Last year was my first Thanksgiving as a mother and my second holiday season as the owner of Bell Farm Shops, a small retail shop in York. Even though I was in a little over my head, I insisted on hosting. I love cooking and entertaining, plus it is also extremely important to me to start family traditions! I needed to find a way to host that was manageable for me and my lifestyle. I needed some Thanksgiving dinner shortcuts!
Here’s how I spend less time cooking on Thanksgiving Day:
- Crockpot Turkey Breast for the win!
The idea of cooking a whole turkey was extremely overwhelming. I’ve seen too many movies of ovens smoking to try to attempt more than I could handle. And the bonus, the oven was free for all the other goodies I had to make.
Find the recipe I used here.
- Made cookies and pies ahead of time.
Luckily my sister-in-law brought pie, but I did this with cookies. I made cookies whenever it was convenient for me and froze them. Here is my favorite easy cookie recipe that is always a crowd pleaser!
To store, lay out a large sheet of aluminum foil. Then, you do a couple layers of cookies surrounded in parchment. Put in a Tupperware, freeze those puppies and you are good to go! The night before just open up, lay out on a cookie sheet, and they will be just as good as you remember for the day of!
You can also freeze pies ahead. Again, I have not tried personally, but here is an article on it!.
- Prep, prep, prep
I did as much as possible ahead of time in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Here are some suggestions:
- Peel and boil potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Cut apples ahead. Cut apples, soak in saltwater for ten minutes and then store. You can use in a fall salad or in your apple pie.
- Mix up any spice blends ahead. I use this recipe for green bean casserole. There is a spice blend that can be made ahead. Beware! The spice blend has you make a lot, but then you only use a pinch for the recipe. I accidentally used the entire recipe and had a green bean casserole fail.