You already saw how we created our “Thanksgiving on the Fly”, but with so many great magazine articles and Pinterest posts for Turkey Day, we couldn’t resist sharing a few that we loved. Every year, we head over to my brother & sister-in-law’s house for Thanksgiving, and they make an incredible spread. We show up with our clan, broccoli casserole (a family favorite we’ve been making for years) and a gift in hand. Below is our recipe! In the meantime, here are some great ideas that inspired us, and we thought we’d feature a few things from a guest’s perspective.
Better Homes and Gardens has this fantastic video on how to cook a turkey with herbs, that Rachel Ray also featured on her site. It looks delicious! Watch the video HERE.
Rachel Ray also featured her “Simon and Garfunkel Stuffing”, which kind of “sang” to us, as we’ve been listening to these artists while cooking since our family first got together. Stuffing with ‘parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme’? Mmmm. See the recipe HERE.
Canadian Living featured this easy apple cranberry sauce, which we loved since we went the pre-made route for our “Thanksgiving on the Fly”…we are definitely keeping this in mind for Canadian Thanksgiving next year! The addition of apple is a yummy twist. You can find the recipe HERE.
We saw these adorable (and edible) placeholders from Martha Stewart that double as rolls! Functional, festive, and easy to make! Plus, everyone knows that a 3P event basic is to have place-cards at dinner to keep everything flowing and on-time. Check out how to make them HERE.
As we mentioned earlier, we always bring our Broccoli Casserole as a hot side dish. Super simple to make and take with you, and it’s always a big hit with everyone. I started to make this dish to get the kids to eat broccoli. Now broccoli is a “Jessi favorite”.
– 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen or fresh chopped broccoli, partially cooked and drained (I prefer fresh broccoli)
– 1 cup mayonnaise
– 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
– 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken
– 2 eggs, lightly beaten
– garlic powder to taste
– fresh cracked pepper to taste
– 2 cups crushed crackers (I like to use Ritz crackers, and because they’re buttered, I omit the butter…)
– 2 tablespoons butter, melted
– 3 bunches of scallions, diced
– 1/4 of a cup sliced almonds (add or lessen per your taste)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup, almonds, scallions, spices and eggs. Mix well with a metal spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. And bake for 35 minutes or until browned and bubbling. For our large family, I double the recipe and use a nice white casserole dish so it can go straight from the oven to the buffet table.
It’s that easy! Now that we’ve shared our inspiration, and a dish to bring along…we also thought we’d share with you:
“Five Tips to Plan to be a Practically Perfect Guest”:
1. Ask your host as far ahead of time as possible. (A minimum of 2 weeks is good.)
a. “What can I bring that would be helpful and lessen your load?” – If they say “Nothing”, suggest that you’d REALLY like to bring something and list a few items that they can chose from. You may also want to call on your way to see if they might need anything last minute.
b. If your family is invited with you, confirm the number attending and ask what time is best to arrive. Arriving punctually is best, no later than 5 minutes though in case food is time sensitive. Personally, I find it stressful when guests arrive more than 5 minutes early…so let’s call this the “5 minute rule”.
2. Hostess Gift – Of course this is optional, however I was raised to not show up empty handed. I always have inexpensive gifts stashed away that can be pulled out on a moment’s notice. So if any of you are thinking of inviting me over…I am gift-ready, LOL. The gift we are showing today was picked up months ago, with Thanksgiving in mind and personalized for Shari.
I picked up some green raffia at a garage sale and used some of those great leaves from the Dollar Tree (which were all stored in my Fall Event Box) to wrap it up in cellophane that I always have on-hand. I made sure to add a personal card to let Shari know just how much we appreciate her and love coming over for Thanksgiving.
3. Help with prep and clean up – any way that assists your host. Sometimes too many people in the kitchen is chaotic, and many hosts will say “I’m good.”, when you ask. My “guesty” thing that I like to do and others do for me is suggest help with tedious tasks:
a. “Can I fill the water glasses for you?” – Shari always takes care of drinks on the table and I LOVE that!)
b. Can I wrap these appetizers up for you since it’s so close to dinner?”
c. “How about I wash up a few items while you’re finishing up dinner? I really don’t mind, you always help me!”
d. “Let’s just take a few minutes before dessert and we can get the dishes squared away – give me a job!” Shari and I usually help each other bag up leftovers.
4. Don’t force your assistance, but give it your best shot to try and pitch in afterwards – Don’t we all love NOT to be in a mess after company depart
5. Last but not least – a call, text, note, or email (whatever works for you) is a thoughtful way to say thank you the day after.
What are your guest etiquette suggestions to add to our list?