Thanksgiving Potlucks & Free Thanksgiving Printables

Thanksgiving Potlucks & Free Thanksgiving Printables

I had the pleasure of participating in a pre-Thanksgiving potluck of sorts and share tips for the Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving on The Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki this past weekend. Check out the two hour show for tips and LOTS of laughs. (I’m sharing tips in hour 1!) It would be a fun listen while you’re prepping your bird this Thanksgiving.

Ultimate Thanksgiving with Missy Maki The Simple Kitchen

We had a star line up for the Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving show including Ryan from Aria Gin, Bee from The Spicy Bee, Marlynn from Urban Bliss Life, Melissa from MelissaKaylene.com, Lindsay from Rosemarried, myself, and Missy Maki from The Simple Kitchen and Missy Maki Cooks. We all brought in foods and beverages to sample while speaking about Thanksgiving for two hours! A wonderful time was had by all.

The whole show was full of fantastic tips and really interesting double entendres! We discovered that you really can’t speak about the Thanksgiving meal without some funny double meanings.

 

Ultimate Thanksgiving with Missy Maki The Simple Kitchen

Ultimate Thanksgiving with Missy Maki The Simple Kitchen

Thanksgiving Tips from our Simple Kitchen Show:

There are a TON of tips on the Thanksgiving show, but the ones below are some of my favorite for having a stress-free potluck Thanksgiving:

Organization

Erin from BakeryBingo and Meredith from Martha Chartreuse called in and shared their party planning tips for hosting a holiday Friendsgiving brunch. One of the tips that really hit home was the tip to stay organized with all who are participating online through Google Docs. I also love the many different online potluck planning sites (like Perfect Potluck) for organizing your holiday meal.

Ultimate Thanksgiving with Missy Maki The Simple Kitchen

Appetizers & Drinks

When people arrive and you are in the kitchen trying to get everything done and on the table hot you will want to have something to occupy your guests time. Absolutely put them to help if you have something to do, but more often or not you just need people out of the way! A batch cocktail and delicious appetizer will help keep guests busy.

Appetizer ideas:

  • – Lindsey shared details on her Brussels Sprouts and Shallot Dip that sounds (and looks) out of this world delish
  • – A beautiful charcuterie plate will WOW a crowed and keep everyone coming back for more. The above platter was created by the lovely Melissa of MelissaKaylene.com and it was a show stopper to say the least. Check out her tips on creating your own charcuterie platter.

Drink ideas: 

Main Meal:

  • – Flip your turkey. You don’t want to let the turkey breast get dry!
  • – MASH your potatoes with a potato masher so that there are still some yummy chunks in there.
  • – DO NOT stuff your bird with your stuffing. Make the stuffing a delicious side. (This Sourdough Stuffing with Andouille from The Spicy Bee would fit nicely at your Thanksgiving table!)

Desserts:

  • – Keep it simple with a yummy holiday bark. It is easy to eat and isn’t too filling.
  • – Go ahead and buy that store made pie crust to save time. It’ll be okay. (Though, if you really want to make your own here are my tips on making the perfect pie crust!)

 

Thanksgiving Potluck Tips

Free Printable Thanksgiving Potluck Cards

While I am a fan of all food, I am also a fan of hosting a dinner party where everyone can feel comfortable eating and enjoying themselves within their own dietary restrictions. In a potluck situation it can be difficult to know what is in each dish. I don’t know about you, but I do NOT want to pull out an epi pen during Thanksgiving! These free printable Thanksgiving Potluck cards are an easy way for guests to know exactly what they are eating without having to find out and question each person who brought in a dish. Simply had each person a card and pen when they arrive and ask that they label their wonderful contribution for the safety and enjoyment of all attendees!

Free Printable Thanksgiving Potluck Cards

Listen to the recording of The Simple Kitchen’s Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving show for more tips on hosting Thanksgiving!

