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Ways to make Thanksgiving entertaining extra special

homemade whipped cream

Make Thanksgiving extra special this year by adding a few extraordinary Pinterest-worthy touches to your holiday spread. Event planner and food concierge Lexi Stolz, of South Fork & Spoon offers some of her favorite holiday entertaining tips for a memorable holiday meal.

Offer an interactive dessert

Looking for interactive entertaining on Thanksgiving for all ages? Provide each guest with a small mason jar with cold heavy whipping cream and two spoonfuls of confectionary sugar, top with the lids and let your guests shake, shake, shake until they’ve created their very own whipped cream!  Offer a tray with a variety of fixings, including ramekins filled with lemon and orange zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon, rum, Sambuca, and assorted bitters to let your guests create their own flavored cream.  They can then use their custom-created whipped cream to top their slice or cookies!

Cranberry syrup

Sizzle up a festive cranberry syrup

Since cranberries are a must-have at Thanksgiving dinner, make a nice stovetop cranberry syrup in the morning to kick the holiday off in the most fragrant way.  It’ll make the house smell scrumptious, and will double as a great way to let guests make their own cocktails with the syrup later in the day.  To make the cranberry syrup, combine a bag of cranberries, ¾ cup of sugar, 2 cups of water in a small saucepan over medium heat. After bringing to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer about 15 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and allow the syrup to cool. The syrup is an extra tasty complement to a vodka soda, sparkling wine, or even sodas to transform a ginger ale into a Shirley Temple for the kids.

Cheese Plate

Serve up a cheese course

Thanksgiving is all about spending time at the table dining. Add a cheese course between dinner and dessert to allow guests to digest, sip on more wine, and postpone doing the dishes. Go to the local specialty foods shop and select up to six varieties of cheese and a fresh baguette—serve a delicious sparkling wine or rose to allow your guests to digest and relax before the dessert course.

wine at dinner

Make room for the vino

When decorating the table, make sure to save room for bottles of wine so that guests do not have to get up to top off their glass.  Make space for a red and white within arm’s reach of every four to six guests.

Have a turkey backup plan (just in case!)

If the worst-case scenario occurs and you accidentally burn the turkey, what’s a holiday hostess to do? Make it casserole time! Create a Thanksgiving casserole as a very quick fix and crowd pleaser.  Scour your cabinets for either a can of cream of chicken soup or a cream of mushroom soup—either will work great!  Shred the overdone turkey by hand and layer it on the bottom of a casserole dish. Pour one to two cans of the cream of “whatever” soup, sprinkle with some fresh herbs like rosemary, and top with mashed potatoes (surely you have those prepared already!). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until the mashed potatoes are golden brown.  Scoop onto the plate, add the stuffing and green beans on the side, and you have yourself a delicious little recovery meal… whew!

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