Thanksgiving is almost here, and our hearts (as well as our stomachs) are more than ready to celebrate this special day surrounded by the people we love. But while the excitement builds, there is also a niggling bundle of nerves inside those of us who decided to host this year. Planning a dinner party is always a lot of fun, but making sure the day runs smoothly and stress-free so you can enjoy it too is a bit of juggling act.
As someone who loves to cook, I understand the joys (and frustrations) that come with prepping a memorable gathering, and I've certainly learned a few things along the way. So, in that vein, I wanted to share my tips for prepping your Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) this year from the 15-minute-out mark.
My favorite five-minute tip for last-minute guests is to open up a good bottle of wine and pour it into a beautiful decanter. Arrange wineglasses, a pretty decanter, a wine opener, and some linen coasters on a wooden cheese board to set a pretty scene. That's about all you can pull off in five minutes, and it will certainly do the trick!
Lighting is a key entertaining trick! Calm lighting can make your home feel relaxing and inviting. Dim your lights a bit (not too much!) and light a candle or two. Set out a quick appetizer like crudités with hummus. I almost always have veggies and hummus in my refrigerator, so it tends to be my go-to when last-minute guests show up. Slice up cucumber and squeeze lemon across the top. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Finish by adding cherry tomatoes and carrots. Voilà!
Fifteen minutes is enough time for me to whip up quite a few things. I am really loving this cherry and brie baguette recipe from my show Haylie's America. I made this recipe for The Kitchen when they asked me to make a five-ingredient dish, and I have to say it's a total knockout. Cherries are out of season right now, but you can buy frozen ones that are already pitted and that actually makes this recipe even easier.
For more of Haylie Duff's tips and recipes, check out The Real Girl's Kitchen.