Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Are you ready for it? I’m sure most of you already have your guest list made and maybe even some ideas about what you are going to cook. If your family is like mine, your Thanksgiving is verrryy traditional and every member of your family can tell you what you are going to eat that day. (Mostly because you have been eating the same meal for the last 25 years.)
That’s not a bad thing. I’ve grown to love this meal and all the feelings, smells, and joys, that come with it. My family traveled to three different Thanksgiving meals within two days every year. Yes, I know what you are thinking….It was a lot of turkey. I am from the South and our traditional Thanksgiving was probably a bit different than yours. Dressing, instead of Stuffing. Cranberry sauce, not cranberry relish. But your meal was organized the same way: Turkey, maybe even a Ham, rolls, dressing, and sides galore. And pie. You cannot forget the pie. I actually should say “pies,” because how many Thanksgiving meals have you been to with only one pie?
Planning can be stressful if you are the primary Thanksgiving prep cook. It makes sense that you want everything to be perfect and Plan to Eat is here to help and make planning easier! We’ve put together 10 tips for using Plan to Eat for your prep, planning, and shopping this Holiday Season. Without further adieu, the list:
The Recipe Book:
1. As you are looking through the 100’s of recipes that you have accumulated over the past year, use Tags to mark recipes that you may want to cook for this year’s holiday meal. You can make tags like “Holiday,” “Thanksgiving” or even “Christmas.” These are helpful when you don’t want to create a completely new course category, but want to separate them from the rest.
2. As you get ready to narrow down your recipes, you can use Filters to search for the recipes that you tagged for Thanksgiving. This will help you narrow down your Recipe Book to a smaller, more specific group of recipes.
3. At this point, you’re almost ready to add them to the Planner. But first, add them to your Queue! This section is simply a holding area for recipes that you are ready to plan. This allows you to select from the small group and drag them directly to the planner instead of having to search for them in your Recipe Book.
4. Prep notes can be a lifesaver when you are getting ready for Thanksgiving Day. Do you have a pie crust that needs to be made two days in advance? Do you need to take your frozen turkey out to thaw? Prep notes that you have saved to your recipes will be automatically added to your planner on the day you select. Talk about a stress relieving! You won’t forget even the smallest detail.
5. To save time the day of, you decide to make a pie and mashed potatoes on Monday, but you know that you want to freeze it until Thursday. Drag your recipes to your planner, when you want to make them, and then add them to your Freezer. Then drag them from the Freezer to Thursday’s date. This will automatically add a defrost note to your planner on Wednesday so you remember to thaw them!
6. Another crucial planning point is serving size. Are you having a lot of guests? Check that the recipes you have planned will feed all of them by viewing and changing the serving size on the recipes that you have planned.
7. Notes and Ingredients round out the last tip for the Planner portion of Thanksgiving. There may be foods that you don’t need recipes for, but need to make sure that you plan for and need to purchase. Ingredients will allow you to note them on the Planner and they will be automatically added to your Shopping List! Notes, while similar to ingredients, are added to the Planner but do not add items to your Shopping List. If you have guests bringing foods to share, this would be a great place to add them! It gives you peace of mind that everything is set and a little reminder of all the foods that you will serve!
The Shopping List:
8. After you set your date range for the week of Thanksgiving, but before you begin to edit your Shopping List, use the Restore List button to refresh everything and clear old items from previous shopping trips.
9. Use the Add items option to add extras that you might need to purchase for the celebration: tasty beverages, napkins, plates, and décor!
10. Last, and certainly not least: enjoy your meal, your family and friends, and remember to be thankful!
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Plan to Eat!