The Whole Hog

Wheeewwwwwwwww what a meal…what a NIGHT! I might just live in stretchy elastic waist pants for the rest of my life. Mmhmmm




Yep, we had a blast all right. There were 17 of us in total and couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful setting. I mean, seriously.


There was champagne, obviously.




And a beautiful pre-dinner spread that I snacked on for pretty much all afternoon….



I just couldn’t get over how BEAUTIFUL the view was!!!!! Yep, yep…I’m thankful for that 🙂


We all sipped champagne and watched a beautiful California sunset before heading inside to EAT!


These brussels sprouts with figs and bacon deserve some special photo lovin’….mmmmmmm


As does this crazy guy right here:


For food we had quite possibly the biggest and best spread that I’ve EVER seen. I mean, I wouldn’t have expected anything less though because I was with the most passionate foodies in Sonoma County. It.was.insane. So was my PLATE!


So you don’t see turkey here! One of the guys actually made these (get ready for it….) pork belly “sandwiches” by sandwiching together the pork belly, butt and skin and then searing them on all sides. Sorry if that grosses anyone out but it was probably the most delicious thing ever. So there.

I also had mashed sweet potatoes, celery root gratin, a wee bit of stuffing, a taste of Hardy’s mac & cheese, brussels, green beans, mushroom gravy and homemade white bread from a popular bakery in town. Holy moly is right!

I can’t even get into the wines because it was all too crazy.




Although I have to say that my favorite wine of the night was the sparkling rose that I had at the beginning. It was made from Pinot Noir grapes and was pretttttty much crack in a glass. Yep yep.



BACON BRITTLE!!!!!!!!!!!!



I had a bit of pecan pie. tarte tatin and a taste of three homemade gelatos that were brought: rosemary, caramel balsamic and pomegranate. By the end, I physically couldn’t move but was very, very happy indeed. 😉

So there you have it. Thanksgiving 09. If you would have told me last Thanksgiving I would be where I am today, I would never in a million years have believed you. Just goes to show how crazy life is and we think we have a plan for ourselves, but really, we have no idea. I am very thankful….so very thankful!


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  • katie
    November 27, 2009 at 8:37 am

    oh my gosh Jenna you are beautiful!! i love that turtleneck shirt on you too!
    you thanksgiving was out of this WORLD..and you def deserved it! bacon brittle? wow!! AWESOME.

  • Liz
    November 27, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Bacon brittle?! That sounds absolutely AMAZING! Glad you had a great Thanksgiving!

  • candice
    November 27, 2009 at 8:43 am


    You look gorgeous!! Love your shirt. 😀 Those brussels sprouts look delicious (MORE BACON!), as do all the desserts… balsamic and rosemary gelato?! Wowowow. You’re a lucky girl, spending Thanksgiving with foooodies!

  • Evan Thomas
    November 27, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Your night looks awesome! The brittle–omg heaven.

  • Amanda
    November 27, 2009 at 8:49 am

    I have to agree with everyone else – you look gorgeous! And so happy and healthy.

    I’m so tempted by things like bacon brittle. I might have to try to make some with vegetarian bacon, although I doubt that it would taste as good.

  • Rachel @ Shedding It
    November 27, 2009 at 8:53 am

    You had me at “bacon brittle”…
    PS Love your nail polish!!

  • Stephanie
    November 27, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Wow the food looks amazing, what a spread! Bacon brittle, for real? So interesting… but I bet soooo good!

  • Sarah
    November 27, 2009 at 8:57 am

    The Brussel Sprouts look so good – but I need to find out how to make Bacon Brittle!

  • Erin
    November 27, 2009 at 8:58 am

    So glad that you are enjoying your life in Cali so much. You really inspire me that maybe next year my life will be in a much better place too. Have a great weekend, Jenna!

  • simpledaisy
    November 27, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Holy Macaroni….you ROCKED turkey day this year!! What an amazing setting to enjoy the Holiday:)
    Have a happy rest of your weekend~

  • Megan (The Runner's Kitchen)
    November 27, 2009 at 9:12 am

    In August I more or less stopped eating meat, but I made an exception yesterday. I enjoyed turkey with gravy and roasted brussels sprouts with caramelized onions, bacon, and cranberries. I really do LOVE bacon. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

  • Allie
    November 27, 2009 at 9:14 am

    wow, what a breathtaking setting for a thanksgiving dinner like none I have ever seen. You looked so happy- love it. Bacon brittle- I’m speechless.

