Giving Thanks

Whether you’re hosting an intimate friendsgiving dinner, a classic extended family feast, or looking for creative ways to make the most of those Thanksgiving leftovers, look no further for fresh ideas. Read on for lovely decor tips and menu inspiration your guests will gobble up!


Sweet Potato Stack with Herbed Goat Cheese

sweet potato

  • 6 sweet potatoes, skin left on
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt and white pepper
  1. Cut off the sweet potato tips on either end and slice each potato in half, lengthwise. Using a mandoline, thinly slice the sweet potatoes — lengthwise — and stack them horizontal and upright in a baking dish. (For this recipe I used 6 small potatoes for a 9-by-9-inch baking dish.)
  2. Dot the potatoes with torn bits of butter and cheese, drizzle lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with torn thyme, salt, and pepper.
  3. Roast in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the potatoes begin to caramelize. Finish the dish with a light drizzle of olive oil and fresh thyme.


Blood Orange and Caramel Moscow Mules

moscow mule

  • Caramel sauce
  • 2 ounces good vodka
  • 1 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 3 ounces ginger beer

Drizzle a scant tablespoon of caramel sauce into an ice filled copper mug. Add the vodka and blood orange juice. Stir to combine and top off with the ginger beer. Garnish with a crispy dried orange slice to the rim.


Thanksgiving Table Talk

thanksgiving table

  • Layer nuts and fresh pumpkins into a tall candle holder and top with a pumpkin candle.
  • Add fresh mini pumpkins and DIY feather candle holders.
  • Opt for a plaid lamb’s wool throw topper and layer on additional plaid details like cozy blankets at each place setting, plaid dish towels and glassware.
  • Whip up a magnolia wreath, with leaves, berries and filler in floral aqua foam.
  • Go for mixed metals, from pewter, to copper and gold.
  • Use vintage ice buckets to hold floral arrangements on the bar.
  • Create easy willow and nut napkin rings with craft store finds.
  • Add vintage leather books to give your table a “study” vibe.
  • Create a thrifty fresh floral table runner with seasonal branches and market flowers, popped into mason jars.


Roasted Fennel with Fresh Herbs and Goat Cheese


  • The slightly sweet licorice taste of fennel also pairs beautifully with roasted sweet potatoes.
  • 4 fennel bulbs, outer layer removed 
  • Olive oil
  • 2 ounces herb goat cheese
  • Salt and white pepper
  • Fresh thyme

Thinly slice the four fennel bulbs and arrange in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, dot with 2 ounces of herb goat cheese, sprinkle with salt, white pepper, and fresh thyme. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the fennel begins to caramelize.


Cranberry, orange and thyme muffins


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup whole cranberry sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 6-cup muffin pan with baking cups. Cream together the butter, sugar, and orange zest until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and fresh thyme and beat.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Fold in the flour mixture, using a spatula. Next fold in the milk, until combined. Lastly, fold in the whole cranberry sauce until just combined.
  3. Ladle the batter into the muffin cups and bake for about 30 minutes until the tops are golden brown.


Roasted Turkey and Root Vegetable Galette

turkey galette

These personal galettes are an easy and elegant way to celebrate an intimate Thanksgiving or make the most of leftovers. It starts with a pie dough base. If you’re making holiday pies, just make extra dough. (One pie dough recipe yields about four galettes.) Turkey roasting tip: Prior to baking, rub the top of the turkey with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, then tuck a few whole garlic cloves and fresh herbs under the skin and place two lemon quarters under the breast.

  1. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 8- or 9-inch diameter rounds. Transfer rounds to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  2. Layer in the fillings. For this galette, I roasted a turkey breast. Tear roasted turkey into bite-sized pieces. Next, mound chunks of cooked turkey, roasted sweet potato or yams, and fennel in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Top with cranberry sauce, fresh thyme, shaved parmesan, and torn goat cheese. (See fennel recipe on opposite page.)
  3. Fold up the edges of the dough, partially covering the filling. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown.


Personal Pumpkin and Ginger beer Cakes

pumpkin cake

I created a decorative powdered sugar stencil on these moist and spicy mini cakes. You will need a six well mini round cake pan, which resembles a cupcake pan.

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1 cup ginger beer
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare the baking pan by lining each mini cake well with buttered aluminum foil.
  2. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a stove top pan and whisk on medium heat just until the butter melts. Remove the pan from the heat. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the pan, whisking well until the batter is smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and pumpkin and then whisk the mixture into the pan. Fill each cake well, three-quarters of the way full of batter.
  4. Bake for about 35 minutes. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the hot pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Once cool, remove the foil. Place a fresh fall leaf atop the cake and dust powdered sugar over the cake using a sieve. Carefully remove the leaf to reveal the stencil!





See Monica Hart’s design, recipe, and entertaining ideas in every issue of 425 magazine, and at

Credits: Lambswool Wool throw and copper mugs: Williams Sonoma, Bellevue. Pumpkin candles: Crate and Barrel, Bellevue. Gold plaid glassware and vintage ice bucket: Oscar & Company, Kirkland. Plaid throws on chairs: Target, Woodinville. Ingredients: Metropolitan Market, Kirkland. Hair: Seven the Salon. Wet foam wreath forms available online.

is a 425 contributor.
Find Out First
Learn about Eastside food,
fashion, home design, and more.
no thanks