If you're cooking Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday, here's a list of five ways you can make it easier on yourself.

Keep It Simple. All you need is turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, and a vegetable. If you have time to make more dishes, go for it. But don't feel like you have to.

Don't Be Afraid To Use The Microwave. Potatoes need to reach a temperature of at least 180 degrees to cook. Your microwave heats them up to about 210 degrees, which is plenty. Microwave your vegetables too.

Cook The Breast And Legs Separately. It's harder to cook the whole turkey, because turkeys don't cook evenly: The breast meat cooks faster than the dark meat, that's why it's so easy to end up with white meat that's too dry.

Use A Meat Thermometer. It takes the guesswork out of it. The USDA says cook your turkey until the thermometer reads 165 degrees, which is the "Instant Kill" temperature for any bacteria.

So there you have it! Now get the turkey out to thaw.