It was a success! My first time hosting a holiday. TONS of food! A small dinner crowd of 14 people, and the house was buzzing (and smelled amazing!). There are things I’ll do better next year, there are things that I wouldn’t change for next time.
That morning, I prepped the turkey and popped him in the oven, sipped some coffee, took a shower, did some laundry, and added some decorations around this place to make it look a little more autumnal.
I picked up a few of these cute scarecrows for around the house at the dollar store. I also grabbed a few bags of dove chocolates wrapped in gold foil to add a dash of glitter to the
canister of salt from my counter fabulous candy dish.
The remaining 2 scarecrows sat in the window along with 2 gold glittery taper candles and a pile of books all in the same color for a bright red punch of color.
Books are one of my favorite and purse friendly ways to add color and personality to a room. Toss the dust jackets and stack them by color. Loves it!
The fall pattern of the tablecloth adds warmth and a new texture to my wooden wonderland of a dining room.
The kids’ table was decked out in green. The pine cone centerpiece was giving off a pine tree scent from the candle (so cozy).
I cleared off the console table in my kitchen and turned it into a beverage buffet.
I had about an hour before guests started to arrive. Crunch time.
My mom chopped up the veggies plate.
My mom cut up a stick of pepperoni, I cut the cheese (hahah! not like that. ew!) I love cheese, so of course I went overboard in this depot. We had Italian table cheese (I used to call it foot cheese because it smelled like a foot!) pepperjack, montery, and cheddar cheese. YUM!
I also sliced up fresh mozzarella, drizzled olive oil, and sprinkled salt, pepper, and basil on top.
Italian olives, pickled hot cherry peppers, and stuffed peppers were plated -er bowled? and ready to roll.
By this time, the doorbell was ringin. I didn’t get a photo of the entire spread for dinner. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and very busy during that time. I also didn’t capture the sides. Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes were a hit!
The turkey. Barefoot Contessa did me right! It was the juiciest turkey I’ve ever eaten. But the smell of my house just 15 minutes after putting it in the oven was the thing that instantly put me in holiday mode!
(Ew. looks gross, I know) I omitted the lemon, put pats of butter under the skin, I also added 2 cans of low sodium chicken stock to the bottom of the pan. I followed everything else. I did notice that it was browning waaay too quickly, so I covered it with foil and took it off for the last hour (thanks to the advice of my aunt).
It was so moist that yesterday’s leftover lunch and dinner was still juicy even after being refrigerated and microwaved! 2 enthusiastic thumbs up to Ina Garten for makin me look good!
Not bad for a first timer. I did my happy dance when it came out of the oven.
We had a few unexpected guests around dessert time. Our friends and their 2 kids. The kids ate so many desserts! It was really funny. The youngest (2 years old) actually ate Rocco’s food!
All in all, it was great! I can’t wait to do it again next year!