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Day 2 of the What’s Gaby Cooking Thanksgiving extravaganza is here! Before we get deep into the recipes, let’s talk about a few tips and tricks for hosting the ultimate Thanksgiving.
First – Plan accordingly. You guys know I’ve teamed up with Finish® to help you have the Ultimate Thanksgiving Experience which includes the timer to end all timers. If you haven’t already signed up, get on board now so you can start getting reminders for key to-do’s leading up to Thanksgiving.Time management can be stressful as a host, but the Ultimate Thanksgiving Timer is here to help you stay on track leading up to and on Thanksgiving!
Second – Flowers. I’m a fan of a super organic arrangement as the centerpiece of my table, so we picked a color palette (I like red and orange tones that feel really autumnal), bought a bunch of flowers within that realm and then put them in a large vase as a statement piece in the middle of the table. If florals aren’t your thing, try a festive selection of dried leaves and branches – perfect for fall and a unique spin on the traditional flower arrangement! Check out my reel for tablescape inspo!
Third Cozy Touches. Thanksgiving is all about leaning into the warm, cozy feel of autumn – even if you’re in California! Add some textured throw pillows and blankets in seasonal colors and prints to make your space feel like a fall oasis for your guests. Candles are another great way to add a cozy touch and set the mood, but if you have little ones running around, one of my favorite tips is to pick up some flameless votive candles!
Fourth Entertainment. I always keep some activities on hand so the kids can stay entertained while the adults mingle – festive crafts (who doesn’t love making a handprint turkey?), puzzles and family friendly board games are all a must. If you’re an active bunch and the weather permits, head outside for a post-dinner walk or a game of touch football before cozying up with dessert.
Fifth Make clean-up a breeze. This year, you no longer need to dread tackling a sink full of dishes, thanks to new Finish® Ultimate. Keep it stocked under your sink as a key essential for Thanksgiving or after! Finish® Ultimate is engineered to clean in the toughest conditions, on burnt-on stains, in old machines and in hard water – even when you skip the rinse. So, you can try out recipes with notoriously messy ingredients without the dreaded clean-up – like my Ultimate Cheesy Herb Sourdough Stuffing, Pumpkin Fondue or Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes!
Just a few more tips and tricks that might help you between now and then!
- Don't forget to take the innards out of the turkey. I did that 2 years ago and while the turkey was still perfect, I was embarrassed when I carved it in front of 14 people. Just DON’T FORGET. Consider this your very early reminder.
- Speaking of which, carve the turkey before you get to the table. It's messy. No one needs to witness that.
- One of the most important tools to have on hand? A meat thermometer! No need to dish out a lot of money for one – I love the cheap ones from the supermarket. When preparing your turkey, try this recipe, and leave the timer in your bird – it’ll pop out once it’s ready!
- Mocktails – I love having a fun drinks on my menu that everyone can enjoy, like this Sparkling Apple Cider Mocktail!
- Give all your serving dishes a spin in the dishwasher with Finish® Jet-Dry to give them some extra shine, as they have most likely been in storage all year – just make sure to check that your dishes are dishwasher safe before you do! I also recommend assigning dishes for each recipe with a little note for easy reference.