We are right on the heels of Thanksgiving, my absolute 100% hands down favorite holiday of the year. This will be our 3rd year hosting in our teensy weensy cozy house – something I really love doing. Sure, I would like to have a Downton Abbey-sized castle with rooms we can ‘move through’ and fireplaces we can plot marriages by.
Instead we all squeeze around our IKEA-via-Craigslist table and I pull out all of our beautiful wedding china and the fancy tabletop items I’ve collected and inherited over the years. We reach and laugh and pass plates and pig out instead. It’s way more fun.
Leading up to the day, the planning and prepping is one of my favorite parts. Each year I try to make things easier and more streamlined without compromising deliciousness.
Last year we switched to a Potluck Thanksgiving which worked really well since our relatives are all avid cooks. James and I make the turkey, mashed potatoes and a few apps, and everyone else brings one side dish (or beer). Our tummies are full and our faces are smiley. After dinner James’ extended family joins us for dessert, which we do cocktail style.
This week’s links are all about The Game Plan.
- Freeze-for-later Cheese Gougeres are charlatan fancies – just my style.
- No-cook Dishes to Bring to a Holiday Party
- Make Ahead (!!) Mashed Potatoes from The Pioneer Woman, who understands the value of butter and dairy fat. Once a year, folks.
- 3rd year’s a charm – this bird is good enough to make every year without changing a thing: Tom Collichio’s Herb Butter Turkey
- Do’s and Don’ts for Potluck Dinners
- An over-achieving “stress free” cleaning plan is a good kick in the arse.
- Chocolate Mousse, served with fresh berries, is a great dessert to accompany pie and can be made ahead.