It's almost Thanksgiving, and I am ecstatic about that.
Turkey Day is one of my favorite holidays because I love to eat and drink, and it's one of the few holidays that doesn't require a ridiculous amount of credit card swiping for things my loved ones probably don't even need. It's all about hanging out. With food. And warm beverages. And maybe a couple of alcoholic ones.
That, my friends, is the definition of a good time.
So how do you take your good time and make it even better? Make sure you grab these five feasting essentials before you head out the door, and you'll be good. Also, it wouldn't hurt to start thinking of your list of things you're thankful for. It will probably brighten your day right now, and also make being put on the spot at dinner a little less awkward.
1. Something Cozy
This probably goes without saying, but I don't believe in anything tight, revealing, or chilly on family holidays... especially when there's hours of eating involved. Say NO to jeans! NO to dressy tops! NO to ornate hair-do's! Thanksgiving = Jeggings that look nice enough to be normal pants and a really cute but equally oversized sweater.
...Because everyone knows the next best thing after eating is falling asleep on your mother's couch.
2. The Proper Tunes
I've said it before, fall is my favorite season for tunes, and thanksgiving is no exception. Dark as Night by Nahko & Medicine for the People was blasting all day long last Thanksgiving, and definitely played its part in motivating me to get my butt in gear (I was hosting...) So Thankful in particular does a great job of making everything seem okay even when things are sort of falling apart. If moody weather vibes are more your thing, check out this list.
3. Go-To Dish for Passing
This year, I'm bringing two or three, but if you can master just one dish and stick with it, you'll be set for years to come. This year, my favorite has been this gluten-free Fluffy Baked Spinach Puff, which I adjusted to make vegan, too. Just cut out the egg and cheese, use almond milk, and add a cup of Daiya cream cheese. I also added gluten-free bread crumbs on top for a little extra crunch. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but Gluten Free Gigi has it covered here.
4. A Drink of Choice
I don't drink wine anymore unfortunately (I get gnarly headaches), but bringing a bottle is never a bad idea. It doesn't have to be anything fancy; I picked this one up at good old Trader Joe's for about 6 bucks. It was a huge hit at Friendsgiving, proving that my "judge a bottle of wine by its label" technique still works.
Bringing a drink is just common courtesy, but it's definitely a necessity if you have food/drink restrictions like myself. For my gluten-free girls and gals, cider is another people pleaser, and I haven't met a human on this earth that hasn't been impressed by Samuel Smith's Organic Cider. If nothing else, they'll probably at least love the bottle.
5. Your Favorite Holiday Film
Thanksgiving films are far and few between, but in case for some tragic reason you haven't seen it, you should definitely add Pieces of April to your list. Katie Holmes hosts Thanksgiving in her ramshackle NYC apartment for her family, including her estranged mother who's currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. It sounds really depressing, but it's not all bad. It's actually pretty heartwarming, and IMO is Holmes' best performance ever.