A cozy room, the laughter of family and friends, comforting food, and a warm place to take an after-dinner nap -- these are the visions of a perfect Thanksgiving celebration. But if you're the host of the party, it's possible that you might see an overdone turkey, contaminated stuffing, too many dishes, and fighting in-laws, all against the backdrop of a loud football game.
That's why we've compiled this host's guide to Thanksgiving entertaining. It's packed with the resources you need to ensure a happy day for all, including you. Here you'll find healthy menus, food safety tips, tips for simplified gatherings, and even some family tension tamers. So start planning.
First things first: What's for dinner? Every family has their particular food tradition that they just can't do without -- buttermilk biscuits, string-bean casseroles, the all-important secret stuffing recipe. But old-fashioned recipes don't take into account health issues like high cholesterol. Start a new family food tradition with one of these healthy menu ideas -- your arteries will thank you.
While you're slaving in the kitchen, your guests are salivating in the living room. Satiate their appetites, and spread out the eating, by setting out bowls of cashews and pistachios along with some simple appetizers. And assign someone to drink duty so you don't have to be filling glasses instead of perfecting the gravy. These healthy drinks are a nice alternative to wine and beer.
You've taken the time to plan a healthy Thanksgiving menu. Now don't blow it by making the usual rich (and fattening) desserts. These light desserts still highlight your favorite Thanksgiving flavors, but with a little less fat and fewer calories.
If you're a seasoned Thanksgiving host, you probably have your own system for handling the turkey and cooking the stuffing, among other things. But if you're new to the game, you might want to check out these food safety and handling tips. The last thing you want is a case of food poisoning on your big day.
Continued on page 2: Keep It Simple