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Thursday, November 08 2012

Are you the lucky one in your family who's hosting Thanksgiving? Has it always been a tradition in your family to have Thanksgiving at your house, or is this your first year? Either way, if you enjoy setting a beautiful Thanksgiving table, you're not alone.


Thanksgiving is something most of us look forward to all year long. You get to enjoy the company of your family (and all the delicious goodies!) without the hustle and bustle that Christmas or Hanukkah can sometimes bring.

Sitting down with your loved ones to a fantastic meal is one of the best things in life and should be enjoyed to its fullest. One of the best things about the holiday is the seasonal enjoyments. Autumn-inspired foods such as pumpkin pie, corn, butternut squash, and cranberry sauce fill our senses with their mouth-watering aromas. And autumn colors entice us and fill us with the appreciation of the beauty of the season.

Why not bring these two together on your Thanksgiving table to enjoy both of the most appealing things the season and holiday has to offer? Autumn and fall offer so many warm and colorful decorations along with the season's edible bounty.

For starters, won't your family guests be impressed when they sit down to darling leaf or fall design table setting holders? Autumn or fall themed candles make a lovely addition to the table decoratively. "Pass the potatoes please", and underneath they find an attractive autumn or fall trivet protecting the table! Leaf shaped dishes hold the olives and condiments. Autumn leaves coasters protect the table from the drinks and add charm. Place a turkey party favor filled with a small dish of butter or mints. And maybe a turkey shaped iced cookie that arrives already baked, iced, and darling-just ready for you to hand out to your guests.

After dinner, add a festive touch using your fall themed wine bottle stopper! Better yet, send your guests home with their own fall themed wine bottle stopper or any other delicious "take home and enjoy" favor such as fall themed mini syrup bottles, fall themed packets of cider or hot chocolate, fall printed packs of jelly beans, fall wrapped candies, and packs of muffin mix all nicely decorated in exquisite fall designs. They'll be thinking of you warmly and sweetly while putting out their holiday decor over the next few days!

If you're feeling like adding even more flair to your home, put a few fall themed or leaf shaped soaps in your bathroom! They'll be able to tell you went all out for their enjoyment and comfort. They'll be calling you "the hostess with the mostess" or the "host with the most" for all of your efforts.

Party favors aren't just for weddings and other events. Take advantage of what there is to offer your guests! The Thanksgiving table should get just as much attention and appreciation as the Christmas or Hanukkah table. And autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Setting the perfect Thanksgiving table only poses one problem, outdoing yourself next year! With all the available gorgeous seasonal favors and decor, that won't be problem.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ashley Moran is the owner of Cherished Gifts & Favors, an online store specializing in the latest trends in stylish wedding favorsparty favors, corporate event favors and personalized gifts for all of life's special occasions.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 12:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, November 01 2012

Whenever I go to a restaurant and see people throw out food, I get very angry. Why do they do that? Sometimes, there is a valid excuse. If a person is staying in a hotel that does not have a refrigerator or stovetop in the room, saving leftovers is not practical. Many times it is just sheer laziness or a don't care attitude.


So much food is wasted in this country that it makes me physically ill. There are people around the world that are starving and would fight to consume our leftovers. I did not know what my mother meant about starving people in the world. Out of respect for our fellow man, animals, vegetables and the earth, We should not waste food. We should put it to work for us. What do I mean by that?

The economic condition of our country and the world is not good. We should save money wherever we can to protect our families, neighbors and ourselves. If you took leftovers and repurposed them, you will have saved money as well as the other things I mentioned above.

One good example is pasta or rice. These two items should never be thrown out because many things can be done with them to create awesome new meals. You do not have to be a chef. You do not even have to be creative. You just have to have the desire.

When I was a little kid, I saw this repurposed thing in action. I did not know what was happening, I just knew I was having a great lunch. Let me give you a recipe for leftover Sunday Dinner.

Some background:

I am an Italian-American that grew up in the lower middle class. We had to stretch things and not waste things. The Sunday Dinner, Which Included the Sunday Sauce, Was a Weekly Event. My mother would make sure that extra macaroni and sauce were made so that they could be used during the week. There was always an uninvited guest or 10 that would show up on Sunday or during the week. They would never be turned away, my mother's practicality would be put to the test. There is a link below to give you free copies of my cookbooks. That is the food that I grew up on, and still eat today. There is a recipe for Sunday sauce.

Let's assume that you made the sauce and there is leftover sauce and macaroni. Let's also assume that 5 other people showed up at your house, uninvited at lunch timeon Tuesday. What do you do with that leftover Sunday Dinner to feed all of these extra mouths?


  • Take the leftover meatballs and sausage and cut them into smaller pieces
  • Take a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy duty pan and heat on medium/low
  • Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, corn oil, or whatever type of oil you have
  • Place the leftover macaroni and cut up meats in the pan.


Let them warm through. As they get hot, the macaroni will begin to sizzle a bit and the edges of some of the macaroni will begin to get crisp. Believe it or not, thatis a magical thing. I always loved the crispy pieces.


  • In a bowl, scramble 3-4 eggs
  • Add the eggs to the already warmed through macaroni in the skillet. Toss around a little bit and allow the eggs to cook.
  • When the eggs are cooked, your meal is ready.


That sounded like a trivial thing, but that saved my mother a number of times from being embarrassed. The uninvited guests are the ones that should have been embarrassed, but that is not how my mother was.

For the price of 3-4 eggs, an amazing repurposed leftover dinner was created.There is something about leftovers that I love. They are the unwanted stepchild of last night's dinner according to some people. Until most people taste something great that became of these leftovers, they do not know the great possibilities that exist. It is time for people to allow themselves to be bothered by leftovers. There is No Shame in leaving a restaurant with a doggie bag.

Anyone that makes you feel insecure about bringing food home should not be wanted in your life. I bring home leftovers all the time and it's great!

I love food and hope that you do to. If you would like free copies of my 2 cookbooks, please visit the below link. If you would like to visit my food blog for excellent cooking videos, just use the below link and then did with /blog


Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:41 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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