Thanksgiving is the food lover's holiday of the year — all prior 364 days are just practice. The few days leading up to it are a marathon of planning, cleaning, cooking, baking, chopping, and storing. The day of is a flurry of activity, all culminating in a single centerpiece — the turkey. And of course the day after is all about sleeping in late (as cooks, we're not down with Black Friday) and way too many calories for breakfast. Let us help make your turkey day as easy as possible with lots of make-ahead apps and sides, the best bird you'll ever make, desserts for even the fullest stomachs, and a few treats for the next day.



Thanksgiving is all about family and togetherness, and nothing says welcome more than a small bite as soon as your guests arrive. Don't go crazy, make something that can sit while you heat up the rest of the meal (because you're smart and planned ahead).


The Turkey

This is what everyone wants, so treat the bird with respect and fear. Practice your carving skills on chickens a couple weeks prior and you'll look like an ace. Speaking of practice, I make a practice bird two weeks beforehand just to work out all the kinks — with such an expensive and coveted piece of meat, you can leave nothing to chance.



Turkey is great, but the sides are what make Thanksgiving a feast. You want to go overboard here — make more sides than you think you'll eat, then add a few extra. Every last one of these sides can be made at least one day in advance, which means day-of all you have to do is heat and plate. 



When you clear away the food and set out these desserts, everyone will find room. Again, more is more and everything can be done ahead of time. 


The Morning After

Don't forget about the next day! You'll have lots of cleaning up to do, and you don't want to do it on an empty stomach.