For Your Thanksgiving Weekend

Isenberg crane reserve

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I hope you’re enjoying some time with family and friends. We had a very low-key Thanksgiving at my mom’s house in Lodi followed by sandhill crane viewing at sunset at the Isenberg Crane Reserve.

We had a vegetarian meal of minestrone; a “bruschetta bar” with red pepper & goat cheese spread, roasted eggplant salad, white bean puree with swiss chard and caramelized onions; a version of this fall salad with honeycrisp apples, goat cheese, and fennel;  and this pumpkin pie (extra zing thanks to Chinese 5 spice). It was a great meal, but I wonder how we can start adding more traditional Thanksgiving food into our no-meat menu. I’m considering making everything but the turkey next year and adding a tart as the main course. If you have tips for a vegetarian Thanksgiving menu, I’d love to hear about it.

I have to admit that we did a bit of Black Friday shopping for some things we’ve been waiting to buy. Now it’s time to browse antiques, visit friends, relax with our boys at home, and test out my new drone (my birthday gift). There’s so much to be thankful for, and despite the tone that’s been in the air the past several months/weeks/days, I can’t help but feel hopeful. In years past, I’ve used this time of year to spread the word about ways we can do good, so look for more on that coming soon. In the meantime, here are some fun links for your weekend reading. xo

100 notable books of 2016

Looking forward to seeing this new movie with Casey Affleck

I love the quirky, creative style in this “cabin apartment”

The Arno River: a year in photos

The importance of one hour of focused work per day

How to easily decorate a cute, very Christmasy holiday table

11 non-thing things you can give this season

Do you still have a wall clock? This one is so cool that I’d have it just for looks.

And a few favorite sales:

The best Black Friday travel deals

25% off at Madewell (I love this crossbody bag!)

30% off at West Elm (these shelves!)

40% off (wow!) at J.Crew (How cute is this shirt?)



  • We love seeing the cranes migrating south during the winter here in France and it is a sure sign spring is here when they pass overhead heading north. Hope you had a lovely happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.

    • Jenna says:

      Thank you, and you too! The cranes come here every winter, and at sunset, we can watch them fly in to the wetlands to sleep for the night. They are amazing creatures…and so large!

  • Barbara Balogh says:

    I loved the holiday table. It just goes to show that taking a simple sprig of holly and natural greens will transform a table into a festive place without spending tons on it.

  • AC says:

    A friend served a stuffed butternut squash for Thanksgiving. It looked delicious. We had roasted brussel sprouts with hazelnuts and a family favorite of creamed pearl onions if you are OK with dairy.

    • Jenna says:

      Yum! The stuffed butternut squash sounds like a good choice for a main dish, and the hazelnuts are a nice addition to a meal at this time of year. Thanks for sharing those suggestions! I’ll look for recipes. We eat dairy but have one family member who’s lactose intolerant, so we try to have some non-dairy options for him.

  • I went to Memphis for four days, saw Moana with my nieces and am now watching the end of the first season of Good Girls Revolt as I photo edit. A couple photo shoots tomorrow, some Christmas decorating for my mom and, boom, Thanksgiving weekend is over =(
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted..Christmas Gifts: My Ultimate Holiday Wishlist (+ Giveaways!)My Profile

    • Jenna says:

      That sounds like a really nice week! Yeah, it goes by fast. Because we are both college professors, we have tons of correcting to do on weekends, and this one is no exception. Plus it’s COLD and rainy here right now!

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