Q. I always have trouble timing the cooking of everything on Thanksgiving Day. Do you have any suggestions?

A. To limit any “Turkey Day” stress, I like to make some of my side dishes and desserts ahead of the big feast. Believe it or not, you can prepare pretty much every traditional Thanksgiving staple (except the bird) well in advance. You’ll just need ample fridge and freezer space.

One of my favorite tricks to save time and money is to use my trusty muffin tins. Turns out there's a lot you can make in a muffin tin besides muffins and cupcakes. Think side dishes and desserts like your favorite stuffing recipe, mashed potatoes, mini pumpkin cheesecakes, and even apple pie cups. Muffin tins also help control portion sizes. They’re budget-friendly and they create perfectly portioned mini-deliciousness that looks impressive, too.