Thanksgiving Dinner Survival Guide from Autumn Calabrese

Thanksgiving dinner can be a minefield of temptations. While I’m all for enjoying special occasions and holidays, it can be really useful to be thoughtful about how and when you indulge. Plan your meal right, and you can have that slice of pie with a little more room in your belt at the end of the night.

21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme Creator and Celebrity trainer, Autumn Calabrese has some simple and helpful suggestions about how to get through Thanksgiving dinner (or any holiday meal) while sticking to your meal plan and you long term goals. Check her out-

Happy Thanksgivukkah!


Today is a day for being thankful. I love celebrating Thanksgiving, and combining it with all of the traditions of Hanukkah only makes the pot that much sweeter. I had planned make sweet potato latkes this year, taking advantage of the combined traditions, but instead I opted to take it easy and enjoy some good puppy lovin’. Brian’s cousins are staying with us from Chicago and they brought their furry little dogger Zola. I’m in puppy heaven.


I am so grateful for puppies. Here are a few other things I am ever so grateful for:

  • The extended family that I inherited when I married Brian. With my family spread far and wide (but mostly in California and New Jersey), it’s nice to have a new extended network of family to enjoy the holidays with.
  • The Detroit Lions taking home a win today! It’s a Hanukkah miracle! They haven’t won on Thanksgiving in a decade.
  • Facetime. Now that my family all have it, I love getting some facetime in with them. Especially when we are this far apart on the holidays.
  • Having what we need today and everyday. I know that isn’t true for many people, and I am incredibly grateful for what we have.

Lastly, today and everyday I am grateful to have so many wonderful people and puppies in my life to love.

Happy Thanksgivukkah from me to you!



PS- One more of Zola for the road


Thanksgiving Menu Planning


I love this holiday. I love the warmth of home, the rich smells and gathering of friends and family all together for an evening of table conversation and after dinner fun. Things have changed in the last few years as my family has spread out and started their own traditions. For me this means I spend the day of thanks with my soon-to-be-in-laws. The food and company are always wonderful, and I’m glad to have somewhere to spend the holiday…. but I still miss the days of my family home, chock-full of people squeezed into our small victorian dining room.

As I’m getting older and making my own, new family home,  I’ve begun dreaming of the day that I can try my own hand at the family Turkey Tradition. Here’s a little taste of what the day might be like when I’m the host some day. Anyone hungry!?!

The Turkey:

Pioneer Woman’s Orange Rosemary Turkey Brine

…and Turkey Roasting instructions for those of us who’ve yet to host and roast!

The Sides:

Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin from Dandy Dishes

Image from Dandy Dishes

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries from the Pioneer Woman

Image from Pioneer Woman

Cranberry Relish from Simply Recipes (just like we made each year at my parents!)

Image from Simply Recipes

Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” from Steamy Kitchen

Image from Steamy Kitchen

Sweet Potato Skins from Pinch of Yum

Image from Pinch of Yum

The Dessert:

Gluten-free Pumkin Pie! From Design, Dining + Diapers

Looks pretty YUM to me! Have a wonderful, warm and delish Thanksgiving.