Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Stress Free Thanksgiving Tips &
{A Butterball Turkey Giveaway}

Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away. I can't believe that November is already starting to pass us by. I'm pretty sure that everyone is already thinking about Thanksgiving and what dishes you will be serving.

I know that Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for everyone, but it doesn't have to be. I recently teamed up with Butterball to share a few of my own helpful tips for a Stress Free Thanksgiving. Before we get started I wanted to share a few tasty turkey recipes that I highly recommend.

Brown Bag Roasted Turkey
Alton Browns Deep Fried Turkey
The Pioneer Woman's Turkey Brine

Mayonnaise Roasted Turkey
The Pioneer Woman's Roasted Turkey
Grizzly's Smoked Turkey

Also since we're on the turkey topic if you run into a snag while preparing or cooking your turkey don't panic. Butterball has a Turkey Talk-Line with professionals that will be available to answer every question on how to prepare a holiday turkey.

Staffed with more than 50 home economists and turkey experts now through December, the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line is available to help first-time cooks and seasoned pros alike. No question is too big or too small. I have included a link to their Frequently Asked Questions. If still need help just give them a call.

Call: 1-800-288-8372
Weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
CST (Central Standard Time)
Now through December
You can also send them an Email at:

My Tips for a Stress Free Thanksgiving:

  • Menu: First and foremost plan your Thanksgiving Menu ahead of time. This way you know exactly what you will serving. Plus you can purchase your items in advance.
  • Potluck Style: If planning a potluck style Thanksgiving get with family and friends at least 3 -4 weeks before Thanksgiving. This will allow plenty of time to find out what dish everyone is bringing or wants to contribute. After you have compiled your list give everyone a copy. That way folks can bring extra or missing items if they wish to.
  • Time Saver: Prepare as much food as possible ahead of time. This way you are not preparing everything on the big day. Rolls can prepared and shaped weeks before. Just flash freeze them on a baking sheet after shaping and toss in a freezer bag. Remove, rise and bake on Thanksgiving day.
  • Freezer Friendly: Pies, cheesecakes, cookies and quick breads can also be prepared and baked ahead of time and than frozen. Prepare the dressing or stuffing and freeze uncooked. This is a huge time saver. Remove from the freezer, let thaw and bake.
  • Clean Up: If I cannot stress anything more it's "clean as you go" this will save a huge headache in the end.
  • Kids: Have a few fun activities planned for the kids. (work sheets, coloring pages, activities and games). This will keep little ones from being underfoot while you're busy in the kitchen. We make Tom the Turkey every year and it's always a big hit.

It's all about planning ahead so you can spend more time where it matters. Less time in the kitchen means more time to with family and friends.


I'm giving away 2 turkeys thanks to Butterball. I have two turkey coupons to giveaway here at Mommy's Kitchen. Each coupon is good for $15 off any Butterball fresh or frozen whole turkey. If you need a bigger turkey you can just use it towards your purchase and save $15.

For your chance to win one of two Butterball Turkey Coupons please leave a comment below letting me know your favorite tips for making Thanksgiving better for you and your family.

I will choose two random winners on Friday November 11Th. Winners chosen by and will be notified by email on Saturday, November 12Th. This will give me plenty of time to make sure you get your turkey coupons in time to purchase your Thanksgiving turkey.

Good Luck to everyone!

Disclosure: All Coupons provided by Butterball.

Don't miss a single recipe from Mommy's Kitchen. Click here to become an Email Subscriber.



mandyloo said... #

My favorite tip for Thanksgiving is , RELAX, enjoy cooking and eating all day! We all participate in decorating, setting the table, setting out food. I love that it takes hours to prepare, and then we load up eat and in ten to fifteen minutes we are all just full and ready to sleep. Also, we always go see a movie in the theater we do that for Christmas as well.

Gretchen Dorsett said... #

We stay in our PJs all day and always start the day of with mimosas and then deep fry the turkey... We never worry about time and there have been a few Thanksgivings that didn't get finished until midnight!

Unknown said... #

My favorite is to have the kids out playing peacefully and the guys watching football...all with TONS of snacks so they don't keeping asking when we're going to eat...while us ladies are in the kitchen chatting and cooking all day. If we don't have kids underfoot or husbands in the way it makes for a very low key and enjoyable day in the kitchen. If Mom isn't stressed about the preparations it's better for EVERYBODY! :) However, they all better step up and help clean it all up when dinner is over.

