5 Holiday Hosting Tips

5 Holiday Hosting Tips

Just as soon as Halloween’s over, Thanksgiving rushes toward us and suddenly it’s Christmas. The holidays can be a little hectic, especially if you’re hosting friends and family in your home. Here are five holiday hosting tips to make your seasonal gatherings warm, merry and bright.

 

Plan Ahead

Woman making a grocery list.Whether you’re preparing the Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, chances are you’re going to have a lot of mouths to feed. Try making a list of everything that needs to be accomplished before the big dates, including food, entertainment, etc. Stock up on items you might need — and buy a few extra so you won’t be short. As for the meals, it might be wise to begin preparing them the day before they’re served. It’ll take more pressure off you and give you time to focus on other preparations. 

 

Accept Help

Child helping prepare dinner.Don’t be proud. Preparing holidays meals by yourself is hard, if not impossible. If the kids or other family members want to help, it’ll make your work much easier. You’ll have free hands to tend to other matters, a true culinary form of multitasking!

 

 

 

Prepare Non-Food Items Early

Woman setting the table.Plates and silverware are just as important as the food you’ll be preparing, so make sure to stock up. Try and take inventory of them the day before the holiday. You might also want to set the table the day before as well, freeing yourself of the task later.

 

 

 

Don’t Forget Beverages

Two glasses of eggnog.There’s so much going on while preparing holiday meals that it’s easy to forget the all-important drink. Ideal compliments for a Thanksgiving dinner could be apple cider or white wine, while hot buttered rum or eggnog would make a perfect Christmas quencher.

 

 

 

Enjoy Yourself

Woman relaxing.Once the meal is prepared, it’s time to kick back, have a few plates, catch up with the family and relax. Now that the work has been done, your holiday is finally beginning.

 

 

 

 

Text by Nick Adrian

 

5 Thanksgiving Essentials

5 Thanksgiving Essentials

As a holiday, Thanksgiving deserves more respect. It’s a day where it’s socially acceptable — and expected of you — to eat as much as you possibly can (and be thankful for your loved ones, of course). Since this is a holiday that revolves around food, you’re going to want the best recipes you can get your hands on. Here are five Thanksgiving essentials no gathering should go without.

 

Roasted Thanksgiving turkey with gravy.

Turkey

No great Thanksgiving meal is complete without turkey. It’s synonymous with the holiday. So why fight tradition? You’ll want the best offering possible to satisfy your holiday guests. This recipe makes delicious turkey and gravy, giving you the perfect centerpiece for your holiday meal.

 

Mashed PotatoesHealthy Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.

Another Thanksgiving staple? Potatoes, of course! Whether they’re mashed, boiled, baked, etc… they’re a must. This simple and traditional recipe for mashed potatoes will leave even your pickiest guests satisfied. It’s a classic recipe without any of the frills, perfect for anyone who wants to stay in their comfort zone.

 

Traditional green bean casserole.

Green Bean Casserole

Some kind of green vegetable is an essential for every meal, not just Thanksgiving! That being said, green beans are always an ideal side. But if you want to shake things up this holiday, why not try this tasty casserole? It’s a “no cans” take on the classic dish, offering a fresher take on a Southern staple.

 

Homemade cranberry sauce with orange zest.

Classic Cranberry Sauce

Here’s another holiday favorite that deserves a place at your family’s dinner table. There are several fancy ways of fixing cranberry sauce up, but why not go the traditional route? It’s a classic for a reason.

 

Sliced Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving desserts are a must and one that is truly essential is pumpkin pie. This recipe gives you a classic offering, sure to satisfy every sweet tooth. The recipe leaves off whipped cream, so guests can add their preferred amount.

 

Market Table's smoked whole turkey.

With these essential Thanksgiving recipes, no mouth will go unfed and no appetite will go unsatisfied at your dinner table. Of course, cooking a full Thanksgiving meal can be intimidating to even the most experienced chef. Plus, the holiday season’s always rushed and hectic. Why not give yourself a break and let Market Table do the work? Our Thanksgiving catering options include everything from a Smoked Turkey Breast to Rosemary and Garlic Green Beans to Pumpkin Pie — you can even get the entire meal catered! Place your orders online or in-store by Friday, November 16th then sit back and relax until Turkey Day comes!

 

Text by Nick Adrian

5 Delicious Autumn Dessert Recipes

5 Delicious Autumn Dessert Recipes

As the weather changes to cooler temperatures, that means snuggling up and enjoying more delicious treats. It means filling your home with the delicious smells of pumpkin and cinnamon. These five delicious autumn dessert recipes are perfect for the whole family!

