You guys! We survived another Thanksgiving with the in-laws. I don’t mean we “survived”, in a bad way. I mean, nothing insane happened. The first year I hosted, I clogged the garbage disposal with potato peels. The next year, Jason’s niece was an hour late (with her three kids, so we couldn’t start dinner with so many guests not present).
Last year, I took two back to back media trips, and we were taking care of our nephew on weekends, and I just did not have the energy to host. I may have dropped my iPhone in the bath last week, and our hot water heater stopped working. But thanks to an amazing electrician, the water heater was fixed on Friday. My phone dried out, and by Sunday all was right in the world.
I kept the decor simple this year. I kept it simple, mainly because after weeks of lusting over tablescapes, I waited to late to actually shop. I thought two weeks before was enough time, but apparently every store is already in Christmas mode. Luckily, I snagged these fun appetizer plates from Target, back in September. Actually, as far as fall decor goes, I was on my game way early, minus the table.
The menu: I prepped as much as I could between Saturday night, and Sunday morning. I have never done this before, and honestly, if you’re ever in charge of most of the feast, I strongly suggest this! It made the afternoon of, so much smoother for yours truly. I left appetizers, and dessert to my in-laws this year. As always, I use this guide to plan my menu. I bought most everything from Winn-Dixie (p.s. my giveaway ends tomorrow – enter here!)
Turkey: This is the first year I opted to roast a turkey breast, instead of a whole bird. We always have so much leftover, that by actual Thanksgiving, I am over turkey. This was a much smarter idea. Of course, I went with Ina for the recipe. We roasted at 8am, and then reheated in the oven right before serving. The recipe called for one cup of white wine (I used Pinot Grigio), which kept this bird moist, even after reheating.
Greens: Instead of salad this year, I added an extra side of veggies. These Green Beans with Bacon, were a huge hit!
Side [veggie]: My Smoked Gouda and Cauliflower Casserole – I intentionally made this so I had a healthier leftover for the week. I made this casserole the night before, and reheated for twenty minutes right before we ate.
Side [Starch]: I have a go-to easy recipe for my own mashed potatoes, using red skin potatoes. But I was watching Gaby’s snapchat, and saw her mention these Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes from What’s Gaby Cooking, annnd I already had Mascarpone in the fridge #holla. I made these early on Saturday, and reheated on low in the slow-cooker.
I also made a cornbread stuffing, that always goes over well. I actually am always super disappointed in the pre-made bags of stuffing mix at the store (it’s way too fine, in my opinion), so I made homemade cornbread the night before, let it dry out, and prepped the day of.
My life is not complete with a batch of homemade cranberry sauce. I made this on Friday, and stored in a mason jar.
Drinks: For the third year in a row, I’ve made this sangria. I always want to make something new, but this is just too good to change it up.
We also made my Peppermint Mocha Latte, at the last minute with dessert. Something warm, and non-boozy as we ended the day.
Hoping you all get a little break with your loved ones this Thanksgiving! xo