Thanksgiving Menu + Prep Schedule


Thanksgiving, for me, never feels like a chore. I actually take comfort in the planning, the organizing, the list making. It’s just another way for me to express not only my creativity, but my love for those that I am feeding and caring for.

Achieving an effortless meal, comes down to the planning, shopping (in advance) and prepping. The key to one’s success in this massive undertaking is – small bites. A few mini tasks each day eliminates the overwhelm.

I made my first Thanksgiving dinner back in 1985. I love this holiday and it’s one of my favorites to create. The flavors of the foods, the texture, the colors are all what makes this holiday so magical for me, but it’s also the joy in sharing a meal with those that I hold closest to my vest. Many recipes that I make today adorned my table over 30 years ago and those that didn’t make the cut are still in my “Thanksgiving” binder and will remain there for that “maybe one day”.

Many of my friends reach out to me to ask advice or recipe inspiration. So, I am sharing a little window into how I break it all down.

roasted crispy brussels sprouts
cranberry raspberry relish
buttermilk biscuits
mac n cheese
herb roasted stuffing
mashed potatoes
roasted honey yam wedges
pecan tassies
cheesecake (seriously the best thing you will ever eat)
apple hand pies

2 weeks prior ask all my people what dishes they want and create the menu(see below).

grocery shop for everything except the turkey, fresh vegetables and herbs.

organize serving platters and linens.
cut and chop all mier poix type vegetables (onions, celery, shallots, garlic, scallions)

shop famers market for all fresh veggies, flowers and table decorations.
wash, chop, and store brussels sprouts, veggies for stuffing
cut bread for stuffing
make cranberry sauce
make ice cream
make dough for pecan tassies
make dough for pies
filling for apple hand pies
dinner: chicken teriyaki, brown rice, cucumber salad
prep for monday night dinner – season tri tip

eli’s crew for dinner
make chimichurri, caesar dressing, wash lettuce, make croutons, assemble handpies
monday night dinner: bbq tri tip, creamed corn, caesar salad, apple hand pies, homemade ice cream.

salt turkey
shred cheese for mac n cheese
make cheesecake crust
dinner: leftovers

make coffee cake 
assemble and bake cheesecake
make biscuit dough
cook veggies and assemble stuffing
assemble mac n cheese
make gravy
blind bake crusts
make filling for pecan tassies
dinner: zucchini noodles bolognese and italian meatless chopped salad

early morning beach walk
bake pies and tassies
take turkey out of fridge
bake biscuits
fry handpies
boil potatoes, assemble mashed potatoes and set over double boiler to warm up later.
cut yams and prep with honey and olive oil, spices
preheat the oven and let the baking and roasting begin

4:30pm – sit down to dinner

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