Happy November! This marks the season of gatherings, doesn’t it? With Thanksgiving coming up in a few weeks, that’s my focus for this month’s entertaining tips. Thanksgiving is known for being all about tradition, but I think that all too often leads to feeling like everything has to be picture perfect, when that’s really not the case.
When I think of childhood Thanksgiving dinners, they were never picture perfect, straight-laced, formal affairs. They always involved loud kids, comfy outfits, chilly Kentucky weather, and super long tables of potluck style food. As I got older and got really into entertaining, I remember making centerpieces with cloves stuck into oranges and beautifully undone floral arrangements.
Thanksgiving should be a fun time when family gets together, eat good food, make pretty things, and enjoy each other’s company, so that’s really what I hope to get across in this and any of my future Thanksgiving posts.
Make It Easy: Use a chef-approved menu.
Aside from actually preparing the food, creating your Thanksgiving menu is probably the most time intensive thing. To make it easy, pick a pre-determined menu from a website like Saveur and make everything on it. They’re chef created and approved, so you know everything will taste good together. Plus, they have everything from classic menus to ones like classic southern, traditional New England, vegetarian, and Mexican inspired.
Drink of Choice: Sparking Cranberry Punch
When I think of classic flavors for November, one that quickly comes to mind is cranberry and I love it because it’s both sweet and tart. For a really easy, delicious drink, mix together cranberry juice, club soda (you could even try LaCroix’s cranberry flavor) or ginger ale, frozen cranberries, and lemon juice.
Hostess Gift: Caramel Apple Kit
I think this is the cutest idea for a hostess gift. There are few things more autumnal than a caramel apple and this little DIY kit has everything you need to make them. Pick up a cute little basket from HomeGoods or Michaels and fill it with fresh apples, homemade caramel sauce (or those single serve packages from the grocery store), popsicle sticks, and then decorate the basket as you wish.
Easy Appetizer: Butternut Squash, Sage, and Goat Cheese Crostini
I love crostini as an appetizer because it’s so versatile. Since it’s literally just toasted baguette slices with toppings, you can make one work for any season and any theme. For a November party, toast baguette slices and top with a slathering of goat cheese, sage leaves, and roasted butternut squash.
Decor Staple: Rosemary Sprigs
With twine, tie a sprig of rosemary around your napkins. Use it as a centerpiece in vases. Attach a sprig to your candle glasses. Make little wreaths to place on the plates. There are so many things you can do with rosemary, and they all smell amazing.
When I think of Thanksgiving outfits (which I’ll be posting more about soon), I always think of a balance of comfort and casual chic. Pair some comfy cuffed jeans with an oversized turtleneck and cozy socks. When you have to head outside, put on a pair of tan ankle boots and accessorize with a silk head scarf to keep your hair out of the food!