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An UPSCALE Thanksgiving Buffet How To: OPULUXE Lifestyle Design™ Wishes Everyone a HAPPY and SAFE Thanksgiving 2010!

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Elegant Thanksgiving Dinner Buffet Ideas

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Easy Thanksgiving Centerpieces

By JenniferSbranti

Easyfallcenterpieces

Looking for some quick and easy centerpiece ideas for Thanksgiving that won’t cost you a lot of time or money? No problem! Here are a few stylish ideas you can whip together in just a few minutes:

1. Fall Vase Fillers
Group 3 or more glass vases together (cylinder, square, or whatever shape you prefer) and fill each one with a different fall-appropriate decorative filler, such as autumn leaves, pinecones, twigs, mini pumpkins, and green or red apples. This concept looks great as a table centerpiece, atop a fireplace mantle, or as a festive backdrop for the food buffet. (Side note: You can find faux autumn leaves like the ones pictured above in-store at Target, along with several other fall-themed vase fillers!)
{image via Joyful Weddings & Events}

2. Small, Colorful Arrangements
Instead of one great big centerpiece, line 3 small bunches of flowers in a neat row down the center of the table. Opt for colorful blooms like deep orange dahlias and yellow roses, and display them in simple glass vases. Add a few tea lights between the vases for a touch of elegance… and you’re done!
{image via BostonBlooms.com}

3. Corn and Candles
Super simple, yet so very harvest-appropriate – this corn & candle concept makes for fabulous Thanksgiving décor! To extend this idea further, try other versions of this combination – like grouping several white, plum, or harvest brown pillar candles on a plate covered with corn, or creating a display made from tall vases filled with Indian corn and several small tealights.
{image via bhg.com}

4. Vintage Glass
Vintage glass bottles, vases, and jars look great when various shapes and sizes are grouped together – and tinted glass is also an elegant way to add color to the table. The Vintage Green Glass Jugs pictured above are from Pottery Barn, but you can also check discount stores like Home Goods or Marshall’s for great deals on similar products!

5. Cranberries & Candles
Bright red cranberries are an easy way to add a pop of color to the table. Pair them with vases and pillar candles for a pretty centerpiece element.  Try grouping 3 of the “cranberry vases” together – using vases with alternating heights, or line several smaller vases down the length of the table. (If cranberry is your decorative theme for the day, consider serving “Gobble-tinis” garnished with a cranberry skewer for your signature drink!)
{Faux Cranberry Vase Filler – $14 at Pottery Barn}

6. Dried Florals & Fruit
Create a simple, unexpected centerpiece using dried florals with unique shapes – like bell cups and fans – displayed in modern cubed vases with large bunches of purple grapes spilling over the rim. Embellish the vases with coordinating ribbon.
{image from Modern Elegance Thanksgiving at HostessWithTheMostess.com}

4 Foolproof Pie Recipes

By Sara Quessenberry

Easy, delicious twists on Turkey Day classics.

1.   {{Bourbon and Orange Pecan Pie}}

Bourbon and Orange Pecan Pie

Serves 8| Hands-On Time: 10m | Total Time: 3hr 45m

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Set an oven rack in the lowest position and heat oven to 350º F. Place the pie plate on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the corn syrup, sugar, butter, eggs, bourbon, orange zest, and salt. Stir in the pecans.
  3. Pour the pecan mixture into the crust and bake until the center is set, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

By Kate Merker

2.   {{Chocolate Fudge Pie}}

Chocolate Fudge Pie

Serves 8| Hands-On Time: 20m | Total Time: 4hr 00m

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375º F. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Prick crust with a fork and line with foil. Fill to top with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges are firm, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake until just golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 325º F. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, salt, and ½ cup of the sugar until fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Fold a third of the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder.
  4. Pour the combined mixture into the crust and bake until puffed and beginning to crack, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for 1 hour, then chill.
  5. Beat the cream with the remaining sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over the pie and sprinkle with the shaved chocolate.

