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Entertaining

Thanksgiving Dinner Made Easy

Making the holidays enjoyable again with Whole Foods
Filed Under > Entertaining

Between juggling the shop, the blog, travel, and everything else that comes with the season, this year I decided to make Thanksgiving easy. No three-day food prep, no failed recipes, no arguments in the kitchen. No none of that. This year, I was going to actually enjoy the only day I have off and let Whole Foods do the heavy lifting for me.

You see, Whole Foods is just waiting to make all of your holiday dreams come true with their massive holiday menu! From charcuterie boards and bacon wrapped apps, to turkeys, hams, pies, and all the sides you could dream up, Whole Foods has the holidays covered.

They cook it, and all you do is finish it in the oven and place it onto the table.  It’s that easy.  But seriously, it’s that easy.  They send you on your merry way with very detailed instructions that even someone who’s never cooked a day in their life could handle.  And I loved the fact that while Whole Foods takes you 90% of the way there is a little work that you still have to put into it so I felt as if I had actually cooked the meal.

As far as the meal itself, I went with the Festive Feast for 12, and it was a feast.  Every single thing was delicious, and we had leftovers for days. But if I was playing favorites I’d say it had to be the ham, the creamed kale and spinach, and the apple pie. The next day I poured the creamed kale and spinach over tortilla chips and added a little salsa and it was like heaven.  Highly recommend that little leftover.

While I did go with the Festive Feast for 12, I love that you don’t have to go with a full feast and can just pick and choose, truly creating your own custom menu. So if you love baking pies, or the turkeys your thing, but don’t want to mess with the sides you can just get Whole Food’s sides.  If the sides are your thing, but you don’t want to mess up that big glorious bird, you can just order the turkey.  Whatever will make your Thanksgiving enjoyable again, you can make happen with a little help from Whole Foods. 

And of course, Whole Foods being Whole Foods, they’ve got plenty of options for vegans, vegetarians, grain free, Keto-friendly, and whatever else seems to be the diet trend this year.

And I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the cost.  I knew, being Whole Foods the food quality would be bar none, but what shocked me was how reasonably priced everything was.  It was the least expensive Thanksgiving dinner I’ve EVER hosted.  Ever!

So, the only question left to really answer is are you going to make Thanksgiving stressful this year, or are you going to be like me kicked back with a glass of wine and actually enjoying the day! Truly, MKR

Photography, Rustic White Interiors | This post is in collaboration with Whole Foods, a brand I love and adore.  Opinoins and images are 100% my own.

Everything You Need To Set the Thanksgiving Table

From flatware to bar carts turned pie carts I'm sharing my tips for setting your holiday table
Filed Under > Entertaining

Pinecone Candlesticks | Rose Gold Flatware |Gourd Plates |  Wine Glasses | Pumpkin Staub |Emile Henry Ruffled Pie Dish | Emile Henry Baking Dish | Taper Candles

With November basically here I’m officially in full Thanksgiving Dinner prep mode. While I love everything that comes with hosting during the holidays, my favorite part has got to be setting the table for the big dinner itself. And over the years through setting my fair share of tables I’ve learned that no matter what you’re celebrating there’s always a few items that make getting the table holiday ready easier than ever which I thought I’d share with y’all today.

First up, flatware. There’s no better way to dress up a table than with metallic flatware. Gold or rose gold flatware make every dinner party feel a bit more like an occasion, and will be perfect for any and every holiday you celebrate.

A few years ago finding flatware that was any color other than silver was incredibly difficult and often expensive.  Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. For example, the rose gold flatware shown here is only $15 per setting! And this gold set I found is only $65 for an entire 24 piece setting complete with a case! They’re even making disposable sets in gold that look almost like the real thing.

Another signature holiday table move of mine is switching out the salad plates.  Trust me when I say, there’s no one that would rather have enough room to store, or money to spend, on numerous holiday place settings.  If storage or money were of no issue I’d have a new place setting each season! So how do I keep things fresh, while not breaking the bank or bursting at the closet-door-seams…I switch out my salad/dessert plates.  

