Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. We believe that this is true for many, as it seems that our families are more inclined to make it to our home on Thanksgiving versus the other winter holidays. Take a look at the statistics for people who travel throughout the US at this time of year.
For us, it’s a big feast … and a big cleanup. However, the cleanup is well worth it and your humble Luxury Lifestyle writer has a few tips for making this Thanksgiving luxurious from beginning to end. As we’ve written, time and again, when entertaining keep your guests comfort in mind. This is not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy yourself too and the key to it all is a well thought out plan.
Once the menu is set, which you’ll want to add a recipe or two from below, the remaining plan is fairly simple:
- Always have comfortable seating
- If you have the space, designate a room for guests to rest
- Do not forget to create a flow so that guests do not have to navigate through a labyrinth to mingle with others or find the powder room.
- Do not be afraid to hire help or enlist others for clean up
- Lastly, remember to relax and have fun. Grabbing a quiet moment prior to your guests’ arrival will give you a reprieve from coordinating your holiday experience and offer your guests a well-rested host/hostess.
Holiday Preparation and Cleanup
As for that sumptuous Thanksgiving feast, we’ve come across several must-have tools for cooking and cleaning this holiday season.
- Cuisinart Elemental 11 Food Processor ($149) allows home cooks to quickly and easily prep larger portions of ingredients for bigger meals. With an 11-cup work bowl, a stainless steel blade and two slicing/shredding discs, it’s the ultimate timesaver. With removable, dishwasher-safe parts cleanup is easy.
- Cuisinart Smart Stick 2-Speed Hand Blender ($59.95) is an indispensable tool for us. With a two-speed control, along with chopper/grinder and chef’s whisk attachments, this hand blender combines three food prep appliances into one.
- We found a home gadget that we absolutely cannot live without when hosting. The Evercare Mega Roller ($19.99) is the quick and easy answer to picking up dirt throughout your holiday feast. This translates to less time spent cleaning up after you’ve indulged with turkey.
Now, we’re going to share those scrumptious recipes, courtesy of our kitchen and Usquaebach Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky and Four Roses Bourbon.
Usquaebach Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky Mashed Sweet Potatoes
5 large sweet potatoes, peeled and largely diced
1/4 cup Usquaebach Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced celery
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Simmer the potatoes for approximately 25 minutes. Drain and place them back into the pot. Stir in butter and the Usquaebach Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky. Transfer to a ceramic serving dish and set aside. Sauté pecans and celery with 2 tablespoons of butter. Add maple syrup and cook all ingredients for 3 minutes. Spoon pecan mixture over the sweet potatoes and serve.
Four Roses Bourbon Pumpkin Pie
1 frozen pie shell
4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 egg yolks plus ½ an egg white
½ cup half and half
2 tablespoons Four Roses Bourbon
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Thaw the pie shell. Mix butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy, and then add sugar and cream. Add pumpkin puree and mix until well blended. Beat in the eggs, half and half, Four Roses Bourbon, and salt until well combined. Pour into the cooled pie shell. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the middle of the pie is set and the crust is golden brown. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature.