Talking Turkey {Giveaway}

I cooked my first turkey when I was 17 years old.  It was intimidating, but a proud moment after all was said and done.   I was a new mother & wife and we couldn’t live farther away from family at the time.  I remember calling my mom and grandma countless times, asking all sorts of questions to make sure I was doing it right.   And even as proud as I was, there was a moment that was more special that day.  My husband invited one of his coworkers to our home for Thanksgiving.  He didn’t have anywhere to go, no family, and definitely no home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner to eat.  My husband has always been a very thoughtful & kind man, still is.  As soon as they finished up their day of work (cows don’t know it’s Thanksgiving), they headed in to enjoy some football and food.  Looking back, I now see that my husband is so much like his mother.

We have cooked our turkeys various ways over the years and probably prefer the oil-less turkey fryer method the best, but today I want to share my favorite tips for cooking your turkey and preparing your Thanksgiving day.  Remember, as nice as it is to present a beautiful table setting, all that really matters is who you’re sharing the day with and the moments you are creating, together.


I have learned over the years that the turkey does matter and will always recommend Butterball turkeys.  I recommend that you buy a bigger turkey than you think you will need. I say this for two reasons:

  1. You never know what extra mouths you may end up feeding and it’s always better to have more than not enough.
  2. You can have some great turkey leftovers and we all know, the last thing we want to do after Thanksgiving, is cook.

If you want to truly set it and forget it, buy the Reynolds Oven bags and a thermometer. I love the bags.  You can butter your turkey all up, stick in the bag, and walk away.  Keep the thermometer in there so you’ll know when it’s done.  I always say to just leave the turkey alone.  Don’t poke it. You can pour some juices over it once or twice but just leave it alone and let it roast.


Instead of slaving over everything, ask family to bring a side or dessert.   This will ease your workload and pile up the table with plenty to eat.


Chances are, you’ll get a tiny bit stressed making sure everything is done on time.  This can also make you a bit more snappy so I’m telling you to slow down and don’t stress out.  The food will be done when it’s done.  Enjoy all the moments you can and don’t let the lazy bones watching football annoy you by their lack of participation.


Finally, and what it’s really all about, be thankful.  Be thankful for the food on the table, for the company you have, and count each blessing in your life.  Ask everyone to share their own thankful moments and when you’re sitting around feeling full as a tick, thank God for the day ’cause you’ll never get it back and tomorrow is unexpected.


To help your pocketbook this holiday season, I want to giveaway 3 $20 checks to help you buy that perfect turkey!


Leave a comment on this post sharing your best (or even secret) tip for Thanksgiving preparation.  (You may do this once a day as long as the tip is different each time.)

Be sure to visit the fabulous sponsor, Butterball!  They’re on Facebook, Twitter, and keep their 800# handy to help you answer all your turkey questions.  1-800-BUTTERBALL They also have an awesome app, Butterball Cookbook Plus, to help you prepare the perfect Thanksgiving, including recipes that will become a family tradition.

While sharing through social media doesn’t get you an entry, I’d still love for you to share this post.  All the tips left in the comments will definitely help someone have the perfect Thanksgiving!  Giveaway ends on Nov. 11th, around 10pm CST  so that I’ll have time to send checks out!! Open to US only..sorry! Good luck to all! Thank you Butterball for sponsoring and for helping create memorable moments.



  1. 101

    kimbly says

    My best tip is to shop and plan early. Pre-prep is your best friend, don’t leave too much for the last minute because it won’t get done. Stick to your basic favorites but the most important thing is to make the experience as fun as you can. It’s a holiday and even as the cook, you’re supposed to enjoy yourself too!

  2. 102

    ellen says

    My tip is to buy the best turkey you can- if possible buy Butterball rahter than storebrand.

  3. 103

    LW says

    I make quick desserts like fruit crumbles (canned or preprepped fruit) with a box yellow cake mix or making a yellow cake mix taste more homemade by using milk, butter, and adding a box of jello pudding to it. I make the cake the day before, but the crumbles are best made the day of.

  4. 104

    Elena Vo says

    I make my own breads (seeds and nuts bread, rye bread, etc) about a month before Thanksgiving and put them in foil and then in a freezer. When it’s time for the holiday, I oull them out and serve with dips and spreads as an appetizer. It works really well the few hours before dinner when everyone is working in the kitchen and doesn’t want to sit down for a square meal yet.

  5. 105

    Ellen B says

    do as much prep work as you can the day before

  6. 106

    Kenny F says

    have everyone help out

  7. 107

    Eve says

    My tip is to simply ask for help if needed

  8. 108

    Ellie W says

    Don’t try to do it all yourself. If you do the main dishes have someone else bring sides and desserts.

  9. 109

    Lauralee Hensley says

    My tip is to make sure to have more than one tub of Cool Whip on hand. Some people like to put more than a dab on their pumpkin pie. Some people like to drown their pie with Cool Whip (no hubby I’m not talking about you). LOL…..

  10. 110

    DEBIJOT says

    Clean and wash dishes as you go, so they don’t pile up.

  11. 111

    dorothy deakyne says

    cook turkey upside down in pan

  12. 112

    ellen says

    A safety tip- do NOT cook stuffing in the bird. The internal tempertaure doesnt always reach what it should and you could get your family sick. Roast it in a different pan.

  13. 113

    Elena Vo says

    I add roasted garlic to my mashed potatoes along with evaporated milk and chives. Tastes great! That’s my tip.

  14. 114

    Kelly G. says

    My Thanksgiving tip is: when cooking the turkey NEVER rely on the button they put in the turkey to tell you when it’s finished cooking. The button is almost always wrong; making you end up with an under-cooked bird.

  15. 115

    Angela Cisco says

    I make whatever I can the day before.

