When it comes to entertaining, you often read how you can’t really have a successful party unless you prepare for weeks in advance, but most of us know that’s just not true and sometimes we may only have a day or so to prepare. That’s okay.
Since Thanksgiving is next week… Wow. Since Thanksgiving is next week, I’ve decided to focus on last-minute entertaining tips & menu ideas.
Plan out your menu
In our family, we like variety. When it comes to a full Thanksgiving spread, the possibilities are often endless. My mother always goes out of her way during the holidays to make sure everyone has a place to go, so if you are close to them and alone, you will quickly be invited over with 20+ people to celebrate around the table and enjoy a full feast.
You will most likely find the following:
Turkey & Ham – When you are feeding more than 20+, you gotta have options.
Sweet Potato Casserole – Marshmallows not optional.
Green Bean Casserole
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Cranberry Sauce – Whole cranberries are so good.
Just to name a few. I know there are more dishes that are served but you lost me somewhere around Green Bean Casserole.
Turkeys don’t have any bread or pasta in them but not all turkeys are created equal. Some turkeys are injected with flavorings/preservatives containing gluten so make sure to read the label or contact the company in advance.
Make the gravy from turkey drippings using corn starch or gluten-free flour as the thickener.
The core ingredient in stuffing is dried bread, so this will need some gluten free modifications. Purchase a gluten-free mix from a local gluten free bakery such as Apple Gluten Free Kitchen. Check for gluten in the stuffing’s sausage and get gluten-free turkey stock: Kitchen Basic Gluten Free Turkey Stock is available at Jewel stores.
THE CRANBERRY SAUCE
Instead of using a sugar-filled, preservative-full fruit sauce that comes from a can, make homemade raw cranberry sauce to ensure no contaminants!
The more fresh, colorful veggies the better! A green bean casserole contains soup (not gluten-free) and onion toppings. To make gluten-free, substitute crumbled “funions” for the onion topping, and purchase a gluten-free soup from a local food store. In the Chicagoland area, Fruitful Yield stores will have a complete green bean casserole mix! If serving bread/rolls, gluten-free options are available at practically any store.
THE PUMPKIN PIE
Pie crust is not gluten-free, so modifications are necessary. Use crumbled gluten-free graham crackers (or gluten-free gingerbread cookies) as a substitute in a pie crust recipe. Or, pre-made gluten-free pie crusts are available at Whole Foods.
Here are some delicious gluten-free recipes for Thanksgiving:
Homemade Raw Cranberry Sauce:
In a food processor, add 1 orange (remove peel and seeds), 1 lemon (remove peel and seeds), 4 dates (pitted and chopped). Slowly add 2 cups fresh cranberries and process until coarsely chopped. To make less tart, add more dates!
Ingredients: 1 butternut squash, 1 tbsp. coconut oil, 2 tbsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. raw honey.
Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place one half face down in a small glass baking dish with 1 inch of water. Microwave on high for about 6 minutes, to slightly soften the squash. Remove and cool. Remove outer skin of squash, and cut into 1 inch cubes. Add coconut oil to a pan, heat on medium. Add squash, cinnamon, honey. Cook until mostly soft and serve.
Thanksgiving Green Beans:
Steam 1 lb. fresh green beans for about 8 minutes (about half-done). Meanwhile, prepare ingredients for your skillet: 1 tbsp. coconut oil, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 1/4 cup hazelnuts (finely chopped), zest of one lemon, 2 tbsp. chopped rosemary. Add those ingredients to the skillet, on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add green beans, coat, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Filling Ingredients: 1 can pumpkin puree (or 1 3/4 c. fresh home made pumpkin puree), 2 eggs, 1/2 c. raw honey, 1/2 c. coconut milk, 2 tbsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ground cloves, 1/4 tsp. fresh grated ginger.
Crust Ingredients: 1 c. pecans, 1/2 c. hazelnuts, 4 tbsp. coconut oil, pinch of sea salt.
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 F. Process nuts in food processor until flour like consistency. In a bowl, mix nuts, salt, and coconut oil – then spread the crust mixture into a pie pan and bake for 10 minutes. Mix all filling ingredients in a bowl. Fill evenly into the baked crust and bake additional 45 minutes.
See more recipes here.
I love Thanksgiving! Not just for the food, but for the family & entertaining.
Always have snacks around!
According to Williams-Sonoma, Snacks like mixed nuts and olives look beautiful displayed in a seasonal condiment bowl, but you can also use the bowl for garnishes. Fill it with croutons and fried sage to top soup, or extra nuts for salad.
Instead of a floral arrangement for a centerpiece, let the food take center stage.
Mix & match patterns, colors and fabrics for a fun, holiday table.
Soup and salad are easy to serve family-style or even as a plated first course, and serving the starters separately frees valuable buffet space.
The LG Blast Chiller, available in the 3-Door Super Capacity French-Door refrigerator (LFX31935), can chill a room temperature, 12oz beverage in five minutes or a bottle of wine in just eight minutes. By comparison, a typical refrigerator takes about 40 minutes to accomplish this task – even in the freezer. This refrigerator is also among the largest capacity 36-inch refrigerators currently on the market, offering almost 20 percent more space and the ability to store over 50 gallons of milk.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by LG via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of LG