Maria@La_Piattini said... #

I would say just relax and enjoy the time with family! Let the women gossip and let the men watch football and play poker :)

Alison said... #

My favorite is one that you mentioned-give an assignment of something to bring to all coming so you are not doing it all yourself and you can enjoy the day as well.

Lea Ann said... #

I plan out my menu early and do my shopping at least a week before. I start my day early with baking pies. I like to make my own crusts, but sometimes I have to use the already made crusts. I also try to get all ingredients ready the night before so I am not searching for them, they are already right there.

Monica said... #

Prep! Make sure you start cooking or prepping things ahead of time so that you are not swamped and stressed on Thanksgiving day!

Christensen family said... #

I like to relax as well and enjoy the time with my family.

Susan M. said... #

My best tip is to make lots of lists. I have my menu done already and last night I did an inventory of my storage room and pantry and made a list of what I can buy now and a second list of what I have to get the week of Thanksgiving. I have a list made for each day of the week and what I need to get done for Thanksgiving for that day at the bottom. I also do a timeline for the day starting with what time I want to serve and working backwards. IF I don't have company staying at my house, I set the table the day before and put out all the serving dishes with a Post-it note beside the dish for what goes into it. I create 'work stations' ... a section of one counter will have all the things needed to get the appetizers together. Another spot will have things for the relish tray. A card table holds the desserts, etc. I delegate jobs. One is to mash the potatoes, one is to carve the turkey, one does the drinks, etc. I give them there 'assignment' when they arrive and it's a LOT of fun. Everyone participates and everything gets done. I wouldn't have Thanksgiving any other way! :)

megan said... #

I plan out everything that is to be served on thanksgiving day,, and try my hardest to do dishes that can be easily be made the night before.. example. pies.. all the snacks. cheeseballs.. all that yummy stuff... And a good turkey tip i learned is to cover the turkey in a moist cheesecloth. and baste it throughout baking... and if you want to put a glaze on take it off about 20 minutes before its done baking and glaze.. i have done this for my cranberry glazed turkey and it made for a moist amazing turkey!!! But my best tip enjoy the day and give thanks for friends and loved ones!!! each day we have is a reason to be thankful... Oh and our thing is watching the macy's thanksgiving day parade!!!!!!

Toby said... #

We go to families house to eat- but I make my own turkey for home because we love turkey leftovers

mzzterry said... #

my fav Thanksgiving tip?? I cook, hubby cleans up! It works for us. Happy Thanksgiving ;)

Susan B said... #

I love you work ahead and freeze it idea. I do as much of that as I can for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Everything is freezable except the turkey and gravy! Would love to win a turkey this year--it has been a doozy!

KLeMay said... #

My best tip is one you already mentioned, but it's a good one, plan ahead and prepare as much as I can in advance so I'm not trying to get it all done in one day. I plan out my meal listing times and temperatures everything has to cook at so I have a schedule for my oven as well!

Anonymous said... #

Thsnkgiving is perfect when you can sit down after a huge meal and watch football with the family!

Angela Hernandez said... #

To make thanksgiving easier on me and my family, I prepare all the side dishes the day before.. I dont cook them i just get everything ready to cook!! I do boil the eggs just not crack them!

Beth said... #

I grew up with parents that invited people that would be alone over for any holiday. This has become a tradition for us now, too. What better time to enjoy friends and family than around a good meal? We will cook somethings ahead and I will use my 3 crockpots so that many dishes can be cooking and I won't have to worry about them at the last minute. We moved this summer and put in a double oven. This will be my first big meal using it and I am SO thankful for it. Last year we did the turkey in an 18 qt roaster. It was so good, we may do that again this year!

amy beth marantino said... #

we try to do as much as possible in advance, such as setting the table the day before.

teresa said... #

I try to do as much as possible ahead of time, and I get everyone involved in helping fix the meal. my near adult kids all have 'specialties' that they take charge of. With everyone helping out, it is a much more relaxed day

Stacey said... #

I prepare as much food as I can ahead of time and store it at relatives houses and ask them to bring it the day of.

