Can you believe that Thanksgiving is in just 2 days?! (And that it’s exactly one month until Christmas?!)
I love hosting Thanksgiving, but it definitely requires a lot of prep! Here are some tips to help you get organized (and more importantly, stay calm!):
- Keep appetizers simple.
- Don’t overdo it. The meal itself is more than enough food. I usually just serve some veggies and dip, cheese, crackers, and pepperoni, and some olives. (I’m excited this year to be trying a Pinterest inspired turkey cheese plate! And, my sister is making a turkey veggie platter. Pinterest is the best!)
- If guests offer to bring something (which they should!), take them up on the offer!
- This year, I have family members bringing appetizers, pies, gelato, beer, and even the sweet potatoes! Every little bit helps!
- Make a to-do list for at least the week before.
- Include thawing your turkey (if you’re using a frozen one), grocery shopping, cleaning, and any prep work that you can do in advance. Nothing is too small of a task for the list. Cross things off as you accomplish them. (It feels so good!)
- Make some dishes prior to Thanksgiving.
- Plan out which serving platters and dishes will hold each food item in advance.
- This will seriously make you life so much easier when serving dinner.
- Try to relax and enjoy the great food, company, and football games!
- Because, really, that’s what it’s all about!
If you’re looking for a last-minute recipe, here are my top 5 go-to Thanksgiving recipes. (I also linked them above.) Make sure you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post!
Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 3 hours 30 mins
Total time: 3 hours 50 mins
Serves: 8 cups
- 4 turkey wings (about 3 to 4 pounds)
- 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 4 carrots, chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Heat oven to 400°.
- Put wings in a single layer in a roasting pan.
- Scatter the onions on top.
- Roast 1½ hours or until wings are browned.
- Put the wings and onions into a large pot.
- Add 1 cup water to the roasting pan.
- Stir to scrape up any brown bits on bottom.
- Add the liquid to the pot.
- Pour in 6 cups of the broth.
- Add the carrots and thyme.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 1½ hours.
- Remove wings; save meat for another use.
- Strain the broth into saucepan, pressing the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible.
- Discard veggies.
- Skim any fat off of the broth.
- Whisk flour into the remaining 2 cups of broth until thoroughly blended and smooth.
- Bring broth in the saucepan to a gentle boil.
- Whisk in flour mixture.
- Boil 4 to 5 minutes to thicken the gravy.
- Stir in the butter and black pepper.
Original post: [url href=”http://www.cookbookmeals.com/make-ahead-turkey-gravy/” target=”_blank”]http://www.cookbookmeals.com/make-ahead-turkey-gravy/[/url]
Herb Roasted Turkey
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours 30 mins
- 1 turkey (17-18 pounds)
- 2 onions, quartered
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped
- 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- ground black pepper
- 1¼ sticks unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 cups turkey stock
- Preheat the oven to 450º.
- Place half of the veggies on the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Place the other half inside the cavity of the turkey.
- Place the turkey on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.
- In a food processor, combine the butter with the fresh sage, rosemary, thyme, and parsley.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Process until smooth.
- Rub the butter mixture all over your turkey.
- Season the bird with salt and pepper.
- Place in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes, until golden brown on the outside.
- While the bird is roasting, heat about 4 cups of turkey stock on the stove.
- Keep warm over low heat.
- Once the bird is golden brown, reduce the heat to 350º.
- Baste with the turkey stock every 15 minutes.
- Continue cooking and basting until the turkey is done (a thermometer should read about 170º).
- Remove the turkey and tent with foil for about 15 minutes before carving.
Original Post: [url href=”http://www.cookbookmeals.com/herb-roasted-turkey/http://” target=”_blank”]http://www.cookbookmeals.com/herb-roasted-turkey/[/url]
Citrus Cranberry Sauce
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
- 2 large navel oranges
- 1 package fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- juice from ½ a lemon
- juice from ½ a lime
- Remove the peel and pith from oranges with a paring knife.
- In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the oranges, cranberries, sugar, water, and ground ginger.
- Cook for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries being to burst.
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon and lime juice.
- Cover sauce and chill before serving.
Original Post: [url href=”http://www.cookbookmeals.com/citrus-cranberry-sauce/http://” target=”_blank”]http://www.cookbookmeals.com/citrus-cranberry-sauce/[/url]
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 50 mins
- 1½ pound Brussels sprouts, halved
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400º.
- Toss the Brussels sprouts with the salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- Place on a baking sheet, cut side down.
- Bake 35-40 minutes, shaking the baking sheet once or twice, until golden brown.
Original Post: [url href=”http://www.cookbookmeals.com/roasted-brussels-sprouts/http://” target=”_blank”]http://www.cookbookmeals.com/roasted-brussels-sprouts/[/url]
Lemon Butter Green Beans with Shallots & Pine Nuts
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 30 mins
- 3 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3 shallots, minced
- 2¼ ounces pine nuts
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- juice from ½ of a lemon
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Add some salt and the green beans.
- Blanch the green beans for a couple of minutes.
- Drain the beans and put them in an ice bath until cool.
- Thoroughly dry the beans.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the butter and cook until melted.
- Add the shallots and cook until translucent and tender, about 6 minutes.
- Add the pine nuts and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the green beans and toss to combine everything.
- Cook until the beans are warm.
- Remove from the heat and add the salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
- Stir one last time before serving.
Original Post: [url href=”http://www.cookbookmeals.com/lemon-butter-green-beans-with-shallots-pine-nuts/http://” target=”_blank”]http://www.cookbookmeals.com/lemon-butter-green-beans-with-shallots-pine-nuts/[/url]
Before I go, remember in my last post I said I had more exciting news?! Well, here it is!
Even though I have been MIA the past couple of months, you guys have been so great! I reached a milestone on my Facebook page: over 10,000 likes! (10, 517 to be exact!) You guys are the reason that I made a point to come back to blogging, so thank you! I want to celebrate too, so look for even more exciting stuff in my next post!
I hope you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots to be thankful for. My husband and I sure do this year!
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My Thanksgiving Menu was originally published on Cookbook Meals