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Talkin' Turkey... My First Time Hosting Thanksgiving

by on ‎11-10-2016 04:45 PM

Yes, I have already started decorating for Christmas. That said, this week I’m talking turkey. Thanksgiving. I am not a good cook nor do I like to cook. But years ago Joe and i took his Dad to a restaurant on Thanksgiving and it was so not the same. We had no leftovers to nibble on later. We had no smell to wake up to in the house. We had no fire roaring and football or classic movies playing. It was a huge learning. Cook. Even if it's a hot mess and takes forever and tastes marginal and is a cleanup nightmare…Shawn, just cook. So this year, decided I would share with you my menu and my guest list. But first, for those of you who don’t eat or like turkey, c’mon…



Pat James Dementri with my kind of turkey


This year I am hosting for the first time. I’m a little nervous. I’m horrendous at timing all the dishes and keeping things warm etc but I’m excited bc Thanksgiving is just better, with lots of people. So, it will be Joe and I, his two sons Robby and Joey, my dear friend Ginger Walt (QVC home and holiday guest), her husband Antoine, their little munchkin Charlotte, and Antoine’s parents who are flying in from France and don’t speak a lot of English. (So we will communicate through food and drink). My dining room table seats 8 so I’m hoping Charlotte is tiny enough that we can squeeze in a 9th. That or someone will have to levitate. Just kidding.



My dining room table


The menu, oh that was tough. Mainly because I am not gifted enough to pull this off without “heat & eat” help. I also wanted to have enough options such that everybody felt like it was a great spread. Here’s where I landed:


Appetizers (starting around 1p)

  • Pate French family recipe, Ginger is bringing
  • Champagne French tradition with pate, Ginger is bringing
  • Aunt Trudy’s Spinach & Feta Fillo Pockets from QVC


Dinner (starting around 3p)

  • Emeril & St Claire Mac & Cheese from QVC
  • Green Bean Casserole, Ginger is bringing (MY FAV)
  • Creamed spinach with Gouda from Neiman Marcus Gourmet Food
  • Maple Butternut Squash with Pecans from Neiman Marcus Gourmet Food
  • Butter Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing (Cant decide what kind)
  • Tenderloin of Beef
  • Honeybaked Ham
  • Roast Turkey Breast (We normally only eat the white meat so I’m sick of cooking a whole bird for two breasts)
  • The Essential Baking Company Rosemary Bread from QVC



  • Junior’s Pumpkin Cheesecake from QVC
  • Dockside Market Key Lime Bundt Cake from QVC
  • Ice cream


Yes, a lot of this menu is already cooked and only requires heating…but I find heating even stressful. Years ago when Joe and I were first married I cooked everything from scratch. The upside is that it looked like this…





Turkey with the trimmings


The downside is that it was so overwhelming to me that Joe and I fought most of the day and didn’t speak for several hours because a sort of jekyll persona came out in me when I had to figure out how to juggle all the dishes, pots boiling over, and checking the turkey to know if was done (which ultimately required a visit from my wise old neighbor ****** who knows a thing or two about carving and cooking birds). So this year, the wine will flow, and I am leaving the actual scratch cooking to most of the experts. Just making the main meats will be my big role on the day. God bless food by mail. There’s one amazing thing I am thankful for this year. Smiley Happy



Hey if anybody has an easy recommendation for a great stuffing recipe, let me know. That’s the only thing that hangs in the turkey balance.

I am so hungry right now I could snack on my left arm.


on ‎11-10-2016 05:06 PM

Hi Shawn,


A few years ago I discovered that Williams Sonoma has wonderful stuffing mix.  It is basically crouton, spices, etc.  but it is absolutely delicious.  They have a couple of different kinds--super easy and oh so good.  I use to make mine from scratch and it was good, but not as good as Williams Sonoma.  Give it a try.  I'm sure you're a better cook than you say you are.  Happy Thanksgiving!



on ‎11-10-2016 05:12 PM

Shawn, Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy your day with family and friends!



