Thanksgiving 2020

Thank you for following along with us for the last two weeks as introduced some of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes. Below is our full Thanksgiving Menu, including a timeline to help you be a rockstar host. The timeline starts this weekend. A lot of us will be hosting smaller gatherings this year, and many people will be hosting holiday gatherings for the first time. If you want to be relaxed and enjoy Thanksgiving this year, you must be organized and start prepping now. You will be so glad you did come Thursday! If you are still looking for more recipes to fill up your Thanksgiving Menu, checkout our Thanksgiving 2019 Menu. It is packed with loads of our favorite dishes including deep fried turkey with buttermilk gravy, our “best ever” mashed potatoes, and the love-it-or-hate-it green bean casserole. We have also included some table decorating ideas for a more low key celebration. We know that Thanksgiving is going to look different for everyone this year, but we hope your holiday is still filled with lots of good food, family, and friends (even if those family and friends are joining you virtually).

The Menu

Roasted Vegetable Platter with Dipping Sauces

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast

Spinach & Caramelized Onion Stuffing

Whiskey Soaked Sweet Potatoes with Cookie Butter Crumble

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Mac & Brie

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins with Cinnamon Honey Butter

Deep Dish Apple Pie

Thanksgiving Prep List

  • The Weekend Before Thanksgiving (This Weekend!!)

    • Plan out your full grocery list and do all of your food shopping.
    • Stock up on beer, wine, and cocktail ingredients.
    • Finalize your ideas for table linens and decorations. See our ideas below!
  • 3 Days Before (Monday)

    • Make the sauces for the appetizer dipping platter if you are making them from scratch. Refrigerate until Thanksgiving Day, about 30 minutes before serving.
    • Cut the sourdough bread for the stuffing and let it sit out overnight to dry out.
    • Make the cinnamon honey butter for the cornbread muffins. Refrigerate until Thanksgiving Day; serve at room temperature.
    • Make your pie crust for the deep dish apple pie; refrigerate until the day before Thanksgiving.
  • 1 Day Before (Wednesday)

    • Set your table. Designate tableware, serving dishes, barware, and dishware that you will need and make sure it is set aside and available for Thanksgiving Day.
    • Refrigerate any beer, champagne, or white wine.
    • Roast the vegetables for the appetizer platter. Cool completely and refrigerate overnight until 30 minutes before you are ready to serve appetizers.
    • Make the mac & brie to the point of baking. Set aside to cool and refrigerate overnight. Take out 30 minutes before cooking, top with the brie cheese and bake.
    • Peel and dice the sweet potatoes. Blanch them in hot water. Cool and refrigerate overnight.
    • Prepare the turkey breast up until it is ready to bake in the oven; refrigerate overnight. Take out 30 minutes before cooking so that it isn’t cold going into the oven.
    • Slice/shave the brussels sprouts for the brussels sprout salad. Cover with a damp paper towel and refrigerate overnight.
    • Prepare the dressing for the brussels sprout salad; refrigerate overnight.
    • Completely prepare and bake the apple pie. Let it rest for 30-40 minutes after baking before refrigerating overnight. Keep the pie in the springform pan; do not remove it until you are ready to serve.
  • Thanksgiving Day

    • Make the pumpkin cornbread muffins. You can cover them with foil and reheat in the oven just before serving.
    • Assemble the sweet potatoes and make the crumble.
    • Take the bacon wrapped turkey breast out of the refrigerator 2 hours before you want to eat dinner. Cook the turkey breast 90 minutes before you want to eat, so that there is plenty of time for it to rest and be sliced before serving.
    • Take the appetizer ingredients out 30 minutes before you want to serve appetizers. Assemble the ingredients on a platter and let sit at room temperature.
    • Assemble the brussels sprout salad. It can be dressed up to 30 minutes before dinnertime.

Table Decorating Ideas

We know that your Thanksgiving might be smaller this year, but that doesn’t mean that it should be any less celebratory and special. For our table this year, we have chosen to combine a bunch of different shades of whites and creams for a rustic chic look. We used ivory pillar candles from Crate & Barrel, various sizes of white pumpkins we found on Amazon, and bouquets of white roses that we divided into small arrangements across the table. If you don’t have small vases, short water glasses are a great substitute! We completed our look with rattan chargers from Pottery Barn, white dishes, napkins from Chilewich, and an assortment of gold napkin rings from Crate and Barrel. We particularly love the “grateful” napkin rings they are selling this year! The overall look is simple, elegant, and very easy to pull together.


15 Recipes For Your Labor Day Cookout

The unofficial “end of summer” is approaching and we are using Labor Day as an excuse to cook on the barbecue and celebrate. In honor of Labor Day, we have compiled some of our favorite recipes to create the ultimate summer sendoff. We have a little bit of everything, most of which can be prepped ahead of time, so that you can spend your holiday in the backyard enjoying the weather. 

