Category Entertaining Tips

Top Thanksgiving Recipes and Tips for Holiday Success

Thanksgiving is approaching so bring out the seasonal garland, gourds and get ready for the tryptophan induced food comas!

One of tastiest turkeys I have ever had was created from our Parties That Cook team. This brined turkey recipe calls for soaking the whole bird in a brine which is essentially a solution of salt and sugar, flavored with spices. Brining the turkey helps even the white meat stay moist and flavorful when roasted to perfection. But if you don’t have time or the space in your fridge, our easy 3-step turkey breast is the perfect solution. You’re guests will not believe how quick and easy this dish is!

Can’t decide which side dishes to create? Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes that are a delicious departure from the traditional spread of pureed root vegetables and pearled onions:

Sweet Pea Galettes with Bacon and Sour Cream Recipe

Butternut Squash and Cider Soup with Sage Crème Fraiche Recipe

Easy Spinach and Roquefort Bread Pudding Recipe

And the gravy! Quite possibly the best part of Thanksgiving (a three-way tie between the turkey and stuffing of course). Try this recipe: Pan Gravy with Bourbon Recipe

In my opinion, the food alone serves as the perfect Thanksgiving decoration, but here are some easy tips to spruce up your spread:

Place Cards: has created the perfect touch for your table with these printable place card designs. Print them onto cardstock and write your guests’ names for each table setting.

Fringed Tweed Table Runner: Tweed is not only a fall trend in fashion, but in holiday tabletop decorations as well. This rustic design from the craft guru herself, Martha Stewart, is an inexpensive and simple design element for any table.

Gourds, Gourds and more Gourds: Of course, the quintessential fall decoration cannot be overlooked! Gourds and pumpkins add the finishing detail to your Thanksgiving spread. Place them at your front door and use Indian corn or acorns for an extra autumn touch.

Got any favorite tips and recipes? Share them with us! Check out the rest of our favorite recipes. Until next time, bon appétit!

Get Your Group Cooking For This Year’s Holiday Party

The holidays are approaching and that means family gatherings and plenty of food!  But for most people, resources are seldom this year more than ever.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have any fun!  Here are some ideas for group cooking activities that will ensure a fun-filled holiday celebration:

Cooking Party- The concept works equally as well for corporate team building events as it does for private holiday parties.  Print out recipes and create cooking stations around the kitchen for your guests.  Not enough counter space?  Bring out a folding table for some extra working space.  It doesn’t have to be complicated- choose a seasonal menu with recipes easy to complete in an hour, like Canapes of Goat Cheese with Olive, Cranberry and Pecan Tapenade or Butternut Squash and Cider Soup with Sage Creme Fraiche.  Don’t forget: Turn up your favorite music and the party is in the kitchen!

Potluck- The tried and true staple of any great gathering.  Switch up your classic potluck recipe with something fresh and festive for the holidays, like quinoa risotto or spicy gingerbread cakes.  Potluck pros: Less dishes and more time for fun!

Traveling Feast- Gather your neighbors for a holiday meal…that’s mobile!  Each house or apartment hosts a different course of your festive feast. Get the feel of a party without the fuss of hosting an entire bash.  Traveling feast tip: Try your hand at mixology and pair a cocktail with your course.

Looking to meet new friends this season? Join us in the kitchen for some hands-on culinary fun at our Bay Area and Chicago cooking classes open to the public. Remember, the party is always in the kitchen!