If The Places In The Home kitchen and dining room walls could talk, they would certainly join in a collective chorus of it’s gettin’ busy in here. The cling and clang of china, crystal, stainless, and steel keep thyme with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, bay leaves, oranges, and vanilla doing its smells like the holidays simmering thing on the stove. Suffice it to say, the look, scent, taste, and style of Thanksgiving is home for the holidays.
I could not get happy with the Thanksgiving scheme I originally envisioned for our Thanksgiving dining room holidays on style parade.
Knowing the rule of there is no hard and fast holiday decorating rule, I cleared the canvas and decorated from the heart.
Less is more soon became more mission than motto, and the statement have nothing in your home that does not please, delight, or reflect a sense of you and yours delightfully set the tone, table, and sideboard.
My grandmother’s blue hobnail cake plate, vintage plates, and silver knives found on eBay tap into traditions, memories, and timeless treasures.
Color born from nature is visually captivating, but there is something to say for the dramatic effect of the black and white option.
Birds, family and friends of a feather…
From our family to you and yours, the Places In The Home gang hope y’all enjoy this holiday week.
Count your blessings.
Shop friendly and local when you can!
Stand back and admire your beautiful handiwork. Personal style and Thanksgiving is home for the holidays.
Lift a glass of your favorite beverage in celebration of blessings, joy, traditions old and new. Turkey and dressing traditional times for one is a homemade hamburger with a side of fries new comfort food fest tradition for another.
There is no right or wrong way to set the tone and taste for a day or evening with a party of one, a passel of kinfolk, or tribe of friends who are family in celebration for what and who you are grateful for.
I am grateful for you, my readers who are like family, and wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving.
Simple makes a tasty appetizer plate, and a make ahead recipe for a simple yet impressive appetizer is an absolute appetizer must. Thanksgiving day is a culinary marathon. I don’t want to gloss over a step or course, nor do I want to give up one precious minute to the tedious or the trying.
Use an insulated coffee carafe to keep the gravy hot and a burner ready to go for the next dish. Pre-warm the carafe by filling it with hot tap water allowing to sit for a couple of minutes. Empty out the hot water and add the gravy.
The closest my iPad gets to the kitchen is the accent table in the dining room. I’m still recovering from the great spill debacle of two years ago when Dave the Builder “cooked” my tablet with a spilled Dr. Pepper.
Thanksgiving day is stressful enough without the extra worry of liquid vs. tablet. Tuck your tablet into a Ziploc slider bag to protect it and worry no more.
A scent of the season scented candle is a holiday greet the guests essential. I don’t depend on pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to carry the weight of the waft throughout the house.
Presentation is key at the holidays. A vintage ironstone bowl filled with ice and topped with pinecones is natural styling for chilling wine.
I love the unique styling and look created with a vintage bowl filled with ice and topped with miniature pinecones.
Thanksgiving dinner shines the spotlight on Thanksgiving side dish recipe ideas.
Corn pudding, sweet potato casserole, green peas with mushrooms and pearl onions, buttermilk cornbread, and cornbread dressing pleases the Southern faithful. Pondering Thanksgiving side dish recipes ideas provided me with delicious inspiration for dishing a new holiday side dish.
Cane Syrup-Roasted Carrots with Garlic-Herb Yogurt Sauce
¼ cup cane syrup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
2 (16-ounce) packages peeled small rainbow carrots with tops (halved, if large)
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
1 small clove garlic, grated
½ teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon lemon zest
Garnish: fresh mint leaves, chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, stir together cane syrup, melted butter, lemon juice, and cumin. Set aside.
Divide carrots between prepared pans. Toss carrots with ¼ cup oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.
Brush carrots with cane syrup mixture, and roast until tender, about 18
In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, 2 tablespoons water, mint, garlic, parsley, and zest. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper, stirring to combine. Drizzle yogurt sauce over carrots. Garnish with mint and parsley, if desired.
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
Green onion slivers (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Layer half of the potatoes, half of the apples, half of the sliced green onions, and half of the bacon in prepared dish. Sprinkle with half of the salt and half of the pepper. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers. In a medium bowl combine the cream, garlic, and, if desired, nutmeg. Pour cream mixture over layers in baking dish. Cover with foil.
Bake for 1-1/2 hours. Uncover; bake for 15 minutes more or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork and top is golden. Let stand for 10 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with green onion slivers.
Bring hocks and 2 qt. water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; simmer 1 ½ to 2 hours or until meat is tender.
