Happy Thanksgiving..Now Prepare early

Christmas comes early this year—at Thanksgiving, to be exact. The cost of the average turkey spread is up only 28 cents from last year. Compare that to this time last year, when holiday hosts felt the pinch of one of the biggest price increases for traditional Thanksgiving trimmings in years, and it almost feels too easy.

So we felt up for a challenge. Can you serve a lavish Thanksgiving dinner—from cocktails to pie—to ten guests for less than $100? We certainly think so. The classic Thanksgiving dishes are made from frugal ingredients (who ever heard of potatoes breaking the bank?), allowing room in the budget for a few splashy details that make this menu anything but meager.

For additional tips and recipes, we turned to Diane Worthington, author of Seriously Simple Parties.”If you’re really trying to watch the budget, potluck was made for Thanksgiving,” Diane suggested. “It’s easier on the budget, and it’s easier on your mental state because you’re not doing so much. You can be very mindful about what you’re cooking.”

Ask one guest to bring a selection of cheese and crackers if you like, another to bring a second pie, and put everyone else on wine duty—this is a party, after all!

Related: A Stress-Free Thanksgiving for First-Time Hosts

Harvest Pâté
Maple Apples
Roast Turkey
Make-Ahead Gravy
Classic Mashed Potatoes
Old-Fashioned Stuffing
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Winter Squash
Autumn Salad
Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Pie

OUR TWO CENTS: Set the table several days ahead of time. Not only is it a pretty sight, says Diane, but it’s one less thing to do the day of. Lay out all the serving dishes, trivets, and utensils you’ll need. Feeling super organized? Use post-it notes to mark which recipe will go where.

To see more http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/thanksgiving-dinner-10-under-100-including-wine-012400345.html


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