Make This Your Best Ever Thanksgiving Tablescape

November, 19, 2020

This year, Thanksgiving may feel a bit different. Your get-together may be a little smaller and more intimate. This does not mean you can’t still make it memorable and festive with some creative Thanksgiving table decor ideas and tips. You might prefer a traditional feel, minimalist touch, rustic farmhouse, or perhaps glam accents call your name. Use these easy to pull off tips for your gathering.

Set the Table Using What you Have

You don’t have to buy anything new, though holiday decor shopping is always fun, to design an eye-catching Thanksgiving table setting. A good starting point is with basic dishware, white or any solid color, then add contrast with dark or printed napkins. Pick a color scheme for dishes and decor and start getting creative.

Pumpkins and Greenery

Have leftover pumpkins from October? Those can be perfect for your centerpiece or accents to top off your plates. Keep them natural, or paint them your preferred color to match your decor. Add some glitter or gold to your pumpkin if you are looking for a more luxurious look. Add in some green leaves to offset natural or minimal looks, or use some pinecones. Pinecones can also easily be painted your desired color for a fresh look.

Set The Mood- Lighting

Simple candles, whether on their own or in a holder are a quick and easy way to add to the centerpiece. And if you are looking for more light, twist in some string-lights within your centerpiece. Quick tip, use unscented candles to get the right light without interfering with the delicious meal, and use LED lights that won’t heat up around your decor.

Crave-able Centerpiece

If food is absolutely at the center of your gathering, a charcuterie board can make a great and delicious addition to your tablescape. Choose your favorite meats, cheeses, fruits, and crackers to create a visually appealing appetizer piece. Spruce this up with some jam, honey, or chocolate to add a sweet accent.

Can’t Forget About the Kids

It is easy to forget about the kid’s table. That said, kid’s Thanksgiving table decorations don’t have to be too kitschy or complicated. An inexpensive roll of craft paper stands in for a tablecloth— little ones will love that they can doodle on their placemat before dinner, and your clean up will be a breeze. If you’d like to take it one step further, you can download templates of name cards, straw toppers, and menus, so setting the cutest table is as easy as printing and placing.

We would love to hear how you and your family are celebrating this year! Let us know below.

Cocktail and Food Pairings to Spice Up Thanksgiving

Many people are facing scaled-back holiday celebrations this year, and we see this as a great opportunity to add a few new special touches to the day. These crisp fall cocktails and tasty food pairings will be sure to make your Thanksgiving memorable.

Apple Cider Mojitos

Mojito’s do not have to stop when summer does, a little apple cider turns this into the perfect fall refresher. Mint + cider may sound strange at first, but it ends up very refreshing. A small tip – to make it even more Autumnal, try rosemary or thyme instead of mint.

Mojito Recipe Here

Suggested Pairings

Cheese & charcuterie board, with that fresh taste, this would be great paired with an appetizer

Chips, crackers, and light dips (salsa, hummus, etc.)

Turkey dinner, the refreshing mint twist pairs well with poultry.

Spiced Mexican Hot Chocolate

What is the Holiday season without hot chocolate? With this recipe, cinnamon sticks and a splash of bourbon will change the way you look at hot cocoa for good. We recommend enjoying this cocktail with dessert.

Spiced Hot Cocoa Recipe Here

Suggested Pairings

Best to stick with sweet treats for this recipe

Peppermint bark

Shortbread or sugar cookies

Pecan pie

Apple Cider Sangria

Another spin on a summer drink, this spiced and sparkling punch made with apple cider, brandy, and a splash of Prosecco packs big flavor with fresh lemon, ginger, orange bitters, and sliced seasonal fruits.

Cider Sangria Recipe Here

Suggested Pairings

Turkey dinner, the fresh fruits help this pair well with poultry

Spinach and artichoke dip

Fresh baked apple pie

Cinnamon sugar dusted doughnuts

Mulled Cider

Of course, the colder weather calls for a comforting hot cider. This spiked version is easy to make and budget-friendly to serve at holiday gatherings. The cider base can be prepared beforehand and refrigerated up to 2 days — when ready to heat, simply add the rum of your choice.

Mulled Cider Recipe Here

Suggested Pairings

Appetizers, especially any with beef or pork

Pigs in a blanket

Bacon wrapped dates

Marinated or breaded mushrooms

We would love to know if you try any of these recipes, and what you think of them. Leave a comment below!

Spice Up Thanksgiving – Island of Hawaii Style!

November, 24, 2014

Turkey Dinner

Turkey Dinner
Photo by Sharon Mollerus

Are you tired of the same old Thanksgiving dishes?  Does your turkey and stuffing taste the same year after year?

Why not try infusing this year’s Thanksgiving dinner with some recipes from Hawaii.  While many Hawaiian Thanksgiving dishes are based on dishes from the mainland, they often add an island twist that makes them taste new and fresh.

Hawaiian Kalua Turkey:  You may have heard of Kalua Pig, but did you ever think about using the same technique on a turkey?  The traditional kalua cooking technique is to slowly roast the meat in an underground oven called an imu.  Over hours of cooking the meat becomes unbelievably moist and tender.

If you don’t want to dig up your backyard, you can get a similar flavor using an oven or crock-pot.  The famous chef, Sam Choy, advises to add Hawaiian alaea sea salt and liquid smoke to get a similar flavor you would with an imu.

Okinawa Sweet Potatoes, Photo by Brandon Shigeta
Okinawa Sweet Potatoes, Photo by Brandon Shigeta

Hawaiian Mimosa:  Instead of mixing up a typical mimosa for your guests why not create a more tropical blend.  Pour one part pineapple juice and apricot nectar into a large pitcher with two parts orange juice.  When your friends arrive hand them a half-filled champagne flute and add the tropical juice mixture.

Okinawa Sweet Potatoes:  These sweet potatoes are easy to find in Hawaii, although you may have to head over to your local Asian market to find them on the mainland.  They taste delicious and turn deep purple when they are cooked.  Try drizzling them with butter infused with lime juice and sprinkling them with Hawaiian red clay salt.

Steamed Mahi-mahi:  This dish is a wonderful addition to your traditional Thanksgiving fare.  Mahi-mahi is the Hawaiian name for dolphinfish, and often used in restaurants so customers don’t think they are being served dolphin (Dolphinfish are not related to dolphins).  The fish is wrapped in ti leaves (you can also use banana leaves), placed in a bamboo steamer, and cooked briefly.  When served the Mahi-mahi melts in your mouth.

Photo by Matt Sudol
Photo by Matt Sudol

Portuguese Sweetbread Turkey Stuffing:  The first large amount of Portuguese immigrants came to Hawaii in the latter part of the 1800s to work the sugarcane plantations.  With them they brought many traditions that have shaped Hawaiian culture.  In cuisine they introduced malasadas (donuts), sweet bread, and sausage.  Try giving your stuffing a bang by adding marinated giblets, Portuguese sausage, and sweet bread.

Macadamia Coffee Ice Cream:  The Big Island is known for its macadamia nut farms and Kona coffee trees.  Spice up that pumpkin pie with a side of vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate syrup infused with Kona coffee and sprinkled with macadamia nuts.

We hope these recipe ideas bring happiness to you and your family.  If you’d like information about our Big Island real estate listings, please get in touch with us at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.