By Sara Quessenberry,  November 2009

3.   {{Gingery Apple Crumb Pie}}

Gingery Apple Crumb Pie

Serves 8| Hands-On Time: 20m | Total Time: 3hr 00m

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Set an oven rack in the lowest position and heat oven to 375º F. Place the pie plate on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the butter, ¾ cup of the flour, and ¼ cup of the sugar until large clumps form. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the apples, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and the remaining ½ cup of sugar and tablespoon of flour.
  4. Transfer the apple mixture to the crust, sprinkle with the crumb topping, and bake until the top is golden and the apples are tender, 55 to 60 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

By Sara Quessenberry,  November 2009

4.   {{Maple Pumpkin Pie}}

Maple Pumpkin Pie

Serves 8| Hands-On Time: 10m | Total Time: 3hr 30m

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Set an oven rack in the lowest position and heat oven to 350º F. Place the pie plate on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves.
  3. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crust and bake until the center is set, 60 to 70 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

By Sara Quessenberry,  November 2009

Elegant Recipes for a Complete Thanksgiving Dinner

Show off your culinary skills this Thanksgiving with these impressive meal options from FoodandWine.com: They look, taste, and sound like you spent hours slaving away, but they’re simple at heart. Versatile focaccia rolls, carrots cooked in carrot and orange juice, and a whole-grain stuffing are just a few of the ways you’ll get rave reviews at the dinner table. Then finish it off with one of these fall desserts.

Apricot-Glazed Turkey with Fresh Herb Gravy

From Food & Wine

apricot-glazed turkey with fresh herb gravyFrances Janisch 

Serves: 12


Total Time: 4 hr

Prep Time: 30 min

Ingredients

U.S. Metric Conversion chart

Turkey

  • 1  (16-pound) fresh turkey
  • 1 tablespoon(s) canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • lemon, halved
  • 6 clove(s) garlic, crushed
  • 6 large thyme springs
  • 4 large rosemary sprigs
  • 4 large sage sprigs
  • 1  fresh bay leaf

Glaze

  • 3/4 cup(s) apricot jam
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon(s) grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) finely chopped sage
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Gravy

  • 3 cup(s) turkey stock, chicken stock, or low-sodium broth
  • 4 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon(s) chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped sage
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chopped thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Make the turkey: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before roasting. Pat the turkey dry and set it on a V-shaped rack in a large roasting pan. Rub the turkey all over with the oil and season it inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon halves, crushed garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage, and bay leaf. Roast the turkey for about 2 1/2 hours, until golden all over and an instant-read thermometer inserted between the leg and thigh registers 165°F.
  2. Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small bowl, mix the apricot jam, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sage and season with salt and pepper. Microwave the glaze until thinned slightly, about 20 seconds.
  3. Brush the turkey with half of the glaze and roast for about 15 minutes, until the skin is mahogany-colored. Brush the turkey with the remaining glaze and roast for about 15 minutes longer, until the skin is deep mahogany and an instant-read thermometer inserted between the leg and thigh registers 175°F. Tilt the turkey to drain all the juices from the cavity into the roasting pan. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and let rest for 45 minutes.
  4. Make the gravy: Skim the fat from the drippings in the roasting pan. Set the roasting pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the turkey stock and cook for 2 minutes, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Strain 3 1/2 cups of the liquid in the roasting pan into the saucepan and whisk to blend. Bring the gravy to a simmer and cook over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, sage, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Pour the gravy into a small pitcher. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

Whole-Grain Stuffing with Apples, Sausage, and Pecans

From Food & Wine

whole grain stuffing with apples sausage and pecans

Serves: 12 Edit

Total Time: 3 hr

Ingredients

U.S. Metric Conversion chart
  • 1  7-inch round loaf of whole-grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup(s) pecans
  • 4 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1  celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 pound(s) sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chopped sage
  • 1 teaspoon(s) thyme leaves
  • 1  Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  egg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toast the bread cubes for about 15 minutes, tossing halfway through, until lightly golden and dry. Transfer the bread to a large bowl. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop the pecans.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, and sausage and cook over moderate heat, breaking up the sausage with the back of a spoon, until the sausage is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape the sausage into the bowl with the bread.
  3. Add the chopped pecans and apple to the bowl with the bread. In a medium bowl, whisk the chicken broth with the egg. Pour over the bread mixture and add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Toss until the bread soaks up the liquid. Scrape into the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the stuffing for about 30 minutes, until it is hot throughout. Remove the foil and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the top is lightly golden. Serve hot or warm.

Cranberry, Clementine, and Pumpkin Seed Conserve

From Food & Wine

cranberry clementine and pumpkin seed conserve

Serves: 12

Ingredients

U.S. Metric Conversion chart
  • 3  clementines
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 cup(s) water
  • 1 bag(s) (12-ounce) fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup(s) roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the clementines with water. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderately high heat until the skin softens, about 8 minutes. Drain and let stand until cool enough to handle. Coarsely chop the whole clementines and discard any seeds. Wipe out the saucepan.
  2. In the same saucepan, combine the chopped clementines with the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderate heat until the clementine peel is sweet, about 30 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook over moderately high heat until they burst, about 6 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. Fold in the pumpkin seeds and serve.

Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Shallots

From Food & Wine

mashed potatoes with crispy shallotsFrances Janisch 

Serves: 12


Total Time: 45 min

Ingredients

U.S. Metric Conversion chart
  • 6 pound(s) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered see Note
  • 4 clove(s) peeled garlic
  • 2 cup(s) canola oil
  • 6 large (1 1/2 cups sliced) shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup(s) half-and-half
  • 12 tablespoon(s) (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt

Directions

  1. In a large pot, cover the quartered potatoes and garlic cloves with cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the shallots in a single layer and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until they are golden, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to paper towels to drain.
  3. Drain the potatoes and garlic in a colander, shaking out the excess water. Add the half-and-half and butter to the pot and heat until melted. Remove from the heat. Press the potatoes and garlic through a ricer into the pot and season with salt. Stir and cook over moderate heat until very hot. Transfer the mashed potatoes to a bowl. Just before serving, sprinkle the shallots with salt and garnish the potatoes with the shallots.

Tips & Techniques

Yukon Gold potatoes have yellow flesh and a naturally creamy texture, which makes them ideal for mashed potatoes. They’re available at most supermarkets.

Glazed Carrots with Cardamom and Ginger

From Food & Wine

Serves: 12


Total Time: 1 hr

Ingredients

U.S. Metric Conversion chart
  • 6 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup(s) thinly sliced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 4  cardamom pods
  • 3 pound(s) carrots, sliced on the diagonal 1/3 inch thick (you can also use baby carrots left whole)
  • 2 tablespoon(s) sugar
  • 1/2 cup(s) fresh carrot juice
  • 1/2 cup(s) fresh orange juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the ginger, garlic, and cardamom and cook over moderate heat until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and sugar and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and orange juices and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with parchment paper and a tight-fitting lid and cook the carrots over low heat until tender, about 12 minutes. Uncover and cook over moderate heat until the carrots are glazed, about 5 minutes longer. Discard the ginger and cardamom pods, transfer to a bowl, and serve.

Rosemary-Potato Focaccia Rolls

From Food & Wine

rosemary potato focaccia rolls

Yields: 12 rolls

Total Time: 3 hr

Ingredients

U.S. Metric Conversion chart
  • 1 envelope(s) dry active yeast
  • 2 cup(s) lukewarm water
  • 4 1/4 cup(s) bread flour
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon(s) sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound(s) small red-skinned potatoes, very thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoon(s) chopped rosemary

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast with 2 tablespoons of the water and let stand until moistened. Add the flour, 1/3 cup of olive oil, sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, and the remaining water; mix at medium speed until a soft, supple dough forms, 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a draft-free spot for 1 hour.
  2. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. On one of the sheets, toss the potatoes with the rosemary and 1/2 cup of olive oil, and season with salt. Spread the potatoes in a single layer and bake until tender, 15 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Turn the dough out onto an oiled surface and press to deflate. Cut the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls; transfer to the remaining 2 baking sheets and brush with the oil used to roast the potatoes. Let stand in a draft-free spot until nearly doubled in bulk, 1 hour. Fan 3 potato slices on the top of each roll and brush with more oil.
  4. Set a sheet pan in the bottom of the oven and fill with water to create steam. Bake the focaccia rolls for 30 minutes, until golden brown; shift the pans halfway through baking. Transfer the pans to racks and let the rolls cool completely.

Mulled Red Wine with Muscovado Sugar

By Marcia Kiesel via [delish.com]

mulled red wine with muscovado sugar

Ingredients

U.S. ] Metric Conversion chart
  • 2 teaspoon(s) black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon(s) fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1  3-inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 2 bottle(s) (750-milliliter) Zinfandel or Merlot, or equivalent fruity red wine
  • 3  bay leaves
  • Zest strips from 1 orange
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) muscovado sugar, or other dark brown sugar

Directions

  1. Put the peppercorns, fennel seeds, and cinnamon in a large tea ball or wrap them in cheesecloth and secure them with kitchen string. In a large saucepan, combine the aromatics with the wine, bay leaves, and orange zest. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the aromatics and orange zest strips. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Serve warm, in glasses or mugs.

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Pouring red wine

 



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