Last Minute Thanksgiving Decor, Recipes and Cocktail Inspiration

Blessings, gratitude, family, friends and lots of TURKEY! Yes folks, Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Are you ready? Whether your hosting or a guest at a gathering, here are some last minute tips for great decor, recipes and fun cocktails!

Decor Inspiration

Short on time and don't know what to do for centerpieces and decor? You don't have to break the bank or be a DIY queen to make any of these! Here are some easy options you can pull together quickly:

Piles of Pears

This is so simple, edible and ties into Thanksgiving with the paper {or real if you prefer} leaves. Have your guests use the leaves to write what they are thankful for this year and display them throughout the pears. It's also great conversation starters for those sitting together. 

 Photo courtsey of Good House Keeping

Photo courtsey of Good House Keeping

Your own "Pumpkin Patch"

Chances are you have some mini pumpkins already from Halloween or for Thanksgiving {and if you dont, they can be found at your local grocery store}. Stack them on a wooden cutting board or anything you have at home that will follow suit. A table runner, silver tray or even a rectangular white platter will work. Place some greenery throughout and tie on some festive tags {optional}. If you don't have time to create the tags, real leaves work as a fantastic option here as well.

 Photo courtsey of Good House Keeping

Photo courtsey of Good House Keeping

Bronze Touches

Bronze and copper tones can be found at so many events this year. It's a trend we can definitely get on board with. Tie it in with bronze utensils, table runners, vases, glasses, or place mats. If you don't have time or budget to grab any of these items, spend a few dollars on a bronze wine glass marker or bronze craft marker you can write names on place cards or cups with. They can be found at your local craft store.

 Photo courtesy of Style Me Pretty Blog

Photo courtesy of Style Me Pretty Blog

Keep in mind not to blend too many trends. Stick to one concept and color palette. Small touches of detail go a long way when hosting an event!

Gobble Gobble! Food Inspiration

If your a guest this year and tasked with bringing a dish or dessert, you can step outside the box of fatty, sugar laced and calorie overloaded dishes by making these healthy, modern options:

"Thanksgiving Salad"

We often overlook the fresh salad for Thanksgiving day as we become focused on the turkey and side dishes. Change things up by bringing a salad! This salad, appropriately named Thanksgiving Salad, is a fantastic option. The bright flavors and colors of this salad are sure to be a hit! In fact, we are so in love with it, we are making it for our Thanksgiving gathering.

 Photo courtesy of Five Heart Home Blog

Photo courtesy of Five Heart Home Blog

Ingredients

FOR THE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

FOR THE SALAD

  • 3 medium ripe D'Anjou pears, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon {more, as needed}
  • 16 ounces salad greens {such as spring mix, with or without baby spinach}
  • 8 ounces Brie, thinly sliced and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Seeds from 1 large pomegranate
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted {optional, can be left off for those with allergies}

Instructions

  1. To prepare Balsamic Vinaigrette, measure all of the ingredients into a mason jar. Tightly screw on the lid and shake vigorously until everything is thoroughly combined. Alternatively, you may briskly whisk the ingredients together in a medium bowl, or blend them in a blender or mini food processor.
  2. Immediately after cutting the pear slices, place them in a large plastic baggie and squeeze fresh lemon juice over them. Close bag and gently shake to coat. In a large salad bowl, layer salad greens, pear slices, pieces of Brie, pomegranate seeds, and toasted pecans. Just before serving, dress with desired amount of Balsamic Vinaigrette and toss until salad ingredients are evenly coated. Note: You may also place ingredients on the side for guests to make their own salad with their preferred toppings.

{Recipe and instructions as seen on the Five Heart Home Blog}

Mini Vegan Caramel Apple Pops

This fantastic recipe is sugar and dairy free! At 51 calories each, why not indulge. Note: If you don't want to make pops, just cut the apples in slices instead.

