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Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.

Nine Favorite Things | halfbakedharvest.com

(ready for the holidays)

How is it already the middle of November? We are exactly halfway through the month and it’s crazy how fast time is flying. And how little time it feels like there is in each day! I know everyone is really wishing 2020 away, but I’m not ready to say goodbye just yet. I know I always say this every year, but I wish November and December could last longer. Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of thirty days in the month we could have double that?

These are my tow favorite months of the year, but also everyone’s busiest months. It’s always so hard to get everything done, you know? Can you guys tell I’m a bit stressed today? Don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited and loving these days leading up to Thanksgiving. It’s always so exciting for me once the holidays hit! So, yes, I’m stressed, but yet happy and excited all at the same time. It’s a weird thing that I can’t explain. But that’s me!

Anyway, I’m running around trying to get loose ends tied up before a trip to LA for work this week. This is my first work trip since March and even though it’s going to be a very different trip (filled with a COVID test day), I’m excited! It’s yet another busy work trip, but I’m really looking forward to it. I’m shooting two very special videos and then filming two segments back to back at Hallmark Home & Family. The Home & Family segments are so my thing. The first will air a week from Monday, just before Thanksgiving and the second is very heavily focused on Christmas. It’s all going to be so much fun, and honestly, I’m really excited to just get out of my house.

It’s been a while!

That said, I’m kind of nervous, but that’s more because I have a long list to check off before I fly out on Wednesday.

Question: what’s your Thanksgiving looking like this year? Are you guys getting excited? Are you celebrating as a family? Doing something smaller? I’d love to know!

And incase you are menu planning today, here is our 2020 Thanksgiving Menu and Guide.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, a quick reminder, in case any of you missed it, today is your last chance to order your Belcampo turkey and use code HALFBAKEDHARVEST for 20% off. The 20% off applies to all items on Belcampo’s website. We just ordered two for our Thanksgiving, which my family will be spending in Lake Tahoe. My younger brother, Red, has a house there and the whole family will be together. Everyone is really looking forward to a good family dinner.

And lastly, an Oslo update! He’s doing great! We’re so in love with the little guy, my mom especially. For most people, a new baby can be a little daunting and everyone is fearful of losing sleep. But my mom? She’s extra special and taking care of little babies is like her bread and butter. There isn’t anyone better fit for the task. She stopped by the studio the other day with Oslo in her arms and you can tell in her eyes the joy he brings her. It’s like she’s got a special sparkle in her eyes these days. It’s the sweetest thing.

So, yes, Oslo has wiggled his way deep into all of our hearts and he’s officially settled right into our family. We love him.

And, what you all really care about, the photos! Can you tell he’s getting bigger by the day? 

Coming up this week… We’ll be starting the week off with a simple dinner that’s perfect for the busy (and cold) days leading up to Thanksgiving (we had a full-on snowstorm here yesterday!). Then on Tuesday, we’ve got an easy holiday breakfast that everyone will love (this is Asher’s favorite). For Wednesday, it’s a last-minute Thanksgiving side dish that’s essential on all Thanksgiving tables. And of course, a sweet chocolate treat on Friday. Saturday will be yet another Thanksgiving cocktail…any guesses? It’s something I’ve never made before. Lots of great, simple recipes this week!

As always, happy Sunday guys! Hope you love this week’s favorites!

1. Things i’m loving, wanting, and excited to try…

watching…Emily in Paris. Finally. I know I talked about this show a while back, but I finally started watching it. Granted, I’m only about 1 episode in, but it seems really cute! Just something easy to watch that’s relaxing.

baking…my Molten Chocolate Crackle Pie. I can’t stop with this pie. It’s everyone’s favorite. And then, these Salted Caramel Pretzel Cookies. Baking batch after batch for gifting!

loving…Vintner’s Daughter Limited Edition Active Botanical Serum. The perfect holiday gift for someone who loves skincare. 

loving…Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner also from Violet Grey. I’ve been using for the last week and honestly, my hair has never felt better (and smells pretty good too)!

excited to watch…Dash & Lilly on Netflix. A show based in NYC at Christmas? All about that.

loving…these cute Printable Thanksgiving Coloring Pages. Fun for the kids…but I’d use them too.

reading…The Book on Pie by Erin McDowell. I just received this and it’s full of SO MANY pies. I now have a list a mile long of pies I’d like to bake. I’d better get to them before Thanksgiving.

