Friday, November 8, 2019

Ready, Set, Prep: Planning Makes Thanksgiving a Lot More Fun

Thanksgiving was my mother's favorite holiday. She loved the food, the gathering of friends and family and the positive outlook of a holiday that sought to bring everyone to the table. My wife and I enjoy having a gathering at our house as a time to celebrate what is good about our life, to see family and friends we don't see often enough and to have a really great feast.

Because we host the meal at our house, there is a lot to do.


Whether you are hosting a dinner of six or twenty-six, with so many dishes part of the celebration, planning is essential. And that means being prepared. Planning ahead ultimately means less stress and more fun on Thanksgiving. 

The First Step - Make a List 

Step 1 - as soon as you decide you will host, invite the guests so you have a head-count and ask who will bring a favorite Thanksgiving dish

Step 2 - pull out the recipes you want to make, make an ingredients list and a preparation time line (some dishes like pickles can be made the week before, some like an apple pie and the turkey are best made on Thanksgiving)

Step 3 - clean the house

Step 4 - borrow extra chairs

Step 5 - pull the extra table out of the garage

Step 6 - shop

Step 7 - cook

Step 8 - eat

Step 9 - clean up

Step 10 - lie down

The recipes we use are a mix of the ones we've perfected over the years and a couple that are new to us. We want to have the favorites and also to shake it up a bit, to have some surprises.

Among the favorites are kosher dill pickles, corn bread stuffing with Italian sausage and shiitake mushrooms, cranberry sauce with nuts and orange juice, shiitake mushroom-turkey liver pate and chocolate banana walnut cake.

I've already made the Moroccan style pickles that I learned to make on a trip to Marrakech. The kosher dill pickles only need 2-3 days to cure, so I'll make those on Monday of Thanksgiving week.

10 Delicious Holiday Recipes

To help prepare for Thanksgiving, I published an e-cookbook 10 Delicious Holiday Recipes.
The ten recipes are easy-to-make, festive and fun. With a recipe for roasting a perfect Thanksgiving turkey with stuffing.

Using the Kindle App you can read the recipes on any smart phone, computer or tablet. The app is free and downloads easily.

I hope you'll buy my book and let me help you plan your holiday meals with recipes for special cocktails, appetizers, salads, sides, entrees and really delicious desserts.

New York City Restaurant Recommendations for an LA Friend Who Is Visiting the City

Ever since I was a babe-in-arms, I have visited New York every year from my home in Los Angeles.    I grew up visiting New York City becau...