Meanwhile, sauté onion in hot drippings in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 6 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add peas and onion mixture to Dutch oven with ham hocks; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes or until peas are tender. Remove hocks; drain peas, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Remove and chop ham from hock bones; discard bones. Stir ham into peas, if desired.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine butter and next 2 ingredients. Coat squash with butter mixture; arrange on baking sheets in a single layer. Bake 20 minutes; turn squash over, and bake 10 more minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, sauté bacon in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon. Drain drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon in skillet. Cook rosemary in hot drippings 1 minute. Stir in syrup and vinegar and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until reduced by almost half. Arrange squash on a serving platter and drizzle with warm maple mixture.
Crumble reserved bacon over squash and sprinkle with additional rosemary leaves and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cut pears in half lengthwise; remove cores. Brush pears with lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon and salt; stir in pecans. Spoon into pears; place in 4-qt. slow cooker.
Combine pear nectar and honey; drizzle over pears. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through. Serve warm.
Preheat oven to 400°. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray; add
2 tablespoons melted butter to bottom of dish.
Using a mandolin or knife, slice sweet potatoes to 1⁄8-inch-thick rounds. Holding slices together, place in pan. Tuck in garlic among slices. Brush sweet potatoes with remaining 3 tablespoons melted butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake until potatoes are tender and crisp, about 1¼ hours. Garnish with thyme, if desired.
Visit the canned good aisle at your favorite grocery store. There you will hopefully find several cans of Margaret Holmes Seasoned Italian Green Beans.
Buy them. We are six for Thanksgiving dinner, so I go with three (3) cans, allowing for leftovers. I add a heaping tablespoon of bacon grease (a staple of the Southern kitchen) and 1½-2 cups of water. Pearl onions and/or sliced mushrooms dress up this side dish for the holiday table.
Thanksgiving is on the way to a dining table near you, and it’s let’s talk Thanksgiving turkey time. I refer to Thanksgiving as the first leg of the holiday season which makes me think about turkey legs, which gets me to thinking about the Thanksgiving turkey plan, prep, roast, baste, carve and serve part of Thanksgiving day.
In this pre-Thanksgiving calm before the storm period, I’m utilizing my time to gather the roasting pan, carving set, kitchen essentials and necessary information needed to ensure total Thanksgiving turkey success.
Places In The Home is a design and decorating show and tell, and dining, dishing, and delicious recipes goes with the territory. With that being said, I thought I might offer a few suggestions regarding all things Thanksgiving turkey.
Place turkey on a tray to eliminate leakage to other areas of refrigerator. Thaw breast side up, in original unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge (40 degrees F or below). Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4-5 lbs.
Suggested thawing time for a frozen turkey:
4 to 12 pound turkey: 1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pound turkey: 3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pound turkey: 4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pound turkey: 5 to 6 days
Cold Water Thawing:
Thaw breast side down, in original unopened wrapper. Cover the turkey completely with cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb.
4 to 12 pound turkey: 2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pound turkey: 6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pound turkey: 8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pound turkey: 10 to 12 hours
The good people at Butterball offer cooking calculators and conversion charts for everything Thanksgiving turkey.
The turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer reaches 170 °F in breast or stuffing. Use a food thermometer to check the turkey in the thickest part of the breast.
If you stuff the Thanksgiving turkey, the center of the stuffing must also reach 170 degrees F. Cross contamination between turkey and stuffing is a concern, so just make sure both turkey and stuffing reach 170 degrees F.
A tablet and/or an Echo calls up Alexa the answer machine, now we’re cooking playlists, recipes, and the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® (connect with the Talk-Line through social media, live chat, texting — even Amazon Alexa).
I’m a fourth generation fan of the granite ware oval roasting pan. Tradition runs deep in the Places In The Home holiday kitchen, and roasting a turkey like my great grandmother, grandmother and mother did/does requires a granite ware oval roaster.
Time saving multitasking marvels of kitchen efficiency are my kind of holiday helping hand! Equally as important as the well-stocked holiday pantry is the well organized holiday baking, cooking and entertaining kitchen prep area and items used to create, delight, and store delicious dishes fit for the holiday table.
We gather together holiday table ideas help to set an impressive Thanksgiving holiday table. Getting the look, style, balance, and theme suited to your holiday dining and entertaining scheme requires a certain amount of planning and prep, and that’s where these we gather together holiday table ideas come in.
