Eating Fabulously, Christopher Stewart, 5 Thanksgiving Tips

So kids, the time is here for the main event...November...THANKSGIVING! 

Seriously watching what you eat isn't even a faint thought in your imagination. We have been eating fabulously all year round, BUT! Lets face it....it's time for the ultimate foodie holiday... Although a wonderful day chock full of eating..laying around.. and eating some more, planning the menu each year can kinda get repetitive.  Im not a huge Thanksgiving fan, but every year the menu in my house changes. I like variety and choices, especially around the holidays so I put together a quick list of last minute ideas for you to Eat Fab this Thanksgiving! 

1. Let's Talk Turkey...Or NOT! 
Thanksgiving is the time for none other than turkey. Brine, defrost, roast, baste—these are all things you hear leading up to Thanksgiving. The fresher the turkey the better, so call your local meat shop and order a turkey a few days in advance...Blah Blah blah. We have seen this all over food/entertaining sites since the beginning of November. But what about the fabulous eater that doesn't want and or need a whole turkey? Consider the following:

Turkey options: Choose turkey parts like legs, thighs, or breast to roast. Or don't even have turkey. There are plenty of other delicious things to eat including duck, chicken, hen, pork, lamb....hell,  you can even roast a whole fish! 

2. Shopping 101
Ok, so you realized that you dont want a huge dinner this year but you still need to buy food. First, shop around your kitchen. Carefully look through your entire kitchen to check for things that need to be bought. Make note of the things you don't need to purchase; this will help with over-buying. Also take advantage of your local supermarkets and wholesale clubs. Buying things like oil, carrots, onions, celery, butter, etc in bulk will help you save time and money. Because who wants to keep going to the store for butter and eggs! Also head to your neighborhood farmers market and take in all the fresh seasonal produce. 

3. Prep
From working in a restaurant, I know that prepping is a major component of serving a successful meal. Keeping that in mind will also help you have a successful and quick Thanksgiving dinner. With the bulk items you just bought, chop all the same veggies at the same time, even if they will be used for different recipes. This will cut down on chopping each veggie for each item. But if you are planning to have a decent size meal, also remember the following:
  • Cranberry sauce can be made up to a week in advance
  • Gravies, soups, and dips can be made 24 hours in advance and re-heated
  • Make fresh pie dough a few days before and freeze. Defrost the day before you need them
  • Cut up bread a day before so it can become perfectly dry in texture for stuffing
  • Assemble your casseroles a day before
3A. Buy ONE make Three
Say you are on a budget this Thanksgiving season but want a great meal. What do you do? Well you buy one signature item and make several things from it. Bread for example can be turned into crostini's for appetizers, stuffing for a side dish and bread pudding for dessert. Bought a gigantic pumpkin from the farmers market? Try pumpkin bisque with sweet paprika pumpkin seeds garnish ; Roasted pumpkin with brown sugar and thyme for a side dish; and pumpkin cupcakes with salted caramel and toasted pecan frosting! Get my point! This is the time to put your foodie skills to the test! 

4. Focus on Food
Now that everything is pretty much finalized, this is a time to lay out the game plan for you to attack your Thanksgiving dinner. This is the time to look at your kitchen and know what needs to be prepared, reheated, or saved to prepare up until the last minute. Not everything can go into the oven at the same time, so plan when oven essentials (i.e turkey, pies, stuffing) need to go in the oven. This is also a good time to decide whether you want your meal to be served in courses. By serving in courses, you can space out eating times and figure out what times food will need to be reheated and served and your friends will think you fancy!! This will also take some pressure off of you and allow you to enjoy sometime with your friends, mix and mingle... and even have a cute drink.

5. Eat Fabulously 
Thanksgiving day has arrived and you have made it!  The turkey(or whatever you chose) should be in the oven roasting to a perfect golden brown. The panic should be about over, and your guests should be arriving. It's simply time to relax and enjoy all the delicious work you have put together, and see your guests marvel in your fabulousness.



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