A Bittersweet Thanksgiving 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

In case you have been hibernating, Thanksgiving is only three short days away! Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I'm very close with my family and really enjoy it when we are all together. This Thanksgiving is really important to me because it will be the last holiday I get to spend with my sister.

My sister is moving across country to be in California with her boyfriend. He was offered an exciting opportunity and she decided to try something new too. While this move is only scheduled for 3 - 5 years, you never know they might love it so much they stay.

My sister, Jess (R), and I (L)
Sure, my sister and I know how to throw words around that hit you harder than a Thanksgiving eve hangover. But in the end she's still my sister and I love her so much. We only have each other and for that I'm grateful because there would probably be even more drama if I had to share her.

Alright enough with the Dr. Phil moment. Back to why I love Turkey Day! Usually on Thanksgiving, I get to show of why I'm Queen B of the oven. No, I can't make a turkey but I'll make you the best pear tart you've ever tasted. In past years I've made cupcakes that looked like ears of corn and TV dinners, my traditional pear tart or some other delicious treat.

This year the Kern/Kehl families are going untraditional. With the departure of my dear Sissy, we are going to have cake. Yeah, I know, cake isn't always the most exciting thing, however, it's a great way to celebrate someone you love, hopefully there will be a witty message on top! Plus cake goes hand in hand with something else...

This year we will be forgoing the pie, but not entirely. I have made two batches of ice cream in honor of America's favorite Thanksgiving day pies! Pumpkin and Apple! When you eat cake there must also be ice cream so TA - DA! P.S. I do own an ice cream maker. It was a random but best purchase I've made in 2013. It's a Cuisinart, in hot pink.

Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream
If you'd like to follow in my family's footsteps and have an untraditional Thanksgiving here are the recipes I used. For the pumpkin ice cream I used this Taste of Home recipe, with no changes. All those spices give it full flavor and the canned pumpkin gives the ice cream a great color. I sampled a little while putting it into a freezer safe container and had a lock up all the spoons so I wouldn't eat it all!  If you have any left overs after Thanksgiving, I would suggest sandwiching some ice cream between two ginger snaps...thank me later!

Next up, the apple pie lovers! My family is very divided on the pumpkin pie so I knew I had to create another type to satisfy the masses. Who doesn't love apple pie? If you don't, there certainty isn't room for you at my table.

Homemade Apple Pie Ice Cream
The apple pie ice cream recipe came from hours of Pinterest searching. I finally went with LeMoine Family Kitchen's recipe, and made a minor adjustment. I added five full sheets of cinnamon graham cracker chunks to the mixing process. I'm not going to lie, I snuck a few of the cinnamon apples before I mixed them in and, WOW, things can only get better when you add ice cream to them. The apples were not specific in the recipe so I used honey crisp...my all time favorite...and they didn't come out mushy during the cooking process so I would recommend using them!

Lastly, I figured I'd throw in a bonus and show you how my roomie and I decorated the mantle for the fall and Thanksgiving holiday. The fireplace mantle is in our Family room and it gets a lot of attention so it's really the focal point for every season.

Fall/Thanksgiving Mantle
This year, I decided to save some money and print my own banner. I love banners and have a felt one for just about every holiday but this year I went the homemade route. I got my design from Claire Bella, however, I no longer see her offering the free printable banner. Sorry. I strung my banner with twine I already had at the house.

The glitter pumpkins are from the Target dollar spot! They had other colors like black and purple for Halloween but I stuck with traditional orange so that I could keep them up after Halloween! Surprisingly, they do not shed mass amounts of glitter or really anything at all.

The vases are also from Target. I've had them for over a year now and have put everything in them from lemons to easter eggs. They are the smallest pillar size available. For the fall season my roommate got these pear and apple vase fillers from I believe Michaels. We have a candelabra that was a housewarming gift. I finally bought candles for it two weeks ago. It came with twine balls to put in the basket below but so far I haven't used them. I bought a bag of real gourds to throw in and add some color.

That's it for my Thanksgiving post. I wanted to put this up on the blog earlier than the actual day in case you guys were looking for inspiration for last minute table arrangements or holiday decor. I can't wait to show you what I got going on for Christmas!

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