How To Make A Thanksgiving Showpiece {VIDEO}

In this video for eHow, I discuss how to make a Thanksgiving showpiece. This harvest display can be placed on your dining room table, your hallway, your entrance table, and will bring life and color throughout the entire season.

Click image above or Click this link to watch the video: How to Make a Thanksgiving Showpiece — powered by eHow

Items you can bring in from your local farmer’s market or supermarket.
  • Artichokes
  • Indian Corn
  • White Mini Pumpkins
  • Gourds
  • Mixed leaves
  • Mixed Gourds in Various Colors
  • Acorns
  • Dried Tree Fruit.

Starting with the Indian corn, layer in using their husks to create a nice base and foundation for the basket. Next layer the leaves,  I like to mix and match them with the red as well as the yellow so that it looks very natural. Preserved leaves work well, but if you have a great oak tree outside your house, go ahead and grab them from your yard.

Once your base is set, you can start with some of the larger items. Artichokes are first,  Mix them in nicely, separate them a little bit, and then with the larger gourds, just starting to stack those in the base. Next mix in the orange and the white mini pumpkins.

Keep in mind, people may be able to see it from every angle, so create it to be seen from every angle.

Start placing some of the wheat and sticking those in.  You will want about three or four inch lengths to tuck in.

Add acorns to continue to fill the gaps.

What one tip was most useful in this video? Let me know below in the comments and sign up to receive tips to your inbox!

Fall Decor for Glass Front Cabinets

decorate glass cabinets with indian corn #falldecor 403

Use Indian Corn to decorate more than your doorway. Hang it on glass cabinets in your kitchen or dining room to and a touch of fall to every room.

Supplies Needed:
• Indian Corn Bunch
• Wheat Stalks cut
• Ribbon to tie around bunch
• Ribbon cut to length to hang from to of cabinet
• Scissors
• Small nail or heavy duty hanging tape

Tie ribbon around corn bunch to create a bow around the front. Tuck wheat into ribbon front.

Loop second length of ribbon through the back of the bunch {occasionally your bunch may have a metal loop in place. Otherwise loop through the first ribbon tie.}

Using a small nail or other tacking tool, hidden on top of cabinet, hang bunch on the top half of the window.

Where else have you place your fall decor? Let me know in the comments below.

Personalized Indian Corn For a Special Touch

personalized indian corn w wheat and ribbon #falldecor 403



Create personalized seasonal Fall Decor with Indian corn you can find at farmers markets and local stores this time of year by adding wheat stalks, and ribbon to coordinate with your home decor.

Supplies Used here:

  • Mini Indian Corn bunch
  • Wheat Stalks cut to size
  • Ivory Grosgrain Ribbon
  • Scissors

Where did you find your Indian Corn? Local shop or Farmers Market? Let me know in the comments.

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Harvest Champagne + Fig Cocktail

#AnAppealingPlan Harvest Fig Champagne Cocktail Collage

This twist on the champagne cocktail recipe has sweet fig puree and a splash of bourbon, together they add just the right amount of depth to make it perfect to allow it to stand up to the bold flavors of the Fall entertaining season

Welcoming guests to a Harvest, or Thanksgiving dinner with this fig cocktail will soon to be a family tradition.

@KraylFunch @AnAppealingPlan Harvest Champagne #Cocktail

Harvest Champagne + Fig Cocktail Recipe



  • Champagne
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Sweet Fig Puree*
  • Splash of Bourbon {or to taste}


In a pre-chilled champagne flute place up to 2 teaspoons of Sweetened Fig Puree and a splash of Bourbon. Slowly add chilled Champagne.

Makes: 1 cocktail


*Sweet Fig Puree

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 4 figs, quartered

In a small pot combine water and sugar heat on medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add figs and reduce heat to low. With an immersion blender breakdown figs and blend with sugar and water.  Heat for 10 minutes on low. Cool puree prior to use in cocktail.

Serve chilled. Enjoy!


