Helloooo December and good riddance November.  November was as November typically is for me, ugly and cold, but hey! at least it’s over now and we’re fast approaching the Christmas holidays.  Break out those advent calendars folks because December is going to be a roller coaster ride.
In the beginning of the month, Ryon had his much-anticipated joint procedure, which went really well.  He sported a bright blue bandage around his leg for a week and got a well-deserved break.  If anyone would like to give me a week off where the only thing I need to do is eat and sleep, I’ll take it.  We’ve started him back into full training and he isn’t showing any signs of discomfort so far - fingers crossed!  Thank you for all the well-wishes and for thinking about the big lug.
Siri and Misha were in town for the Thanksgiving holidays.  My dad put my sister’s burgeoning photographer skills to work with a side project of his, and the family got in some major R&R and movie watching.  Unlike years past, we didn’t overdo it with the table decorations, nor did we stress out too much about the food and oven scheduling, a first since my dad and I have been doing Thanksgiving together.  Perhaps a future in catering is what 2016 will bring (no, no it won’t)?

For the actual meal, I had pie success (finally!) with the two recipes below.  My pie crusts could still use a bit of refinement, but they turned out lovelier than expected.  I ambitiously set out to bake four pies for the evening, but we had more than enough desserts.  JR’s sister (a pastry chef) brought over a lovely homemade pear tart, and my cousins sent us two fruit pies via post.

Pumpkin spice ice box pie -

Maple bourbon pecan pie -

I also highly recommend that anyone considering making a turkey in the future try this recipe involving spatchcocking the turkey.  There is no other way that my family or I will ever cook a turkey; it’s too easy and quick and saves the oven for all the other important things, like mac & cheese (people loved this butternut squash one here).

It’s gotten cold very quickly here in North Texas, and I had to dig all my winter clothes out of storage (there are never enough).  We’ve been getting rain for days now, and I’m quite ready for the short bright days of winter.  Here’s to a holiday season filled with twinkling lights and warm hearths.


  1. Yay for Ryon's succesful procedure:) And another yay for a great Thanksgiving for you guys:) And I like how Siri is sporting that cowboy hat whilst taking the pics:D

    PS Send some of that pie over, girl!

  2. Yay! Glad to see Ryon is none worse for the wear. And holy cow! Every recipe you posted sounds delicious! We're finally seeing the rain that you guys had last week as it's been raining in Nashville since Saturday so I totally feel you on the bright days of winter! December makes me happy even though today hasn't really been the best of days (and it's only 9:40am!).

  3. I can't believe it's already December! Sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving. We were in San Antonio with my family, where it was 75+ and raining the whole week.

    So happy to hear Ryon is doing well!

  4. Oh Ryon! Glad you're doing well buddy! :)

  5. I can't believe it's already December. This is so insane! I'm so glad that Ryon is okay! :}


  6. Finally??? You're such a harsh critic of your past work, so it's really nice to hear you're happy with this year's pie production. They both sound wonderful...and so did the side dishes. Somehow the bandage makes Ryon more handsome.

    Hopefully you'll find some time to try that eat/sleep only thing for a while. :D

  7. Ryon's such a handsome fellow . . . glad to hear he's doing well.

    As for the pies, that maple bourbon pecan pie sounds delightful. I bet it smelled heavenly baking.

    Also, I never seem to have enough crust leftover for those lovely decorative touches. Such a pity. Sigh. Someday . . . surely . . .

  8. That ice box pie sounds AMAZING! I'm excited for the holidays as well, but I'm still in love with November's seasonal foods. Nom nom nom.

    I'm glad his joint procedure went well!

  9. Glad to learn you found a nice pie recipe! And it's good to see Ryon recovering. I love December since it's so festive.... January is when the real "doom and gloom" hits!

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  10. Well Rooth, don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel about November! lol
    I don't plan on making a turkey ...ever...but I will have to look at the recipe just to find out what spatchcocking is(sounds fascinating).

  11. No signs of discomfort... good!

    I hate November but I lovvvvve December.

  12. I'm enjoying the cold weather but we know my cold tolerance is amazing, not so for heat. Hooray for your pies and most of all for Ryon's recovery!!

  13. Glad Ryon's procedure went well. And yay! for homemade pies


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