Image result for cute turkey images

‎11-10-2016 05:20 PM - edited ‎11-10-2016 06:12 PM

Shawn, ur a hoot, I love to cook but with major tummy issues now, I can't cook as much, so go Figure! I agree, Williams Sonoma, Trade Joes and Whole Foods hv a boxed stuffing that is Pr seasoned and u can always add celery, carrots, sausage and chestnuts, some diced herbs, chicken stock and  bake till crunchyI  I hv made them all and they're delish! WIlliams Sonoma, even sells turkey gravy and cranberry relish that I recommend, btw your home is just beautiful and the menu is fantastic! you will do great! Xo 💞😉🎄

on ‎11-10-2016 05:20 PM

Gobble, gobble.

on ‎11-10-2016 06:00 PM

Just do yourself a favor and buy stove top stuffing. It is delicious and really simple to make. Just get several boxes and go for it. I use it every year and everyone thinks it is delicious!!

on ‎11-10-2016 06:03 PM

Shawn..I just adore you..At the end of the day, it is about family & friends. I always stressed about making everything perfect. Not a chance. Then, I was always too exhausted to enjoy the holiday. the cleanup extensive. Now, I do not have a choice. Somewhere along the way I got fibromyalgia. I can only do what I can do, and that changes day by day. The love you have in your heart will long be remembered after the food is gone. Please do not stress. What you are doing is awesome. Enjoy every minute with your family and friends....Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours....xoxo

on ‎11-10-2016 06:33 PM

Shawn, I absolutely love you and seem to buy just about anything and everything you sell.

Anyway, I HATE to cook so much I'd rather go to the dentist. Lol Luckly my son-in-law is a fireman and they are good cooks. Our Thanksgiving dressing is made from White Castle Hamburgers. Sounds crazy I know, but it is delicious.

its easy and the recipe is on line. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you and Joe.

on ‎11-10-2016 06:43 PM

It all sounds and looks lovely Shawn!  I am obsessing too about my holiday dinners. For some reason I have lost my desire to cook or even to grocery shop. I don't know what happened. Funny thing - my grandkids think I'm a fabulous cook and should open a restaurant!  WHAT?!   Actually when I do cook holiday meals, no one in their right mind should want to be around me. It stresses me out terribly even though I have done so much prep work and prepared as many dishes as possible ahead of time.  It's very hard to enjoy my grandkids from out of town when I spend most of the time in the kitchen. Oh well, I'll give it another try again this year - for my family!  Tomorrow I shall work on more ideas to simplify things even more. I'd offer my dressing recipe BUT I seem to either overbake it or it turns out rather pastey! Alas, but it tastes so good with gravy on it!  It does have egg in it which I think makes it light and fluffy (if done right! LOL) 


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

on ‎11-10-2016 07:25 PM

Shawnie Sue, I am a real cook and love to cook.  However, I find the dressing from St. Clair to be the best.  Just get the larger size and put it in another dish.  It is real dressing.  Do not overcook it or it will be dry.  xoxo terry

on ‎11-10-2016 07:27 PM

Don't do Stove Top stuffing for cure, just buy St. Clair's.  xoxo


on ‎11-10-2016 08:11 PM

shawn - looks good.  agree that St Clair's cornbread dressing is the answer.  also i cook my turkey breast in the slow cooker or Nesco to keep it super moist.  i throw in with some veggie broth, onions, celery, herbs.   i need the oven space for other things so it all works out.

on ‎11-10-2016 08:19 PM

Hopefully it will be the first of many Thanksgiving dinners you will host.....

on ‎11-10-2016 08:30 PM
You're so entertaining with your blogs! Hurray for the heat 'em up eat 'em up sides! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! We all have so much to be grateful for! Love watching you on QVC!
on ‎11-10-2016 08:42 PM

Love William Sonoma Foccacia stuffing mix.  I would pick up their gravy concentrate too.  Really good.  Good luck.

on ‎11-10-2016 09:25 PM


Your menu sounds absolutely wonderful!  You'll do fine, just keep thinking in your head about how many million other people are in the same'll get through it with flying colors!

