Thanksgiving is almost here and it is so exciting to enter into the Holiday season. My favorite meal is Thanksgiving to either make or cook. My strategy for Thanksgiving is to make as many dishes I can ahead of time. Since I am lucky enough to have a double oven, I can heat or cook dishes in the oven while the turkey is roasting. Desserts are almost all finished and in the freezer. Cheesecake gets made on Tuesday to give plenty of time to chill and set.
My family will be here for three days so my meal preparations do not only include Thanksgiving but two other dinners and three breakfasts. We will have leftovers for Friday lunch so no worries. I have already made and frozen the chili I am serving on Friday dinner. Most of the breakfast items are prepped and ready to serve. Wednesday I am cooking a beef brisket in a throw away foil pan, the potatoes and cheese sauce are already done.
So my week is planned, I have a daily schedule of last minute dishes that need to be whipped together.
Simply put, my strategy is plan very carefully.
1. Cook ahead of time absolutely every dish you can.
2. Build a battle plan of all dishes or a time line, when does a dish go into the oven and at what temperature.
3. Group as many dishes together as you can based on the cooking time and temperature.
4. Ask your guests to bring a side dish. I have 15 coming for dinner and everyone is bringing a dish. Very helpful.
5. Relax and enjoy the day. I spend most of my day with family, not cooking. I stay in the kitchen monitoring everything but not actually cooking. We all help to clean up, making light work of the dinner clean up.
Peach stuffed Pork Roast
Red Beans and Rice
Sweet Potato Fries
Twice Baked Potatoes
Blanched Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese Dipping Sauce
Fried Onion Rings
Ice Cream Cake
Roast Stuffed Turkey
Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing
Wild Rice and Corn Casserole
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
Green Bean Casserole
Mini Pumpkin Pies
New York Cheese Cake
Apple Pear Galette
Chili with all the fixing
with Pecan Maple Sauce
or Strawberries and whipped Cream
Dijon Mustard Ham with Biscuits