  1. Strawberry Lemon Rose Sangria 
  2. Cucumber Lemonade Gin Fizz
  3. Classic Guacamole 
  4. Kale & Artichoke Dip 
  5. Spicy Turkey Burgers 
  6. Juicy Lucy Burgers 
  7. Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Pork 
  8. Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri 
  9. Summer Pesto Pasta Salad
  10. Spicy Watermelon Salad
  11. Hatch Chili Mac 
  12. Elote (Grilled Street Corn)  
  13. Farmers’ Market Brown Butter Orzo 
  14. Everything Bagel Coleslaw
  15. Summer Berry Trifle 

Mother’s Day Lunch 2020

This year was a special Mother’s Day for a lot of reasons. This was the first year that Tate’s mom was celebrating being a mother to both a human and a fur child, and due to the pandemic, the first year that Tuck’s parents were home for Mother’s Day. We knew we had to do something really special to celebrate the big day. Tuck’s mom took the lead on menu planning and prep so that all the moms could have a relaxing day without being slaves to the kitchen. Here is how the menu and day played out.  

The Menu 

We tried to create a menu that had a little something for everyone. Our mom loves Israeli food and the restaurant Safta here in Denver in particular. When Safta opened she went to a food event with the head chef, Alon Shaya, which means we are all owners of his cookbook. We wanted to take elements from his book that we all love and create a menu from it. Originally we had planned to have appetizers and lunch as two separate courses, but decided having lunch as one big platter of food would serve the mood of decadence and be easier to prepare. It ended up being very family style, which feels appropriate to the day even if it isn’t the best social distancing practices. 

When planning a menu as extensive as this one, it is important to be strategic in time management and designating specific areas to extend the most energy. The first step to doing this is buying as many items that are pre-made as possible. We bought all of the “snacks” from our favorite Middle Eastern market, Arash. They have better hummus than we could ever make on our own and it is an easy way to eliminate a lot of prep work. Making homemade pitas with a menu this large would be absurd, so we bought those as well and threw them on the grill so that they were hot and crunchy when we sat down to eat. We marinated the chicken kabobs and lamb meat the day before, so that all that was left to do the day of for those dishes was to cook them on the grill. The pound cake is a favorite recipe of ours from the Safta cookbook and easily can be made the day before, which eliminated having to spend a lot of time Sunday morning on dessert. 

The final preparation for lunch was pretty easy with the help of a few extra hands. We had Tate’s dad grill the lamb and chicken in the backyard, Tuck’s dad on roasted cauliflower duty, and the Tuck’s mom assembling the platters. The key to any platter, as you can read from our cheese board assembly posts, is that more is more. We divided the dips into small ramekins so that each platter had a little bit of everything and filled the boards with veggies and pitas once the entrée kabobs were cooked. The visual is stunning and almost overwhelming- they are always a crowd pleaser! 


Superbowl 2020 Menu

We have had so much fun putting together new ideas together for the Super Bowl this year. At Tuck & Tate, Super Bowl is as much about the food and half time show as it is about football (except when the Broncos are playing). We have put together a list of some favorite recipes that would go great together for game day eats this Sunday.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Buffalo Chicken Dip

Appetizers:

Kale & Artichoke Dip
Kale & Artichoke Dip
BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with All the Toppings
BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders with All the Toppings

Entree:

Quick & Easy Dill Pickles
Quick & Easy Dill Pickles

Golden Globes 2020

Here at Tuck & Tate we love just about any reason to have a party. After the winter holiday season ends and New Year’s Eve has passed, we anxiously await the start of awards season. The Golden Globes nominees were announced a few weeks ago and we have been trying to cram in every movie and TV show we can before the show airs this Sunday. Each award show we host a small get together with lots of drinks, snacks, and voting ballots. We all vote for who we think will win each category and usually have a small prize for the winner. In the spirit of a good theme, we always try to make a punny dinner menu based on the nominees and award recipients. 

We created this menu with two things in mind: 1) you are probably just getting over the rush and stress of the holiday season and don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, and 2) you may have set some health-related resolutions that you don’t feel like breaking in the first week of the new year. The two of us made this entire menu in under two hours, and with the help of extra hands could have done it all in 90 minutes. With the exception of the dessert, the dishes are all VERY healthy so that you can snack without guilt while you watch the Globes. 

We plan to serve all of our dishes at the same time, appetizer style so that everyone can grab what they want when the show starts. We like to keep it casual and let our guests help themselves as we anxiously watch the red carpet and show.