Some tricks I've learned to rely on:  the turkey can be done and sit covered in foil for close to an will still stay warm and when you pour hot gravy over it, then it'll be perfect!  Side dishes can be heated and also covered in foil to sit until dinner for close to half an hour.  This saves you from having to rush around and reheat everything so it's hot...and if you use Temptations or another stoneware type dishes for your sides, they will also help keep everything nice and toasty.   Set your table the night before...HUGE stress reliever to have that done!

Another stress reliever:  make your mashed potatoes so they're done about 45 minutes ahead of time, then pop them in the crockpot on warm or low.  Your potatoes will be warm and stay warm!  Also, when you mash them, heat your milk and butter in the helps everything meld together.  A couple of glasses of wine while cooking also takes the stress level down by a few notches.  Not too much, tho, one year I overindulged and inadvertently put the hand can opener in the veggie drawer of the frig....spent a half hour looking for it and was almost in tears!  Lesson learned....a little wine goes a long way, ha!

Lastly, just be you...everyone will enjoy your company and we are always hardest on ourselves.  Everyone will love you for your efforts and I'm sure the food will be FANTASTIC!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Shawn!

‎11-10-2016 10:31 PM - edited ‎11-10-2016 10:37 PM

About the stuffing (dressing), for days I have been longing for my mother's stuffing and it is so easy I may do it this year.  It's simple.


Cube day old white bread

Saute chopped onion, celery in butter and mix with the bread cubes

Add chicken or turkey stock for moisture and flavor

The secret ingredient is SAGE.  Add the dried sage to your bowl and mix well.


That's it.


If you love sage, you will love this.   Make a lot so you have left overs and pour the gravy on it.


The first time I hosted a Thanksgiving turkey dinner I was a new bride with stepchildren and their SOs.  It turned out well (I was not a cook nor did I love to cook).  The hardest part for you and me is timing, when all the foods are done and able to be set on the table HOT at the same time.


I think you will be very pleased with yourself that you DID IT, even with help; it's a big deal and I imagine Joe will be proud of you, too.  It is a gift to the people you love.  Enjoy!


on ‎11-10-2016 11:39 PM

Hosting what? Everything is already made. My suggestion, take them out to dinner!

on ‎11-11-2016 01:48 AM

Hi Shawn~ may I offer some professional yet unsolisited advice????Cat Very Happy  If not please disreguard - if so continue and forgive typos...Cat Tongue


I worked in the food industry for quite a while. 


okay forget the stuffing- you are not stuffing a bird, so just skip it- also skip the ham and have plenty of the other 2 meats-


consider baking cornbread - it is easy peasy and will be very homey and have a great effect for little effort- you can even do it a day ahead and do a simple reheat or serve at room temp .... just google some recipies shawn-not rocket science - room temp is ok if warming it up makes u nuts


Make a green salad! What is wrong w/ you? You need something fresh and because you are you and for anyone else reading, here is a version of my famous Thanksgiving salad...the easy way!

1. Get bags of already washed salad mix ~ organic if possible and w/ mache if possible( your French peeps will be impressed w/ the mache) - in anycase avoid kale and chard for this one, mixed baby greens is best- if you can't easily find mache do not worry or think of it stress allowed

note* butter lettuce is also a good choice here alone or even better, mixed in


2. Shop a few days early for one or all of the following; fresh pear, fuyu persimmon and avocado.(they are usually under ripe at the store and you want them to be ripe-( DO NOT USE IF NOT ACTUALLY RIPE)- try and get at least the pear and persimmon- you will thank me

1-2 pears and 1 persimmon and if u do avo, get 1

note* fuyu persimmons are hard when ripe - 


okay sorry I suck at step by step directions, just hang in here....


3. Nuts- get either pecans or pine nuts- just be sure that which ever you pick is not going to be making an appearance in another dish- you can buy these already toasted or gently toast them in a frying pan and have on the side waiting - you will sprinkle these on the top of the salad after tossing it and before serving it..(I STRONGLY SUGGEST PINE NUTS)


4. Get some Chevre (goat cheese) just plain no added herbs or whatever


You yes you Shawn will make salad dressing....don't freak out...easy peasy I swear!


