Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Period.  I love the food and the focus on family.  I’ve got lots of experience hosting Thanksgiving meals from watching Mother do it with ease, grace, and in heels, both at home and on our farm back in the day.

This guide includes several links to a series of posts I have written — including gathering your recipes, creating shopping lists, recipes, breakfast ideas and wine pairing.  Click on each link to find the topic.

Gather all your Recipes:

Prepare a recipe booklet with all the recipes you plan to prepare.  This idea, which is brilliant, came to me from bestie.  She has a packet with all the dishes she prepares every Thanksgiving and a timeline for prep.

Now, this might require more effort this year, but think how easy it will be to pull this out next year and take the guesswork out of wondering what you will make and where you stuck that recipe.  For today, just pull all the recipes together — stack cookbooks with sticky notes on the pages, find loose pages with all the recipes, whatever your filing method.  If you have a photocopier, copy every piece of paper or put everything into a tote bag and go to the office supply store.


Beverages — including non-alcoholic and cocktails

Appetizers — Do you need these — because the entree and sides speak for themselves?  But, if this is tradition for you, then by all means include them.

Entree – Where are you going to order your turkey and/or ham

Sides – something new or tradition

Rolls – A holiday doesn’t exist for Miss Bee if there is no bread represented at the table.

Desserts — I have a few standards I like, but I also love chocolate cream pie and I order this from a local bakery.

In my family, Mr. Bee always makes the turkey, I enjoy trying to make a few sides and the desserts. If this is your method, make note who is bringing what.

And, I know there are people that prefer to cater their meals.  If this option makes the holidays less stressful, then go for it!  Start thinking about who you want to order from and place your order this weekend.

Time Saver:  Here’s another time saving trick inspired by bestie — chopped vegetables she needs for cooking!  This way she gets all the chopping and prep done, then can store the veggies in the freezer until they are ready to be used for the recipes.  Mr. Bee is my Ninja chopper which is good because this is my least favorite thing to do when cooking.

Prepare Your Shopping List:

Go through each recipe and start recording what you need.  Work on this list for a few days so you can add extra things you always forget.  If you do the bulk of your shopping now you will miss the crazy crowds. Here are a few resources I found to help prepare your shopping list:

From Southern Living – The Ultimate Thanksgiving Grocery Shopping List here.

From Martha Stewart — The Classic Thanksgiving Shopping List here.

From Parents Magazine — Grocery List for the Easiest Thanksgiving Dinner here

Bon Appetit magazine — The 36 Hour Thanksgiving Grocery List here with a downloadable printable you can use.

Want a great recipe for Sweet Potato Delight — then visit this post for the recipe.

Want breakfast ideas for Thanksgiving morning?  Then go here for part three of the Mrs. Twist’s Guide to Thanksgiving.

Want ideas for picking the perfect wine for your Thanksgiving meal?  Then click here.

Everything I have mentioned in this post can be found on Pinterest where I have started a Mrs. Twist’s Guide to Thanksgiving so you can save these ideas.

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