loving…Mutha Body Butter. This is a splurge, but my dry winter skin is loving this cream.

thinking about ordering…The Mani System for Asher. Do you guys think she’d like this? She loves doing her nails.

loving…The Cupcakes & Cashmere Planners for Target. I use my Google calendar religiously but always write in a planner too. These are so cute!

drinking…Spiced Honey Bourbon Old Fashioned. My current favorite cocktail.

watching…Inside Hilary Duff’s Family Home.

gifting…the Full Holiday Collection from Boy Smells. Three Christmas scents bundled into one. The perfect gift.

ordered…The Broken Rosary from Boy Smell. Because I can’t resist a cinnamon candle. My favorite.

2. Homemade Holiday Gifts…

A few of my favorites from years past. Start prepping these to ship to friends and family.

Homemade Holidays- Let's Make the House Smell Like Christmas | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Homemade Holidays: Let’s Make the House Smell Like Christmas

Holiday Gifting- Homemade Simple Syrups | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Holiday Gifting: Homemade Simple Syrups

Homemade Holidays- Snowy, Sparkly Pine Cone Ornaments | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Homemade Holidays: Snowy, Sparkly Pine Cone Ornaments

Glittered Gingerbread Christmas Tree Ornaments | halfbakedharvest.com #crafts #christmas #holiday #gingerbread #ornaments

Glittered Gingerbread Christmas Tree Ornaments

Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas | halfbakedharvest.com #holiday #DIY #crafts #christmas

Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas

3. Prep Your Holiday Bar Cart…

4. Favorite question of the week.

q: Do you get tired of the cold and snow?
a: Yes, of course! I LOVE the snow all November and December long. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else other than home in the mountains. But come mid-February/March? I’m pretty over it…but most years we get snow through May, even into June. So, I’ve learned to live with it. It’s all a little give and take, right?

5. Thanksgiving tips of the week.

Thanksgiving Tip: 5

Rent your plates, glasses, and silverware. You send them back dirty, so there are fewer dishes to do!

I’m all about fewer dishes and companies like Social Studies send you everything you need to create the perfect tablescape so you don’t have to think about it.

If your feeling overwhelmed, this is an easy way to check one more thing off your thanksgiving to-do list!

Reader Tip: Make Tons – Everyone Loves Taking Home Leftovers

I know this isn’t groundbreaking, but everyone keeps asking me how to downsize their meal since most of us are hosting a much smaller crowd this year. My tip? Make the meal as you normally would and don’t skimp on a thing. It’s Thanksgiving!! Make the dishes you LOVE and enjoy the leftovers on a very lazy Black Friday. Trust me, you’ll be so happy for all those leftovers!!

And if you can’t eat all the leftovers, donate them to your local church or a friend who didn’t get celebrate this year. You’ll make someone’s week with good leftovers!

Thanksgiving Tip: 6

Invest in a Slow Cooker and or Instant Pot

If you’re working with limited oven space, I highly recommend using your slow cooker and instant pot. They can cook mashed potatoes from start to finish, or just keep your dishes warm without taking up any oven space.

Reader Tip: You can never, ever use too much butter. 

100%. Start stocking up now.

Thanksgiving Tip: 7

Test Your Recipes

If you’re trying new recipes, make sure you test them out before Thanksgiving Day. Certainly, no one wants to be disappointed on Thanksgiving with a bad batch of mashed potatoes. Test your recipes out now so they’re perfect for Thanksgiving.

Reader Tip: Make more gravy than you think you’ll need, then double it. 

Yes to this! You can never have too much gravy!

Thanksgiving Tip: 8

Don’t Cook the Stuffing Inside the Turkey

If you cook the stuffing inside the turkey, you’ll have to overcook the turkey in order to actually cook the stuffing to a temperature that’s safe to eat. And even then you end up with soggy stuffing…and dry turkey. Not good. Instead, bake the stuffing separately and get soft on the inside and crisp on top stuffing that actually tastes good.

Reader Tip: Eat breakfast and lunch! Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be at 4:00 pm!

I am all about this one! I never understand why we eat so early. We eat between 6 to 8 pm. What time do you eat Thanksgiving dinner?

