Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thanksgiving Entertaining 2009 Diva/Divo Style

In celebration of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday out featured cocktail tonight is the Pumpkin Pie Martini.  To make this drink you will need:

• 2 parts Absolut Vanila Vodka
• 1 part pumpkin schnapps
• Splash of cream
• Sprinkle of nutmeg

Directions: shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with nutmeg and a dollop of whipped cream.
In an effort to having a stress-free Thanksgiving holiday this year, we thought we would share some strategies/tips to planning a wonderful holiday that can be enjoyed by all. The key to having a stress-free Thanksgiving is pre-planning. Below we have provided you with some guidelines to ensure your holiday goes smoothly.

One Week Before Thanksgiving
  • Stock up on your holiday decor. Now is the time to purchase extra pumpkins, gourds, potted mums and holiday decorations left over from Halloween. Great places to check out for some super good deals would be Michaels, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's and lets not forget the ever so popular Dollar Stores. Check the Sunday paper for coupons so you can take advantage of extra savings when shopping.
  • Confirm your guest list. Call friends and family members that you have invited to ensure that they are coming over. If you would like them to bring something special for the day now would be a good time to confirm that as well.
  • Take an inventory of table and kitchen supplies. Make arrangements to borrow or rent any items that you will need including:
               o tables
               o chairs
               o dinnerware
               o linen
               o glassware
               o flatware
               o serving platters and bowls
               o serving spoons and ladles

  • Clean the house thoroughly so you can focus on other projects for the next few days. Survey your surfaces. If there are any visible stains on your chairs or carpets, either schedule to have a cleaning service come out or schedule some time to do the cleaning yourself.
  • Start planning your menu.
          o Are you planning on serving turkey or a ham or maybe both? Will you be preparing the food or are  
             you going to have it prepared by a specialty store? (i.e. Honey Baked Ham) If getting your main 
            dish from a specialty store, make sure you order it early and make plans to pick it up one to two
            days prior to your event.

          oStart gathering all of your recipes of the dishes that you are planning to make now. Next go through
            your cabinets to make sure you have all of the necessary ingredients prior to making the dish. Any
            miss ingredients go on your grocery list.

          o Check your spices. Toss out any spices that are past their prime and add tem to your shopping list.

          o Go shopping early for all of your non-perishable items.

  • Order your centerpiece from your local florist or if making your own centerpiece this year starts shopping for supplies.
  • Iron you table linens and polish all your silver.
  • Purchase wine, beer, spirits (for your cocktails) and soft drinks.
  • Select your music(check out
  • If using a frozen turkey, plan the day that you will begin to defrost it in the refrigerator. The rule of thumb is to allow one day of thawing for every five pounds of turkey.

Three Days Before:
  • Purchase all your perishable items.
  • Bake and freeze any pies and other desserts that can be frozen.

Two Days Before:
  • Begin cleaning and chopping any vegetables for the stuffing/dressing and side dishes and refrigerate.
  • Take out your roasting pan, meat thermometer and any specialty kitchen equipment that you keep tucked away during the rest of the year.
  • Prepare recipes that can be refrigerated for two days such as dips, soups and cranberry sauce.
  • Make a written plan for cooking your meat and other dishes for Thanksgiving.

One Day Before:
  • Clean the guest powder room.
  • Give your house a once over making sure to dust and vacuum all rooms guests.
  • Clean and season your turkey, then refrigerate it.
  • Finish preparing and bake your pies.
  • Prepare and refrigerate your stuffing/dressing.
  • Pick up your centerpiece if it's not being delivered. If you’re making your centerpiece do it today.
  • Set up your drink station/dessert station (buy ice if needed)

Thanksgiving Day:
  • Roast turkey and stuffing/dressing.
  • Ask someone to pick up any bread or rolls you'll need for your dinner.
  • Finish preparing appetizers, first courses, and/or side dishes.
  • Make the gravy.
  • Turn on your music. (don't forget to check out Pandora)
  • Light the candles.
  • Take a few minutes before your guests arrive to freshen yourself and relax.
  • Welcome your guests, set out the food, and count your blessings!
Happy Thanksgiving!

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