Make beginner-friendly Thanksgiving feast under one hour


Kun Hong, Features Editor

     Thanksgiving break is here And for people who proudly self-identify themselves as “foodies,” that means only one thing – the annual Thanksgiving feast. Instead of just eating, has the thought about making an enjoyable feast for those special people that are loved and giving back to them crossed your mind? You do not need to worry if your skill at cooking is not as professional as your skill at eating, because here are seven handy tips for the making of an wholesome Thanksgiving feast in an hour! It doesn’t matter if you are a culinary beginner, or an already experienced cook – with these tips, everyone can benefit.

  1. Swap Out the Whole Turkey for Turkey Breast

Truthfully, turkey breast is the way to go. No bone, no mess, almost no work needed, and what is more important – there’s no more waiting half of day, constantly checking and checking to make sure the best part is not messed up. With turkey breast, the preparation is simple enough so there’s not need to stress. Either cook it plain with salt and pepper, or dress it up with the herbs and spices. And the best thing about it – while it’s cooking in the oven, the sides can be thrown along with it and then there is just time to sit on the couch and relax. In the section below there is a fantastic recipe for roast turkey breast, along with a short guide on how to use the turkey drippings to make pan gravy.

  1. Break Down the Size of Cornbread and Stuffing

Not only is a large portion of cornbread or stuffing tricky to cook through for a beginner in the kitchen, it is also messier to divide and serve when it comes the time to eat. A solution to these two problems is simply break down the size of cornbread, stuffing, or even both! They will need less time to cook through, and look prettier against the beautiful dinner plates. Of course, this doesn’t need to be done. But it sure is helpful if there’s a want for a small and effective meal. Scroll down and find two recipes on stuffing/cornbread.

  1. Incorporate the Cranberries in a Smart Way

Don’t want to have boring old store bought cranberry jam, but feel like there’s no way of letting go of this classic Thanksgiving dinner table element? The secret here is to combine it with the other side dishes – make cranberry the essence of all of the appetizers, the bread, or even the dessert. This principle of combining can be apply to make the other Thanksgiving staples, as well.. But for now, check out the recipes below for two examples of wonderful cranberry-embellished appetizer and dessert.

  1. Pick Between Pumpkins, Yams, and Butternut Squash

Needless to mention, they are the ultimate flavor of autumn. But let’s be honest, there’s no such thing as having too much of these delicious and filling starchy fall-goodness. However, preparing and cooking them is definitely a ton of work. To save time, pick two out of the four options of pumpkins, yams, butternut squash and regular potatoes, and make one of the desserts, appetizers, and another one simply the side. Doing it this way not only saves time and work, but it also provides another chance to add variety to the dishes. In the section below there are recipes of classic mashed potatoes and a easy one-hour pumpkin cheesecake.

  1. Simply Boil or Roast the Vegetables

When it comes to this part of the meal, the hunger is probably already coming and making it hard to continue cooking another dish. So do not bother with the casserole! Simply boil or roast the vegetables. Green beans are the traditional, and easiest way to go. With just a little crispy bacon and butter mixed in after fishing them out of the boiling water, they will be as delicious as they can be. However there is nothing wrong with wanting to do a roast vegetable medley with zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli and whatever else.. But don’t worry, all that needs to be done is the washing and chopping ahead of time. The rest of the cooking process is almost the same as roasting potato wedges. Just put them in a half-an-hour before the turkey breast is done roasting! In the section below, there are recipes that go over the basics of boiling and roasting vegetables.

It is now time to make sure the flavors of each dish are not repeating or contradicting each other. This might sound complicated for a beginner, but it is fairly easy to understand – if there is one dish with a particular flavor, don’t make another one the same! For example, if there is herb roasted turkey breast, choose garlic mashed potatoes instead of herb roasted potatoes. And similarly,  if there is vanilla cinnamon in the pumpkin muffins, make sure the sweet potato casserole doesn’t have cinnamon spices on top. The key here is variety. And having a broad range of non-repeating flavors will compensate the limit on the number of dishes for the feast. However it will still taste delicious to the guests and will leave them as satisfied as the 20 course dinner party  – and guess what? There’s no need to worry and preparing for it.