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24 Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes and Fall Craft Projects

This eBook is brimming with Thanksgiving craft projects and recipes to make your Thanksgiving dinner celebration a hit.

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How to Look (and Act) Like a Total Susie Homemaker for Thanksgiving

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Somewhere between Halloween and Christmas, the special American tradition of Thanksgiving often gets lost and under-celebrated. Nobody plays dress up and gifts often aren't given, but Thanksgiving is still a holiday worth celebrating. Perhaps you can take an opportunity while you have a bit of a November lull before the holidays really get into gear, to have a small dinner party with great autumn decorations or bring a hearty dish to a family member's house on a Sunday evening.

You may not know the first thing about baking pies or crafting up incredible fall decorations, but trust me, you don't have to dress up as Susie Homemaker for Halloween anymore – you can also act the part. Using a unique and easy recipe and following a few quick steps for small decorations, your home can look and smell like it came out of a magazine. And your loved ones will look at you like they don't know who created this crafty queen.

If you're going to a Thanksgiving dinner party and want to bring a dish, don't volunteer to cook the bird, stick with something that you know, like pasta, and make it a dish to be thankful for. Using a basic penne pasta and a large butternut squash, you can create pumpkin pasta that will wow all your friends and relatives. On Thanksgiving evening, everyone will welcome the new addition to the table, with pasta as a delightful side dish to the regular turkey and mashed potatoes. Use this easy recipe for pumpkin pasta from our friends at RecipeLion.com.

Pumpkin Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 18 ounce very dry hard cider
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • lots of black pepper
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 pound penne pasta

Steps:

  1. Saute the shallots in a bit of olive oil until soft, and then add the squash.
     
  2. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, and then add the cider, butter, nutmeg, and pepper.
     
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer until the squash is very soft (20 minutes or less). Add more cider if the sauce starts getting thick.
     
  4. At this stage, you can either mash the sauce in the pot or puree it in a food processor. You can also leave it as is.
     
  5. Drain the cooked pasta and return it to the cooking pot. Pour in most of the sauce -- save aside about a cup -- and the parmesan, and stir up really well.
     
  6. Serve in a pasta plate, surrounded by steamed broccoli florets, with about a tablespoon of sauce in the middle, dusted with a little nutmeg and a couple of sage leaves.

If you're entertaining at your own home, be sure to make a few creative autumn-inspired favors for your guests, even if your guests include your younger siblings and your dear parents. Everyone will appreciate the extra touches to the holiday and you will certainly look like the Susie Homemaker to beat. Keep it simple.
 

Fall Centerpiece

Materials:

  • Pine cones
  • Acorns
  • Fall leaves
  • Pillar Candles
  • Stainless Steel candleholders
  • Glitter (optional)

Steps:

  1. Set up a couple of pillar candles in stainless steel candle holders.
     
  2. Sprinkle the center with the rustic pieces of décor that you've retrieved from your backyard or the craft store, whichever you prefer.
     
  3. This simple centerpiece will add that Fall touch to your meal.
    For more of a challenge try this Autumn Harvest Centerpiece.

The last thing you can do, whether you're entertaining at your home or attending a Thanksgiving meal put on by a relative, create gift tags that can act as napkin rings or place cards with a simple Thankful phrase like “Give Thanks” or “I'm Thankful for...” and decorate with turkey-inspired fall stamps and stencils. Your guests will appreciate the extra little touch of décor and the cards may even spark some conversation about what we're all thankful for!
 

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