Thanksgiving Countdown Challenge: Wrap Up


You worked hard all this month. Spend the week-end doing something for yourself. Relax & watch football (oh, that’s me!) Get a mani/pedi. Take a nap. Go shopping. There is plenty of food leftover. No need to cook.

You did a great job. You should be proud. And you should save your energy. After all, Christmas is 1 month away!

Be sure to subscribe to this blog. We begin our Christmas Countdown Challenge on December 1st! Let’s make it a low stress Christmas season this year!

Thanksgiving Countdown Challenge: T(hanksgiving) -10

Relax & Review

Take an evening off. Have some wine & chocolate. Review all your notes & lists. Highlight anything that you need to remember. Add items that you forgot before now. Talk to your family to be sure everyone is up to date on the tasks they need to handle. Make a few calls or send texts so you can update your guest list. You may find someone has made other plans & forgot to call you or someone had plans fall through & needs a place to spend the holiday.

However, more than anything, RELAX! Things are going to get very busy very soon.

Thanksgiving Countdown Challenge: T(hanksgiving) -11


Clean Out the Fridge

Someone in your family is going to be doing major grocery shopping very soon. There needs to be room for all that food, especially the perishables. Time to clean out the fridge & cabinets but especially the fridge. This is not the time to beat yourself up for the science experiment in the back of the fridge. It happens. Get out a new garbage bag & clean it all out. Then wash out all the containers. Then go through the freezer & get rid of all those old freezer burnt items that are taking up room. You are going to need room in there too!

Go through cabinets & rearrange so there is room for other non-perishable food items. Make space on the counter & clean it off really well so you are able to put things on there. Your kitchen may be crowded for a few days but I like to be able to see what I have & what I still need to pick up.

1-Hour Fall Crafts

1-Hour Fall Crafts

Are you longing to add some Autumn & Thanksgiving decorations to your home but you just don’t have enough time to create anything? Or perhaps you are craft challenged, wanting to make your own decorations but all thumbs when it comes to the actual projects. BHG to the rescue with these easy & quick Autumn crafts for your home. You may find just what you want & impress yourself with your ability! Enjoy!

1-Hour Fall Crafts

Thanksgiving Countdown Challenge: T(hanksgiving) -12


Test Your Recipes & Any Other New Item

I always advise against trying a new recipe when hosting an important event. Too much can go wrong. Stick with things you know.However, I understand the temptation of wanting to try something new, something special for your guests. If this is the case, I STRONGLY advise you test the recipe first. Your challenge today is to prepare any & all new recipes for your family dinner. You should also test any new equipment you may be using for Thanksgiving prep.

So, if you are using a apple peeler to peel potatoes, use now. In fact, use it to peel potatoes every time you fix potatoes for your family. If you bought new slow cookers, use them. Never wait until the big event to test anything. It greatly increase the odds that it either won’t work or will be more difficult to use than you expected.

On Thanksgiving, you should feel relaxed & comfortable, confident as you prepare your meal. Preparing new recipes a few times before Thanksgiving helps eliminate the stress caused by the unknown.

Thanksgiving Countdown Challenge: T(hanksgiving) -13


Apple Peelers

There are these handy-dandy devices known as apple peelers. You clamp them onto a counter, secure an apple into place, set the peeler, turn the handle & TA-DA, it peels your apple! You need one of these if you have a large crowd need one of these. Now before you tell me that you don’t need to peel a bunch of apples for your meal, you should know this handy device can also be used to peel POTATOES! You’re welcome!

This is an old school item. You might find one at a small mom & pop hardware store, the kind of place you shop for canning products. Or go on Craig’s List or Ebay. If you buy a used one, be sure to get one that is not rusty. It may have a few spots but you need to make it clear that you plan to use it, not simply display it. You still need to use a hand peeler to finish the job but the bulk of the work can be done with the apple peeler. If 3 of you work together, one can use the apple peeler while the second finishes the detail peeling & the third cuts the potatoes.

We did this for our church Giving Thanks dinner where we have about 200 guests & it worked GREAT! You may like it so much, you peel potatoes this way all the time!

Easy Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Easy Thanksgiving Centerpieces

I enjoy creating centerpieces & tablescapes. We have 2 piece in our living room that are perfect for a tablescape. What’s the difference between a centerpiece & tablescape? Well IMHO, a centerpiece is a single arrangement of flowers or other floral decoration. It may have 2-3 other pieces to go with it but the placement of this arrangement is the center of the table. A tablescape has multiple elements that can spread along the entire table. While this may seem more difficult to create, I find it’s actually easier. Instead of all the emphasis being on the one piece, bits of colors & decor spread out across your table.  It can be very expensive to purchase a pre-made centerpiece for you Thanksgiving (or any other) table. A tablescape should use small pieces that simple add a splash of color to your table. In the photo above, the pears & small pumpkins can be used all along the table. I would call the table decoration in the photo a tablescape.

Whatever you call it, it can be easy & fun. Simple add bits & pieces to the bare spots in your table, step back & fill in where you see the need. To help you get started, Midwest Living offers a selection of easy centerpieces for your Thanksgiving table. Now, relax & have fun with it!

Thanksgiving Centerpieces

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipes

Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipes

When I prepare a large dinner or food for a special event, I use as many shortcuts as possible while still offering my guests a fabulous meal. However, there are certain small things I do to impress my guests. And they are all very simple. People are impressed because it just isn’t the way most people would do it. For example, making dressing from scratch. All it takes is dried bread & seasoning plus the things you always add to dressing. Very easy but the fact I made it from scratch seems to impress people. I’m really not out to impress them but I like to make things special for all my guests.

Good Housekeeping has a way YOU can impress your guests this Thanksgiving: homemade cranberry sauce! It is easy to make, allows you to personalize it & will impress your guests! Plus, homemade sauce has a fresher flavor than the canned stuff. Browse through these recipes & try one! Or, use one as a starting point for your own recipe. You never know what you might discover!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce