Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fake The Food on Thanksgiving

Here is our first fake the food idea. If you have a Trader Joe's in your area, stop by and pick up a box of their pumpkin bread mix, it is a seasonal item. It is very moist and easy to make. You can be a little creative and add dried cranberries and walnuts to the mix before baking. Make pumpkin cupcakes for the kids and add mini chocolate chips to the mix. The kids at your Thanksgiving feast will love them. Stay tuned for more "Fake the Food" ideas.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Table Setting Ideas

If you want your Thanksgiving to go smoothly this year, you have some planning to do. Thanksgiving should focus more about the people you gather with then the food you serve them. Do you honestly think that your guests really on come just for the food?
Of course not, they have come to visit, reminisce about the ole days, create plans for the future, and hopefully give thanks for being in the company of such wonder family and friends.
So here are some of our ideas to make this Thanksgiving at bit more hassle free. You probably already know what we are going to say first. Set your table a few days before; don’t wait until the last minute.

If you are looking for ideas for a fall table setting visit us at, to see what we have created for this holiday. Unless you are using perishable items for your centerpiece or accents, set your table early. If you are worried about dust or little fingers, once you set it cover it with a light weight material. The plastic covers you get from the dry cleaners are perfect.
If you absolutely enjoy making everything from scratch by all means go for it! However, there is nothing wrong with “Faking the Food” a bit (check back with us in a few days for ideas for “faking the food”). Or have each guest bring something to contribute to the meal. We know that most people are happy to bring at least one thing toward a Thanksgiving dinner.
We are huge list makers. Our biggest suggestion is to write it all down, that way nothing is forgotten. You can even do an hourly schedule to keep you on track. For example: 1:00 make stuffing, 1:45 place bread or biscuits in basket, 2:45 take butter out of refrigerator etc…
We hope some of these tips make your Thanksgiving Holiday a bit smoother so you too can enjoy the gathering.
Visit us at http://www.tableambiance/ to see all of our selection of table setting ideas.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

An excerpt from the book Celebrations by Jim McCann & Jeanne Benedict:

Most of us know the story of this holiday from an elementary school play where we donned pilgrim hats or feathers acting out the first Thanksgiving feast. In the 17th century our forefathers set sail on the Mayflower in search of a happier way of life and religious freedom.
They landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts around 1620. Ironically, there is no reference to the actual rock as a landing place in pilgrims' accounts, but they do cite the famed piece of granite in writings about 100 years later.
Plymouth was as good a place as any to settle and the pilgrims were soon befriended by whom we now refer to as the Native American Indians. The first winter was severe and many pilgrims lost their lives to the elements.
Seeing the hardships of these struggling people, the Indians took the pilgrims under their wing and taught them the way of the land. Squanto, as he was called by the pilgrims, and others from his tribe showed the newcomers how to plant corn and squash and to hunt and fish. As a result of working together the harvest was bountiful. A feast was held to give thanks for the gifts of the land and kindness of the Indians.
The actual date of the first Thanksgiving is unknown. In the coming years, the pilgrims feasted only when the harvest was plentiful. And over the next century records indicate that the handful of people that populated the nation had some sort of Autumnal celebration.
Apparently George Washington attempted to set Thanksgiving on November 26, 1789, but with the political turmoil of the day the feast never made it into the official records. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving and every president following Lincoln had made the same declaration.
It wasn't until 1941 that President Roosevelt signed a bill that designated the fourth Thursday in November as the national holiday of Thanksgiving. Some hold hands in silent prayer while others express gratitude aloud, but all gather around the table and give thanks for what they have.

Create your own Thanksgiving Traditions. Visit us at to view our Fall table setting ideas that can be easily created onto your Thanksgiving table.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween Party Food Ideas

This Halloween serve squishy earthworms in mud and vampire punch to your party guests. They'll get a kick out of these creepy but yummy All Hallow's Eve treat.
Let's face it. Regular old party food isn't going to cut it at your Halloween do. You're going to need to amp up the creepy factor while still serving tasty (and recognizable food) Here are some suggestions for that All Hallow's Eve bash!
1. Scary -tini's. Make any martini and sink a plastic eyeball or a gummy worm in the bottom. For a really wild one make an apple-tini in a creepy green and put a plastic finger in it. (wash the eye balls and body parts to get rid of that plastic taste and smell before you start dropping them into people's drinks
2. Devil dogs- Grill hot dogs and then serve with a fiery hot relish. An easy one is to puree five to six jalapeno peppers and one half of an onion. Spread a thin line of this on your grilled dogs. For a sweeter devil dog, start out with five to six tablespoons of barbecue sauce or ketchup, depending on your tastes, add minced jalapeno peppers and onions.
3. Fire starter burgers . For every pound of chopped meat , add one teaspoon cayenne pepper and chopped onion. Grill until done. Another method is get already prepared hamburgers, turkey or veggie burgers ,dredge them in cayenne or chili pepper and then grill or fry.
4. Halloween corn - Pop two bowls of microwave corn or use two bag s of already popped corn. Sprinkle one bowl with cheddar powder (if you can't get this in your local store then you can get it online at - a great online cheese store). Now sprinkle the other with cracked black pepper. Put the two in a bigger bowl with one half cheese and the other black pepper. For a real cool Halloween look put the cheese corn in a black bowl and the peppered corn in an orange bowl.
5. Squishy earthworms in mud. Sautee one to one and a half pounds of ground beef or soy beef in two to three tablespoons of oil over a low heat. Add one chopped onion for flavor. Reduce heat and cover. Prepare two package of brown gravy mix. Stir into meat until thoroughly mixed. Now prepare two boxes of bucatini (about 32 ounces) in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water. When pasta is done pour meat sauce over it and serve hot.
6. Vampire Punch. Mix 2 bottles of Pom pomegranate juice with two two liter bottles of lemon lime soda. You can add strawberries preserves to act as “clots” or add skull or bone shaped ice cubes. (you can find these at
7. Blood shakes. Make the standard vanilla milkshake but instead of two cups of milk uses only one. Add ½ cup Pom pomegranate juice and enough red food coloring to make the shake a dark red. Serve in skull cups.
8. Boneyard Cake. Prepare chocolate or devil's food cake according to package instructions. Pour into two eight inch in diameter pans.. You can use your own recipe for fudge frosting or a prepared one. Once the layers are cooled, you can then ice the bottom one with the frosting. Scatter candy bones over this and then put on the second layer. Using the rest of frosting , ice top and sides. For the headstones you can use square shortbreads or Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies cut in half. Write RIP on these and stick into the cake's top. For added ghoulishness, you can leave a few bones scattered amongst these or even put a toy fence around the cake. This Halloween serve fun and scary food at your party. Your guests will get a thrill out of these eerie but tasty treats! Now have a skull full of vampire punch and join the crowd!


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