What’s your family Thanksgiving tradition? Share in the comments below. Like this recipe? Share it + Sign up below to receive tips and updates.

Looking for more fall cocktail recipes? Try this Tangerine Thyme Sipper !

Placesettings Explained

Although we live in a less formal world where pretty much anything goes when it comes to setting your table, it is always best to start with a knowledge of the proper way to do anything. Once you understand the proper etiquette of how to set each place setting you can manipulate it to achieve your preferred style.

This image is a fantastic straight forward approach to learning the Formal and Informal versions.


This biggest change most people make to the Formal setting is reducing the number of glasses. Most do not have enough glasses or table space to allow for three per guest. In most situations one wine glass and a water glass will work just fine.

Next change would be the bread and butter plate & knife, and for similar reasons as the glassware, quantity and lack of space.

A tradition that is often skipped which will actually save you time and space in the long run is the dessert fork and coffee spoon placed above the plate. By placing these two pieces right from the start you have saved a step in between courses. After dinner simply clear all flatware on the sides of the plate, slide the dessert course flatware down to each side and you are ready to serve your pie!

As mentioned, our society is becoming less and less formal on a daily basis however, during the holidays I find it is nice to take a tip from the past and set the table with a slightly more formal touch.

My advice? Learn the rules first then bend them, do it well with purpose & beauty and your guests will not question you. {or at least you will have the knowledge to respond correctly if they do!}

Most important, Enjoy~ krayl

The Perfect Bird: Part 2

{Image Courtesy of The Pioneer Women}

This is part 2 of The Perfect Bird. Miss part 1? Read it here: The Perfect Bird Part 1

Getting the Best Flavor

Brining: Traditionally a method of preserving foods this popular technique of preparing the turkey adds flavor and juiciness to the holiday star.

The water from the brine actually reaches the cells of the meat infusing it with flavor & moisture. There are wet & dry brines available commercially but it is also easy to create your own. Your biggest concern will be finding a vessel large enough to actually submerge the bird into. {I have seen large stock pots as well as coolers lined with a brining bag.}

Aromatics: The easiest and most straight forward of them all. Place fresh or dried herbs along with fruits and vegetables in the cavity, under the skin or simply in the roasting pan. Favorite Choices: Sage, Onions, Carrots, Lemon slices, Rosemary, herbes de Provence.

{Image Courtesy of Babble}

The Stuff That Thanksgiving Dreams are Made of

The Big Debate: Cooking your stuffing INSIDE the turkey or OUTSIDE?

Points to Consider:

Temperature – Your entire turkey must be defrosted or fresh at room temperature before stuffing. After cooking, the temperature of both your bird and stuffing MUST be 165 degrees.

Time – Do not pre-stuff. Place stuffing inside moments before placing in the oven. If you can not do this bake outside. Additionally you will ned to allow extra time for the entire turkey to cook when stuffed.

Brining – May affect the flavor of your stuffing. Best to cook separately.

{Image Courtesy of Live Safe}

Let’s Get ‘er Done!

The basics for roasting the Perfect Bird:

– Bring to room temperature prior to placing in the oven. (resting outside of the refrigerator for 1 hour MAX)

– Invest in a quality roasting pan to ensure even cooking. AKA – stop buying those disposable versions….

– Purchase a quality thermometer to get accurate readings. The breast should register 165 – 175 degrees.

– Let your turkey rest before carving for 20-30 minutes to allow juices to be reabsorbed into the meat.

Next Up: Tablescapes & Centerpieces {My favorite!!}

The Perfect Bird: Part 1

{image from My}

Side dishes come and go but the main star of every Thanksgiving Day table is Tom Turkey. Perhaps its your first turkey or your 51st, following a few steps and preparations you will {ok..should…} end up with a moist and delicious bird.

Selecting Your Turkey

Key words: Fresh, Free Range, Organic Fed, NO Hormones.

