1. PLAN AHEAD ~ Find out how many guests will be joining your dinner table then prepare your menu 2-3 weeks in advance.
2. SHOP EARLY ~ Thanksgiving is one of the busiest times of year at the grocery store. By waiting you also run the risk of an item being sold out, and let me tell you by experience...it happens.
3. PREPARE IN ADVANCE ~ All of the pies/desserts can be made a day in advance. Also, I prepare my side dishes such as the dressing, casseroles and cranberry sauce in advance. I hold off on baking the side dish until the day of, just take it out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking in the oven.
4. STICK WITH WHAT YOU KNOW ~ Thanksgiving is not a time to try out a new recipe. If you're wanting to try something new, make it 2-3 time prior to Thanksgiving.
5. EMBRACE STORE BOUGHT ~ Meaning, you don't have to make everything from scratch. Take a little help from the store when it comes to dinner rolls and canned pumpkin puree just to name a couple.
6. POTLUCK ~ To take a little stress off of your planning reach out to your guests and ask them to bring a particular dish. Just be sure to save some room in your oven incase the dish needs to bake or be kept warm.
7. PREPARE THE TURKEY ~ I find to create the most flavor and to help with the turkey not drying out I like to brine my turkey over night. RECIPE Remember if you have a frozen turkey allow for 1 day of thawing for every 4 lbs. in the refrigerator. If you forgot or are a last minute person you can thaw it in cold water. Estimate 30 minutes for every pound and you must change out the water every 30 minutes to keep the turkey chilled.
8. SIGNATURE DRINK ~ Have a signature drink that you can make as a mocktail or cocktail. This will help lower your cost on liquors, in addition you can prepare the mix ahead of time and just pour when your guests arrive.
9. TIMING ~ This is probably one of the most important and most challenging parts of Thanksgiving. It takes almost just as much time to plan for the timing of everything to come out at the same time as it does planning your menu. If you plan though, you will look like a pro in your kitchen!
10. HAVE FUN ~ Turn up some music and have fun!