I headed out early this morning to the gym in the crisp, fall air. It was immensely refreshing and invigorating! My most favorite time of year, autumn offers me a sense of renewal while resetting the gears for the holidays. The busy 2014 wedding season has passed and it’s time to focus on bustling Thanksgiving and Christmas entertaining.

My fiancé and I are hosting an early Thanksgiving dinner this year. Last year was my first opportunity at cooking a full, traditional spread of yummy turkey and sides. It went amazingly well…with many of my friends asking, “How did you do it?”. Here’s my little secret: I wanted to impress Will’s family, so I spent hours researching how to make the perfect poultry, listening to podcasts of Martha Stewart Radio, and reviewing countless evaluations of top-rated side dishes.

Yes, I did A LOT of investigating! 

The last little tidbit; I made a detailed timeline (starting the day before) of prepping and when items should go into and come out of the oven. Did you expect anything less from this fancy pants event planner??

Check out these scrumptious recipes for ideas of what to “cook to impress.” I promise it IS NOT difficult…even if this year is the first time you are cooking a Thanksgiving meal.

Leave it to Ina Garten to figure out how to make the most flavorful, juicy turkey recipe! This is fool-proof and never fails to delight guests.

Sausage, Cornbread Stuffing
(Bon Appetit Magazine)

Make these gems the day after you’ve had your fill of holiday goodness…these potato croquets are a great post-day brunch item.

(Tyler Florence)
Here’s four heavenly recipes to give you a start on planning your Thanksgiving meal.
Go ahead and get your “inner chef” on!