In a glass measuring cup you will make the dressing-


for 1 cup of salad dressing- which is a lot but this will keep fine in the fridge for another salad...


1/4 cup fresh orange or tangerine or clementine juice- I say get one of those bags of tangerines or clementines and have some out in a pretty bowl for guests as an unofficial appetizer/snack... but squeeze just 1/4 cup into the measuring cup


then add enough Rice Wine Vinegar to get to 2/3 a cup on the measuring cup 


so the cup should be 2/3 full now...


then add 1/3 cup of a very good extra virgen olive oil- you do get what you pay for w/ olive oil


now add a big pinch of sea salt and a spoon full of sugar (not too much)...shhhh it is a secret


I keep glass jars on hand for salad dressings- this needs a very good shake or stir w/ a fork just before you toss it onto the salad... again your French peeps will love this- you can do the dressing a day or 2 ahead if really needed- just keep it in glass NOT plastic

give it a hefty shake then taste it- should be yummy but you can decide if it needs a touch more olive oil to mellow and thicken it or a little more vinegar to brighten it


okay back to the salad- be sure you have a great salad bowl- if not borrow one- nothing loud- the salad is the show piece


now throw the greens in the bowl- be sure there are no rotting leaves! 


slice the pear no more than 15 min before you eat it-(you can have a salad course after the appetizers and before the main event) this can be fun and highlight this amazing salad - people will oooh and ahhh and say things like it is the best salad ever

slice the pears THIN AND LONG and be sure you omit the seeds and middle of the pears


same w/ the fuyu persimmon, slice it about 15 min before you eat the salad- these are small hard fruit so do your best to slice a thin pretty shape but do not worry about it- these taste amazing, especially in the salad and they are orange and make the salad festive in a good way


put the cut fruit on top of the lettuce


if you got avocade now is the time to slice that baby long and thin thin thin- then into the bowl 


Now just before serving, shake that fabU dressing and toss it onto the salad slowly, mixing it in without drowning the salad- just breathe and look and don't be in a hurry- too much is soggy and not enough is boring- all the lettuce should glisten w/ dressing- not drip- then add another LITTLE pinch of sea salt (no mortons allowed- I mean it-)


you can do this


next crumble in the chevre- you just have to eyeball this - if you are serving individual plates then just a light sprinkle- if you just have it serve yourself then be generous but not overwhelming....


next toss in nuts- again not too much, not too little----- wing it girl...


be sure you have good salad serving tongs or forks or what'eve


Shawn I hope u make this!- please ditch the ham.... 


Anyone else reading this salad is fantastic- everyone always wants me to bring this salad! 


*The fuyu persimmon adds that special something so get them if you can- sorry you can't subsitute for the soft kind as they are a soggy mushy mess



you're welcome Cat Wink






on ‎11-11-2016 09:07 AM

Williams-Sonoma stuffing mix - goof proof.  Recipe is on the back of the box.  Make it the day ahead and just bake it that day. 

‎11-11-2016 10:35 AM - edited ‎11-11-2016 10:37 AM

Just have some fun! I spend the days before Thanksgiving going to several different restaurants and grocery stores buying already cooked or partially prepared food. We always enjoy every bite and most importantly time together. Enough wine and no one cares!


I believe I'll try the Williams Sonoma stuffing mix after several great reviews here. Thanks friends!



