Surprise! I’m back!! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving… I know I did. But we’ll get to Thanksgiving in a second.

I know I have been absent for the past 54 days, but I have been busy going to school, doing some volunteer work, and blogging for a couple of campus blogs.

For instance, I made Día de los Muertos cookies (see here!) for Halloween. It was so much fun learning about how different cultures celebrate Halloween and the cookies ended up looking pretty cool. I cheated a little and used store-bought cookie dough, but if you have a stand mixer, by all means, make your own. It is a great project to do with kids, or in my case, other graduate students.

In between studying, writing papers, and covering my kitchen with frosting and M&Ms, I decided that a substantial dinner that did not feature Halloween candy was in order. It was also imperative that I started to eat the chicken breasts I have frozen since the beginning of the semester. Since time is limited in graduate school and the ingredients are cheap, I whipped up my version of “Skinny Chicken Parm”. You can find the recipe here! It was the perfect dinner that transported me back to my days in Italy. I also wrote a short piece on five things that you can do with chicken breasts, just in case you have a freezer full of chicken breasts and want some inspiration on what to do with them.

As Thanksgiving approached and the mountain of work began to shrink, I decided that it was time to pull out a fall staple – apple crisp pie (here’s my recipe). It was divine, photographed like a dream, and my mother actually special requested it for Thanksgiving dinner. It was the perfect hybrid between the English apple crisp and down-home American apple pie. Nothing says Thanksgiving than family and apple pie.

I was busy these past 54 days, but am thankful that I got to relax on Thanksgiving break with my family and friends. My family and I started new food traditions, creating a holiday meal that spanned traditional to contemporary, American staples and Greek delicacies. I learned how to roast a turkey, make bread stuffing, and homemade cranberry sauce. It was the perfect grad school foodie experience!

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you start any new food traditions? What are your favorite food traditions?

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