Tag Archives: turkey

Thanksgiving 2013: Dining Out

In recent years my family has spent Thanksgiving at the home of our friends, the Gerbers. Unfortunately this year they moved to Texas and we decided instead of finding another group to join or having Thanksgiving at home, we would go out! Obviously this was my idea and of course we selected J. Gilbert’s, my favorite restaurant, as the spot. Thankfully (ha get it?!) we were smart enough to call a couple of months in advance and lock down a 6:30PM reservation for our party of six. We received a call the day before Thanksgiving letting us know that a 4PM slot had become available, and my parents jumped on it. This was not fun for me because the earlier the reservation the more time I was going to have between finishing dinner and going to bed to think about what I’d ate. But I was the only one in that camp, so I had to deal!

The Croswell Fam!

The Croswell Fam!

I felt ridiculously hungover on Thanksgiving morning thanks to the previous evening’s festivities (Jager, never again) but made it to the gym for 30 minutes of StepMill intervals and an upper body workout. I sure am glad I went because I felt a lot better afterward, but man it was torturous during! I rushed home to shower and get cozy with coffee and the Black Friday circulars…a tradition! I felt very tempted to restrict after the gym and just not eat until dinner so that I would ensure I’d have plenty of room for the amount of food I was “bound to consume”. I texted my girl Brittany for support and she gave me the reality check I needed to push forward and fuel my body post-workout.

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WIAW: Thanksgiving!

Remember to enter my giveaway for a Sprigs Banjees AKA a running wallet! Entries close tomorrow night!

I have never partaken in a traditional What-I-Ate-In-A-Day WIAW. The only ones I’ve done are wordless and/or photo-dumps. Lazy Susan up in here. Well, no longer! I still need to recap Thanksgiving and Jenn made the nifty graphic below that fits my needs perfectly. How can I not partake in this week’s What I Ate on Thanksgiving Wednesday?!

For those who have struggled/are struggling with disordered eating, Thanksgiving can be a nightmare. And last year, while I had fun at the beginning of the day, it did not end too well and I spent the following days hating on and being really mean to myself. But I know with 100% certainty that I am in a better place this year, and so I went into Thanksgiving 2012 with a positive attitude. I completed part of a spin class and some strength training when I woke up, then proceeded to spend the morning doing what I traditionally do on Turkey Day – sitting on my butt, drinking coffee, watching the parade, and scouting out Black Friday deals.

Circulars and plain Chobani with strawberries…sunshine streamin’ in!

So G coffee in a snowman mug!

My delightfully lazy morning flew by and before I knew it, it was time to get ready and head over to the home of our family friends the Gerbers; that’s where we spent the holiday last year too!

My sister did my hair!

In exchange, I let her borrow one of my ideeli tops 😉

Parents and I before we left – you may recognize the dress from Fashion Friday!

I was totally ready to chow down when we arrived! And there were SO many different wines. I definitely switched it up throughout the afternoon/evening. I started with a Chilean Cabernet. Later, Chianti and Chardonnay were consumed (not together…)

Before and after dinner, I also sipped on some Disaronno, a new-to-me Italian liqueur  It’s flavored with herbs and fruits, and soaked in apricot kernel oil. SO FREAKING GOOD. I give props to my ex, Joe, for contributing this stuff to the meal.

Proud new fan.

Yes, I invited my ex-boyfriend to Thanksgiving. Again. He typically pops up at these family gatherings (and hence on the blog). I’m gonna ask you not to ask. At least we’re friends!

Where were we? Oh yeah. Libations!

Someone take the Disaronno away from this girl!

Playing around with my friend’s hipster glasses! I like them actually…

And I DID mention apps, right?

Holy incredible! My dietitian-to-be friend Meg made this spinach & artichoke heaven.

CHEESE. And veggies of course! But I was more interested in mixing the cheese with those nuts.

We “kids” did the chatting while the parents did the work. I never really cook at all so what will happen on the day I have to do my entire Thanksgiving dinner?! I know what will happen, no one will show up.

Mom and Mrs. Gerber in the kitchen!

Mr. Gerber AKA Uncle Steve carving that bird!