I often start my place setting with my classic white dinner plates and then dress the white up with a festive salad or dessert plate like these gourd plates.  This way your table doesn’t feel like an everyday setting, and you’re not worried about how much you spent, or where you’re going to store them next month.  And trust me this works for every season; I love these ones for Christmas!

A word to the wise, make sure you get round white everyday plates.  I made the mistake of registering for oblong ones when we got married which are awkward and don’t work with any other plate in my cupboard.

Lastly, don’t overcrowd the table.  Thanksgiving, or any dinner party for that matter, should be focused on spending time with the ones you love. Nothing is worse than having a guest more worried about where they’re going to set a dish or if they’re going to spill that bottle of wine, than conversing with their neighbor. How I handle this dilemma is by utilizing my bar cart.

During dinner parties or holiday celebrations, my bar cart is wheeled over to the table where it plays the integral role of both beverage dispenser and pie cart. By keeping both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic bottles off the table it allows for conversation to flow and the guests who talk with their hands like myself, to joyfully recount stories without worrying of knocking anything over.  And I’d much rather have my collection of Staub Pumpkin baking dishes gracing the table rather than empty bottles of wine.  Plus doesn’t the cart make the most perfect setting for all the holiday pies?

And much like the flatware I spoke about earlier, bar carts are extremely reasonably priced now.  I like this one and this one if you’re looking for your cart to serve in more of this capacity than full-time bar.

So whether it’s your first time hosting, or you’re an old pro, I hope sharing my go-to entertaining tips helped. And most importantly I hope your Thanksgiving is full of what’s truly important: family, friends, great food, and plenty of thankfulness.  Truly, MKR
 


 

Photography, Rustic White Interiors | This post is in collaboration with eBay, a company I love and adore.  All opinions and images are 100% my own.

DIY S’mores Tray

With temps finally dropping, now is the perfect time to build a fire & build some s'mores
Filed Under > Desserts

Last weekend we hosted some of our closest friends and their little ones from out of town.  When planning out our evening and trying to figure out something that was both and adult and kid friendly I had the idea of creating a DIY s’mores station. I mean I already had a ton of candy for Halloween, and who doesn’t love a S’more?! And while S’mores have been billed a summer treat, I feel there’s no better time to enjoy a S’more than by the fire on a chilly fall evening. 

Building your own DIY S’Mores tray is extremely simple, and a great way to get the kids involved. Using a large galvanized tin tray that has been my go-to for BBQ’s and patio drinks for years now and just happens to be on sale, I added three different kinds of graham crackers; chocolate, regular, and cinnamon. And then kept it classic with jumbo marshmallows, Hershey Bars, and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. 

You can go “gourmet” with your S’Mores tray and add all sorts of different high-end chocolates, but I argue against it. I’ve tried fancy S’Mores at numerous places, but nothing beats the melt and classic taste of a Hershey Bar. To finish the tray off simply add plates or napkins, and get your roasting sticks ready.  I had the hubs grab sticks from the neighborhood for roasting, but if you’re looking for a more permanent solution I love these marshmallow roasting sticks

After the tray was built all that was left to do was cozy up the space with plenty of blankets and pillows and build a fire. We have an extremely small backyard, but that doesn’t prevent us from utilizing every square inch of the space we do have. Which of course includes a fire pit.  We used to have a larger fire pit, but found that took up too much of the coveted small space. So this year I opted for a smaller and very inexpensive version. After one full season of use, I’m extremely happy with the results. It’s easy to move and store out of the way when we’re not using it but gets the job done when we’re ready to cozy up with an evening fire.

So next time you have friends over for dinner, or want to get the kids outside, throw a few logs on the fire and build this super simple S’mores tray for the perfect way to end any evening. Truly, MKR

 


 

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