How to Easily Seat 24 Dinner Guests, Make Smoky Beef Brisket (in the Oven) and More

I share a video + tips for how to easily seat 24 dinner guests as well as my recipes for smoky beef brisket and 2 lighter lasagnas.

How to Set a Table for 20+ Ahead of Time

do ahead table setting

If you have a dinner party where guests will sit at tables, there are a few tricks + tips for making it less stressful. I had a sit down lunch for 24 during the holidays, so I did a short video of how I did tables ahead.  

Here is a list of what you can place on tables days before the party (so that on party day, all you have to do is hand out plates and let folks find a spot).  

Make tables “guest ready” days ahead of time by setting tables with the following:

I asked my beautiful friend Christie Wilson of @gildandgarnish to set all of my tables up for me. Follow her on instagram, and call on her if you need help with a party. Her charcuterie boards are amazing!!!! In addition to setting my tables, she made a lovely arrangement for the food area. Check it all out in the video below.

How to Make Great Lasagna (Without the Noodles)

easy lasagna boats
Easy Low Carb Lasagna Boats

Lasagna noodles are yummy, but they are not necessary for good lasagna. There are equally delicious (and lighter) versions of everyone’s beloved lasagna. Check out two of my faves below.

  • Easy (and Crazy Yummy) Lasagna Boats are perfect for those of us who are lowering carbs for the new year.  If you’ve never tried spaghetti squash, you might be surprised. When it is stuffed with yummy meat and cheese, you likely won’t be missing the pasta!!!
  • Mimi’s Old Faithful Lasagna is DELICIOUS, without the heavy lasagna noodles. This egg noodle version is lighter on the pasta but doesn’t skimp a bit on flavor. It is my friend Leslie’s recipe, and it is a winner. Find the recipe here

How to Get Smoky Flavor (Without Starting a Fire)

smoky oven brisket
 Smoky Oven Brisket (Before Chopping)

I am a huge fan of the secret sauce to “smoke flavor without a grill.” It is easy, inexpensive, and readily available. Liquid smoke. I keep a bottle or two on my shelf at all times. You can rub into meats before roasting, add it to brine, or use it in marinade. It is a key ingredient in this All Day In The Oven Smoky Beef Brisket that I make myriad times every year. Thanks to Mimi (Zane’s mom) for sharing this “Amarillo TX” recipe that I’ve been making for 30 years and counting. 

Finally…..A Huge Dose of Inspiration

Lennox Gasteaux Syndrome


In the photo above, I am with my cousin Jonathan and his beautiful wife Kristy. They are two of the most positive, joyful, radiant, Godly people that I know. They have a story that is on this week’s episode of The SavvyCast. Their first child was born with what turned out to be a “catastrophic” (doctor’s words) condition. Instead of letting it tear them, and their marriage~apart~they overcame. Tune in to Let’s Talk: Raising a Child With Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome if you want to hear their story. It is a great one to share with others who might be facing similar hardship.

Finally, Ask Me Anything!

I want to craft content for 2020 and beyond with YOU in mind. Please send me any questions. Recommendations. Requests. Suggestions…..for the blog (recipes, topics, etc…)….for the podcast (guests, topics, suggestions) or for reviews. I sincerely want to make Family Savvy and The SavvyCast what you all want to read, hear, and enjoy. So reach out! #askfamsav As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a joyful, blessed, and savvy day!!!!

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  1. Hi Amanda! I am not using it as much as I used to, as at my age, filler and injectables are required for dramatic results. I AM currently trying Nuovulace, a device that was sent to me to review. I’ll share info soon!!! XoXo

  2. Good morning. I’m curious if you still use NuFace or if you’ve found it to be no longer that effective. Thanks in advance.

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