Jeanette said... #

Plan plan plan and then cook and freeze as much ahead as possible!

sharonjo said... #

We have a big Thanksgiving gathering every year, with 50+ people. We prepare the menu and then enlist help from everyone. Even the noncooks are asked to bring things like condiments or paper products, etc... Everyone is happy to help and it makes the day much less stressful.

sharonjo at gwtc dot net

Shooting Stars Mag said... #

My tip is to make sure everyone has a favorite dish (we have a small family LOL) or something that they enjoy. for me, i'm not big on traditional thanksgiving food...i know, awful, but we include a little something for me and go all out for the rest of the family

lauren51990 at aol dot com

Rusthawk said... #

My best tip is your dough making early and freeze it. Also, do as much prep work ahead of time to minimize your work load for the big day.

Anonymous said... #

Our family Thanksgiving dinner is a pitch-in - with each family bringing their favorite and usual offering to the dinner. Although the menu is not planned down to each item we always have the same dishes since everyone brings the dish that they are KNOWN for and love to share - makes a great day! The hostess always bakes the turkey and the mashed potatoes and the remainder is 'pot luck'.

Rhonda said... #

First of all, I tell myself not to stress....what gets done does and what does that's okay. I start prep early. I have already started baking & freezing. I have old bread torn & in freezer for dressing. What I can't prepare ahead of time, I will have ingredients measured & labeled ready to put together when the time comes.

bless their hearts mom said... #

Our best tip is to start the day before! Mom and I get busy on wednesday and make up all the side dishes, stuffing and desserts. That way ALL we have to do is reheat all, bake the turkey and make the deviled eggs= LESS stress for us and more time to enjoy the family!

debpaint16 said... #

We always go to my sister's house! she makes the turkey & stuffing, & I make the potatoes, sweet potato casserole & cranberry salad & we buy the rolls & the pies from our favorite restaurant, then we split the leftovers!!! Then we watch football & nap!! A Great day!! Thanks for the chance to win a turkey!!!

Lena Aline said... #

My tip is to just breathe and enjoy being with my kids and be thankful for it.We love this time of year.=)

ncsandi said... #

I love having all the family get together for Thanksgiving and we always make up a menu and have everyone bring things so it isn't up to one person to do the whole meal.
We were in the military for 26 years so not able to be around family a lot of years so these past few years have been so special because I have been able to spend the holidays with my children and my grandchildren said... #

Set your table ahead of time and put little sticky notes in each dish so you make sure you have enough dishes. On the big day, it's hard to get everything to the table and be hot at the same time. So we use the crock pot to keep mashed potatoes warm and we also have two warming trays to keep everything warm on the kitchen counter.

BumbleBeeLane said... #

Hubby does the turkey and sides,I do the desserts so it's pretty stress free.I'd say don't be afraid to let others help by bringing a covered dish,paper plates,extra drinks and such.

Patricia said... #

My family does potluck style and we have a get together in october to decide what everyone is bringing. The host for the holiday does the turkey and we rotate every year. This works great with our large family and everyone enjoys spending the day together.

Kathy B. said... #

I make mashed potatoes and mac&cheese early in the day and keep them warm in crockpots. I also load the cooking utensils and pans in the diswasher and run it while we eat. After dinner, just unload the washer and reload with dinner dishes.

Melanie said... #

I make as much as possible ahead of time. Saves lots of time and stress. :)

Pam G said... #

Divide and conquer is my motto! Assign something to bring to everyone and I focus on the 3 or so main dishes. Love Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. You get the feeling of Christmas without the stress of the gifts!

Kim said... #

I plan ahead and I keep a list of what I need to do each day to prepare for Thanksgiving.

imagrandma2five said... #

I make lots and lots of lists!

Anonymous said... #

We only use tried and true recipes for the big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. It keeps me from having to worry about whether people will like new recipes. Also, I start the day before and have as much possible done before Thanksgiving day!

Beth L said... #

I love you blog but what I do is make my menu early and shop for everything early so I don't have to go to grocery stores the week of Thanksgiving. I also cook everything that I can the day before.

momof2girls said... #

Just keep things simple and relax.

Unknown said... #

My Thanksgiving tip is to have fun while you cook. My mom and I usually cook the side dishes while my husban smokes a turkey. It is a lot of fun.

annemarie said... #

My tip is to plan ahead, buy ahead and organize ahead of time so that when the day arrives you can be comforted in knowing all is ready to go - relax and enjoy.

