3 Tips to Spend Less Time Cooking on Thanksgiving Day


Last year was my first Thanksgiving as a mother and my second holiday season as the owner of Bell Farm Shops, a small retail shop in York. Even though I was in a little over my head, I insisted on hosting. I love cooking and entertaining, plus it is also extremely important to me to start family traditions! I needed to find a way to host that was manageable for me and my lifestyle. I needed some Thanksgiving dinner shortcuts! 

Here’s how I spend less time cooking on Thanksgiving Day: 

  1. Crockpot Turkey Breast for the win!

The idea of cooking a whole turkey was extremely overwhelming. I’ve seen too many movies of ovens smoking to try to attempt more than I could handle. And the bonus, the oven was free for all the other goodies I had to make.

Find the recipe I used here.

  1. Made cookies and pies ahead of time.

Luckily my sister-in-law brought pie, but I did this with cookies. I made cookies whenever it was convenient for me and froze them. Here is my favorite easy cookie recipe that is always a crowd pleaser!

To store, lay out a large sheet of aluminum foil. Then, you do a couple layers of cookies surrounded in parchment. Put in a Tupperware, freeze those puppies and you are good to go! The night before just open up, lay out on a cookie sheet, and they will be just as good as you remember for the day of!

You can also freeze pies ahead. Again, I have not tried personally, but here is an article on it!.

  1. Prep, prep, prep

I did as much as possible ahead of time in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Here are some suggestions:

  • Peel and boil potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Cut apples ahead. Cut apples, soak in saltwater for ten minutes and then store. You can use in a fall salad or in your apple pie.
  • Mix up any spice blends ahead. I use this recipe for green bean casserole. There is a spice blend that can be made ahead. Beware! The spice blend has you make a lot, but then you only use a pinch for the recipe.  I accidentally used the entire recipe and had a green bean casserole fail. 

No mom should feel guilty about outsourcing tasks when you can or making choices to create an easier lifestyle. We all have a lot on our plate!

Thanksgiving dinner - spend less time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving DayI hope these tips help you spend less time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day and more time with your family! Enjoy and be safe!

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Hi there! I am Michelle and I’m a new mom and business owner. I am from Long Island originally, but we spent many summer vacations in Maine visiting family. It always had a strong place in my heart. My husband and I met living in New Jersey and eventually decided we wanted to try living somewhere new. Well, here we are three and a half years later in Kittery, ME and we absolutely love it. Soon after moving here, we found a charming business for sale called Bell Farm Shops. We fell in love with it and took another leap of faith and purchased it. We have owned it for just about three years now. We sell gifts, home décor, garden décor & backyard bird supply. It’s been a fun journey and the business is constantly evolving (feel free to check us out and follow along @bellfarmshops). We had our beautiful daughter about a year ago and I am still learning how to juggle being a mom, a wife, and a business owner. It’s a lot, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!