I’ve hosted Thanksgiving at my house for the last two years for about a dozen people – and I’ve really enjoyed it!  One of the main reasons is that I do as much as I can in advance so on the day of I’m only really cooking the stuffing, the turkey, and the veggies.  Here are my favorite recipes and tips to making the day as stress free as possible!

I keep a copy of my Thanksgiving Game Plan in a Google Doc and tweak it each year;  it has my menu, itinerary for the week before and the day of, as well as recipe notes like the evolving steps for my stuffing – which is a combo of my dad’s and my husbands mom’s recipes that I’m close to nailing!

I also keep a copy of all of my recipes in the same Google Drive folder so I can access everything while I’m shopping if I need to. I use this recipe from Jeff Mauro for my Turkey and dry brine it two days before….the only addition is that I stuff the cavity with Orange and Lemon halves while it’s brining.  I use Ina Garten’s Make Ahead Gravy recipe – you make the base ahead of time and mix it into the Turkey drippings when it’s done.



I also use Ina’s Make-Ahead Mashed Potato recipe, but I substitute Cream Cheese for the goat cheese.


For sides I roast Brussels Sprouts with bacon, heat up some corn, bake some quick crescent rolls, and make Alex Guarnaschelli’s Cranberry sauce, which I also make a few days in advance.
For dessert I make Bobby Flay’s Throwdown Pumpkin Pie – which is the hands down best pumpkin pie ever!  I just make regular whipped cream and serve it on the side.