Life and Living with Crohn's Disease

Life and Crohn's

Running Tips and Fitness Advice

Let's Talk Running

Coach Suz Training

Work with Me!

Epic Lyfe Events Lyfe Recipes Restaurant Reviews Reviews Sustenance Travel WIAW

Thanksgiving Menus x3 (Dinner, Leftovers, Brunch!) #WIAW

As I have said, probably ad nauseum at this point, Thanksgiving is truly one of my absolute favorite moments of the year. I am past the point that Christmas and birthdays are these big grandiose moments in life, and I’m also not terribly religious, though I respect the sentiments. So, in a way, I guess that you could say Thanksgiving has become my big “sacred” holiday: Every year, I dedicate it to family, health, and food.

I discussed the family aspect of it on Thursday and the health aspect (to an extent) on Monday, so now? We talk food!


Thanksgiving Menu 1 (Georgia)

Mom was in charge of getting supplies ahead of time, and though she got a few more “shortcut” options that I might have liked (pride and all that), everyone got everything they needed and wanted and it was delicious! So, for next year (or even later on this month!), if you want to see how to make a full Thanksgiving spread without breaking the bank or taking over your holiday. I prepped for a total of maybe two hours over both days? Pretty awesome.

Yesterday, I finished the very last of the turkey that I made in Georgia and brought home in my carry on. I am very, very, very obnoxiously proud of it. It was truly the best roasted turkey I have every had, with regards to moisture, true turkey flavor, and texture. And, I can hardly believe it myself, it was one of the easiest, healthiest food stuffsΒ I may ever share with you.

Pretty she was not, but gorgeous she was to me.

Pretty she was not, but gorgeous she was to me.

Mom got us a 5 lb bird sans legs/wings from the most excellent people at Butterball, and 3 large drumsticks for my brother (neither she nor I care for dark meat, that’s all he wants, easy enough). I brined the bird in a salt/sugar/herb mixture for about 18 hours, patted it dry, and let it just chill out on the counter (it had been in the fridge) for about 30 minutes. Then I covered it in a smoked herby rub and put it in a giant soup pot, poured a 16 oz carton of low sodium organic chicken broth in the bottom with chopped onion, put the lid on, covered the pot with tin foil, and put it in a preheated 350 oven for about 2.5 hours, rotating periodically to make sure that it was evenly heated. The drumsticks got the dry and rub treatment plus a bit of olive oil, and they went into the oven for about 40 minutes on a foil-lined baking sheet and were covered in foil.

Did I end up with a super crispy skin? Nope, but I wasn’t really after that–I was all focused on the meat itself. And WOW. It was amazing. I ate a half pound the first go round.

georgia thanksgiving spread suzlyfe

Other items included:

  • Simply Potatoes Mashed Potatoes
  • Stove Top Stuffing
  • Ocean Spray whole berry Cranberry Sauce
  • Steamed green beans, butternut squash, onions, and a fig-mustard sauce (created from homemade fig preserves, deli mustard, and white balsamic vinegar)
  • Roasted gold potatoes
  • Croissants
  • And gravy, but that didn’t make it to the table, and wasn’t very good either (luckily, I don’t have to take credit for that one, though I did manage to shatter the gravy boat. Oops).
  • And Zonin Prosecco (delicious)

We did a pretty good job, but there were still many leftovers to go around. We know what I claimed.

pie trio suzlyfe

For dessert, Mom decided that 3 pies would suffice for us. We didn’t even start on one of them! We decided that Mom would take that to a get together the next day as a whole, unnibbled at pie. But we did get at the apple and the pecan, and I followed mine up with French Vanilla ice cream, cranberry sauce, and pie crust crumbled over top.

pie filling sundae 1


Thanksgiving Menu 2 (Chicago)

aka how to make a real Thanksgiving meal from leftovers in 40 minutes.

Alex had only one request: that I make my enchiladas from last year. Yes, sir, and I brought back turkey just for the occasion. (Side note, I used 1 lb of turkey for the enchiladas and still had about 3/4 lb left).

