Feast Your Eyes On This: Tips For Creating A Beautiful Thanksgiving Table
Part of completing an online culinary arts program is learning to serve dishes that look as good as they taste. The Thanksgiving dinner table is a great place to explore the possibilities of presentation. When you spend the day crafting traditional dishes for your family to enjoy, think about how you can step up the way each item appears on the plate.
There’s plenty of room to get creative with every platter you serve. With a few simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating an Instagram-worthy Thanksgiving feast:
Set the atmosphere with decorations at the table
“The most important part of Thanksgiving dinner is making guests feel welcome.”
The most important part of a successful Thanksgiving dinner is ensuring that all your guests feel warmly welcomed in your home. The right decor invites everybody to make themselves comfortable and sets the stage for a glorious feast. House Beautiful offered several suggestions for preparing a table where people will be eager to sit down and dig in.
Use colorful linens and flowers to bring life to the table. Providing each diner with an individual tureen and setting out handwritten place cards puts a personalized touch on the feast.
Prepare attractive side dishes
Turkey is king of the Thanksgiving table, but your choice of sides has a huge impact in making the meal taste and look amazing. Prepare items that nicely complement the flavors of the main course while also contributing intriguing colors and shapes. Epicurious recommended putting an irresistible spin on cranberry sauce with seasonal produce.
Cut four delicata squash in half across, remove seeds and slice into half-inch thick rings. Cut three pounds of sweet potatoes rounds. Combine the squash and potatoes in a bowl with extra-virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes and salt.
Set the potatoes and squash on a baking sheet with thyme. Roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour, tossing at the halfway point. At the same time, cook cranberries with red wine vinegar, sugar, thyme and salt in a saucepan on medium heat for 35 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Set the veggies on a platter, drizzling the cranberry agrodolce over the top.
Thoughtfully select garnishes
The right edible garnish can add flavor, visual appeal and satisfying crunch to your meal, as the Food Network pointed out. For instance, orange and green items go nicely with a roasted entree like turkey. Bring contrast and taste to the plate by surrounding the poultry with roasted carrots and leafy herbs.
Pair the smooth orange of mashed sweet potatoes with something red and eye-catching. Consider setting out pomegranate seeds, chopped cranberries or quick-pickled red onions.
Get creative with dessert
There’s nothing wrong with a traditional pumpkin pie, but a more adventurous dessert can add a whole new dimension to your feast. Country Living offered a recipe for a distinctive and delicious apple-cinnamon layer cake. Get started by placing halved pecans on a baking sheet and toasting for seven or eight minutes, allowing to cool before chopping
Whisk flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and allspice. Use an electric mixer to beat three eggs with light brown and granulated sugars, canola oil, applesauce and vanilla extract. Continue beating at the low setting while you slowly add in the flour mixture.
Fold pecans diced apples into the batter. Use cooking spray to grease three 9-inch cooking pans and line with parchment paper before dividing the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool for five minutes before inverting onto wire racks to finish cooling.
Prepare a salted caramel frosting while the cake cools. Then, layer the cake with the frosting and frost the sides. Complete the look with a candied pecan garnish.