@willomenia Your comment unnecessary and a bit mean spirited. She already said she didn't want to go to a restaurant again.  Bless your heart maybe it made you feel better.

on ‎11-11-2016 01:24 PM

Shawn you sound like  my DIL many years ago.   She did not like to cook because she did not think she was as good as others.  She thought the same about decorating.  She can out do most people in both areas now.  She still gives my son credit for her courage to try and follow simple cook books.   No matter what she cooked he ate it.  They decided which receipts to forget and which to try again.  She only opens a cook book to find and try new things.  Our family is blessed to have her.  The family plans a menu and we all chose to make something we are good at to bring with us.  She fills Lock N Lock dinner trays for everyone to take home.  Thanksgiving is a great day with family, wonderful food, football, family games and family clean up before we all go home.   Our military members are now all safe at home.  We have so much to be thankful for.   Have a wonderful time with you family and friends.   You will do fine.  Live, learn and enjoy.   I know you have a Wegmans close by.  They have a wonderful catering service who would be glad to discuss future needs to help make your occasions less stressful.  They do complete meals but they also are more than willing to provide just a few special dishes as well.  I worked with them when I had to provide meals for meetings.  I truly enjoy your shows.  You can bring sunshine to a gloomy day.  Happy Thanksgiving

on ‎11-11-2016 01:49 PM

OMG Shawn, I laughed out loud at this blog as that was me 20 years ago. My husband told me (about 5 years ago) that he dreaded a family gathering as I would become a monster who was stressed until the door opened and guests came. Over the years I have learned to relax and enjoy dinner gatherings with the attitude of "well at least I'm trying" as guests just arrive, chat, relax and drink!  Prep before the day is important and as you have already done, decide on the menu and accept (or ask) for dishes and/or drink. I am British so we do turkey Christmas Day but I still love and have shipped over Paxo stuffing and a Christmas pudding served with brandy sauce. Of course followed by Marks and Spencer's mince pies (warmed with whipped cream).  Enjoy and the best way to learn is experiment and experience. Oh and Joe can be your second in command (dishwasher/offer).

on ‎11-11-2016 04:06 PM

Agreed willomenia!  Just can't relate to a person of her age saying she has never hosted a holiday dinnner and can't or won't cook.  I marvel at women who wear that as a badge of honor.  You have to have the desire and determination to want to cook and practice helps.  Luckily, I had a mother and two grandmothers, one Italian the other French who taught me at a very early age and  I learned by watching and doing.


Lucky for her she has the $$$ to order prepared foods, which is exactly what it is.  There is a certain satisfaction you get when you do it yourself.  Hard to take the praise and credit when the work was already done for you.  She said she was sick of cooking a whole turkey, but I thought she didn't cook--duh!  Why she felt the need to post this is beyond me.

on ‎11-11-2016 06:57 PM

I think you are smart to buy the food already prepared if you are not a good cook. I get tense when I cook for a crowd and I love to cook and people say I'm good at it. To me there is no shame in not liking to cook, just enjoy the day and your guests.

on ‎11-12-2016 09:31 PM

I do what Kitlyn does- Stovetop Stuffing - I  add sausage,kale, cranberries ,nuts and so easy! My family loves it! 

on ‎11-12-2016 09:49 PM

Shawn,  Brownberry Sage and Onion dressing!  Buy the bag of seasoned croutons and follow the recipe on the bag! SO....... E A S Y ...I add in  Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage , add in some chopped onion and celery and extra rubbed sage and use Chicken stock instead of water!  Oh, and there is butter in that recipe too if I remember but WHO CARES...Enjoy your family and Friends, I will be in Florida with my Fam!! 

on ‎11-12-2016 09:50 PM

Everything will turn out just fine.  The first time I cooked a Turkey was for my inlaws, and my father in law was a chef...the pressure...I said a little prayer and just went for it.  His only comment was "honey, no garlic on the turkey" mom used garlic so he just got use to it.  Do as much ahead as possible so you can enjoy your company.  Ginger will help you so no worries...keep the wine flowing, Bon Appetit'!!  Oh yes and just buy the dressing/stuffing from the Q.

on ‎11-12-2016 09:51 PM
I buy the bag of dry stuffing mix and add onions and celery that I've cooked in the microwave in the butter that the recipe on the bag calls for. Easy peasy!
on ‎11-12-2016 09:54 PM

Hi Sean!! Love your dining room! So very lovely and homey. Don't worry about the meal, your menu sounds delicious and all your friends and family will have a wonderful time just being together. Be happy and thankful and enjoy the day with your guests!!


