If you’re scratching your head trying to come up with new ways to impress your guests this Thanksgiving (especially those adorable mother-in-laws), we’ve got you covered! Here are some savvy ideas, from décor to dinner, that will give everyone something to be thankful for – YOU!
- If you have a stockpile of old candleholders, like many of us do, grab them out of storage and use them for a fall display of miniature pumpkins and gourds. Try to find ones of varying heights and then fill in the scene with fall-colored candles and a few autumn leaves.
- If you happen to have extra mini pumpkins lying around (don’t we all?!), pop a variety of different-colored ones into a cloche or bell jar and turn them over onto a favorite plate. It makes for a nice centerpiece on the dinner table. The best part is you’re not left with outdated decorations that will simply gather dust in the closet all year.
- For a stunning dinner setting, find a bunch of mismatched vintage china (borrow from friends or go garage sale shopping). Using a large dinner plate as the base, stack smaller plates intermixed with teacups to create a 3-tiered masterpiece accented by vibrant orange roses or other floral favorite.
- Here’s an idea the will not only look festive, but gets everyone involved in Thanksgivingy cheer. Plus, it will keep the kids busy. Cut paper leaves out of colorful construction paper. As your friends and family arrive, have them write what they’re thankful for on a paper leaf then pin it onto a “tree” of branches anchored in a ceramic pitcher or linen-covered foam core in an antique frame. You might even come up with your own display idea.
- To find some unique recipes for this year’s turkey dinner, head to Half Price Books to find some old cookbooks with some tried and true family recipes or chef-inspired dishes that will wow your guests. One of our can’t-live-without Southern sides is a chorizo and cornbread stuffing. See the recipe below.
Chorizo & Cornbread Stuffing
1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Grated cotija cheese, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a spoon and stirring occasionally as it cooks, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have browned, about 10 minutes. Add the crumbled cornbread and cilantro and gradually pour in enough of the stock so the stuffing is not too dry but at the same time not too wet. Stir gently and well.
Butter a small casserole dish. Spread the stuffing in an even layer. Bake until it’s heated through and lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes. Serve right away, garnished with the cilantro and cotija, if desired.
We wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! After all the festivities have died down, we’re here to discuss the beautiful home you’re planning on living in next year. Call us at 210-494-5400 to set up a consultation. If you wish to be added to our private email list for our monthly newsletter, please sign up here.
If you’re struggling to come up with some yummy ideas for Thanksgiving Dinner – here are some delicious recipes that will impress any relative!
Adobe-Rubbed Stuffed Turkey (Courtesy of Molli Sauces)
- 1 jar Mölli Oaxaca Marinade (You can find this at Central Market)
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 12 lb. turkey
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 1 orange, quartered
- In a bowl, mix Oaxaca marinade, honey and salt until fully integrated. Set Oaxaca rub aside.
- Heat oven to 500° and place rack in bottom third of oven. Pat turkey dry with clean paper towels. Rub outside of turkey with Oaxaca rub and stuff with onions and oranges; transfer turkey breast side up to a rack set in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes; lower heat to 325° and cook for 30 minutes more. Remove turkey from oven and, flip turkey breast side down. Roast, basting occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a thigh but not touching the bone registers 165°, about 3 hours total for a 12-lb. turkey. Lower oven to 150°. Transfer turkey, breast side up, to a baking sheet; return to oven to keep warm. Remove turkey from oven 15 minutes before serving. Save roasting pan for Port gravy recipe.
- Serve this delicious turkey with our Port Gravy recipe on the side. You will love it!!
Savory Apple-Italian Sausage Bread Pudding Recipe (Courtesy of San Antonio Blogger, Wendy Weekend Gourmet )
- 8 ounces sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tbs. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
- 1 tsp. chopped Italian parsley
- 3 tbs. butter
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 Honeycrisp apple — peel, core, and chop into 1/2-inch pieces
- 8 ounces cooked, crumbled Italian sausage
- 1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar [NOTE: I used Cabot Alpine Sharp Cheddar]
- 1 3/4 cups half and half
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tbs. chopped Italian parsley
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- Salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Step 1: Preheat oven to 350. Add the cubed sourdough to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and add the garlic and chopped parsley. Toss well, until the bread cubes are evenly coated with the oil and seasoning. Arrange on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until the cubes are browned. Step 2: Add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until the onion begins to soften and get some color — about 4 minutes. Add the apple and cook until the apples begins to soften. While the veggies and apple mixture is cooking, make the custard: add the half and half and eggs to a large measuring cup and whisk until combined. Set aside. Step 3: Add the toasted sourdough cubes to a large mixing bowl. Add the crumbled Italian sausage, sharp cheddar, and apple-veggie mixture. Add the custard and stir to combine evenly. Push the bread cubes into the custard. Let sit for 10 minutes, stirring 2-3 times to ensure all the bread sits in the custard. Step 4: Butter a deep 2-quart casserole dish. Ladle the bread pudding mixture into the casserole. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook the bread pudding an additional 30 minutes, until browned. Let cool 30 minutes before serving.
Classic Buttermilk Pie (Courtesy of Southern Living)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon loosely packed lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pastry Crust of your choice
Garnishes: fresh berries, whipped cream, fresh mint
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together first 2 ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk eggs and next 5 ingredients into flour mixture; pour into Perfect Pastry Crust. 2. Bake at 350° for 35 to 45 minutes or until almost set, shielding edges with aluminum foil after 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and cool 1 hour.