  16. 116

    LW says

    Real dishes and silverware are nice, but for larger groups I use the “silverware” that looks real but is plastic and I use nice, heavy duty paper or plastic plates and clear plastic cups, plus thick disposable napkins.. For smaller groups (less than 10) , I use regular dishes, silverware, and glassware.

  17. 117

    BILL H says

    don’t burn the rolls

  18. 118

    Kelly H. says

    My tip is that you can never be to organized so plan your menu, your schedule, and prep as much as you can ahead of time.

  19. 119

    Linda Stewart says

    Deep Fry the turkey. During the frying process continue to inject the turkey with a Cajun seasoning. OH MY!

  20. 120

    Kenny F says

    It’s doesn’t need to be perfect

  21. 121

    Ellen B says

    use disposable pans if you can – easy clean up

  22. 122

    Eve says

    Always buy more than you think you need when feeding a large family

  23. 123

    Ellie W says

    I always make my dressing the day before because I know the oven will be tied up with the turkey.

  24. 124

    Diane Baum says

    My best Thanksgiving tip is to add chopped oranges and pecans to your homemade cranberry sauce

  25. 125

    Nadine L says

    Dry the bread overnight at room temperature, or bake it in the oven for about an hour at about 200 degrees. Bread that’s too moist will make a soggy, sticky stuffing.

  26. 126

    Lauralee Hensley says

    My tip is have the kids make the table decorations and if they aren’t perfect it doesn’t matter. It’s a way to help them feel like they are helping.

  27. 127

    DEBIJOT says

    Ask for help – family members enjoy helping and the meal has much more meaning.

  28. 128

    Laura Jacobson says

    My tip for a moist turkey is to rub some butter under the skin of the turkey!

  29. 129

    ellen says

    My tip is do not choose Thanksgiving to get too creative serve some tried and true dishes everyone likes.

  30. 130

    Deb C says

    Blend your gravy with an immersion blender. It will be smooth and lump free.

  31. 131

    Margie says

    A easy way to make deviled eggs look pretty is to take a small ziplock baggie and snip a very small opening in the corner.Put your egg yolk filling into the baggie and squeeze down to where the hole you snip is and pie this filling into your eggs.

    if you’re making sweet potato casserole and using can sweet potatoes be sure to drain the liquid off of it first or you will have a watery casserole.Also mash the sweet potatoes really good and mix all your ingredient and put into a greased casserole dish and put into fridge until the next day then you can add your topping and bake.That way you want have to mix it the day your cooking it and save sometime.

  32. 132

    Gianna says

    Make desserts and some dishes the day before so you’re not rushed.

  33. 133

    Elena Vo says

    I always make my signature pumpkin hot chocolate before the guests come in so the house smells delicious and gets them hungry!

  34. 134

    Kenny F says

    It doesn’t have to be perfect

  35. 135

    Erica C. says

    My best tip is to have everyone bring a side dish and you focus on the turkey!

  36. 136

    Ellen B says

    If you can make things ahead of time and freeze them – do that – you an save some time on the big dinner day

  37. 137

    MaryR says

    Prep as much as possible ahead of time!

  38. 138

    Kathy s says

    My tip is to eat at a relative’s house. I’m not a very good cook.

  39. 139

    ky2here says

    Prepare as much in possible in advance. Use the grill for brined turkey. Save your oven for other dishes.

  40. 140

    Lauralee Hensley says

    My tip is not to swap out more than one tried and true recipe dish that your family will eat for a new recipe dish they’ve never tried at any one Holiday. That way if the new recipe dish is a flop they still have lots of tried and true items to choose from and eat. The reason I say this, is because we were once invited to another family’s home for Thanksgiving and boy the only thing that tasted like our favorites was the turkey itself. We didn’t care for the stuffing, the dessert she put her cranberries in, or any of her sides at all. We ate, but very little. Then we came home to some left overs she sent with us that we tried to politely decline, but she’d hear nothing of it. I can tell you, I’m the only one that ate any of the sent with us items, and I ate very little. So, I’m just saying don’t swap several things for several different things, be smart and only swap one, if you even do that. I say stick with tried and true, so no one will be blue (okay so no one will be hungry).

  41. 141
  42. 142

    laurie says

    my tip is i try to do as much the day before as possibel to make it easier for me on thanksgiving

  43. 143

    Kelly G. says

    My tip for Thanksgiving is to make sure you give your turkey enough time to thaw. Some people forget it takes quite a while for a frozen turkey to thaw enough to be ready to bake.

  44. 144

    Beverly M says

    My tip is to prepare all the food you can the day before, such as the pies and squash dishes, etc. Makes it much easier on Thanksgiving. I would love to buy a Butterball turkey, they always are juicy and brown nicely. Thanks for this contest!

  45. 145

    Summer D says

    My tip is to get everyone involved. We always have lots of family over and if everyone brings one dish, it makes it a lot easier on everyone.

  46. 146

    joni says

    I like to do all my chopping of veggies and breads the night before.

  47. 147

    Laurie Clark says

    My tip is to prepare all the side dishes and dessert the night before. As soon as the turkey is out of the oven I get the side dishes and desserts out of the frig and warm them. Less stress and more enjoyment for Thanksgiving :)

  48. 148

    ellen says

    My tip is if you decided to cook your turkey outside- grilling. Make sure you have plenty of time and plenty of fuel before starting- do not run out of fuel on Thanksgiving because places to get more fuel are generally closed.

  49. 149

    Kellie Conklin says

    My best tip is to make two turkeys, one cooked normally and one deep fried. It is sure to impress your guests and leave everyone satisfied!

  50. 150

    Sumer B. says

    Get everything ready the day before so all you have to do is pop it in the oven and clean as you go.