Kathy in Greendale said... #

My tip is this...if you are going to try a new recipe do a trial run a week or two before. It will save you a headache later if something goes wrong.

Nancy Wolff said... #

I do a lot of the cooking a day or two ahead so I can relax on the big day and enjoy time with the family. this year we are trying something new,a pot luck Thanksgiving where everyone is bringing something. Should be much more relaxing!

lois said... #

My tip is to get everthing ready that you can ahead of time including cutting and measuring and storing until needed.

Mostly Food and Crafts said... #

Have a plan - its the only meal I plan way in advance and start cooking early and it always works out

Anonymous said... #

My favorite Thing at Thanksgiving is each dish is assigned to one of my children. As they are fixing it I get to spend time with them in the kitchen. We start the day before with prep for each dish. I also love our table cloth..we use a large piece of brown paper that is as wide as the table. Then I write each persons name at their place. I put the crayons out on the table and everyone writes what they are thankful for and colors.

Anonymous said... #

My favorite tip is to make everything that will freeze well the weekend before Thanksgiving except Pumpkin Pies. They give the home the Holiday smell.

Joy said... #

My parents actually decided to have our Thanksgiving dinner the weekend before. We have a huge family dinner that we can enjoy together and then all of us kids can go to our spouses families and all that on Thanksgiving day and not be rushed!

We all live in the same time and it was so rushed when we had 2 homes to go to on the same day.

Virginia said... #

I put up an 8 foot table in my kitchen have more prep space. I have a small kitchen with very little counter space. After most things are either in the oven or refrigerator I put the table away before company comes.

Recipes For Divine Living said... #

Delegate! I always do the turkey/stuffing, potatoes and cranberry sauce, but for some side dishes and dessert, I have family help out.

Duchess Jennifer said... #

I make the "overnight turkey".. it's where you put your turkey in the oven on 500 degrees for an hour right before bed and then turn off your oven and don't open the door until the morning. When you wake up your turkey is done! I get this from my Mom (who got it from Martha Stewart) and it I love it because it frees up my oven for everything else on Thanksgiving.

April @ PolkaDots n' PinkySwears said... #

My main thing is having everything that you can made ahead, or at least most of the prep work done beforehand! said... #

Plan ahead, make a list, make as much as you can ahead of time.

becka said... #

Plan ahead. Buy as much as possible ahead of time. Let others help by bringing things. Cook and carve the turkey early in the day or even the day before and then add broth and reheat. This takes a lot of stress off the cook and makes a lot less last minute clean up. The turkey broth can be chilled and ready for making the gravy.

Jess said... #

I try to have as little stress as possible. Do as much as possible beforehand; clean as you go, and don't plan to eat at an "exact" time. It's easier to tell people that the meal will be served between a certain timefrace, like 2 and 3pm; then as long as the food is ready within the hour it works for everyone. And there is less stress to get the food to the table at a certain time.

Alissa M said... #

my favorite is the time with family!!! & watching football and eating!!

Mrsblocko said... #

My tip is to go to someones house where you only have one dish to bring! ;)

Shelli said... #

So many awesome comments!
My tip is just to prep ahead of time. I have MS, so cooking is getting harder when so many people come. Thanksgiving means family. But my sister is not a cook, neither is my daughter *sniffles*
However, my mom, even though disabled herself will always do the stuffing with my dad's help. Then Im in charge of everything else. So I prep. a good week in advance, a dish each day. Daughter and I figure out table decorations during that week. She is in charge of making the table GORGEOUS and Comfortable! This year my mother in law will be here the week before to help me prep. Should be a GREAT Thanksgiving!!
I hope everyone has a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!!!

Shelli said... #

I love all your recipes and could not pick just one that I have tried and love. *chuckles* Keep up the GREAT work!! and thank you for sharing!!

Kanga said... #

Like so many others, I try to plan my menu out ahead of time and do as much prep work the day before as I can. I've also learned to just enjoy the day and enjoy my family ... if we don't eat at exactly the time planned, it's no big deal. Just be thankful for the food you have to eat and the family and friends that you have and enjoy the day and your many blessings!