I streamlined the process this year, too. This time around, I still used the same filling base, but rather than the corn salsa, I made a quick salsa of corn, onion, cranberry, and jalapeno, sauteed for a bit and then mixed with the turkey that I hand shredded. Otherwise, same process as last year! I made 2 for me sans the real cheese, but just as perfect.

turkey cranberry pumpkin enchiladas 2014 suzlyfe

Served them with steamed green beans (Alex’s request) and I made my jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins and slightly sweet cornbread muffins (same as last year). A few beers before and red wine during, and just awesomeness throughout.

cornbread muffins 3 suzlyfe

Alex was so full he could only manage some yogurt covered pecans and chocolate covered almonds for dessert, but I went for pumpkin ice cream and Honey Bunches of Oats.

chicago thanksgiving dinner 2014 suzlyfe

I. Love. Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Menu 3 (Chicago, Brunch at NoMi Kitchen)

Because everyone needs Thanksgiving Brunch, right? And with a bourbon drink and then decaf and Baileys at 12:30 in the afternoon, right? That’s what I thought. For the details, check out my review of our meal on my work blog! Trust me, you want to see this.

I wasn’t planning on eating all of mine, but you know it is good when I hoover my entire plate (regardless of what my brain was telling me), moaning and groaning and saying oh, my…. I was actually drunk on food from the richness of the Wagyu! And that meal did give me a little bit of indigestion, but so worth it, even if I had the most hilarious dinner ever after it because I was still full 7 hours later.

In reference to my post yesterday, #balance #cedingcontrol

I hope that your past week was full of love, laughter, family, friends, food, and sharing warmth!

What is your favorite annual celebration?

Do you like roast turkey?

Packing Heat. Er... Turkey.

Packing Heat. Er… Turkey.

Have you ever had Wagyu beef? Did it live up to expectation?Β I have had Kobe before, and while it is delicious, it wasn’t this spectacular. And the roll was just insanity.

Want more foodie goodness? Check out my blogiversary giveaway, ending tomorrow night!

And don’t forget to start setting habits now to keep throughout the holidays and the year–get a kickstart with my Fitness Giveaway!

Previous Post Next Post

Have you read these gems?


  • Reply Jessie

    I’m impressed you got that turkey through security. It actually kind of cracks me up. But hey, no reason to let good food go to waste, right? πŸ™‚
    Jessie recently posted…Babies Update: 31 Weeks & 3 DaysMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 5:55 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh HECK no! I would have battled them to the death, potentially. They took my nut butter last trip to ATL, I wasn’t about to let them take my turkey!

      December 3, 2014 at 5:13 pm
      • Reply Jessie

        I had my nut butter taken in Heathrow London last year. I about cried considering it was a brand new jar. They say it’s considered liquid. Bogus!!

        December 3, 2014 at 5:32 pm
        • Reply suzlyfe

          I KNOW. I learned the hard way, too. A$$HATS

          December 5, 2014 at 8:09 am
  • Reply Heather @Fit n Cookies

    Shocked they let the turkey through security. That’s pretty awesome. Sounds like such a great time everywhere, Suz! Love that you were able to spend time with your mom in Georgia. Such a special time that I’m sure she really enjoyed, too.
    Heather @Fit n Cookies recently posted…Instead of Turkey, I’d Rather Eat…{WIAW}My Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 6:11 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It really was priceless. You can’t trade the time for anything. Even the turkey.

      December 3, 2014 at 5:13 pm
  • Reply Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie

    I’m still impressed with your turkey smuggling skills. TSA hardly lets me bring a pack of gum in my purse.
    Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie recently posted…WIAW and Weekly Marathon TrainingMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 6:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      They knew they would have to deal with the Suz otherwise πŸ˜€

      December 3, 2014 at 5:14 pm
  • Reply Michele

    It all looks scrumptious! I didn’t have pecan pie this year but it’s one of my favorites.
    Michele recently posted…Bring On the Comfort Food (Paleo-Style!)My Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 6:35 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      A good pecan pie is really a thing of beauty. And there are so many different ways! But in the south, we take that ish seriously!

