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The time has finally come to start hosting everyone for the big Thanksgiving feast! With hosting comes a lot of prep and stress. The stakes can feel high if your in-laws, family, or friends have always hosted—especially if they do an incredible job at it. But never fear: if you are hosting this year, you will make it look incredible and feel great doing it. I wanted to share a few tips and tricks to help you maintain calm as well as enjoy the actual task of getting everything ready for your guests.
Keep It Simple
My biggest tip when trying to plan and prep everything is to keep everything as simple as possible. Unless you’re a whiz in the kitchen, attempting to pull out all the stops and create every possible dish that may show up at the perfect Thanksgiving feast is actually a huge recipe for disaster. Your basics could include mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and a simple vegetable dish. If you’re nervous, pick dishes that you are actually comfortable making. I love making sweet potatoes and green bean casserole. When in doubt, assign sides or the pumpkin pie for family to bring to help with the chaos, because everyone has a specialty when it comes to cooking! If you do want to attempt a new recipe, do a test run before the big day.
Prep Your Kitchen Before
It might sound like common sense, but how many times have you actually set your table the night before? If there is one thing off the big to do list that can help relieve more stress than you can imagine, try and do things the day BEFORE everyone arrives. It’s one less thing to worry about when everyone walks through the door. I always clean my kitchen countertops with a great sealant in case of spills or items staining them. In fact, a local Minnesota company, Premier Surfaces Minnesota Countertops, has all your countertop solutions. They deliver gorgeous countertops—ranging from marble, limestone, quartz, and wood—and help envision the perfect space to help host all your friends and family. The kitchen is the heart of a home, so make it what you want.
Line Garbage Cans
One huge tip I learned while having many family members over is to double- or even triple-line the garbage cans! It can actually save you a lot of time when it comes to clean up duty. Once a bag is filled and taken out, a new one is already set up and waiting for you. It may seem crazy, but little things like this really helps make everything run as smooth as possible.
Use the Microwave
Some people may say that you should only use the oven to help cook foods, but honestly, I love using my microwave to help when the oven gets full. Cooking starchy foods like potatoes can be heated in the microwave. For veggies like asparagus and string beans, you can throw them in a microwave-safe bowl, add a bit of water, and then cover with plastic wrap to heat for five minutes.