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10 Easy Hacks to Make Your Thanksgiving Smooth Like Butter

Thanksgiving is just 7 days away and your panic mode is in full effect. I get it. So is my Mother’s. She calls me about three times a day to go over the menu, remind of my obligations and contributions and also manages to throw in there how much she wishes we would have gone away to the mountains for the holiday.

If you’re hosting America’s must gluttonous day, fret not! I have 10 tried and true hacks — or tips — that will simply your prep work and ease the stress of managing time, space and hangry family and friends. After all, Thanksgiving is supposed to be about being full of gratitude, not regrets. Don’t let the madness get the best of you. Handle the day like a bawse!

1. GROCERY STORE 911

If you’re not into Instagramming your entire dinner and the aesthetics of the big bird aren’t a priority; but also need to save space because your 3-generational families are coming over, cut up the bird! Break that bad boy apart in nice and chunky pieces. If you take your bird to the butcher at the store where you bought it, they will be more than happy to cut it for you. You will save a good amount of cooking time since by cutting the turkey down into breasts, etc. will cook faster. It’ll also make it easier to serve, too. Just make sure to smother the serving dish in gravy and pretty garnish to make it look somewhat fanciful.

2. BUTTER, BUTTER, BUTTER {AND CREAM CHEESE}! 

If you’re like my Mom, you never make mashed potatoes from scratch. It’s sinful, I know, but there’s no changing her mind. Period. For years now, my Mom has been making the main carb at the table straight out of a box.  Yup. Roll your eyes now. I do every year. However… Lord have mercy my Momma’s potatoes are the biggest hit and the first thing to go, by everyone at the table, friend or family, year after year. No lie. People fight over serving size.

Her trick to making the best non-fresh mashed potatoes? Pounds of butter, milk and cream cheese. That’s it. For every box of these dehydrated flakes, she adds 3 pounds of butter, 1 pack of cream cheese and 2 cups of whole milk. Salt and pepper of course. She adds them in batches while whipping them. Takes about 10 minutes and voila. I won’t lie. They’re super creamy and do the job! She won’t ever know I kinda approve. It saves SO much time. No washing, peeling, or cutting real taters.

3. BUY THE PIE 

I love the idea of experiencing someone else’s amazing baking skills. If you don’t master ratios and baking times, it’s totally fine to buy the pie! Find a local baker whose known for their amazing pastries. Not only are you saving yourself time and a dishing a possibly mediocre pie, you’re also supporting your local business owner! It’s a win-win situation.

{MAKE: SIMPLE PECAN PIE}

4. USE CABINET DOORS AS A RECIPE HOLDER 

All you need is tape and instantly your magazine or online printed recipes are out the way but in your face (at eye-level) for quick reference.

5. ICE COOLER AS FRIDGE 

We all run out of space when hosting Thanksgiving. Unless you have a basement with an extra fridge or even one in the shed (like my Mom, for a total of 3), use your coolers as an easy solution to keeping your foods chilled. An additional one is ideal for keeping the drinks cold as well.

6. FROZEN CRANBERRIES AS ICE

This is something I love to do. Ice is bulky and can take hours to make, not to mention it dilutes your drinks. Buying ice can be hassle, too. Use frozen cranberries to keep your drinks chill as you sip. Gives your drinks a nice upgrade in flavor and you can eat them later!

7. HYRDROFLASK AS A WARMER 

I swear by my Hydroflask. I travel with that thing everywhere I go. It keeps my coffee hot for over 10 hours and my water cold for about 18. Best invention ever. So, I’m thinking it’s the perfect vessel for keeping smaller volume liquids warm, freeing up stovetop space!

8. PENNIES OR RICE AS WEIGHTS 

If you are baking a pie or two, use your kids’ penny piggy banks to keep the pie crust in shape and in place. Rice works well and not as weird as using metal. Lay down a piece of wax paper before topping it with your weight of choice.

{READ: My Full-Proof Thanksgiving Menu}

9. RECYCLE TALENTI {Gelato} JARS FOR LEFTOVERS

These are perfect for storing extras, once dinner is over! Also makes for great take-aways for the friends and fam who want take food home.

10. BUY A PRESSURE COOKER 

The absolute best thing you could do for your sanity on Thanksgiving is to buy a pressure cooker or two. You will save a rack amount of time, up to 70%. Thanksgiving is not the time to be so generous or liberal with your time. People get hangry and there is massive amounts of food to be cooked. Let the pressure cooker alleviate that burden of lack of time. I promise you’ll thank me later. Try my collards recipe, done in just 25 minutes.  Make another batch and you’ve fed 15 people. My black beans recipe is golden, too!

My cookbook, “Modern Pressure Cooking” has over 100 recipes for both stovetop and electric pressure cookers and is on sale at Amazon and other retailers where books are sold. Order it today and have it in time to make your grocery list for all that delicious cooking next week.

Happy Thanksgiving, good people. Remember to be of service to others, especially those less fortunate.

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Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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