A Few Thoughts on Thanksgiving's Eve... and some Brussels Sprouts!

Though I recently posted some of my most favorite Thanksgiving dishes of the past, now it's time to get ready for Thanksgiving 2010. My extended family gathers for a large potluck dinner on the evening of Thanksgiving each year and everyone comes armed with a delicious dish, some old and some new. This year I've decided to make brussels sprouts. I know, that probably doesn't sound like the most appetizing choice of side dishes but trust me, the recipe I used is phenomenal and sure to please even the most staunch anti-vegetable eater at your Thanksgiving table. You'll find the full instructions at the end of this post!

Anyway, back to tomorrow. I love this holiday because it really is all about a few of my most favorite things - family, food, and gratitude. My family members are truly my very best friends and we're big foodies, so Thanksgiving is a great holiday for us to experiment with new recipes and indulge our gastronomic desires. And to me, there is no better way to express my gratitude than to spend this day with my family, for they're the ones who have provided me with so many of things for which I am thankful. I'm so grateful to have such an entertaining, supportive, and loving family to spend time with during the holidays and throughout the whole year.

Obviously, I would not even be here if it weren't for my parents, but they have always gone above and beyond when it came to raising me and my two sisters and providing us with every opportunity imaginable. The things that are most meaningful and important to me all stem back to family, and so many of the advantages I have been fortunate enough to receive are all a result of the hard work of my parents. Thus, it is only fitting that I plan to spend the day of thanks with those who have given me so much for which to be grateful. With my family, gathered around a table, feasting on the harvests of this wonderful season - those are at the very core of my Thanksgiving plans for 2010 (and every Thanksgiving thereafter). Here are just a few of the faces that will be seen around my Thanksgiving table:

Me, my lovely fiance Mike, and my wonderful mother

My little sister Leanne, the tree climber/hugger

My sister Katie and her brand-spanking-new husband Matt

My father (and my dog Maggie who, unfortunately, won't be at our Thanksgiving table)

Though it may not sound like an exciting or unconventional way to spend November 25, 2010, I wouldn't have it any other way (and that includes preparing the brussels sprouts - healthy and delicious and so much easier than sweet potato pie!). What are your Thanksgiving plans? Any favorite dishes from the past or highly anticipated ones for tomorrow?

I also wanted to take a moment to thank all of my readers and followers, both new and old. Reading all of your comments and knowing that you're even occasionally checking in means so much to me. I tend to write about a random assortment of things that I find interesting and entertaining, and it's nice to know that all of this isn't in vain - somewhere there are people that appreciate what I've got to say, even if it's a recipe one day and an unsuccessful crafting venture the next. So thank you for reading and here's my way of saying thanks: a delicious brussels sprouts recipe!

I know what you might be thinking - brussels sprouts are really your way of saying thanks? Before I made this dish, I would have probably been thinking the same thing. But this is an amazingly simple dish with a huge payoff and I encourage you to give it a shot! I've never actually had brussels sprouts before the other night. I'm not sure if it's one of those things my mom served me once when I was young and then never attempted to force down our throats again, or if it was just her aversion to all things green that kept these off our plates. But I'm not trying to blame my mom either - brussels sprouts never tempted me and the very idea of them has always been met by my nose scrunched up in disgust.

But as of late, my horizons have expanded. Brussels sprouts are one of if not the most healthy plant food you can eat, which was part of why I came around. I was also seeing tons of recipes in magazines and on blogs that tempted me to give these guys a try.

The recipe that I chose was found in an issue of Real Simple Magazine. My dish came out absolutely delicious, even though I didn't have fresh brussels sprouts and instead used a frozen package, draining off the butter sauce while defrosting the sprouts. I was actually worried that the trace of butter or the recent freezing of my core ingredient would have made my dish sub-par but in fact I was delighted with the result. Alongside some simple pan-fried chicken and sauteed sweet potato rounds with cinnamon and sage, this was the perfect November meal - one that encouraged me to enthusiastically jump aboard the brussels sprouts bandwagon (and hopefully I'll be bringing my family aboard tomorrow!).

I prefer roasting any and all of my vegetables with olive oil and seasonings - I think it's the best way to maximize their flavor and retain their vital nutritional power. This dish provides the perfect method to simply and quickly get your fix of these super healthy little guys, and it is a useful way to finish up any grapes that no longer retain their crispy crunch quite as much as you'd like to snack on solo.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Grapes
adapted from Real Simple Magazine

  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 pound red seedless grapes
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread brussels sprouts, grapes, and garlic over sheet.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with chopped thyme, salt, and pepper.
4. Toss to coat.
5. Cook 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

*I didn't have super high hopes when I first prepared this recipe (and I didn't use the prettiest or freshest of brussels sprouts), so I refrained from taking my own photos... this one comes from the Real Simple website!

**This Thanksgiving's Eve post is also an entry for the Plan It, Blog It! 2010 Thanksgiving Blog Writing Contest from www.UPrinting.com. If you like what you saw here, please comment! The more comments I get, the closer I come to winning this contest! Thanks!


  1. That sounds fantastic! I LOVE brussel sprouts and pairing them with sweet grapes sounds so different and yummy. I like your sentiments about the holidays; I too enjoy the gathering of family around food much more than the crazy shopping craze of Christmas.

  2. Thanks for your comment Jenn! You really have to try this recipe - I'm still surprised at how much I loved it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Hi Laura... what a beautiful post! I love that your family gather's on Thanksgiving Eve.... that is awesome! Nothing beats swarms of lovely people, all enjoying each others company. And guess what... I love brussel sprouts! Happy Thanksgiving! - Megan

  4. Happy Thanksgiving. beautiful pics. greetings from Germany

  5. Wow, this sounds so interesting with the grapes. I have brussel sprouts in my fridge, I will have to give this a go!

  6. LOVE brussels sprouts and I'm always looking for new ways to add grapes to savory dishes. Thanks so much for posting and happy thanksgiving!


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