Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, giving thanks for all you have. And for slaving away at a hot stove for six hours -- basting and checking and basting and checking the turkey, peeling and mashing potatoes, cooking green beans, dicing onions and celery, stirring the gravy, etc. Whew. Hard work!
You could do that, if you're a Martha Stewart type with a cute white apron and a perky attitude that can withstand hours of backseat cooking tips from your meddling mother-in-law. Or you could let the local pros do it for you with pre-cooked turkeys, sides and sweets that will let you spend less time at the oven and more time with your family and friends.
We've culled the list of premade holiday goodies to a handful of Phoenix's best.
- If the macarons at Essence Bakery, 825 W. University Dr. in Tempe, are any indication, the Thanksgiving sweets should be a real treat for your guests. Selections include Normandy Apple Tarte with Chantilly Cream, French Chocolate-Pear Tarte topped with Poached Organic-Vanilla Pears, pumpkin spice cake with agave cream cheese. Desserts serve 6-12 guests. They've also got gruyere cheese pull-apart rolls and raisin wheat bread. Deadline to place an order is Saturday, November 21.
Order a traditional apple, pecan or pumpkin pie at one of Tammie Coe Cakes' two downtown locations at 610 E. Roosevelt St. or 4410 N. 40th St. in Phoenix by Sunday, November 22. Or try the sweet potato and butterscotch Mousse Cake for a sweet twist on another classic. A stuffing kit is also available through their sister shop MJ Bread.
- Great Harvest Bread Co. at 1730 E. Warner Rd. in Tempe has Pumpkin Walnut Swirl bread, Cranberry Orange bread and Pumpkin Ohs in stock. They don't have premade stuffing, but you can grab a recipe card from former Butterball Turkey hotline lady and cookbook author Renee Ferguson.
- Valley Chompie's locations are dishing up a full feast of turkey, sweet candied yams, veggies and pie, served per person. All locations are open until 2:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
- Wouldn't it be great to have a personal chef on Turkey Day? The Thanksgiving-To-Go menu at Vincent's on Camelback, 3930 E. Camelback Rd. in Phoenix, is the next best thing. Chef Vincent Guerithault's preferred menu includes roast turkey with dressing and gravy, cranberry relish, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, Dauphinois potatoes, bread and pie. Cost is $37 per person, and all you'll need to do is pick it up on Wednesday, Nov. 25 after 3 p.m. or on Thanksgiving Day between 10 a.m. and noon and follow Vincent's reheating directions. For partial feasts (or picky eaters!) Vincent's offers a huge to-go menu of meats, side dishes and desserts customized to your family. Order by noon, Monday, Nov. 23 at 602-224-0225.