Unless you’re feeling like a superhero, or getting a little antsy with some extra time off of work, the time for major Thanksgiving DIY projects and menu overhauls has probably passed. But here are three easy upgrades to make your guests feel extra special.
Upgrade Your Decor with Potato Stamp Cards
This is a fun project that takes about 45 minutes, start to finish, and if you have kids, they can help you with stamping and writing the messages for your guests. (An adult will need to carve the potato stamp, though!)
Here’s how to do it.
- 1 large potato, cut in quarters.
- Kitchen knife.
- Ball point pen.
- Paper stencil, like this leaves & acorns stencil (I shrunk this one to 50% of full size). Alternately, you can use a festive cookie cutter.
- Construction paper, cut in quarters.
- Water-soluble paint.
1. Place the cut-out leaf or acorn stencil on the flesh of the potato. Trace the outline with a ball point pen.
2. Use the kitchen knife to carve around the leaf so that the leaf or acorn remains raised. (This is the most time consuming part.)
3. Paint the leaf and stamp it down onto the construction paper.
4. Use the marker to write a thoughtful message for each guest, telling them what you are thankful for about them. You can hand this to each guest as they enter, or place the message on that person’s plate.
Upgrade Your Beverages with an Apple-Ginger Hot Toddy
For many Thanksgivings, my husband and I lived far away from our families, so we celebrated many a “friendsgiving.” On one particularly cold Thanksgiving, our host had prepared hot toddies. We stepped out of the flesh-eating cold, hung up our coats, hats, and scarves, and immediately got to hold a mug filled with a glistening beverage that sounded so wonderfully old fashioned. A “hot toddy.” I put the mug up to my cold face to thaw it out. That Thanksgiving always stands out to me as the one where we had the hot toddies.
Details like this are so inviting to guests. So here’s how to make a simple Apple-Ginger Hot Toddy. Your active time for this is about 5 minutes, but it does have to steep for half an hour.
- 4.5 cups Weaver's Orchard Apple Cider
- 3 1-inch pieces of peeled ginger
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons bourbon (such as Maker's Mark)
- 2 oranges
- Boil the ginger and apple cider together. Let cool and steep for 30 minutes.
- Transfer ginger-apple mixture to blender and puree until the ginger is basically invisible.
- Return ginger-apple mixture to a pot and re-heat but do not boil. Add honey and stir. Add juice of one orange. Add bourbon. Mix well.
- Serve in mugs or, if slightly cooled, serve in glasses. Garnish with an orange wedge.
Upgrade Your Appetizers with Spiced Pita + Hummus
Pick up some of Wolff’s own hummus and then upgrade your pitas by dabbing them with olive oil, sprinkling them with a little bit of salt, chili powder, and cumin, and heating them in the toaster oven. This is so pretty to look at and adds that extra dash of flavor that takes a snack from “everyday” to “holiday.” Time start to finish? Basically the blink of an eye.