Party in Five: Modern, Rustic Thanksgiving Dinner

In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year's feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we're bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

Related To:

We here at Cooking Channel love a good party. But throwing a memorable event requires more than just gathering some food and drinks. We show you how, with just five main “ingredients” (including recipes, big-impact decorating ideas and easy DIY elements), you can throw a party that feels like it has a cohesive theme — minimal work required.

Description or Caption: Cooking Channel Holiday Cocktail Party in glamorous jewel tones with a penguin motif and candy cane cocktials, bar snacks, hot chocolate, ornaments and champagne.

Description or Caption: Cooking Channel Holiday Cocktail Party in glamorous jewel tones with a penguin motif and candy cane cocktials, bar snacks, hot chocolate, ornaments and champagne.

Photo by: Wynn Myers ©2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Right Reserved.

Wynn Myers, 2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Right Reserved.

Savoring a good meal in good company. Being together with friends and loved ones. Taking time out of our sometimes-too-busy lives to practice gratitude. These are the traditions that make Thanksgiving one of my very favorite holidays, and they remain my focus when I'm planning this very special November meal. That said, I’m not afraid to break with tradition when it comes to the menu and decor. This year, with a 1-year-old and a growing business, I feel like simplifying and getting real about what I want to eat during the holidays. I created a simple, modern tabletop and a menu that reflects my personal tastes. The simple but visual gingham-and-wheat pairing sets the stage for a lighter, fresher take on the Thanksgiving meal. But don't worry — dessert's still on the menu!

To create this modern Thanksgiving dinner, you'll need five essential ingredients:

• wheat-stamped place cards ( download the template here)• wheat stalks• gingham ribbons• gingham napkins• our updated Thanksgiving menu, including a pumpkin mousse dessert

Click here to see the party in action, and get tips for hosting your own gingham and wheat Thanksgiving.

Spotlight On: The Menu

For this updated holiday meal, I wanted to create lighter, modern dishes from the familiar favorites we love at Thanksgiving: turkey, dressing, potatoes and more. I opted for vegetable sides like roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes so guests can savor a turkey dinner without feeling too heavy afterward. Finished off with a sweet pumpkin mousse, this meal finds the perfect balance between sensible and splurge-worthy.

Get decorating tips, DIY how-tos and more tips for throwing this party here.

(See more parties and events from the Party in Five series here.)

Photo by: Wynn Myers

Wynn Myers

Camille Styles is the founder and editor of the lifestyle blog, where she shares creative enterta ining ideas for parties and everyday life. She also owns Camille Styles Events, a design and planning firm that transforms ordinary events into extraordinary experiences.

Next Up

Which Wines to Serve at Your Thanksgiving Meal

When you're choosing wines for your Thanksgiving table, it seems simple: What goes best with turkey? While that's one way of going about it, it probably makes more sense to figure out what else is happening on the table.

Fixes & Help for Thanksgiving Disasters

Think Thanksgiving's ruined? Fret not! We've got five quick fixes for any sort of cooking conundrum.

This Guy Will Be Your Horrible Thanksgiving Boyfriend

A weird guy offers his services to be a fake boyfriend at a Thanksgiving dinner. His price? Just one awesome meal.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Appetizers

Serve a few simple snacks before your Thanksgiving feast to keep guests happy and out of the kitchen.

Thanksgiving Countdown: Schedule & Calendar

Count down to Thanksgiving with a checklist that will help you get your shopping and preparation in order.

Thirsty Thursday: Thanksgiving’s a Breeze Seabreezes

Cooking Channel's Seabreeze cocktail is the perfect morning beverage to wake you up to start that bird early on Thanksgiving.

Thirsty Thursday: Apple Toddy

Cooking Channel's Apple Toddy is the perfect accompaniment to chilly winter nights and serves as a delicious reminder of seasonal pleasures.

Feeding Guests During the Thanksgiving Holiday

Some smart preparation makes feeding your Thanksgiving houseguests a cinch — even if they're staying the whole holiday weekend.


Carnival Eats

7:30am | 6:30c

Cheap Eats

8am | 7c

Cheap Eats

8:30am | 7:30c

Good Eats: Reloaded

9:30am | 8:30c

Good Eats

10am | 9c

Good Eats

10:30am | 9:30c

Good Eats

11am | 10c

Good Eats

11:30am | 10:30c

Man v. Food

6pm | 5c

Man v. Food

6:30pm | 5:30c

Man v. Food

7pm | 6c

Man v. Food

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Man v. Food

8pm | 7c

Man v. Food

8:30pm | 7:30c
9pm | 8c

Man v. Food

9:30pm | 8:30c
10pm | 9c
11pm | 10c

Man v. Food

12am | 11c

Man v. Food

12:30am | 11:30c
1am | 12c

Man v. Food

1:30am | 12:30c
2am | 1c
3am | 2c
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Sundays 10|9c

So Much Pretty Food Here