Denise Sawyer said... #

I love Thanksgiving it is my favorite holiday. All the smells from all the different foods cooking are great. You don't have to burn any candles because the smells are so amazing. My favorite thing to do is prepare all my foods the night before and that way I can just put them in the oven the next morning and enjoy the day with the family. I have tried several different holiday recipes that I cannot pick a favorite. They are all so yummy!

suzanne said... #

Everyone has a job from keeping little ones busy to stirring the gravy. No adult sets at the table without taking a dish from the kitchen. Once everything is on the table and we are all setted we say grace. Of course Prep starts on Monday, vegetables chopped, silverware brought out and counted, serving dishes collected and made sure they are clean. The menu stays the same every year except for the deserts may vary. Turkey and dressing, mashed potatoesand gravy, corn,greenbean casserole, rolls and butter with of course veggies for dipping in ranch. Christmas may very because it depends who can come because of the iffy weather here in MI. We all manage to get to "Grandma"s " for Thanksgiving.

Suburban prep said... #

I have two the first is to split up the work among family and friends --having others bring part of the meal. The other is to set the table a few days in advance and also to get the stuff that can be done ahead of time done.

David said... #

I'm not sure what this year's Thanksgiving will end up looking like. We purchased a home, and have yet to move in...and the wife promised the family Thanksgiving would be served there. Yikes!

Jenna Gayle said... #

What we do is assign someone to do the turkey, and then pot luck for the rest. We do decide on who's going to bring veggies, drinks and desserts so that we're not stuck with ten sweet potato pies, though! Relax and enjoy the company :)

Jeanette said... #

I think the number one goal is to relax, and realize that things will not always go much as we want them to! Thanksgiving is about being with family and enjoying their company - not being stressed out because things aren't done perfectly.

Do as much planning and prep as you can before the meal..and then relax and enjoy it!

corie said... #

I just say that thanksgiving should be a peaceful laid back atmosphere. Our family all chips in cooking. Normally my grandma cooks the turkey (since we all meet at her house) and everyone else brings side dishes. It makes it easier for everyone involved. happy thanksgiving

Allison M. said... #

My tip is to go with the flow. It isn't about moist turkey or perfect rolls, it is about being with family and thankfulness of you life.

Karen said... #

I think using old tried and true favorites is a great way to make Thanksgiving stress-free.

JoeyfromSC said... #

My favorite tip is to purchase some of the side dishes lol..I like the gourmet/high quality choices on QVC actually, but have purchased at a local shop in a pinch haha

Thanks for the chance! I love your tips!!


Marty said... #

My tip? Planning! Without this, I wouldn't get a thing done and oh yea, clean as you go!! Thats so important. It make the day go smooth. Enjoy the Family

Sally Dasto said... #

My hint is just like you said to prepare as much ahead of time as possible and clean as you go. Doing both has made a huge difference for me. Years ago when I cooked my first Thanksgiving I had a mound of dishes when everyone left. I was not to thankful for that! LOL! I LOVE Thanksgiving and spending time with my family and friends as we cook and enjoy a great time together. Thanks for the turkey giveaway!

fourkidsmom said... #

We do a potluck type thanksgiving and it is great. Makes everything go much smoother and no one has to work themselves to death doing it all.

Moy said... #

My fav tip is to make the dressing ahead of time and freeze it uncooked. I make such a large batch that is help to have it ready to thaw and bake. Also bake and freeze all desserts that I can.

Cooking Tammy said... #

My favorite tip is to relax and enjoy your family.... The warmth and love of family is a special gift from God. Thank you for all you do... Many Blessings! Tammy in Alabama

Linda said... #

My tip would be to do as much planning/prepping as you can before the big day. This way you can relax and enjoy spending time with the family stress-free.
Thank you Tina for sharing all of your wonderful recipes with us and for your awesome giveaways!! I love your blog!!
~ Linda V.

DebJWhe said... #

First of all, thank you for a great blog. You obviously care about us! The thing that helps me most for the holiday season is to make my desserts the day before and do as much prep work as I can. Then I put it all together in the morning and do the serious cooking. I've found that setting my tables the night before really helps, and I've found that if I have all the family plus friends, nice disposable dishware is not a crime.