P.S. Don't pay any attention to the two nasty people that had to leave negative comments and spread negativity on your honest & humorous post. They sound like sour cranberries to me!!

on ‎11-12-2016 09:54 PM

Shawn ignore some of these sad excuses for women and the recipes. What you have planned sounds prefect. The holidays are stressful. We tend to miss out on what they are all about. Just relax, order your meal, have and enjoy your family and friedns. It's not a contert. I love you to death and am so happy for you and Joe. Enjoy every minute. Muah!


@willomenia & @LuvMyBichonFrise shame on you. Why doesn't you go follow someone else. You are the types of women whose guests hate coming to your home. I am sure your meaness comes right through. You aren't fooling anyone. Happy holidays you two. Meow  Saucer of milk for 2 please.   

on ‎11-13-2016 12:00 AM

Oh Shawn you are a riot!  I have been where you are!  I think you will be fine!  I think it all sounds wonderful!  You will be very successful!

on ‎11-13-2016 01:52 AM

DRESSING - Saute chopped onions, celery  very slowly - then add a package or mushrooms either sliced or you slice cook until they are tender.  Then in another or that same pan with the saute mixture cook up a pound of breakfast sausage.


Stuffing mix whatever brand, mixture you wish.  Add the sauteed vegetables mix lightly, then add the cooked breakfast sausage & mix lightly, mixture will look dry & need more moisture  I add two cans of mushroom soup(with nothing added to it) then add the heated Giblet juice or some luke warm chicken broth until the  mixture is very moist.


If not putting any in the turkey - just be sure to butter the dish you're using & heat through for your dinner guests.  This is awesome & very moist.  You can more mushrooms or more soup if you wish.



Good luck, but I'm sure you will do well.

on ‎11-13-2016 08:28 AM

Your dining room is beautiful.  Enjoy every minute of Thanksgiving day.  Start sipping wine early.  Smiley Happy

on ‎11-13-2016 10:29 AM

Shawnie Sue,


You had me at the wine flowing!  ( LOL )   Just try to relax and enjoy the day, it's alright if not everything is perfect.

I too get a bit anxious with the timing of it all, but generally I find it's kind of silly.    It all works out in the end and it's so special just to be with the ones we love.  KEEP MAKING THOSE MEMORIESSmiley Happy

on ‎11-13-2016 11:48 AM

Dear Shawnee Sue your evening sounds wonderful.  Full of love family and friend.  In my humble opinion I think it's beautiful that you know yourself and choose to put personal relationships love and joy above all else.  You go girl!

Your dinner will taste amazing because all who are there will feel welcomed happy and blessed!  Joy and true THANKSGIVING to you, Joe and yours.  

on ‎11-13-2016 12:21 PM



1. Learn to spell, it's they apostrophe re. They're. Not their.


2. Wow, you must be very unhappy.


3. Stop reading her blogs and watching her shows.


4.  Feel better.

on ‎11-13-2016 01:31 PM
  1. First, let me say, your menu is just fine.  Forget the "professional" advise.  So not traditional.  Buy your dressing from QVC.  It has lots of 5 star rating.  OK.  The main reason I am commenting is your timing and keeping all warm.  When I got my first Turkey breast from QVC, I put it in a slow cooker on hi until warm enough and then on low.  Walk off until serving time.   If you can find enough warmers like this, you can keep everything that takes long time to heat ready when you are.  Don't panic, just breath, take one step at a time and you will do great.  Happy Thanksgiving to all 
on ‎11-13-2016 02:38 PM

Your dining room looks beautiful, so much ambiance, perfect for Thanksgiving dinner, Shawn.  Your menu sounds amazing and I am sure will be sooooo yummy.  I make cornbread stuffing but I don't measure anything so it would be hard to reiterate.  You are such a wonderful host!  You always brighten my day.  Your positivity and genuninity is so appreciated.  You are beautiful inside and out.  I alway love seeing what you are wearing because you have awesome fashion sense.  Happy Thanksgiving!

on ‎11-13-2016 02:54 PM

Shawn your meal sounds wonderful!  I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for about 40 years.  I have wonderful crockpot recipes for studfing and mashed potatoes that you make 2 days before.  Makes it so stress free on the holiday.  Have a great day!

