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12 Tricks for Easy Thanksgiving Clean-Up

For as yummy as Thanksgiving Dinner is, the kitchen aftermath can be quite the cleaning nightmare. And while dishes are inevitable, there are a few simple steps that can help ease the impending mess and leave a little more time for cozy couch lounging and pie. Lots of pie. Try these twelve tricks for an easier, faster clean-up after the big Turkey Day feast.

Cleaning After the Feast
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Magical Friendsgiving Dinner under the Stars

Whether it’s inspiration for the real Thanksgiving deal, a gathering of friends or a gorgeous dinner, this party will suffice. It covers all the basis of a magical shindig and then some with design and hostess extraordinaire Megan Martin at the helm, florals crafted by Shea Hopely  and all captured by Julie Cate Photography. Find inspiration for giving thanks, champagne and good cheer right here.

From Megan Martin… As a business owner, I have so much to be thankful for. And in the wedding industry, there are many people who I hope to express all year long how thankful I am for them. But for fun, I wanted to host a gathering for a group of creative vendors local to the Jacksonville area who have been an integral part of my journey and who inspire me with their beautiful work, so I decided to host a “Frindsgiving” for these sweet friends.

My goal for the party was for each guest to feel special and inspired to share gratitude beyond the evening. That goal shaped the design of the evening with luxe touches of farmhouse tables lined with gold chivaris and accented with tons of candlelight and soft full florals. One of my favorite details brought to life was framing the handmade wooden bar with birch branches adorned with a eucalyptus garland and long flowing ribbon tails. As wedding professionals, we often work so hard to set the stage for a night of love and intentional details for our clients, so I wanted each vendor to be able to come to the table and really enjoy a beautiful meal in their honor. And in hopes of spreading the gratitude forward, each place setting held an empty card for our guests to bring home with them and take a few precious moments to set aside the busy of life and write a handwritten note to someone else they are grateful for this season.

It was a magical night of friendship and fun under the twinkle lights that left me with a refreshed heart, because gratitude really does change everything.

Photography: Julie Cate Photography | Floral Design: Shea Hopely | Catering: Designed Events Inc. | Chairs: Jax Chair Boutique | Event Design & Host: Megan Martin | Rentals: Luxe Party Rentals | Rentals: Set Event Rentals

Recipe for Classic Pumpkin Pie

My twin babies are turning one on Thanksgiving Day and aside from being in complete astonishment that a year has already flown by, I’m also planning on serving up the perfect Pumpkin Pie in lieu of cake for my little Thanksgiving turkeys. A) because I love pumpkin pie so naturally they must too and B) I just so happen to have an amazing recipe courtesy of Sinclair And Moore Events + Matthew Land Studios. It’s a win win.

Classic Pumpkin Pie
prep time
1 Hour/s
cook time
2 Hour/s 5 Minute/s
total time
3 Hour/s 5 Minute/s
Serves 8Ingredients
  • Pie pastry for a single crust
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Remove pumpkin stem and cut in half with a serrated knife. Scoop out seeds and pulp from the center.
  3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and add ½ cup water to pan. Place pumpkin halves face down and bake for 55 minutes until fork tender.
  4. Let pumpkin cool, remove to line the pie pan and trim excess to the rim of the pan. Pierce the bottom of the crust several times with a fork and chill in refrigerator.
  5. Roll out excess scrap dough and use piecrust cutters to stamp out 30-35 leaves. Using an egg wash (1 yolk + 2 TBS water), adhere leaves around the perimeter of the crust.
  6. Line piecrust with foil and add pie weights (dried beans or pennies also work well). Pre-bake the crust for 20 minutes, then remove foil and weights and continue baking for 10 minutes. If leaves
  7. start browning too quickly, loosely cover with foil.
  8. Cool on a wire rack.
  9. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
  10. Mix in pumpkin puree and eggs, and slowly add milk.
  11. When mixture is smooth, pour into the pre-baked pie shell.
  12. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes. The center of the pie should appear to be wobbly, but will continue cooking through once removed from oven.

Photography: Matthew Land Studios | Event Design: Sinclair And Moore Events | Stationery : La Happy