I don’t normally post about cooking, but a number of friends found out that I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year (I’ll be feeding 12, so a modest crowd) and asked me to share my plans.

First, I created a Pinterest board with recipes that looked good. I looked for color, fresh ingredients, and items I could make ahead. I also asked a few people to bring something.

Then, I created a shopping list. I asked the butcher at my grocery store when I could buy my turkey and not have to put it in the freezer. He told me to buy it Thursday, one week before Thanksgiving. So I did my shopping that day (with the exception of two brine ingredients which I picked up today while everyone was work/school).

Finally, last night I started on my prep schedule. Now, I’m not making everything on this list, but I included it all as if I were in case you want to borrow it. Most of these recipes are on the Pinterest board, with the exception of the pies, which others are bringing. (Borrowing, pinning, sharing is all fine!)

thanksgiving schedule

I am also steadily doing my housecleaning a few items a day (such as shampooing carpets!). I’m also trying out ideas for where to serve the food and seat everyone.

Do you host Thanksgiving? Do you go for traditional recipes or fresh twists on tradition? What’s your favorite dish to make or eat?