Less Stress, More Thanksgiving Prep

Photo: Country Living Magazine
Thanksgiving is coming up faster than you may think and while there’s still time to get ready for the big holiday, starting to get everything from your house to the food and more set up early will make this holiday less of a hassle. Whether you host Thanksgiving every year or this is your first time, our blog will give you some tips and tricks to prepare you for the big day with less stress. 

Prior to the event prep

Before you even start thinking about creating your menu and buying the Thanksgiving ingredients, you need to determine how many people are coming so you know how much food you need. While Thanksgiving is known for leftovers, overbuying will cause you to spend more money and time than you need to. 

If you’d like to make your Thanksgiving more formal, you can make invitations (either online or printed) and send them out to your guests. Simply asking those who you’d like to come works just as well and saves you some time if you’re going for a more casual event. There’s no wrong way to go about it – it’s who you spend the time with that matters. 

Once you have a solidified number of attendees, it’s time to start making your menu. Knowing how many people are coming will allow you to know how many servings of each dish to make and even find out if certain guests have a special dish that they want to bring. In many cases, people have family recipes or always make a certain dish for holidays that they can bring to your Thanksgiving dinner – which means less work for you too!

We compiled some recipe ideas for you to add to the main turkey dinner. 

Homemade Dinner Rolls 

Instead of buying rolls, you can make your own homemade rolls to freeze until you need to bake them for Thanksgiving. Bread is the perfect appetizer and something that everyone can enjoy before and during their meal. You can find the recipe here!
Photo: Let's Dish

Cheesy Potato Casserole 

Even though mashed potatoes are a popular Thanksgiving side dish, why not switch it up to another potato related dish? An easy one is a cheesy potato casserole, since who doesn’t love cheese and potatoes? This will be a dish that you probably won’t have any leftovers of. 
Photo: Tablespoon

Pumpkin Pie

Finish your off your meal with a classic dessert: pumpkin pie. You don’t have to spend a lot of time making it or have to buy one, there’s an easy recipe where you can boast your baking skills without a lot of work. What’s even better is you can either make your own crust or buy it from the store, your guests won’t know!
Photo: I Wash You Dry

Turkey prep

Now that your menu is created and your house is decorated, it’s time to start prepping the food. While your side dishes will vary, one thing that remains the same every year is the turkey. The first thing that needs to be done is it needs to thaw if it was frozen when you bought it. A general rule of thumb is to thaw in the fridge about 24 hours per every five pounds of the turkey. 

After it’s thawed, you can remove the giblets and season it. One simple seasoning is with salt and pepper; make sure you cover the skin and the inside to get the full flavor. If you want to stuff the bird too, one trick is to cook the stuffing outside of the turkey. This helps so you don’t overcook the turkey when attempting to cook the stuffing properly.

Last step before roasting is to tuck the wing tips behind the shoulder so they don’t get burnt, tie the ends of the drumsticks with kitchen twine and wrap it around to make a knot so nothing is going anywhere. Now it’s time to roast the turkey and you’re almost ready for your Thanksgiving feast!
Photo: epicurious

Finishing touches

With the turkey out of the way, you can focus on your side dishes and the table display. No matter what side dishes you have, they’ll be a hit paired with your fabulous turkey! While the food is usually the star for Thanksgiving dinner, your table presentation adds to the festivities. We have some ideas to make your table décor pop!

  • Fruit bowl centerpiece
    • Add a fruit bowl (real or fake) to the center of your table to tie together the fall feeling. This bowl can be used all year round too; you can switch up what’s inside to match the season. 
Photo: Better Homes and Garden

  • Add patterned napkins
    • You don’t have to have fabric napkins for the holiday dinner, but many offer festive patterns that can really add to the decoration. 
Photo: Country Living Magazine

  • Add greenery as a runner
    • Greenery doesn’t have to only be put out for the Christmas season; it works just as well for Thanksgiving! Pair it with a runner to create a seasonal, yet autumn look. 
Photo: Shelterness

  • Bold napkin rings
    • Even if you do take advantage of the patterned napkins, you can add some napkin rings to tie it all together. 
Photo: Uncommon Designs

  • Utilize candles 
    • Candles are perfect décor for the whole year yet come in different colors and scents to match the season. A few on your table will help tie the whole event together.
Photo: Elite Decor

We hope you enjoyed reading about our tips for your Thanksgiving prep and you find it to be less stressful this year. The food and décor may be important to make it feel like Thanksgiving but it’s during this time that we should be thankful for what we have and to be able to spend the day with our loved ones. Even if you’re napkins aren’t fabric or your turkey isn’t roasted perfectly, it’s who you’re with that matters. Happy Thanksgiving!


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