Megan Scurlock of Locklane Weddings & Events writes for us today about a Friendsgiving inspiration shoot she recently completed with the help of Jennifer Oatsvall of Feather+Oak and Alyssa Joy of Alyssa Joy Photography. Filled with great ideas to put you in the Thanksgiving mood, this article also includes several scrumptious recipes we know you’ll want to make! Welcome, Megan!
Six months ago if you had asked me if I knew who Rae Dunn was, I probably would have shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know, a new country singer?” (I live in Nashville, y’all.) But I’ve recently become acquainted with this clay artist and her very popular dishes. I have seen her mugs on Instagram and Pinterest, but I didn’t know who made them or her cult following, that is until my cousin introduced the line to my mother-in-law. They both now show up at TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Marshalls as soon as the trucks are unloaded, hoping for new Rae Dunn pieces. Her ceramics are not expensive; they are just hard to find and only released in small quantities. And they’re cute!
Once I saw my mother-in-law’s Friendsgiving platter, I knew I wanted to use it to put together an inspiration shoot for the holidays. I asked Jennifer of Feather+Oak to help me style the event so that anyone (familiar with the pieces or not) would enjoy it. We mixed the holiday-specific and the everyday Rae Dunn with vintage pieces and trendy items, like the velvet linen, to show how it can all work together. Because Rae Dunn mugs are quickly becoming iconic, we knew we wanted to use them on the table, which spurred the idea of a brunch. Jennifer settled on the gold tones with the buffalo plaid and wheat to hint at the season, but simultaneously give it a fresh look. Storybook Cottage, a rental property in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, was the perfect canvas! The grey tones were a nice complement to the black and white pottery and a break from the typical browns of Thanksgiving. But don’t worry, we still kept some traditions, like sneaking turkey and pumpkin into the menu!
Thanks, Megan! Now, before we get to the recipes, a few people to thank for this gorgeous article:
- Event Planner: Megan Scurlock, Locklane Weddings & Events. Follow on Instagram here: @locklaneevents
- Photographer: Alyssa Joy of Alyssa Joy Photography. Follow on Instagram @alyssajoyphoto and Facebook here.
- Stylist + Prop Rentals: Jennifer Oatsvall, Feather+Oak. Follow on Instagram @featherandoaktn and Facebook here.
- Venue: Storybook Cottage. Follow on Instagram @houseandsanctuary and Facebook here
- Paper Goods: Brinkley Studio. Follow on Instagram @brinkleystudio
- Florist: Kennedy Occasions. Follow on Instagram @k.occasions and Facebook here.
- Linens: BBJ Linen. Follow on Instagram @bbjlinen and Facebook here.
Now, for the recipes!
Pumpkin Spice Mix
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- Whisk all in a small bowl and store in resealable container
Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
- 1 day old French brioche, or challah bread, diced (see Note)
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice recipe below
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cold salted butter diced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice recipe above
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup whole pecans
- Generously spritz a 9x13 dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add diced bread to baking dish, sprinkle with chopped pecans; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, cream, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and pie spice. Pour the prepared custard over the bread in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 3-4 hours and preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Streusel Topping: combine light brown sugar, butter, flour, and pie spice in a small bowl. Using your fingertips, quickly mix together until the butter breaks down into smaller pieces. Sprinkle the topping over the casserole and add the whole pecans.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. If the streusal topping starts to brown too much, tent with a piece of aluminum foil. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with syrup of your choice, butter, and powdered sugar.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Bundt Cake
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips we used 60% cacao
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 16 oz light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 oz sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot water not boiling
- 1 jar caramel sauce
- toasted pecans chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour bundt pan (or use a baking spray).
- Melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for 20-30 second intervals, until smooth. Set aside.
- Beat softened butter + brown sugar with an electric mixer (hand or stand) until blended well.
- Beat in each egg, one at a time.
- Beat in melted chocolate until blended. Do not over mix.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to chocolate batter, alternating with the sour cream, beating at low speed until blended after each addition. Do not over mix.
- With mixer on low speed, add the hot water.
- Stir in vanilla.
- Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes in pan then remove cake from pan to cool. If using mini bundt pans, adjust baking time accordingly (see note)
- While the cake cools, lightly spritz a baking sheet with cooking spray and spread pecans on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for five minutes. Be mindful not to let them scorch. When cool, chop or break into smaller pieces.
- Warm caramel sauce in microwave and drizzle over cooled cake. Sprinkle with toasted, chopped pecans, + flake salt.
Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving! For more Thanksgiving recipes: