Sunday, November 2, 2014

Add Some Spice to Thanksgiving with Target Wedding Registry & Giveaway

With the holidays coming up it means that you will more than likely be cooking in your own home or even bringing a dish to share with someone else.  This post is #sponsored by #Targetwedding.  Target Registry is a wonderful way to stock your home full of holiday entertaining essentials.  What are some of your essential Thanksgiving tips? Be sure to share your Thanksgiving tips in the comment section below to be entered to win a Target giftcard.
Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.

Target Registry is a wonderful way to stock your home full of holiday entertaining essentials.  Calphalon Stainless Steel Cookware set is a great starter set for any family. It gives you a lot of versatility in the kitchen when you are cooking for any number of people.  One particular stainless steel item by Calphalon that is available at Target is the Pour and Strain Saucepan that is essentially two items in one. It allows you to cook, and then drain without using an additional colander using the side slots on the lid.  I used to to help create a delicious Old Bay Mac and Cheese recipe that is sure to be a hit at any holiday or casual get together.  The other dish I made that is a wonderful holiday side is an Apple and Cranberry Oatmeal Casserole baked in the Corningware casserole dish from Target.  

The saucepan along with a few other wonderful dining essentials are a great gift idea. I put together this Thanksgiving inspired table with items from Target and in my own home.   The gold chargers and Threshold Round Beaded Dinner Plates are available in store, and can easily be used for any type of occassion.  I also included some white pumpkins from a local farm.  I like that the baking dishes and plates are white, which means they can be paired easily with many different table linens and decorative additions. I used some simple ribbon to tie the utensils on the placemat.  I also added my grandparents wedding drinking glasses to the table setting as well. They are almost in perfect condition almost 70 years later.

The Apple and Cranberry Oatmeal Casserole is a dish that I remember my sweet Aunt serving every year at Thanksgiving. I always looked forward to having it in her home.  It was always the first dish on my plate, and I was always heading back for seconds for sure.  It brings back memories of spending time with my family.


1 c whole cranberries
1  1/2 c chopped apples with peel
3/4 c of white sugar
1/2 c of chopped nuts
1/2 c of brown sugar
1 stick of melted butter
1/2 c of maple brown sugar oatmeal (I use one packet)
2/3 c of flour

Combine first three ingredients in a prepared pan. Then mix other ingredients and place the mixture on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.

The other dish I am sharing is a delicious Mac and Cheese that is spiced up with a family favorite.  We put Old Bay seasoning on everything we can in this house. Mac and Cheese is the perfect dish to be combined with Old Bay.  It actually reminds me of summer, and eating crabs on the back porch. Now, that the weather has changed to cooler temperatures Rob and I love to have the taste of summer in our food.


1 lb of elbow pasta
4 c of milk
8 tbsp (one stick) of unsalted butter
2 tbsp or more if wanted of Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 c of all purpose flour
1 tbsp of kosher salt
10 ounces of aged sharp cheddar cheese
2/3 c of panko bread crumbs

Heat milk in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Once it is simmering remove from heat and set aside.  

In a second saucepan melt butter over medium heat, and then gradually add flour by whisking it in. 

Whisk constantly for a few minutes until the mixture is a light brown.  Gradually whisk milk into the first saucepan with the flour and butter mixture.  

Return saucepan to medium heat, and continue whisk it until it thickens. Stir in one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning.  Add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.

Use the Calphalon Pour and Strain saucepan to boil water, and cook the elbow macaroni.  Once it is cooked to close to al dente rinse the pasta in cold water in the saucepan.  

Then pour the pasta into a prepared casserole dish, and pour in the cheese mixture. Mix together well so that all the pasta is coated.  Cover the mac and chese with the panko bread crumbs and one tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning.  I am sure you will find the Old Bay adds the perfect spice to this dish.

Bake the dish at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

I hope you check out Target for your own personal wedding registry or to purchase a gift for someone you know. It is easy to pull together a gift that will be used for many years to come.  Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today.  Be sure to share your Thanksgiving tips below in the comment section for a chance at a Target giftcard.


  1. My big tip would be to prep as much ahead of time as possible! Pre-makes sides and desserts, and plan out the oven timing.

