Tips for an Easier Friendsgiving from a 12-Time Hostess

This post is brought to you in partnership with The Honey Baked Ham Company.

Tis the season for turkeys and stuffing! My routine for Friendsgiving hasn’t changed much over the twelve years I have hosted my favorite party. I start planning early, I buy my turkey at the start of the week, I prepare ingredients the night before, and I wake up painfully early to start my least favorite chore: cleaning and cooking the bird. The work is worth the reward, but it is frankly exhausting.

But a few weeks ago, after I had already sent the invitations, I realized I wasn’t going to have time for all the prep work this year.

Work as a freelancer comes with a peculiar schedule, and opportunities came about both in the days leading up to the party and the morning of the event. When I would normally do my pre-party shopping I was half way across the country at client meetings. My A.M. turkey time was replaced with snapping photos at a store opening. Suddenly the days of work had to be condensed. By a lot. Oops.

So, like the businesses who hire me for freelancing services, I outsourced. I found areas where I was losing time and I called in a pro to do it better and more efficiently. Say hello to The Honey Baked Ham Company!

HoneyBaked is known for its sweet and savory hams, but it is also a one-stop shop for Friendsgiving parties. Delicious turkeys? Check. Ample side dishes? Check. Appetizers? Soups? Desserts? Check, check, and check.

There’s a few dishes I truly enjoy making for Friendsgiving. My Grandma Joyce’s bread stuffing is, dare I say, a life changing experience. But there’s others that bring me no joy and steal plenty of time and energy. Cooking a turkey isn’t particularly hard, but it’s incredibly time consuming. I don’t like cheese, so to my husband’s disappointment I never cook macaroni and cheese. My family didn’t enjoy sweet potatoes much so I don’t know any good recipes. My baked goods knowledge base is low. I stopped paying attention the day we learned to make gravy in home economics.  For being my favorite party of the year, there are a lot of required dishes that I’m barely qualified to make.

To save time this year, I paired my favorite homemade dishes with items from HoneyBaked’s online store. The pre-cooked moist and flavorful HoneyBaked Whole Turkey serves up to 12 people and was the perfect size for our 10-person party. The side dishes were full of flavors and incredibly easy to cook; each went straight from the freezer to the oven and poured easily into a serving dish for a homemade look. And the dessert was literally ready to go in only 15 minutes. I dare you to make a formal dinner party any simpler.

Oh, and let me make it an even better deal. My readers can save $10 off any online order of $80 or more, between the dates of November 12-29, from HoneyBaked. Simply click here and the offer will be added to your cart.

So how was the response? My guests couldn’t tell what was homemade and what was from HoneyBaked, but nearly everyone went back for seconds and we have a record low amount of leftovers. The party took a fraction of the time to prepare from previous years. And I think I might be done cooking turkeys forever.

For once, I felt like a guest instead of the stressed-out hostess. Here’s to more Friendsgivings focused on friends while someone else helps with the food!

Thank you for supporting the brands that make Oh, Julia Ann possible. Find out how you can upgrade your Friendsgiving with HoneyBaked here.

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