Tips for an Inspired Thanksgiving + Camille Styles New Book!
October 29, 2014
ThanksgivingThanksgiving RecipeBlogger
If you say "Camille Styles" around SMP HQ, you are bound to get a few "I LOVE her's" and definitely a few "OBBBB-sesseds." Bottom line?  We adore Camille, and are crazy excited to share with you a sneak peek into her gorgeous new book, Camille Styles Entertaining. Inside these pages, you'll find entertaining ideas, table settings and expert tips and tricks for each and every season in classic Camille style.
Today we are sharing some of Camille's tips for putting a new twist on the Thanksgiving Feast. She is also sharing with us a recipe perfect for the upcoming holiday. Prepare to take a few notes because these brussels sprouts are out of this world and be sure to grab a copy of Camille Styles Entertaining on shelves now!

Tips for an Inspired Thanksgiving

Since we don’t have loads of relatives coming in town for Thanksgiving this year, I’ll be hosting a cozy dinner in front of the fire for just our parents and a couple of close friends. Since we usually have Thanksgiving at our house, when each November rolls around, I start dreaming up ideas for putting a fresh twist on the big meal -- honoring tradition, while charming my guests with a few unexpected touches. Here are my favorite ways to elevate the traditional meal with some surprises:

Put a new twist on the bird.
This year’s surprises start with the menu: instead of roasting a whole turkey as I’ve done in the past, I’m stuffing and roasting a turkey breast -- not only does it make for a beautiful presentation, it’s also much easier to “get right” and end up with a moist, flavorful piece of turkey with every bite. Last year, we deep fried a turkey, and the year before we brined and roasted it.
Set up the table in an unexpected location.
I’m relocating our long wood dining table to a cozy spot in front of the living room fireplace. It’ll undoubtedly change the entire dynamic of the meal, transforming it into a special occasion. Plus, nothing creates a magical glow like being surrounded by flickering candles and the warmth of firelight.

Try out a new color palette.
For this table design, I chose a palette of indigo, earthy wood, organic greens and white, in lieu of the more expected autumnal oranges and browns. Then, to create a unified design, I chose table linens, dishes, serving pieces and flowers that fit into those color families. Sticking within a limited palette is the quickest way to make a major visual impact while keeping the details simple!
Think beyond the floral centerpiece. 
In the fall, I love to forage for beautiful leaves and interesting berries or acorns to incorporate into a centerpiece. Pomegranates, winter squash and pears also make unexpected additions to the table and are a modern spin on the iconic image of an abundant cornucopia.
Incorporate tradition in unexpected ways.
Since Thanksgiving is all about tradition, I love to honor the past by incorporating family heirlooms or treasured antiques on the table. I added a metallic glint with my mom’s vintage brass candlesticks that added a bit of polish to the otherwise natural centerpiece.

We have so much to be thankful for, and a quiet Thanksgiving surrounded by family, friends and a bountiful feast will be the perfect way to count our blessings from the past year as we savor the present, deliciously.
A delicious twist on brussels sprouts.
Since there are some who still associate Brussels sprouts with the mushy and slightly stinky versions of their childhoods, I love to convert them with unexpected dishes like this one! When preparing Brussels sprouts, remember a few keys to getting them right: When buying sprouts, look for the smaller ones, since the larger globes can be bitter. When roasting, allow the sprouts to get golden brown, tender throughout, and crispy on the edges to bring out all their natural sweetness. Brussels sprouts really shine with a fresh hit of acidity just before serving, like the Dijon, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice used in the vinaigrette here.
Prep Time
10 Minutes
Cook Time
20 Minutes
Total Time
30 Minutes
SALAD 1 cup golden raisins
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (quartered if very large) Extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
? teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
12 fresh thyme sprigs 1 cup walnuts
2 medium (or 1 large) apple, cored and thinly sliced Sea salt
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1? tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons maple syrup
? cup extra-virgin olive oil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425?F. In a small bowl, cover golden raisins with hot water and let sit to plump.
On a baking sheet lined with foil, toss Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup, a pinch of kosher salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Spread the sprouts in an even layer and roast for 10 minutes, just until they start to soften but before they turn golden.
Add the red onion, thyme, and walnuts to the baking sheet. Toss everything together to combine, then spread in an even layer and roast for 10 more minutes, until the Brussels sprouts start to get golden and crispy on the edges.
While everything roasts, make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
Drain the raisins and add them to the baking sheet with the apples. Toss everything together to combine, then return to the oven for just a few minutes so that everything warms through. Transfer to a serving bowl, toss with a small amount of the vinaigrette, and sprinkle everything with a bit of sea salt. Serve immediately. The vinaigrette will keep up to a week in the fridge.