Having people over can be stressful, but the added pressure of the holidays can make the situation even more intimidating. With the countdown to Thanksgiving getting underway, these helpful holiday entertaining tips and recipes will help you actually enjoy this year’s festivities.
Simplify your decor
Instead of fussing over Turkey Day—specific elements or flower arrangements that only last a few days, deck your table with pieces you can use throughout fall, year after year. (Threshold Cream Leaf Print Table Runner, $18, target.com)
Have an all-ages game ready for after dinner
While the adults are wrapping up their meals and conversations, engage kids’ imaginations and keep them occupied with an activity they can do independently. (Helvetiq The Mazins, $20, toysmith.com)
Prep drinks beforehand
Playing bartender while your guests socialize is never any fun. Ahead of their arrival, batch out a signature cocktail or fill an ice bucket with a zippy canned variety. (Pampelonne Blood Orange Spritz, $17 for pack of four, enjoypampelonne.com)
Reinvent a classic treat
Serve an iconic dessert like pumpkin pie in an unexpected party-friendly form: hand pies or a slab pie. Find recipes for all three versions below. (O Organics 100% Canned Pumpkin and products, exclusively at Albertsons and Safeway)
Pumpkin Hand Pies
Serves 6 to 8
1/2 cup O Organics 100% pure pumpkin
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs pure maple syrup
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 premade pie dough crusts, rolled out into 10″ circle
For brushing pastry:
1 Tbs whipping cream
4 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 powdered sugar
1 1/2 milk
1. Preheat oven to 375º. Using a mixer, combine pumpkin, cream cheese, maple syrup, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla until well mixed. Set aside.
2. Spread pie dough and using a 5-inch round cutter make the circles. Whisk together whipping cream, maple syrup and cinnamon.
3. Taking a round piece of dough, place about 3 tablespoons of filling in the center and fold dough over to create a half moon shape. Brush edges with whipping cream mixture. Using fork tines, seal edges of the pastry.
Pumpkin Slab Pie
Serves 36 to 40
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
8 oz cream cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2, 15-ounce O Organics 100% pure pumpkin
2 cups whipping cream
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1. Combine pie crust ingredients in a bowl and use for your fingers to mix ingredients until a dough ball forms. Form into 2 rectangular disks about 1-inch thick and wrap with plastic. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disk into a 13 x 10” rectangular shape. Carefully place dough on each side of the 12 x 17” pan and pinch together, smoothing out the crust so it fits nicely into all corners of the pan. Trim edges to 1/2-inch of crust and tuck edges under. Crimp edges with a fork.
3. In a large bowl, whisk to combine all filling ingredients. Pour into crust.
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
1 1/2 O Organics® all-purpose flour
8 Tbs O Organics® unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 tsp Morton natural sea salt
1 Tbs O Organics® granulated sugar
cold water, as needed (4 to 6 Tbs)
1, 15-oz can O Organics® 100% pure pumpkin
1/2 cup O Organics® whole milk
1/2 cup O Organics® pure maple syrup
2 O Organics® large eggs
1 tsp O Organics® ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp O Organics® ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp O Organics ® ground ginger
1. Place crust ingredients in a large bowl. Using your fingers, mix ingredients together until a dough ball forms. Flatten into a 1-inch thick disk and wrap in parchment paper. Let rest 1 hour in refrigerator before rolling out.
2. Preheat oven to 375º. Roll out dough and press into pie plate. Whisk to mix filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour into pie plate.
3. Bake for 40-55 minutes until filling is slightly jiggly but set. Let cool for 4 hours. Serve.
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