Thanksgiving Game Plan

thanksgiving game plan

Hey guys!  Back at ya with your game plan for Thanksgiving Day!  I’m going to try and keep this super simple for you!

Here’s the breakdown!  Weekend before, Days leading and Day of.  As Ive mentioned before, I take Wednesday off, so the days leading for me, means Wednesday.  If you can’t take Wednesday off, you can do a little Monday after work, a little Tuesday, and so on.

In case you need it, here are the appetizer and drinks, dinner and desserts menu!  And more about the 1800 calories plan here and here.

Ready?! Set. Go!

Weekend Before

  1. Grocery Shop!  Go early to avoid crowds, ugh….
  2. Put frozen turkey in FRIDGE!  It takes an average of 4 days for that bird to thaw.
  3. Clean your kitchen!
  4. Clear off counter tops of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you don’t need!  More space is more better.
  5. Pull out serving dishes, I keep my serving dishes on display in my kitchen, so they’re usually reallllly dusty, so they get a good washing as well.
    1. I am super type A so I also decide which items are going in which dish, they get labeled accordingly with post-it.
  6. Set dining table.  I also love having the table nice and set, so pretty!
    1. I don’t have a large dining table, so I always set up a small folding table, covered with a cloth on the side of the dining room for he food to live during the meal.
  7. Cut bread for stuffing into dice size cubes, you want it to get nice and stale. I leave it in the fridge and then put it out on the counter Wednesday morning to stale-ify (thats not a word Amy)
  8. Make ranch dip for veggie appetizer
  9. Prepare Hazelnut Vinaigrette
  10. Roast Garlic- in a 350* oven, roast garlic cloves in a little olives oil until golden brown and soft, 20 or so minutes
  11. Wash and store veggies, potatoes, portobellos, celery, etc

Days Leading

  1. Prepare apple mixture for puff pastry app and parfait
  2. Finely dice (or if you’re lazy like me, food process) celery and onions for stuffing
  3. Make Turkey Butter
  4. Prepare chicken mixture for buffalo chicken appetizer
  5. Prepare ranch crumble
  6. Prepare garlic artichoke dip, in a bowl, we’re not stuffing the bread yet.
  7. Prepare cranberry relish
  8. Prepare green bean casserole mixture
  9. Prepare pumpkin mixture for parfait
  10. Prepare gravy

Night Before

  1. Dry brine your turkey
  2. Make stuffing, put mixture in crockpot to cook overnight (assuming you have a crockpot?  If you don’t, put in oven safe dish and you can bake while the turkey rests.)
  3. Bake bread rolls, cut top off and hollow out.  store in sealed bag so they don’t stale.  The inner core bread can be added to your stuffing bread.
  4. Roast portobellos, potatoes and pears
  5. Cool, then stuff portobellos with green bean mixture.
  6. Mash and prepare potatoes, transfer to oven safe dish.
  7. Prepare strawberry mixture for parfait
  8. Arrange veggie tray
  9. Empty dishwasher- you can add dishes as you go, keeping your work space cleaner.
  10. Make sure beer and any wine is cold!

Day of


  1. Get ready first thing, shower, hair, dress make up, everything.  There is nothing worse then if you get behind later in the day, and guests start arriving and you don’t feel presentable.  It’s ok to cook and prep in front of guests, but I hate look disheveled.
  2. Transfer cooked stuffing to oven safe dish- we will reheat to crisp later
  3. In (now empty) crockpot put ingredients for corn pudding and cook on high for 4-6 hours, if you have 8 hours before dinner, cook on low.
  4. Prepare turkey and put in the oven
  5. Cut and bake puff pastry for appetizer.  As soon as they come out of the oven and are still warm, top with cheese slice so they melt slightly.  I don’t like it really melted, but feel free to put back in oven for a minute if you want it more!  Then assemble rest of appetizer and arrange on tray.
  6. Stuff chicken mixture in phyllo cups, bake ranch crumble for 10 minutes to crisp.  Top your buffalo appetizer with a generous sprinkling.  Arrange on tray
  7. Fill bread bowls with artichoke dip and bake 10-15 minutes just until warm and crispy, arrange on tray.
  8. Prepare parfaits- put back in fridge to keep whipped cream cold.  No food poisoning please!
  9. Thinly slice onions for green bean casserole topping
  10. Slice oranges and prepare cranberry spritzer water

When turkey is ready- when a thermometer into fleshy part of thigh hits 160*.

  1. Pull turkey out of oven, and let rest for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Put stuffing and mashed potatoes in oven to warm and crisp- 15 minutes or so.
  3. Warm gravy in a sauce pan, add a few spoonfuls of pan drippings, if desired.
  4. In a saucepan, quickly fry onions coated in a bit of flour.
  5. Pour yourself a drink.  Invite everyone to the table!  You did it!

Ok guys, how does all that look?  Pretty easy right?  Only 10 or so steps for each section, not too bad.  When you break everything up over a few days, it make the whole process A LOT easier!  Coming this week still, recipes!  See you soon!

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