Amy, also known as Mom Advice, lives in Indiana. She is a writer, wife and mom to two beautiful children. On Snackpicks she shares her easy entertaining tips and advice for all occasions, from holiday parties to day-to-day family meal planning. Amy is also the founder and creator of the Mom Advice community.
While Thanksgiving should be focused on our family and thankfulness, all of the logistics of menu planning and entertaining can often overshadow the importance of this season in our life. This month we asked our readers what their biggest Thanksgiving dilemmas were and what makes Thanksgiving a struggle for them in the kitchen. Today I am answering those questions and wanted to share with you some easy solutions for Thanksgiving entertaining.
Q: Do you have tips on how to coordinate the cooking of your Thanksgiving menu so all of the dishes are hot & ready to serve at the same time?
Coordination of food takes a lot of strategic planning and timing, especially If you have a smaller kitchen like me. I have learned over the years of entertaining that the more that can be done ahead of time, the easier it is to implement great timing of my Thanksgiving dishes.
I like to prepare a few weeks before the big day and space my cooking out over time. Once all of the dishes have been created, it is just a matter of rewarming and cooking them through. I rely heavily on my slow cooker on a low setting to reheat side dishes like corn and mashed potatoes. I time my turkey first so that it has plenty of time to rest and be sliced while my other side dishes are occupying the stove. I also try to look for sides that can be prepared on the stovetop, in the microwave, or baked/roasted at the same degree as the turkey to maximize every ounce of my oven space.
Q: What can you do with all the leftovers from your Thanksgiving dinner?
I suggest putting that turkey to good use in a delicious turkey salad sandwich, a turkey wrap, or making open-faced turkey sandwiches with cranberry spread and stuffing that can be broiled in the oven. I also love to use the turkey to make a satisfying turkey noodle soup.
Just remember that turkey can also be frozen if you have a lot leftover. My trick to keep our turkey moist is to add one can of chicken broth to the freezer bag before freezing. When it thaws, the juices from the broth will incorporate beautifully into the turkey and it will taste like the day you roasted it.
Q: Do you have any go-to recipes for last minute guests or for when the food goes faster than expected?
Round out those Thanksgiving menus with no-cook appetizers that can be munched on before the meal is ready or after the meal and for those hungry stragglers in the kitchen. I love dips like this Cranberry Delight Spread that I can serve with Keebler Town House Crackers or this Caramel Crunch snack mix. The best part is that these dishes can easily take center stage for family visiting or playing board games after your meal is over.
Q: Do you have any budget friendly holiday meal suggestions? Trying to make Thanksgiving special when money is tight can be difficult!
Don't be afraid to ask family members to contribute to the Thanksgiving menu. Assigning family members side dishes, desserts, and appetizers can help keep costs low on your family celebrations. Although Thanksgiving is definitely about the food, it is also a time to be thankful for what you already have. No matter how big or small your holiday, being together with your family is what is all about.
Have a happy Thanksgiving, and check out more of our Thanksgiving Recipes and Tips!