Just a dash of strategy can make Thanksgiving dinner a stress-free success. Giada's guide for a calm, cool, and delicious turkey day is a great plan for anyone hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner.
4-6 hours before:
- Stuff the turkey and get it in the oven (Leave room for sides)
- Prepare and refrigerate any last-minute sides you were unable to prepare ahead of time
- Chill beverages (use a cooler with ice to free up the fridge)
- Set the table
2 hours before:
- Make mashed potatoes
- Prepare and arrange appetizers and condiments
- Set out serving dishes and utensils
- Make sure the dishwasher is empty
1 hour before:
- Cook or reheat sides
- Set up a beverage station (don't forget ice water)
- Wash, dry, and put away any dishes in the sink
1/2 hour before:
- Remove the turkey from the oven 30 minutes before carving
- Make the gravy, dress the salad, warm the rolls
- Turn oven off and put pre-baked pies in to warm
- Light candles
- Start the coffee just as you sit down to dinner
Handy kitchen gadgets can also be big T-day time-savers. The Kitchen Essentials® from Calphalon® Hard-Anodized Nonstick Roaster with Rack features a large rack for hefty birds, and its non-stick surface will be a life-saver when it's time to do the dishes.
A sturdy baster is a Thanksgiving essential. We like the Oxo Turkey Baster, which features an ergonomically-designed bulb and comes with a brush for thorough cleaning.
Thanksgiving is also a good time to replace worn kitchenware and re-invest in sturdy basics, like the Giada De Laurentiis™ for Target® 10-pc. Stainless Steel Cookset. It's a steal at $119.99. For roasting veggies, we like using a deep ceramic dish that's pretty enough to bring to the table, like Giada's Ceramic Lasagna Pan. Of course, it's perfect for lasagna too!