One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


A Thanksgiving Prep Braindump

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This is throwing me for a loop.

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I don’t normally freak out about the weather but with both my parents and my in-laws coming in for the holiday tomorrow I’m a little worried. Plus I was planning on doing all my shopping tomorrow. Probably not the best idea, I know, but it was the only time I had.

I’ve decided to reschedule a few things and make some time this afternoon for at least half the shopping. This way I won’t have to run to multiple stores tomorrow and I can focus on cleaning and prepping.

However, honestly, I haven’t devoted any brainpower to what I even need to do or buy or prepare for Thursday so I’m using this post as my brain dump.

First, thankfully, my turkey is ordered so I have no worries there unless the snow storm prevents me from picking it up Wed morning which is doubtful.

So the bird is taken care of.  Well, so to speak. Meaning I have one on the way.

Next up, the stuffing.

I do this weird half homemade/half Stovetop thing every year. See, The Husband’s family are Stovetop people. My parents are homemade, all the way. When I took over Thanksgiving dinner six years ago (click here to see that post) I first tried to make my own. However, I have since compromised by using Stovetop as a base and doctoring it up with my own twist. This has proven to be the best stuffing in the world! Just ask The Husband who is already salivating at the thought of it because I only make it once a year.

It’s super easy too. I start by removing sausage from it’s casing and then I fry it up with onion, mushrooms, celery, carrots, and kale. Then I use the stovetop as my “bread.” No need to added butter or oil at all! The flavor of the Stovetop combined with the fresh ingredients really compliment each other and it’s tasty!

In case you are wondering, yes I stuff the bird. Some goes in and some stays out. It’s a been family tradition for years and we haven’t died yet.

Anyway, mashed Potatoes, are definitely the next most popular thing on the table. I use large russet potatoes, at least 1 per person and 3 for my Father-In-Law who could eat the whole batch himself. Then I just mash with some milk and a touch of cream cheese. Nothing fancy there.

We all enjoy the mashed potatoes but my Mom and I both rather sweet. So I make this recipe in the crockpot every year.


It’s one less thing to worry about as everything just goes in the crockpot and get to forget about it.

After the bird and potatoes I’m all about the veggies! Call me crazy, but I like to make a ton of veggie based sides so I can fill my plate and not feel totally gross and bloated afterwards.

Brussels Sprouts have become a mainstay for my Thanksgiving table. I roast them just like this but I add some walnuts and bacon bits to make them just a little more special on the Holiday.


Last year I introduced Green Beans and now, honestly, I’m making them again only because I LOVE THEM! And so do the kids. I make them just like this


Even though I make the greens I still prepare some corn too. Mostly for The Husband who requests it every year. Plus it’s just an easy addition. Bag of frozen corn, pinch of salt, microwave safe dish, done.

As if all the veggies weren’t enough I also make a huge “Harvest Salad” which started as a tradition since I joined some local CSAs.


Basically it’s whatever greens I can get my hands on topped with pecans, gouda (or smoked cheddar,) dried cranberries and a drizzle of raspberry vinaigrette. I love this flavor combo and having salad leftover makes for some real quick lunches when you can just top it with cooked turkey!

Last year I also made a homemade cranberry sauce using some clementines and honey. I may do that again for me and my mom but they rest of family sticks with the canned stuff. Which I did grow up with and love too. But if I have a choice I’m going with homemade all the way.

I think that’s it. Well, besides crescent rolls which are also a family tradition. I do get the reduced fat because, well, why not? No one can tell the difference and a few less calories/grams of fat will make room for all the other yummy stuff everyone will be eating.

Ok, now that’s really it. I think. Oh! Crap, besides dinner the night before! HA! Everyone is coming in tomorrow, so I need to feed them then as well. I just make a big batch of sauce and a pound or two of spaghetti. Although this year I’m think of making wings too, as my Step Father really wants to try my recipe since I posted this on Instagram the other day.

