Arguably the most important part of the holiday season is not the decorating or even the gift giving - it is the food! And as you all know, there are logistics one needs to figure out when it comes to assuming the role of chef. Are you responsible for preparing any meals this year? If the answer is yes, let us help ensure your experience in the kitchen is guaranteed to be a successful one by following our cooking do's and don't.
Holiday Cooking Do's
Give Yourself Enough Time - The last thing you want is to be running around the kitchen, missing out on all of the festivities family and friends are experiencing elsewhere in the home. A few days before, see what you can prepare ahead of time (for example, side dishes or dessert). Then, invite guests over at an appropriate time, meaning, don’t have everyone arrive too early so that you have a chance to get the rest of the food started without distractions and interruptions.
Make A List - When you know what you’d like to serve for your holiday breakfast, lunch and/or dinner, make a list of all of the ingredients you need to get the job done (and of course, check it twice). Doing so can help you rest assured knowing that you have everything you need to create your feast. You don’t want the stress of needing to make a last minute trip to the grocery store while the food is already cooking, do you?
Read The Directions - No one wants an under or over cooked meal, so make sure you read the directions carefully before sticking anything in the oven or on top of the stove. If you don’t know how long something is meant to cook for, be sure to do your research first instead of just winging it.
Holiday Cooking Don'ts
Don't Feel Like You Have To Be Over The Top - Of course it’s nice to offer a variety of foods to make sure there is something for everyone, but remember that the holidays aren’t about being the best chef on the block – they’re about spending time with the people you love the most. Keeping things simple is a surefire way to avoid major holiday stress.
Don't Put Pressure On Yourself - Putting too much pressure on yourself could absolutely lead to a kitchen mishap. Instead, take things slow and prepare things at a pace and in a way that is right for you. This also means making an honest effort to not let others pressure you. If guests are getting impatient, kindly let them know the food is on the way (you may benefit from having some appetizers out in the meantime).
Try Something Totally New - It is always fun to try a new recipe, but having a home filled with holiday guests may not be the right time to do so. If you absolutely insist on switching things up, make sure you test out the recipe a few times prior to the big day, so that you can avoid disaster if it does not come out as planned.