Friday, October 27, 2017

How to Cook an ENTIRE Thanksgiving Dinner

How to Cook an
Thanksgiving Dinner
without losing your mind!

Thanksgiving, turkey, dinner, how to cook, oven, small kitchen

I have a little bit of Holiday ADD right now.
Last week I posted about Halloween,
earlier this week I posted about Christmas,
and now I'm posting about Thanksgiving.
This is an AWESOME time of year
full of lots of Holidays!!

Along with all of the holidays,
can come a LOT of stress!

Especially if you are in charge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner.
And you live in a regular sized house with a regular
to small sized kitchen, like me.
Now if you have a kitchen like this-

with double ovens, huge island, tons of space
I'm sure cooking Thanksgiving dinner is no sweat.  Ha!

But my kitchen is more modest.
Although it is smaller, this kitchen works great for our family.
And with a little planning, I can cook an
entire Thanksgiving dinner!


First of all, I love making ALL of Thanksgiving Dinner!!
I know my family would be 
happy to help, but I want to do it.

There are lots of reasons like-
my kitchen is too small for more than one person,
I am a little bit of a control freak
and like things my own way,
and I want everyone to have a nice day
spending time with one another.

I do not feel pressured to sit in the kitchen all day.
This is something I choose.
(I just had to get that out of the way.)


Ok, so how do you get started?

Where do you even begin when
it comes to the kind of daunting task of making 
Thanksgiving Dinner?

1.  Make a Menu

thanksgiving menu, what to cook for Thanksgiving

I cook just about the same things every year.
My family demands it.  
Ok, not really.
But we all really look forward to all of these
foods that we usually only eat once a year.

When planning, take 2 things into consideration
-how many guests are invited
-the serving ware, dinnerware, flatware and linens you have on hand.

2.  Make a Shopping List

Don't forget to add any needed 
dishes, silverware and/or napkins to your list.

and SHOP!

I usually shop for groceries the Monday before Thanksgiving.
The stores are not too crazy yet.
And that gives plenty of time for my turkey to thaw.

I am not a master roll baker, so I buy frozen Sister Schubert rolls.
I also buy pre-made pie crusts.  

I always buy and use a disposable turkey roasting pan.
It makes clean up SO much easier.
And I don't have to store a pan that I only use once a year.

3.  Make Ahead

bake, cook things ahead of time, thanksgiving menu

What on your menu can be made ahead?

The day before Thanksgiving
I make pies, orange fluff (similar recipe here) and dips.  
I also boil eggs and bake the sweet potatoes.

4.  Make a Thanksgiving Day Time Line

-Decide what time you're having dinner,
then work backwards to figure out what time everything
needs to go into the oven.

-Write down everything that needs to be cooked,
whether it needs to be cooked on the stove top, 
microwave, or oven,
and how long it needs to be cooked for.

-Then put all of the dishes in the correct order
to be cooked, 
along with what time to start each dish

You will have a check list for cooking,
times written down
and you won't forget anything.

-The turkey will take the longest to cook
so it needs to go into the oven first.  
Read the preparation and timing instructions on the 
turkey package 
or read these.

Don't be scared, cooking a turkey is SO easy!!  

-Plan to have the turkey  done cooking  1 - 1.5 hours before
eating time.
It will have time to rest and be sliced.

-The oven will then be free to bake rolls, sweet potatoes,
veggies and any other last minute items,
in the order you have on your list (from above).

About 30 minutes before taking the turkey out of the oven,
I peel potatoes and put them on to boil.
They will be done while the turkey is resting
and can be mashed and prepared.

Then start rotating baked dishes through the oven.

Right before serving, warm the rolls in the oven
 and make gravy from turkey drippings.  

Then put everything on the table

and DIG IN!  


With a lot of planning and preparation,
anyone can cook an Entire Thanksgiving Dinner!

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  1. I used to help my grandma(s) cook Thanksgiving every year. Now that I live 2000 miles away, I really miss that.

    1. I live really far away from my family too. So I had to learn to cook everything. But now I LOVE doing it!!

  2. Great advice! My granny always refused to have any help her cook Thanksgiving dinner but now that my mom has taken it over, she has no qualms about asking someone to bring a dish!

    1. I wouldn't mind someone bringing a dish, but all of the family that comes to my house is from out of state and staying in hotels. They usually grab some appetizers and drinks and let me do the cooking!

  3. I love your advice and organization skills. I very much of the same things you mentioned above.

  4. Thanks for all the tips. Since Thanksgiving dinner is at our home for 25-30 people's, this truly will help make things a little less stressful.

    1. Good Luck with your Thanksgiving dinner!! xo

  5. Great tips! I haven't had to cook for Thanksgiving yet (we still just go over to my parents' or in-laws'), but I do a lot of the same things when cooking for company coming over!
    Also, I LOVE Sister Schubert's rolls- they are amaaaazing.

    1. Sister Schubert rolls are life! I refuse to learn to make rolls because they won't turn out like SS.

  6. Oh how I miss our double ovens! When we used to live on the acreage we had an amazing kitchen and since moving into the city there just isn’t the room anymore!


Thanks for your comments!