I couldn’t be more excited to introduce you a new Not Now Mom’s Busy contributor!
I met Tanya of Eat Laugh Purr about over a year ago through a mutual Twitter friend. She was sharing the most amazing recipes and has the cutest cat that I knew she would be a perfect fit here! Help me welcome Tanya as we read her Thanksgiving meal tips and drool over her pumpkin pie dip!
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is only a week away. It is one of my favorite holidays because I love the focus on gratitude and gluttony. A weird combination that works well for this grateful, food-loving gal.
It is, however, a lot of work to put together a huge feast. It’s a bit of a dance, figuring out how to make everything with only one oven and dishes that sometimes cook at different temperatures. A few missteps and you have a recipe for disaster.
Make Thanksgiving Dinner Easy with These 3 Steps
Thankfully, a little bit of planning can help you become the hostess with the mostess.
Assign Dishes to Guests
There is absolutely no rule that you have to make every single dish yourself. Most guests want to bring a dish to share, so let them. I recommend assigning guests a dish to avoid everybody bringing the same thing. Those who don’t cook can bring beverages, veggie trays and chips and dips.
Make Dishes in Advance and Freeze What You Can
Ideally you want to avoid making every dish on Thanksgiving. It will be too overwhelming, and you’ll be exhausted by the time your guests arrive. Review your menu and figure out what dishes can be made in advance and reheated without a loss of quality, such as mashed potatoes. And what dishes you can make now and freeze, such as homemade dinner rolls.
Prep Your Ingredients Ahead of Time
While not every dish can be made in advance, you can still do some prep work. I like to make recipe kits. I chop any veggies in advance and store in a labeled ziploc bag. Next I pre-measure the spices and store in a small airtight container and do the same with any dry ingredients. I store all the dry ingredients, along with the recipe and any additional canned ingredients, in its baking/cooking dish. When it’s time to assemble, I grab the prepped veggies from the fridge, my dish with all the dry ingredients and assemble.
A Bonus Tip
Another trick is to find plenty of easy dishes to round out the feast, much like this delicious pumpkin pie dip. It couldn’t be easier to make but tastes amazing. You could certainly include this dip with the meal, but I suggest serving it before or afterwards. It’s a light and refreshing indulgence that doesn’t weigh you down in between your servings of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes.
Pumpkin Pie Dip
This dip is decadent, creamy and full of pumpkin flavor. Your guests will lick the bowl clean and send you back into the kitchen to whip up another batch.
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup Cool Whip
- 2-3 Tablespoons of caramel sauce (optional)
- In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves and blend until smooth with a hand mixer.
- Gently fold in the Cool Whip.
- Refrigerate for at least a few hours so flavors can blend together.
- Before serving, drizzle caramel sauce over dip. Serve with graham crackers, apple slices or vanilla wafers.
Makes approximately 2 cups.
What to Do with the Extra Pumpkin?
Happy Thanksgiving and may all your dishes turn out great!
Tanya is a freelance writer, web designer and blogger. You can find her at Eat Laugh Purr where she and her ginger tabby, Max, enjoy simple pleasures every day and at TV Fanatic reviewing Madam Secretary and more. Connect with Tanya on twitter and Pinterest. And please, no judgement on the number of cat pins I have.