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  • Writer's pictureCharlsie Pecoraro

My Top 10 Tips for Thanksgiving Week!

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it! I'm looking forward to hosting my sister, her husband and one or two of her grandsons. As young girls we grew up in the kitchen with our mom. She was a creative and daring cook who passed on her flare for seasoning to us. The aroma waifing out of her corner kitchen was a signal that the holidays had begun!

Here are my top 10 tips for enjoying the season!

Tip #1 Plan Your Meal!

I found this cute menu planner online and printed out one to help me keep organized. I made notations of "who is bringing or cooking" each item. Shout out to Heart Hook Home for creating this fun graphic. Click here to visit the website and download your free copy!

Tip #2 Get Your Grocery Shopping Done Early!

Last week I picked up a huge turkey and some other things I knew I would need for our feast. If you wait until the last minute, odds are you are going to be disappointed. Once you have created a menu, the shopping list is simple. If you need help there are plenty of free downloadable grocery lists designed for Thanksgiving. Click here for a free one.

Tip #3 Let Someone Else Do Some Cooking!

This year The Hickory Pit in Semmes is offering Cajun Fried or Smoked Turkeys! Why not take some of the stress off and let Brandon & Derek do some of the preparation for you! They are also doing a full list of side items including dressing, yams and good ole' mac-n-cheese. While you are there you can pick up a loaf of sourdough bread from The Breadman Bakery for all those turkey sandwiches you'll be eating.

Tip #4 Say Yes!

Say yes when people offer to bring food or gift you a dessert! As much as I enjoy cooking, it really is wonderful when others offer to help! I can hardly wait to taste my sister's cornbread dressing and Ashley's green been casserole!

Tip #5 Plan Your Drinks!

Finding the right wines to pair with your meal can be daunting unless you stop in and see my friend Brooke at Domke Market. Recently she served a drink at wine club that I knew would be a great complement to our meal. She mixed an Apple Pie Wine with some bubbly! Stop in her wine bar and gourmet shop for suggestions.

While you are there consider joining her Monthly Wine Club. You'll receive two bottles of wine and a cheese carefully selected to go with the wines. This is a great holiday gift if you have some wine lovers on your list!

Brooke is taking orders now for charcuterie boards for your Thanksgiving gathering! You'll need something to munch on while putting the finishing touches on your meal.

Tip #6 Hire Someone to Clean Outside!

The professionals at Acme Pressure Washing are filling up their calendar and are ready to put your home on the schedule! Having a clean abode is a wonderful feeling. This will definitely reduce your stress so you can focus on visiting with your guests. Part of getting your house ready for the winter and for the holidays is to make sure it is clean. Daniel and Jeff are passionate about their work and want to help you. Their state of the art process is environmentally & pet friendly. They don't use harsh chemicals!

Tip #7 Start Cleaning Inside Now!

If you you don't use a cleaning service for your home you may want to hire one to come in and do a deep clean. Another option is to start now and DIY. I found a great YouTube channel called Clean My Space. There are loads of tips that will save you so much time! The point is don't wait until the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to start!

Tip #8 Don't Forget the Dogs

If you are like me and have some fur-kids, their odor can put a damper on your holiday feast. Now is the time to book a grooming appointment at Apollos Paws! Rebecca and her team can do a bath & blow out, a full groom or a quick nail trim. You don't want to be stuck bathing your pooches right before your company arrives!

Tip #9 Take Care of Yourself

It is pretty common for women to put themselves on the "back burner" especially during the holidays. If you are fortunate enough to live in Baton Rouge you can schedule a few hours at my friend Ellen's spa, Avant Tous. She has multiple locations and a full menu of services available. Take time & take care of yourself!

Tip #10 Make a Gumbo

Honestly I can hardly wait for the turkey to be carved! One of my family's favorite meals is turkey gumbo made from the "leftovers" from Thanksgiving. I use the turkey bones to make a rich broth and then add my roux, turkey meat, the trinity and some sausage to the strained broth. Making a tasty gumbo is simple if you season with every step. I learned that trick from celebrated New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme. His seasonings are available in your local grocery stores or online. Click here for Chef Paul's video on making a roux.


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I hope you have a wonderful week! I encourage you to spend some time outdoors. Our cooler temperatures make it so nice to do some planning and coffee drinking on the patio. Marcello and Jack certainly love the extra time outside.

~ Charlsie


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