The holidays are quickly approaching and to me it always feels like after Halloween everyone skips straight to Christmas. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving and I do not start celebrating or decorating for Christmas until Thanksgiving has passed. I have always loved Thanksgiving as it is a time to not only enjoy wonderful food, but a time to look around and be truly thankful for the blessings and people in my life.
As I have gotten older and moved around I have come to love my friends as family and count them as a blessing. For the past 3 years I have hosted a Friendsgiving and though some of the faces around the table have changed the gratitude I have remains the same.
I begin by planning my tablescape. I always do a formal china setting with the cranberry and gold china with cloth napkins to match. The napkins, napkin rings, placemats and tablecloths come from TJ Maxx. Each year my centerpieces vary from fresh cuts or pumpkins and gourds. This year I went with candles and fresh flowers from Trader Joe’s as they always have the best floral selection.
Each year I provide the main course and appetizers while my guest each provide a side item or dessert. I give assignments for type of items to bring as I know I want a salad, vegetable, dessert, bread and drinks to arrive. In hosting and asking people to bring a dish if you do not provide more specific direction you could end up with 5 desserts versus the variety you want!
Appetizer table included Oyster Rockefeller , charcuterie board with supplies from Trader Joe’s, and apple brie bits.
If you are looking for great seafood around Indianapolis I recommend Caplinger’s as that is where I purchase my seafood.
Charcuterie included crackers, salami, herbed goat cheese, 3 pack of cheese from Trader Joe’s (can’t remember the types), olives, pickles, jam, honey, peanuts, cashews and chocolate covered expresso beans.
Apple and Brie bites- Crostini from Fresh Thyme with apple butter spread on top then add thinly sliced apples and cubes of brie and bake until brie melts. Then add another thinly sliced apple on top with crushed pecans and drizzle honey over, then serve.
For the main course my assistants, Christy and Jordan helped me make lasagna, tuscan shrimp, pasta and mussels in a white wine garlic sauce.
Sharing a meal and laughs with people I love brings so much joy to me. I am beyond grateful for the many friendships that I have. Not all of those friendships were around the table this year, but the love and support I feel from my friends mean more than I could ever express.
Enjoy the holiday season, count your blessings and gather with a grateful heart!