Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.
Happy Sunday before Thanksgiving! It’s crazy that Thanksgiving week is already here. But I’m very excited for things to slow down a bit and take a minute to chill and reflect. This was the first week in a while that I was not back and forth from the airport, and I have to say, it was nice to be home. My days are still packed full, but as I always say, for me, there’s nothing’s better than being home.
It’s been a BIG week for HBH, as we hit some serious milestones. Specifically, I’m excited to share that we now officially have over 1 million Instagram followers. I’m still in disbelief…but also so excited to be growing our little (not so little) HBH family! I have to yet again say THANK YOU to you all for following along and being truly the kindest readers. To celebrate, I have a really fun giveaway coming up on Instagram, so keep an out for that.
In addition to that huge milestone, I’m so excited that HBH Super Simple again made the New York Times bestseller list for the third week running. To say that I’m just feeling beyond loved and oh so happy would be an understatement. So many good things going on, and it’s all because you guys are so supportive. Thank you!
In other a little less exciting but still happy news, my brothers are all in town. And with the snow falling heavily, it’s really feeling like Thanksgiving is here! Kai and I spent a couple of days filming some new recipe videos and now it’s time to start thinking about some Thanksgiving prep. Are you guys cooking this year? Are any of you majorly prepping for the big meal today…I’m hoping so. If you need some menu inspiration, tips, and/or tricks, be sure you check out our 2019 Thanksgiving menu and guide. I can’t wait to see what you all make from HBH and HBH Super Simple this year! I plan to spend a good amount of time going through all your Instagram photos…favorite part of my night!
Coming up this week: I’ll be sharing a last-minute appetizer that’s big and beautiful. Then it’s on to a simple brunch recipe that’s my favorite way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers. No post on Thursday for the holiday, but I’ll be back on Friday sharing something sweet that’s best enjoyed while decking the halls or cozied up by the fire. In addition, on Saturday we’ll have the first Christmas drink of the season…I can’t wait.
And…the first part of our Anthropologie collaboration goes live this week too!
Lastly, if you’re catching up on blog posts from the week, be sure to sign up for our daily newsletters. They’ll help you to stay up to date with everything that’s happening here, as well as fun content you’ll only get via email. And of course, if you’re meal planning today, don’t forget to check out my menu below (it’s #9 on the favorite’s list).
1. A few Thanksgiving tips.
Tip: Chill Your Wine Quickly
Wrap the bottle of wine in a dampened towel and then stick it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. My brothers taught me this one and it works for cans too!
Tip: Tell Guests What to Bring
If you’re having guests bring dishes, assign them what bring so you don’t end up with multiple sweet potato casseroles. You don’t need to give them a recipe, just say bring a pie, bring sweet potato casserole, bring your favorite salad, etc. This just makes everyone’s life easier, trust me.
And on that note, there’s no reason you need to be making ALL the food. Make your favorite recipes, and then have friends and family bring everything else.
Tip: Take Help From the Store
Nothing wrong with mixing in store-bought and homemade. My favorite thing to keep on hand during the holidays is puff pastry (as you’ve probably guessed) for EASY appetizers (like my cranberry brie swirls) and dinners (like my turkey pot pie). If you don’t love making pie crust, don’t. Store-bought is great. Making my shredded Brussels sprout salad? PLEASE buy pre-shredded sprouts, it saves so much time!!
Question: what’s your favorite store-bought ingredient that saves time/stress?
Reader Tip: Butter is always the secret ingredient.
Tip: Make the House Smell Like the Holidays
With my crazy easy, holiday potpourri that simmers on the stove all day long. You can use whatever you have on hand. The must-haves, in my opinion, are cinnamon, citrus, ginger, and vanilla. Trust me, if you’re having guests over this is the perfect thing to have simmering away on the stove. Try it at Thanksgiving. It’s a great easy fix that certainly makes people feel welcomed!
Tip: Take Inventory of What’s In Your Kitchen
Take some time to sort through everything you have…and don’t have. Make sure you have everything you need for your Thanksgiving menu, including the food, kitchen utensils, pots, pans, meat thermometer, and even the Tupperware you may want to use for leftovers.