  2. I will veganize both of these recipes. Yum!!!

  3. My tip would be not to over do it. Sometimes it's easier and a sanity saver to buy premade rather than homemade (ie rolls)

  4. How pinteresting! My tip is to bake the turkey in an oven bag. Makes it super easy, quicker, and perfectly tender and golden. :)

  5. My tip is to keep my kids busy (and out of the kitchen while I cook) by giving them crafts to do or having them help decorate cookies. Last year I had them take nutter butter cookies and Hershey's kisses to make cute little acorn cookies.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

  6. My tip is to cook together as a family, even cooking big meals is fun if you do it with the ones you love. Enjoy every moment of the holiday

  7. My tip is to prep as much as you can the day before. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help!

  8. WOW. This post is filled with so much wonderful things to be thankful for (a chance to win a giveaway and some delicious recipes and wonderful tips). My tip...double and triple check your ingredients...don't want to find out that day you are missing something crucial!

  9. my tip is to have family members each bring a dish so if you're hosting you can get a little help!
    POKERGRL8 at

  10. Have all your guest bring one food item.


  11. My tip is to make Thanksgiving cooking a family event especially when it comes to side dishes and desserts. There's no reason why one person has to do all the baking - let others help as well for some kitchen bonding and fun.
    prettyinhotpink6 at gmail dot com

  12. My tip is to share the responsibility and delegate family members to bring specific items.

  13. I always make the pies the morning before Thanksgiving so I don't have to worry about desserts.

  14. The cranberry casserole looks yummy and so easy to prepare, perfect for Thanksgiving! That would be my tip, stick to easy recipes or the ones you have tried many times before.

  15. My tip is to ask all of your guests to bring a side dish. Prep everything you can the day before if possible. It is ok to buy pre-made dishes too. I like creating place cards out of pine cones.

    1. Jessica you are the winner!! I'm going to email you for additional information.

  16. I love the variety of dishes of big holidays-- ask for people to bring their best dish-- and also plan you meal prep ahead of time starting with shopping, you can stock up on a lot of ingredients weeks before and only have to worry about buying and storing fresh food the week of! And can I say OMG that straining pan looks amazing-- I always use the pot lid to strain my food bc I don't like the space a strainer takes up, not to mention it's one more thing to wash!!

  17. we have the best thanksgivings when I am not stressed out and just go with the flow. We tend to not over do it. The mac and cheese is a fav in my house, may need to look at that recipe to change it up.

  18. That apple casserole looks amazing! :) My tip for would be to prep as much ahead too, but mostly remember that time's about family and your time with them is more memorable than having a successful meal.

  19. Great post and love this blog! : ) My tip for thanksgiving is to have your table all set the day before and chop all veggies the night before too. If you peel and dice potatoes the night before, be sure to cover them with water and some salt. Happy soon Thanksgiving! : )

  20. My tip is to prep everything the day before! Also, do not be afraid to add a new dish to the mix of your family's traditional Thanksgiving foods. But, do not get rid of any of the "old favorites." I also like to make things more memorable with place cards or a homemade centerpiece :) Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. My tips for a successful Thanksgiving: Be sure to keep a couple bottles of wine handy. These make the food and conversation even better! ;). Also, if you are going to be a guest at someone's home, bring them a small gift as a thank you for hosting. No need for it to be expensive, just something to let them know you appreciate all the effort they put into the event.

  22. Relax. Its often the hubbub and chaos of everything being prepared, served, and spilled oops!) that is we remember. We forget that the turkey was dry and that the stuffing needed more salt. But the times together washing dishes and watching football are the essence of loved ones bonding on this special day.

  23. To complete my previous comment. Do your best to put on a great meal and day. But do not let the small things get in the way of experiencing the big things.

  24. My tip is to remember what Thanksgiving is actually about. Prepping, cooking, and family can test your patience is you're hosting a holiday. But so what if the turkey takes longer to cook than you planned or you burnt the green bean casserole or your table setting doesn't look like Martha Stewart set it? Do the best you can, celebrate with the people you love, and take a moment to be truly thankful for what you have all year long.

  25. Watch the parade together. It's so fun and snugly!! Then get a turkey shaped butter. The kids love it!!

  26. Love the place settings! Those leaf plates are killer. What is it about Thanksgiving that makes me feel all muted and earthy?

  27. We love to plan our meal together then I get my children to decorate the table


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