Thanksgiving Recipe Planning & Dinner Prep with Family

Thanksgiving represents gratefulness, appreciation, an indulgent meal, and togetherness. The meal planning, family visits, food prep, arguments, stress, and love are all part of the Turkey Day process – so embrace it. Preparing and cooking the food takes up most of the day (if not, week), so why not enjoy it? Call the other cooks in the kitchen and get your party started with some direction and recipe ideas. And when your Mom is running around like a crazy person, little cousin Matty is throwing food, and Uncle Fred lays down the gauntlet with the political talk, it’s time to tap into these relaxation tips as well.

1. Recipe Ideas: Traditional and New

Yes, the Matriarch may run the kitchen, but gather recipe input from everyone helping in the day’s meals. While some families are stark traditionalists, ease into new ideas by allowing the younger generations to expand the family meal traditions. Here are some of our favorite ideas, old and new.

Pumpkin Rosemary Dinner Rolls by Simply Whisked

Photo By Simply Whisked

Photo By Simply Whisked

Green Beans with Bacon Mushroom Sauce by Get Inspired Everyday

Photo By: Get Inspired Everyday

Photo By: Get Inspired Everyday

Warm Autumn Spinach Salad by The Clever Carrot

Photo by: The Clever Carrot

Photo by: The Clever Carrot

Lemon Parmesan Crusted Brussels Sprouts by From A Chef’s Kitchen

Photo By From A Chef's Kitchen

Photo By From A Chef’s Kitchen

Crockpot Three Cheese Mashed Potatoes by Half Baked Harvest

Photo By: Half Baked Harvest

Photo By: Half Baked Harvest

Sausage Sage and Apple Stuffing by Eat Yourself Skinny

Photo By: Eat Yourself Skinny

Photo By: Eat Yourself Skinny

Mashed Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese and Rosemary by Recipe Runner

Photo By: Recipe Runner

Photo By: Recipe Runner

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Glazed Turkey by Bon Appetit

Photo By: Bon Appetit

Photo By: Bon Appetit

Maple Bourbon Gravy by Suburban Soapbox

Photo By: The Suburban Soapbox

Photo By: The Suburban Soapbox

Jellied Cranberry Sauce by Ocean Spray (A Real Classic)

Photo By: Ocean Spray

Photo By: Ocean Spray

Classic Apple Pie by Ruth Tam

Photo By: Ruth Tam

Photo By: Ruth Tam

Praline Pumpkin Upside Down Cake by The Speckled Palate

Photo By: The Speckled Palate

Photo By: The Speckled Palate

2. Have a Drink: Wine Not?

“Eat, drink & be merry.” Calm those stress triggers, take a deep breath, and relax. It’s a day filled with fun, family, food, lots of overlapping personalities, laughter, yells and more. Drinking a glass of wine will make you a better cook too – yes, it’s true if we say so, right?

3. Take 10 Mindful Minutes.

Whether you’ve been entertaining all day, sweating in the kitchen, or all of the above, you’ve earned 10 minutes of “me time.” Find a quiet place, leave all electronics, practice some deep, slow breaths, and let yourself be still and enjoy the moment.

4. Make Someone Smile.

Through piles of food, multiple bottles of wine, and lots of funny, embarrassing moments, you can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the day. Enjoy the people you are with, and take time to appreciate the moment. If you are going through challenging times, exciting, or a mix of both, enjoy the time with family, and the time spent together.

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