Happy Thanksgiving…

This year I have so much to be thankful for and I’m looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends.  I love the old traditions that my family has had for as long as I can remember and I look forward to the new traditions that my husband and I will start together.

I won’t be hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Actually, I have never hosted Thanksgiving dinner and, to be honest, I prefer it that way.  Thanksgiving is the one holiday/dinner that completely scares me.  It is a holiday that is based almost completely on the food, so I’m terrified of messing up the meal.  For all of you brave people out there that are cooking your first or 20th Thanksgiving dinner this year, I applaud you!

One of these year’s I will take on Thanksgiving, but for now I’m just going to share some of my favorite table decor ideas.

Place cards

Sticking with traditional Thanksgiving decor, these mini pumpkin place cards are super cute and a nice favor for all of your guests.

Thanksgiving - LiveDineParty

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These simple pine cone place card holders would be perfect for Thanksgiving, and they look so easy to make.

Thanksgiving - LiveDineParty

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Or you can glam up the pine cones a bit with glitter…a little sparkle never hurts.

Thanksgiving - LiveDineParty

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Sprigs of wheat would be perfect for a more rustic themed table scape.

Thanksgiving - LiveDineParty

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I love these artichoke place card holders because they are a little unexpected.

Thanksgiving - LiveDineParty

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Centerpieces

For a glamorous, yet traditional Thanksgiving table scape, go gold!

Thanksgiving - LiveDineParty

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Place a few of these simple bunches of wheat with varying colors of ribbon on a long table and get that dramatic effect you are looking for with a low price tag.

Thanksgiving - LiveDineParty

Via Pinterest

For something a little different, I’m loving this purple and white kale centerpiece.  Even though there is no orange, it is still very Fall.  And, it would go perfect with the artichoke place cards above.  

Thanksgiving - LiveDineParty

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Now, if I did have a table to decorate this year, this would be it.  I would probably pair it with the simple pine cone place cards from above.  Using the mini pumpkins might be too matchy for me.  

Thanksgiving - LiveDineParty

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Enjoy your Thanksgiving, eat excessive amounts of food, watch some football and, if you are brave enough, prepare for Black Friday!

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Cupcake Displays

As I continue to post on my blog, you will start to notice a trend…I absolutely adore cupcakes!  The perfect size treat with so many different flavor combinations…what’s not to love?  A great cupcake display can be the perfect addition to any party.  Whether it is a bridal shower, baby shower, birthday party, holiday party or any party it can add to the decor and serve as cute favors for guests to take with them 🙂

My mom and bridesmaids surprised me at my bridal shower with this display and, no surprise here, I loved it.  They obviously know I’m obsessed with cupcakes!  And I plan on using this idea at as many parties as possible.

Cupcake Displays - LiveDinePartyHaving a variety of flavors with different decorations makes it even more fun .  All of these cupcakes are homemade by my Mom, which is much cheaper than paying $3-4 per cupcake from a bakery.   If baking from scratch is not for you, using box cupcake mix is always an option.  By adding homemade frosting and fancy decorating it will still have the same look.  And, individually packaging them makes it easy for guests to take it home with them. The cupcake stands were purchased at Home Goods and the plastic containers are from Michaels.

Cupcake Displays - LiveDineParty Cupcake Displays - LiveDineParty Cupcake Displays - LiveDineParty Cupcake Displays - LiveDineParty Cupcake Displays - LiveDineParty

And, I have to give credit to my sister for the decorations on each box.

Cupcake Displays - LiveDineParty

Happy cupcake decorating!

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs - LiveDineParty

What does Fall mean to me?  It means cool crisp air, boots and sweaters, football on Sundays, New England foliage and, of course, comfort food. And, before we start packing up our kitchen to get ready for our move to the new house, I had to make one of my favorite Fall dishes, braised short ribs.

This dinner is the perfect comfort food for the those cool Fall nights.  The red wine gives them a rich flavor and a fall-off-the-bone tenderness.  Warning, these do take a while to cook since they cook slowly at a lower temperature in the oven.  So, although it may be a difficult weeknight meal, it is a great meal for a Sunday. Trust me, it is worth the wait!! I paired the short ribs with some classic garlic mashed potatoes for an amazing weekend dinner for two.  Note that this recipe can easily be adjusted to serve more people.

I’m going to side track here for a minute and mention that I love my Le Creuset Dutch oven, which is the cookware I use in this recipe.  If you don’t have one, I would invest in one soon.  I love that you can start on the stove and move it straight into the oven.  It comes in so many fun colors, is easy to clean and always cooks perfectly.

Now back to the recipe…

Adapted from FineCooking.com

Serves about 2

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ – 2 lbs beef short ribs (2-3 short ribs)
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt, more to taste
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper, more to taste
  • 2/3 cup medium-diced carrots
  • 2/3 cup medium-diced celery
  • 2/3 cup medium-diced onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup lower-salt beef broth
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 to 2 tsp. red-wine vinegar

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F. In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbs of the oil over medium heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper. Add the ribs to the pot, without overlapping, and cook, until nicely browned on all sides. Transfer the ribs to a platter.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs - LiveDineParty

Add the remaining 1 Tbs oil, carrots, celery, and onions to the pan. Cook, stirring until softened and lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook, until fragrant.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs - LiveDinePartyPour ½ cup of the red wine into the pot and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until the liquid is reduced to about 2 Tbs.

Transfer all the ribs (and any juices that have accumulated) back into the Dutch oven. Pour 1¾ cups water, the beef broth and the remaining red wine over the ribs and using tongs, arrange the ribs as evenly as possible.

Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and put in the oven. Cook, turning the ribs about every 30 minutes, until they are fork tender, about 2-2 ½ hours.

Transfer the ribs to a serving platter. Let the sauce cool for a few minutes and with a spoon, skim off as much of the fat as possible from the surface. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, and add the red wine vinegar.

Serve the ribs with the sauce and veggies spooned over.