Question: what is your best Thanksgiving tip, trick, or hack? I’d love to hear them!!
Tip: Use Square and Rectangular Baking Pans
Saves so much oven space.
2. Book signing at Williams-Sonoma NYC.
Hosting a fun event and book signing at the Columbus Circle Williams-Sonoma in NYC on Wednesday, December 11th. I’ll be signing books and cooking a few recipes from HBH Super Simple, as well as answering any and all questions. It’s certainly going to be a fun night with yummy food…and drink too! I’m looking forward to it so much and can’t wait to meet some of you!
Grab your tickets here.
Also, since we’re talking HBH Super Simple, I want to share a couple of podcasts that I recorded while in LA.
First up, Live to Eat with Candace Nelson. We talk about all thing food, family, and Thanksgiving in our conversation. Candace dug deep and got my life backstory, in addition to some fun family secrets too.
Second, With Whit with Whitney Port. Whitney got all the details on how we run Half Baked Harvest, manage Instagram, and all of my Thanksgiving tips and tricks too.
3. the best skincare and beauty gifts…
4. Favorite questions of the week.
q: where did you learn to cook?
a: I’m self-taught! I really just googled any questions I had and learned mostly through trial and error! My love for food and cooking really comes from a love of cooking for others. I love making people happy through food!
q: are your cookbook recipes easily able to be made gluten-free with substitutes?
a: Yes! I would say so! You can use easy swaps like gluten-free pasta, grains, and flours. I also provide a few recommendations throughout the book, and there are naturally GF recipes as well!
q: yes or no to Thanksgiving appetizers?
a: Yes!! A lot of people don’t eat all day long and need to snack when they arrive for dinner. Plus, the appetizers will buy you time if you’re running behind. I’m sharing two new ones in the next couple of weeks that are EASY!
q: holiday gift recommendation that would be a fun/splurge for someone who likes to cook? $50-$125 ish price range.
a: An instant pot or a fun KitchenAid mixer attachment like the pasta maker!
q: are most of the recipes from the first cookbook now online?
a: Nope! Only a small handful of recipes from the books are online. Most are exclusive to the cookbooks!
5. Newest videos.
Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana…the perfect cold-weather dinner.
Roasted Butternut Squash Spinach Lasagna…because it’s a great time of year to be making lasagna.
6. Currently loving and wanting.
loving…my cinnamon noir candle. this is honestly my favorite thing right now.
loving…my Sorels. the perfect snow boot that’s actually comfy and cute.
loving…this eucalyptus and bay leaf garland for my holiday decor.
wanting…this very fancy coffee maker. I might just need to splurge this Christmas.
7. A few links i am loving…
a preview of every holiday movie coming out in November and December…my goal? watch them all.
15 easy (but delicious) dishes to bring to Thanksgiving…would love any of these.
Karlie Kloss tells AD about her family’s antique restoration business…loved reading this interview.
9 crockpot soups to make this winter…there’s nothing better than a good soup on a cold day.
how I get It done…designer Ulla Johnson
the coziest slippers to wear at home for the holidays…100% getting these for mom this Christmas.
how to maximize working from home…because it seems this is what everyone is doing these days.
10 Sephora products that are worth the cost…wanting to try many of these, but especially this cream.
2019 holiday gift guide…actually worth browsing.
7 recipes that prove cranberries are the real MVP of Thanksgiving…YESS. love cranberries most.
how to start your own holiday traditions…because I LOVE a good holiday tradition.
investment pieces worth the splurge…very into these.
how to host Thanksgiving in a tiny apartment…all the tricks you need.
these are the best workout leggings…I live in my leggings and needed this list.
2019 gift guide for her…another one worth the scroll.
4 easy, wild card veggie sides for Thanksgiving Day…these all sound so good.
8. Cozy and casual Thanksgiving style favorites…
9. this week’s dinners…
Monday: Kai’s favorite sesame orange chicken (recipe in HBH Super Simple)
Wednesday: instant pot pesto Zuppa Toscana (with stove-top and slow cooker directions)
Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving! Grab my menu here.
Bonus Appetizer: goat cheese stuffed bacon wrapped dates with rosemary honey
Finally, check out all the past Nine Favorite Things posts here.