My Perfect Virtual Thanksgiving Dinner

Virtual Thanksgiving Ideas2
i have always dreamed of having the perfect Thanksgiving. i would spend all week preparing the food in the kitchen with my mom, or my kids or anyone one else who would love to join in. the warm smells of heavenly food would waft through the air. holiday music would fill the room, and the tasting and prep would comense at full force until the day of Thanksgiving. when Thanksgiving Day arrived, the house would be beautifully set up with gold gilded pumpkins and candles lining the table. all the silverware and dishes would perfectly match, and everyone would be dressed in festive Fall attire. the turkey would be perfectly moist and carved to perfection, and all my favorite sides would be passed around the table with oohs, and ahhs of delightfulness. dessert would be pies, pies and more pies, and at the end of the dinner our bellies would be full of yummy food…but feeling guilt free, because all this amazing food would be calorie free. no need to head to the gym the next day. and everyone would gather in the next room around a warm crackling fire and look through old photo books and enjoy the company of each other.

yep….this is my perfectly, impractical, never going to EVER happen…perfect Thanksgiving!

i know this will never happen as perfectly as i describe it. for one, my house is way too small to host an event as extravagant as this Thanksgiving get-together i have dreamt up. two, my mom hates cooking. i have begged numerous times to have a holiday baking day the day before Thanksgiving. it is always answered with,  ” i hate to cook.” and my mother-in-law prefers me not to help her out in the kitchen, so it will ever happen on that side either. and three, you unless i have thousands of dollars to hire help to put on this Thanksgiving Extravaganza…it would be nearly impossible to accomplish.

so far every Thanksgiving i have attended since i’ve been married has had it’s “problems.” either the turkey was still frozen, or the family has eaten without us, or everyone brought the same side (sweet potatoes for days), or how about arriving at the party to find your parents asleep in bed with nothing set up in the house! and then there was last year when i was severely sick in bed. do you know how painful it is to watch everyone’s Thanksgiving feasts on Instagram and Facebook while you are huddled up in a fetal position in your bed. LOL. yes, none of my Thanksgivings have been what you call “perfect.” however…it is (kind of) funny to remember back on them and laugh. what really matters is the thought. the memories. the family and friends.

even though i will never have that story book perfect Thanksgiving Dinner. what IS perfect is those little IMPERFECT MEMORIES. i doubt anyone remembers that perfect Turkey they had 8 years ago, or the beautiful table cloth that was on the table in 2004. but i do remember all the funny things that have happened. so in reality, i guess you could say that i have had some pretty awesome Thanksgivings.

so, since i know it is impossible to have this “pinterest perfect Thanksgiving” i have been dreaming of in real life….i thought it would be fun to have the perfect Virtual Thanksgiving Dinner. and YOU ARE ALL INVITED!!!!!!  i am so very Thankful to all of you who have supported me, laughed with me, shared with me and encouraged me throughout the years of me writing this blog. so it is only perfect that i have my perfect Vitual Thanksgiving Dinner Celebration with you!

so here goes……..

as you enter my home, you will be greeted a lovely, beautifully decorated house and table, designed by Pottery Barn. the crisp white with accents of rustic wood and gold and silver accents perfectly compliment the season fall pumpkins and fresh fall florals.

Thanksgiving Decor

while i make the finishing touches on the food, sit down and enjoy a drink and help yourself to The Perfect Fall Cheese Platter by Perfectly Yum.

-bestCheese-platter-honestly-yum

 

you can also enjoy a glass of Thanksgiving Punch.
full drink ideas

when dinner is ready, everyone will sit down and bless the food…as we are so thankful for our bounty. as we chat about the things we are thankful for, we will start the meal with a salad first course. i have chosen to serve this Pomegranate Pear Pistachio Salad with Creamy Pomegranate Dressing by Carlsbad Cravings

Fall Pomegranate-Pistachio-Pear-Salad-with-Creamy-Sweet-Chili-Pomegrante-Dressing

a basket of Extra Flakey Homemade Crescent Rolls by Half Baked Harvest will be passed around the table. they are still warm from the oven.

Flakey Crescent Rolls

the centerpiece of the meal will be this Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey by What’s Gaby Cooking.

citrus herb roasted turkey

complete with Homemade Turkey Gravy by What’s Gaby Cooking.

Homemade Turkey Gravey

next up, everyone will fill their plates with sides galore. anything and everything they could imagine. like Classic Stuffing by Recipe Girl

Best Classic-Stuffing-recipe

Cranberry Sauce by Joy the Baker

IMG_1286

Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Simply Recipes

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes by the Food Charlatan. i die.

Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes

a Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete without The Best Green Bean Casserole by The Novice Chef

Best Green Bean Casserole

or Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes by Spoon Fork Bacon. a fun twist on the everyday sweet potatoes.

twice Baked Sweet potatoes

and one of my favorites is the Slow Cooker Creamed Corn by Damn Delicious.

Slow Cooker Creamed Corn Recipe

our Thanksgiving meal will end with pies, pies, and more pies. among the contenders will be this Caramel Apple Pie by The Pioneer Woman.

Caramel-Apple-Pie

and this Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Topping by Better Homes and Gardens.

Pumpkin Pie with Praline Topping

for the kiddies, these Rice Crispy Treat Turkeys by Shugary Sweets are sure to make them smile.

turkey-krispie-treats

now that our virtual bellies are full of virtual food (which you can actually make if you click on the links). i want to thank you for coming to my Thanksgiving dinner! i hope you had as fun as i did. and i wish you a fun and festive Thanksgiving! go enjoy it with the ones you love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch

This week I made my Sweet’N Low Thanksgiving Punch for the upcoming holidays as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #SweetNLowStars

Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch

it’s fall ya’ll….and almost time for Thanksgiving! i love this time of year because of the fall colors…it has to be one of my most favorite color schemes of all the seasons. plus, THE FOOD. i love all the food served at Thanksgiving time, best of all, the appetizers and desserts. believe it or not, i could skip the Turkey dinner and just eat appetizers, dips and pie. so now it’s time to start planning the holiday meals. if you are looking for a nice drink to serve with your dessert or appetizers, this Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch is a good recipe. it has all the spice and flavors of fall, and is meant to be served cold…and sipped during the meal.

to make this Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch, you will need a bunch of your holiday favorites; the main ingredients are apple cider, cranberry pomegranate juice and ginger ale.
holiday non alcoholic spiced punchthen you will add cloves, cinnamon sticks, apples, oranges, lemons, Sweet’N Low, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla to spice it up. and remember, that with this punch you can adjust the flavors to your liking. if you like more spice…add more, if you like it sweeter, add more Sweet’N Low or maple syrup, if you don’t like molasses, leave it out. Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch Ingredientsyou will be cooking the apple cider, cranberry-pomegrante juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges and lemon over medium heat. stirring until it comes to a slight boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. you will then, remove it from the heat, and strain mixture. discard the oranges, lemon, cloves and cinnamon sticks, and then return the punch to the pot. now add the maple syrup, molasses and Sweet’N Low and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes. remove from heat and add vanilla. since this punch is meant to be served cold, let the punch cool down. adjust the flavors as you wish, and then refrigerate overnight. it will taste even better the next day.
Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punchwhen you are ready to serve, you will fill your glasses with fruit garnish and a cinnamon stick, and then pour the cider and ginger ale over the top. freezing your fruit will make it act like ice cubes, so i highly recommend it. 
Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch

this Thanksgiving Spiced Apple Cider Punch is a great compliment to your Thanksgiving dinner as served as an appetizer or even during the meal. the colors in the drink are so festive and fun. and pssst, using the Sweet ‘N Low cuts down on the extra calories of added sugar….plus, i can’t tell the difference. you can add more or less according to your taste.

thanksgiving punch recipe

ingredients
1 gallon apple cider
4 cups Ginger ale soda
2 cups 100% cranberry pomegranate juice (with no sugar added)
30 whole cloves (see note below)
2 oranges, cut up
1 lemon, cut up
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
10 – 12 packets Sweet’N Low
1 teaspoon molasses
8 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish – green apple, red apple, oranges, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon sticks

directions
In a stock pot, add apple cider, cranberry-pomegrante juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, oranges and lemon and stir over medium heat. Once it comes to a slight boil, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. remove from heat, and strain mixture. discard the oranges, lemon, cloves and cinnamon sticks, and then return the punch to the pot. now add the maple syrup, molasses and Sweet’N Low. simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes. remove from heat and add vanilla. Let the punch cool down. Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve:

For the garnish, add small pieces of red apples, green apples, oranges, pomegranate seeds and a cinnamon stick to each glass.

Place the garnish fruit into glasses, filling about a ¼ full. Pour the cold spiced apple cider into the glasses 1/2 full and fill the rest with ginger ale on top. (you can also add the ginger ale to the punch before serving.
Serve and enjoy!

tip: freeze your garnish fruit on a baking tray, and use them as ice cubes and keep your punch cold.

fruit spiced punch
to find more yummy Sweet’N Low drink recipes,
visit the Sweet’N Low Beverage Page or Facebook page.

have a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday…what are you planning on cooking?

{ disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I am an Ambassador for Sweet’N Low. All thoughts and opinions are my own. }

 

 

 

 

Happy November | Free Be Thankful Printable

Free Be Thankful Printable #thanksgiving #thanksful #fall

it’s November!  i love this month because it’s when i start all my holiday baking, the leaves are beautiful colors, it time to start getting ready for the holidays, and most of all, its an important month to reflect on all that i have been blessed with. there is so much to be thankful for, and i love activities such as this Thankful String Tree and this Thankful Banner. they leave reminders in my home of what i am thankful for.

this year i made this Be Thankful Fall Printable to celebrate this month of Thankfulness. it will be displayed in my entryway. and you can too…just print it out and put it into an 8 x 10″ frame to display during the month November. it’s FREE, and my gift to you. i am so thankful for all my readers here, and i wanted to share it with you. i am so grateful for this space where i can create, share and enjoy, it has brought  lot of joy to my life, and i am thankful for that.

click here to download the free Be Thankful Fall Printable

DIY Thankgiving Turkey Bread Loaves | Free Printable

DIY Thanksgiving Turkey Bread Loaves | Free printable #printable

today i made some pumpkin spice bread for my kids teachers to enjoy on their holiday off from school. i wanted to dress them up a little and didn’t have any Thanksgiving plates or bags. so i designed a fun printable to dress up my mini bread loaves as turkeys. they turned out much cuter than i thought they would, and were super simple to make.

and now that i made the printable….i might as well share it with my awesome readers. now you can make some bread loaf turkeys too! all you need is some cardstock, glue and toothpicks and in minutes you will have yourself your own turkey breads.

here is how to make a Thanksgiving Turkey Bread Loaf….

what you need:
mini loaves of bread (i used 3-1/2 x 5″ bread…but i am sure you can use any smaller sizes)
toothpicks
1 piece of colored cardstock
1 piece of white cardstock
glue
scissors

step one print out the turkey printable onto white cardstock.

step two glue the colored card stock to the backside of your printed turkey pieces.

step three cut out your turkey pieces

step four slip a toothpick in-between the colored cardstock and printed cardstock of the turkey head and turkey feathers. (see below)

thanksgiving-turkey-craft

step five carefully wrap your loaves of bread with plastic wrap….then insert the turkey head and turkey feathers. if you want to add a ribbon or twine, it adds a nice touch.

and there you have your Bread Loaf Turkey. they make a nice Thanksgiving gift for your friends, neighbors or party hosts. and since you can make quite a few mini loaves of bread with one recipe, you can make some to save and some to share in no time flat.

diy-thanksgiving-gift-free-printable

 

click here to download the free printable Thanksgiving turkey printables.

Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble Gobble

Thankful Banner Craft | Free Thanksgiving Printable

thankgiving-mantle-mod-podge

when Mod Podge asked me to do a tutorial for a holiday craft, i knew i wanted to create something for Thanksgiving. and since i love to take photos, why not make something to display my favorite instagram photos. so i created this “Thankful” Thanksgiving Banner.

to make a “Thankful” Thanksgiving Banner, i created a printable, and used Mod Podge to adhere it to wooden tiles. Mod Podge® is the number one all-in-one glue, sealer and finish and is available in a variety of formulas, i used the Glitter Mod Podge for this project because i wanted to add a little sparkle to my project, but i could have used original just the same. i use it for everything, if you’re new to decoupage or want to know more, check it out on plaid’s website.

also, i wanted to add a few Thanksgiving items to my mantel to make it more festive, so i had my little one paint the Glitter Mod Podge on our Halloween pumpkins. he really enjoyed it, and they came out great…and super glittery.

mod-podge-pumpkins

below is a tutorial on how to make your own “Thankful” banner. i have included the free Thankful Printable for you to use.

how to make a “Thankful” Thanksgiving Banner

what you need:
• (8)  2-1/2 x 3-1/2″ wood or thick cardstock rectangles
• (8) wooden clothespins
• Glitter Mod Podge or original Mod Podge
• Mod Podge applicator brush or paint brush
• twine or ribbon
• glue gun & glue sticks
• craft knife or scissors
• Thankful Printable (printed on paper or coardstock)
(8) photos

mod-podge-craft

step 1 print and cut out printable to the size of your wooden rectangles.

step two generously apply Mod Podge to wooden rectangle and adhere each printable letter. let dry completely.

mod-podge-tutorial

step 3 brush additional Mod Podge over the top of printable and let dry.

free-thanksgiving-printable-craft

step 4 glue clothes pins to the back of each wooden rectangle using glue gun.

mod-tutorial-holiday-craft

step 5 using a glue gun, glue each wooden rectangle to the twine (or ribbon) about 1″ down from the top of the back of the rectangle. space the letters about 6 to 7″ apart. make sure to use a big spot of glue, even covering the top of the twine. leave a couple feet of twine on each end so that you can hang you “Thankful” banner.

thanksgiving-craft-DIY

and there you have the finished “Thankful” banner. you can display it on your mantel, across a doorway or anywhere in your home.  hope you can make one too…i am loving seeing my family photos displayed. Happy Thanksgiving.

thanksgiving-printable-banner-mod-podge

click here for the “Thankful” Thanksgiving Printable

Mod Podge on Facebook | Plaid Blog

 

{disclosure: this is a sponsored post. i received product to facilitate this tutorial. all thoughts and opinions are my own. }