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Thanksgiving Countdown Tips


Preparing a Thanksgiving feast is no simple task. If you've ever been frazzled in the kitchen trying to set the table, cook the turkey, and garnish the pies all at once, we've got some ways to make sure that doesn't happen again. The key here is to plan ahead. This way you can make sure you've got the basics at home and you won't need to run to the store for any forgotten or last-minute ingredients . 

Follow these tips to make sure your Thanksgiving dinner is a success: 


Herb-Roasted Turkey Butter-Basted Herbed Turkey Deep Fried Turkey

Weeks before Thanksgiving...

  • Plan your Thanksgiving menu weeks before the holiday.

    • Write out all your classic favorite Thanksgiving meal ideas, and then narrow the list down to the ones you'll be making. You'll feel a weight lifted off our shoulders once you know what to make for Thanksgiving dinner.

  • We suggest making a checklist of each ingredient involved in each one of your tasty dishes.

    • Figure out exactly what you already have and what you'll need to get, this way you won't be missing any necessary ingredients Thanksgiving day . 

    • Some checklist items to include for Thanksgiving dinner ideas are a turkey, potatoes, bread, veggies, and a pie crust.

New Sweet Potato Pie Impossible Pumpkin Pie Four-Layer Pecan Pie

Days before Thanksgiving...

  • The general rule for defrosting a whole frozen turkey is to allow 24 hours for every 4 to 5 pounds of turkey. 

    • If you're estimating on a 20-pound bird, it'll need to spend about 4 days in the fridge to be ready to roast. For a turkey breast or turkey parts, about 1 to 2 days should do the trick. Another option is to buy a fresh turkey, but make that decision well in advance to give yourself options.

  • It's fine to plan on baking Thanksgiving pies a day or two before the holiday.

  • At least two days before the big meal, go to the grocery store and pick up any perishable items.

    • These items won't go bad if you get them a few days in advance, and it'll ensure you've got everything you need. 

    • You can buy non-perishable items at your convenience, but make sure you have it all at least 2 days before.

  • If you're cookin' for a large group, it'll take some time to set the table

    • This is an easy one to do a couple of days advance. Lay out the table cloth, napkins, utensils, and plates on the table to avoid having to worry about it on Thanksgiving day. Asking your kids to help you set the table is a great and easy way to get them involved! If you feel like getting fancy with your table, there are tons of Thanksgiving decoration ideas to make your setup stand out! What about making everyone homemade place cards?

Classic Mashed Potatoes Cranberry Nut Stuffing New Green Bean Casserole

Day of Thanksgiving:

  • There are a few easy Thanksgiving recipes that you need to prepare on the day itself. On the day of Thanksgiving, roast your turkey, and put together any dishes you haven't yet prepared. 

    • While the turkey is cooking, you'll have time to whip up some mouthwatering gravy, and throw together a nice salad. 

  • Reheat any side dishes that you prepared ahead of time, such as stuffing or casseroles.

    • There are plenty of simple Thanksgiving meal ideas that can be made on the day of, like our Cranberry Nut Stuffing.


If you're in need of some inspiration for what to make for Thanksgiving dinner, check out our Easy Thanksgiving Menu: 218 Recipes for Thanksgiving Dinner. Get ready to be relaxed on Thanksgiving…and remember to mention your thanks for family, friends and a feast. 

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Potato pancakes are a symbolic and scrumptious treat commonly made for Hanukkah. Not only are they super crispy and really tasty, but thanks to the pre-shredded potatoes you can find at your favorite supermarket, these Simple Shredded Potato Pancakes are, well, simple to make!

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