Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu & Binder

I know if I don't stay extremely organized for any type of gathering we host, I will go nuts! So for me, creating a menu well in advance is a must. You've seen me talk about them before, so I'll just get right down to business.

For this year's Mock Thanksgiving, I sent out an evite that indicated what we as the hosts would be providing and welcomed ANY addition to the party. I love seeing what everyone comes up with, especially when it's something I've never had before.

Mock Thanksgiving Menu
Red & White Wine
Assortment of liquor and mixers

Cheese & Cracker Board (I'm keeping it light so we don't fill up!)

Main Course:
Roasted Turkey with Traditional Bread Stuffing
Stuffin Muffins (brought by guest)
Mashed Potatoes (brought by guest)
Green Bean Casserole (brought by guest)
Sweet Potatoes (brought by guest)
Apple Cranberry Sauce

Ginger Pumpkin Tart
Pumpkin Pie (brought by guest)
German Chocolate Pie (brought by guest)
Homemade Hot Chocolate

Once I have my menu sorted out, I like to print off each recipe, or make a copy of it if it's in a book. Then I will put them in a 3-ring binder. I also include my grocery list and timeline in the binder. Behold, the binder...

I like to do this for a few reasons:
1. I get messy in the kitchen, and don't want my ingredients to end up on my nice cooking books
2. Having all the recipes in one spot is really convenient. I'm not fumbling through pages and book marks.
3. I can easily carry that binder with me when I am shopping to be sure I have all my ingredients- from the actual recipes and my grocery list that is included.
4. With a quick flip of the page I can go from recipes to the timeline to make sure I'm on schedule.

There is one other piece I keep in the binder- my table sketches. I will quickly draft up (nothing fancy) some mock ups of the tables; dining table, sideboard, dessert table, drink area. This way, I have an idea of how everything will be set up.

I've found this to be really helpful, and hopefully you will too! Let me know if you already do this, or if you think you might try it. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!


  1. This is such a great idea, especially because it keeps all of the recipes together. So if I need butter softened for two recipes and I can it all out at once. Brilliant! Now I want some turkey.

  2. whoa, this sounds great - something to remember when i'm finally hosting thanksgiving dinner!

  3. I love binders. I love plastic sleeves FOR my binders. I have a huge one for all the random recipes I print off and I keep them in the plastic sleeves so if I do spill something, it can be wiped up! This is a great tip and I may have to steal it!

  4. What a yummy menu - looking forward to seeing how it all went. :)

  5. I think I will try that...what a great idea! I'm cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner this year.


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