Design inspiration is often the driving force of my blog content, and I’m amazed at where it comes from at times. Yesterday, somewhere between trying to locate what bedroom the cat was hiding out in and trying not to lose my religion over the cat and mouse game he loves to play with me, I stopped in the hallway to regroup. Looking down the hall into the foyer, dining room, and kitchen in more than a glimpse and less than a stare, it dawned on me I truly liked what I was seeing.
Isn’t that the point of the design and decorating grand scheme of things?
I sometimes forget to just stand back and take in the look. My vantage point allowed for a comprehensive viewing from foyer to dining room.
The vintage bamboo chandelier in the foyer.
The wallpaper selection.
The yet once again painted lantern pendant.
The decision to lighten up the dining room color palette.
The placement of artwork.
I like to try new things and new looks, but the traditional personal design style choices I come back to time and time again prove to be the ones I am most satisfied with.
Stay true to your personal style and design, decorate, and holiday table set accordingly is advice I not only give, but practice.
Create a backdrop with touches sure to resonate with the crowd. Sure, most of us try to emulate moms-grandmothers-aunties side dish or dessert recipe- that’s a given. I like to use decorative accents and tabletop pieces that make a shared memories, experiences, and regional commonalities connection with my guests.
Magnolias in glass cylinders cover the Southern aspect of our holiday table. Fresh flowers or an heirloom bowl filled with fall leaves native to your area set a home for the holidays tone.
Wooden turned candlesticks instantly become I remember these conversation pieces.
A handed down from generation to generation family recipe served in a handed down from generation to generation serving piece is wow factor certified and guaranteed to tug at the home is where the holiday heart is heartstrings.
The heirloom crystal water bottle makes it way from the china cabinet to the Thanksgiving table.
Cocktail glasses in a similar pattern as the ones my dad served holiday spirits in, and goblets in the style of the ones my grandmother used at holiday time to serve her famous orange fluff salad in become a must have addition to the we gather together holiday table.
I take into consideration the cornucopia of styles among my decorista friends, family and readers when offering holiday table ideas. Modern tiered layers of clear acrylic complemented by alternating negative spaces make up the ultra chic Collins Acrylic and Metal Taper Holder from Williams-Sonoma Home.
An impressive holiday tablescape does not have to be expensive or difficult to achieve. Place the focus on folk, food, fresh, flavor, and fun.
My comical husband suggested I call this hosting tip “f” the holidays.
Holiday hosting humor is a fabulous stress buster. Dave is in charge of levity, and is brilliant at it.
We’ve still got the December holidays to decorate, entertain, and tablescape to and the holiday budget to manage. Items that pull double duty justify the initial price of admission to the holiday tablescape party. This is the exact reason I go with white plates with gold rims and serving pieces in November to December holiday friendly colors and patterns.
Three bedroom, 2 full bath lodge with fireplace, satellite television, cellphone and WiFi service second to none, scavenger hunts, hiking trails, midnight runs to spot deer, owl and raccoons, stay up and sleep in as late as you want boring.
Not exactly what I would call roughing it.
Striving to keep things new, fresh, and in the holiday spirit, I came up with the hot cocoa and hat draw holiday kick off. The moms would make hot cocoa, and the dads would light up the fire ring late Thanksgiving day afternoon. While we were enjoying hot cocoa and getting back to nature, we would pass a hat around with each of our names in it. Each of us drew a name from the hat, and the planning began. Friday when we drove into the neighboring towns to antique and Black Friday shop, each of us would buy a kick off the holidays gift for the person whose name we drew from the hat.
We set a $5.00 limit, and the rule was the gift had to be something the recipient talked about on Thanksgiving day or night. Part of the fun was seeing how attentive and creative we could get with our gift selections. A quick stop at the dollar store for a small Christmas tree, gift bags, and reindeer bells to ring round the campfire completed the process.
The kids loved it, and the big kids got into it as well. Our kick off the holidays hot cocoa and hat draw gifted each us with a great memory.
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
– Dr. Seuss
I’ve tweaked the tradition a bit, and now it’s the We Wish Family and Friends a Feast of a Happy Holidays Season favor gift give.
Home is where the Holiday heart is, and ours beats strong here at Places In The Home. Our holiday celebrations are all about honoring traditions old and new, making meaningful memories, sharing the holiday love with family, friends, and readers, and offering holiday table ideas, holiday decor finds, suggestions, stories, and sources. Join me throughout the holiday season for all things house that make a holiday home.
This post contains links to Paperless Post. I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience.