Sarah Lynn said... #

My aunts always have Thanksgiving at there house.. so I make dinner for my family sometime that weekend.. all the trimmings and its not assigned to one day.. we can be thankful at anytime right? Also in the morning, my kids and I always watch the parade, and i make them some sort of special breakfast.. this year its panckaes with whipped maple topping! yum!

Stefanie said... #

My plan for having a great Thanksgiving is to remember to be THANKFUL! Thankful for all the little things that I forget to be thankful for and for all of lifes blessings!

Danyelle said... #

We make good use of our freezer and slow cooker. We make ahead then thaw and cook later.

Margie said... #

My tip is to plan ahead so you can relax and enjoy your family! After our big meal we all take a walk around the block to make room for dessert! Happy Thanksgiving :)

Tina said... #

I try to prepare some ahead of time! My husband washes pots and pans, etc, as soon as I'm done using them so clean up after dinner is stress free!

Stacy said... #

Mine is to get up early and do things in little steps. Also, don't worry if it all doesn't get done.
gingeroo616 at aol dot com

Cheryl said... #

My tip would be if you want to avoid "The Exploding Turkey" cut slits in the roasting bag (saw with my own eyes one year when my sister forgot to do the slits. She will never live that one down!:o) )

lakiendl said... #

I don't have many tips but we make all our pies the night before and always have dough leftover. We let all the kids use the leftover dough to spread jelly on, roll it up and bake. The kids love making their own!

RegiJohn said... #

Regina says:) Enjoy your family, prepare as much in advance as possible, and keep it simple but delicious!

Debbie said... #

I try and make and freeze everything I can the week before. I just cleaned out my freezer to I have a lot of room for all the dishes. The whole family brings something and we are ready to go. I cook my turkey overnight as we eat at noon.

S.E. Painter said... #

my tip would be to make sure that you have plenty of ziploc bags and containers for leftovers. easy to store and share with guests.

i hope i win a turkey!!

Kathleen said... #

The best tip is to use family! Give everyone a job from young to old and enjoy your time together.

bethw said... #

spread the Thanksgiving joy-let everyone help out and bring a dish. Their favorite dessert, a vegetable..even the bread can be a help. My son and his wife have been heating the ham and bringing it the past few years-one less thing for me to jockey in around the turkey cooking.

Anonymous said... #

Having everyone bring a side dish or dessert helps keep the holidays less stressful. Whatever they cook best is always welcome. Thanks for the giveaway!
heatherspooner1981 at gmail dot com

Lee said... #

Have a potluck that way u only have to make the turkey, have all guests bring the rest.

Nina said... #

Make lists of all that needs to be done, and make as much ahead as possible. We have also used heavy duty disposable plates to cut down on clean up and enjoy more time visiting or whatever.

Anonymous said... #

I like to relax by playing music in the kitchen while cooking Thanksgiving dinner!!
Jessica R

Erica best said... #

I think shopping a week a head really helps

purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

blessedx4 said... #

Love your blog.:) I always try to make out my Thanksgiving menu at the beginning of the month and pick up the items we will need a little at a time to cut down on a big expense at once. I also like to bake in advance and freeze items like rolls, breads, and pies we will be having. I break my cooking up over a couple of days to prepare the main dishes. That way, I have time to enjoy the holiday with everyone else. :)


jannybelle said... #

I make my menu and shopping list at least a week ahead. And I make as many dishes ahead of time so I can just cook my turkey the day of Thanksgiving and enjoy the day with family and friends!

Amy Anderson said... #

Am I too late??

My way to make it as stress-free as possible is to prep everything ahead of time. What a timesaver!!

Amy @ A Little Nosh

Anonymous said... #

I make sure to do what I can the day before. Then have a list of what order the food needs to be cooked/prepped.

Anonymous said... #

I make sure to do what I can the day before. Then have a list of what order the food needs to be cooked/prepped.

Chris Monaco said... #

Please enter me in the Butterball coupon drawing. My tip...start everything early and then once it's dinnertime, don't stress. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Melinda M. said... #

I wish I had a good tip, but we always go to my parents house and my dad does all the cooking!! I usually bring a dessert and make that in advance so we can relax on the morning of Thanksgiving day! Then enjoy the afternoon with family!

