With Turkey Day right around the corner, to-do lists start to grow longer and the stress of the kitchen can overwhelm the home cook, but here are a few tips and tricks that can make your day simpler, easier and a lot more fun. There are plenty of things that can be made the day or night before and simple ways to wow your guests, it just takes a little extra planning that will really pay off.

  1. Bake beforehand

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    Any experienced baker will admit that baking under pressure adds unnecessary stress to an otherwise relaxing activity. Pie crust can be made and frozen up to a week in advance, which saves a ton of time for fillings and whipped toppings. Biscuit and roll dough, depending on the recipe, can normally be made the day before baking and can benefit from some extra time chilling in the fridge.

  2. Set the table the night before

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    Normally it’d be perfectly acceptable to ask an early guest to help set the table as time is slipping away from you in the kitchen, but when people arrive at a home with a decorated table, it makes all the difference. By setting up the night before, you can take time to make sure all the little details are in place, and you can look over at your beautiful work while mashing potatoes and carving the bird. It also leaves time to realize things you may have forgotten such as a gravy boat and serving spoons.

  3. Provide a self-service bar cart

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    The last thing you want to worry about is making sure your guests’ glasses are always full, so by providing a bar cart, they can happily keep pouring for themselves. Easy things to provide for your guests to enjoy are wine (red and white options), beer and a premade punch. Survey your guest list beforehand and come up with a list of a few alcoholic and nonalcoholic options that best suit your company.

  4. Make a mega charcuterie board

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    You don’t want your guests to be hungry while amazing smells of the awaited dinner escape the kitchen – make a huge charcuterie board with plenty of options. Boards not only feed your guests before the big meal, but they can be another beautiful focal point. Everyone can grab cheese and crackers as they please until sitting down at the table for the real deal.

Don’t stress this year, Localite’s favorite Thanksgiving hacks are here for you and will surely make your day a lot easier and more enjoyable. So cheers to turkey, friends and family.