 

Person pulling apart caramel apple bombs

Picture from https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a56465/caramel-apple-bombs-recipe/

Caramel Apple Bombs

Caramel apples are a classic for the Fall season, and these caramel apple bombs will satisfy any caramel apple craving. By stuffing biscuits with a homemade apple filling and caramel candy, you get the rich yet tart flavor of caramel apples but with a doughy — and delicious! — twist.

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon Apple Cake

Cinnamon apple cake with apple in the background

This recipe adds an elegant twist to the classic apple spice cake. The spiraling apples on top make the cake look difficult, but this cake really is as easy as — well, a piece of cake. You’re sure to have everyone in awe with this effortless yet elegant treat.

 

 

 

Pumpkin cobbler with ice cream on it

Picture from https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a56478/pumpkin-cobbler-recipe/

Pumpkin Cobbler

Pumpkin pie takes lots of time, energy and is so last year. Save your energy and get with the times with this delicious pumpkin cobbler. Enjoy this treat with some vanilla ice cream. Your family is sure to fight for that last scoop of cobbler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin pie egg roll with dipping sauce

Picture from https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a55851/pumpkin-pie-egg-rolls-recipe/

Pumpkin Pie Egg Rolls

This recipe adds the pumpkin spice twist to the classic fan-favorite egg roll. This 30-minute treat makes for a great dessert after treating yourself some Chinese food for dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies in a clear jar

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

‘Tis the {pumpkin spice} season. Chocolate chip cookies are great, but during the Fall season, it’s time to spice things up. These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are sure to be a hit at your Fall festival or for your kid’s class Halloween party.

 

 

As soon as the leaves start to change, your taste buds will be begging for those Fall flavors. These recipes will satisfy that pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon fix that you’ve been craving since last November.

By Jonathan Mendoza

The Meaning of a Meal: Feast for the Soul

The Meaning of a Meal: Feast for the Soul

Text by Jennie Tippett

I come from a family with deep Southern roots. In fact, we’ve traced our lines back at least 300 years. All of my ancestors on my mom’s side had between six and sixteen children. My mom herself is one of thirteen, no multiples. I have 22 blood-related first cousins.

Every year on July Fourth, we gather at Liberty Hill Baptist Church in their hometown, Clanton, Alabama. The fellowship hall at the church is the only place big enough to hold us. My Uncle Ricky brings over his enormous grill, the biggest I’ve ever seen that wasn’t in a barbecue joint. Believe me, the size is needed. Forty to fifty of us will show up this day. We all have hearty, Southern appetites.

We are a meat-eating bunch. Vegetarians need not apply. Piled onto this grill are slabs of ribs, Boston butt pork roasts from local school fundraisers, hot dogs, sausage, cheese-stuffed burger patties, chicken, and any other animal that has been caught on a deep-sea fishing trip or hunted and killed that year. All thirteen of the siblings grew up on a dairy farm so no part of any animal ever goes to waste. So along with the usual, there are pig ears, cheeks, and tails; beef tongue and liver; chicken feet and gizzards and other things I cannot identify but don’t want to ask.

While the men are grilling, the women ready the side dishes in the kitchen. There are at least three kinds of potato salad, three kinds of deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, turnip and/or collard greens, okra, corn on the cob, and some things we don’t have a name for but just threw together. The women here are also preparing meat for the grill and the soon-to-be buffet. Any meat that needs to be marinated swims in delicious sauces as it waits its turn. For some reason, there is an unspoken rule that no one can eat until it’s all done. Still, there are those of us who sneak a taste, proclaiming, “I’m just testing it for poison!”

The food is spread out along the two twenty-foot parallel islands in the kitchen. Everyone gathers in the dining room for announcements and blessings. Finally, we line up and start self-serving. There are so many of us that the first few through the line are usually finished with their meals by the time the last people can get in.

When people have gone in for seconds (and sometimes thirds or fourths), the dessert table becomes free game. Oh yes, we have dessert, too. That’s the whole point of the meal. While it’s not as varied as the entrée food, it’s still impressive: made-from-scratch chocolate cake, pecan and lemon pies, homemade cookies and peach or blueberry cobbler. We pile up our plates with a sampling of each.

Throughout the day, we gather around to tell stories, reminiscing on the ones who have passed on. It’s a great way to get to know the family, to grieve and cope with shared pain through laughter.

I cherish these reunions. For me, they are not only a feast for the stomach—they’re a feast for the soul.