8 Essential Tips for the First-Time Thanksgiving Host
Hosting your first Thanksgiving? Fret not. Here’s a quick list of tips and dishes to guide you through dinner.
Photo By: Adrian Mueller ©2012, Adrian Mueller / AMueller.com, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
Photo By: Adrian Mueller ©2012, Adrian Mueller / AMueller.com, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Photo By: Tara Donne
Fresh cranberry sauce can be made up to three days in advance. If you see fresh cranberries at your farmers market well before the holiday, buy them and freeze them; they store beautifully and can be cooked straight from frozen.
See More Photos: Cranberry Sauce Recipes
Apps at the Ready
Have a fast snack handy for people to nibble on while they wait for the main course.
See More Photos: 10 Appetizers in 10 Minutes or Less
Don't Overpack the Bird
A turkey that is loosely stuffed with aromatics cooks quickly and evenly.
Get the Recipe: Easy Herb Roasted Turkey
Dressing > Stuffing
If you bake your dressing on the side, it’ll lead to a more reliably cooked turkey (and a nicely browned dressing, to boot).
Get the Recipe: Mixed Grain Dressing with Shiitakes, Parsnips and Apricots
Pick dishes that get better with time, or can be served at room temperature –– that way, you don't need to worry about getting things to the table as soon as they're done.
See More Photos: The 98 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Let the turkey rest after it comes out of the oven, and use the drippings to make gravy.
Get the Recipe: Gravy from Roast Drippings
Mash in a Flash
Mash your potatoes while the turkey rests so they stay warm enough for dinner.
See More Photos: Thanksgiving Mashed Potato Recipes
Give Leftovers New Life
And enjoy the leftovers the next day!
See More Photos: Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes