Last Minute Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Thanksgiving

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We're in the home stretch guys! Thanksgiving is T-2 days and I've already started wearing my stretchy yoga pants in preparation. Let's get a few tips and tricks for the PERFECT Thanksgiving out of the way and if you have any outstanding questions - leave a comment below so I can help make sure we're locked and loaded for Thursday!

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Thanksgiving from (@whatsgabycookin)


First - Remember when I told you we created a custom menu for your table this year? Well, here is the WGC menu! Designed by Heather from River & Bridge who's a genius and makes all my design dreams come true! Just print out as many copies as you need and then trim the edges and boom!

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Thanksgiving from (@whatsgabycookin)

Second - Wine Pairings. Some years I've gone off the deep end and gone crazy with wine pairings - but this year I'm keeping it simple. A red, a white, and a sparkling wine. After talking to many sommeliers in the past few weeks as I do my research here's what I've narrowed it down to:

Red: For Thanksgiving it's either a Pinot Noir (which is a younger wine with fruity flavors like plums, strawberries, cherries, and raspberries) or a Syrah (which has some stronger spice and black pepper notes and can be a bit smoky if you get an older one)

White: Personally I'm not a Chardonnay fan - so I stick to either a Chenin Blanc (which is spicy and slightly sweet with high acidity) or a Sauvignon Blanc (which is more light and crisp, with herbaceous flavors and high acidity)

Sparkling: I'm a BIG fan of sparkles so anything sparkling is always on brand for me! Just make sure when you're grabbing a bottle of sparklers it's labeled brut (which means it is dry) and not a sweet sparkling wine. And ask around when you're shopping, I like to switch it up between Cava, Prosecco, Champagne and Sparkling Wine! They are all delish.

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Thanksgiving from (@whatsgabycookin)

Third - Table Settings! We're keeping it simple this year. Here's the run down... You'll need a dinner plate, a salad plate, 2 forks, 1 knife, 1 spoon, 3 wine glasses if you're really going for it (or 2 if you're trying to save on dishes. You can easily move from a white wine to a red wine and save yourself some hassle later) and a napkin. Simple! We added some flowers and a few white pumpkins for a classic touch and it's perfect if you ask me!

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Thanksgiving from (@whatsgabycookin)

Fourth - Flowers. I'm a fan of a super organic arrangement so we picked a color palate, bought a bunch of flowers within that realm and then put them in a large vase for a statement piece in the middle of the table. There are a few smaller arrangements here and there for an added pop of color!

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Thanksgiving from (@whatsgabycookin)

Fifth - Just a few more tips and tricks that might help you between now and then!

  • If you haven't already started to brine your turkey - today's the day. Here's my recipe for success
  • Don't forget to take the innards out of the turkey. I did that 2 years ago and while the turkey was still perfect, I was embarrassed when I carved it in front of 14 people.
  • Speaking of which, carve the turkey before you get to the table. It's messy. No one needs to witness that.
  • Set the table the night before!
  • Have you started prepping dinner!? You should. Here's my timeline.
  • Stick all white and sparkling wines in the fridge NOW!
  • Clean off all your serving dishes that have been in storage all year. Assign dishes for each recipe with a little post-it note for easy reference come Thursday.
  • and most importantly - have fun!!!!
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Happy Thanksgiving guys!! I'm grateful for so many things - one of them being YOU!! xoxo

Photography by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Prop Styling Amy Paliwoda / Props by Casa de Perrin and The Surface Library / Recipes by What’s Gaby Cooking


  1. Switching it up this year and making your peas & pancetta, chipotle sweet potatoes, and the herb dinner rolls. Due to time constraints I made the rolls early and froze them (hubby and I had to taste test - Amazing!), any suggestions on how to reheat? Thanks for all of your great tips--we are covered for a tasty Thanksgiving meal.

    1. I'd them them come to room temp from the freezer and then pop them in the oven for 10 minutes at 250 with some extra butter on top and let them toast back up!!

  2. Those wine tips - you've got us covered! I will have to remember these for when I organize the Christmas dinner.

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