a fried turkey. Fried turkey is awesome – the inside of the turkey is just like a normal baked turkey, just super juicy.


It’s also way faster than baking a turkey – only 3 to 4 minutes per pound! Our 11 pound turkey was done just over a half hour. Sweet! Matt served as the fry master. :)

thanksgiving fried turkey

As for the rest of the feast, we had corn pudding (unpictured), and stuffing – Matt’s mom made a fun variety that featured wild rice, apples, and dried cranberries. It was delish!


Roasted veggies – yum:


And some really awesome savory Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes (click for recipe).


These were SO good. Topped with feta, chopped pecans, and some pomegranate arils, just for fun. Such a great combination! Definitely bookmarking this recipe for next year.


My plate:


As for dessert, we had pie, of course! This is Matt’s grandmother’s famous Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, made by his mom. :)


Such a fun day. Thank you to Matt’s family for a wonderful Thanksgiving! Tomorrow, we’ll transition from food back to fitness – I’ll share some fun photos from our pre-Thanksgiving feast snowy turkey trot. Plus, a giveaway and some Cyber Monday deals!

Enjoy the rest of your weekends!


  1. 1

    Looks like you had an amazing Thanksgiving! Love the Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes. Looks amazing. Will have to save the recipe and give it a try soon!

  2. 6

    Ha, I wish I’d been invited for the twice baked sweet potatoes alone ;-)

  3. 7

    Where in Pittsburgh is Matt from? I was home in Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving, too. I missed the gray skies :)

  4. 9

    That is some feast! So fancy! Such a treat when you have someone who’s really in to food to feed you!

  5. 10
    Roadrunner says

    Well done to all who had a hand in this feast! Very nicely done —

  6. 11

    I am psyched to try out that twice baked sweet potato recipe.

  7. 12

    That all looks delicious!

  8. 13

    Wow, what a nice looking meal. food always taste better when it looks pretty

  9. 14

    Wow, that all looks amazing! Those Mauneys know how to do a meal! :D

  10. 15

    What a fun and unique feast! I love your mother in law’s china, do you know what the pattern is? It is beautiful.

  11. 16

    Wow that hand smoker is amazing!! Drooling over all your food photos.

    We don’t celebrate thanksgiving here in Australia so I have to live vicariously through other bloggers food photos ;)

  12. 17

    That sashimi looks incredible! Wish that was on my Thanksgiving menu!

  13. 18

    Wow o wow o wow!!! I want to re-do my Thanksgiving with all these delish and amazing recipes! How do I get invited to your in-laws for next year? Very impressed!!

  14. 19

    Can you share the recipe for the pumpkin chiffon pie?

  15. 20

    Wow all that food looks amazing!

  16. 21

    Your whole meal looks amazing!!! I love the menu and would love to try some of these recipes next year!

  17. 22

    Your hair looks so lovely! You are inspiring me to break out the curling iron (though I’m really bad at it, so if you feel like doing a post on it it would be much appreciated!)

  18. 24

    Looks like a nice relaxing holiday! I don’t usually ask food bloggers about their clothes, but I absolutely love your blue sweater. It’s my favorite color and I am all about cowlnecks and 3/4 sleeves. Would you mind sharing where you got it?

  19. 27

    Looks like quite the feast! I am very impressed by Matt’s dad smoking skills!!

  20. 29

    Everything looks delish! I want to eat almost everything (except turkey, vegetarian :D) The snowy day looks beautiful too!

  21. 30

    I am really late in responding to this, but what a wonderful dinner! I have been wanting to go to Arsenal for a long time now, but it has never worked out. After seeing this, the next time we have a chance, I definitely want to make it there. Glad you enjoyed the ‘burgh for the holiday!


  1. […] over the last week, Matt and I also got in some great workouts. On Thanksgiving morning, before our delicious feast, we did our own snowy turkey […]

  2. […] Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh with Matt’s family, and my parents and brother are joining us as well. Matt’s parents do Thanksgiving right – it’s always a festive and delicious occasion and a nice little vacation away. Christmas […]

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