The Thanksgiving Table!

Nov 23, 2014

Over the years, it has become an annual traditional to host Thanksgiving at our home. And despite the seemingly endless renovations, this year is no exception. I am blessed to have a Mom and brother who are gifted in the kitchen and are willing to do the bulk of the cooking, leaving me to set the table, provide the wine, make a side dish and desert. So as not to come up short on my end of the bargain, I have been collecting tablescape inspiration and recipes and am excited to share this year’s choices with you!

 Known as a time for coming together to enjoy the company of loved ones, Thanksgiving symbolizes so much to so many. Sharing in the abundance of the season and settling in for a day set aside for reflecting on all that we are thankful for, and, in my husband’s case, watching back to back football games, I can’t help but get excited for the weeks to come!

The Side Dish! 


Brussel sprouts are one of my favorite dishes and with this holiday twist, these petite leafy greens can be as delicious as any stuffing or mashed potato!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Walnuts and Cranberries

  • Serves 4
  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 45 min


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 cup raw California Walnuts, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dried cranberries


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Toss Brussels sprouts and walnuts with olive oil and salt and pepper.
  3. Roasted in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Stir and roast for another 20 – 25 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts start to brown.
  4. Remove from oven, toss with cranberries. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.

The Deserts!!!


This year the pear is taking center stage! These miniature pies are actually made with pear halves and look as delicious as they are pretty! Simply cover each half  with a piece of pastry dough and bake on a lined sheet. This particular recipe calls for a sweet and savory combination including walnuts and blue cheese, but you can easily fill them with whatever you’d like! If simpler is better then consider leaving them plain, topped with your favorite ice cream  – still a treat! Check out the recipe and instructions over at Share My Kitchen.

Spotted during the set-up at my sweet client, Monica’s home, these pumpkin shooters were so adorable and perfect for fall entertaining! Monica was kind enough to share her recipe, listed below!!

Pumpkin Pie Shooters (makes about 24)


Combine the following:

3 cups ground gingersnap cookies

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup sugar


Pie Filling

1 (.25 ounce) package unflavored gelatin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (14 ounce) can condensed milk

2 eggs, beaten

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin


In a heavy saucepan, with no heat, combine gelatin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in condensed milk and beaten eggs, mixing well. Let stand one minute,then place on burner over low heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature while you make the whipped topping.


Whipped Cream

1/2 cup cold water

2 tsp unflavored gelatin

2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract


Chill mixing bowl and beaters in freezer for at least 10 minutes before using.

Place water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water and allow to soften 5 minutes.

Dissolve gelatin by microwaving in 30 second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes or place in freezer for 5 minutes. Gelatin must be liquid but not warm when added to cream.

Remove bowl and beaters from freezer and pour in cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat together just until beater marks begin to show.

Add gelatin mixture to cream, pouring in a steady stream while beating constantly. Beat until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Put 1 tablespoon crust mixture in each shooter glass, and press down with back of spoon. Put cooled Pumpkin Pie mixture in to gallon Ziploc bag and cut a tiny hole (mixture will be very runny). Squeeze pumpkin pie mixture about 1/3 of the way up the shooter glass.  Refrigerate until cool (do not put whipped cream on top of warm pumpkin pie mix).  Place whipped cream in piping bag or Ziploc and pipe a layer of cream on top of the pumpkin pie mixture.  Repeat with a small layer of crust, another layer of pumpkin pie, and a pretty piped topping of whipped cream.  Sprinkle a few crumbs of crust on top.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Finish off with a wooden tasting spoon before serving.

Choosing the perfect wine!!!


Providing a red and white choice is always advisable when entertaining guests with varying tastes. The wine should be versatile and capable of being paired with the assortment of dishes being served and food friendly. Rather than overwhelm, they should enhance  the food and not have too much oak or ripeness. To avoid the Thanksgiving slump that often follows a heavy meal, try to choose wines that are lower in alcohol content and brighter on the palette; the acidity will help cut through the heavier flavors!


Below, courtesy of The Kitchn’s master of wine, Mary Gorman-McAdams article Thanksgiving Wine Choosing 101: Helpful Tips and The New York Times wine critic, Eric Asimov’s article ‘Wine for Thanksgiving: Mixing Without Trying to Match’, a wonderful reference list that profiles wine pricing and pairings; from sparkling Chardonnay to spicy Syrah and many in between!

Sparkling Wines
NV Roederer Estate Sparkling Wine, Anderson Valley, $20 – I feel I am always recommending this wine, but truly I think this sparkler represents fantastic value. Roederer Estate is owned by the renowned Champagne house Louis Roederer in Reims. This is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; it has a lively mousse, crisp with attractive orchard and citrus fruit flavors with hints of brioche and biscuit.

