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!

Easy Dinner Side: Classic Wedge Salad

Easy Dinner Side: Classic Wedge Salad

These days you rarely see me in the kitchen anymore. My husband has been taking up most of the kitchen duties due to the combination of a killer work commute and the pregnancy. The few days a week that I decide to venture in to make something I either way over do it and create a 9 course meal based on pregnancy cravings, or I choose to go with super quick and simple dinners that I can throw together in less than half an hour. This recipe is the second of the two. I paired this super quick and easy classic wedge salad with a simple (and delicious) stuffed ravioli dish. However, the wedge salad can be a meal in its own right if you are just wanting to put together a delicious and quick Summer meal.

Wedge Salad Recipe

Classic Wedge Salad

Classic Wedge Salad

This recipe makes an easy dinner side for four people or a simple dinner for two!

Ingredients

  • 1 head ice berg lettuce
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked & crumbled
  • fresh ground pepper
  • blue cheese crumbles for garnish
  • 1 cup homemade blue cheese dressing
  • OPTIONAL: Cherry tomatoes quartered
  • For Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonaise
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Instructions

  1. Put all of the ingredients for the dressing into a bowl and whisk together. Refrigerate for up to a week if not using right away.
  2. Cut butt end off of the ice berg lettuce and then quarter the wedge, trying to keep the leaves together as much as possible.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the iceberg lettuce wedges.
  4. Top with crumbled bacon and optional tomatoes.
  5. Garnish with more crumbled blue cheese and LOTS of freshly ground black pepper.
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Variations on the Wedge Salad

Fun variations on a wedge salad:

  • — Change out the bacon for some lovely crisp chorizo for a flavorful variation on the classic. Try using a smoked bacon or cured Italian meat for another twist.
  • — Add a little Worcestershire sauce to your blue cheese dressing.
  • — Substitute butter milk for the milk and leave out the white vinegar for a tangier dressing.
  • — Change out the lettuce for a more nutritious variation… though, I am a traditionalist when it comes to the lettuce for a wedge salad. I rarely ever eat iceberg lettuce, but when I do it is usually covered in blue cheese and bacon!
  • — Serve miniature versions of this as a side at a party or perhaps a build your own wedge salad bar with a variety of fun toppings.

You can also use a store bought blue cheese dressing for this recipe to make it even simpler. I just happen to like the flavor a freshly made blue cheese dressing!


 

This post was created in collaboration with Grocery Outlet. All opinions are my own. Thank you for reading and sharing posts that are created in partnership with brands that help support this blog.Grocery Outlet operates 210+ stores in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.Visit the Grocery Outlet website to find a store near you and sign up for notifications when their new ad comes out! 

Easy Antipasto Recipes

Easy Antipasto Recipes

Antipasto (plural antipasti) means ‘before the meal’ and is the traditional first course of a formal Italian meal. ” — Wikipedia

I’m a big fan of this traditional first course of a formal Italian meal. Heck, I’m a fan of ALL courses of a formal Italian meal, but this one holds a special place in my heart because of how darn easy it is to put together a great antipasto recipe or three. And, really, antipasti just sounds so fancy!

Caprese Bites

My favorite antipasto recipe to make is barely even a recipe it is so darn simple. It is also incredibly delicious and looks great on a platter! The recipe for my caprese bites is below along with a round up of some awesome Antipasto recipes from around the web. Think of this your one stop antipasto shop. (Don’t forget to Pin for later reference because, believe me, you’ll want to come back here and make these for guests!)

Caprese Bites

Caprese Bites

Caprese bites are an easy way to wow your guest for antipasto course!

Ingredients

  • 24 toothpicks
  • 24 mozzarella balls packed in water
  • 24 leaves of basil
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning
  • Balsamic Glaze or Balsamic Vinegar Reduction for drizzling
  • Optional red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Drain your mozzarella balls and put in a bowl with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and Italian seasoning. Mix up so that all mozzarella balls are covered in the mixture.
  2. Cut your cherry tomatoes in half.
  3. Spear your basil, mozzarella and cherry tomato half with a toothpick. With the big leaves of basil I like to pierce the basil, put the mozzarella on the tooth pick, and then pierce the other end of the basil sort of sandwiching my mozzarella between the top and bottom of the leaf. I end with the cherry tomato half, cut side down, so it can stand on a platter.
  4. Drizzle with a balsamic glaze and serve!
  5. If you want to add a little spice then sprinkle some red pepper flakes across the finished dish!

Notes

You can purchase a balsamic glaze or you can make it yourself! To make your own balsamic vinegar reduction simply by taking a cup of balsamic vinegar, cooking until boiling over medium-high heat (stirring occasionally), and then turning down the heat to medium-low and cooking until the vinegar has reduced by half. Some people like to mix in honey in their balsamic reduction... me, just give me vinegar!

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 Easy Antipasto Recipes

Amazing (and Easy) Antipasto Recipes:

 

Okay, I promised a one-stop antipasto shop and that is what I plan to give you. Some of the below dishes would make for the perfect antipasto course all by themselves, others are the perfect addition to a beautiful antipasto platter.

Antipasto Platter Makings:

 

Stand on their own Antipasto Dishes:

 

Antipasto Salads:

 

Have any favorite Antipasto Recipes or Tips to add? Comment below with your favorite links, tips, dishes to serve when you do your own antipasto course!

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