Planning Thanksgiving Dinner – Free download below
Planning Thanksgiving dinner and preparing it can be very stressful, especially if you have a large family or are expecting a number of guests.
In order to make Thanksgiving more enjoyable for yourself as well as your guests, some advance planning and preparation will work wonders.
Use these tips to make your holiday a stress-free, memorable occasion:
A Week Before Thanksgiving
By now you should know who will be celebrating Thanksgiving with you and if there are last minute updates to your list, make sure to have them confirm at least a week before Thanksgiving day.
This will allow you plenty of time to prepare for a beautiful celebration! Use the Thanksgiving Planner to get yourself organized.
Some people like to stick to what their favorite recipe call to, others like to experiment. Decide your main protein dish and if you will cook turkey, then you still have to decide if you’ll buy it fresh, frozen or smoked.
Whatever your choice, make sure you have room to store it. A frozen turkey can be purchased earlier, but you should plan to remove from the freezer at least 24 hours before being ready to roast your Thanksgiving turkey.
Aim for one to one 1/2 pounds per person and if you’d like leftovers, go a bit higher on your count.
There are many super yummy Thanksgiving dishes and here at home, my hubby loves to mix some traditional recipes, like his family “Salad D’Olivier” and something he had just watched at a cooking show on FoodNetwork.
My favorite dish of a Thanksgiving meal is the stuffing and for the boys, it’s whatever dish that will have marshmallows in it. 🙂
Not only consider the number of people you’ll be cooking for but also make sure there’s a treat for the kids in your family.
This will certainly help you have an enjoyable celebration day.
Check that all you’ll need for your cooking and serving are in good shape.
Go through your glassware, dishes, serving platters, utensils, pots and pans as well as the tablecloth and napkins of your choice and make sure they are all ready to go.
If you have a safe place to keep them, like your dinning room table, go ahead and place them all there.
By taking these extra steps one day at a time will prevent overwhelm on Thanksgiving day when you’ll be super busy cooking.
The Days Before Thanksgiving
These are the days you can really make a difference by doing a little bit here and there.
Check on your list what items can be cooked or baked ahead of time, like your deserts, and what you can prep like chopping your onions, celery, carrots and saving them in your fridge for the big cooking day.
Review your shopping list and cross all the dots! One less trip to the market will clear the decks and give you peace of mind.
If you are hosting guests with children, think now what they can do during your gathering so all your guests can have a great time. I saved a couple of boxes with toys the boys don’t play anymore and every time we entertain and we have younger kids coming over all I need to do is pull those “brand new” toys out of the closet. It’s always a hit!
Is your bird frozen? Then make sure you move it from the freezer to your fridge 3 days before cooking day to allow it enough time to thaw.
If you have purchased a frozen turkey, take it out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator 3 days prior to cooking to give it plenty of time to thaw.
And finally (and I have learned this the hard way!) check if you need to iron your linens. If you do, just go ahead and cross that off your list.
The Morning Of Thanksgiving
With all the preparations you did so far, today will be an enjoyable time for you and your family.
All the goodies
Stuff your bird and have it ready to roast.
If you will need the oven for your side dishes plan the cooking time accordingly because that space will be taken once the bird goes in. And if you’re baking many side dishes and wants to have an idea of how much you can fit at once, simply place the empty dishes in the oven.
Making it Pretty
Bring some fresh flowers or fresh cut branches to decorate your home. Light the candles and put uplifting music while you prepare a tray with your glassware and set the table.
Are you using a buffet for your food? Make sure to decorate it with fruits, nuts, and candles. Use cake stands to highlight your side dishes and if you like details, add a little card with the name of your dish.
Make sure to decorate it with fruits, nuts, and candles. Use cake stands to highlight your side dishes and if you like details, add a little card with the name of your dish.
Take the time to get yourself pretty. Nothing says “it’s party time” like a good shower, a beautiful outfit and some sparkles!
Planning and preparing will allow you to have a wonderful time on your Thanksgiving dinner.
What Thanksgiving planning tips do you have up your sleeve? 😉
PS: Remember to download the Thanksgiving Planner.