2007 Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc, North Coast, California, $36 – “White from white” – made 100% from Chardonnay grapes, this sparkling wine is beautifully dry, crisp, vibrant and elegant with persistent tiny bubbles. For the past two years, we have enjoyed the 2004 and 2006. This 2007 is still quite young but shows delicious orchard and citrus fruit as well as subtle notes of freshly baked bread and biscuits. It has wonderful racy acidity and very lively mousse.

2007 Domaine Carneros, Brut, California, $20 – If Le Rêve is not on the cards, their regular Brut style is fantastic value. It is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Lovely floral notes on the nose with hints of freshly baked bread and toast. Crisp, pure and clean on the palate with a creamy mousse and flavors of red apple compote, redcurrants and blood orange.

White Wines

2009 Buty, White Bordeuax Blend, Columbia Valley, Washington, $25 – A Bordeaux style blend of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and a little Muscadelle, This is a very elegant, refined wine, with ample bright, pure fruit flavors with subtle layers of spice and vanilla. Long finish

2007 Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington, $13 – Attractive citrusy nose, lemon, lime with notes of apricot, green apple and apple blossoms. Slightly off-dry, it is crisp and refreshing with lots of juicy fruit flavor. Easy drinking and a perfect pleaser for Thanksgiving.

2010 Markham Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, $15 – I often fing California Sauvignon Blanc wines a little heavy but this one is so juicy, and refreshing. It combines lively, zesty citrus and grassy aromas and flavors with a lovely tropical richness. A great versatile wine for the Thanksgiving table.

2010 Sokol Blosser Pinot Gris Willamette Valley, Oregon, $18 – Inviting fruity, spicy nose with layers of stone fruit, Asian spices, hints of honey and flowers. Juicy with great flavor intensity. Nice minerality, refreshing, rich texture and a smooth long finish with a spicy kick on the end.

Kebel, $18 ; Mosel Riesling Trocken QBA 2012 ; Energetic, refreshing and well textured, with pure, dry herbal and citrus flavors. (Louis/Dresser Selections, New York)

Red Wines
2010 Dashe “Les Enfants Terrible” Grenache, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, $24 – I was really struck by this wine when I first tasted it. Juicy, refreshing, lively, pure were the first words I wrote down. Packed with vibrant red fruit flavors, spice, hints of toast and vanilla and a wonderful savory earthiness. 

2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant, Santa Cruz (Central Coast), California, $35 – I have probably mentioned this wine before. It is a firm favorite and fixture in our house for special occasions. What I particularly love about this wine (and indeed about so many of the Bonny Doon wines) is how they combine new world bright fruit flavor and old world savoriness and minerality. Very attractive aromas and flavors showing ripe black fruit, notes of roasted meat, clove, savory spice. Smooth, structuring tannins and a long finish.

2009 Qupé Syrah, Central Coast, California, $17 – Another firm favorite in our house and great value. Great flavor intensity, well structured, supple tannins and vibrant. Lots of blackberry, black plum fruit, notes of smoke, game, clove and spice. Smooth texture and a nice long finish.

Jean-Louis Dutraive, $23, Fleurie Clos de la Grand’Cour Vieilles Vignes 2010, Lively, bright and full of energy, with crunchy fruit flavors. Delicious now. (Polaner Selections, Mount Kisco, N.Y.))

Decorating the table!!!!!!!


And now for my favorite part – decorating the dinner table!! There is something so fun about creating a table scape that can set the mood of the entire meal. I love the idea of using a hollowed out pumpkin as a vase. White and blue pumpkins filled with cool green and cream tones, the look is festive yet unexpected.  


Although my aesthetic this year is clean and simple, it does not mean that I can’t be true to the season. These white pillar candles placed within cored artichokes, wrapped in green beans and asparagus, and embellished with touches of white flowers and wild strawberries is so beautiful and a cinch to pull together!!   


This gorgeous table scape utilizes a simple runner of foliage and metallic pears, but my favorite part is the napkins hanging from each place setting. Such a creative way to provide a formal accent in a casual manner!  




And this adorable DIY is going to add the perfect touch to my table this year. Small burlap bags accented with a red and orange stripe contains the napkin and cutlery in such a unique way! The hand writte tag can be used for sweet reminders of the holidays meaning or can be used as an alternative to place cards with each guests name tied to the bag! Not to mention, they double as a perfect party favor for guests to use year round. You can buy the bags on U-line, but beware the smallest quantity is 100. Currently, we are offering them at the shop for 45 cents a piece!!!


As diverse as my family is, there are no others I’d rather spend time with on a day intended for togetherness and gratitude. I am thankful for each of you and hope you have a relaxing day full of family friends and thanks!


#Thanksgiving #holidayentertaining #segretosecrets #segretostyle

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