The truth is everyone doesn’t know how to cook! And, even if you do know how, cooking Thanksgiving dinner is a whole other ball of wax.

So here you are —a newly married military wife, you’ve just PCS’ed, and going home on leave is not in the cards this year. That said, it’s your first Turkey Day as a married couple and you want it to be special. There’s just one problem! You don’t exactly know how to cook and your spouse has invited over some folks from the unit who also won’t be going home and are looking for a home cooked meal. It’s happened to many spouses before because well “guys will be guys” and now you’re left trying to figure this mess out.

We understand and we got your back to help you cook (or have) an easy tasty Thanksgiving meal, that will leave every one full and happy. Here’s some tips on how to do that:

The Turkey

Buying– You have two options or turkey. You can either buy a pre-cooked one or make it. If you plan on buying one check out your local Popeyes as I hear you can still reserve one of their handrubbed cajun turkeys that are $39.99 cooked and all you have to do is heat and eat. If you are close to a Walmart several of them are offer Thanksgiving Kits that include include a spiral ham and a smoked turkey breast with sides for $50 that feeds up to 8 people. Boston Market is another fast food place that offers amazing Turkeys or cuts of meat in bulk for the big holiday.

Cooking- Cooking a turkey can seem like a hard task and scary especially if cooking isn’t your thing. We’ve got the secret to a very simple easy turkey . For seasoned cooks bare in mind this is the bare minimum for someone new to this.

What You’ll Need:

  • Turkey ( we prefer Butterball)
  • Room temperature salted butter (usually one stick will do) -Do not melt the butter just let it sit out for a while
  • Bell’s Turkey Seasoning (or whatever seasonings in your cabinet, but you must have sage, salt, and pepper, garlic powder at the very least)
  • Deep Roasting Pan
  • Reynolds Turkey Sized Oven Bag – This is the secret to tender meat.
  • One Onion Chopped
  1. If you have a turkey already it should be in your fridge thawing NOW!
  2. Once it’s thawed, pull the bag that’s usually in the cavity out (throw it away unless you are trying to cook gizzards) and  fill your sink with cold water and pour some plain vinegar in. Soak your turkey for a few minutes!
  3. When done soaking rinse that turkey really good inside and out.
  4. Prep your turkey oven bag by opening it and setting it in pan
  5. Make sure you have clean hands and take that room temperature butter and rub it all over the turkey
  6. Season your turkey all over until it is covered. You can never over season unless you use to much salt. However, no one wants a pale unseasoned turkey so go to town and just be careful about the amount of salt you use.
  7. When done seasoning place in oven bag breast side up and seal or tie bag
  8. Bake at 325 degrees for about 15-20 minutes per pound. On average a 13 pound turkey takes about 4 hours)

We can guarantee you the bag will keep everything juicy and tender.

The Sides

The sides are very important too. To avoid getting overwhelmed stick to easy dishes that will fill people up easily. This will help you avoid having to have too many extra dishes. You can also utilize retailers like “Honey Baked Ham” or “Walmart”  for their sides.

Easy side Dishes include, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, basic stuffing and rolls. At the minimum these only require less then (4) ingredients each.

Click below for some basic recipes for the above:

Easy Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Stuffing

Easy Green Bean Casserole


Don’t get caught up trying to be Martha Stewart. Remember Thanksgiving night begins the start of Black Friday! This means other military spouses will be looking to make extra cash and I can guarantee if you check any of your local milspouse groups someone has a business where they sell baked goods. If not Walmart and your local grocery stores are your best friend. If you have to resort to resort to frozen options, Sarah Lee has the best apple pie that you can toss in the oven. If you need a Pecan Pie, I prefer Edwards. At Walmart singer Patti Labelle has awesome cobblers that can paired with a carton of vanilla ice cream for something yummy!

What are you tips for easy Thanksgiving meal ideas?







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