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I have discovered the miracle that is Baking Powder. Don’t worry I plan on posting a complete recipe on GreenLiteBites and possibly doing a video. They are that good!

Any now I just jotted more down on my list as I remembered I ALSO have to feed everyone breakfast.

This is why blogging helps me so much. Now I feel so much better prepared and I have a shopping list!


Although it’s longer now after remembering Wed dinner and breakfast Thursday morning.

Anyway, thanks for reading my ramble. I appreciate it!

Which reminds me…. Today I am most grateful for my family and my ability to provide and cook all this food for them for the next couple of days. I can’t wait to see my boys play with their cousins, watch cheesy movies with my parents, play uno with the whole family and just “be” for a few days.

That’s the best part of Thanksgiving.

At least in my opinion.

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There are 14 comments so far.

    Laura P Healey

    November 25, 2014

    Happy Thanksgiving Roni :)


      November 25, 2014

      You too!


    November 25, 2014

    Fun post – it all sounds delicious and sounds like a ton of food. You didn’t mention dessert though! Just wanted to say that I’ve been following your blog for years and I swear you don’t age. I was thinking that as I looked at your photo above. You look happy and beautiful! Have a wonderful holiday.


      November 25, 2014

      I forgot because I leave them up to everyone else! I don’t really do desserts on holidays. I’m all about the “real food.” We usually have a few pies and some pumpkin roll.

      And thanks for that.. I’ve been feeling old lately so it MUCH appreciated!


    November 25, 2014

    I hope they all arrive safely! Have a happy Thanksgiving!


      November 25, 2014

      They are all coming in tonight to be safe!

    Jackie Miller

    November 25, 2014

    Ugh. Reading this I just realized that I have to run to the store, again, because I forgot sausage for the stuffing. Oops…oh well…maybe I’ll remember what’s else I’ve forgotten before I go (I hope). Hope you parents, and inlaws, travel safely.

    Today I am thankful for the very sweet hugs that I got from my, sometimes terribly naughty, 3 year old today. Made the day much better.


      November 26, 2014

      I’m headed back today for round 2, I’m sure I forgot something!


    November 26, 2014

    Hi Roni, I am enjoying more and more planning my weekly dinners and I really start enjoying when the healthy dinner is working out. To give some updates on the challenge:

    Day 1: 30 Min. for a nice walk in the forrest
    Day 2: 1 h Ballet Training
    Day 3: 42 Min Yoga (at 05:00 am in the morning)

    #TGChallenge: I am really greatful that my partner took care of my car yesterday evening, while I was having my ballet training. So I did not need to go to the gas station this morning and had a nice cleaned car. :)


      November 26, 2014

      That’s so sweet!


    November 26, 2014

    2-5 inches is like a dusting here in Minnesota! Good luck!


      November 26, 2014

      I know, right! It’s not that big of a deal normally but it’s so early in the season and it was just 70 degrees on Monday so everyone is thrown off.


    November 26, 2014

    Your dinner sounds wonderful. I just put my pumpkin pie in the oven. I think it needs a overnight to be perfect for the day. I have been hearing about the nor’easter that is headed your way. I have family and CT and they are bracing for the worst. I did fit in my PiYo CORE workout. Not much for snow here in WI but that talk of 10 below wind chill is making it a good day to have the kitchen going full tilt.

    Lisa Posner

    November 27, 2014

    Challenge Update: Yesterday I ran a total of nine miles! I wanted to get in a long run that day and it was SUPER warm outside, but I didn’t have time for a longer run in the morning and by the time I got home from work it would be dark out and colder. So I got in a 5 miler in the morning and then did another 4 on the treadmill at night!

    Today I did 35 minutes on my exercise bike and also did some weight training at home.

    I am really thankful for my good health, as I see people I care about who can’t run or move due to a variety of issues. It’s really a combination of my hard work to stay fit and my luck at not having any major illness or injury spring up, but I see so many things others may miss out on because their bodies aren’t capable and I am so grateful to be able to MOVE!