Can you believe Thanksgiving is only a couple weeks away? I know every mom always says it repeatedly but, time sure does fly. This time last year I was nearly 5 months pregnant with sweet Taylor, and now she is almost 7 months old. What the what?! For T’s first Thanksgiving we will be hosting a meal for my hubby’s family at our house on the day before Thanksgiving, then going to my parents’ home for the day of. I’m especially looking forward to Thanksgiving this year because we will finally get to meet my sweet little niece, who lives out of state with my brother and sister-in-law. She was born only 3.5 months after Taylor, and I can’t wait to meet/snuggle her and see the cousins interact.
This time last year I was planning to host my first ever
Thanksgiving Friendsgiving for my husband, four of our best friends, and their 3 babes. I like to cook but, admittedly, I had only ever really cooked for two up to that point. We also only have one oven in our house. Those two factors combined [oh, and being 5 months preggo and exhausted] made preparing a Thanksgiving meal pretty intimidating. How would I time soooooo many different dishes, oven temps, setups, etc…?? As I’ve mentioned before, preparation helps me feel more in control when I actually have no clue what I’m doing, so I rounded up the most delicious sounding gluten-free recipes I could find and planned out a detailed schedule for the day prior to and day of the meal/event. The food all turned out really well (yeay me for being able to follow someone else’s recipe!), but I definitely had to do some post-game tweaking to the timing piece of the plan. I didn’t give myself enough time and we ended up eating about 45 minutes after I planned to have dinner ready. My best friends each brought a side dish (yams and stuffing) so those items were not originally included on my meal planner – I hope the recipes I’ve selected are close to as delicious as theirs were. Now that my game plan has been refined and the extra side dishes selected, I’m totally hopefully ready for this year’s Thanksgiving meal!
Decor wise, I went a little less traditional last year (think brown + yellow + orange) and chose a burgundy/cream color palette, inspired by the dried purple corn and off-white pumpkins I saw/bought at the market. I am pretty sure that everything on the table, except for the food, is all from Crate & Barrel Thanksgiving in case you’re wondering (serving dishes are all the Marin White collection). I’m planning to use the same table set up this year because I loved the look so much. I wish I had taken more pictures last year, but here is one I could find from my photo archives:
I thought I would share the plan I used for my 2015 Friendsgiving meal, in case you need some Thanksgiving host-spiration for 2016, or just an extra side dish recipe!
The meal plan/schedule for the day includes:
- a grocery shopping list for the full meal (beverages, appetizers, main dishes and dessert)
- links to the most delicious gluten-free recipes I could find (including a delish signature cocktail and an AH-mazing Martha Stewart salad that I could literally eat for every meal)
- prep and cook time for each recipe
- start times for each recipe according to oven temp and prep/cook time to ensure your food is hot and ready when you need it to be.
If you would like a downloadable version of this plan, enter your name and email in the field below and I will send it straight to your email inbox:
Lastly, here is a super cute blog post from Land of Nod on Kid Friendly Thanksgiving Table decor, that includes several free printable activities for kids to do at the table! Taylor is too young this year, but if you have older kiddos perhaps you can use some of these printables to entertain them.
I’m thankful for so much in life, but most of all my sweet baby girl and our family. What are your Thanksgiving plans this year? What are you most thankful for?