When it comes to the holiday season, there’s more to just decorating and shopping – there are other logistics to figure out, such as who will be responsible for preparing the food! Have you assumed the role of holiday chef this year? If so, ensure that your experience in the kitchen is a successful one by following these cooking do’s and don’ts.
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
Try something totally new: It’s always fun to follow 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 before everyone arrives so that you can avoid a disaster if it doesn’t come out as planned.
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.
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).
At Chip’s Family Restaurant, we know that being in charge of holiday cooking can be a pretty stressful job, but when you follow these do’s and don’ts, we’re confident that your experience will be a smooth one!