Thanksgiving is a few days away and I am so excited.  Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday… I don’t know if its because of all the food we eat and make (which probably is the reason) BUT… I love the smells, the feel of the holiday, the colors and coming together with family and friends and being thankful of one another.

I start preparing my Thanksgiving meal weeks in advance and have a countdown of when to prep items and purchase as well.  This year my husbands family is coming in town and we are all gathering at my in-laws house.  We set-up our Menu weeks ago and of course we all claim what we are bringing for extravaganza, because we always have more than enough food and PLUS nothing is better than Thanksgiving leftovers.  I love Thanksgiving so much that because I’m not hosting it this year I am making a small turkey for us to have for our house so I can do so many things with after…

Here’s a handy guide for food to have (whether your making it all or having others bring) to go by if you are hosting Thanksgiving at home: 

  • Appetizers: 2 – 3
  • Sides: 3 – 4
  • Mains: 1 – 2 (including the turkey)
  • Desserts: 2 – 3

Still needing help, here’s a guide to help you get through the rest of the week, hope this helps…

MONDAY BEFORE If turkey is frozen I defrost it today or the day before to that I cans season it this day.

  • I season my bird 3-4 days beforehand and allow it to soak up all its juiciness.
  • I also purchase all my non-perishable items, all my drinks, alcohol if needed.
  • I also set the table for our meal and clean wine glasses and cutlery.



  • I prep my desserts this day.  If making pies this day is to make the pie crusts.
  • If soup is an appetizer for the big day then this is the day I prep all my ingredients and make it.



  • Chop the vegetables and prep ingredients for stuffing and sides.
  • Finish making the pies.
  • Peel potatoes and leave in cold water until ready to make mashed, or scalloped potatoes.
  • Prep all appetizers for Thursday, if making any.
  • Shop all perishable groceries, such as salads, vegetables, bread/rolls and anything else that is needed for the big day.
  • Prepare any sides that can be fully made ahead.



  • Remove turkey from over (early morning) to come to room temperature.
  • Make stuffing and scalloped potatoes.  Bake all sides that still need to be made.
  • For dinner at 5pm (appetizers and drinks will serve around 3/4pm) I will always put my turkey in by 10am.  I rather my bird cook and rest until ready to serve and not worry about whether or not the turkey is cooked all the way through or being in the kitchen monitoring it.
  • Chill wine and cocktails for guests.

Now it’s time to GOBBLE! GOBBLE!!!!!!


Cooking times for cooking turkey in a roasting pan, preheated in a 350 degree F oven.

Weight of Bird  Roasting Time (Unstuffed)  Roasting Time (Stuffed)
10 to 18 pounds 3 to 3.5 hours 3-3/4 to 4.5 hours
18 to 22 pounds 3.5 to 4 hours 4.5 to 5 hours
22 to 24 pounds 4 to 4.5 hours 5 to 5.5 hours
24 to 29 pounds  4.5 to 5 hours 5.5 to 6-1/4 hours

Tips for Roasting Turkey

  1. Cook the turkey until the skin is a light golden color, and then cover loosely with a foil tent. During the last 45 minutes of baking, remove the foil tent to brown the skin.
  2. Baste your turkey throughout the cooking process… this will help even browning of the skin. To get tender and moist turkey meat, brining is always an option as well.
  3. The true test for making sure the turkey is cooked through is by checking the temperature.  You cant really rely on the color of the skin because it will always tend to be darker then the actual true temperature in the bird.  The turkey is done when the thigh meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F — make sure when checking the temperature you do not have it touching the bone for it to be accurate.
  4. If your turkey has been stuffed, it is important to check the temperature of the dressing; it should be 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) as well.
  5. When the turkey is done, remove from the oven and allow to stand for 30 minutes or more before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, and makes for easier carving.  It also allows you to keep the bird to stay juicy.

**These days we are all so busy it is so easy to forget and be grateful for all that we have.  This time is such a great reminder that we should all appreciate all that we have and try see how we can help others.

As I was looking at Facebook this morning a friend of mine posted something on her wall, it said

You never know what someone else is going through or what their circumstance maybe.  Touch someones heart today and invite to share a meal with you and your loved ones.  You just might make their day… even year!