The other day I was asked what my Thanksgiving plans were. THANKSGIVING?! What?! Already!? How has this year gone so quickly!? As much as we hate to admit it, it is time to start planning holiday dinners for not only Thanksgiving, but Christmas too. These two holidays happen on the same day every year, but they always sneak up on us. The center of them all is what we have for our meals. As if getting up, going to work and doing life on a daily basis wasn’t enough to keep us busy we now have to start planning two of the biggest meals of the year.

This blog is mainly for the Nashville folks, but if you live outside of Nashville hopefully you will still find some inspiration in this blog to help make your holiday meal planning easier. There are really two-key things you need at your dinner that will make your friends and family talk about their experience: the main course and the dessert. Luckily, for Nashvillians we have some great options to help with dinner!

The Main Course

Honey Baked Ham - Smokehouse CollectionThe main course is usually your turkey for Thanksgiving or ham for Christmas and typically the one that takes the longest to make. That’s why you need to enlist the help from Honey Baked Ham or Martin’s BBQ! Martin’s is one of my favorite places to eat in Nashville. I have also used them numerous times for catering for work events. I can’t praise their food enough – it is SO. FREAKING. GOOD! Any time I have taken out of town guests to a Martin’s they have loved it and raved about it, now it’s time for your guests to do the same. Their turkey and pulled pork are my favorites! If you place an order with them and choose to get a side – definitely get their mac n cheese!

Honey baked ham. Oh, where do I begin? It’s so hard to choose between turkey and ham, that’s why you get both! They have great options that allow you to have all your favorites so that you don’t have to settle on just one. One of my favorites is the Smokehouse Collection: a combination of turkey, ham and…BACON! Who doesn’t love bacon? What’s even better is that these meats are best right from the refrigerator, what!? Yes, you read that right, per their website the best way to enjoy their product is:

“We recommend that you do not heat Honey Baked Hams® or Turkey Breast – they are made to enjoy right from the refrigerator. If you prefer your meat warmed, gently heat on low heat 275°F for 10 min per pound only by the slice, do not heat the entire ham. Heating may cause the meat to dry out and lose flavor. “

This is definitely something I can support!

Desserts!

IveyCake FunfettiWho doesn’t have a sweet tooth? I know I do and I will admit it. You know you will have that one family member who will bring the traditional pumpkin pie so you won’t need to cover that, but not everyone likes pumpkin pie (ME! Unpopular opinion? Maybe…) and it’s good to have a variety of desserts. There are two things I want to recommend: Jake’s Bakes cookies and IveyCake cupcakes. Both are TO. DIE. FOR! Especially IveyCake! When I travel home I am instructed that I am not allowed to visit unless I bring IveyCake – they are absolutely amazing! They even have little mini’s that make it easy to have the right amount and make it easier to not feel guilty about having more than one because you have more than one favorite flavor to enjoy! Some of my favorite flavors are the “I do”, “Goal Digger”, “Funfetti” and “Good Kisser”.

When it comes to Jakes Bakes, I don’t know what they do to their cookies but they are doing something right! I can’t have just one and they have a great selection of flavors! I love the sugar, red velvet, snickerdoodle and classic chocolate chip! They are the best when they are warm and melty and all things wonderful.

Now that you have set your table, and ordered your two key dinner pieces, you can focus on the sides (mashed potatoes, green beans, caseroles, etc.!) – the easy stuff to make! If you just can’t bring yourself to order food and feel guilty if you don’t make all of your holiday dinner, then at least do one thing to make the cooking easier on yourself, you deserve it! Don’t forget about options like Kroger’s ClickList or InstaCart – they deliver your groceries to your door! No matter what options you choose, enjoy the dinner and time with your friends and family. Don’t get caught up in the perfection.

Happy Holidays!

*NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. I am in no way affiliated with these businesses. I just think that they are THAT good:)