Thanksgiving Tablescape, Checklist & Recipes

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ballards-salt-and-pepper-shaker fall-tablescape

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I have helped my mother set the table for dinner for as long as I can remember.  I still to this day can’t believe she had me do it for her fancy dinners too.  I loved helping her then and I still love it now.  Creating the color scheme with the table linens, placemats, dinnerware, flowers, candles, etc, is totally my jam!!  We are hosting 24 adults and 9 kids for Thanksgiving this year and that requires a lot of everything!  I did a trial run tonight with my scheme to make sure I liked everything together and I couldn’t be more over the moon about it.

placemats – I originally saw these at Ballard’s but they just recently sold out!  So, I found them at Peridot (an Atlanta boutique) but, similar here and here.

dishes – I found my Woodland Spode dishes here, but you can also buy them here too.  These are perfect for the farm!

salt & pepper shaker – Aren’t they so cute?!  You can buy them here.

silverware – You can find the 4 piece Olive Wood place setting here.

napkins – My exact ones are of course sold out at Ballard’s but these and these are also great!

candles – I bought flameless tea lights for the first time today and I’m in love. You can get them here.  Such a time and mess saver!!

flowers – The greenery down the table is bay leaves!  They are hearty and I put them back in water when I was done to save for Thanksgiving. I love red around the holidays and I went with some Hypericum Magical Red and Ranunculous.


I was in Bed Bath & Beyond the other day and they had the MOST AWESOME Thanksgiving checklist that I wanted to share with y’all.  I made a few modifications by not including some things that I don’t think is necessary. I made my first turkey last year for Thanksgiving and after a good practice run I felt ready.  One of the worst things that can happen is if you’re hosting for the first time and you don’t have something that you need.


Brining Bag

Carving Knife and Fork

Cutting Board

Gravy Separator


Meat Thermometer

Oven Thermometer

Pot Holders

Roasting Pan & Rack

Timer – (if you don’t want to use your phone)

Turkey Brine

Turkey Lifters (I wish I had these last year…)

Turkey Platter

3 Tier Oven Rack (I didn’t have this last year, gonna try it this year)

Casserole Dish & Holder


Food Warmer – great if you don’t have a warming oven

Gravy Boat

Kitchenaid Mixer – When we did our renovation at the farm somebody stole mine and I’ve been lugging the other one back and forth, ugh!

Large Stock Pot

Measuring Cups/Spoons

Mixing Bowls

Paring Knife

Serving Utensils

Vegetable Peeler

Pie Dish (this one is SO pretty)

Pie Crust Cutters

Rolling Pin (the marble keeps the dough cold)


Now on to the recipes!  This year I am making the turkey, the green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and a few pies and cakes.  My parents are bringing the cranberry salad, butternut squash soup, bloody mary’s and a yummy signature drink I found.  My sister is making her rosemary infused dinner rolls and were collaborating on an enormous charcuterie board that’s 3 feet wide. Go BIG or go home.  Everybody else is going to fill in the holes.

TURKEY – My mother in law and guests LOVED this turkey recipe I found on Pinterest last year.  It it ain’t broke don’t fix it so I’m making it again this year! Check it out here.  It was super juicy and flavorful, but I’m thinking I might take it a step further and brine it this year. I followed these guidelines on how NOT to ruin a turkey…basting, cooking at one temp and cooking a cold turkey are all BAD things.  Read the entire article, it’s eye opening even for you long time turkey cooks.

Green Bean Casserole – I made this last weekend to check it out and it was so yummy!  Check it out here. It’s totally from scratch but completely amazing!  The entire dish disappeared when I made it!

Mashed Potatoes – I don’t really follow a recipe, I just keep adding ingredients until it tastes right.  I usually do 1 large potato for every 2 people. Peel them, cut them up and empty into a pot and bring to a boil.  Once they are soft, strain and dump into your kitchenaid mixer.  I mash for a few minutes then I start adding in half and half, melted butter, sour cream, cheddar cheese and salt.  If I make 6-8 potatoes I will use about 3/4 of a pint of half and half, 1 stick of butter, 1 small container of sour cream, half a package of shredded cheese and salt to taste.  I didn’t say it was low fat, it’s Thanksgiving and it’s time to relax and enjoy!

For all of the pies, I make them the day before Thanksgiving.  There is no time for that on the day of!!

Pumpkin Pie – I just follow the recipe on the back of the can.  I will eat an entire pie myself with a can of whip cream.  It’s not Thanksgiving unless I have pumpkin pie!!!

Pecan Pie – This is SO YUMMY!  You might as well make two at a time because it will get eaten up!  Get the recipe here.

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler – I’ve never made it, but I know it’s going to be delicious!  Check it out here.

Apple Pie with Cheddar Cheese Crust – This looks amazing and I will definitely be making it next week. Check it out here. If you want a shortcut pie crust recipe, buy this and then just add the cheddar cheese 😉 They also have a gluten free option here.

Happy Cooking and Baking everyone!

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  1. Beautiful table setting. I enjoyed setting the table for my grandma when I was little. I miss her so much. I wish more families would gather around the table like we did when I was young. I am hoping to keep these traditions alive with my girls. By the way, you have such great taste. 😊

  2. Those placemats! I have never seen anything like them. So beautiful and delicate and yet earthy and at home in a farmhouse or lodge. Beautiful setup!