      December 3, 2014 at 5:14 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    Everything looks so good! Thanksgiving is probably my favorite meal, but I like to stick to the basics. There were lots of different dishes this year (since we were with a large group of extended family) and everything was good but sometimes you just want the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing that you are used to.
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Crispy Chicken And Quinoa Salad Recipe + WIAWMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 6:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      PREACH. Thus what I provided. And I want green beans, too. πŸ˜€

      December 3, 2014 at 5:15 pm
  • Reply jennifer f

    pumpkin enchiladas! yummy!
    jennifer f recently posted…Moreo Blondie Bars Loaded with Yum + Cookie RecipesMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 7:18 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      One of our favorite healthy meals. So easy, amazingly delicious and the texture… ah!

      December 3, 2014 at 5:12 pm
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner

    Thanksgiving is one of my favorites too. I love that it is all about family and not about presents or religion. Did you really eat stove top stuffing? who does that? LOL!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…The day I did all the Pinterest workouts I pinnedMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 7:54 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I know, right???? I was like MOM, SERIOUSLY?? But, she loves it!

      December 3, 2014 at 5:11 pm
  • Reply Annmarie

    Both of your Thanksgiving dinners look amazing but I would love to sample your Thanksgiving 2 dinner! Looks so good!
    Annmarie recently posted…‘Tis the Season for Smoothies and Festive Mocktails!My Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 8:15 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’ll make you some and freeze it for when you are ready my dear πŸ˜€

      December 3, 2014 at 5:11 pm
  • Reply Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

    Your fig mustard sauce sounds super interesting and delicious. I love sweet/savory so I bet it was awesome!
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted…What I Ate on Thanksgiving + Happy Herbivore Cookbook Giveaway!My Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 8:45 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Check out my maple mustardo too! It in my sauces recipes!

      December 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm
  • Reply Mar @ Mar on the Run

    Good Lord… all the food! looks amazing, every morsel. Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday b/c I’m so hustle and go every day of the year it’s nice to have a holiday that is just about family, food and football. I don’t have buy gifts just show up at my mom’s door and relax.
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Running Tip of the Month: MotivationMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 9:04 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Exactly. I’ll cook, have fun, and do what I want. No obligation to be super creative etc with what you are giving to everyone.

      December 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm
  • Reply Shawna

    you’re so cutely hilarious with that turkey. the pumpkin enchis look so good, too. i’m not quiiiiiite sure i know what you mean by “past the point” where Christmas and your birthday are huge deals — i’m overly excited about both (hello, my birthday is MY DAY…and, like, the 10 other people i know who share it, brrrpppp), but i agree that Thanksgiving is a lovely holiday.
    Shawna recently posted…the busiest week everrrrMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 9:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I used to be, but now that Alex’s schedule makes holidays in general a moot point, I’ve had to be accommodating!

      December 3, 2014 at 5:09 pm
  • Reply Bethany

    I have been eating turkey for a week now!! No wonder we only do it once a year πŸ™‚

    December 3, 2014 at 9:08 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      noooooooo don’t say that! I’ll take your turkey!

      December 3, 2014 at 5:08 pm
  • Reply Ursula

    You’re so creative in the kitchen. I might need to make those burritos for Ian, he says my cooking has gotten dull and I told him to at least he’s lucky I make food haha Also that quote about chocolate is so accurate. So so so accurate
    Ursula recently posted…Holiday Love, Part 1My Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 10:13 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I like to think that I would pone people on Chopped, if I had better classical technique. But in terms of just coming up with amazing things out of nowhere from your kitchen cabinets? I’m your girl.

      December 3, 2014 at 5:08 pm
  • Reply Ange @ Cowgirl Runs

    I forgot to comment yesterday, I love the turkey in your carryon.
    I loooove turkey, but my mom’s cooking a chicken this year since there’s just 3 of us, but that’s okay, I also like roast chicken πŸ™‚
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…Always LurkingMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 11:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I agree, but cmoooonnnnnnn

      December 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm
  • Reply Justine Y

    Those enchiladas look delicious! I make some with leftover turkey meat too… but they don’t look that awesome. πŸ™‚
    Justine Y recently posted…30 second hoop ornamentMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 11:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Don’t sell yourself short! What do you do with them?!

      December 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm
  • Reply meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles

    When I used to eat beef, I would try the Kobe and Wagyu when offered in the restaurants but nothing in particular was so fabulous that I can say omg you have to get it etc…
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…Random Food Chat & Arctic ZeroMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I was FLOORED by how amazing this was. Not something that I would indulge in every week, but was totally worth the splurge.

      December 3, 2014 at 5:03 pm
  • Reply Pragati // Simple Medicine

    Your triple thanksgiving sounded delicious! I’m glad you had such a wonderful holiday weekend. I think my husband would die over Turkey Enchiladas – his two favorite foods wrapped into one!
    Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted…Meal Planning and ThanksgivingMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I would love to see your take on it! Infuse with some traditional flavors–would be incredible!

      December 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm
  • Reply Renee @ Bendiful Blog

    WAIT? You got a turkey through security? How is that even possible? I am impressed with your skills. And you know boys only like girlfriends with great skills….nunchuck skills, computer hacking skills….

    Your food looks beautiful!
    Renee @ Bendiful Blog recently posted…Holiday Memories with MezzettaMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 2:35 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! I did get a few squints at the screen, but I’m pretty sure I was the least of their worries.

      December 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm
  • Reply Jill

    I have never attempted to make a turkey and honestly wouldn’t know where to begin! I was actually joking with my mom about this over Thanksgiving saying I have a lot to learn when I have my own family. I even asked her if you can just take it out of the freezer and put it directly in the oven. I got a big fat No on that!
    Oh I’m a dark meat fanatic all the way! Haha that’s all I eat. I just pick straight off the drumsticks Yum!
    I have had Kobe beef once on a date in NYC but never Wagyu. What’s that?!
    Jill recently posted…The Days For Which We Give ThanksMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 2:44 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Wagyu is the Australian equivalent to Kobe–high fat content (thus the slight indigestion because it was rich). But holy bananas it was amazing.
      And yeah, get a fridge turkey. If you try to thaw them, you will actually ruin it unless you do it right! There are just so many horror stories, I think. BE BRAVE

      December 3, 2014 at 5:01 pm
  • Reply Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles

    Wow, I can barely get my face cream through security, nevermind a turkey!! Sounds like an amazing few days of Thanksgiving with delicious food all around! We had a very quiet Thanksgiving but it was wonderful. Robyn always does all the cooking and in addition to the key lime pie he made me, my second favorite item was his homemade scones…TO DIE FOR!! I really want him to make me those enchiladas though with his homemade cranberry sauce..I know they would be delicious!
    Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles recently posted…Holiday Photo ShootMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Ooooo if I had some homemade cranberry sauce I don’t even know if it would make it that far. I would just be eating it with a spoon. Also, I’m thinking that it needs to be paired with the key lime pie…

      December 3, 2014 at 4:59 pm
  • Reply Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants

    That is some fab looking food πŸ™‚ Most of my favorite annual traditions have to do with Christmas, especially my mom’s caramel rolls, yum!!
    Kate @ Baking in Yoga Pants recently posted…Wintertime TreatsMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 3:22 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Excuse me, did you say caramel rolls?

      December 3, 2014 at 4:58 pm
  • Reply Amanda @ .running with spoons.

    I wish Thanksgiving was bigger for us up here in Canada! My family didn’t even bother making turkey this year because no one is really crazy about it. But I’m seriously looking forward to Christmas, which will always and forever be my favourite holiday meal… especially because there are a tonne of dessert options, which I have a second stomach for πŸ˜‰
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. flourless chocolate chip gingerbread muffins .My Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      well, obviously πŸ˜€ Everyone has an extra dessert stomach. I think that it is further to the side, though, or else it just scares the main stomach out of the way! I will always insist on a turkey!

