Easy as Pie Recipes!

No need to sweat it in the kitchen this year, take the pressure off with these two easy and fun pie recipes that will satisfy your dinner guests without exhausting the chef!

Food Network Kitchen's Vegan Pumpkin Pie For Vegan and Vegetarian Thanksgiving as seen on Food Network

Easy Peasy Pumpkin Pie

Place one frozen pie crust into a pie pan.  Mix together ¾ cups of sugar, 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, ½ teaspoons of salt, 1 can of pumpkin, 1 ¼ cups of evaporated milk, 2 eggs beaten! Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45 more minutes. Be sure to cool the pie for about 2 hours before serving!

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Awesome Apple Pie!

Mix together 6 cups of thinly sliced, peeled apples, ¾ cups of sugar, 2 tablespoon of flour, ¾ tablespoons of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Place 1 frozen pie into a pie pan. Spoon the filling into the pie crust. Then, place the second pie crust on top and press . the edges together. Bake for 45 minutes at 425 degrees. To prevent the edges of the crust from getting burnt you can cover the edges with foil after the first 20 minutes of baking. Cool for 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

 

DIY last-minute name cards!

Nothing is quite as welcoming as finding your own name carefully and lovingly written by your hostess, letting you know that your spot has been saved, your place secured at the table, your presence desired.

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Autumn Leaves. Why not grab actual leaves from your yard and win the ultimate prize for reusing and recycling? Be sure to pick out particularly bright and beautiful leaves! Use a white out pen to write each guest’s on each leaf and place one leaf on each plate.

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Scrabble Table. Take a swing through your local thrift shop and pick up an old game of scrabble or bananagrams. Use the letters to spell out each guest’s name on their plate! Extra points if you play board games or cards as part of the dinner fun!

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Gobble Gobble.  Gather twice as many corks as you have dinner guests. Cut each cork lengthwise (hot dog, not hamburger style). Stick one toothpick into each cork half and use a hot glue gun to attach 6 or 7 red, orange and yellow feather shaped pieces of cardstock to the back!

Thankful Crafts!

The perfect ice-breaker is a low-pressure, interactive craft that all of your family and friends can participate in, taking time to truly reflect on the things and the people in our lives that we are grateful for!

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Cut a turkey body shape out of brown construction paper and attach googley eyes, a beak, and a top hat. Then place a basket with markers and another basket with feathers cut out of orange, red and yellow paper. Invite your guests to take a moment to jot down something in their life that makes them smile, brings them happiness, or reminds them to be grateful for each day. By the end of the night, your paper turkey will be overflowing with simple reminders that life is beautiful and worth being thankful for!

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Cut out as many strips of paper as you have guests at your party. Then write down a question on each piece of paper and place one question under each guests’ plate. The questions can be silly, thought-provoking, simple, or more complex, the more variety the better! “Do you prefer mountains or beaches?” “What is your favorite meal?” “When do you feel the most peaceful?” “What is your favorite place to take a nap?” “Do you think that every human is good deep down?” Then, throughout the meal, you can go around the table and each guest can choose another guest to ask their question to!

DIY Turkey-Day Centerpieces

If you don’t have time to completely redecorate your entire home for every single holiday, no worries! Keep your general decor in a neutral tones with gentle pops of color, then you can put your focus on the centerpiece of your dining room table and create a signature look for each special season!

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Crafty Turkey. Pull out your construction paper, get out your wooden popsicle sticks, plug in your glue-gun and scrounge up some googley-eyes. Then get to work and build yourself a fun Turkey centerpiece and matching place-settings for each guest!

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Golden Pine-cones. This one is as simple as it gets. Gather together a collection of 15 pine cones and spray paint them gold. Make sure to use your spray paint outside so you’re not inhaling the fumes inside your home! Then all you need to do is stack your pine-cones in the center of your table in a large shallow dish!

Fill glass bottles with grains and spices for a colorful arrangement.

Bottles of Thanksgiving, Collect a handful of empty wine bottles and clean them. Once they are dry, fill each bottle with different grains and colorful beans. Then place one colorful taper candle into each bottle to create a unique and stunning centerpiece!

Theme Your Holidays!

One way to relieve the stress of the winter holidays is to give your friends and family a fun theme each year for gifts! If you want to get really creative, you can extend this theme to the decor in your home, the menu at your holiday dinner parties, the holiday card you send out to your loved ones!

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Birds. Birds are a great theme for gifts because the options are so varied and across the whole gamut of gifts! Whether you give your bestie a set of binoculars and a bird-watching guide or a set of bejeweled bird earrings or a sweet sweater with knitted sparrows across the front, birds are  a beautiful motif with a powerful symbolism of freedom and wanderlust.

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Books. Make this a literary holiday season, sharing your favorite  classics, your top easy reads, a subscription to your sister’s favorite magazine, a how-to guide to yoga for that friend who needs some namaste in her life, or a book of crossword puzzles for you nephew! This theme is a fun one for place settings and dinner party decor, using old books you collect from local garage sales and thrift stores and cut up to make gorgeous displays!

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Sleep. Prepare yourself for a restful holiday atmosphere with this brilliant theme! Pajamas for your nieces, a cozy two-person sleeping bag for your friends who are always camping, fluffy sleep masks for your mother and her beauty rest and quotes about dreaming at each place setting for your dinner party!

How to wow with cranberries!

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The tart and tangy quality of the cranberry makes it a perfect balancing piece to the Thanksgiving spread! Gather the following ingredients for an unusual take on the classic sauce that will have your dinner guests requesting your secret recipe!

You’ll need:

-2 cups of cranberries

-1 can of chunky cranberry sauce

-1 cup of chopped strawberries

– 1 cup of raspberries (optional)

-½ cup of chopped walnuts

Mix all of these delicious ingredients together in a serving bowl and provide your guests with a flavorful, crispy and tangy sauce to complement their meal!

Top 3 Thanksgiving Casseroles!

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Cream of Corn. Corn is a must have at any Thanksgiving feast! Why not try a creamy corn casserole at your table this year? This will be a particular hit if you decide to add some heat to any other dish! The creamy corn will soothe any palette and keep everyone coming back for seconds!

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Sweet Potatoes. This decadent root vegetable pair exceedingly well with pumpkin! Add some pumpkin to your sweet potatoes this year for an even brighter orange color and an extra helping of fiber! Topping your sweet potato casserole with a layer of marshmallows before you toss it into the broiler will give you a gooey molten delicious side dish (or dessert!).

HOW TO MAKE GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE Alton Brown Good Eats/Bean Stalker Food Network Onions, AllPurpose Flour, Panko Bread Crumbs, Salt, Nonstick Cooking Spray, Green Bean, Butter, Mushrooms, Black Pepper, Garlic, Nutmeg, Chicken Broth, HalfandHalf

Green beans and Almonds. This is a hard one to mess up! Green beans, almonds and onions make a great team and will provide some very important vitamins and nutrients to an otherwise rich and splurge-worthy annual meal!