Time-saving tips to make Thanksgiving dinner less stressful

Tara Ballantyne is helping us cut down on the prep-work of hosting so we can focus on having fun

Hack 1: Use Store Bought Pre-Cut Veggies

Purchase cut up veggies for a salad from your local salad bar to cut on prep time. 

When it comes to making your salad you can cut up pre-washed salad greens and add all the fixings from the salad bar to create a beautiful salad in minutes. Top with simple oil and vinegar and you are ready in minutes. To make this even more simple, ask one of your guests to help you with the salad prep!

And for another simple appetizer, buy pre-blanched green beans and just simply top with feta cheese and toasted pine nuts.

Hack 2: Make A Batch Cocktail with a Bar Station for Guests

Make a simple batch cocktail to have on hand for guests to serve themselves to avoid having to make mixed drinks and refilling glasses all day and evening.

 Apple Pie Cocktail.  


  • 1 apple, cut into slices
  • 1 litre apple cider
  • 2 cups pear nectar
  • 3 cups ginger ale
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 2 lemons cut up in wedges
  • 2 limes cut up in wedges
  • 1 cup of fresh cranberries
  • Vodka of your choice
  • Sugar to rim your glass
  • Cinnamon sticks to garnish


  1. A day before, combine apple cider, pear nectar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a large pitcher and place in fridge.
  2. Before guests arrive, add ginger ale and vodka, stir well.
  3. At bar station, have ice, prepared lemons, limes, apple slices, cranberries and cinnamon sticks in small serving plates for guests to customize their drinks!


Hack 3: Customizable Leftover Station


A great way to save time on clean-up is a leftover station! Create a leftover station complete with take-out containers and labels for your guests to take with them before they leave.

Use bags, boxes, small sauce containers, and write out labels that guests can stick on each container. Make a quick sign for the station to let guests know that the food is free for the taking.