Monday, October 3, 2011

Thanksgiving Plans & a request for help!

This upcoming weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving, and it will be our first Thanksgiving in our new house. I thought I might ease into it, host a couple close friends or my sister and her boyfriend, but instead we're jumping in . . .  head first. We're making dinner for my side of the family 16 people total (2 are babies though). It's shaping up to be a bit of an ordeal, we're renting tables and chairs because frankly the thought of people eating over our light colored carpet sends shivers down my spine. We'll also need to rent a couple of large table cloths and some napkins.
I picked up some super clearance fabric yesterday $5 for 14 feet,

I'll be turning the fabric into table runners and
As always we'll have white dinner plates :)

I'm thinking of using some small pumpkins as vases for flowers something like this:


I also Love the idea of adding another contrasting color to the mix like the blue from these plates:

So that's the plan for Thanksgiving so far. I'm off to a beautiful local farm to pick up our organic free-range turkey's which Lee will be dunking into a vat of hot oil (yup it's deep fried turkey for thanksgiving). My theory is that the fact that the turkey's are organic evens out the fact that it will be dunked in boiling oil for 45 minutes :). Nobody burst my bubble . . . this is how we compromise!

Now for some desperately needed help:

1) What color Napkins would you add to the table? It's a white table cloth, white dishes and the patterned floral fabric as a runner, with pumpkins for flower vases.

2) I need an amazing stuffing recipe!!!!! I have never made stuffing before, and I need a 'knock your socks off' recipe, if you have one PLEASE SHARE!!! Preferably one without raisins (Lee hates raisins).  If it's a secret family recipe . . . I promise I won't tell anyone where it came from . . . in fact I fully intend on taking full credit for it when everyone ooooo's and ahhhhh's at the dinner table :) j/k

Thank you in advance!


Julie said...

I kind of like that taupe-ish color of the leaves for the napkin color.

Here's a wonderful stuffing recipe I have used before. It got great reviews from my family:

no raisins, but it does have dried cranberries!

Mrs. Foot said...

1. If you could pull out that orange-y color, I think that would be gorgeous. Or even the green from the leaves.

2. Look no further than PW's stuffing:

It was a HUGE hit last year with my family and it's so easy.

lindsey said...

I love harvest colours, so chocolate brown or maybe a golden rod yellow for the napkins? Sounds like you'll have enough orange in your accents. Love the fabric you picked up for the runners; they'll be lovely! I'm sure the meal will be perfect :) Try not to stress too much and enjoy the time you get to spend with your family over the holiday. Good luck!

Simply LKJ said...

I like the thought of pulling the taupe or chocolate color out of the fabric. Both pair well withe orange, and blue, if you choose a blue accent plate.
Stuffing...we use an organic herbed stuffing mix from Whole Foods that I add organic broth/stock to, along with onions, celery, and sometimes cranberries. We like ours moist, yet simple. I have tried more elaborate recipes in the past, but everyone seems to prefer the simple one.

Gettin' By said...

I'd pull the red/orange from the table runner for your napkins.

As for stuffing, everybody seems to love what I make, and it's super simple. You start with a box of generic store-bought stuffing, but then you add chopped onions and celery, and dried cranberries. By using dry ones, you don't end up with purple/pink stuffing in the end, but they will still be plump and juicy when the stuffing is cooked. The only problem with the stuffing is that I never have enough left over for Thankgiving sandwiches the next day!

jess said...

Real Simple had an article w/ 10 Stuffing recipes last year around Thanksgiving. I've only made one of them (the one with cranberries & apples...but i'm guessing cranberries might be too close to raisins...)...but it was a big hit. Here's the link. Happy Thanksgiving. :-)

lindsey said...

Timely ... just saw this link pop up on Twitter:

Sarah said...

Since you're wanting to pull some blue in, why not do the napkins in blue? If you're set to have the blue in some other place though, I'd go with a warm brown for the napkins. I'm sure whatever you do it'll look great. I hope you intend to post some pictures! :)

Anonymous said...

Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Stuffing sound good? It's the highlight of the meal every year!

Dee in BC said...

I'd either go with blue (if you add that as an accent colour)or a warm brown. I swap dried cranberries for raisins in my stuffing & add finely chopped apple as I'm not a big raisin fan either!

Jaime said...

A warm brown or the taupe in the runner. It will be beautiful! ;)

Can't wait to see pictures of the set table. You will be posting pictures, right, Ashli!? =)

His Way or Her Way said...

I agree with another reader about using orange or taupe napkins. Of course, we know what the Barefoot Contessa would say. . white. Lol. I heard her talking about dining linens on her show recently and she said to always go with white napkins.

I have a DELICIOUS stuffing recipe from a sweet, little old Southern lady. Gotta love that Southern food. It has cornbread and chicken in it. I've been making it for years and it really is the bomb. The recipe makes A LOT of stuffing and you can make it ahead. If you're interested, let me know and I'll email it to you.


Liz said...

This doesn't really answer your napkin question, but I am loving your fabric so much, that it may look gorgeous laying two runners down each side of the table underneath the white plates (almost like a super long placemat). Just a thought.

Clarksongirl said...

Maybe it's an odd idea, but what about white napkins and doing an orange, brown, or taupe placemat to highlight the white plate and napkin on top of the white table cloth? After all your two inspiration photos have place mats.