The Menu

Chicky Gervais Skewers- Chicken Fajita Skewers with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce 

Ricky Gervais- Host of the 2020 Golden Globes 

Mellen Degeneres Margaritas- Watermelon Margaritas

Ellen Degeneres- Winner of 2020 Carol Burnett Award

Tom Franks – Air Fryer Jalapeno Corn Dogs 

Tom Hanks- Winner of the 2020 Cecil B. deMille Award 

Guacine Phoenix – Homemade Guacamole 

Joaquin Phoenix- Joker- Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama

Christina Appletart – Apple, Thyme, & Mascarpone Tart 

Christina Applegate- Dead To Me – Best TV Actress Musical or Comedy 


Christmas Brunch 2019

Tuck & Tate did not grow up celebrating Christmas, but adopted the holiday when their parents got married. What they have learned over the years of celebrating is that Christmas breakfast should be quick and easy. No one wants to spend their morning slaving in the kitchen when there are presents to be opened and an exciting day getting started. With that in mind, we have created a quick and easy tablescape and menu to help you plan your Christmas morning festivities. We chose red and gold for our theme and used items that we have collected over the years to keep the cost of this look festive but at a reasonable price.  

The Look: 

Red Placemats (see similar) -Houzz- (Red Pomegranate Crock Placemat)

White plates (see similar) – Crate and Barrel-18th Street Dinner Plate 

Coffee Mugs – Starbucks – You Are Here Coffee Mugs (not available online)

Prosecco Glasses (see similar)- Reidel – Gold Champagne Flutes

Ornament Flower Vase

The Menu: 

Our menu this year is great for breakfast for a crowd. If you have some helping hands in the kitchen, everything can be ready in less than 45 minutes (including down time to get started drinking our Christmas themed cocktails). We wanted to have things feel decadent and special, but not so overkill that everyone needs a post-breakfast nap. 

Christmas Breakfast 2019 

Prosec Ho Ho Ho Cocktails 

Coffee For Those Needing a Caffeine Boost 

Egg Nog French Toast 

Vegetable Frittata 

Thick Cut Bacon 

Cookies for Santa 


Hanukkah Dinner 2019

Let the winter holiday season begin!! It feels like from the moment that Thanksgiving comes and goes, we are in a quick and busy countdown to the weeks of winter holidays. Tuck & Tate come from households where they celebrate both Jewish and Christian holidays. We love a reason to celebrate just about anything (as you can tell from our Entertaining section), but Hanukkah is unique because it lasts for eight nights. For Tuck & Tate this means many dinners with family and friends and a whole lot of latkes. Whether you are hosting or attending a holiday dinner in the next few weeks, it’s nice to have a few trusty and reliable recipes in your back pocket. That way the focus can be on celebrating and creating memories and not about what is burning in the kitchen. 

The Theme 

Our theme and inspiration for Hanukkah Dinner this year was to take all of the classics of the holiday and give them a contemporary and exciting twist. Like all holiday celebrations, there is a fine line between tradition and having something feel too repetitive. Every once in a while traditions need a glow up to keep the holidays feeling fresh and exciting. For our Hanukkah tablescape and menu, we did just that. We kept the traditional themes of metallic colors and hues of blue, but gave them a contemporary twist. We also have a centerpiece with nine metallic candle holders, just as a menorah would have. We love this tablescape because you can use it for nearly any holiday celebration- Hanukkah, a nice brunch, Christmas dinner… it is very universal. 

The Table 

Placemats: Chilewich Bamboo in Seaglass

Napkins: Chilewich Single Sided Napkin in White 

China: Waterford Ballet Ribbon Collection 

Wine Glasses: Riedel Cabernet/Merlot 

Centerpiece: Homefest- see similar 

The Menu

We wanted our Hanukkah menu to feel just as refreshed as our tablescape. We’ve traded brisket for Mustard & Parmesan-Crusted Lamb Chops. Latkes get a makeover by using three varieties of potatoes and a Green Goddess Sour Cream. We will be posting recipes all week from the menu below… stay tuned!

Hanukkah Dinner 2019 

Dijon Crusted Rack of Lamb with Garlicky Green Beans 

Mixed Potato Latkes with Green Goddess Sour Cream 

Nana’s Challah 

Kale & Quinoa Winter Salad 


Thanksgiving Dinner 2019

Thanksgiving is one of our absolute favorite days of the year. Our Nana has hosted Thanksgiving for as long as we can remember and is the ultimate hostess. Everything from the table settings and place cards to the delicious meal is expertly thought out and memorable. We were inspired by her attention to detail when creating this year’s look for our Thanksgiving table setting. 