      December 3, 2014 at 4:58 pm
  • Reply Earl-Leigh

    That was a delicious looking bird! I’m just glad I didn’t see you on the news. “Petite, Blonde Wielding Turkey and Tequila Tussles with TSA Over Leftovers” LOL.
    Earl-Leigh recently posted…Finding YOUR FitMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Nah they were too busy reporting the MILE LONG security lines at Midway on Sunday. I woulda had my 15 minutes and then no mas. But I would have wrestled them.

      December 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm
  • Reply Ariana

    Looks like you had quite the feast! Those enchiladas sound delicious. I absolutely love roast turkey but I have yet to cook one myself…they seem very intimidating πŸ˜‰
    Ariana recently posted…Inspiring Humans: Portia HarrisonMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 3:52 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Don’t be scared! It was the most easy thing every–the brine +water, let sit, dry, put in pot with stock and cover, cook for 20-30 minutes per lb at 350. check temp, let rest. PERFECTION. Do it!

      December 3, 2014 at 4:56 pm
  • Reply Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    Oh my gosh you snuck a turkey on the plane – I heart you πŸ™‚ This cracked me up – just the thing I needed at 5:30 on a Wednesday afternoon!
    Sam @ PancakeWarriors recently posted…Crunchy Salad with Peanut Lime DressingMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      As my mom would say, you little turkey! Always happy to brighten a late Wednesday!

      December 3, 2014 at 4:55 pm
  • Reply Farrah

    haha, I still love how you took that turkey through security. I’m trying to finish eating everything in my fridge before I make more food, but those enchiladas are making it really difficult! *-*
    Farrah recently posted…Reflections on RadiologyMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 4:40 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hold on to the idea for next week, lol–I’ll still count it!

      December 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm
  • Reply Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete




    Tiffany @ The Chi-Athlete recently posted…Tunes and #WIAWMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    My mouth is watering. Your turkey sounds fantastic. I think I am going to give this a go. Brilliant!
    Sarah recently posted…Winter Running Gear-Splurges and DealsMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 5:54 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      DO IT! The most easy thing ever.

      December 5, 2014 at 8:09 am
  • Reply Autumn

    Love it! Wow, your turkey really gets around….heh heh heh. Im kinda jealous, your turkey traveled more that I did! πŸ˜‰ Autumn
    Autumn recently posted…She’s Got StyleMy Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Bhahahaa. Well it certainly was good–good enough to pack!

      December 5, 2014 at 8:09 am
  • Reply Rachel

    those enchiladas look fab!
    Rachel recently posted…Al Fresco Chicken Sausage Review + Recipe!My Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! So easy, and so healthy!

      December 5, 2014 at 8:09 am
  • Reply Mo (@rushourunner)

    Jakre makes a secret dry rub (meaning, he just throws a bunch of spices around) and cooks the turkey in an oven bag, which is the best. However, since there were only 3 of us, we made a big pot of chili for the Bears game. For dinner, we went to Cooper’s Hawk and made them cook for us. I had steak (RUB is actually the only turkey I like, hah) and we all had sangria. Yay for non-traditional holidays!
    Mo (@rushourunner) recently posted…wordless wednesday [98]My Profile

    December 3, 2014 at 8:16 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      LOVE that! Next year, I think I am going to get a RUB turkey and make my own. GO BIG.

      December 5, 2014 at 8:10 am
  • Reply Friday Favorites: Eat, Run, Read, Meme, WINNERS Repeat - Suzlyfe

    […] fun eating. From Enchiladas (recipe […]

    December 5, 2014 at 6:15 am
  • Reply Sara @ Lake Shore Runner

    This post makes me even more excited and anxious to try the goodies you gave me last night! Thanks again!!
    Sara @ Lake Shore Runner recently posted…NEW Trader Joe Must Haves #FridayFavorites #FridayFiveMy Profile

    December 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe


      December 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm
  • Reply Sarah Rosenblatt

    oh god this sounds so stuffy and grown-up and WASP-y but… I love your china!

    December 5, 2014 at 9:46 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe


      December 8, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Leave a Reply

    CommentLuv badge