Good morning! I'm on my second cup of coffee (not because I need it, but because my friends brought me a bag of Stumptown yesterday and it's really, really good) and slowly easing into the day. I had delicious leftovers for breakfast: Signe's homemade wholegrain bread toasted with some cranberry orange sauce (it makes a delicious jam), and the afore-mentioned coffee. It's nice having a lazy morning after hosting a big Thanksgiving Day feast.

Really quick - before I talk about our Thanksgiving (which was so fun!) I want to share with you a great way to use up your turkey leftovers. I'm not a huge chili fan usually, but this 3-Bean Turkey Chili is delicious - and really healthy. (Click here for the recipe.) It's also super simple to make: you just need to buy 3 cans of beans (kidney, pinto, and cannellini, a couple cans of Muir Glen organic fire-roasted tomatoes with green chilis, and some fresh cilantro. The rest of the ingredients (onion, garlic, spices, leftoever turkey) you should have at home. I love serving this with some grated cheddar, avocado slices, a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream. And extra cilantro. Enjoy!


OK back to Thanksgiving. We had the best time. There were 11 adults, a 2-year-old, two babies, and two cats. It's fun seeing how each year adds more little people to our NYC family! Unlike dinner parties, I love the way Thanksgiving is sort of an all-day affair. I cooked most of the day, friends came over anywhere between 3 and 5 pm for wine and appetizers, and we sat down at the table around 5:30 pm. The time at the table was a bit abbreviated, as friends with babies were sort of up and down, and most had to leave on the early-side. But for those of us remaining, we sat around and talked (and ate seconds of dessert!) until nearly 11 pm, and had a chance to go around and share what we were thankful for this year. I was a bit sad we couldn't do it around the big table like we usually do, but in a way, it was even more intimate sharing with a smaller group.


As we went around and shared, Signe and I both talked about how grateful we were to have met each other - and to have a chance to collaborate on The Cookbook Diaries together. We were also reminiscing about the crazy way in which we (indirectly) met 3 years ago. The story's pretty amazing: my brother Davis and his friend Jake spent Thanksgiving with us in 2010. They wanted to go out after dinner, which is challenging in NYC on Thanksgiving night: most places are closed. But they ended up on Avenue C outside a bar which they thought was open. It wasn't, but they met Signe and her friend (who were visiting from Copenhagen at the time) outside the place.

They all started talking, and ended up all hanging out the rest of the night. Once Davis heard Signe was a food photographer, he was determined that she and I should meet. A year later, we finally did, and we've been friends/collaborators ever since! I'm so thankful for that serendipitious meeting between Davis and Signe back on Thanksgiving three years ago.

How was your Thanksgiving? Judging by the Instagram pics I saw, there was a lot of great food being served! I wanted to share with you a picture and a little story snippet from Yellow Table reader (and fellow Grove City grad!) Sarah Kilic. She sent a picture of she and her husband's first Thanksgiving dinner "with an actual table and chairs!" She said they've spent the past several years in spaces too small to fit a table, until now.


(Thanksgiving day photo by Sarah Kilic)

"This year we were able to move into a little townhouse and I finally have a table and chairs - no more Thanksgiving on TV trays! And even more fun, we finally have room to invite guests over for dinner, which we did for thanksgiving this year! In an effort to expand the menu, your roated cauliflower and farro with mushrooms were added and were a huge hit! Thanks!"

Sarah, your table - and the food - looks gorgeous!! (I can't believe you even made menus...nice touch!) So happy that you all got to spend Thanksgiving around your own table - it's a great feeling, isn't it?! Thanks for writing, and so glad the cauliflower and farro were hits!

To close, here are a few fun reads for the weekend:

- "Cooking Lessons for Life" (featured earlier this week in the New York Times) brought tears to my eyes. Don't ask questions, just read it.

- This poem by Joy Harjo "Perhaps the World Ends Now" beautifully expresses my sentiments on living life around the table.

- Wintry landscapes and thoughts on thankfulness from Megan Gilger of The Fresh Exchange.

- Sara & Huge Forte of Sprouted Kitchen have big, so happy for them!!

- Looking for a fun baking project this weekend? Try these cranberry orange scones with toasted pecans (and you can even serve them with a dollop of leftover cranberry sauce if you really want to go cranberry-crazy!).

Have a great weekend everyone! See you Monday!

(Opening photo by Signe Birck)