From all of us here at The Glenda Daughety Team, we'd like to wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving. Here's a few tips for hosting the perfect Thanksgiving meal.

Keep it simple

Unless you're a 5-star chef, don't try to make every possible dish that you think would make a perfect Thanksgiving feast. The traditional basics - turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, and a simple vegetable dish such as string beans - will certainly fill everyone's plate. If nervous about cooking for guests, pick dishes that you’re comfortable making. If you’re trying something new, give it a practice run a few days before.

Go potluck

Why not ask a few family members to prepare a side dish, either beforehand or at your home? This will take some stress off of you and allow you to focus on the main course.

Cook turkey breasts separate from the legs

Turkeys are a challenge to cook as they don't cook uniformly. Breast meat cooks faster than the dark meat. If you don't care about breaking tradition, try cooking the turkey breasts and legs separately. Experiment with cooking the turkey legs in a slow cooker in olive oil. They’ll come out moist and delicious after six hours. And roast the turkey breast in the oven, just like any other type of roast.

Use a thermometer

A turkey is done cooking when it hits 135–140°F, whether that takes 10 or 30 minutes. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service advises cooking turkeys until the thermometer reads 165°F; this is the “instant kill” temperature for any bacteria that might be present. With care and proper hold times, you actually can safely cook turkey to lower temperatures to avoid potential dryness, but hold time becomes critical for proper pasteurization. Regardless, use a good digital probe thermometer to let you know when the turkey has reached temperature.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!