First and foremost, let me start by saying I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving“.

The reason I’m telling you now is because I know for a fact that I am not going to be on the internet, if at all tomorrow. I will be in my kitchen cooking up a storm and spending time with my family after stuffing myself to the point of almost exploding. hahaa!

I know that’s not the way to do it, but I know what always happens and well, that’s how it always happens.

I also wanted to give you a few tips on how YOU can have a happier and more relaxing holiday…especially if you’re doing the cooking.

Have You Defrosted Your Bird?

At this point, if you haven’t thawed your turkey, your best bet is to go out and buy a fresh one. A frozen bird won’t defrost in time if left in the refrigerator tonight. But if you want to stick with a frozen turkey, you will need to use this hurry-up defrost method:

Immerse the turkey without the wrapping and giblets in a container of very cold water, then place the container in the refrigerator. Change the water every 30 minutes.

FINISH THAT FOOD SHOPPING!

Everything can be bought now without the risk of going bad on the big day — even firm and delicate vegetables. Greens can be washed and stored.

PREP, PREP, PREP!

There’s no reason to leave all of the cooking to Thursday. Much of the cooking and preparation can be done in advance. Oven-baked stuffing can be assembled ahead of time, put in a casserole dish, and refrigerated until it’s ready to be baked. Cook and refrigerate any casseroles using sweet potatoes or squash. Peel and store potatoes, covered in cold water, in the refrigerator.

THANKSGIVING DAY ~

Roast & Let It Rest: Follow your recipe for specifics, but as a general guideline, expect to roast your unstuffed bird anywhere from two to four hours or possibly more. Check for doneness with an instant-read thermometer. Once the bird is at temperature, plan on a 20-30 minute resting period to allow its juices to redistribute. Skip this step and you’ll end up with a dry bird.

Finish Up That Cooking: Now is the time to finish cooking all the dishes you’ve prepped.

Prepare any quick stovetop side dishes like Skillet-Roasted Potatoes, Glazed Carrots, and Pan-Roasted Asparagus while the turkey’s finishing cooking or resting.

If there is room in your oven, finish cooking dishes that cook at the same temperature as your turkey. If you don’t have room, I highly recommend using a food warmer such as the Nostalgia Electric 3 Station Steel Buffet & Warming Tray I recently reviewed. It works great and accommodates 2.5 quarts of food per section.

Once done, sit down and enjoy that amazing meal.

And finally, delegate the dishes to someone else. You deserve a huge break! hehee. Oh, and by the way, if you go out shopping on Black Friday, be very careful, watch your valuables, and GET THOSE DEALS!!! Oh, oh, and don’t forget to get me something nice. hahaa! Kidding!!!

© 2012, Dee @ Bella Savvy. All rights reserved.

Dee

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