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5 Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving Party

Wow any crowd with this roasted squash recipe. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Hollis)

In addition to worrying about preparing a terrific, tasty turkey, Thanksgiving can cause plenty of stress related to entertaining a large group. I don't know about you, but I'm not hosting big dinner parties every weekend! We turned to Rachel Hollis, the creator of Chic Events and  a expert, to gather her top tips for throwing a successful, yet worry-free fete. She should know—her company often organizes events for celebrities, such as Ivanka Trump and Marcia Cross!

  1. Stock up. "I have an area in my pantry dedicated to last-minute parties. It's full of fancy mixed nuts, tapenades, olive oils, great chocolates and good wine. All items I can turn to in a pinch and throw on a lovely platter and be ready when guests are at the door."
  2. Give as a guest. "The best way to show your appreciation is to offer to help. But since your host is cooking, perhaps you could help with decor and offer to bring a beautiful centerpiece to adorn the table!"
  3. Don't forget the favors. "Hosting the meal is enough of a gift. I think the best favor would be a lovely takeaway box so you can get rid of some of your leftovers!"
  4. Match your party with your personality. "When I did Sara Rue's wedding this summer, they had a vintage photo booth and beer pong! I love that they embraced who they were—a really fun-loving couple—instead of doing something stuffy and traditional to please others. Keep that idea in mind with your events!"
  5. Go easy on yourself. "Don't overwhelm yourself. For instance, don't use your holiday party as the opportunity to make a miniature souffles for the first time. Go with what you're good at to keep stress to a minimum—even if what you're good at is ordering takeout!"

But don't grab that phone just yet—this super-simple recipe is even achievable for Thanksgiving rookies!

Roasted Acorn Squash with Shallots

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds and strings with a spoon and rinse. Slice each half into eight pieces and set aside.
  2. Remove peel from shallot and rough chop.
  3. Put squash, shallots and rosemary sprigs on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix together until well-coated.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

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