Thanksgiving Tip: 9

Roast Your Turkey Wrapped up in Butter Soaked Cheesecloth

My number 1 tip for the best turkey. Soak a layer of cheesecloth in melted butter, then drape the butter-soaked cheesecloth over the bird. Roast the turkey with the cheesecloth ON. The cloth protects the skin from burning, while also basting the turkey with butter the entire time it roasts.

This trick never fails and creates the best turkey. Every single time. The skin comes out perfect, the meat is incredibly moist and so flavorful. Trust me on this one. Or just read the comments on the recipe, everyone loves it.

Recipe: Herb Butter Roasted Turkey

Reader Tip: Warm Your Plates/Bowls Before Putting Your Hot Food on Them

This is an extra special, extra step, BUT I love this tip!! My pet peeve with Thanksgiving is cold food. That is the worst. I would imagine warming the plates helps keep things the perfect temperature. Totally trying this out this year!!!

Thanksgiving Tip: 10

Make your Gravy Ahead of Time

Especially if the gravy stresses you out and you’re going to have people in the kitchen before dinner. I have no shame in admitting that gravy stresses me out. I learned the hard way that rushed, last-minute, gravy never turns out well (for me at least). You just end up with lumpy, very sad gravy because everyone wants to “help”. It wasn’t pretty, but lesson learned! I now make my gravy ahead of time!! It saves so much stress and I know it’s always going to turn out perfect.

Recipe: Make Ahead White Wine Gravy

Reader Tip: Get Everyone To Make a Dish So You Aren’t Overwhelmed

If you’re open to it, delegate!! I’ll admit, I’m not good at this. But if cooking the whole meal stress you out, ask whoever is attending to bring one dish (and tell them what dish you’d like that to be!)

And on the same topic, if the host tells you to bring nothing, I’d at least show up with their favorite alcohol. You can never have too much of that. Or a fun hostess gift (I’ll share ideas soon!)!

6. Feel Good About Every Gift You Give This Season.

(photo from The Little Market)

The holiday season is all about giving back. The Little Market makes that so easy to do. Their fair trade goods are made by artisans in need. Including refugees, people with disabilities, formerly homeless women, and survivors of trafficking and domestic violence. Each purchase helps artisans build a brighter future for themselves and their families. You guys know how much I adore The Little Market, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite picks from their shop. These items will make great gifts for anyone on your list. And while you’re gifting to loved ones, you also gift to someone in need as well. I love a good gift that gives back!

Also? Their candles are some of my favorites. I’m currently burning the Pie Crust Candle, and honestly, my house smells like a pie baking away. It’s like holiday magic.

Other favorite candles for the holiday season include my November favorites Pumpkin Pie and Holiday Spice (I will be lighting this as soon as I return from LA). Then there’s Gingerbread Cookie (my December favorite), and Pine Tree (almost better than the real Christmas tree). I also love these fun holiday phrases too, Hey Pumpkin, ‘Tis The Season, and of course, Merry Christmas.

Additionally, their home products, market bags, and glassware are so unique and pretty!

Shop more Little Market gifts here.

7. Favorite links i’m loving…

This Woman’s Gingerbread House Building Hack Is Genius…100% trying this out this year. Such a good idea!

Best Hand Cream for Winter…my hands are always dry, but this Necessiare hand cream has saved them. Also, adding this cream to my Violet Grey cart.

26 Minimalist Thanksgiving Recipes That Only Need 5 Ingredients Each…but still taste amazing.

The Most Expensive-Looking Holiday Decor Is Hiding Out at Target…Isn’t Target just the best? I love these little reindeer and small Christmas trees.

How to Organize All of Your Cookie and Cake Decorating Supplies…baking this holiday season? Read this.

Louise Roe Oxfordshire Home Renovation…adore this cozy meets vintage British countryside home.

My New Business Was Set to Open and Then COVID Happened…inspiring and fun Sunday read.

12 Things to Do If You’re Celebrating Thanksgiving Solo…some fun ideas!

20 Healthy Soup Recipes…yum, these all sound so good!

The New-Era Gift Guide…39 items that are 100% relevant in 2020.

10 Email Mistakes You Should Always Avoid…taking note.

24 Brand New Trader Joe’s Foods To Stock Up On In November…so many fun holiday foods.

When in Need of Fast Shipping, Shop These SitesShopbop is my go-to. Waiting for this cashmere sweater to go on sale. It’s too much of a splurge, but looks so cozy!

