10 Tips and Tricks to Rock your Next Holiday Meal
I can’t believe the holidays are over already. Sad face, for real. Even still, I wanted to share some tips and tricks to get you geared up just in case you have to host a holiday meal this year!
I hosted Turkey Day 2016 (Thanksgiving) for the first time, which meant it was at my house and I did most of the cooking/prep work. I am excited to share with y’all how I kept myself from running away screaming from all the pressure. We had a total of 4 people adults, and two guests stop by, so that made it extra fun!
Let’s get in to it…
Clean in advance
Shampoo your carpets, vacuum the couch, scrub the floors and polish the silver. This way, the day of (or the day before) you’ll just do a light clean to get everything ready so you won’t have to be like this…
Shop 3-4 days early if you can. I can’t stand going to the grocery store on thanksgiving day (not that I enjoy it any other day), because you and everyone else who needs a last-minute item will be there. And I don’t know about you, but when I have stuff cooking at home, it gives me anxiety to not know how long I’m going to be away from it. Plus asking my husband to, “keep an eye” on the food never turns out well. Avoid this. Shopping early will give you time to check and re-check if you have everything you need.
Prep as much as you can, as early as possible. Wash your linens ahead of time (if using). Get your plates, silver, glasses or any other decor items out and ready as early as possible. One more thing to check off your list.
Know your cooking times
For me, there is nothing more nerve-wracking than having your sides ready a whole two hours before the turkey. I guess that’s not terrible, you can always reheat the sides, but it’s just a pain in the ass. Maybe the macaroni, waiting on the macaroni is awful. At least it is in my house…
Cooking for a large event or large group of people is a physically taxing experience. And as such, you’ve got to stay hydrated! I’ve talked about how water is the answer to every question (insert water article here) and it’s true. So take time to replenish
Proceed with caution. I am a serial eat/taste while you cook and then won’t eat when everything is done-er. Do you know what I mean? I’ve sampled so much, now I’m full or don’t want to eat what I’ve just spent all day cooking. It’s so annoying. You’ve got to taste as you cook, that’s a given. But with snacks, it helps keep you from getting hangry and it keeps everyone (hopefully) off your back and “when is dinner going to be ready” from being uttered. I will cut someone.
Keep it Simple
STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW! Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT try a new recipe on the day/night of your dinner. This is a recipe for disaster (do you see what I did there?).
Hosting a large event, especially a family one can be stressful all by itself. If you can, kick everyone out, send them to a movie, crank up the tunes and get your cook on!!! Your feelings come out in your food, so have fun and your meal will be delicious! And as much as I appreciate pettiness, maybe don’t talk about politics or religion if you can avoid it.
Clean while you cook
Start with a clean kitchen. Do I really need to empty out the dishwasher if none of the items I need are in there? Yes, empty the dishwasher, clear the dish rack, and empty the sink. Starting in a clean kitchen is waaaay less chaotic and much easier to manage.
Sit down, relax, and enjoy your hard work. Share memories with your friends and family. Eat. Drink. Laugh. Repeat.
Hopefully this will help you with your next holiday meal or dinner party!