How to Show Gratitude

Choose Kindness


Photo Courtesy of Connor Carroll

A kindness wall gets your guests to list what they’re thankful for this holiday season. Mix it up by using Fall or Holiday colors or changing the initial sentiment. Murals such as these simply beg to be filled in and create a great interactive element for your guests.

 Tip Courtesy of Biz Bash 

Mmm, Mmm, Good

Photo Courtesy of J. Kenji Lopez-Alt 

Nothing feels more warmly grateful than a bowl full of soup. Add bacon to that and you have something to love.

Ingredients

1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

6 scallions, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced

4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 quart homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock, plus more as needed

2 bay leaves

1 cup half & half or heavy cream

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Heat bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until bacon is completely crisp. Remove from Dutch oven with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the fat in the dutch oven.

 

Add onions, half of scallions, and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly and scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

 

Add chicken stock, bay leaves, half & half (or cream), and cauliflower. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until cauliflower is completely tender, about 30 minutes,

 

Working in batches, blend soup until completely smooth (if you don’t have a very powerful blender, remove the bay leaf before blending. If an extra-smooth soup is desired, pass the soup through a fine mesh strainer after blending); if soup is too thick, whisk in additional hot chicken stock, 1/2 cup at a time, until you’ve reached the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve sprinkled with crisp bacon pieces and remaining scallions.

Make Ahead Punch

Photo Courtesy of Vicky Wasik

Sometimes you need a great drink to bring as a thank you that can be made ahead of time. This exotic fig and cinnamon punch is just the thing!

Ingredients
12 ounces (340g) dried figs (about 35 figs), halved
6 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks
6 black tea bags
1 (750ml) bottle aged rum, such as Plantation Barbados 5-Year
4 1/2 ounces (135ml) Bual Madeira, such as Blandy’s
Up to 1/2 ounce maple syrup (0 to 22ml), to taste (optional; see note)
3 lemons, sliced thinly into wheels, for garnish

Directions

At least 1 day before you want to serve the punch, make a large ice block by freezing water (filtered if desired) in a cake pan or tupperware container that will fit in your serving vessel. Alternately, make several trays of large ice cubes. In addition, you’ll want about 4 standard trays of ice cubes for serving.

In a medium saucepan, combine halved figs, cinnamon sticks, and 4 1/2 cups (1.06L) water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Let simmer 1 minute. Add tea bags, remove pan from heat, and let steep 5 minutes. Discard teabags, then allow cinnamon-fig tea to stand for 45 minutes. Fine strain into a sealable container, pressing on solids with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to chill, and up to 24 hours.

To Make Punch: In a large bowl, 3-quart pitcher, or other large container, stir together rum, Madeira, and cooled fig tea. Taste, adding optional maple syrup in 1/4-ounce additions until desired sweetness level is reached (you may not need any, depending on the sweetness of your rum and Madeira). The punch can be served right away or refrigerated, well sealed, up to 6 days.

When ready to serve, transfer punch to a punch bowl and stir well. Add the prepared large ice block or several trays of large ice cubes, plus all but 12 of the lemon wheels. Serve punch in ice-filled cups, garnishing each with a reserved lemon wheel.

Create Social Thanks

Photo Courtesy of Facebook

 

Facebook has launched Facebook Creator, with a live creative kit for brands and influencers that further personalize broadcasts, stories and more.  Use Facebook Creator to create a special message just for your guests.

 

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