How to Save Your Skin From These Top Winter Woes…so many good tips/tricks.

6 Ways to Challenge Yourself to Be Better With Money…simple ways to save some cash.

5 Ways to Get Your Heart Rate Up Indoors This Winter…for mini-breaks during the day, try these!

Stressed? Try These 10 Simple Things…You all know my favorite, I love lighting a candle!

How To Hang Art Correctly…3 simple tips.

Velvet Holiday Dresses…cute and festive. Love this Reformation dress and this one too.

20 Streamable TV Shows and Movies So Good…you’ll look forward to a night in.

How Team Domino Is Setting Their Thanksgiving Tables…if you need some ideas for Thanksgiving.

Say “Yuck” Or “Yum” To These 20 Thanksgiving Foods And We’ll Guess If You’re An Extrovert, Introvert, Or Ambivert…mine was spot on. See below.

8. My Favorite Holiday looks from Dresses to Cozy Knits…

9. this week’s dinners…

Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana | halfbakedharvest.com #instantpot #soup #slowcooker #winter

Monday: Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana

Ginger Sesame Chicken Potstickers with Sweet Chili Pomegranate Sauce | halfbakedharvest.com #asianrecipes #potstickers #dumplings #healthy

Tuesday: Ginger Sesame Chicken Potstickers with Sweet Chili Pomegranate Sauce

4 Cheese Sage Pesto Florentine Lasagna | halfbakedharvest.com

Wednesday: 4 Cheese Sage Pesto Florentine Lasagna

Roasted Mushroom Kale Pizza

Thursday: Roasted Mushroom Kale Pizza

Red Wine Cranberry Braised Short Ribs | halfbakedharvest.com #slowcooker #easy #dinner #familyrecipes #holidayrecipes

Friday: Red Wine Cranberry Braised Short Ribs with Slow Cooker Cheesy Garlic Herb Mashed Potatoes

Spiced Honey Bourbon Old Fashioned | halfbakedharvest.com

Saturday Drinks: Spiced Honey Bourbon Old Fashioned

Pastry Wrapped Cranberry Baked Brie Bites | halfbakedharvest.com

Sunday Appetizer: Mini Pastry Wrapped Cranberry Baked Brie Bites

Check out all the past Nine Favorite Things posts here.

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. If you’re meal planning today, don’t forget to check out my menu below (it’s # 9 on the favorite’s list). You can grab the full grocery list for this week’s menu in our special Sunday newsletter.

Related PostsView All Nine Favorite Things

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Comments

  1. Hi Tieghan. Thank you for your beautiful posts and inspiration. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. It’s what we all need right now. More love and acceptance of one another without judgement.

  2. The Nevada side of Lake Tahoe is under “Stay at home 2.0” orders by our Governor who is Covid positive. The California side of Lake Tahoe has a mandatory 14 day quarantine for Travelers. In Reno, where they would send anyone from the Tahoe area having medical emergencies, a parking garage has had to be converted into a makeshift hospital as the system is almost at capacity.

  3. I have enjoyed your recipes for some time and will continue to read your blog, but I was very disappointed and frustrated in this post. Maybe your family is one household and I just missed that point, but your discussion about gathering in Lake Tahoe for Thanksgiving with all your family after days in LA, adding on top of that recommendations for renting plates, having your guests bring a side dish, and having leftover containers on hand to give guests flies in the face of what is being asked of us this holiday. My state is at the highest rate of COVID cases since this started in March. Our hospitals are 75% full of COVID cases, our local Health Department and now the Center for Disease Control is asking us not gather with people outside our household! Then there is your post, devoid of this acknowledgement, instead speaking to a holiday that should not exist this year if we are to slow this down and keep our family and friends safe. To me it showed a lack of awareness and privilege many of us can’t afford. Maybe if I was able to get a COVID test daily up through the holiday I would not have to find a way to tell my 70 year sister-in-law and her 85 year old husband that I don’t want to gather this year so I can keep them and my family safe. This situation is probably why I reacted the way I did to your post, so I understand if you remove it, but please remember your words have impact and should be made responsibility.

