Thanksgiving is a couple of weeks away and while it can be a great time with family and friends, it can also be a stressful time as you try to pull the big meal together. Here are a few tips to make your Thanksgiving dinner run a little bit more smoothly.
1. An automated menu planner. Plunk in your information (number of people, etc.) and this great tool from Epicurious will help you plan your menu.
2. Make it a potluck. While you can be in charge of the turkey and some of the trimmings, people usually want to contribute something. Ask them to bring their signature side dish or favorite dessert to help ease your load.
3. The perfect turkey. Turkey is an essential part of the big meal. Here's a great recipe for how to make a flawless one.
4. Call the experts. If cooking a turkey makes you a little bit nervous, there's always Butterball’s Turkey-Talk Line. Give them a call at 1-800-BUTTERBALL (800-288-8372) or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org throughout November and December.
5. Stuff the bird. Better Homes and Gradens has a great article titled Stuffing 101.
6. Make some healthy sides. There are enough rich itemsto eat during the meal (stuffing, potatoes, dessert) that having some healthier (but still tasty) sides will bring a good balance to your table. Here are some healthy Thanksgiving side dish recipes.
7. Pick the best wine for your meal. About.com has some great wine pairing tips and links.
8. Make easy desserts. Get one of your potluck contributors to bring the pie(s) and make one of these quick and easy dessert recipes to give other options to your guest.
9. Prep the day before. Items such as potatoes, vegetables, and casseroles, as well as some desserts, can be made the day before. If you leave it all to theday of the feast you'll have no time to enjoy the day.
10. Hire some help. If you love to be in the kitchen, hiring or ordering catering may not work for you. Hiring someone to clean up the mess while you visit with family and friends is worth the money spent.