Last-Minute Thanksgiving Ideas

Thanksgiving Day is nearly upon us! Have you got everything in place? If not, no need to panic, we’ve got several last-minute Thanksgiving ideas for you from holiday decor, meals, to wines and cocktails . Here is our round-up :

Home Decor

  1. Harvest whatever fruits and vbegetables you grow from your backyard and make them a center-piece. Nature always preserves the best gifts for us at the right time.

2. Take out your favorite china that you have hidden somewhere deep in your pantries and mix and match them with your own spin.

3. Put on a tablecloth for a whole new fresh look for your dining table.

4. Candles, candles, candles….a lots of them, please! Not just put them on your dining table, put them everywhere from your entry, mantle, coffee table, bookshelves…They truly help create a very moody and festive atmosphere, making each moment so memorable.

5. Fresh flowers are just that final touch for every celebration. They will light up the mood and put a beautiful smile on everybody’s face.

Festive Food

  1. Just remember, every party and every entertaining is always about how to present in terms of color palettes, textures and smells.:

2. Our Favorite Receipes


Yields: 12-15 servings


  • 16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, plus 
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 12 lb. turkey, fully thawed and at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into 8 wedges
  • 2 cups white wine


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Combine the butter, minced garlic and shallots in a medium bowl. Remove the giblets, kidneys and neck and set them aside in the refrigerator; they will be used for the gravy. Place the turkey in a very large bowl, add the salt, pepper and sage, and turn the turkey in the bowl to ensure it is completely covered with the seasonings. If there are excess seasonings at the bottom of the bowl, rub them on the turkey again to ensure that every morsel of salt, pepper and sage is applied to the turkey. 

Place the turkey in a large, heavy roasting pan and squeeze the lemons over it. Reapply any seasonings that fall off. Smear the butter over the top of the turkey, fully covering the top and wings. Place the squeezed lemons, the onion and the whole garlic cloves inside the cavity, and pour the wine into the bottom of the roasting pan. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and put it in the oven.

Roast the turkey for 2½ hours, then remove it from the oven. Turn the oven up to 425°F, remove the foil and roast the turkey for 30-45 minutes more, until the skin is golden brown and the turkey reaches 155°F on a meat thermometer. When it has reached 155°F, remove it from the oven and transfer it to a carving board. Let the turkey rest for 25 minutes before carving it. 

“If you want to make the turkey healthier, substitute the butter for olive oil. Olive oil is a monounsaturated (healthy) fat that is high in antioxidants, which may reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and it contains nutrients that fight inflammation, which can lower your risk of heart disease. You can also use a low-sodium chicken stock in the gravy, as too much salt can increase blood pressure and cause water retention.” —Stephanie Leonetti, certified sports nutritionist, PlaNutrition, Manalapan 

Aunt Betty’s Orange Cranberry Relish⁠
Makes 2 cups, 12 to 15 servings⁠
2 cups fresh cranberries (approximately one 12-ounce bag)⁠
1 medium navel orange, cut into 8 wedges—⁠
use the whole thing!⁠
¼ cup sugar⁠
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon⁠
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier⁠
-Place the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor⁠
fitted with the metal blade and process them until they⁠
are combined but still chunky with a relish consistency.

Thanksgiving Sides:

Carrot Puree with Ginger⁠
yield: 6 to 8 servings⁠
2 pounds carrots⁠
2 quarts water⁠
1 tablespoon plus 1⁄2 teaspoon salt⁠
2 tablespoons salted butter⁠
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger⁠
-In a large pot over high heat, bring 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon of the salt to a boil.⁠
-Peel the carrots and then chop them into large chunks. Drop them into the boiling water, and boil them until they are tender, approximately 12 to 13 minutes. Remove them from the heat and drain them in a colander.⁠
-In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the carrots, butter, the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and the ginger, and puree until smooth.⁠
-Serve immediately, or let the carrots cool and reheat them when it’s time to serve.⁠
Magnificent Broccoli Puree⁠
yield: 6 to 8 servings⁠
2 quarts water⁠
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt⁠
21⁄2 pounds broccoli⁠
1⁄4 cup heavy cream⁠
-In a large pot over a high heat, bring 2 quarts water and one tablespoon of the salt to a boil.⁠
-Drop the broccoli into the boiling water, and boil it for about 5 minutes, until it is tender.⁠
-Remove it from the heat and drain in a colander.⁠
-In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree the broccoli in batches until it is smooth. Transfer it to a medium mixing bowl, add the cream and the remaining teaspoon salt, stir it well, and serve. You can also let it cool, reheat it, and serve it later.

Georgia Pecan Tarts ⁠
◾For the crust:⁠
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) salted butter, cold,⁠
plus additional butter for the pan⁠
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed⁠
2 cups all-purpose flour⁠
½ teaspoon salt⁠

◾for the pecan topping:⁠
4 large eggs⁠
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed⁠
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract⁠
½ teaspoon salt⁠
1 ½ cups chopped pecans⁠
Preheat the oven to 35 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch⁠
metal baking pan.⁠
To make the crust: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted⁠
with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar⁠
together on medium speed until they have lightened in⁠
color and texture, about 5 minutes. Turn the speed to⁠
low and add the flour and salt, mixing them until you⁠
have coarse crumbs. Pour the crumbs into the prepared⁠
baking pan, and press them down with your fingers to⁠
cover the pan evenly. Bake the crust for 20 minutes,⁠
until it is just brown, and let it cool completely. Keep⁠
the oven on.⁠

◾to make the pecan topping:⁠
Add the eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt to a⁠
large mixing bowl and whisk them together until they⁠
are just combined. Do not over-whisk them or the tart⁠
will be dry. Stir in the chopped pecans.⁠

◾to assemble the tart:⁠
Pour the pecan topping over the cooled crust and bake⁠
it for 20 minutes until it is just set. Remove the pie⁠
from the oven and let it cool for at least 30 minutes before⁠
slicing it. Serve the tart with Perfect French Vanilla Icecream.


