Thanksgiving 2013 Recap

Thanksgiving 2013 will always be special. Our family has so much to be thankful for this year in light of the recent tragedy that hit. I wanted to give a recap of the week to share it with you guys (all photos from Instagram).

Thanksgiving Meal at the Beantown Baker House

Thanksgiving Meal at the Beantown Baker House

Ever since Hubby and I bought our house in March, we knew we wanted to host Thanksgiving. We were excited at the thought of owning a home big enough to accommodate such a feast and spread the word. Hubby’s family made plans to come from CT and NY and my family all planned to drive over from IL. There were various numbers of people at our house from Monday to Saturday of Thanksgiving week. At the peak, we had 18 people in the house for Thanksgiving itself. Each day, we planned one activity that people could participate in if they wanted to.

I ended up working on Monday to try to get caught up after unexpectedly being out of the office the entire week before. My two sisters, brother in law and nephew showed up Monday afternoon, shortly followed by Hubby’s mom and her boyfriend.

My nephew Ryan joined me in the kitchen to help out

My nephew Ryan joined me in the kitchen to help out

I had planned ahead and made a bunch of food that got thrown in the freezer for the days leading up to Thanksgiving. I didn’t want to be worrying about how to feed a large group for dinner every night. Monday night we had crockpot pulled pork and grilled asparagus. That pulled pork is always a huge success and it freezes so well.

National Sign Museum in Cincinnati, OH

National Sign Museum in Cincinnati, OH

On Tuesday, our activity for the day was to hit up the National Sign Museum. Hubby’s mom had requested we check it out since she had read about it online. We show up around 2:30 only to find out they were CLOSED! They are only open Wed-Sat.

As luck would have it, the owner was outside working on a project and my mother in law started chatting with him saying they were in from out of town. After asking where they were from, it turns out the owner’s mother lives in the same town in Connecticut – small world! So he decided to let us in and gave us a private tour of the museum. Let me tell you guys, this place was AWESOME. I can’t wait to go back some time. If you’re ever in Cincinnati, you have to check this place out. The floors are concrete, so wear comfortable shoes.

Rolls baking in the oven

Rolls baking in the oven

Tuesday night we invited some friends to stop by for turkey chili and cornbread. I had made the chili ahead of time and reheated it in the crockpot. After dinner that night, my dad, stepmom, brother, stepbrother, and stepsister all showed up too.

On Wednesday, our activity for the day was a tour at the learning center of the company Hubby and I work at. We both served as tour guides, talking about aircraft engines, their history, and what we specifically do at work. We’ve both worked for this company since graduating college, so it was great to give our family a little insight into the jobs that keep us oh-so-busy on a daily basis.

By that time, my mom and her boyfriend had also shown up so we were at 15 people for dinner that night. Luckily I had made these meatballs and sauce ahead of time, so again, they were reheated in crockpots for everyone to enjoy. I served them with spaghetti and spaghetti squash for the non-carb-eating people in the group.

Thanksgiving dessert spread

Thanksgiving dessert spread

Then finally, the big day arrive. Car’s sister, her husband, and their stepbrother all showed up overnight on Wed, so we were at full capacity that day. All the prep work I had done with menu selections and making food in advance paid off. The meal was amazing and we had tons of leftovers. We sat down for dinner around 3pm and broke out the desserts around 7pm.

Our Thanksgiving table

Our Thanksgiving table

We had rented chairs, plates, flatware, and linens since we didn’t have enough to seat and feed everyone. My mother in law set the table and totally nailed the look I was going for. I had gotten a couple bouquets from the grocery store and she sorted them by flower type and put one type in each of the jars/vases on the table.

Playing games on Black Friday

Playing games on Black Friday

That night we played games, which is what my family does when we’re together. We had movies playing on the TV and just had an enjoyable day spending time together.

My White Christmas Tree

My White Christmas Tree

On Friday, we started the Christmas decorating. I set up my new white tree that I’m in love with. My stepmom and dad put garland on the fence outside. She also did the mantels and the stairwell. We blared holiday music and nibbled on leftovers throughout the day.

Our house with the garland

Our house with the garland

I really couldn’t be happier with how the week went. It really reconfirmed the fact that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s really all about family time and great food without the added hassle of gifts and whatnot.

How was your Thanksgiving?

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21 Responses to “Coconut Almond Cake with Blackberry Lime Curd”

  1. #
    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — March 21, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I am really very terrible at frosting/decorating cake :\ This came out way better than anything I could make!

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

      Ha – I’m pretty bad too. That’s why I love putting stuff on the sides. Coconut does a good job of hiding my sloppy decorating skills.

  2. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — March 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Coconut and almond, you’ve already got me reeled in 🙂 two of my favorite flavors rolled into what looks like a moist, fluffy cake. YUM

  3. #
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board — March 21, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    This cake looks so beautiful and the texture is perfect! I love curd as a filling between cake layers but i never knew the trick for preventing it from seeping out – thanks!

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

      Yea, it’s definitely very helpful. Even more so when you ACTUALLY do it 😉

  4. #
    Megan — March 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    We’ve all had those cake experiences. It looks like it turned out well in the end! And it sounds delicious!

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one. I think it’s easy to get wrapped up in thinking we all need to project that all of our baking/cooking endeavors are hugely successful…

  5. #
    Ashley — March 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Regardless of any kitchen mishaps, this cake looks divine! Layer cakes always look so special, and the addition of fruit here makes me swooooon!

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

      I agree. Layer cakes always look special 🙂

  6. #
    Michelle — March 22, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Oh this looks amazing. And aren’t we all our own worst critics when we bake? I can’t tell you how many times I say something is terrible and my husband looks as me like I’m crazy.

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

      I agree. At the end of the day, it tasted delicious and no one knew about all the issues I had with the cake. I did want to keep it real on the blog and not give anyone any false sense that things are always easy for me…

  7. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town — March 22, 2013 at 9:04 am

    I always shy away from layer cakes – yours always come out well, I need some more practice I think! Your “mistakes” are great learning points – did not know about the frosting damn, but it makes so much sense!

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

      That’s why I wanted to talk about them. I definitely could have posted about this cake without mentioning any of the issues I had. I’m hoping they’ll help someone (myself included) to learn something for the next time they tackle a layer cake. Yours will definitely improve with practice. Mine surely are. I really want to make that coconut cake you just posted!

  8. #
    Shannon — March 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    i’m always hard on myself too, but you wouldn’t know by the taste i’m sure! looks absolutely wonderful, not to mention i’m drooling over the flavor combo 🙂

    • beantownbaker — March 25th, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

      I agree, I think we all are. I wanted to keep it real with this post in case anyone else found it to be a difficult set of recipes…

  9. #
    Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen — March 23, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Yum, your cake looks so delicious and I really love the sound of the blackberry lime curd!

  10. #
    Laura Dembowski — April 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    I love coconut cake, and blackberries are my favorite fruit. Such a great idea to put them together. This cake is gorgeous! I would happily take a large slice . . . or maybe the whole thing 😉

    • beantownbaker — April 27th, 2013 @ 10:02 am

      Then you would definitely love this cake!

  11. #
    Kristina Koranek — August 10, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Could anyone post the blackberry lime curd recipe? The link is no longer working.


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