Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Planning Ideas







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For many of us, the majority of the day on Thanksgiving is spent in the kitchen.

There are meats to cook, side dishes to prepare, and desserts to be made. After cooking that mass meal, you finally get to sit down and watch family and friends enjoy the feast. You are happy, but totally spent all that time and effort into the meal.





Here are some Thanksgiving dinner menu planning ideas for this meal to help you spend less time in the kitchen and more time actually enjoying the holiday:

1) Begin early. Most people dont't take time off from work and work right up to Thanksgiving Day Eve. So the groceries sit until the night before. This year, create a list of the food items that will be served on the holiday at least one week in advance.

2) Try cooking and then freezing your dishes. Macaroni and Cheese along with rice casseroles are ideal candidates for freezing. Remember to let all dishes that will be frozen be completely cooked so that condensation does not form. Once the dish is evenly cooled, you can place the items in freezer storage bags, or as I prefer, an air-tight sealed freezable container. Tupperware has some containers that go from the freezer, to the microwave, then the table.

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3) We all love hot pies straight from the oven, but when cooking a large Thanksgiving feast, it's hard to perfectly time your pie or cake to be ready immediately after dinner. Try cooking your pie or cake earlier in the day and let your famiy and guests have slices individually.

4) Try buying a fresh turkey instead of a frozen one. To properly defrost a large turkey, it will take 5 days in a refrigerator to defrost. Trying to defrost a turkey at room temperature can cause bacteria to grow and might cause c r salmonella. A fresh turkey can also be cooked a day in advance. Remember that there is more than one way to prepare a turkey.



5) Prepare appetizers. I can't remember one Thanksgiving dinner that started on time. If the Thanksgiving meal is slow getting to the table, try some vegetables and dip, a healthy snack, or a delicious fresh fruit salad. Make sure that the snack is light in order not to ruin everyone's appetite.

Meal planning for Thanksgiving can help alleviate stress and provide you more time to relax with your family.