Want to save oodles of time and actually enjoy Turkey Day with your family? Check out these brilliant Thanksgiving shortcuts! From the planning process to the last bite of dessert, I’ve got you covered.  Plus, keep reading to find out how you can win a trip to Myrtle Beach. I also have a $25 digital Visa gift card giveaway for you. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Want to save oodles of time and actually enjoy Turkey Day with your family? Check out these brilliant Thanksgiving shortcuts!

Heads up: For the Entenmann’s® portion of this post, I received complementary coupons as well as a gift card to share my thoughts about their products & the news about their Myrtle Beach giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Time-Saving Thanksgiving Shortcuts

I suppose you could call these “Thanksgiving Hacks,” but I abhor that word. It’s so over-used. I prefer “tips & tricks.” Whatever you want to call it, they’ll save you a ton of time before and on Thanksgiving day!

Check out these brilliant #Thanksgiving shortcuts and enter for a chance to win a $25 Visa gift card & #Entenmanns coupons. Plus, find out how you can win a family trip to @MyMyrtleBeach! Click To Tweet

Plan ahead, shop ahead, chop ahead, bake ahead!

First things first, make up your menu well ahead of time and stick to it! All you Pinterest fanatics (myself included), that means no elaborate last-minute additions. If it’s something simple, like my grandmother’s Heaven’s Delight marshmallow dessert recipe (takes 5 minutes to make), fine. If it takes longer than 20 minutes to throw together, though, save it for next year.

This Heavens Delight Pineapple Marshmallow dessert is one of the easiest Thanksgiving dessert recipes you'll ever make!

Ask ahead

You’ll also want to find out if anyone on your guest list is following any particular diet.  I guarantee at least one of your guests has declared carbs the enemy, one is convinced they have “gluten sensitivities” even though they don’t have celiac disease, and one only eats what cavemen ate (even though our organs no longer even remotely resemble those of our Paleolithic ancestors).

Look, you can’t please everyone (nor should you try), and it’s not fair to those of us who look forward to that stuffing all year to eliminate it from the menu. So just plan one or two alternatives that fit a wide range of trendy diets (a salad is a good option for one of them), then delegate the rest. If ONE person refuses to eat anything that

 Shop ahead

You’ll also want to shop at least a week ahead of time for the shelf-stable things, and a couple of days ahead of time for everything else. DO NOT go to the store on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. You’ll regret it, I promise.

Chop ahead

Once you have all your ingredients, do a bulk chopping session. The only think you really don’t want to chop/slice ahead of time is the apples for the pie (they’ll get brown and icky). Pretty much everything else is chop-aheadable (don’t you love when I make up new words?).

Bake ahead

Last on the “do ahead of time list,” bake/make anything that doesn’t need to be prepared on Thanksgiving. My mom makes her pies and the Heaven’s Delight on Wednesday (the marshmallows need time to soak up the cream and pineapple juice, anyway).

Don’t go nuts on the decor

Thanks to Pinterest, we feel like we’re slacking if we don’t litter the house with glittered gourds, create a tablescape worthy of a magazine cover, DIY our own place cards out of decoupaged leaves, and hang an elaborate fall wreath on the door to greet our guests. I say skip it all.

Do what my gran did. Throw a fall-colored tablecloth on the table, let the kids make some handprint turkeys for the place cards, and let the food do the majority of the decorating. Trust me, if the meal is yummy, no one will notice the lack of decor. On the flip side, if the food is bad, all the pretty decoupaged handprint turkey-shaped leaves in the world will make up for it!

Keep breakfast simple

Look, you’ll be serving a massive home-cooked meal later in the day, so give yourself permission to keep breakfast simple. You can always make the fancy pumpkin pancakes with homemade whipped cream from a freshly milked cow tomorrow. 😀 While you’re shopping for your last-minute ingredients (hopefully not TOO last-minute, though), grab a few boxes of Entenmann’s fall-flavored donuts & donut holes. Nothing says Thanksgiving like their Apple Cider or Pumpkin varieties.

Jacob waits all year for those Pumpkin Pop’ems! In fact, I was starting to worry that they weren’t bringing them back because my store didn’t get them until about two weeks ago. This is the first time I’ve had the Apple Cider donuts and they are awesome. They taste kind of like apple dumplings to me. I’ll definitely buy them again next year!