  • Estela @ Weekly Bite
    November 27, 2009 at 9:15 am

    OMG!! What a spread! Everything looks so delicious!!

    How was the bacon brittle? Did you try it?

  • Lizzie
    November 27, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Looks delicious – what a fun evening with fun people! It seems you like bacon 🙂 and even though I know you are a big wine lover, I was wondering if you would ever be up for trying a bourbon BLT? This restaurant/bar we frequent recently added a bourbon BLT to their menu after my husband mentioned his friend had made some bacon infused bourbon. Bartender thought it would be cool to try and now it’s on their menu complete with a garnish of sundried tomato and ice cubes made up of frozen lettuce!

    So glad that you are enjoying Cali life – you are someone with an amazing spirit and creativity and you deserve to enjoy the beautiful life you’re creating for yourself.

  • VeggieGirl
    November 27, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Girl, you lived it up! 🙂

  • alyssa
    November 27, 2009 at 9:21 am

    so jealous of your california life! you’re living a dream! and looking beautiful doing it!

  • Erin
    November 27, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Everything looks absolutely delicious! Keep enjoying life! 😀

  • MelissaNibbles
    November 27, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Meh. It looks okay. Hahaha! I can’t even joke around here. Seriously, what a spread! Everything looks delicious and yummy! Happy Thanksgiving indeed 🙂

  • meagan
    November 27, 2009 at 9:38 am

    …wow! that looks…amazing. i thought i was full from t-giving dinner but looking at those photos made me drool.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    November 27, 2009 at 9:48 am

    What a wonderful Thanksgiving! So glad you enjoy it, girl! 🙂

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    November 27, 2009 at 9:58 am

    OMG!!! ….How perfect is the Fall landscape/view for T-Day? Love the Yellow Lab with the anticipatory ”Yes, I’ve Been a Good Dog All Year Long’ look. Was trying to imagine background music for this/football game on the TV in the background?

    Oh, the places one can go from a One-Minute MG entry vid!! Talk about good mileage! Thanks for the fun pix!

  • molly
    November 27, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Really, bacon brittle.. haha ew! Was it actually good?!

    You look so adorable – I just love that shirt. Glad you had an awesome Thanksgiving celebration!

  • lindsay
    November 27, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Foodie heaven. Wow. Everything looks absolutely amazing and umm that pork belly ‘sandwich’ sounds pretty good….

  • Vanessa (Last Night's Leftovers)
    November 27, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Oh, wow. Looks like a fantastic night!

    I made my AG order – woohoo! Sure wish it didn’t cost so much to ship to Canada. 🙁

  • Sam (Merit to the Carrot)
    November 27, 2009 at 10:51 am

    What an epic Thanksgiving! The atmosphere must have been spectacular! Glad you enjoyed yourself.

  • Tania @ Moment Anew
    November 27, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Looks like you had an amazing Thanksgiving! 🙂 I’m so glad. The food, the wine, the view, the whole spread was positively to die for. And let’s not forget the bacon brittle! WOW!

    Think you could provide us with a recipe for that? 😉

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    November 27, 2009 at 10:56 am

    You can wear Thanksgiving pants ala Friends 🙂

    But really it looks like you had a blast and the food was good. I love unique dishes at big meals instead of the same old fare.

  • christie, honoring health
    November 27, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Bacon brittle sounds oddly delicious.
    Glad you had a great Thanksgiving!

  • maggie
    November 27, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Yay for thanksgiving food!! looks like you had a ball! U look tan toO!!!
    Thanks for the AG discount!!! YUMMY! i will definetly be stocking up! thanks for working your magic!

  • michelle
    November 27, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Yummy and fun! Bacon brittle… DROOL!! I made Caramel Bacon- it was the HIT of Thanksgiving! 😀 Bacon + sweet = heaven. Enjoy your Friday!

  • jenna
    November 27, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    omg jenna! your thanksgiving defs tops all of the others i have seen 🙂 everything looks so yummy!

  • Light Delight with TouTou
    November 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    That’s incredible beautiful view !!!
    Bacon brittle? Looks very yummmm, though I have never tried that before;D

  • amy
    November 27, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    bacon brittle- OMG heaven!!!! What an awesome foodie life you have out there! Boy you are one lucky girl! You look beautiful and so happy! That is what life is all about! Continue to eat and drink to your heart’s content! You are an awesome inspiration of what a happy truly healthy girl is!