    1. Hi Rachel! Thank you for this comment. As we all prepare to get together in Lake Tahoe, we will be getting tested before hand and having flu shots. My mom especially has been very serious about this since we do have a new born in our family and we all want to stop the spread of this pandemic. While in LA, I will be taking all precautions so I am as safe as possible and do have to get multiple covid tests. I am sorry if this post seemed as if I was condoning behavior that is not appropriate during this time. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and stay safe! xTieghan

  4. loved all your work of art in the foods, so much talented person like you do, amazes people like me.. a blessed day from me to yours.. let’s spread some love to those who need the most, having this sweet moments together with your friends and families,sharing this incredible good foods that you’ve created are so special.. hope to have more special recipes from you.. i want to save it all.. and do it also….
    continue your amazing work of art for food.. so much pleasure to have it all in the table.. 💜💛

  5. Hello dear Tiegan
    Such joy getting your posts, even though the seasons are different, I live in South Africa.
    Sunday nights, my best is you Nine things – which I love.
    THank you so much
    Love the thought of your new baby brother, He is soooo cute.
    Love

    Mx

  6. Was für ein wunder wunder hübsches Baby!!!
    Der Beitrag ist natürlich auch spitze aber das Baby ist so niedlich da vergisst man fast dein tollen Beitrag zu lesen, ich habe es aber dennoch geschafft.
    Liebe Grüße sendet,
    Jesse-Gabriel

  7. Hi! Love your blog and your Insta account. The recipes are fabulous and easy to adapt to my vegetarian diet (I am repeating myself here hahaha). The aesthetics of your pics are amazing and looking at them makes me happy (and also hungry, in a good motivating way!).

    About Thanksgiving… My husband and I live in Uruguay and we celebrate it but almost never on Thanksgiving Day since it is not a holiday here. We usually cook for the family on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. After many years it still feels a bit weird to work that day! Also, because it is spring here and usually warm by then, I try to go for lighter recipes.

    I am sure Asher would enjoy the mani kit. My nieces also enjoy a “home spa” day with hair treatments and styling, mani-pedis, a good face mask, and a fun movie with cool snacks to round it off.

    Oslo is the sweetest thing. He is so lucky! And so are you all! On a totally different scale, but reminded by your comment of sleepless nights, my hubs and I just adopted our fifth rescue and for the first time, a puppy. He and two other pups were left at the entrance to our house (rural area). We placed two of them but it seems Snoozer will be staying with us.

    SInce I am not a frequent commenter, I will take this opportunity to wish you and your family a happy and blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas. 🙂

    1. Aw I love that you still celebrate Thanksgiving! And I am sure it is a weird feeling working on the day! Thank you so much, Maria! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! xTieghan

  8. Can you advise us as to where your Hallmark Home shows will be aired? Are they avail for us loyal HBH followers, book buyers etc in Canada?
    Regards and Happy Thanksgiving. the Debster

  9. Great post!! So many awesome ideas. Love it! I definitely think Asher will love the mani system. I have the kit and just ordered one as a Christmas gift for my 21 year old daughter. The polish is great and long wearing! Highly recommend.

  10. somewhat off subject, but a must. Especially for those that don’t care to ‘binge’ football on Thanksgiving Day…
    NETFLIX short series, “The Queen’s Gambit” is absolutely fabulous! I’m sure many would think how could a mini series about chess be fabulous? Trust me, it is; the casting is so very good, especially Beth. We were hooked with the first episode (of only 6) and would love to see more!
    And a quick side note to Dale Asher-Davis, Your kittens may be too heavy but honestly, they don’t know it and still just might attempt to climb the trunk of your Christmas tree!!!

  11. The Thanksgiving food test was completely wrong for me. I guess I’m an introvert with an extrovert’s palate – LOL!

  12. My hubs may have to work this Thanksgiving, so I am planning for small and easy. Very excited to try your cheesecloth hack!

  13. Definitely one of your best posts! I have saved so many of these linked recipes and look forward to a great Thanksgiving meal!
    I hope you’ll also share the date you will be on Home and Family.

  14. Love the tablescapes BUT, we have two 9 month old kittens! They are still into everything-everythi g goes in the mouth & everything is a toy…So I am simplifying everything this year. They weigh too much to climb the tree & we hang all of the unbreakable ornaments on the tree’s bottom branches in deference to our 17 year old cat. He has always liked to “help” by playing with the bottom ornaments.
    This year will be different for many reasons!

    1. Ah I completely understand that! Well, I am sure your table and decorations will still look phenomenal! Thank you Dale! xTieghan