Thanksgiving should be a time of happiness. Of eating. Of family. Of passing out after eating too much turkey.
It should NOT be filled with stress!
We are one week away from the Big Day. If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, or are bringing something to Thanksgiving dinner, fear not! There are many, many dishes you can make ahead of time and either re-heat or serve at room temperature when next Thursday comes. Here are some of my favorites!
Appetizers and Munchies
1. This Fig and Olive Tapenade tastes like heaven, tried and true. Even those that don’t like olives love this dip. It’s easy to make and infused with the unique flavors of rosemary, balsamic vinegar, and a teensy bit of cayenne pepper. Pair with cream cheese like the recipe suggests, or use goat cheese!
2. These Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts are a tradition for my family. I usually choose my seat in the family room according to proximity to these nuts, while simultaneously trying to hide the fact that I have eaten almost the whole thing. (Suggestion: use regular white sugar instead of honey for these for company. Using honey makes them stickier, which isn’t as nice for guests).
3. These gorgeous Sparkly Sugared Cranberries are so pretty, you may not want to eat them! If that is the case, send them my way. I’ll finish off these sweet and tart bad boys for you :-)
4. Make a homemade Ranch Dip to serve with your favorite veggies on a platter. It may seem too simple, but if you have a great dip that’s been marinating in all it’s delicious flavors for a few days, you will surely wow your guests with an otherwise basic appetizer.
5. This Cinnamon Apple Walnut Goat Cheese Ball from The Suburban Soapbox looks so amazing I can’t stand it. There’s nothing like pairing tart goat cheese with sweet things. I could just bite right into this!
6. These Puff Pastry Bacon Snacks from Madamoiselle Gourmande are a) adorable and b) have bacon. Need I say more? Just assemble before, and cut into slices when you are ready to bake.
1. This Slow-cooker Cranberry Sauce from Bakes in Slippers lets your slow cooker do all the work for you. Plus, it has the flavors or orange and cinnamon mixed into it… lots of fancy for not lots of work :-)
2. Another delicious flavor combination. These Butternut Bites from Order in the Kitchen have honey, ginger, and Chinese five spice powder- one of my favorite spice combinations!
3. This Slow Cooker Honey Apple Challah Stuffing from Local Savour is a unique approach to stuffing. Plus, your slow cooker will do all the work!
4. 100 days of real food has a no-can, from scratch Green Bean Casserole. Just make the casserole and onions ahead of time, and put in the oven to reheat before your meal!
5. This Broccoli Gratin with Italian Herbs from The New Hippie uses simple ingredients and is easy to assemble.
1. Cookies are always a good thing to serve for dessert, especially alongside heavier things like pie for people who may have eaten too much turkey. These Chai Orange Spice Cookies have all the delicious tastes of fall and aren’t too sweet.
2. Pumpkin Pie. Can’t have Thanksgiving without it! This is an awesome step-by-step from Lovely Little Kitchen with photographs documenting everything from crust-making to pie filling. Excellent information for a classic favorite!
3. Or… try a twist on the classic! These Pumpkin Cannoli Cookie Cups from Erica’s Kitchen are individual portions of adorable deliciousness.
4. This Apple Cinnamon Slab Pie from Natasha’s Kitchen takes all the labor out of pie making for an easy-to-assemble and deliciously flaky dessert. Assemble ahead of time and 15-20 minutes before you are ready to have dessert, bake!
The main course: Turkey
Nope, no shortcuts here. Roll up your sleeves, get those giblets out, grease that bad boy, and roast. With all the time you’ve saved making other make-ahead dishes, you’ll be able to devote all your time to making a Perfect Roast Turkey.
One final thing: if you’re looking for tips on how to create less food waste this holiday (and thus save your wallets and the environment), check out this article from saveonenergy.com!
Hope this list is helpful! And, hope everyone as a lovely, stress-free holiday! :-)