Hosting your favorite holiday for the first time or the 25th time can be stressful, especially when your kitchen might not be as up to the task as you’d like it to be.  Here are some resources to help you survive the holiday before that award winning kitchen remodel.

Don’t have a double oven, but need to figure out how to get the whole meal ready on time? Real Simple has you covered with this downloadable guide

One turkey + 5 side dishes + 2 desserts + 1 stove = chaos. To keep organized, it’s essential to create what caterers call a prep list, which lays out, in order, all the tasks that need to be done in the two days prior to your Thanksgiving dinner. You can make your own prep list using Real Simple’s online worksheets. Download this handy prep list and stay one step ahead.


Looking for a new hot dish/casserole recipe to serve along side that delicious turkey. This Cheesy Sausage, Broccoli & Brown Rice Casserole will help your prep by delivering a tasty (and spicy if you choose) dish that can be made up the day before saving you time on Thanksgiving day. (via

Cheesy Sausage, Broccoli & Brown Rice Casserole
Make this up to a day ahead. You can also freeze it and bake it covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for another 35 minutes.

3.5 cups cooked brown rice
2 large heads broccoli, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno, mined (with seeds if you like it spicy, without if you don’t)
4 sausages, casings removed (Use your favorite flavor – I used roasted garlic chicken sausages)

1.5 cups milk (I used skim)
4 eggs
2 tsp. garlic salt
2 cups shredded cheddar (or jack) cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs (preferably whole wheat)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400°. Set a skillet over medium heat and cook your sausage through, breaking up any large crumbles with a wooden spoon. Once they’re cooked and browned, about 15 minutes), stir in the jalapenos and remove from heat.

In your biggest casserole dish (the bigger the dish, the more baked cheese you get), toss the brown rice, broccoli and sausage.

Whisk the milk, eggs and garlic salt together in a separate bowl. Stir in the cheddar cheese and pour over the casserole dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in an even layer over the top.

Bake in the center of the oven for 35 minutes, or until the middle is set and the top and sides are golden brown.

Makes 6 servings.


Better Homes and Gardens has you covered in your quest for new side dishes and ideas for adding twists to some of the old standbys. Look through their list of 30 options (with photos to get you mouth watering) here.

Spice up Thanksgiving traditions by adding new twists to classic Thanksgiving side dishes. From mashed potatoes to green bean casserole, the essential Thanksgiving recipes are all here, but each dish features an unexpected and delicious spin. Top Thanksgiving Side Dishes


How about an award winning apple pie recipe to help top off a delicious feast. If it’s good enough to win over chef Emeril Lagasse, it’s sure to please even your most discerning foodie guests. ( Original recipe ABC news)

Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie
Recipe from Good Morning America’s Apple Pie Contest 2001, courtesy of Marsha Brooks

1 pastry crust for a deep-dish pie 9-inch (homemade or store-bought)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
6 cups thinly-sliced peeled apples (I use granny smith to avoid a too-sweet pie)
1 recipe crumb topping (see below)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup caramel topping

For the crumb topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup butter

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Stir together brown sugar, flour and rolled oats. Cut in 1/2 cup butter until topping is like course crumbs. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add apple slices and gently toss until coated. Transfer apple mixture to the pie shell.

Gently place the crumb topping over apple mixture. It’s going to spill over the dish, just pile it back on top. Place pie dih on a cookie sheet so the drippings don’t drop into your oven.

Cover the pie crust with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes.

Remove from oven. Sprinkle pie with chopped pecans then drizzle with caramel on top. Let the pie cool to room temperature (or almost room temperature) before serving.


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