Thanks for joining me for another Nine Favorite Things post.

party dress

{my favorite Gal Meets Glam holiday dress}

Happy Sunday and welcome to one of the last favorite’s post of the year. With Thanksgiving this Thursday that means it’s time to start back up our Homemade Holiday’s series for the month of December. I still can’t believe we are so close to the end of the year. Speaking of the Homemade Holiday’s series, what would you guys love to see this year?  I have a few ideas for fun holiday crafts and DIY’s, but I’d really love to know if there’s anything you’re dying to see me create…craft or recipe wise for that matter!

Some of my favorites from previous years include homemade potpourri, hot chocolate gift box, how to create the best holiday cookie box, and gingerbread snowglobe place settings. I have SO much fun creating these more lifestyle holiday posts. It’s fun to think outside the recipe box sometimes, and create some of the other things I love too! Hope you guys are looking forward to this year’s posts!

In other news, I’m prepping for family to arrive this week (all my brothers but one have arrived). And also cramming to finish up work before taking time off to cook Thursday’s dinner. Busy few days ahead, but then it’s chill time come Thursday…well, kind of. I’ll still be cooking and running around, but it’s a different kind of cooking. It’s not “work” cooking, so it is a bit more relaxed.

Coming up this week on HBH, I’ll be sharing a cozy dinner that’s perfect for feeding family and friends. A new appetizer that’s easy and always well loved. And on Wednesday I have one last-minute Thanksgiving recipe. Then we’ll be taking Thursday off, but back on Friday with a delicious recipe that uses up Thanksgiving leftovers. On Saturday I’ll have the first Christmas cocktail of the season!

Lastly, if you missed anything from this past week, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here. Hope you’re all having the best fall weekend, and enjoy this Sunday’s Favorites!

1. My 10 Best Thanksgiving Tips.

Tip 1: Think about your Menu

A few things to be thinking about when creating your Thanksgiving menu, how much oven space do you have, how many people are you serving, and does anyone have any dietary restrictions.

If you know you’ll have limited oven space, plan to make sides that can be served raw (salads), made on the stove-top, in a slow cooker, in an Instant Pot or cooked ahead and quickly reheated.

Depending on how many leftovers you’d like, plan on anywhere from a pound to a pound and a half per person. If everyone is heading out the door at the end of the day, I would go closer to a pound per person. If guests your guests are staying through the weekend go for a pound and a half. Bone in breasts are a nice option If you don’t want to cook more than one turkey. And lastly, keep in mind, that if you’ve got a lot of sides, guests will probably eat less.

Tip 2: Make an Oven/Food Schedule

This is probably my number one tip to easily getting dinner on the table…and at a reasonable hour. An oven schedule is essential for staying on track on Thanksgiving Day, especially if you’re working with limited oven space.

Tip 3: Test Your Recipes

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

Tip 4: Make a To Do List TODAY

About a week or so before Thanksgiving, I sit down and make a checklist of everything that needs to be done before we sit down to eat. I make my list by the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Check out this post for more details.

Tip 5: Use A Meat Thermometer 

This might be a no brainer, but don’t try cooking your turkey based solely off of time…no one wants to cut into a beautiful looking turkey only to find that it’s still raw inside. Using a thermometer is the best way to know when your turkey is cooked to perfection.

Tip 6: Roast Your Turkey in a Butter Soaked Cheesecloth.

My number 1 tip for the best turkey. Grab my favorite herb butter roasted turkey recipe here.

Tip 7: Don’t Cook the Stuffing Inside the Turkey

If you cook the stuffing inside the turkey, you 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 and crisp on top stuffing that’s actually good.

My favorite right now is this herby mushroom croissant stuffing.

Tip 8: Make a Vegetarian Main

I always make at least one vegetarian main for the non turkey eaters. That way everyone has something to enjoy on Thanksgiving! My favorites to serve are this butternut squash lasagna and this stuffed spaghetti squash.

