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A handy guide to helping you plan Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the biggest feast of the year. There’s so much to think about and plan for, you’re going to want a guide going in so you don’t forget anything. What to do right now The guest list. It’s likely to change, but getting an idea of how many people are going to come can help you start to estimate what and how much you’ll need. Order a turkey. Don’t leave this one up to chance at the grocery store. If you wait too long to pick up a bird, you might be scrambling. Plus, ordering ahead gives you a chance to order the right size and type of turkey you want. And you know it will be fresh. Check your housewares. Go through your linens and dishes and make sure you have everything you need, from baking dishes to napkins, salads bowls, silverware, and even towels, sheets and toiletries if…

Crock pot stuffing saves time on Thanksgiving Day

Between the sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and about a dozen other side dishes, something has to give. After all, you only have one set of hands and one oven. If you’re looking for ways to make Thanksgiving more manageable this year, look no further. Crock pot stuffing is a set-it-and-forget-it recipe that is easy, delicious and decadent. I know some people like to cook stuffing in the bird, but in our family, that just wouldn’t be enough. We LOVE stuffing, and need lots for leftovers, so we always prepare an extra baked dish of them. The stuffing that cooks inside of the bird is good, but I’ve always loved baked or crock pot kind because it has more texture and some crunch you just cant get cooking inside the bird. This recipe is so easy to make, but the best part is that it won’t take up precious time in…

A make-ahead Thanksgiving dinner plan

A stressed out hostess makes for a lousy shindig, and let’s face it, orchestrating a Thanksgiving dinner is no therapy. Our national feast typically features multiple different dishes that all require different cooking times and temperatures. If you’re making Thanksgiving dinner this year, relax, and remember there are plenty of dishes you can prepare ahead of time. Planning will help eliminate the stress of holiday cooking. Plan out what days you’ll make what dishes in advance, and then make a “day-of” map so everything gets it’s proper time in the oven and arrives warm to the table. This list should help you spread out your workload and make the process a whole lot easier. Pie dough or Fruit Pies 1 day to 4 weeks in advance Whole fruit pies can go in the freezer up to a month before Thanksgiving. Wrap your pie in several layers of plastic wrap to minimize air exposure, then wrap in…

How your favorite chefs make mashed potatoes

If there’s one side dish we can all agree deserves a spot on the Thanksgiving table it’s mashed potatoes, but how exactly those spuds are smashed will vary in every home across the country. Not all cooking methods are created equal, so we consulted our favorite celebrity chefs for tips on how to take this traditional holiday dish to the next level. Ina Garten The Barefoot Contessa swears that Yukon Gold potatoes, with their slightly yellow color, are the best variety for mashed tots. She runs them through a food mill, then adds rich butter and sour cream for this good old-fashioned comfort food. https://youtu.be/pTJMM4yusMg ALTON BROWN Alton and Ina must share recipes. This recipe is remarkably close to Ina’s, but it’s probably more of a professional consensus that this is, in fact, one of the best ways to make mashed potatoes. Alton also swears by running Yukon Gold potatoes through a food mill then adding butter, heavy cream,…