Everything You Need to Ace Thanksgiving

The countdown has begun: Thanksgiving is officially two weeks away. If the thought of the impending feast has you freaked out — fret not — we have a week-by-week, day-by-day countdown guide, plus all the recipes, cooking how-tos, decorating ideas and entertaining tips you’ll need to be the consummate holiday host. So take a deep breath and get started with these six tasks; you’ll be sitting as pretty as pumpkin pie come Thanksgiving week.

1. Plan Your Menu
As our Thanksgiving Countdown Schedule tells you, it’s time to finalize your number of guests, order your turkey(s) and start picking your recipes. Browse through our Turkey, Sides and Dessert recipes — and don’t forget the Appetizers! Try something new this year: a stuffing or dressing recipe with a Southern twist, out-of-this-world butternut squash, cranberry sauce that’s most definitely not canned, the sweetest apple desserts you’ve ever tasted and even some seasonal cocktails to complement your meal.

2. Get Ready to Tackle the Turkey
First time roasting? Seeking better brines? Head over to our Turkey central to get our 10 tips for cooking the perfect turkey, a brining lesson from Alton Brown, a step-by-step guide on turkey-carving, a lesson on gravy-making and more how-tos to keep you from getting twisted in twine.

3. Prepare for the Unexpected
No matter how seasoned you are at hosting, or how long you’ve been planning for T-Day, something is bound to go wrong. Brush up on our quick fixes to face every kitchen disaster:

4. Stock Up On Tools
Do you have all the cooking equipment and utensils you’ll need to prep everything from the turkey to the pie? Flip through our gear guide to make sure you’re ready.

5. Get Easier-Than-They-Look Decorating Ideas
Whether your style is rustic, modern or traditional, we have table decorating ideas and amazing tips on DIY decorating and making your own centerpieces. (And don’t forget the kids’ table.)

6. Find Inspiration from Food People
Our favorite food bloggers and stylists share what inspires their Thanksgiving table and menu choices, including their family traditions and unique stories.

Want more? Visit our complete guide to Thanksgiving:
Turkey Recipes & Cooking Tips
100 Side Dish Recipes
The Best Thanksgiving Desserts
Get Started With Appetizer Recipes & Soups
Entertaining Tips & Decorating Ideas