 Photo courtesy of PopSugar Blog

Photo courtesy of PopSugar Blog

Ingredients

  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted {about 12}
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 apples
  • 24 cake pop sticks or toothpicks {optional}
  • Toppings of your choice: chopped nuts, shredded coconut, chopped chocolate, or sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Place the dates, soy milk, and vanilla in a your food processor or blender and blend until smooth. The consistency is thick like nut butter, but if you like it thinner, add another tablespoon of soy milk.
  2. Use a melon baller or a metal teaspoon to scoop out balls from the apple. Each apple will make about 12 balls.
  3. Poke a stick into each ball then dip into the caramel mixture. Use the back of a metal spoon to smooth the caramel evenly.
  4. Roll each apple in the topping.
  5. Store in the fridge until time to serve.

{Recipe and Instructions as found on PopSugar Blog}

Cheers! Cocktail Inspiration

As a host, having a signature cocktail for the occasion is always a nice touch. Not only does it help to limit the need to purchase multiple types of alcohol, it's also a great way of incorporating a seasonal touch. Here are a few options for signature drinks: 

Apple Pie Moscow Mules

Moscow Mules have become all the rage in the past year and what better way to 'spice' them up a little then too tie in a Thanksgiving favorite, Apple Pie! 

 Photo courtesy of The Cookie Rookie Blog

Photo courtesy of The Cookie Rookie Blog

Ingredients {Below measurements makes two cocktails. Adjust amounts appropriately for additional cocktails}

  • 4 ounces apple cider
  • 4 ounces apple pie vodka {or caramel vodka in a pinch}
  • 1 bottle ginger beer
  • cinnamon sticks and apple slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. Fill copper mugs with crushed ice. {If you don't have copper mugs, regular drink glasses will work as well}
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the apple cider and vodka. Shake to combine.
  3. Pour half of the apple cider mixture into each mug or glass.
  4. Top each mug or glass with ginger beer until full.
  5. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and apple slices. Enjoy!

{Recipe and instructions as seen on The Cookie Rookie Blog}

Skinny Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cider

Made in a slow cooker, this is a set it and forget it drink option! It's low sugar, healthy and can be made in a non-alcoholic option as well. {Not to mention its warm} It takes a little more work so it can be made and stored the day before if necessary. What's more Fall and Thanksgiving then caramel and apple cider?! 

 Photo courtesy of The Cookie Rookie Blog

Photo courtesy of The Cookie Rookie Blog

Ingredients

  • 10 apples  {Granny Smith or Red Delicious, quartered. Don't worry about peeling, you will strain later}
  • 1 orange, quartered {Don't worry about peeling, you will strain later}
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 14 cups water
  • 1/3 cup In The Raw Stevia
  • 1/4 cup In The Raw Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 cup sugar free caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup caramel vodka (optional)
  • cinnamon sticks, apple slices, and orange slices for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add sliced apples and oranges to large slow cooker. Don't worry about peeling them, you will strain later. Add cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and cloves to the slow cooker. Fill the slow cooker with water almost all the way to the top. It is about 14 cups, but you can use more or less.
  2. Cover slow cooker and cook on low 8 hours or high 4 hours.
  3. After the cooking time, take a potato masher and mash the fruit fully in the slow cooker. Go slowly so you do not spill the water over the sides.
  4. Pour cider through a strainer to remove any of the large fruit chunks and spices.
  5. Follow by straining again through a fine-mesh strainer to make even more refined. Press the mixture through the mesh to get all the juice out that's possible. Return the remaining cider to the slow cooker.
  6. Stir in stevia, agave nectar, and caramel. Stir in alcohol if desired.
  7. Keep on low while serving, or refrigerate for up to 4-5 days in an airtight container.
  8. Serve hot, garnished with apple slices, orange slices, and cinnamon sticks. Note: You can dip the rims of your serving glasses in caramel sauce for some extra fun. Enjoy!

{Recipe and instructions as seen on The Cookie Rookie Blog}

We hope these ideas and recipes give you some good last minute inspiration for your Thanksgiving celebration! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! 

P.S. Check back for our after Thanksgiving blogs! We will have some great holiday hosting tips for your upcoming holiday events. And remember, if you need any holiday event planning help, our team is here for you! Drop us an email at hello@hostandtoast.com. 

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