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25 Thanksgiving Dinner Cooking Essentials

I actually enjoy Thanksgiving cooking. There’s a lot going on, it’s crazy. Even if I use all sorts of Thanksgiving hacks, I am still beat at the end of the day, but it’s so worth it. Here are 25 Thanksgiving cooking essentials that make it easier to get ready for Thanksgiving dinner.

cooking thanksgiving dinner essentials

First things first, I loooooove, absolutely love (like want to marry and have a family with) my roasting pan. It makes a fantastic mixing bowl for dressing…then you can use it to warm your smoked turkey. It’s versatile and fabulous. And about that dressing…You can’t cook dressing without a cake pan or a muffin pan (using a muffin pan increases the awesome crusty parts).

I like using that roasting pan because I never have enough mixing bowls to start the day…much less to not have to stop in the middle of cooking to wash a bowl or two. I swear I need like fifty…The same as all the measuring cups–I would like fifty four measuring cups, please.

Chopping all those veggies for the dressing, the pea salad, the cheese ball (see where I’m headed) is like a thoooousand times easier with a Chopper. I use mine all the time, when making homemade spaghetti sauce, mediterranean pasta, or just good ole chili. But, if my chopper is just dirty and I’m too lazy to wash it, I pull out one of my knives from my Chicago Cutlery set-I’ve had them for ten years and they hardly ever need sharpening…But half of the cutting (and keeping the knives sharp) is the board underneath. I like the bamboo cutting board variety.

I like to make a ton of cookies to offset the massive number of pies (one must sometimes have a cookie with a pie), so I need a wide variety of cookie cutters (because Aunt Sally likes butterflies and Uncle Tom likes trains…don’t ask), and II like to have several cookie sheets. Then, I increase the cookie-making capacity of my oven with this awesome cookie-cooling rack.

Oh, and I just recently broke my sifter (gifted to me by my grandmother), so I bought this sifter. It’s bigger than my old one, which is uber-nice.25 must have thanksgiving essentials

At this point in the making of Thanksgiving dinner, I’m starting to freak that I’m in over my head, so I usually ditch the biscuits (because that seems like a lot more work, on top of all the cookies, the pies, gah!) and I make a loaf of bread (or two) in my trusty Cuisinart Bread Maker.

It’s easier to make lattice-top strips for your pies if you use a baking rack (which you need anyway) to make guides in your rolled-out pie crust. Annnnd, you need a good rolling pin to make that pie crust flat! But once it’s flat, I can’t ever get them off the wax paper, or baking mat, so I have to use a scraper. It works, if it’s kind of sucky that I’m not good at that…

Speaking of pies, I like having a couple of good pie pans, since grandma never gifted me one of her cool ones from the 50’s. That way I have a pretty pie at the end, even if it was ridiculously difficult to get there! LOL!

I’m really good at making mashed potatoes, though. I peel like a black-belted ninja-master with my Sweedish peeler (seriously!). Then, I forgo the hand masher (because that’s hard work) and I mash my taters with a hand mixer.

I like to bake with casserole dishes that have lids, so I can pop a lid on when it’s prepped for cooking, then let it sit overnight before I put it in the oven on the big day!

Lunch the day before goes much smoother if I cook something in my slow cooker (I wish this one was mine).

And at the end of the day, I’m about done and ready for this all to be over…please pass me a glass of wine (without a stem, because invariably, my kids are going to knock over my glass…)

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