Thanksgiving dinner hacks for rookies

I remember it like it was yesterday…..my husband said sure we don’t mind hosting Thanksgiving at our house.  Excuse me?  What did you say?  We are hosting your entire family at our home and I will be preparing the food.  Feelings of shock, confusion and nervousness began to settle in the pit of my stomach.  I had to come up with a Thanksgiving meal that was delicious, semi-nutritious and be able to feed 15 people and have enough for leftovers.  I immediately called my sister, Danielle and she provided some much needed reassurance and assistance.  So I’ve invited her to share her easy to do Thanksgiving dinner hacks that will have your guest coming back for more.

Turkey

The turkey ultimate Thanksgiving entree.  Check out these hacks listed below:

  • Turkey breast: Instead of a turkey utilize the turkey breast.  Preparation is super easy. Just place it in a roasting bag, drizzle with squeezable butter and season with Tony Cacheres injectable butter, salt, pepper, and seasoning salt.
  • Cornish hens: a great alternative to a traditional turkey.  The Cornish hens are smaller and juicer.  If you are hosting a small intimate dinner the Cornish hen is a great option
  • Honey baked ham – in addition to their delicious honey baked hams they prepare turkeys and turkey  breasts.  Be sure to order in advance and arrive early to pick it up.

Turkey Gravy

  • Canned turkey gravy
  • Once your turkey is finished, pour the drippings from the roasting bag into a small pan, add the can of gravy, season to taste, cook on low until you’ve reached the desired consistency.

Ham

  • Honey baked ham: Be sure to order in advance and arrive early to pick it up.
  • Pre-cooked with glaze ham: A simple way to prepare a delicious ham with a salty and sweet glaze.  The glaze is included with the ham.

Macaroni and cheese

  • Purchase a prepared mac and cheese from your local grocery store or favorite soul food restaurant
  • Shredded cheese: using shredded cheese will save you time when preparing the cheese sauce
  • Velvetta cheese: the is the secret sauce! because it binds well with the other cheeses and elbow noodles to create a cheesy sauce.

Dressing

  • Stove top stuffing mix: available at your local grocery store
  • Pre-cut veggie: purchase diced onions, celery and carrots
  • Follow directions to prepare boxed dressing, add in chopped vegetables, optional ingredients and pour chicken broth over top to prevent mixture from becoming dry. Bake until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

Cranberry sauce

  • Canned: My husband cannot have dressing without cranberry sauce.  I purchase the canned version, slice it up and place it on a nice platter.

Collards

  • Precut and pre-washed collards
  • Frozen collards
  • Purchase seasoning meat of choice such as turkey necks or ham hock, chicken broth, and chicken bouillon cubes to prepare greens.

Green beans

  • Canned green beans
  • Fresh green beans that have been trimmed and cleaned
  • Purchase seasoning meat of choice such as turkey necks or ham hock, chicken broth, and chicken bouillon cubes to prepare greens.

Candied Yams

  • Canned sweet potatoes or yams
  • Prepare a simple mixture of butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract to bake the canned sweet potatoes in at the desired consistency. Finish by sprinkling with cinnamon.

Desserts

  • Your local grocery store carries an assortment of pies and cakes.
  • Place them on a decorative plate for display

Bread

  • Jiffy cornbread
  • Heat and serve rolls then drizzle with butter

Beverages

  • BYOD: ask your guests to bring their favorite beverage
  • Purchase lemonade or sweet tea from your local grocery store

Just like that you are a pro and you have prepared the ultimate Thanksgiving feast!  If none of these suggestions work then feel free to implement the ultimate Thanksgiving hack……purchase a fully cooked Thanksgiving dinner from your grocery store or favorite restaurant.

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Felicia Tucker

Hi, my name is Felicia Tucker and I am a wife and mom of three. My world consists of fostering a healthy marriage and nurturing my children while integrating that into my career. It is never a dull moment! I am learning how to enjoy the small moments, not sweat the small stuff and go to sleep with the toys strewn over the living room floor.

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