Tag Archives | Thanksgiving

Sparkling Cranberry Punch Ice Ring

This is Day 2 of The Organized Cook’s survival guide to cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for a large group.  My Sparkling Cranberry Punch is delicious and so easy to make; not to mention, it’s absolutely gorgeous!  You will need a large punch bowl and will want to freeze your cranberry ice ring ahead of time; and today is the perfect day to do it.  To make the ring, I use a plastic chip-and-dip server because it has the hole in the middle, like a bundt-cake pan.

Ice Ring for Sparkling Cranberry Punch

Ingredients:Pour juice directly into mold then add fresh cranberries to float on top before freezing

  1. Frozen cranberry juice cocktail- 1 canister, thawed (you can also use bottled cranberry juice)
  2. Cranberries- 1 cup
  3. Water


  1. Pour thawed juice into mold; add water to about an inch below top; mix well
  2. Add cranberries to float on top
  3. Freeze

Sparkling Cranberry Punch

Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 0 }

Survival Guide to Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner for A Large Group

Are you cooking for a large group this Thanksgiving?  Tradition has made my home the gathering spot each year and I love it.  I typically cook for about 20-35 people each Thanksgiving and everyone says, “that must be a lot of work”.  And you know what, they’re right.  Over the years I’ve created a system of planning, shopping and preparation to help ease the workload for the big day.  Not only that, it also frees me up to spend more time with the people I care about.Thanksgiving Menu and display welcome guests as they arrive

Here’s my planning guide to help free up more of my time on Thanksgiving Day.  By doing just one or two things each day for a week leading up to the big day, Thanksgiving dinner is a piece of (pumpkin) pie.

Thanksgiving Planning Menu and Shopping List

I love cooking with herbs and this menu is packed full of them.  This year’s theme is also cranberry…and lot’s of them!  Spilsbury Thanksgiving Menu and Grocery Shopping List; save time by eliminating those last-minute trips to the grocery store for forgotten items!  You may notice that dessert is missing from my list.  I didn’t forget it; rather, whenever a guest asks me, “what can I bring?”, I always answer, “pie”.  Now, it’s gotten to where it’s a contest to see who will bring the most unusual pie.

Spilsbury Thanksgiving Menu

Prepare Ahead

Here are just a few things you can do ahead of time to prepare for Thanksgiving Dinner:

  1. Freeze cranberry ice ring for Sparkling Cranberry Punch
  2. Cook Perfect Cranberry Sauce (this can made a few days and stored for Thanksgiving)
  3. Prepare Mushroom White Wine Sauce and store to pour over steamed fresh green beans
  4. Prepare Herbed Sweet Potato Casserole; this too can be made ahead of time so you will only need to bake it on the big day
  5. Arrange tables and chairs; if your house allows, you will save so much time by planning your seating a day or two in advance
  6. Chop onions, celery and cranberries for stuffing a day or two in advance; store in air-tight container
  7. Decorating your table just a day in advance it will free up a big chunk of time on Thanksgiving
  8. Set out and arrange each serving dish the way you want it to be on Thanksgiving Day; use sticky notes or place cards to label what goes in each dish

Let’s Talk Turkey

Here is a link to a great one-page article that will tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about selecting, thawing and preparing your Thanksgiving Turkey: Sara Moulton’s Turkey Tips

The Organized Cook

Boost your confidence, ease dinner preparation stress and have more time to enjoy your family on Thanksgiving Day through organization and preparation.

Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 0 }

Thanksgiving: Cooking For A Large Group?

I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner for our families. Everyone comes to our house because I established this as our tradition. I go all out with the decorations, menu and activities for the kids. I typically have between 30 and 35 people to cook for each year. It took me a few years to figure out that the one thing I was missing out on was time to spend with each guest. At the end of the evening I was wishing I had a chance to talk more this person or that person, or to spend more time sharing this special day with my kids.

Email this to a Friend Email this to a Friend
Comments { 1 }