Do not ask me how we cooked our turkey, because I have no clue! Last year we had one from the oven and one deep-fried, but this year it was just in the oven. That is all I know.

I did both white and dark meat – you know me, always variety!

Turkey is good and all but on Thanksgiving, I prefer sides. I know many of you are on the same team as me.

Meg prepared this INCREDIBLE kale salad with walnuts and Bosc pears. Trust the RD-to-be to get the kale in!

Salad after being dressed with maple vinaigrette, along with my mom’s amazing cranberry orange relish.

Mrs. Gerber’s legendary/epic/famous/etc sausage stuffing. It’s so good.

Store-bought rolls. Meh, I skipped ’em.

Meg’s cousin (also named Meg) was joining us from NYC since her family lives all the way in Michigan. She is vegan so we had an arrangement of butter-free sides for her. I enjoyed them too!

Butternut squash – that’s it! No butter, no nothin’, and I didn’t even want mashed potatoes after having this!

Butter-free green beans!

Butter-free mashed taters were also available, but we all know what those look like and I didn’t want any, so not photo.

You can’t even see them here…they’re covered by a green oven mitt!

My (first) plate!

We went around the table and said what we were thankful for, and this is the first year I can remember being actually moved by that “routine” and putting real thought into it when it was my turn. I blame Heather for turning me into a sap.

Oh, thanks Joe.

I chose to share that I am thankful to have parents and siblings I can truly call my best friends, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to live out my passions every day. Ain’t it the truth! Dinner was relaxing and everyone went back for seconds. I was quite full upon finishing my meal and wasn’t alone, so some of us settled in to watch “Magic Mike” (or half-watch, I was already getting exhausted and it was 6PM) while our stomachs made room for dessert (and Disaronno).


Yup, fantastic dessert spread. My tooth leans more toward savory than sweet but I had seconds of dessert. Total food baby afterward but I was not having too hard of a time focusing on the family and friends surrounding me, the memories we were making with each passing second, and the growth and strength I was exhibiting by not being TOO food-focused on Thanksgiving. Yes I thought a lot about how much I ate and how full I felt, but I also was able to effectively talk back to myself and try to respond to each negative thought with a kind one.

Jessica‘s pumpkin chocolate chip cookies made an appearance as they did last year. so did some pumpkin dark chocolate chip oat cranberry cookies (mouthful of words and delicousness).

The cake/pie/piece of delight on the left was brought by cousin Meg from NYC, from a famous bakery that I unfortunately cannot recall the name of. My mom made the pumpkin muffins on the right, with cinnamon icing.

What’s Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie (right) and how about throwing in PB chocolate pie for good measure (left)?

I had at least one taste of each dessert! And have been enjoying the leftovers of both sweet and savory Thanksgiving food ever since. It makes the holiday feel like it isn’t going to end!

Zesty Carrots

I saved my favorite veggie side for last…my mom’s Zesty Carrots! I wanted to end this post with the recipe because this is such a unique, not necessarily Thanksgiving-like side that can be made any time of year!

Zesty Carrots!


  • If using baby carrots (as my mom did above): 1.5 lbs (about 1.5 bags) chopped baby carrots
  • If using regular carrots: 7 medium-sized carrots scraped and cut into strips, approx 2.5 x .25 inches
  • 1/2 cup of light mayo
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of horseradish sauce
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of grated or finely chopped onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste (recommended about 1/4 teaspoon each)
  • 1/4 cup of very fine breadcrumbs (optional if you want a topping)
  • 1 tablespoon of light butter (optional if you want a topping)
  • Paprika to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F)
  2. Cook carrots in boiling water about 5 minutes, or until tender. Drain and place in large bowl.
  3. Combine mayo, horseradish sauce, onion, salt, and pepper in bowl with carrots. Mix until well-coated.
  4. Arrange coated carrots in casserole dish.
  5. If using breadcrumb/butter topping, melt butter and stir in bread crumbs. Spread mixture over top of casserole and sprinkle with some paprika.
  6. Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes…and enjoy! (Can be served cold or hot)

Which part of my Thanksgiving would you have picked first for your plate?

Did you try any non-traditional Thanksgiving food this year?

What’d you do on Thursday, 11/22/12 if you do not celebrate Turkey Day?