Thanksgiving dinner tends to be the entertaining focus of the holiday week, but as anyone who has hosted friends and family in the days before and after the Big Meal knows, it doesn't start or end there. Thanksgiving week means lots of gathering and eating in general. Your people demand to be fed so you'll need an arsenal of quick entertaining set-ups for the snack times, breakfasts and lunches you'll need to whip up for your hungry guests. Take away and dinners out notwithstanding, hosting means feeding, and it needs to be just a little bit more special than your everyday.
It can be easy AND thoughtful though. In the past, I may or may not have bought prepared food from Whole Foods and passed it off as my own by putting it in my own serving dishes. I mean, who hasn't? It's actually pretty easy to pull off, especially if you set it up with a chic, but not too fussy set-up around it. And when you put some thought into the presentation of each meal (whether or not you cooked it yourself), it adds to the festive feel of the week, but more importantly keeps people around the table or kitchen island to spend time together.
I have a formula for casual buffet style entertaining and table settings alike that is ridiculously easy but transforms your eating and serving space into a Martha Stewart worthy scene.
Here's the template: liberal use of simple handwoven textiles as a base (the more haphazardly thrown the better), crafted ceramics of varying textures or just plain white dishes and serving plates, a rustic wood board and scattered herb plants or seasonal branches in lieu of flowers (they are cheaper and last so much longer!). Never, ever anything that needs to be ironed. Quality looks good in any form, so if you have beautiful handwoven textiles made from natural materials you can embrace the wrinkles and chalk it up to effortless charm.
We've decided to set up a few vignettes and share some easy recipes to try out on Thanksgiving week. Yes, we made them and they're delish. No, it's not a complete Thanksgiving menu or even that cohesive (this isn't a food blog after all!), but it does include some super easy recipes to try that require minimal effort. All set atop our Classic Sandthrows for an elevated ease that makes you look like an entertaining rockstar. (Well, they are named after 1970s rockstars after all!).
Thanksgiving Day Breakfast set atop the Hendrix Sandthrow.
Overnight Oats with Flax & Chia Seeds
(Adapted from a recipe by Inquiring Chef)
This recipe literally takes 5 minutes to assemble before you head to bed and can be customized in a million different ways. Add your own type of milk- cow, almond, cashew, coconut. Throw in some nut butter, maple syrup and dried fruit and voilà -instant breakfast that you can claim to be your very own recipe!
2 cups Raw Rolled Oats (sometimes labeled "Old Fashioned" oats)
2 Tbsp Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Seeds
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
4 Cups Almond Milk (sub any kind of milk)
1 Tbsp Brown sugar (optional, you can also use ¼ cup maple syrup or agave nectar)
Pinch of salt
For topping (use any combo):
Dried or Fresh Fruit
1. Combine oats, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds and almond milk. Stir in brown sugar and a pinch of salt (don't skip the salt, it brings out the flavor in the oats, even if you skip the sugar).
2. Store oats in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Serve oats straight out of the refrigerator (or warm them briefly in the microwave if you'd prefer), topped with anything you like! (My kids like chocolate chips, of course!)
We matched the Pink Himalayan Salt to our Joni Sandthrow. Or was it the other way around?
Radishes with Herb Butter and Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Even if you think you don't like radishes, I guarantee that if you put them on a baguette slathered with butter and salt you'll change your mind quickly. I'm not even sure if this qualifies as a recipe, it's just an assembly of deliciousness that takes minutes but has an elevated French quality that will delight your guests.
For herb butter:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons fresh dill, finely chopped
2 teaspoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Zest from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon pink himalyan sea salt
Baguette (LA folks, we prefer a Gjusta baguette if you can get one)
Pink Himalayan sea salt
In a small bowl, mix butter, dill, parsley, lemon juice, zest and salt. Cover and chill until ready to serve. You can make this up to a week ahead of time.
When ready to serve, slice radishes into thin slices. Slice baguette into thin slices. Spread a generous amount of butter on the baguette, layer a few slices of radish over the butter, sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!
The Dylan Sandthrow was practically made to adorn a pumpkin dish. (Not really, it was made for the beach but we're going with it because it's pretty much perfect for Thanksgiving.)
(Adapted from a recipe by Delish.com)
I mean, we had to include something pumpkin-y! This one is basically an upside down pumpkin pie with crumble for the "crust" so you don't have to make the hardest part. This will make you forget pumpkin pie ever existed and it's so much easier to make.
Cooking spray, for pan (a pie dish or cast iron pan)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 (15-oz.) can organic pumpkin purée
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 Tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 Tsp. kosher salt
For the topping:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
Pinch kosher salt
3/4 cup cold butter, in 1/2" cubes
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a skillet with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. When smooth and fully combined, add pumpkin, cream, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Whisk until smooth and blended. Pour into prepared pan.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, brown sugar, and salt to combine and break up any clumps of brown sugar. Scatter the cubed butter over the dry ingredients and pulse again until crumbs form. Stir in the pecans.
3. In the palm of your hand, press handfuls of the topping into rough balls. Break off teaspoon-sized pieces and place over the pumpkin.
4. Bake until the filling is set and the top is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.
5. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Yields 6 servings. Prep time: 5 minutes. Total time 1 hour.
Want to try all three recipes with all three sandthrows? Our Classic Sandthrow Trio is now offered as a bundle at 1/3 the price of buying them separately.
Not hosting Thanksgiving this year? These make the best holiday hostess gifts that beat bringing another bottle of wine any day. Click on photos to shop the individual sandthrows or right here for the trio.