When starting to create a scheme for your table, it’s important to narrow your scope and limit the design elements. It is easy to go overboard with a theme for any holiday, Thanksgiving included. Our inspiration for this year’s table came from new place settings that Tate’s mom purchased this year – rustic placemats and napkins that can easily be matched with our china to make the table feel dressed up for the holiday. We continued the rustic chic theme and added natural looking table decorations- faux pumpkins and squash in hurricanes, cinnamon scented pinecones for the table, and an arrangement of flowers purchased at the grocery store. As a whole, this look is very clean, simple, and cost effective. It is a great example that less is always more when it comes to decorating. One of the best things about using hurricanes and vases for flowers is that they can be easily lifted and removed to bring food to the table. It will make it that much easier to be a host that can enjoy the party.

Expert Tip: set your table at least a day in advance (flowers excluded). There is no reason to wait until the last minute to do this and can save you a lot of time the day of.

Get The Look: 

Chargers – Pottery Barn – Tava Rattan Flat Round Charger 

Napkins- Pottery Barn – Mason Oversized Linen Napkin (in flax)

China Plates and Salad Plates- Waterford Ballet Ribbon Dinnerware

Hurricanes- Crate and Barrel – London Narrow Clear Hurricane Candle Holder

Filler for Hurricans- Home Goods- see similar from Amazon

In setting out to create our Thanksgiving menu for Tuck & Tate, we really tried to think about all of our favorite memories and moments from our past Thanksgivings. We took into consideration rules our Nana has instilled over the years like “there is NO kale at the Thanksgiving table” and “mashed potatoes should never be healthy”. We know that everyone has a favorite dish, and we hope we can contribute some new ideas to your table this year! We will be posting a new recipe from the menu below every day leading up to Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving Dinner 2019 

Cheese Board- Fall Edition

Whiskey Apple Cider Cocktails

Deep Fried Turkey with Buttermilk Gravy

Best Ever Mashed Potatoes

Green Bean & Mushroom Casserole

Cranberry & Chickpea Stuffed Squash

Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Place Cards 


Dia de los Muertos (Friendsgiving Style)!

Every year we host a Friendsgiving party. It is truly a day that we look forward to year round as a chance to get all of our friends together for good food and (a lot of) drinks. We hosted our Friendsgiving on November 3rd and due to the timing with Halloween decided to add a theme: Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. This really took things to a new level and we have already decided that all Friendsgiving parties should have a theme involved.   

We centered our decoration and menu around combining the best of what Day of the Dead and Thanksgiving have to offer.  We wanted the decor to have bright colors and feel sophisticated but fun and celebratory of Dia de los Muertos. To achieve this, we used bright blue linens and used a mix of colorful plates and napkins. We specifically chose not to put the plates or napkins in any specific order, instead to have a blend of colors throughout the entire table. Centerpieces were comprised of skulls that we painted in our Fall Party and skull candles. As a fun party favor, we had shirts printed that sat on each chair. 

One of the best parts of hosting a Friendsgiving party is that you can ask all of your friends to help contribute and bring a dish. We wanted the menu to be traditional Thanksgiving foods with a Mexican twist. Luckily we have friends that are in for a themed party, so they were happy to play along. 

With so many people bringing dishes, we don’t have linked recipes for everything on the menu. Hopefully this will serve to help inspire your party menu if you have any version of a Friendsgiving or a Day of the Dead party in the future.  

Menu

Appetizers: Mini Burritos, Day of the Dead Hummus and Skeleton 7 Layer Dip 

Main Course: Smoked Brisket and Fried Turkey Tacos served with Mexican Cole Slaw, Cotija Cheese, BBQ Gravy and Poblano Gravy 

Side Dishes: Enchilada Mac and Cheese, Mexican Street Corn, Sweet Potatoes with Black Bean Salsa

Dessert: Churros 

Cocktail: Classic Margarita 

Four Tips for Throwing A Great Friendsgiving

1. For those looking to host a Friendsgiving party and don’t know how to broach people contributing with food or alcohol, we send out a spreadsheet (Google sheet) to our guests once they RSVP that they are coming. It helps people see what our ideas are and gets them excited to come and contribute.

2. If you are having a sit down dinner, make place cards. This way you can mix up different groups of friends so everyone mingles. Your friends that know each other well will have plenty of time to chat during the rest of the party. 

3. Limit the amount of menu items that you take on as the host(s). Decorating, planning, and taking care of your party space is a lot to handle! Don’t feel like you need to contribute the bulk of the food as well. We always cook the entree but try to limit ourselves otherwise so that we can enjoy the day. If everyone contributes, there will always be plenty of food. 

4. Put water and wine on the tables before you sit down for dinner. This prevents people from constantly getting up while you are trying to have a nice dinner and makes sure you aren’t playing waiter/waitress the entire evening.