Fresh Turkeys are readily available in most areas these days and will produce a MUCH tastier meal. Check with your favorite store to see if they carry them or if you need to order yours quickly. Local farms & Farm stands are also great resources to find non-factory raised varieties. Avoid self-basting turkeys as they are injected with fatty substance (not found in nature).

{Image Courtesy of}

How Big Is Big Enough

Minimum size should be 10 lbs. If you need less consider a buying a breast. To allow for plenty of left overs allow 1 – 1/2 pounds of turkey per person. Consider how many guests you will need to feed in the days after and adjust accordingly.

{Image courtesy of Food Network}

The Waiting Game

Try to arrange to pick up your turkey the day before you will cook it and keep it in it’s wrapping in the coldest part of your refrigerator once home. If you have to go with frozen, allow 3-4 hours per pound to thaw in your refrigerator. This may be up to 2-5 days to defrost completely. Be sure to cook a thawed turkey within 2 days and DO NOT re-freeze as the meat will not recover and will change its texture.

Stay Tuned for Part 2: Flavoring The Turkey, Stuffing a Turkey, Roasting & Tablescapes to please your guests.

In the News: A Naturally Thankful Season {article published in Impart Magazine}



No matter what part of the country you live in, for most Americans, Fall is a time filled with images of harvest, abundance, cool weather, and gathering with family and close ones. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the 2012 Fall Season officially begins on September 22nd  and ends on the Winter Solstice December 21st but no one day most embodies the season more than Thanksgiving Day, or weekend if you are luck, filled with family, friends, laughter, sharing memories, and of course plentiful food. Preparing your home for that one day, however, can be overwhelming if you attempt to menu plan, shop, decorate, set the table and cook all in a matter of the three days prior to the big feast… Read the Full Article Here {written by Krayl Funch}

Topics covered in the full article include:

“Start At The beginning” : Creating a Seasonal Entranceway

“Bring it Inside”: Bring the outside in to celebrate nature

“Before the Big Feast”: Reduce stress by preparing in advance

Read the Full Article Here


Or view recent posts on related topics:

Make a Grand Entrance This Season / Fall Entertaining & Tablescapes

{Please contact us if you are interested in working with someone to help plan & coordinate your holiday gathering.  In-person & Virtual Services available}

Fall Entertaining and Tablescape Ideas

Entertaining over the next few weeks? Or looking to getting a jump on your Thanksgiving table?

Here are a few tips to get you started.


 * Start At the Beginning*

20121013-093844.jpg{image by HGTV}

Set the tone of your gathering as your guests step onto your front porch with containers filled with seasonal plants such as mums mixed with decorative grasses.

* Simple Sophistication *


An everyday collection of white plates easily serve as the back drop to leaf shaped accent plates in Autumnal colors. Place a folded linen napkin peeking out from under for added texture.

* Nature At Its’ Best *


A variety of natural elements are abundant in the fall and deserve to be showcased. Decorate the center of your table with Heirloom variety pumpkins, scattered acorns and turning leaves from around your home.


To reduce hostess anxiety. Set the table the day before your are entertaining. It will help reduce your stress over time and also help you realize if you need to run out and pick up anything you might be missing. {You should tweet that one!}
Oh and by the way, ENJOY! ~ Krayl

{looking for assistance in designing or executing your gathering? Please contact me for a consultation.}

Make a grand Entrance this Season.

Your entranceway is the first impression of your home or business to a guest or client. Your home may be lovely beyond the front porch or center hall but that first impression is already made. Or perhaps they make inside and forget the pots of dying plants and faded past season decorations for a few hours while they visit with you; they still have to leave sometime. As they are backing out of your driveway, what do they see? That is correct. Your entranceway. Dead plants and all.

Don’t be a victum of “S.E.D.” {Sad Entranceway Design}. This season create a fabulously welcoming porch or entranceway. Even a few minor changes can make a huge difference. Or perhaps you are ready for a full overhall? Either way, stick with me kid and we will make it happen. {Virtual and In-person plans available}

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