Every year, we say we’ll start earlier but we must be secretly addicted to the holiday rush; a good number of us will be out grocery shopping until very last minute (I’ll see you there). But just like your college years, sometimes your best work comes when you’re under the most pressure. So, stay optimistic and get ready for your best Thanksgiving dinner yet. While there are many hacks out there that can cheapen the quality of your dinner, we’ve put together a list of 21 practical tips that will keep your standards up to par. We’ve covered everything from the scent of your home to creating a sweet butter for the morning after. **You’ll be patting yourself on the back by the end of the night.**What You’ll Need: – orange slices – cinnamon sticks – whole cloves – apple peels Instructions: Melissa of The Happier Homemaker recommends combining these ingredients in a mason jar, quantities at your choosing. Fill jar to the brim with water and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. For use, empty the mixture into a pot and heat on low. Add water throughout the day and wait for the compliments. They’ll come.
What You’ll Need: – 1 bottle sparkling cider or sparkling wine – 1 3-liter bottle of Sprite – 2 cans cranberry juice concentrate – ice – optional: real cranberries Instructions: Mix and serve.
Toss a bowl of ice with a few handfuls of salt. Place your wine bottle into a pot, or similar container, and pour over with the ice. Next, fill the pot with ice cold water to the neck of the bottle. Your wine will be chilled within 10 minutes.
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1. Preheat oven to 425°. 2. Toss together 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 package French Onion recipe mix, 1/2 teaspoon crumbled rosemary leaves, and 4 medium all-purpose potatoes chopped into wedges. Add ingredients into a pan or baking sheet. 3. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until golden brown. (Recipe from Knorr; Cheap Recipe Blog adaptation recommends adding thinly sliced shallots)
What You’ll Need: – 5 tablespoons butter (used in increments of 1 and 5, see instructions); use Earth Balance for vegans – 1/2 cup finely diced onions – 4 tablespoons flour – 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth – optional: 1 tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce Instructions: 1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. 2. Add onions and sauté for 10-15 minutes or until light brown. 3. Empty onions into a small bowl and set aside. 4. Add 4 tablespoons of butter to the pan, then stir in the flour. Cook for 3 minutes with frequent stirring. 5. Add in the vegetable broth bit by bit until the mixture thickens for another 3-4 minutes. 6. Pour in cooked onions and Tamari or soy sauce if desired. Use salt and pepper as needed.
Rachel Gurk of Rachel Cooks has whipped up the perfect Pumpkin Honey Whipped Butter. What You’ll Need: – 1/2 stick (4Tbsp) of softened, unsalted butter – 1 teaspoon honey – 1 tablespoon pumpkin purée – 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Instructions: Add ingredients to a bowl and mix with a fork. Whip until relatively smooth and store in refrigerator. Enjoy on toast or rolls for an appetizer or light dessert!