Happy Hour // Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving As you’re all gearing up for a big turkey dinner and spending time with loved ones tomorrow, I wanted to veer away from typical ‘Happy Hour’ content in light of the season of Thanksgiving.

Runway Chef has reached some large milestones over the last month, milestones that probably don’t mean much to you as the reader, but mean everything to me as the creator. I bring this point up not to rub in any achievements, but instead to thank you, for these milestones would not be reached without each and every one of you reading, commenting, following, liking and retweeting. It is also this support that has allowed some new and exciting projects to develop and I can’t wait to share more about them in the new year. So as I spend my Thanksgiving thinking of all the things I am thankful for, you dear readers, will be high on the list.

Eat. Drink. Give Thanks.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of family, food and fun, but most of all, full of thanksgiving for all the blessings in your life!

P.S. There will be no new post tomorrow as I (and I hope you) will be too busy stuffing my face with food, but check back Friday for a list of Black Friday/ Cyber Monday sales and deals!

Thanksgiving Place Settings

Thanksgiving place settings Another Thanksgiving post?! Weiiiirrdd, I know. Especially since most of you are probably saying “Girl, Thanksgiving decorations were so like 3 months ago!” and you are now in the thick of Christmas (Am I the only super old-fashioned person that refuses to do anything Christmas until after Thanksgiving?!). Christmas decorations or not, there’s still a big turkey dinner coming up this Thursday and a table that will need to be set for it. Hence, this post about super easy DIY thanksgiving place settings. Whether you don’t have a lot of time, you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you don’t want to take away from your Christmas decorations, or you really just don’t feel like decorating, any of these place card options will work for you. Bonus, a few of these ideas would even work well for Christmas (in case any of you want to keep your table set-up for a month or something).

DIY thanksgiving place settings

More than likely you already have a house (or yard) full of items that you can use to create place settings. Get creative, be resourceful and think outside the box. Some of the items I gathered from around my place include: popsicle sticks (spray painted gold), wine corks, feathers, mini pumpkins, gilded faux berries, acorns, a stem of wheat, cinnamon sticks, small glass containers, gilded faux fruit, a clear shot glass, and old paper shopping bags.

holiday place setting ideas Your place setting can be as simple as laying an item like a feather or dried flower across the napkin and then resting a larger place card in the middle. I spray painted the tips of these feathers gold, but any type or color of feather would work. Also, I made this name card out of a paper grocery bag with a scallop-edged pair of scissors. I’m very big into using earthy tones in Thanksgiving decorating so I think the paper bags work out nicely.

diy thanksgiving name cards

A plain shot glass filled with gold glittered sand (above) or acorns (below) is the perfect holding spot for a name “stick”- a popsicle stick spray painted gold with the name tag attached to the top. To attach the name tag, I simply folded the paper in half, placed the popsicle stick in the middle, and then glued it all together with a few drops of glue.

acorn place setting easy thanksgiving place settings Yet another example of how sometimes the simple things can be the best things. Similarly to the feather seen above, these place settings only consist of the name card laid next to a small decorative feature, such as gilded berries, gilded fruit, acorns, pinecones or even a few cranberries.

thanksgiving place cards Here I attached a large name card to a piece of wheat using a small clothes pin that had been spray painted gold. I then laid it in the middle of the place setting. This is by far my favorite of all the place settings seen in this post.

thanksgiving place settings In this final place setting, I made a smaller place card, set it up on the napkin and then placed a small glass container over it. If you’re big on not matching, this would be a good place setting option for you as you could use a variety of glass containers or jars with which to cover the name cards.

Happy Hour- Hot Apple Butter Rum

hot buttered rum cocktail You know when rum and butter are in the same sentence, chances are pretty high that good things are ahead. Of course, it could also mean something horrible, like clogged arteries from too much butter and a hot drunk mess from drinking too much rum, but we’ll just pretend neither of those are an option. What IS an option is making and drinking this delicious hot apple butter rum drink. If you’re like me and you have a cabinet full of liquor, no mixers in the house (and you’re too lazy to go buy some), but you just have to have a cocktail, this is the drink for you. Better yet, if you’re in charge of cocktails for any holiday gathering this season, bring this. Everyone will love you for bringing a delicious drink and the host will love you because everyone loved the drink. So basically this drink will make everyone love you a lot. You’re welcome!

