The holidays are here and before I skip to all things Christmas, I want to focus on Thanksgiving dinner. I feel like this year more people are skipping fall decor and going straight to Christmas trees! For those who still decorate for fall or who are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, then check out some inspo for your Thanksgiving tablescape this year! Also, here are some helpful tips if you are hosting for the first time or maybe just something that you haven't seen before!
1. Make lists+ prep, prep, prep//
Write down what you're making, make a list of all the groceries you'll need and also make a list of what days you're making each item on. I start thinking about the menu about 3 weeks beforehand and start making a grocery list based on each dish being served. Example: Green Bean Casserole - (lists all ingredients needed to make this dish...and so on)
Prepare and cook as much as you can the day(s) before Thanksgiving so you are just left with Turkey and any small tasks the day of. I mean pretty much everything
-Make sure you defrost your turkey properly if it's frozen. More than likely it will be. We set ours in the fridge on Monday so it defrosts slowly and completely. This step is very important
-We put our turkey in the oven really early that morning and let it cook all day. Make sure you take out the gizzards (the packet) that's inside the turkey before you cook it
-If you make your casseroles the day before, leave off any toppings and then add them when you reheat it on Thanksgiving! If you reheat anything that has cream, add a little milk when reheating it to liven it up.
-Mashed Potatoes can be made way ahead of time and then you can freeze them. Place in the fridge to thaw the day or two before and then stick them in the slow cooker to reheat (add a little milk) the day of
-Pies and most dessert can be made ahead of time
-Even make sure your table is set up the night before
-Also, pick out an outfit beforehand! Make sure you can handle food/look cute in and start getting ready at least two hours before you expect guests to arrive. Even if it's getting ready little by little throughout the day in-between eating and prepping
2. Invest in a buffet server/use crockpot
This item is a lifesaver for keeping food warm while everyone is settling in and you're waiting to eat dinner. I'd even say get two, depending on how much food you're serving (linked one below under 'serving') Guests will be able to serve themselves and the food will stay warm for second rounds. Also, have a crockpot? Use it to keep whatever you need warm as well! Since you will more than likely have more than one food item to keep warm, an additional heating element will be helpful. An oven can be used but then you have to set everything out and will likely get cold
3. Have a cocktail or wine ready//
Have a featured cocktail that I have set up at my bar cart (on sale rn) or wine ready for people to serve themselves when they arrive. Apple Cider Old Fashioneds is a good one or White Sangria or Pumpkin Pie Spiced Mules
4. Don't forget to set the items in the fridge out for dinner//
I think we are infamous for leaving cranberry sauce or anything that is chilled in the fridge! We are always so focused on keeping everything hot that we don't think to look in the fridge for the cold items. You can set a timer on your phone for around when you plan on having dinner that tells you to set things in fridge on the table
5. Use a cooler to store condiments or items you aren't using//
Use a cooler to store items you're not using for Thanksgiving dinner to make more room in your fridge for items you are using! You will be glad you have the extra room, trust me!
Don't stress. Don't forget to shower. No one knows your vision/plan/menu (don't print a menu out) so just focus on what you can and forget the rest. It's all about visiting anyway!
Starter: Mushroom + Brie Soup, House Salad
Main: Oven Roasted Turkey marinated in Mojo
Sides: Green Bean Casserole (I use the mushroom and brie soup for a base, I just thicken it up with flour for casserole), Sweet Potato Soufflé, Creamy Mashed Potatoes + House Gravy, Caramelized Carrots, Uncle D's Mac n' Cheese, Sage + Sausage Dressing, Cranberry Orange Relish from TJ's
I also included some decor for you that you'll receive in time for Thanksgiving and that I purchased for my tablescape
Thanks for reading!