on ‎11-13-2016 03:26 PM

Oh, Shawn...I wish we lived close and I would gladly make you a big pan of Southern Cornbread know we don't do stuffing in the South. Relax and enjoy the things that will last...the memories. Faith, family, fellowship...and your delicious menu...the best comfort on this side of heaven! God bless...

on ‎11-13-2016 04:26 PM


this sounds yummy , but you need cranberry sauce, it's not thanksgiving without it 

Suggestion have an appetizer for the younger ones, like pigs in blanket( hotdog in crescent roll can be served room temp.) or pepperoni and crackers....Have a blast enjoy and relax you've got this.Have a Bleesed Holiday!


on ‎11-13-2016 04:32 PM
Right, should have proof read, but, at least I invite people to my house and actually cook!
on ‎11-13-2016 05:33 PM

Easy recipe Shawn for stuffing. Saute a small chopped onion along with a couple stalks of celery until they are not crisp. Open a large bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix into a large bowl 😊Add the celery and onion and enough chicken broth that it is very moist. Place in baking dish, place several oats of butter on top and bake at 350 for about 30 min. 

on ‎11-13-2016 05:50 PM

Grandma Meeka is right !  Pepperidge Farm stuffing is great. Chopped and and chopped celery should be sauteed in butter in a large pot. Add chicken broth or vegetable broth to pot and then add a bag or two of stuffing. Mix and cover and let the stuffing get its act together. Make alot b/c sampling is the only way to tell if its done !!!


Don't forget cranberry sauce, gravy and celery and olive plate ( a big family fave in my home).

on ‎11-13-2016 06:10 PM

Shawn, i haven't done many dinners as i have parents that still like the smell ect.. but last year i did cook and here are some simple tips/get a turkey with a pop up timer,, and cook in a nesco roaster in a bag,, it'll let you know when it's done, i too had people bring stuff and ordered pies from a local bakery, i noticed you were missing rolls.. and as far as the stuffing goes,, i cheat,,, i use stove top and i don't stuff my bird.. Good luck i'm sure it will be wonderful no matter what... 

on ‎11-13-2016 07:00 PM

My mother's advice to me.  Don't serve many different dishes just make plenty of fewer dishes.  Keep a notebook of your meal and which ones were a hit.  


Enjoy and have fun.  


on ‎11-13-2016 07:49 PM

where did you get the flowers on your table?

on ‎11-13-2016 09:26 PM

You aren't alone Shawn as I'm worse than the worse cooks in America.  We had no power a few years ago and went to the groc store on Thanksgiving Day to have turkey sandwiches, best Thanksgiving ever! Thanksgiving is now for Christmas decorating and Christmas is usually waffles & bacon. 


Have a great holiday with your family & friends and it is so ok to let the pros help with the cooking as we all can't be good at everything (I'm working on forgiving myself)!


PS: My hubby grew up on frozen Sara Lee butter streusel coffee cake for the holidays! He so misses it!



Mel from Scarborough Maine 30 min south of LL Bean in Freeport

on ‎11-13-2016 10:59 PM

Dear Shawn,


I'm certain you're better at this than you think!!  Your posted dinner looks dee-lish!  I'll agree with the person who suggested Williams-Sonoma - fantastic!!!  Happy Thanksgiving to you and Joe.  I love reading how people invite others that they've never before had at their table or even having others who are not as fortunate as we are.  Blessings for your bountiful table.  May it be the set-up for the rest of your holidays!!!




on ‎11-13-2016 11:25 PM
My dear Shawn, I have been there done all of that for 22 people no less. I agree keeping everything warm is challenging but try starting things out at room temperature. I roast my turkey breast in a cooking bag-Reynolds with a meat thermometer, will never fail you. Follow directions on box and insert thermometer in thickest part of breast and walk away. Use the juice for gravy, let turkey rest for 15 minutes and will crave beautiful. Don't stress because you will be a great host and cook, promise!