Tag Archives: Hosting Thanksgiving

Tips for Hosting your Best Thanksgiving Part 2: Dinner

ThanksgivingheaderThanksgiving is right around the corner. There is still extra time for a few hosting tips. We have covered the ambiance for the dinner and you’ve gotten all your guests in the Thanksgiving mood, now what about the dinner?  Here are a few tips to enhance the dinner for you and your guests.

Style of Dinner: How are you planning on serving your dinner? To think about this question, you first need to know how many guests you are serving. Here is a breakdown of your options and tips to have the best experience with them all.

thanksgivingbuffet  A buffet is a good fit for any size crowd, but it especially works best for a crowd of 30 or more people. There is a special technique for serving your dinner buffet style. Place the plates and napkins at the beginning of the line, use another table separate from the food if space allows. Set the forks by the actual place settings, this will free your guests’ hands while perusing the buffet line.

Also, when setting up your buffet, try to place your food at different levels if you are not using warmers. Doing it this way people won’t risk dropping sleeves in the next dish and it looks nice.   Place some dishes flat on the table. Then use some beautifully decorated boxes, books or pumpkins to place other dishes on.  If you need to keep your dishes warm because of longer serving times, then use warmers.

thanksgivingfamilystyle    Family style is a popular choice for a Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s typically better for medium to smaller guests size.  Serve the dishes in medium to small dishes. This arrangement offers more table space and enough for everyone to have seconds, even if you have to refill dishes or have more than one of a particular dish on the table.

plated dinner

A plated dinner isn’t the most popular for a Thanksgiving dinner, but it can be done. You, the host, will have picked a menu already for the dinner. You can offer your guests different meats with the same sides for everyone. You can set the table and have everything your guests will need on the table; salads, bread, utensils, condiments etc. Then plates can be served, already fixed with your guests’ choice of meat with the accompanying sides picked for this dinner. This usually works for small to medium guests sizes as well. Like a family style dinner, it also can work for the number of people your table fits comfortably.

Don’t forget to carve the meats into perfect slices. Also, make sure to provide the perfect serving utensils to help your guests properly transfer the food from the platter onto their plates.

Dinner: What are you serving? I’m sure you have your menu set already. but here are few extras or twist on the normal Thanksgiving food.

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Bacon Wrapped Sausage and Portobello Mushroom Stuffed Turkey Roulade

This is not your every Thanksgiving type of turkey.  This is a turkey tenderloin flavored by the sausage and portobello mushrooms that are stuffed inside. Don’t forget the bacon! I would add maple flavored bacon instead of hickory. (Click the picture for the full recipe.)

Italian Sausage, Mushroom & Chestnut Stuffing

This is a twist on your regular stuffing! I’m feeling the Italian sausage used here! (Click the photo for the full recipe.)

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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Salted Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin and Cheesecake! Both desserts are a holiday favorite for most! Here they are put together with a salted caramel sauce to remind you that Fall and Thanksgiving are really here! (Click the photo for the complete recipe.)

The Drinks: You must have a signature drink for your Thanksgiving dinner! I’ve found all kinds but here are a few that you will not resist including in your dinner menu next week. These drinks will surely add something special to your Thanksgiving even if they are served without alcohol.

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Pass the Turkey

The Pass the Turkey is one of the first drinks I’ve ever seen made with Wild Turkey! I would be eager to try this one just because of that fact. It’s also got cranberries in it too! (Click the picture for the recipe.)

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Apple Pumpkin Martini

The best of both worlds! This drink embodies the Fall and Thanksgiving together. A mix I would never imagine, but one I’m sure is tasty! (Click the photo for the recipe.)

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Apple Cider Sangria

Sangria is one of my favorite drinks but when you add apple cider to it, it turns it up 10 notches! Try this recipe! (Click the picture for the complete recipe.)

We hope that you have enjoyed this post as well as Part 1! Have a Happy Thanksgiving from your  friends at Plan the Day Event Services!

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Tips for Hosting your Best Thanksgiving Part 1: The Ambiance

ThanksgivingheaderThanksgiving is usually focused on the scrumptious foods and drinks. As an event planner, I’m thinking, what about the ambiance? Is the room decorated? What does the table look like? I know you’re probably saying, “I will have worked all night and day in the kitchen, I’ll pass” Don’t! Creating the thanksgiving theme throughout your home in more than just the dinner will make your meal even more worth all the hours of tears and sweat you put into it. Not to mention, the pictures you show to brag on your holiday efforts will be lovely to look at it.

Here are few ideas for creating Thanksgiving ambiance:

Set the table: It’s a general Thanksgiving tradition that you eat with your family and friends at a large table on Thanksgiving. Why not set the table? Make it pretty and give your guest something to admire while you put the finishing touches on dinner. Check out some of these “tablescapes”.

I love the pattern on the tablecloth! The blue accessories bring out the blue in the tablecloth and it is a perfect combination with the color orange that is usually associated with Thanksgiving decor!
Isn’t it amazing how in July these same colors represent our patriotic celebration? However, here it is used as a beautiful display for a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. The rich red runner resembles the red colored leaves in the Fall. Great combination!
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Love the angle of this photo! They used gold chargers underneath the white plates which brings out the orange in the napkins perfectly! The pattern in the runner is wonderful for lush ambiance of the candles and plants placed on it. This is beautiful eye candy for the table!

Decorate the room: Now, that you have set the table, don’t forget the rest of the room. Before your guests even reach the dinner table the room has to speak Thanksgiving!  Pumpkins here, an acorn or two there… Here are some decorating ideas:

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Here are two ways you can use candles to brighten your decor. Cranberries are a sign of fall and the holidays as well as acorns! Place them both as a mix around the candles or do as shown in the pictures! Place these around the room or even add them to your table! 
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Love the way they used the wine glasses as a candle holder. I’ve seen this done all over for different occasions by changing the candle size and color! Love it here!
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Grab your Fall favorites and throw them in a decorative bowl and you have a beautiful Fall piece!

Do something: Thanksgiving is a special time to reflect on things you are thankful for. Set aside a time during your festivities to share them in fun and creative ways! Here are a few:

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It’s called the Gratitude Jar! Simply print a label for your jar and fill it full of your family’s responses to a series of fun and unique gratitude prompts. Connect them in a chain-like manner to create a Gratitude chain! Click the picture for the free “printables”!
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Don’t forget the kids! Give them something to do while the adults are chatting during dinner! Click the photo for the free printable!
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You can use your place mats as a place where people can write out what they are grateful for. Then go around the room and have the person sitting to the left of each person share their neighbors blessings!

Hosts, I hope that you have gained lots of ideas for your Thanksgiving dinner! Decorations are for more than Christmas! Every event you throw should have some type of ambiance created by you, the fabulous host!

Stay Tuned for Next Week’s post on more ways to kick up your Thanksgiving!