Thanksgiving is the time of year for being thankful and being surrounded by loved ones. Also, it is a day full of great food and drinks! Hosting a Thanksgiving party doesn't have to be that stressful, here are easy tips on how to host a stress-free turkey day.
Make a Guest List
You have to know who's coming a few weeks before Thanksgiving Day. Get an accurate headcount to ensure you have enough seating at the dinner table and the amount of food and drinks you'll have to prepare. “Over prepare, then go with the flow!”
Plan your Menu
Here are some classic recipes to get started:ULTIMATE MASH
By Jaime Oliver
- 2kg Maris Piper potatoes
- 50g unsalted butter
- 100ml milk
Here's how cook it:Peel the potatoes, chopping any larger ones so they’re all a similar size.
- Cook in a large pan of boiling salted water over a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for a couple of minutes, then tip back into the pan and mash well.
- When the potatoes are almost smooth, add half the butter, the milk and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
- Mash again until smooth, adding a splash more milk to loosen, if needed, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
- Spoon into a warm serving dish and dot the remaining butter over the top.
Easy Roast Turkey Recipe
Prep time: 6hrs & 30mins
Here's what you need:
- 1 (14 lb) turkey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2 cup butter or 1⁄2 cup margarine
- 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons dried sage
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- onion mushroom dressing (already posted on Genius Kitchen)
Here's how to cook it:
- Preheat oven to 325f and put a rack in a roasting pan.
- N.B. If you use a foil roasting pan have it seated firmly on a solid tray do not attempt to carry it on its own without bottom support.
- Remove neck & giblets from the cavity of the bird Rinse turkey thoroughly inside and out patting it dry with a paper towel.
- Sprinkle salt & pepper inside and over the skin of the bird Stuff the bird with dressing.
- N.B. Do not do this until just before you are going to cook the bird.
- Stuff the neck cavity as well as the body cavity.
- Secure the neck flap with a skewer or stitch it Tie drumsticks together and close the body cavity securely.
- In a small bowl combine butter, rosemary, sage& thyme, mix well Gently loosen the skin covering the breast, be careful not to tear it Spread herb mixture under the skin and over it Place turkey on rack in the roasting pan Roast the turkey basting every 20 minutes or so If the bird begins to brown too soon place a piece of tin foil loosely over it.
- The bird is cooked when a meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh Apprx 5 1/2 hours Remove turkey from roaster and let stand for 25 minutes Remove ALL the stuffing from the bird, Carve and Serve (Leftover turkey and stuffing can be frozen as long as you freeze them separately) Make gravy in the roasting pan while the turkey is resting (a separate recipe will be posted or try one that is already posted)
Old-Fashioned Gravy Recipe
Prep time: 30 minutes
Here's what you need:
- cups broth (see note)
- 3⁄4 cup flour
- 1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄8 teaspoon onion powder
- 1⁄8 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- salt, to taste
Here's how to cook it:
NOTE: Use beef, chicken, or turkey, and broth can be mixed with pan drippings.
- Heat broth.
- In medium skillet melt butter with peanut oil, add flour, and slowly brown to a dark golden brown (you need to keep an eye on this as it may brown too quickly).
- Slowly add broth, stirring constantly with a whisk.
- Add spices, cook slowly, stirring often, for 20 minutes.
- The cooking time is very important. Flour will have a bitter taste if not completely cooked. This is worth the time.
- If gravy is too thick, it can be thinned with broth to desired consistency.
Plan your Décor
Don't forget to keep your decoration simple. You can look some DIY decorations from Pinterest. Consider decorations that could help you save money and time. Think pumpkins and autumn leaves. Swap your daily decor with some elements that reflect Thanksgiving and add some earth tone pillows to your sofa, some scented candles on your mantle and some rustic elements for a classy festive feel.
Prepare a Self-Serve Drink Station
A self-serve beverage station can help minimize people from coming in and out from your kitchen. You can use a table, a bar cart or any sturdy lever surface for your beverages. Prepare a variety of beverages that includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. You can set up a separate table for your wine glasses, ice bucket, bottle opener, drink stirrers, scoop and napkins.
Top Host or hostess trick? Help your guests distinguish between their glasses with our Thanksgiving wine charms.
Set the Table
Setting the table should be prepared before you cook. Your dining table will draw some attention from your guests, so prepare it ahead while you still have enthusiasm or inspiration.
Ultimately, Thanksgiving is about being thankful for everything and to be with ones you love. So have fun!