Hosting Thanksgiving? How to reduce stress according to culinary icon Ina Garten

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Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa on Food Network (Via MerlinFTP Drop)

Ina Garten is no stranger to hosting friends and family for a large meal. So she know how much of a daunting task it can be to plan, shop, cook, prepare and serve a meal can be. Hosting a holiday like Thanksgiving only adds another layer of pressure to make everything perfect.

So how does Garten, who’s written cookbooks about parties and is famous as the Barefoot Contessa, keep calm and cook on?

“The first thing I do is I make a plan for the whole week,” she tells USA TODAY. “So I decided what I can do on Monday, what I can do on Tuesday, what I can do on Wednesday.”

Thanksgiving to-do list: What to buy and when for a stress-free meal

The best part about having a solid plan of attack? It means you’ll have more time to spend with guests once the big day arrives.  

Here’s Garten’s fool-proof advice on hosting a seamless dinner:

1. Meal planning starts with a pen

Garten advises you to write out all the dishes you plan to serve. Include appetizers, main dishes, sides, desserts and drinks. Once you have all that, it’s easier to build shopping lists, figure out cooking times and develop a strategy.

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