Melinda M. said... #

I make dessert ahead of time!! Other than that we go to my parents house and my dad does all the cooking!

betty yell said... #

I do as much baking and prep work as possible the day before so all I really have to do is cook my turkey and warm the sides. that way I get to enjoy the kids and grandbabies.. also don't be shy about asking for help especially when it comes time to clean up. makes for a less stressful day .. enjoy your family and be thankfull for them..

Terri Drake said... #

Try to have most of the dishes cooked and waiting to be reheated on Thanksgiving Day. Cook the turkey in Masterbuilt Smoker. Heat and enjoy time with family and friends.

Anonymous said... #

Thanksgiving was a BIG holiday in my family growing up. In the first 40 years of my life there was never less than 50 family members at my parent's home for Thanksgiving. My mom prepared the turkey and dressing, good ole giblet gravy and drinks. Everyone brought side dishes. My strongest memory of Thanksgivings past is not preparing the food but rather cleaning and painting the garage every year because we had to set up tables and chairs for people to eat. I remember the first year we had to do that my mom said "no one will come again because of this". Would you believe we had more the next year. I do remember my mom saving bread and making cornbread to freeze for the dressing and her getting up early in the morning to put "Tom" on to cook. I made my first turkey last year. I studied every website I could find on how to cook a turkey. The technique I used produced the best moist beautiful turkey. I cooked the turkey covered in a piece of cheesecloth that had been soaked in a stick of melted butter and chicken broth. I'm continuing the tradition of cooking the turkey, dressing and giblet gravy and everyone else brings the side dishes. I'm starting out small so haven't had to sit anyone out in the garage yet =)

Anonymous said... #

My tip would be an ahead and enjoy your family. Time flies by during the holidays and if you stress about it you lose the joy of having everyone together. We take our time cooking and we cook together as a family so everyone enjoys it. The kids run around being them crazy selves and we put up the tree later in the evening all together. Relax and enjoy family. Simple.

lyn said... #

I fix what I can ahead of time, have the turkey ready to go the night before. I get up and pop the bird in the oven, Hubby does the rest. Clean up is done as we go and there are helpers after diner for clean up.

Sharon Skrivseth said... #

Try a new recipe, there are so many YUMMY looking ones out there to not make them a new tradition!

Anonymous said... #

I use many of your tips so there is not a lot to add. Don’t stress if something doesn’t turn out perfect – most people won’t notice anyway.

Not Just Cakes said... #

Thanksgiving can be stressful if you try to do all the cooking yourself. I try to do the desserts and rolls and tea ahead of time (the day before). That only leaves the main dishes for the Thanksgiving day. I also like to ask all of our guests to bring a dish and let me know what they are bringing so we don't have duplicates and I will know what I have left to fix. Sit back and enjoy the meal.

Rustic Goods said... #

We have our gathering in my brothers pole barn that is heated...this way there is plenty of room and activities to enjoy

Shawna goolsby said... #

My tip is to relax and enjoy family time. We do a potluck style dinner. We say prayers for family that couldnt make it or out in war. We all say what we are thankful for. My favorite thing we do is gather the children and remind them why we are giving thanks and the meaning of thanksgiving. The kids love hearing about the pilgrams and I think its important they know why we are gathering. :)

Shawna goolsby said... #

My tip is to relax and enjoy family time. We do a potluck style dinner. We say prayers for family that couldnt make it or out in war. We all say what we are thankful for. My favorite thing we do is gather the children and remind them why we are giving thanks and the meaning of thanksgiving. The kids love hearing about the pilgrams and I think its important they know why we are gathering. :)

CarrascoFam5 said... #

I like to have the shopping done a couple/days before, and give everyone a simple task. I make sure to have my "psychiatrist" poured (White Reisling) if anything becomes too difficult. LOL other than that, its just my hubby and the kids and that's all I need! <3

M.j. said... #

When we sit down to eat we all take a turn and say something that we are GRATEFUL for.

Linda said... #

The best way to enjoy is to prep and plan ahead. Decide what to cook and shop weeks or days ahead. Check all recipes in advance to make sure you have everything. I love it when all is prepped in advance and there is very little cooking to be done. It leaves more time to enjoy the day.

Anonymous said... #

We used to eat around 12 or 12:30, but it just seemed like everything was rushed and no one enjoyed breakfast. So now we eat about 4 with a nice brunch to hold us over. Much more relaxing and less rushed! Thanks for the turkey winning opportunity!

