How to Pull Off a Last Minute Thanksgiving - with Success!

Ahhh... Thanksgiving.

If you're like me, then you can already smell the aroma from the kitchen filling the air, finding its way throughout the house and drawing everyone in to find out what's a cookin'! You can hear the cheers in the living room from big moments in the football game and the cheery sounds of friends and family laughing, playing board games or just catching up from Thanksgiving last year. At some point in the day, someone gets the mind to turn on some Christmas music and start planning their Black Friday shopping spree and Dad is in the garage digging in boxes to look for Christmas lights.

Or, you might be thinking… "Oh my, tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I still haven't even gone to Publix, yet!" So, let me cut to the chase before it's too late.

Here are a few ideas for a successful Thanksgiving dinner to put you at ease...

Turkey

You can never go wrong with making a Turkey in the oven. Here are a few Thanksgiving Turkey recipes you may want to try. I hear a fried Turkey is amazing. But, if you're going to try to deep fry your big bird, be smart about it and do your research. This is obviously something you don't want to try in a pinch. But, what many people don't know is, you can get a whole smoked turkey from Honey Baked Ham! They're just as good, if not better, than their ham!

Ham

Some people don't like to eat fowl. I like to reserve the big ham feast for Christmas dinner, but if you're going to have ham, there's really only one choice – Honey Baked Ham. Sometimes their lines are just ridiculous, or they sell out if you didn't place your order back in July (only kidding).

Beef

Beef. If you just said, "It's what's for dinner", then you might want to try making an amazing dish my mom made for me at Christmas one year. She used a jar of Williams-Sonoma's Braising Sauce, Beef Bourguignonne to make the recipe that's on the label. I'd like to think the recipe is everything you need to know, but you know mom… she always does something to make the recipe special.

Thanksgiving Sides

Stuffing

I take the Betty Crocker's bread stuffing recipe and add a large, chopped granny smith apple (keep the skin) and sweet Italian sausage.

Cranberry Sauce

Keep it simple and keep everyone happy - Get cans of both types: cranberry jelly and cranberry whole berry. This is a must-have on the table. If you have a simple, delicious recipe for cranberry sauce, please share!

Mashed Potatoes

Everybody has a mashed potato recipe from their grandmother. Well… almost everybody. If you don't, then you can't go wrong with making the real thing. I like this recipe, but I throw in sour cream to make them even creamier. But, if it's 30 minutes before dinner and you forgot to make the mashed potatoes, you can always use real Idaho instant potatoes as a crowd pleaser (and life saver).

Carrot Soufflé

I've been making this recipe for a few years, now, and everybody asks me for the recipe. It's so good and sweet it's like a dessert! If you've ever had carrot soufflé at Piccadilly, it tastes like that. So good.

Yummy Yams

I usually keep this one simple and make the recipe on the side of the can of Yams you get at the grocery store. More brown sugar!

Garlic Green Beans

Add a little color to the plate with some delicious fresh, garlic green beans. Don't overcook your green beans! They're much better when they have a little crunch to emphasize their freshness.

Sweet Almond Salad

I remember watching my mom make this amazing salad growing up. I think I've tweaked it a little since then… Basically, take a spring mix bag of lettuce and add toasted, sugar coated almond slices (crunched into bits after they harden), mandarin oranges, chopped sweet onion, diced green apple, feta cheese crumbles and drizzled with rich balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Pumpkin pie is most common at Thanksgiving, but pumpkin has nothing on the old American classic - apple pie. I'd tell you my brother's recipe, but I just can't. But, here is an apple pie recipe I found that I've been meaning to try… if I can just get myself to try something else. No matter which recipe you bake, Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream is a must.

Yikes! I've gotta get going to Publix! Okay, folks - It's time for ME to go to the grocery store to get everything I need for Thanksgiving, tomorrow!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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