Food,  Inspiration,  Lifestyle

How to Prepare For Your First Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Holidays Everyone! Thanksgiving is next week & I’m so excited and HUNGRY!! This year my fiancé and I decided to stay home and celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family since it’s our first year in our new apartment. Between working 40+ hours a week, planning a wedding, and tending to normal household chores, planning a thanksgiving dinner could turn into a bit of a hassle. To help organize myself I created checklists to help keep me on track without the added stress. Check out some of my ideas below and comment any ideas of yours! <3

What tips would you add to make preparing a first Thanksgiving dinner run smoother?


1. Decide the menu.

I figured the first logical step would be to ask him what he wanted for dinner. Part of me was hoping he would ask for less than is traditional and the other part of me opened it up for discussion so I could announce the shortcuts I will be taking.
Our Thanksgiving Menu:
•       turkey breast
•       macaroni & cheese
•       stuffing
•       yams
•       rolls
•       cornbread
•       green beans
•       Collard greens
•       Cranberry sauce
•       Sweet potato pie

2. Plan to take shortcuts.
Out of my menu of 10 items, I am taking shortcuts on 6of them – only making about 4 homemade items.

For example: I’m cooking a turkey breast, instead of a fresh or frozen whole turkey. The breast will take 1 hours to cook instead of  5 hours for a whole turkey. (Save 4 hours)

You could save up to 11 hours! I should be able to pull this off in 3-4 hours max.

3. Put your own spin on it.

How is our menu different than traditional or my family’s usual menu? I am utilizing convenience and prepared foods as much as I can. This Thanksgiving will be different because I will be preparing it (even if it is not totally homemade) and we will have our first annual Thanksgiving in our home. At usual family Thanksgiving gatherings, there were 3-4 meats, 6-10 side dishes and vegetables, 2-3 desserts, and 2-3 bread choices. I’m keeping it simple.

4. Make a list of all items needed

My list includes:
•       turkey breast
•       elbow macaroni
•       Colby cheese
•       Cheddar cheese
•       American cheese
•       Stovetop stuffing
•       Bruce’s canned yams
•       store brand heat and serve rolls
•       corn meal
•       eggs
•       canned creamed corn
•       Glory brand green beans
•       store brand green beans
•       spinach

5. Clip and print coupons.

6. Check the cabinets to see what you already have. (Big Money Saver!)

7. Make a list of what you will need.

8. Shop for supplies, on sale.

9. Make ahead.

10. Set the table. (Post for Thanksgiving table settings coming soon!)

11. Cook & Enjoy! 



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