Turkey Day Tips

Turkey Day Tips

Ah, Thanksgiving…the day we give thanks by running around like fowl with our heads cut off trying to cook the perfect meal for a dozen people all with their own unique (re: uber picky) palates. So if you have the (cough, cough) fortune of hosting this year, here are some top tips and delicious recipes to help you survive your gluttonous feast.

Turkey Tips:

  1. Size Matters.  Assume 1-1.5 pounds of turkey per person when choosing your turkey.
  2. Understand Your Oven. Using an oven thermometer, check that your oven is actually heating at the temperature displayed. Knowing if your oven is running hot or cold will save pounds of frustration and possibly turkey.
  3. Two is Better than One. If you have an especially large crowd, consider cooking two smaller turkeys. They will cook faster than one larger turkey. It will be easier to fit in the fridge and the pan. Plus, you’ll have a nice full turkey centerpiece on the table while you carve into the other. 
  4. Have a Plan B. Liberty Prime, Raaz and Vu Restaurant all have reservations on Open Table for Thanksgiving. Just Saying.

Yummy Sides:

Rachel Ray adds a nice spin on the traditional cranberry sauce with this Ginger Apple Cranberry Sauce recipe

Southern Living is the Cookbook Bible in the South, so their Cornbread Dressing is at the top of my list. 

And this Mary Mac Tea Room recipe for Sweet Potato Souffle looks way easier than most while retaining the yumminess. The Marshmallow topping is especially goos for those with nut allergies.

Kid-Friendly Recipes Everyone Will Love:

I am a huge fan of the site Weelicious. They have fabulous, healthier recipes my kids love, like these Sweet Potato Biscuits. Sweet? Bread? My kids are in. 8 minutes prep? 15 to bake? I’m in too.

Or try these Pumpkin Pie Parfaits . Delicious. Easy. And bonus points for the possibility of child labor..uh…helpers on Thanksgiving.

And the cuteness factor is on overload with these pretzel turkeys .

Slaving over an oven for your brood is a noble, noble thing, but…

There’s always my way (cue maniacal laugh)

I must confess. I am an awesome cook…at very specific recipes, none of which are appropriate for Thanksgiving. So, like any non-cook hosting on Thanksgiving, I let someone else do the work while I sit back and take all of the credit.

Luckily, there some great options for those of us ingrediently challenged:

  1. Whole Foods: Organic? Check. An array of sides? check. Foturkey? It’s right here. Be sure to schedule your pick up early and be ready to sit and wait for your order.  Order Here
  1. Honeybaked Ham: Awesome roasted turkey and great sides. Their ham is also an option if you’re not into fowl. This has become my go-to place because they deliver (woot!). Order Here
  2. Fresh Direct: I’m pretty sure their drivers are out for human target practice every time they come into my neighborhood, but so many of friends use these guys they are worth mentioning. You can get the pre-made dinner or the DIY ingredients delivered. Order Here
  1. Local Farmers Markets: Many of our local markets are still running and stacked with Thanksgiving essentials. Consider pre-ordering your turkey, pie, sauces or sides from one of the local farmers. Farmers Market Calendar

And last but not least, have your favorite bottle of wine chilled and hidden in the deep recesses of your fridge, so even if your meal ends in disaster, you’ll still have a good time. Good luck and Godspeed JC!

Turkey Day Tips