The holidays are coming up, which means your life will be full of family, friends and many delicious meals. To keep everything running along merrily this year, why not take steps to make hosting less stressful, and a lot more joyful?
Here are 5 key tips and a few must-have kitchen essentials that can make your holiday hosting easier than ever.
1. Stock your pantry before the holidays
Even before finalizing your holiday menus, ensuring that your pantry staples are well stocked will prevent last-minute panic runs to the store for things like flour, salt, cooking oil and chocolate, lots of chocolate. Take inventory of your cupboards to see if any of those kitchen necessities are running low - then you'll be ready for all kinds of tasty recipes.
2. Don't underestimate your prep time
If your recipe says a dish takes 45 minutes to prepare and cook, build in an extra 30 minutes when scheduling your meal prep time before guests arrive. Even better, prep or cook some items (or components) ahead, so they're pre-chopped or ready to take from the fridge and reheat. Everything always takes longer than expected, so you'll relieve a lot of stress if you know you'll have time to do it well. Then you can relax, put on your favorite music, gather your ingredients and get ready to make holiday magic.
3. Let many hands make light work
Holiday cooking and baking memories with friends and relatives may be some of the best memories from your own childhood, so go ahead and let your family and friends help out with some of your meal preparation, cooking and table setting. Even little hands can do a few simple tasks to help, and the more the merrier!
4. Use the right tools for the job
Cooking and baking are so much easier (and much more fun) if you have the best tools possible for the job.
5. Clean as you go
If you can do some of the cleanup during the preparation and cooking process, you'll not only maximize your prep surface, but you'll also make it a lot easier to finish the cleaning after the festivities have wound down for the day.
There's nothing more satisfying than collaborating with loved ones to prepare a celebration, so take time to have fun and savor the moment. Taste your own food, spend time with the people you care about and enjoy the wonderful holiday feeling you've helped to create.
Between the best tools, help from family and friends, plus your upbeat, can-do attitude, your holidays this year can be more fun, festive and flavorful than ever.