The Barefoot Contessa shares her genius 10-step game plan to a calm holiday.
1. Write out a menu, then go through and simplify it. If a recipe has a huge ingredient list, forget it. (Do you really need five vegetables? No, you only need three.) Also think about what people don't eat - nuts, for example. Can you make a crumble without nuts? You don't want to make a dish for each person; you want a menu everyone can eat.
2. Never, ever test a new recipe on guests for any reason. This is particularly true on Thanksgiving, when there's so much to do.
Related: The Easiest-Ever Thanksgiving Menu
3. Make a game plan. I take a big piece of paper and write my timing on it, working backward. If I want to serve the meal at four o'clock, I think, the turkey must go in the oven at noon, come out at three, and then rest for an hour. Then I look at the carrots and parsnips: Can I make them in advance? Yes, they can be reheated while the turkey rests. I pencil that into the schedule. IRead More »from Ina Garten's 10 Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving