Gracious Outdoor Dining
How is your Thanksgiving feast looking for this year? Join me as show how I laid out our Gracious Outdoor Dining under the stars.
This year has been a tricky little year for gathering or entertaining of any kind, believe me as a retired event planner I completely understand and feel your pain. This is why I took a different approach to Thanksgiving with my Gracious Outdoor Dining table this year. Yes I still have a traditional indoor table as well for my immediate family, but if you want to invite others over to your home for the holidays but still want to feel the fresh air on your face, might I recommend dining al fresco, if the climate allows.We are very lucky here in Georgia to have temperate weather in the evening and afternoons this time of year which makes al fresco dining and gatherings very easy to host for you family or close friends. The open air also tends to make people feel more comfortable in a social environment as well. Plus it is easier to social distance in the wide open spaces.I have personally always been a big fan of outdoor dining whenever I get the chance and really prefer the cooler fall months when it is less buggy here in the south. We also love to build a fire in our outdoor fireplace as well which creates the feeling of a room in the open air as well.For my table I decided just to reuse our Halloween pumpkins from the porch which were still in amazing shape, even after a month. I would love to say I tried those very popular bleach soaks, but I did not, since we always put them out for the critters at the end of the season. I felt that it was probably not a great idea to soak them in bleach and poison our local wildlife, but that’s just me I guess. I do however wash them with a 1 part vinegar and 10 parts water soak which is safe for the wildlife, just as a FYI.I wanted to add some sparkle as dusk set in, so I added in some white twinkle lights tucked into my leaf garland and mums. Just to add a little ambient lighting, along with our overhead candles and fireplace.The place settings are our tradition Gobbler plates set a top a pale blue plaid plate, which I thought pulled the blue nicely from the turkeys and added a unexpected touch to the layers of plaids we have going on.I used a two throw blankets in a picnic plaid to make a tablecloth and then added in a set of orange buffalo check pillows to cushion up the metal chairs a bit, since they can be a bit hard. I just kept everything very simple since it was outside, mason jar glasses, metal chairs, nothing too fancy or overstated. I have really been enjoying the look of the rustic Montana ranch show Yellowstone this fall, which has seemed to trickle into a lot of my designs this season. You just never know where you might find your inspiration, and what eye catching scenery may inspire a tablescape, place setting or even just a sweet little vignette in your home. Y’all stay safe and happy holidays!
Creamy Instant Pot Corn Chowder
- Instant Pot 3 Qt. Mini ( can be doubled for a larger 6 Qt. Pot)
- Potato Masher
- 2 13.4oz Corn Drained
- 1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes Peeled, Diced
- 2 medium Poblano Peppers Seeded, Minced
- 2 cloves Garlic Peeled, Minced
- 2 1/2 cups Vegetable Stock
- 2 Scallions Thinly sliced, reserve greens for garnish
- 2 tbsp Half & Half
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 4 tbsp Cream Cheese
- 1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese garnish
- 4 tbsp Sour Cream garnish
- 1 cup Queso Fresco Crumbles garnish
- Saute chopped scallion, and minced garlic in 4 tbsp for 3-5 minutes. minutes.
- Then add in your diced poblano pepper, potatoes and spices.
- Next fill your Instant Pot with stock, make sure to stay below your max fill line.
- Cover, and seal the lid, cook on Manual/High pressure for 25 minutes. Once the Instant Pot cooking time is complete, you can carefully quick vent the steam.
- Remove the lid, and start the mashing process directly in the pot with a potato masher directly in the pot. Be careful not to over mash, you still want to have some chunks of potato and peppers left for texture in your soup.
- Once you mixture has thicken, and somewhat smooth you can then stir in your corn, half and half, shredded monterey jack cheese and cream cheese, until smooth.
- Garnish with a few green scallions, a dollop of sour cream, and queso fresco.
I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season. If you loved this post check out some of our other great Fall Idea posts:
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