It is the most wonderful time of the year! And although I love to decorate my home, hang stockings, open presents, and celebrate family; what I love more than anything is the endless amounts of food during the holidays. I love the texture of food in my mouth, the feeling of it in my hands, and the warm feeling it gives me. I love the vibrancy of colors from varying palettes, the way it drips with flavor, and the richness and depth. It’s funny, but as I sit here writing about food, all I can think about is how all of these words describe the feeling I get when walking into a room or space that is well designed.

 Thanksgiving Dinner

The layers of design are similar to the courses in a Thanksgiving dinner. Start the meal with the appetizer or upholstery, setting the scene for what the dinner or room is going to look like. Move on to the entrée, which in design are the pieces that really anchor the room such as occasional tables and area rugs. To finish off the meal, introduce a tasty dessert. In design, the dessert is adding the jewelry and sparkle through lamps, art, and accessories. Although it’s not the core element, this layer can really make the meal or room because of its lasting impression; small, sweet, and memorable.

So as you are trimming the tree and the turkey this holiday season, think about how laying out a well designed space is as simple as preparing your Thanksgiving dinner. Just take it one small step at a time. Start with the appetizer and end with the whip cream on top!

Appetizer: Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus


1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed and discarded
8 ounces prosciutto, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil½ cup Philadelphia Cooking Creme (any flavor, I use Italian Cheese and Herb)
1 tablespoon water


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap 2 asparagus spears with a slice of prosciutto. Place spears on baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on the tips and ends of the asparagus (avoiding the prosciutto). Roast for 8-10 minutes, until the asparagus is cooked through and the prosciutto becomes crispy.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the Philadelphia Cooking Creme with the water. Microwave on medium setting for 45 seconds.

3. Plate the asparagus and drizzle the Philadelphia Cooking Creme over the asparagus. Serve immediately.

Dessert: Turtle Pumpkin Pie


¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping, divided

1 Honey Maid Graham Pie Crust

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Planters Pecan Pieces, divided

1 cup cold milk

2 (3.4 ounce) packages Jell-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 (8 ounce) tub Cool Whip Topping, thawed, divided


1. Pour ¼ cup caramel topping into crust, sprinkle with ½ cup pecans.

2. Beat milk, pudding mixes, pumpkin, and spices with whisk until blended.

3. Stir 1 ½ cups Cool Whip into mixture. Spread into crust.

4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Top with remaining Cool Whip, caramel topping, and pecans just before serving.


Natasha Nelson

Interior Designer – Allied Member ASID

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