The Chef

Holiday Helpers

Don’t worry…I’m a trained professional”

Tips for Holiday Cooking:

Ok, I am definitely not a trained professional lol, I’m a domestic disaster In training!!! The first Thanksgiving we hosted, I was completely lost. We found out we’d be cooking for everyone the night before, I had never made any of the recipes, I looked up recipes online and had no idea how they would turn out, we went grocery shopping at the worst possible time (7pm the night before TDay!!!), I was up till 4am prepping everything, I was a complete mess! Luckily, it went very well for such short notice! (Big thanks to dvr-ed Rachael Ray shows!!) I promised myself that for the holidays to come, I would be ready! 

 Here are a few useful tips I have learned over the years to help make everything go as easy as possible when cooking a holiday meal!! I hope it helps your cooking prep go from disaster to delicious!!

 

1. Never be a food virgin on a big holiday!! Test drive the recipe before so you are more comfortable and have an idea of what to expect!

2. I always keep pies in the freezer just in case I need them! If something doesn’t turn out, I’m covered! 🙂

3. Bake desserts a few days ahead of time! Just wrap, refrigerate, take out that morning. Throw them in the oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes if you want them warm for serving!

4. Slice, dice, chop, and peel everything the night before, cover, and keep in fridge so it’s ready to go!

5. Set out anything you can that you will need so it’s ready to go: Pots, pans, crockpot, spices, broth, etc. Keep items you need in the fridge in a group. Example: For the stuffing, we set out our crockpot, spices, bags of breadcrumbs, the recipe on the counter and put the stuff in fridge all next to each other so we were ready to go!

6. Set the table at least a day before if possible!

7. Make sure all of your pots and pans fit in the oven when you need them! Set your roastinng rack in if using one, along with a few casserole dishes and make sure you’ll have room without having to rearrange the pans while cooking!

8. Make a timeline/list to help you easily keep track of what comes next! Make reminders on Post Its if needed! When you’ve completed a task, simply check it off!

9. Buy items that won’t expire as early as you can so you beat the holiday rush! Many items start going on sale a few weeks early. Flour, sugar, stock in a box, baking essentials, etc. Make at least 2 grocery lists: Stuff to buy now, stuff to get weekend before, such as fruits, veggies, etc.

10.  Let guests bring something if they offer!! Appetizer, Wine, A side dish, Dessert.

11. There are so many amazing tools to help make cooking and baking easier on you! Tupperware and Pampered Chef have many awesome products. I am personally a HUGE Pampered Chef fan!! I absolutely love their little gadgets that help me save loads of time! My loving mom bought me one of my favorite tools ever, the Manual food processor. It makes dicing fruits and veggies SO quick and easy!!   (More on their products to come!)

12. Don’t be afraid to put your own spin on recipes!

13.  If making a special holiday cocktail, make one pitcher for everyone to share! Don’t stress about stocking a full bar.

14.  Try to relax and not stress about every little detail. If you don’t get something done, nobody will even know you were planning it!!

15. Buy some cheap tupperware for leftovers for relatives. I got a whole variety package at Wal-Mart for under $5!!! That way, you don’t hand out your own personal collection and wonder where it all went!

HAPPY COOKING 🙂

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