If you're cooking Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, everyone can sympathize about how much work it is to do it. Here are a few ways to make it a little easier on yourself so you aren't slaving away and can actually sit down and enjoy spending time with your guests.

  • 1

    Keep It Simple

    Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries and a veggie should be all you need. If you have time to make more, feel free, but don't feel like you should. We Minnesotans are all about the potluck, so don't be afraid to ask your guests to bring something. Just make sure you tell them by today so they have time to prepare.

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  • 2

    Use the Microwave

    Potatoes need to heat to about 180 degrees. Microwaves zap your potatoes to 210 degrees in quick fashion. It's also fine to use the microwave to heat your vegetables. The bag steamed vegetables are fantastic. Five minutes in the microwave is all you need.

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  • 3

    Cook Things Separately

    It's harder to cook a whole turkey because they don't cook evenly. The breast and white meat cooks quicker than the dark meat does, so start the legs and dark meat first, then throw in the breast.

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  • 4

    Use a Meat Thermometer

    It removes the guess work. The United States Department of Agriculture says turkey needs to cook to 165 degrees to remove bacteria. Just be careful. When it gets that hot, it's easy for the bird to dry out.

  • 5

    Buy Dessert

    It costs about the same whether you make a pumpkin pie or buy it. Both versions taste about the same. Unless you really like making pumpkin pie, then go for it. I also posted a recipe for pumpkin cheesecake that takes about 10 minutes to make. Check it out HERE.

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