Happy Thanksgiving

Nothing says Thanksgiving like pumpkin pie, and turkey. But for so many famalies Thanksgiving means coming together and celebrating what we are thankful for and spending time together. Some families eat, and then take a nap. For many they will gather around and watch the Cowboys. I know for my family after lunch it is to off to the movies together followed by looking at all the black Friday ads. For so many people it is the one meal out of the entire year they get to not only have together but gather around a set table.

Whatever your style, formal or informal here are the rules and regulations on how to propery set your table. A meal that requires a formal place setting will consist of salad, bread, soup, drinks and a main course with dessert and coffee following. 

-Rules for a proper place setting

  • Plates and bowls 
  • Dinner plates should be placed about 2 inches from the table’s edge, centered on the placemat or squarely in front of the chair for a proper place setting.
  • Soup bowls are placed on top of the dinner plates.
  • Salad plates are placed to the left and just above the forks.
  • The bread plate should be placed to the right and slightly above the salad plate.
  • For a formal place setting, when serving multiple courses, the host may opt to serve each course on separate serving plates.
  • Clear dishes and utensils after each course is finished.


  • In any table place setting, forks are placed on the left of the dinner plate, knives and spoons go on the right.
  • Silverware in a formal place setting should be placed on the table in the order it will be used; silverware that will be used first should be on the farthest left and right sides of the plate.
  • Knives should be placed with their cutting-edge toward the dinner plate, except the butter knife which should be laid flat on a bread plate.
  • For a proper place setting, utensils should be about 1/2 inch away from the plate, and they should be lined up evenly from their bottoms.
  • Dessert silverware can be placed at the table setting if you wish.  The dessert fork or spoon should be centered above and parallel to the dinner plate.
  • For any place setting, avoid using more silverware than the meal calls for.

Cups and glasses

  • For any table place setting, the water glasses should be placed above the dinner knife, with other drinking glasses arranged neatly nearby the water glass. 
  •  In a more formal place setting, coffee cups and saucers may be placed on the table to the right of the knife and spoon.

Napkins and name cards

  •  For a less formal proper place setting, napkins are placed either on the plate or to the left of the forks.  For a more formal place setting, napkins are placed inside a drinking glass.
  • Name cards are always a good idea for formal place settings, especially if the dinner party is large.  Place the card above the dessert utensil, to the left of the drinking glasses

Example of a Formal Place Setting

Example of an Informal Place Setting

Sarabeth Events Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes:

Sarabeth’s Favorite – AMBROSIA SALAD

1 (#2) can pineapple tidbits
1 lg. can fruit cocktail
1 (7 oz.) can mandarin orange sections
3 1/2 oz. flaked coconut
2 c. sour cream
1 c. miniature marshmallows
1 jar maraschino cherries

Drain fruit and mix together. Put cherries in last for color. Refrigerate at least 6 hours. May be made 24 hours ahead of time. Serves 8.

Amanda’s Favorite – SWEET POTATO BAKE

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
MIX together with fork, and sprinkle over casserole
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except for cream. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add cream, mix well. Pour into greased casserole dish ( 1 1/2 quarts). Add topping. Bake for 25-30 min

Fallon’s Favorite – Macaroni & Cheese

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni 
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Volunteer Opportunities

DFW AREA – Meals on Wheels


ARLINGTON – Mission Arlington


Turkey Trot

FORT WORTH – http://www.fwtrot.org/

DALLAS – http://www.thetrot.org/

 For more decor ideas and more on the products featured on our DFW Close up segment visit www.willowhouse.com