Food Network Stars Share Thanksgiving Entertaining Tips

by in Entertaining, Holidays, November 24th, 2013

Food Network Stars Share Thanksgiving Entertaining TipsFor Turkey Day, Food Network stars aren’t just making masterpieces in the oven; they’re also setting an impressive holiday table for dinner guests. With a few tips and tricks from Giada, Ina and Sandra, you can turn your dining room table into one fit for a Thanksgiving celebration.

Giada likes to spoil each of her guests with their own dish for olive oil. At each guest’s place setting, there’s also a special place card. “I have the person’s name on one side,” says Giada, “and on the other side I have his or her favorite hobby or passion. It’s a great conversation starter and it guarantees that the night will be full of laughs and lots of fun.”

To make kids feel extra special at their Thanksgiving table, Giada makes homemade chocolate-covered pretzels covered in sprinkles, and then wraps them up with a nametag for each child. Instead of a tablecloth, Giada rolls out butcher paper to give kids a place to draw on.

“Who says table decor has to be flowers?” asks perennial hostess Ina Garten. Ina does use vases for height, but instead of floral arrangements, fills them with fruit that guests can have for dessert. She also likes table settings that can be pulled together in no time with ingredients from the grocery store, like clementines or pumpkins. Arrange them down the center of the table and add votives for sparkle. “I never use scented candles,” she says. “They compete with the flavor of the food and they overpower the aromas.”

Sandra Lee likes quick and inexpensive ideas that add something unique to the Thanksgiving table. “A sprig of fresh rosemary adds a nice touch to a folded napkin at each place setting,” she says. Little tweaks can be made to your dining room setup to add a holiday twist: Dress dining room chairs with festive table runners and tie the stems of your glassware with a bouquet of fall leaves. For holding flowers, skip expensive vases in favor of a soup terrine. You can even use a freshly baked Bundt cake as a vase for flowers by placing the stems in the center of the cake.

Get more Thanksgiving Entertaining Ideas and Tips

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Comments (64)

  1. twinkles says:

    I thought Alton was worse than Giada. Giada is more easy-going. Yes, she was attention-getting but so was Alton and he was alot more domineering, fast-talking and impatient with everybody else about it, as if it were his show. That bothered me even more. He talks a mile a minute and waves his hands all over the place.

  2. ken says:

    I love how you did the show last year……This year was sad that lady gilda was very annoying so annoying please let her stay on her own show ….Im a big fan of the show but please i beg you to keep her away please

  3. sunshine says:

    I think the chefs were all having a good time like my friends do talking about stuff, and it was Ina 1st time on the show and i think Giada wanted to make sure Ina was not overwhelmed since Giada did invite Ina are very good friends! and with the amount question and the time allowed to answer them,

    I did many times see Giada sampling food, something we all do,, but what you didn't see was Giada has cloth tuck down out of sight, and whenever she ate something or touch she would wipe her hands! And she was not drunk, watch the show her hand was steady as a rock 3 times when she was helping bobby add water to his food.

    Yes Giada had a accident on live tv, she could have just left and had it look at but she stay untill the comercial break, i would have said screw you all let me get this taking care of, but in her heart she felt she owed it to the viewers!

    Thier alot of thing going on behide those camera and how much time you have to answer some of those questions, Great Job Giada Alton Bobby and FoodNetwork! and keeping the show moving along without becoming boring. Love to see you all having a good time and host another one!

    • Jbird50 says:

      Giada was rude! I don't think she was drunk, just needed to be the center of attention. It's obvious that her fame has gone to her head. Not a fan of hers anymore.

  4. There it is says:

    Ina Garten is always so gracious on any show and Bobby Flay also keeps a fairly professional manner to him as well. With that said…this show would be hard for either one to stay composed.

    • the Tattler says:

      I agree. But, isn't it funny? Two years ago, one year ago, 6 months ago, people would have said Bobby was dull and Ina was a snoozefest. Yet here they are, the most popular and liked of all who were on Thanksgiving Live. Loud people have had their day. Down to earth is "in."

  5. Connie says:

    Please dump Giada from anymore GROUP food network shows. Her need for attention was hard to watch and her bad manners made it even worse. I enjoy Ina, Bobby and Alton but her behavior wasn't acceptable at all. I had to stop watching the show before it ended because she was so annoying.

  6. Annie says:

    Giada was very rude and over the top. "Look at Me". "Look at me!" The only time she was quiet was when she cut her finger and it was a relief to hear the others speak. Better luck next time with other guests who will teach us something.

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