Debi said... #

Time to break out the Christmas music! Nothing like the theme to Christmas Vacation to get you moving in the morning. Then after brunch and before mid afternoon dinner it's time for the Country Christmas favorites!

Anonymous said... #

Laughter. Prepare as mcu before hand as possible.

DJ Rivera said... #

The most important thing to remember is that Thanksgiving is to be with family and friends and to appreciate everything now! We get caught up in the preparations and forget to relax and enjoy our company! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Anonymous said... #

Always buy my meal ingredients ahead of time we went shopping and waited to buy our stuff the night before and we had company coming...back when the stores closed at 6 and not even a Qwik Shop had the next day we had to explain to our guests that we had to eat out.When we went to the resturant, they had run out of food and only had holiday we'll never forget...Hope I win a coupon!

Belinda said... #

Prep ahead and clean as you go are two of my favorite ways to make sure my Thanksgiving is as stress free as possible. Then we can enjoy our family and be thankful for our many blessings.

Loretta said... #

I keep all my favorite "Mommy's Kitchen" Thanksgiving recipes in a binder. Then I make my list and get to the store as early as possible.

Bambi Hartman said... #

One of our family traditions that make Thanksgiving special is that during the meal we go around the table and each person picks another person at the table and says why they are thankful for that person.

Oklahoma Granny said... #

I start by making a list of the what will be on the menu (I did that last week), what needs to be purchased and a "time-line" of when to start preparing the various dishes. I try to prepare as much as I can in the days leading up to Thanksgiving so on the big day, there are only a handful of things left to do, ie, roast the turkey, put the chicken & noodles on and make the mashed potatoes. Everything else is already done or is only a matter of putting them in the ovens at the appropriate times.

Anonymous said... #

In our family, everyone contributes a dish or two. My husband and I always do the turkey and stuffing. Winning a coupon would sure stretch our Thanksgiving budget! Good luck to everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Debbie Reingold said... #

My tip is to clean up as you go, have everyone bring something and then after dinner and cleanup is finished, sit with all of the store fliers and plan your day after Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza! So much fun and excitement!

Julee patterson said... #

Set& decorate the table the day before and do all desserts the night before. That makes life easier for me on turkey day. :-)

Maggie Peplinski said... #

Prep as much as you can ahead of time. I have rheumatoid arthritis - gets harder every year but will fix dinner til I can't anymore! Relax - TRY not to stress. Ask for help - your family and friends are there for you. It all turns out fantastic in the end! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Nicole said... #

My favorite tip is to not plan too meticulously. I used to tend to and then I didn't have any fun Thanksgiving day. It's about enjoying the moment and the food, not keeping to a super tight plan and schedule.

missy said... #

My tip is to relax and take the day in strid. Prepare things ahead of time that you can and start the day with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Kelly D. said... #

We have Thanksgiving at the home of my husband's aunt & uncle. He is from a large family so we do potluck and it works great! Everybody brings something, the food is always fantastic & most importantly we just spend time together as a family!

patti keil said... #

My daughter usually makes our vegetable sidedishes and my sister-in-law brings desserts. We set everything up buffet style and my husband usually helps with clean-up.

simplify610 said... #

For a wonderfully moist turkey, we soak it in a brine the day before!

Robbye said... #

I love to get things started then watch the parade.
Everyone helps as we usually have 25 to 30 people over (every year) then when we finish we watch the games.
I cook as much as possible in the week prior. (No kidding-I have to!)

Jackie Strader said... #

I always prepare a few snack trays with meats, cheeses and crackers along with other "finger foods." That way everyone can have something to snack on while they smell the yummy turkey :) It sure saves me from all the helpful hands in the kitchen waiting around for food!

Rusthawk said... #

My tip is to make you doughs ahead of time ...and do all of your onion/bellpepper/celery chopping ahead of time and freeze it all. :)

Anonymous said... #

My tip is do your shopping the week before Thanksgiving. It gets very hectic trying to do everything last minute!!

Anonymous said... #

I love spending time with the family on Thanksgiving, playing board games, eating, relaxing. If everyone brings one or two dishes, it is much easier on the host, and more relaxing. Happy Thanksgiving !! Linda @