A few years ago I started hosting Thanksgiving at my home for all of our family members and I everything that goes into it – the planning, the cooking, the spending most of the day in sweatpants until company arrives.  If you’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, or just looking for a way to make it a less stressful process, I have a few tips for making the day as enjoyable as possible:

1. Do as much as you can ahead of time – I have all of the recipes that I use each year saved on this page and almost all of them I make in the days leading up to Thanksgiving so on the day of I’m only really cooking the stuffing, the turkey, and the veggies.

2. Stay organized and put together a timeline – I keep mine saved in my google drive along with a copy of all of my recipes so I can easily access everything I need from my iPad while I’m cooking or shopping.  I go over it at least two weeks before to take stock of what I have and don’t have both in terms of food and serveware.  Feel free to download a copy of both my timeline and grocery list if you’d like to take a look how I stay organized.

3. Dress up your table but keep it simple!  Most important on any table is to make sure that everyone has enough room to sit and eat comfortably – but a few touches like fresh flowers, colorful table linen, and some mini pumpkins can really make the meal feel special.  You can check out some of my easy ideas for setting the Thanksgiving table here.

4. For me consistency is key – as much as I like trying out new recipes, I find that Thanksgiving is the one time of year that people want to eat the same food year to year so once I find a recipe that works I stick to it.  I may add a new dessert or appetizer  to spice things up (this year I’m thinking pumpkin soup) but the main meal stays the same from year to year.  You can find my fav recipes below (I’m trying to get better pics each year before everything gets gobbed up!)

Dinner Menu

Crispy Skinned Herb Roasted TurkeyI dry Brine mine two days before and stuff the cavity with lemons and oranges

Make Ahead GravyMake the base ahead of time and mix it into the Turkey drippings after it comes out of the oven

Challah Bread StuffingI created a hybird of my dad and mother-in law’s stuffing taking the best of both and making it my own

Cranberry Sauce with Orange Zest

Make Ahead Mashed Potato Casserole – I substitute cream cheese for goat cheese

Roasted Sweet Potatoes w/Brown sugar and Butter

Roasted Brussel Sprouts w/Bacon


Crescent Rolls

Throwdown Pumpkin Pie – This is hands down best pumpkin pie ever!  I just make regular whipped cream and serve it on the side.