Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Thanksgiving is More than a Harvest Festival! by Connie Vines #RomanceGems


1. the expression of gratitude, especially to God."he offered prayers in thanksgiving for his safe arrival"

2.    (in North America) an annual national holiday marked by religious observances and a traditional meal including turkey. The holiday commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621, and is held in the US on the fourth Thursday in November. A similar holiday is held in Canada, usually on the second Monday in October.

What does this season represent to you? 

I am blessed with a loving family, extended family, and friends.  My immediate family is able to gather-together and celebrate holidays in each other’s homes and places of worship.

I’d like to add a 21st century spin on ‘gratitude’ for my Romance Gems Blog post this November.  

What is this author thankful for in 2019?  Here are 30 of my favorite things:

1. Dishwashers.

2. The Hallmark Channel holiday specials.

3. Your parents—because no matter how old you are, they can still solve any problem
4. Fireplaces.

5. The local farmer’s market.

6. The time you get to spend re-reading your favorite books, even if you mask it as “bedtime stories.”

7. Roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, and all of the fall flavors (Yes, even in SoCal, we have fall).

8. Sunday afternoons with coffee and a good book.

10. Slow-cookers.

12. Quirky traditions that make your family special.

18. Google.

19. Holiday recipes that have been passed down through the family for generations.

20. Your health—even on days when it isn’t perfect.

22. Your children and your siblings

23. Baby giggles.

24. Puppies!

25. Friendships, new and old.

26. Your support system—be it at work, at home, or spread out all over the country.

27. The snooze button.

28. Laundry machines.

29. The people in your life who have been stand-in mothers and fathers whenever you’ve needed them.

30. Color-coordinated office supplies and freshly cut flowers.

In Celebration of a Fall Harvest

Here’s a recipe to warm everyone’s tummy and cause the children to giggle at the word-play:

Orange You Glad Thanksgiving Soup* Food Network

Prep Time: Five minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup pulpy orange juice
2 boxes frozen butternut squash puree
2 or 3 cups chicken/turkey broth
Grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
1 tablespoon orange zest, for garnish


1. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. When butter has melted, add the onion and carrots, and cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze with the orange juice and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.

2. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or a blender. Puree the mixture until smooth, then return to pot over medium heat. To mixture, add the frozen butternut squash puree and the chicken broth and stir to combine. Adjust the seasoning. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Grate some fresh nutmeg and stir to combine.

3. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chopped thyme and orange zest.

Grateful, Thankful, Blessed—that's what we Romance Gems Authors feel. Join us this month in celebrating the Life Lessons we all learn. Click the link and enter our November Rafflecopter now for a chance to win 1 of 5 Amazon Gift Cards.

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Wishing you and yours a Blessed Thanksgiving Season,




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Dishin' It Out


  1. What a great list of your thankfuls. I love it. Also love the title of your book. I'm thankful to be in a group of such sharing and creative authors.

  2. What a wonderful post! I love my Gems group and a host of other groups that I belong to. I'm grateful for our new home and being able to watch the deer strolling through our front yard throughout the day, a gray fox that has dropped by to visit, the cats and kittens from next door playing or snoozing on our front porch, the family of raccoons waddling by, all the What can I say? I love wildlife.

  3. I’m fond of laundry machines too! And I’ll be trying this soup recipe next time I have leftover turkey.

  4. So thankful for this amazing group of writers! It is always nice to focus on what we have and be grateful for that!

  5. I love your list, Connie. And I look forward to making the soup.

  6. That's a great list, Connie. Thanks for the soup recipe. I actually have pulpy OJ and butternut squash so I'm going to try it!

  7. Wow this soup recipe looks wonderful. Going to try it.


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