wintertime cocktails hot cocktails hot apple buttered rum hot apple butter buttered rum


Hot Apple Butter Rum
Makes 2 Servings

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/2 a cup of apple butter
1 cup of water

1/2 a shot of orange liquor (like a Cointreau or Grand Marnier), per drink
1 shot of dark spiced rum, per drink

Candied orange peel and cinnamon sticks for serving (optional)


In a medium sauce pan heat the butter, brown sugar, apple butter and water on medium-high heat until the butter is melted and the liquid is boiling. Stir a few times, then let it continue boiling for another 2-3 minutes.

While you are waiting for the liquid to boil, pour a half shot of orange liquor and a shot of rum into each mug. Once the liquid has boiled, pour half into each mug, then stir to combine. Toss in a piece of candied orange peel and serve with a cinnamon stick, if desired. Drink immediately.

*Notes: This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. Also, if you are making this for a party or a larger group, you could make this in the crockpot; just add all your ingredients, heat on low, and then serve once it is warm.

I have not personally tried this with anything other than apple butter, but I’m sure fig butter or pumpkin butter would be delicious substitutes.


Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

My mind is so stuffed with visions of stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, turkey and pie, that I can barely get it together to cook a regular meal right now. Looks like dinner will be a solid diet of cheese and wine for the next few nights. Thankfully I’m not actually hosting- I’d be so caught up in my turkey daydreams I’d probably forgot to cook the actual turkey. #thanksgivingfail

Hopefully you’ve got it together a bit more than me (which is highly likely since I’m a hot mess) and you are well prepared with a menu, grocery list, table set-up and serving utensils. But just in case, here are a few more recipes that would make great additions to your thanksgiving feast…




Side Dishes


For even more inspiration you can check out my past Thanksgiving recipe round-up here as well as my ‘Thanksgiving Dinner for Two’ here (warning: pictures are from back in the RC baby days aka they are atrocious, but the post includes recipes for everything from appetizers to stuffing to sides to dessert all for two people and the food is delicious…the stuffed mushrooms and the dessert are some of my all-time favorite recipes).

I’d absolutely love to know all about your Thanksgiving! Do you have a favorite dish? A family tradition? Do you help cook, or just eat? Are you hosting this year? If so, is your menu all ready to go and what’s on it?

Thanksgiving Decorations

Thanksgiving decorations As you probably guessed from this post, I’m not one to skip over holidays, and of course I’m that obnoxious person that feels the need to decorate for every.single.one.of.them. But all those holidays can take a toll on your wallet, between food, presents, and decorations. So if I can, I like to reuse, recycle and redo whatever I can. Which is exactly why, when you scroll through these pictures, you will see how I turned a lot of our halloween decorations into our Thanksgiving decorations.

fall leaf garland

I made this simple leaf garland with a piece of twine, fall colored leaves and mini clothespins that I spray painted gold.

how to make a fall leaf garland eat drink give thanks sign I changed the chalkboard sign in the kitchen to one of my favorite phrases- “Eat. Drink. Give thanks!”

Thanksgiving Decorations

Anything rustic, woodsy or gold is perfect for fall or Thanksgiving decorating.

Fall Flowers Flowers are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to spruce up a space. For Thanksgiving I like to get flowers in red, yellows and oranges and I like adding things like wheat stalks, poppy pods, or cotton to the bouquet to make it look more fall appropriate.

wicker pumpkin This pumpkin is one of my favorite fall decorations. To take it from halloween to thanksgiving, I removed it from the “creepy witch brewing corner” and surrounded it with golden fruits instead.

bowl of acorns

Items from nature are some of my favorites to decorate with. Not only do they look great, they’re also environmentally friendly (no wrappers or plastic to toss out) and they are definitely budget friendly (hello big fat $0 spent!). Some of my favorite nature items include- leaves (seen above), acorns, pinecones, birch bark, twigs, dried flowers, dried leaves, and berries (just be sure you don’t eat them!).

Happy Thanksgiving sign How do you decorate for Thanksgiving?

Hope you all have a great weekend, and if you haven’t yet, pretty please with a cherry on top enter my contest (it ends Sunday night) and don’t forget to share it with your friends!