The Shakedown

I know most people post their Thanksgiving recipes BEFORE the day… but I am posting after. Mostly because I will make a list of things I want to make, and then tweak, change, and edit as I go.

This year, I wanted to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day so I could enjoy time with my family, so I started cooking on Tuesday. I chose dishes that would be easily baked and pre-assembled before Thanksgiving and still reheat beautifully. For vegetable dishes, I pre-blanched all of the vegetables so they would have to spend less time in the oven. I realize it is quite time consuming, but for a less stressful Thanksgiving day… this is absolutely the way to go. Each year I revise my approach to Thanksgiving… and I get a bit more organized each year. This year was quite well organized, and with my awesome parents and older sister clean up was quick.

My menu? (Dessert was provided by my wonderful guests)


  1. Spinach and Artichoke Dip
  2. Salmon Mousse


  1. Oregano and Thyme Roasted Turkey
  2. Potatoes Gratin
  3. Honey Roasted Root Vegetables
  4. Soy and Garlic Green Beens
  5. Parmesan Brussel Sprouts
  6. Orange Sweet Potatoes and Coconut
  7. Roasted Corn
  8. Apple Fig Wheatberry Salad
  9. Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Glaze and Pomegranate Arils
  10. Pumpkin Stuffed Mushrooms
  11. Apple Cider Spiced Cranberry Sauce
  12. Giblet and Caramelized Onion Gravy


I’ll post the recipes in a series of separate posts since my menu was pretty long. However, I will give you details on how I went about arranging my pre-Thanksgiving Day cooking.

Sunday – I chose my menu. I went through and selected dishes that would be easy to preassemble and in some cases prebake. I also selected an even distribution of dishes. Ones that would be heated on the stove and others than would be in the oven. My parents only have a single oven, so everything that needed to be heated or cooked in the oven would have to be amiable to a 325F oven, or be able to be heated last minute while the turkey rested. I wrote a list of every single ingredient that would be needed

Monday – I checked the baking dishes and pans… I made sure that I had enough bakeware and other tools to pull of the dinner. I also ran through my list of ingredients and checked off the ones that I already had at home.

Tuesday – I shopped and purchased all of the food that I would need for dinner. I also was mindful to include a couple extra things to throw together breakfast and lunch on Thanksgiving day. I also washed and trimmed all of the vegetables for my dishes. In the case of the brussel sprouts, I preblanched them, sealed the sprouts in a bag and packed them away for Thursday. I also made the components for the wheatberry salad, allowing the fruit and berries to meld together.

Wednesday – I started putting together all of the oven dishes. I baked them late at night, let them cool and refrigerated them.

Thursday – I put everything together. I put the turkey in the oven. And ate a ton!!


Recipes to follow over the next few days!



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