Tip 9: Set the Table The Night Before

This is something my Nonnie taught me, and it’s probably my favorite trick. I like to set my dinner table the night before. It’s one more thing you can cross off your checklist early. Plus you’ll be guaranteed to have the table set and looking pretty when guests arrive.

Tip 10:  Create a Seasonal Tablescape

When setting your table, don’t stress too much about making it perfect. I love the imperfect, perfect look. My best budget tip for creating an elegant tablescape is to incorporate the food onto the table. My favorite thing to do is to use fresh produce around my table to add pops of color. I love a bouquet of flowers, but food can be equally beautiful, if not prettier. Surround the table with candles, use fresh herbs for greenery, and seasonal fruit for color.

Above all, make the table cozy and inviting, and trust me, everyone will have the best night.

Question: what are your best Thanksgiving tips/tricks? Leave any that you have in the comments so that we can all learn something new today!

2. My Favorite Thanksgiving Cocktails.

Spiced Cranberry Rosé Spritzers | halfbakedharvest.com #cocktails #thanksgiving #christmas #holiday #easyrecipes #punch

Spiced Cranberry Rosé Spritzers

Harvest Apple Ginger Spritz | halfbakedharvest.com #fall #thanksgiving #apples #drinks #cocktails

Harvest Apple Ginger Spritz

Vanilla Chai Tea White Russian | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Vanilla Chai Tea White Russian

Cranberry Thyme Spritz | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Cranberry Thyme Spritz

Vanilla Chai Old Fashioned | halfbakedharvest.com #bourbon #cocktail #drink #thanksgiving #holiday #chai

Chai Old Fashioned

Pomegranate Ginger Paloma | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Pomegranate Ginger Paloma

3. Feeling Festive…

My favorite Holiday decor.

4. The Five Things I am Most Thankful For.

  1. My family.
  2. My health and the healthy of my family.
  3. Creativity.
  4. Hiking.
  5. YOU GUYS!

5. New Videos:

Spicy Poblano, Black Bean, and Quinoa Enchiladas…my go-to vegetarian enchilada recipe.

Pecan Pie Cookies with Butter Pecan Frosting…current favorite cookie.

6. What is Your Favorite Moisturizer?

The cold weather is here, consequently my skin is dry and irritated. I have super sensitive skin and can’t use anything with fragrance. I love using my Honest Beauty Oil morning and night, but am in need of a good face and body moisturizer. What are your favorites?

7. A few Links I am Loving…

7 easy and stylish outfits to wear on Thanksgiving…cute and cozy.

step inside Giuliana Rancic’s rustic Idaho vacation home…wow. stunning.

the gal meets glam holiday collection…festive, timeless, and so fun.

the top 20 places to travel in 2019…Copenhagen, then Italy for me.

what all successful women do at the start of the new year…start making goals.

2 simple ways to elevate your-at home entertaining…bring on the grocery store flowers.

easy place setting ideas for your Thanksgiving table…which would you do?

21 Christmas gifts for kids…so cute.

a healthier chicken pot pie…cozy but healthy.

20 desserts for Thanksgiving that are not pumpkin pie…very into these.

Inside Ashley Tisdale’s home…love, love, love.

7 big batch cocktails…because the holiday’s need cocktails.

8. My Favorite Cozy Lounge Wear…

9. This Week’s Dinners:

Slow Cooker Vodka Bolognese Pasta | halfbakedharvest.com #pasta #italian #bolognese #slowcooker

Monday: Slow Cooker Vodka Bolognese Pasta

Crockpot Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Tuesday: Crockpot Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup

 

Wednesday: Crispy Prosciutto White Lasagna

Our 2018 Thanksgiving Menu | halfbakedharvest.com #turkey #thanksgiving #menu #holidayrecipes

Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!

One-Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie | halfbakedharvest.com

Friday: One Pot Cheesy Turkey Tamale Pie

Check out all the past Favorites posts here.

Nine Favorite Things | halfbakedharvest.com