 

Have a happy, happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Ideas with Little Black Dress Wines

Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Ideas with Little Black Dress Wines

Wine is such a wonderful highlight at any dinner table including the Thanksgiving dinner table.  Little Black Dress Wines  (LBD Wines) sent over a few bottles of wine for me to try so I may share my experience with you! Hopefully the below tips help you in choosing your Thanksgiving wines this year. While this post is sponsored all opinions are my own. To learn more about my posting policies regarding sponsored posts please visit my policies page. As always, thank you for reading more about the companies that help support this blog. 

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings - A Well Crafted Party

Most Important Rule for Wine Pairing

The number one first rule to think of when pairing wines is simple… pick a wine you LIKE! It doesn’t matter how many experts weight in to say that a certain bottle of wine will taste fabulous with your turkey and cranberry sauce, if you don’t like that particular style of wine it won’t taste good to you! I do like having at least two different options (ideally three) of wines that I feel will pair well with the meal so that my guests can choose a style that fits their tastes.

One of the things I like the most about the LBD wines that I tried is that they are all at an affordable price point (under $15 at my local store) and are fairly friendly to a variety of palates.

 

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings - A Well Crafted Party

 

My favorite pairings for a traditional Thanksgiving meal

The traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and greens can get pretty heavy on the palate. When I choose my Thanksgiving wines I tend to look for wines that will not be heavy on the palate, so lighter in body, but not so light that it gets lost in all the bolder flavors of the gravy and stuffing. My three favorite wines for pairing with Thanksgiving meal are a Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and a Pinot Grigio.

Pinot Noir

I tend to love red wines, especially in the Fall, a Pinot Noir that is not too fruit-forward will pair nicely with both the turkey and a flavorful stuffing. It won’t overpower your mashed potatoes and will bring out some of the wonderful complex flavors of that pumpkin pie. The LBD Pinot Noir boasts “complex flavors of cherry and clove” and the finish has hints of pomegranate to it.

Chardonnay

If I decide to go with a white wine I tend to like a good Chardonnay. If you get a Chardonnay that isn’t too oaky with some good flavors of Fall fruit it will pair nicely with many of the flavors in a traditional Thanksgiving meal. The LBD Chardonnay has a accents of vanilla and oak that aren’t overpowering. The LBD website describes the wine as “fruit forward with flavors of apple and pear.”

Pinot Grigio

Finally, I like some spice on my Thanksgiving table. My favorite cranberry sauce is a jalapeno cranberry salsa with a medium heat to it. Pair that spicy cranberry sauce with some wonderful dark meat Turkey and a glass of a crisp and cool Pinot Grigio. The LBD Pinot Grigio boasts “aromas of apple, melon and lemongrass before a zesty tangerine finish.” The not-too-sweet and not-too-acidic wine really went nicely with the cranberry sauce!

 

Thanksgiving Wine Pairings - A Well Crafted Party

 

Learn more about LBD Wines.

Need a cocktail recipe for this year’s Thanksgiving cocktail hour? See my Spiced Pear Cocktail that is easy to make in a batch!

 

What do you plan on serving to drink at your Thanksgiving?

Saturday Spirits: Spiced Pear Vodka Cocktail

Saturday Spirits: Spiced Pear Vodka Cocktail

Cocktails that are easy to create in a batch, friendly to the majority of palettes, and packed full of favorite Fall flavors are perfect for serving at the Thanksgiving holiday. Wild Roots Spirits shared bottles of infused vodka so that I may share a holiday cocktail ready for your Thanksgiving celebrations. While this post is sponsored all opinions are my own. To learn more about my posting policies regarding sponsored posts please visit my policies page. As always, thank you for reading more about the companies that help support this blog. 

 

Biting into a ripe pear is one of the biggest pleasures of the Fall months for me. The bright, crisp flavor of pear combined with the rich spices that are found in so many fall foods (cinnamon, nut meg, all-spice) makes for a wonderful cocktail to serve for a Thanksgiving meal. The cocktail is a perfect start to a Thanksgiving cocktail hour or Friendsgiving cocktail party.

