This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Del Monte ®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Thanksgiving is the best holiday, hands down! Unlike the hassle of Christmas which includes lighting your house, decorating trees, and endless shopping, Thanksgiving is simple. The day is centered around the joy of gathering at the table with your family or friends and sharing a meal. If you live in a big city like me, you can’t always make it “home” for the holidays. Don’t worry; you can still be thankful this year and have your turkey too. Just call your closest friends and with my help, plan an Ultimate Friendsgiving that you will never forget!
Last week, I had the pleasure of enjoying an early Thanksgiving dinner, and the best part about it was, I didn’t have to lift a finger. Del Monte ® and Tasty hosted the Best Friends Friendsgiving Feast, and I left super excited about my own holiday meal plans. The inspiration started when we walked in the door and saw the gorgeous table settings. The festivities continued with us enjoying perfectly crafted holiday cocktails, while tasty and unique appetizers were passed.
To top things off, there was a DIY napkin decor station where we created personalized place settings for the meal. Dinner was everything we hoped for and more, complete with turkey and all the fixings featuring some of Del Monte’s best recipes. The event was hosted by the delightful Tiffani Thiessen and was the perfect way to kick off this holiday season.
How to Plan Your Friendsgiving
This year, plan for your Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving to be a huge success with my tips! I’ve got you covered with essentials you need to host a great dinner that everyone will enjoy!
When planning any dinner party, I always think that more is more when it comes to decor. There are so many great items you can add to your table to enhance its decor. I am a big fan of floral centerpieces. Additionally, you can add some less expensive accents, like candles, pinecones or acorns, fresh gourds and even berries or sliced fruit to add a wow factor. Another suggestion to make your table more interesting is to alternate your place settings and with different charger and plate combinations.
Cocktails are an essential component of any dinner party, especially around the holidays! The key to throwing a successful party is not to over think it. This advice is even more important when it comes to your drinks. My recommendation – keep it simple, plan 2 or 3 easy to make drinks, and serve wine & beer as your alternative. Trying to stock a full bar and take multiple drink orders is a hassle that you will want to avoid, trust me!
If possible combine your mixers ahead of time, then just add the booze and serve. To punch it up with more holiday flare, try garnishing with fresh herbs or even a cinnamon stick if it compliments the drink.
The main event of Thanksgiving is, of course, the meal! Appetizers and cheese boards are great starters, but you and your friends are there to chow down! We had a delicious dinner at the Best Friendsgiving Feast, and if I could, I would recreate the whole menu for my Thanksgivings. You may have a signature Thanksgiving dish, but how about adding a fun twist to your meal this holiday. For an impressive Friendsgiving, my recommendation is separating the menu and having your culinary friends bring some of their specialties to complement your favorites. Ideally, you want to serve, 1 – protein, 2 – veggies, 1-2 salads, 1 – carb, bread and as many desserts as your heart desires.
Cornbread has always been a staple at our Thanksgiving table. This year, I am planning on mixing it up with Del Monte’s Maple Bacon Cornbread recipe. This recipe is a twist on a traditional dish which combines a can of Del Monte® Whole Kernel Corn with bacon and maple syrup, so how can you go wrong?!?
Maple Bacon Skillet Cornbread
- 1 cup Cornmeal
- 1 cup Flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 1/4 cup Buttermilk
- 2 Eggs - beaten
- 3 Tbsp Melted Butter - plus more in skillet
- 1 can Del Monte ®. Whole Kernel Corn - drained
- 10 strips Cooked Bacon - chopped
- 1/2 cup Maple Syrup
Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Combine all your dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder) in a large skillet. Add wet ingredients (buttermilk. eggs, melted butter, and corn), gently fold together until combined.
Grease a 9-inch oven safe skillet with additional butter. Fold maple syrup and all but 2 tablespoons of bacon into the mixture.
Pour into prepared skillet and bake for 25-30 mins or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. Garnish with remaining bacon and serve.
Entertainment & Fun
Don’t let your party come to a Screeching halt. Any great party should have entertainment or some fun activity for your guests to enjoy after the meal. Friendsgiving is no exception to this rule. Interesting party games like Cards Against Humanity or Heads Up are enjoyable ways to keep the party going. If you want to capture memories from the night, set up a mini photo wall with a hashtag for the evening. Everyone can take photos to create lasting memories for years to come.
Share your Thanksgiving photos on social media with #TastyFriendsgiving + @delmonte & @buzzfeedtasty and Del Monte will donate 100 lbs of food per post to Feeding America, up to 10,000 lbs.
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Del Monte. The opinions and text are all mine.
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