Places In The Home is in full-on this is not a drill, the holiday season is here mode. When a shopping network host announced Christmas is less than two months away, it brought it all home. This end of October-beginning of November week kicks off the whole let’s holiday plan and prep shebang, and I’m inviting and celebrating family and friends, thankful feasts and fêtes, seasoned and Seasons Greetings, ’tis the season of soirees and open houses, New Year’s Day supper, and happy birthday greetings with a little help from my friends at Paperless Post.
Paperless Post is an online invitations, cards, and stationery platform. Begin the custom design process by creating an account. Choose the occasion and from there peruse the selections of designs. A wide range of distinctive designs, fonts, colors, backgrounds, shapes, and designers make it easy for you to create, design and send custom digital invitations, cards, and stationery for your business and/or personal needs.
Paperless Post has many cards free to send, and you can send a free card to up 200 email addresses. Birthday wishes, save the date, dinner party, graduation, fundraiser, new address, game night, add your own photo, sympathy, charity event, birth announcement, girl’s getaway weekend, entertaining, sip and see free and fabulous.
Premium designer cards require coins to send. Coins are the currency used on Paperless Post to price premium design options and add-ons such as envelopes, liners, stamps, postmarks, logos, and backdrops. As you go through the customization flow, the cost of your card per recipient will appear at the top right corner of the page. Paperless Post never shows third-party ads on their website, in their emails, or on their mobile app. Therefore, you do not have to use additional coins to remove ads.
Pheasant Plumage – John Derian
An invitation to gather together with friends to eat, drink, celebrate, and be grateful for one another on the third Thursday of November is but a custom design and email list away.
Gourd Times – Crate & Barrel
Holiday time is open house time, y’all!
A customized invitation to join you to celebrate not only fits the occasion, but reflects your personal style.
The Lady It’s Cold Outside invitation is decked out in faux fur holiday finery for a festive evening of holiday spirits, decorating, and dancing.
So sipping cocktails-Dino on the hi-fi-Cherries Jubilee-1960s throwback swanky.
The Peas on Earth invitation is perfect for our Creole black-eyed peas and Southern buttermilk cornbread Peas on Earth, Good Eats for Luck New Year’s Day supper.
Peas on Earth
A Louisiana birthday celebration deserves a snazzy and snappy birthday card.
Snappy Birthday (Nicholas John Frith) – Red Cap Cards
Design, create, greet, announce, invite, and impress friends, family, and clients with custom digital invitations, cards, and stationery from Paperless Post. The design and send experience is as easy as email, the design result as elegant as it is exceptional.
The long awaited where have you been old friend crisp fall air whispered in my ear the time is now for fall decorating around the house. I find more and more my taste aligns with simple, natural, and the work with what you have aspect of seasonal decorating.
Simplicity is defined as the quality or condition of being plain or natural; a thing that is plain, natural, or easy to understand. Putting together an arrangement of pine cones and various leaves rich in fall colors is about as natural and easy as it comes.
There is a time and a place for everything, and with the hustle and the bustle of the holiday season soon to arrive, this year’s fall decorating around the house look is brought to you by the need and the want to showcase decorative items germane to individuality, simplicity, effortlessness, and nature’s beauty.
Mama Places In The Home calls me from one of the hobby and crafts store we frequent for fall into holiday decor. She is happy to report the entire stock of fall swags and wreaths is currently marked 70% off original price.
The swag is so much more attractive than it appears in this photo. Try, try as I may, I could not capture a good picture of the swag. The combination of a cloudy day, funky angles, and wth? exposure settings does not do it justice.
One of my favorite local vintage shops posts what’s new in store features to their Facebook page on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Checking out the page, a wicker cotton basket full of dried gourds in assorted colors and shapes caught my eye. Gourds decorate for fall through to Thanksgiving– a small investment, big return accent.
I must admit I do some of my best shopping via the Facebook pages of local shops and boutiques.
Send a message.
Pull it and I’ll be right there.
And that’s exactly what I did with these gourds.
We’ll call this one fresh flowers and framed memories.
The year was 1998, and the event was one of the many school events-carnivals-fundraisers-assemblies- open houses we attended at our son’s elementary school.
That was twenty years and, two hair colors ago.
Fall decorating around the house is more joy than chore, more labor of love than costly affair. Simple ideas, thoughtful touches steeped in warm and cozy overtones, inspired choices, natural elements, accessories, collectibles, and souvenirs near and dear to your heart and taste beautifully work the room and welcome fall into your home.
Show & Tell