 

Spiced Pear Cocktail featuring Wild Roots Vodka - A Well Crafted Party

Spiced Pear Cocktail featuring Wild Roots Vodka - A Well Crafted Party

 

About Wild Roots: Each bottle of Wild Roots starts with a five-time distilled and five-time filtered grain-based vodka, infused with over a pound of natural Northwest-grown fruit. Their infused vodkas include Apple, Marionberry, Raspberry, and Pear.

 

Single Spiced Pear Vodka Cocktail:

Ingredients/ supplies: 

  • Shaker filled with ice
  • Strainer
  • Martini glass
  • 1 1/4 oz Wild Roots Pear Vodka
  • 2 oz Spiced Pear Juice
  • 1/4 oz Ginger Syrup
  • 2 oz Ginger Ale
  • Pear slices for garnish
  • 3/4 oz Bourbon (Optional) (Bourbon gives this drink great depth of flavor, but if you are looking for a little less alcohol overall then just leave it out.)

Directions:

  1. In a shaker filled with ice pour in the Pear vodka, pear juice, ginger syrup and optional bourbon.
  2. Shake until chilled and mixed well.
  3. Strain into a martini glass.
  4. Top with Ginger Ale
  5. Garnish with Pear Slice and Enjoy!

 

Spiced Pear Cocktail featuring Wild Roots Vodka - A Well Crafted Party

Spiced Pear Cocktail featuring Wild Roots Vodka - A Well Crafted Party

 

Batch Spiced Pear Vodka Cocktail:

For holiday gatherings I really like making larger batches of cocktail mixes so that myself or my guests don’t have to spend the evening playing bartender. I create the base of this recipe and put it in the fridge to chill. Guests simply need to pour into a martini glass and top with the Ginger Ale. This batch makes 8 cocktails.

Ingredients/ supplies: 

  • Pitcher
  • Strainer
  • Martini glasses
  • 10 oz Wild Roots Pear Vodka
  • 16 oz Spiced Pear Juice
  • 2 oz Ginger Syrup
  • 2 oz Ginger Ale per glass – you’ll need 16 oz.
  • 2 oz Water
  • Pear slices for garnish
  • 6 oz Bourbon (Optional) (Bourbon gives this drink great depth of flavor, but if you are looking for a little less alcohol overall then just leave it out.)

Directions:

  1. Pour the pear vodka, pear juice, ginger syrup, water, and optional bourbon into a pitcher.
  2. Stir to mix and place in fridge to chill.
  3. Serve alongside martini glasses pre-garnished with pear slices and ginger ale ready to pour.
  4. Have guests pour in 4 oz of mixture (if there is bourbon) or 3 oz of mixture (without bourbon) and top with two ounces of ginger ale.

 

Spiced Pear Cocktail featuring Wild Roots Vodka - A Well Crafted Party

Cocktail Notes:

I took the easy way out with this cocktail and purchased a spiced pear juice and a ginger syrup (found both at my local New Seasons Market) however, you could totally make your own of both. Creating simple syrups are an easy way to customize a cocktail (and many non-alcoholic beverages). For this cocktail if I didn’t have the spiced pear juice I’d make a ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice simple syrup. If you choose to do this method then reduce your juice to 1 1/2 oz of pear juice and replace the 1/4 oz of ginger syrup with 3/4 oz of this spiced syrup.

Create Your Own Spiced Simple Syrup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • nutmeg- freshly ground when possible
  • Fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 black peppercorns

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, water, and spice items into a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat so that the mixture simmers for approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and let cool completely.
  4. Strain the spiced syrup into an airtight container.
  5. Spiced simple syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to one month.

Get Social
Free Printable Blog Planner





Past Posts
Follow Along


Follow on Bloglovin

Sign up for the Well Crafted Newsletter!