Stuffing...we use an organic chicken and herb stuffing mix, it calls for the addition of organic broth/stock (I never add the water it calls for just more broth), and a 1/3 of a cup of butter. I then add my own celery, apples and cranberries. Top with mozzarella for an added bonus.

GinaE said...

Rachael Ray has a Stuffin Muffin recipe that you bake in muffin tins. It's great because you can easily freeze any left overs and just pull a couple out later if you bake a chicken or such.
You can get it on the food network site. I have taken to adding chopped apple and pecans to my cornbread stuffing and it is so good!

GinaE said...

Forgot to say, email Yvonne at Stonegable about your napkins and table ideas. She is truly a master of tablescapes! She has some lovely fall settings with grapevine accents. Just looking at her table photos always inspires me!!!

To The Moon and Back said...

Oh wow, sounds like lovely plans.

I would use the color of the leaves in your fabric for the napkins, since you area adding more orange with the pumpkins and flowers :)

Jenn G. said...

I just discovered your blog and have so enjoyed it. I'm paneling a wall in my home inspired me!
I use to dislike stuffing. My father's recipe had all the icky ingredients that I did't like. It wasn't until I was married and tried my mother-in-law's recipe that I began to love stuffing. I'm happy to share the recipe with you. I'm not sure if you want me to post it or just send you a word doc through email. It isn't top can be shared, perhaps it will turn a stuffing hater to a lover! It's easy, tasty and can even be made ahead and baked later.

Buffie Baril said...

Crista Ferrare made this great stuffing on Oprah:

Carrie said...

I made this a few years ago and it was delicious!!! It's almost a meal in and of itself. My father in law didn't eat pork so we used chicken sausage and it was still tasty.

Can't wait to see pics of your tables. You have excellent taste and I'm sure it will be gorgeous. And I'm glad I can get inspiration for our thanksgiving soiree.

Lanette said...

I like blue for the napkins, if you can find them to match the plate.

Karen M. said...

I would use white napkins tied with either an orange or chocolate brown ribbon.

Less expensive than having to purchase 14 linen napkins. I always go with white and add a coordinating color.

The house That Can said...

I have a wondeful homemade stuffing recipe. Simple ingredients with lots of fresh herbs! No meat or raisins! Just the basics. Happy to copy and email to you if you like!

Kari said...

Best & Easiest rice side dish ever- (pairs nicely with chicken, turkey, and red meat)

Cook Uncle Ben's Long Grain Wild Rice according to package instructions. In a skillet, toast 1/4 cup slivered almonds, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/8 cup chopped green onions and 1/2 cup dried cranberries. Mix in with rice when rice is finished. I realize this is not a traditional stuffing recipe, but it is amazing, the colors look really pretty especially during fall and it comes together quickly & easily so you can spend time with your guests. Also, a nontraditional turkey calls for a nontraditional side dish! Happy Thanksgiving.
PS - those measurements are approximations. Sometimes I leave out the onion, use more or less of everything depending on what is in the fridge.

The Tablescaper said...

I'd go for brown or orange napkins. Something that will make it pop against the white dishes. How about a simple leaf with each person's name in Sharpie at their place. The little touches make all of the difference.

And whatever you do, do as much as possible in advance.

Good luck.

- The Tablescaper

Anonymous said...

This is hands down the BEST stuffing I have ever had, I always get compliments/requests for it, so Ive started doubling it!

Shani @ said...

Hi Ashli - I've been following your blog for awhile and you always have me laughing because I feel like I'm reading all about myself! I remember our first big family dinner (20+ guests) in our former brand new house with brand new non-child friendly dining chairs. Oh how my husband and I shuddered at the thought of dirty hand prints and food stains all over the pretty cream fabric...

We have two kids now and we definitely have let things slide!

Here's a fab stuffing recipe that I've done a couple of times:

Renee from Michigan said...

I was thinking for the napkins perhaps a deep plum color(more of a red plum instead of a purple plum) well I guess it's more of a deep red wine color, like a cab or a pinot noir, I am thinking of to contrast with the orange flowers and pumpkins? and it would still go with the light blue plates. I also like the color of the leaves in the fabric. I wish I could share a delish stuffing recipe but I haven't found one I like. Can't wait to see how it all plays out. : )

Allison said...

I would go with the green/taupe color from the napkins or maybe a gold. You don't want to add anything too dark or bold to distract from the beautiful fabric you found for the runners!

Becky said...

I would pull a green from the fabric or a lovely brown. I cant wait to see what you come up with! I know it will look fantastic!

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

I would go with orange napkins. As for stuffing, make some corn bread, throw in some cooked sausage, sage and apples, drown in chicken stock. Delicious. I would add golden raisins too :)

PS I Love You said...

I would go with a natural beige almost white napkin, linen perhaps?. Someone posted earlier about having two runners playing as one big long placemat on each side, sounds like a great idea.

Mame Voelker said...

This is the stuffing we've made forever and it's amazing! It's been passed down for 3 generations, each generation adding a little flair.
GOOD Sourdough Crusty bread cut in 1 inch or so chunks
fresh sage
water chestnuts
salt and pepper
Cook sausage in frying pan, pour over breadcrumbs. Saute onions, mushrooms and celery in butter, like LOTS of butter. Add water chestnuts at the end of sautéing. Pour over bread crumbs. Add the rest of the ingredients and then grate apple over the top and mix it all together. It's great because it's not super mushy and is amazing whether it's cooked in the turkey or baked separately. As for the ratios, if you have any questions you can just let me know:)

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