For Entenmann’s Little Bites lovers, grab a box of their Pumpkin Mini Muffins. They are  baked soft and moist with real pumpkin. All of the Entenmann’s Little Bites (more than 10 varieties in all), use real ingredients such as strawberries, blueberries and bananas. They’re are perfectly pre-portioned and portable, and contain no high fructose corn syrup and zero grams of trans fat per serving. Whichever you choose, you’ll serve up a delicious breakfast that gets everyone in the mood for the season while leaving room for that big dinner later.

Plus, for people like me who let their mothers do all of the cooking, it makes a nice contribution to the day! Entenmann’s did the hard work, I just have to arrange them on a plate and voila, breakfast is served!

Free up your oven

Rather than waking up at the crack of dawn and timing everything to go into and come out of the oven just right all day long, my mom uses a roaster for the turkey. Since she makes the pie the night before, she has plenty of time and oven space for the sweet potato casserole, the stuffing, and the corn casserole.

We don’t have mashed potatoes with our dinner, but if you do, consider using either your slow cooker or pressure cooker to make them. If you have both, use both! One for the potatoes, one for the stuffing. Speaking of potatoes, regardless of what kind you use, start them in the microwave to soften them up for mashing and mushing.

 Use your microwave to keep food warm

No, I don’t mean use it to heat up food, I mean actually keep food warm. We learned this when our built-in microwave died and became pan storage (we rent, so we can’t really rip it out). We empty it out and my mom sticks the casseroles in there as they finish. She just covers them with tinfoil and they stay perfectly hot until dinner. I’d unplug yours though so no one accidentally turns it on with tinfoil-covered casserole dishes inside. That would be fairly catastrophic!

 Shortcut your pie crust (it’s really okay)

While my gran used to make her own pie crust from scratch, my mom hates rolling out pie dough. So, she started buying premade crust. Guess what? It tastes exactly the same! Not a single person has been able to tell the difference, and my gran’s apple pie recipe has a very specific taste. In other words, if it’s wrong, we all know it. Same goes for the pumpkin pie!

 

Delegate the little stuff

From the planning stage to cleanup after the last bite of dessert, if something doesn’t actually need your full attention, assign it to someone else. While I can’t help with any of the main dishes (only my mom knows how to make them like Granny did, although I’ll have to learn one day), I’m perfectly capable of making the Heaven’s Delight or running to the store to pick up Entenmann’s for breakfast.

Depending on their ages, your kids are perfectly capable of handling the decor (remember, don’t go overboard), setting the table, clearing the dishes, and helping to entertain other guests. Speaking of, everyone can bring something to make the day easier. Assign rolls to your sister-in-law, drinks to your brother, the cheese board appetizer tray to your aunt, and so on. Like I said, if it’s not something that only you know how to make, let others help.

Now, who wants to win a vacation to Myrtle Beach? I know I do! Find out how, then keep reading for a chance to win a $25 Virtual Visa Gift Card & Entenmann’s Little Bites coupons!

Happy Thanksgiving Family Feasts with Entenmann’s® Visit Myrtle Beach Sweepstakes

Now through December 1st, Entenmann’s has a fun offer to celebrate Thanksgiving. Visit the Happy Thanksgiving Family Feasts with Entenmann’s® Visit Myrtle Beach Sweepstakes page and enter for a chance to win a family trip to Myrtle Beach.

Along with the awesome grand prize, you can also enter daily for a chance to win one free Entenmann’s product throughout the duration of the giveaway period. Seven fans will be selected daily at random for the sweet prize.

For more information and official rules, please visit https://entenmanns.com/en/happy-thanksgiving.

About Entenmann’s

Everyone has a favorite when it comes to Entenmann’s! Most of the time, the Chocolate Chip Little Bites are the biggest hit in our house. During the fall season, though, we’re all about the Pumpkin varieties. They’re made with real pumpkin!

Check them out on:

 About Visit Myrtle Beach

For those who aren’t quite up on their geography (no shame, it’s not my strongest suit either) Myrtle Beach is in South Carolina, right along the ocean. With over 60 miles of coastline, you’ll never be more than a quick drive away from stunning sunrises, fun days at the beach, and plenty of lush natural wonders.

Entenmann’s Thanksgiving Giveaway

Enter below for a chance to win a $25 virtual Visa gift card and three (3) coupons for $5.00 off the purchase of Entenmann’s Little Bites® muffins. Giveaway is open to US residents age 18+ and ends on November 24th. Good luck!

Entenmann’s Thanksgiving Giveaway

*Prizing is provided by Entenmann’s. 

Want to save oodles of time and actually enjoy Turkey Day with your family? Check out these brilliant Thanksgiving shortcuts!

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