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Monday, November 24, 2014

EasyThanksgiving Decor & DIY Foodie gifts

ny botanical gardens party

 Are you getting your waistbands ready for Thanksgiving? Whatever your plans are, you probably don’t have time for intricate décor or homemade DIY hostess gifts. That doesn’t mean you can’t pull off a DIY rustic chic theme for the holiday.

I was positively spoiled at a recent luncheon hosted by Top Chef’s Gail Simmons and Camille Styles with Pure Leaf Iced Tea. The event was held in a gorgeous stone cottage at the New York Botanical Gardens. These modern domestic Goddesses don’t have time for lengthy projects either and showed guests easy tips for the holiday.

Witty, warm Gail Simmons led us through the easiest DIY gourmet gift ever. Tea pickled radishes was delicious with the shaved vegetable salad at lunch, the pickling juice was used as a base for a flavorful dressing. If you have a mandolin to slice the radishes, it is SUPER quick. You can even make this gift while your significant is getting dressed for dinner (see recipe below).

mariana leung

Camille Style’s décor tips were also easy.  For a quick, woodsy place card, Camille just uses a gel or metallic pen and writes guest’s names on a leaf.

For an elaborate centerpiece, find some kind of vase/urn/amphora. Then arrange some kale and fall vegetables on top. After Thanksgiving, just eat the veggies!

If you are stuck with the Turkey, you can also make a dried orange garland.  Just cut large oranges into ½” thick slices. Bake the slices for about 6-12 hours (overnight) in a 200 degree oven. When the slices are dry, string right through the center of the slices (there should be a natural hole). Then just drape the garland along your table, windowsills, wherever. 
DIY fall wedding

Shaved Fall Vegetable Salad with Tea-Pickled Radishes
By Gail Simmons
Serves 4

1 cup Pure Leaf Sweet Tea, warmed but not boiling
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
8 small radishes, thinly sliced or 4 large watermelon radishes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Instructions: In a medium bowl, combine the tea with the salt; stir to dissolve. Add the vinegar along with the radishes, garlic and peppercorns. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight. Drain the pickled radishes, reserving ¼ cup of pickling liquid for use in vinaigrette. Set aside.

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