Thank-FULL Thanksgiving

Each year, I love finding that balance between the special traditional touches that make their annual appearance, and the excitement seeking out new and fresh ideas.

My design plan for this year was incorporating a festive Fall cider bar. Apple cider, different juices, cinnamon sticks, dried apples and of course, an array of whisky and bourbon for the adults. The dried apples make a fun and edible addition to the set up. Thinly sliced, sprinkled with cinnamon and baked at 150 degrees until crisp are such an easy, festive decor element (leftovers for snacking). They look lovely on top of a mug of hot spiked cider or simply a healthy Fall snack.

Making their yearly Thanksgiving appearance of course are my dried citrus pieces and twigs and berries from our nature walks. I love a warm Fall day to venture out to my tried and true spots, clippers and basket in hand. The red berries are my favorite. For Thanksgiving and keeping the palette more neutral, I pair the berries with twigs and cat tails, and then swap out with greens a few weeks later for a Christmas feel.

Something new this year, was finding a double duty role for a few of our pumpkins. We went with a few extra on the front door setup this year so right before Thanksgiving, I took one inside to kick off my serving table decor (making sure the pumpkin was still nice and firm and not getting soft or showing signs of rot). I measured a vase on the top of the pumpkin, cut the circle slightly larger and hallowed out the pumpkin. Insert the vase and assemble your arrangement! Click here for DIY 30 second tutorial.

I try and plan ahead, especially as the Holidays are approaching and this means having lots of items on hand to whip up some great snacks whether it’s a friend popping over for a last minute visit or a “go-to” easy appetizer. When a few friends wanted to get together last minute the night before Thanksgiving, I was ready! My go to appetizer for me is a charcuterie board. I stock the pantry with all sorts of different crackers, jams, honey, dried fruits and jarred olives. In my fridge you can always find a variety of cheeses, cured meats and a pate or two. No platter big enough? No problem! Put a large square of parchment paper right down on your kitchen island and assemble. I like to incorporate some small ramekins or bowls to add some additional height and texture. That’s all you need to throw together this fun app that everyone is sure to love.

Next up, love me a show stopping dessert and this Pumpkin Spice Yule Log was a home run! A traditional Christmas Holiday delight, gets the perfect Fall refresh by making with pumpkin and lots of Fall spices. This Log is light and airy with spongy cake and whipped cream topping and was exactly right after a big meal. And, those chocolate leaves? So easy and fun to make and talk about the perfect Fall topper to the “log”. TIP – pick leaves that are very fresh. If they’re dried or starting to wilt in any way, you won’t get the chocolate off without breaking the chocolate. Also pick leaves that aren’t treated with fertilizer or pest repellents. I used leaves directly from my porch privet hedge. Coat the leaves in a thick layer of melted chocolate and let stand at room temp. Once the chocolate hardens, carefully peel back the leaf, leaving you with a perfect chocolate leaf. TIP – If the end breaks, no problem, stick that one farther into your whipped topping.

Be sure check out our Instagram Reels for easy DIY videos on the above – @kristykayhowtohome

Recipe for Pumpkin Spice Yule Log


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November 27, 2021




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