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, 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:


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 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!)


  • – 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!

DIY Table Runner for Thanksgiving Table

DIY Table Runner for Thanksgiving Table

I have been looking for ways to incorporate my son into my hobbies (aka parties) so that we are spending more time together and so that I nurture his creativity. We had a ton of fun together creating the paintings for our Halloween party. When thinking about how I was going to decorate the Thanksgiving table this year I wanted to work on something together that would give him a little ownership to the meal and table. A little paper and paint and we had a plan– a DIY Table Runner! Paper table runners are a great way to set the holiday table because you don’t really have to worry about spills ruining your good linens. Kids can draw on the runner when bored and waiting for the rest of the party to finish their food. It is just a win win.

Involve your kiddo in decorating the holiday table with this easy DIY watercolor table runner. - A Well Crafted Party

DIY Table Runner with Watercolor Paints & Paper

I have a pretty good selection of every day craft supplies in my house. However, the one supply that I like to keep in stock that may not be in the average household is a large roll of butcher paper. I currently have a large roll of white paper and a large roll of black paper. I often find a use for large paper rolls whether it be a craft project or a last minute wrapping need. Below is a short list of supplies that I used when my son and I created this watercolor DIY table runner.


(Links below are affiliate links to products I use and would suggest!)

DIY Table Runner Project - Perfect project to do with your kids! - A Well Crafted Party



This was such an easy project and it really didn’t take too much time or effort. Use the steps below to create your own DIY Table Runner.

  1. Cut paper to length of table or desired length/width (you could also make great little place mats or wrapping paper with this same method!)
  2. Decide on a color scheme for this project. If you choose a lot of different colors then you are likely to get a pretty muddy mess. I like to choose colors that are shade variations. This project we took blue, green, white, and black paints to create different shades of blue-green. NOTE: Test out your desired color scheme on a scrap piece of paper so that you don’t have to waste the larger sheet if you don’t like the final look.
  3. Paint in varying directions in large swatches. We really wanted the runner to look organic and a tad messy. This makes this project great for kids as it doesn’t require a lot of precision. Vary the amount of water on your brush to mix up the water color look with a bolder dry brush effect. My son really could have done this whole thing by himself with just me guiding him on when to switch colors so that they didn’t clump up all in one area.
  4. Once you have the amount of coverage that you like let the paper dry. Water colors dry extremely fast. I think ours took about 10 minutes to dry once completed.
  5. Fold the sides of the paper under for a seamless look.
  6. DONE! Set your table and enjoy!


DIY Table Runner Project - Perfect project to do with your kids! - A Well Crafted Party


What else could you use this method of painting for in your home?

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.


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?

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