Ingredient Checklist

  • 1 acorn squash 
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 8 ounces small shiitake mushrooms, stems removed 
  • 1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 head escarole (6 ounces), trimmed and chopped (4 cups) 
  • 1 head radicchio (6 ounces), trimmed and chopped (6 cups) 
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves 
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils  
  • 1/2 cup toasted pepitas 
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta 


  • Step 1Preheat oven to 400 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Halve squash; remove stem and seeds. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange mushrooms on another rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil, and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Roast, flipping each once, until squash is caramelized and tender, 25 to 30 minutes; and mushrooms are golden and crisp, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • Step 2Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Slowly add remaining 1/2 cup oil, whisking until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 3Arrange escarole, radicchio, squash, mushrooms, parsley, pomegranate arils, and pepitas in a large bowl or platter. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with 1/2 cup dressing; toss to coat. Serve with remaining dressing.


Ingredient Checklist

  • 14 to 17.3 ounces puff pastry, preferably all-butter  
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 
  • 1 large egg, beaten 
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling  
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) frozen pitted sour cherries (not defrosted) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature  
  • 1/2 cup ricotta  
  • 3/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest 


  • Step 1Preheat oven to 400°F. Unfold puff pastry onto a flour-dusted, parchment-lined baking sheet. (If necessary, roll out slightly to form a rectangle that is approximately 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inches.)
  • Step 2Cut out a 15-by-10-inch oval in dough. Fold oval in half crosswise from short ends, like a book; turn so folded side is facing you and dough resembles an arch. Working from folded side, and starting 1 inch in from either edge, cut along curve, leaving a 3/4 inch space of dough uncut at top of arch.
  • Step 3Unfold, then cross outer border sections over each other, lining up edges as best as possible, to create a pastry shell with a 1-inch border and twists at top and bottom. Dock center with a fork. Trace a scored line just inside border, into but not all the way through dough. (This will allow the sides to rise up straight.) Freeze 15 minutes. If desired, score border with a knife in a decorative pattern.
  • Step 4Brush crust with some of the beaten egg (reserving rest for filling); sprinkle with sugar. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until puffed, about 20 minutes. Carefully pierce center with knife tip to release steam. Continue baking until golden brown, about 10 minutes more.
  • Step 5Reduce oven temperature to 375°F; bake until crust is fully cooked in center (if top is browning too quickly, tent with foil), about 5 minutes more. Let cool 15 minutes. Carefully (it will still be hot) press center in with a metal spatula to make a well.
  • Step 6Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine frozen cherries with 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons flour, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then cook until juices have thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. In a food processor, pulse cream cheese and ricotta with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons flour, and orange zest, until smooth. Add reserved egg and pulse to combine.
  • Step 7Spread cream cheese mixture into well in crust. Top with cherry mixture, swirling juices in with a toothpick to create marbling. Bake until filling is set in center and puffed slightly around edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack; let cool 10 minutes.
  • Step 8Using parchment, slide pie off sheet onto rack; let cool completely, about 1 hour. Serve immediately at room temperature, or refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, up to 2 days.

Wine & Cocktails

Thanksgiving is the biggest festival for food and home cooking. So all of the buttery food will take a center stage. We rather choose the wines that are young, simple and fresh. Some safe bets for Thanksgiving wines are pinot noir, syrah, and zinfandel for red wine lovers and sauvignon blanc, riesling, gewurztraminer, and viognier for those who prefer white wines.

Here are Matha’s 3 rules to choose Thanksgiving wine:

  1. Let the Food Be the Star of the Show
  2. Choose Low Alcohol Wines
  3. Think of Wine as a Condiment

You can click here to read the article.

1½ oz Empress 1908 Gin
1 oz Amaretto
¾ oz Lemon Juice
4-5 Sage Leaves
Cranberry (to garnish)

METHOD: Shake ingredients on ice, and pour into a rocks glass (ice and all). Top up with ice as needed, and garnish with a cranberry and sage leaf.

Sip responsibly!
Recipe by: @tracey_eden

◦ 2 oz Empress 1908 Gin
◦ 1 oz Rosemary Syrup*
◦ 1½ – 2 oz Homemade Pear Cinnamon Purée
◦ ½ oz Lemon Juice
◦ Club Soda (to top)
◦ Pear Slice, Rosemary Sprig & Cinnamon Stick (to garnish)

METHOD: Add ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a rocks or stemless wine glass. Top with club soda. Garnish with a pear slice, a sprig of rosemary and a cinnamon stick.

*Rosemary Syrup: Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan, with 2 sprigs of rosemary. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, remove from heat and steep for 30 minutes. Strain, cool and store in a sealed container, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

CDC’s guidelines for celebrating Thanksgiving safely.

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Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

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