Tips for Hosting + Our Favorite Turkey Day Recipes

Growing up Thanksgiving was always one of my favorite holidays. I love the food, I love family coming together and I love that it kicks off the official Christmas season. As I’ve gotten older, I’m excited to start new traditions, new Thanksgiving memories — most of which involve hosting for my family and friends!

We hosted in our old home the year before we got married. It was an absolute disaster, but still some great memories were born. Last year, we were in Italy for Thanksgiving and while it was incredible, part of me did miss our annual tradition. This year we made sure to schedule our anniversary trip just in time to be home for the holidays!

We also hosted Friendsgiving this past weekend! I feel like I’m slowly but surely fine-tuning my #HolidayHostessWithTheMostest skills and I wanted to share them with you today! Additionally, I’ll be sharing our family favorite recipes (including the best + easiest pumpkin cheesecake recipe). 

Prepping for Thanksgiving

at least two days before:

-Pull all your recipes and make a master grocery list, then head to your pantry and cross off anything you already have! **Try to choose recipes you can make ahead of time.

-Hit the grocery story. If you can do this sooner than two days before, you’re more likely to beat the crowd! If you’re on a budget, Aldi is a great place to get most, if not all, of your ingredients for a steal! Just remember to bring a quarter for your buggy & a laundry basket (They don’t provide bags!). 

-Grab some fresh flowers or greenery to place around the house.

-Clean your house. 

-If you’re prepping the turkey, check your recipe and see when you need to start! Some need to be thawed far in advance, brined for 24 hours, etc. 

the day before: 

Make all dishes possible. I’ll be sharing some recipes below that are all able to be premade. If it’s something that can’t be premade, try to find a crockpot version! Less dishes, means less mess the day of Thanksgiving.

-Run the dishwasher. This will leave it empty for any last minute dishes. 

-Double check to ensure you have everything you need. 

the day of: 

-Prepare turkey and any dishes that you couldn’t remake. 

-Run the dishwasher one last time if needed.

-To a quick sweep through of the house, vacuum and tidy up!

-Pull out serving trays, utensils, etc. that may be needed or have them ready for easy access. 

-Lower your temperature in your house a degree or two. The crowds, cooking turkey, etc. can make things get toasty! 

-Plug, this in with a warm fall smell! Everyone will love it. Light any candles. Make sure the guest bathroom has soap, toilet paper, etc. 

-Play some music, turn on some football and have fun! 

If you are hosting, I always have a hard time deciding what to wear. I’m not a huge fan of wearing formal clothes in my own house. This weekend I wore these Spanx Faux Leather Leggings (obsessed) with this Free People Off the Shoulder Thermal and my Ugg Slippers (that could really double as shoes!). It was an outfit that is cute but doubles as pajamas for the Food Coma 

that will hit as soon as your meal is over. 

Finally, I wanted to share some recipes that are tried and true! I wish I would have snapped more photos for you guys but I was in #HostessMode and completely forgot. I was able to pull a few snaps from my Instagram stories for ya though. 

The Big Bird- This was my first year to be in charge of the turkey and I was a little nervous. I decided to take the safe route and picked up a ‘Frozen to Oven Turkey’ from Target. They seriously have everything! Everyone loved it and it definitely was easy to make. I do suggest getting a roasting pan, this is something I completely forgot about! 

Deviled Eggs- I made these from memory/taste this year. I got the recipe from my grandma but she also doesn’t know measurements. I would have to say this one is closest to what she and I make but with the addition of a dash of white vinegar.

My friend Bella made some delicious Cranberry Meatballs that were gone in literally two seconds. She said they were very easy too, just a jar of BBQ sauce, a can of cranberries and bag of frozen meatballs. 

Sweet Potato Casserole– This is one of my favorites! I love that it can be made in the crockpot (except DON’T put the skins down the drain. I know from sad, sad experience). If you don’t have a food processor you can dice them up but I would suggest mashing them up before adding the topping. It helps make a creamier potato. 

This year I made Pumpkin Cheesecake. This was a last minute decision due to the fact that I realized a turkey in the oven meant no baking. I’m really happy that I had to make this. It was sooo good. Very light and refreshing, exactly the type of dessert you need after a feast! It was easy to make, always a plus. A spring pan isn’t required, but definitely makes it prettier. I topped it with some leftover caramel sauce from my Caramel Apple Mimosas. 

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Do you have any tips for me next time we host?! I hope these help y’all some! If you make any recipes be sure to tag me on IG <@YesPleaseDaily #OhYesPlz> XO

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