  • Jesse
    November 27, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Yummy what does the Bacon Brittle taste like?

  • Ameena
    November 27, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Bacon Brittle? The desserts look amazing!!

  • ellen eats beets
    November 27, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Looks like the tastiest thanksgiving yet!!

  • Sally
    November 27, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Girl, you are glowing in those pictures. So fun to see someone living the life they were meant for; thanks for sharing! The food looks fabulous as does the vino!

  • Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun)
    November 27, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Bacon Brittle? That’s outstanding!

    You weren’t kidding when you said you had a crazy re-cap in store for us. So many things about this post that I j’adore. The vibrant Fall view, the gorgeously shot photos, the brussel sporuts with figs and bacon, the deliciously prepped pork, the crazy amount of pies and yummy desserts…it’s all so overwhelming!

    It is funny where life leads us. I’m glad life has led you somewhere healthy and happy. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg
    November 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Looks like a wonderful celebration. Thanks for sharing that view!!

  • Julie
    November 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    What an awesome night! You look so happy Jenna 🙂 You have such a cool friend family!

  • megan
    November 27, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    what a wonderful meal! sounds perfect 🙂 gorgeous food and fun people. and so much to be thankful for right? 🙂

  • Jo
    November 27, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    It’s so awesome how things have turned out for you.

  • Jenny @JennyLikesToRun, on a mission to run a marathon for charity!
    November 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Happy thanksgiving! Sounds like you had a brilliant time 🙂

  • Jenny @JennyLikesToRun, on a mission to run a marathon for charity!
    November 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Happy thanksgiving! Sounds like you had a brilliant time 🙂

  • maria
    November 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I’m not so sure about those pork sandwiches, but everything else looks divine! Especially the pies!

  • Denise
    November 27, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Like everyone else, BACON BRITTLE???


  • Meg
    November 27, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    What a beautiful Thanksgiving – sounds like you had such a good time, and the view/food/everything is absolutely incredible, and you look stunning, as usual! I hope you’re having a great day!

  • Paige@ RunningAroundNormal
    November 27, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Wow! What a Thanksgiving! I feel lilke I should be watching this on TV haha. Bacon brittle?!?! Really? haha love it! Looks like quite the spread with quite the group of people with QUITE the copious amount of wine. Happy Thanksgiving, Jenna 😀

  • Katy H. @ These Beautiful Feet
    November 27, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Your spread looks INCREDIBLE!! It looks like you had an absolute blast. I’m glad you had a great time and ejoyed amazing food and company. What a perfect holiday to be surrounded by people so passionate about food and wine. Also, what a view! I absolutely love everything about Sonoma county. Gorgeous. 🙂

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner
    November 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Wow it is so gorgeous where you are! And those pies looked pretty good too 😉

  • Jenn
    November 27, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    a little unrelated – just wondering where you watch the top chef episodes online – can’t find a good site! thanks.

  • Carissa
    November 27, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Uuummm….do you need a roommate?! 😉 Sonoma looks gooorgeous in the fall!! That tasty spread doesn’t look too shabby either.. I’d still be in stretch pants if I’d had a Turkey day like yours. So glad you’re enjoying your new life on the westcoast. Happy. Thanksgiving.

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)
    November 27, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Thanks for the promo code!!
    Bacon brittle!!!! Seriously!!?? Amazing!

  • Julie @savvyeats
    November 27, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    That looks like the most amazing Thanksgiving dinner ever!

  • Krissy - Single Serving
    November 28, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Everything looks so delicious! Sounds like you had a fabulous day!

  • CaitlinRose
    November 28, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    That actually doesn’t sound like a whole lot of food that you ate! amazing restraint. . . but maybe it’s because you know that you have the chance to have more amazzzzing food during the rest of your CA adventure. I would have gone much more nuts on all that! Bacon Brittle!? wow. yum.

    • jenna
      November 28, 2009 at 7:20 pm


      Ummmmm I pretty much ate 30 lbs of food and was in pain at the end of the night. Looks can be deceiving.

  • Laura Georgina
    November 29, 2009 at 6:13 am

    I would happily give up Thanksgiving turkey for Thanksgiving pork belly sandwiches! What an amazing spread….. I seriously need to go find myself some nice cheffy friends. I hope you had an awesome time!

  • Scott
    November 29, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Wow, that is a Thanksgiving feast for the ages! Happy Thanksgiving!

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    December 24, 2009 at 1:52 pm

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