If holiday dinners (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) will be at your home this year, don’t panic and don’t spend the entire time working in the kitchen. These tips will simplify holiday cooking, enabling you to spend less time in the kitchen while still serving a delicious spread for holiday dinner guests.
Make the Holiday Dinner a Potluck Affair
Most everyone cooks one signature dish, that one food item such as chocolate cake or potato salad, in which they excel at and enjoy making. Put holiday dinner guest’s cooking skills to work by hosting a potluck affair and allow others to bring the side dishes and desserts and you serve the main course.
Buy Ready-Made Food for the Holiday Dinner
If a potluck affair won’t work, go the ready-made food route and don’t feel guilty. Time constraints during the holiday season affects everyone, so save time and get out of the kitchen quicker by purchasing the desserts from a favorite bakery or other ready-made food items from a favorite deli.
Keep the Holiday Dinner Menu Simple
Simplify the holiday dinner menu by paring it down to the basics: a meat, 1-2 side dishes, bread, dessert and beverage. Choose a meat that can be cooked in a slow cooker so you won’t have to stand over a hot stove. Plan on serving side dishes and dessert that can be prepared the day before and just before the holiday dinner is served, toss a fresh salad and heat the bread. The holiday meal will look, taste and smell like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen.
How Much Food to Prepare?
What foods and how much of each food item should be prepared? Websites such as all recipes.com can help determine how much food to prepare and will also offer delicious holiday recipes. It’s not advisable to try out a new recipe on the day of the holiday dinner, if the recipe fails, you’ve just doubled the cooking workload.
Simplify Kitchen Cleanup
Plan ahead for cleanup while preparing a holiday meal. Line all roasting pans with heavy duty aluminum foil and place wax paper on counter work surfaces. When the cooking is done, roll the mess up in the aluminum foil or wax paper and toss in the trash.
Keep a sink filled with warm, soapy water during food prep to wash utensils and bowls as soon as you are finished with them.
Spend less time in the kitchen by simplifying holiday cooking. Try a potluck dinner or purchase ready-made foods. Keep the holiday dinner menu simple, search cooking websites for advice and simplify kitchen cleanup by cleaning as you go.