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Hosting Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to come together to celebrate with great food and good company. Making dinner for a large group can be a great way to demonstrate your cooking talent, but finding a menu that everyone likes can be difficult. The best solution is to find out the dietary restrictions of your guests and offer them various alternatives like a vegetarian or nut-free option. Aside from that, Thanksgiving dinner can include a variety of dishes, so here is an exhaustive list of options to chose from.

Turkey: Brined, basted, roasted, fried. The options for cooking a turkey are endless, but this is the main Thanksgivingdish that should not be missed! The number of guests you will be having will determine how big of a turkey to get. You may even have to get more than one turkey because you want to make sure that you have enough. If you find that you have extra turkey, send some home with your guests, or, make turkey soup!   It’s the perfect leftover meal to pack in lunches for the following week.

Potatoes: Potatoes are a great side dish because there are so many ways to make them. You can boil peeled potatoes and then mash them up with butter and cream to make silky mashed potatoes. Or, if you only have a few guests, you can make a baked potato for each person. Even throwing them into a high-powered, new microwave will have them cooked in no time. There are several other ways to make potatoes including roasting potatoes with herbs, baking potato slivers to create chips and baking potato wedges with garlic. And don’t forget the sweet potatoes! You can make sweet potato chips, sweet potato casserole or simple mashed sweet potatoes mixed with butter and brown sugar. Some delicious toppings for sweet potatoes are pecans, meringue and marshmallows.

Green beans: Every meal should include a vegetable, and even though Thanksgiving dinner isn’t always the healthiest, it’s nice to add some green color to the spread. So try a great green bean dish! You can make delicious casserole using cream of mushroom soup and fried onions or you can keep it simple and roast green beans in the oven with various different aromatics.

Cranberries: Instead of purchasing pre-made cranberries in a can, try making your own! Cranberry sauce is easy to make and you can add aromatics like cinnamon and orange to spruce up the dish. If you’re not into the gelatinous texture of cranberry sauce, try making a cranberry relish that you can store in the refrigerator for up to two days. Chop up fruits like oranges, green apples and pears and toss them together with chopped cranberries and a little brown sugar for a great crunchy relish. With the help of a simple refrigerator, new twists on old classic side dishes are achievable.  

Pie: Thanksgiving desserts do not have to be limited to pumpkin pie. Apple, peach, blueberry and pecan are great alternatives. Also, if you want to incorporate pumpkin flavor into the dessert, but don’t like the texture of pumpkin pie, try something like a pumpkin spice bar using pumpkin butter and a delicious brown sugar crumble.

Don’t forget to enlist the help of your guests when it comes to cleanup. If they’re willing to help with dishes, don’t pass up on help because dozens of place settings willquickly break in a new dishwasher!

With all of these dish options, your Thanksgiving is sure to be one that your guests will remember.