My Broke Kitchen

Be a Better Guest

By • November 13, 2013 • 5 Comments

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Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, you can make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety. 

Today: Gabriella tells you how to be a better Thanksgiving guest. 


Thanksgiving is my platonic ideal of a holiday: It involves showing up to someone's house and eating a ton of food for free. Maybe I'll even do a dish or two at the end of the meal to show my gratitude. But usually I, without fail, drink the equivalent of a bottle of wine by 6 PM, eat a plate of food, then pass out on the couch immediately after the meal.

My family hates me.  

After throwing my first Thanksgiving, though, I've become much more sympathetic to what my mother has to plan and execute year after year. So I've assembled some easy and affordable drink and dessert recipes to bring to whichever Thanksgiving dinner you're attending this year. They'll provide a welcome addition to the meal without overshadowing or clashing with any of the mains and sides that your host has already planned -- and will definitely guarantee you an invite back the following year.

Wine 

Everyone's happy to receive another bottle of wine, and it requires minimal effort on your part. Brush up on affordable bottles here before you head to the wine store. If it's chilly where you are, heat up a batch of this spiced red wine for a post-dinner mug.

Punch

If you want to prepare something a little more extensive without turning on your oven, go with a batch of holiday punch. The Bumble Brown Punch and Brown Butter Spice Ale are both appropriately seasonal. 

Cookies

Cookies are the easiest desserts to prepare and transport -- and even if you don't want to serve them during the meal, you can wrap them up in a tin and give them to your host as a small present. Some great fall picks include these Two-Bite Buckeye Cookies, Ginger Spiced Molasses Sugar Cookies, and Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pie

Arguably the best part of Thanksgiving, nobody's going to complain about another pie on the table. Check with your host to see if they've already got an apple or pumpkin pie. If not, make either this or this. If they do, mix it up a bit with this Pear and Dried Fruit Honey Pie with Blue Cheese Crust

Tell us: What are some of your favorite dishes to bring to other people's Thanksgiving dinners? 

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Tags: my broke kitchen, thanksgiving, gifts

Comments (5)

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10 months ago snowcitygirl

Thanksgiving for me these past few years consist of gathering at my Gigi's (some pet-name form of dziadek, Polish for grandfather) house while my aunts do ALL the cooking. My newest challenge is sneaking in some fresh cranberry sauce and I am planning on bringing more again this year! There can never be too much cranberry sauce!

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10 months ago Sally Uhlmann

The greatest gift any guest can give to a host and hostess is to be appreciative of the food you are eating at the moment. raise a toast or just cheer, with the simplest but heartfelt words, "Delicious! I am so happy to be here, enjoying this meal."

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10 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This wonderful cider punch would be a good choice, too: http://food52.com/recipes... Gewurztraminers seem generally to be quite reasonably priced, so you certainly won't break the bank making it. Plus, people love it! ;o)

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10 months ago Gabriella Paiella

Gabriella is a PR & Audience Development Director at Food52.

Perfect after-dinner drink!

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10 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

It's what we warm/pour when we get back from our hike on Thanksgiving, served with these http://food52.com/recipes... , which instantly became a "must have" here. ;o)