What a week! Our family started it on a high note with a long weekend trip to the Monterey Peninsula on the Central California coast. Food-wise, we made it out to restaurants a couple of times, but mostly, meals were reduced to stocking our mini-fridge with Trader Joe’s and making use of the little microwave. Such is how you keep sane when traveling with a preschooler.

Such a gorgeous area, Monterey. We stayed in Pacific Grove, an adorable town with loads of amazing old Victorian homes, priced so sky-high that you can’t even remotely dream of retiring there – as much as you’d like to. I do still love visiting.

Our daughter adored the migrating monarch butterflies – thousands of them! – and the expansive, soft-sanded beach in Carmel. The ocean is intense all around the peninsula – no gentle waves lapping at the shore, nope, not here. You just can’t help but gape at the raw power of it all.

Speaking of power, how about that election folks? Oy. But I’m pretty sure you’re not here to talk politics and I plan to respect that.

I don’t have much to share this week as most of our time has been spent on one of the two subjects I’ve listed above. Oh, right, and more vet bills …

Family Bits

Nine seven lives. Our kitten Blossom is doing better overall, though unfortunately she busted out her abdominal stitches. She had to go through another surgery and now she’s skulking around the house in a cone of shame. She should be okay, though. Oh Blossom.

“Maybe I’ll get better reception up here.”

A photo posted by Karen Raye (@kitchentreaty) on

And Bites!

I’m preparing to host Thanksgiving and have been trying to keep myself from obsessing too much over the menu or the tablescape.

I want everyone to feel a part of the meal this year and frankly, the less work for me and on the day-of, better. So I tried something new and asked everyone what they wanted to bring, and now I’m building the rest of the menu around that. Traditional with a meatless spin is the name of the game here, though I’m getting ready to share some more creative recipes in the coming weeks too! This week, I started cooking and freezing – the homemade cranberry sauce and vegetarian onion gravy are already in the freezer!

More delicious-looking deliciousness, for Thanksgiving or just because …

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