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Last Minute Thanksgiving Dinner Quick-Fixes & Party Planning Tips

By Julie Parise,

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Do you have the so-called "pleasure" of hosting Thanksgiving dinner at your house this year?

Don't fret. CBSNewYork has all your resources for throwing a flawless (or, almost flawless) holiday shindig.

Short on side dishes? For last minute needs, specialty food stores like Whole Foods, D'Agostino, Fairway and Kings are quick stops with fresh, prepared foods and fixings available.

If you burn the turkey, you may fear your dinner party is a disaster. Not so.

According to Damian Sansonetti, executive chef at the Upper West Side's Bar Boulud, you can still salvage the bird. Simply cut the legs off, he says. To explain the legless turkey to your guests, you can tell them you were looking to cool the turkey quicker. The secret slip-up stays in the kitchen.

For more turkey emergencies, the Butterball turkey hotline has experts available to answer your questions: 1-800-BUTTERBALL (288-8372).

But if your cooking skills aren't primed for a Thanksgiving gathering just yet, you can choose to cater your entire event. Check out our 6 picks for the best places to order a Thanksgiving to-go. (Neely's on the UES is offering deep fried turkey for their take-out dinner.  Talk about things to be grateful for!)

Meanwhile, for those looking to skip kitchen duty completely this year, you can make reservations at many different New York City restaurants. (See: The 9 Best Restaurants To Make Thanksgiving Dinner Reservations).

Magnolia Bakery Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake
(credit: Magnolia Bakery)

And for dessert?

If you're not exactly a Martha Stewart-type in the kitchen, feel free to put your apron away.

Magnolia Bakery has a seriously sweet holiday menu on tap - but that's just the beginning. We know where to pick up the best post-turkey goodies across the Tri-State - for everyone from your vegan brother-in-law to your gluten-free guest:

For party-throwing tips, CBSNewYork recruited celebrity host and restaurateur Liza Utter for surefire ways to throw a festive, successful soiree.

Her first piece of advice: It's not about perfection, it's about connection.

"The best hosts are not the ones who have the perfect party, and oftentimes, those are the ones you want to get out of quickly, because they're so perfect or so formal and structured," Utter said.  "There's not a whole lot of life to it."

Another helpful hint: A hard cider-champagne cocktail makes for the ultimate Thanksgiving drink. Add a slice of apple to the concoction for a festive feel. For more apple cocktail ideas, see our picks for the 5 best apple drinks in New York City.

If the effects of the tryptophan don't have you snoozing after the second serving of stuffing, you don't have to let the party dwindle. Take advantage of the haunts New York City has to offer by hitting the town. It's time to celebrate, after all. We've narrowed down the five best bars in New York City to entertain out of town guests.

For more helpful hints to holiday hosting, stay with For all the latest on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, stay with 1010 WINS, the event's official radio station.

Julie Parise is the features editor of

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