This year has flown by hasn’t it? It feels like just a few short weeks ago that we were all motivated to hit the gym, choose our ‘word of the year’ and knock a few items off our todo list. Now we’re pushing through the school year and looking forward to spending the holidays with family and friends. One of our favorite parts of the holiday’s is the food. I’m sure you’ve gathered that from our endless supply of delicious holiday recipes.
A few of our favorites include:
- 9 Unusual Turkey Recipes for the Holidays
- Baked Garlic Spinach Chips
- Grandma’s Cheesy Potato Recipe
- Easy Christmas Ornament Cupcakes
- Cranberry Brie Bites
- Glazed Carrots and Butternut Squash
By helping my grandmother in the kitchen during the holidays, I learned long ago that there are three parts to pulling off a successful holiday meal. The first part is love. Holiday meals take a lot of work and the result of that work is demolished in mere minutes as your family descends like a happy, clamoring pack of wolves. So the final result can not be your reward. Your reward is bringing your family together around a table to share love. The second part are great recipes, old and new. We have tried and true family favorites but she was never afraid to put something new on the table each year to try too. Last but not least, preparation, preparation, preparation.
5 Tips To Help You Prep for Holiday Meals
1. Prep the Pantry
While you could go shop for each individual ingredient needed to pull off your holiday meal it would probably be both expensive and wasteful. Instead, you probably have a good number of the necessary items in your pantry: seasonings, flour, sugar, and canned goods to name a few. Think of your pantry as the backbone of your holiday meal.
Now is a good time to through the pantry and get rid of anything that’s old or expired. As you’re cleaning make a list of the items you need to replace. Once your shopping is done organize your pantry by category: everyday foods, snacks, baking ingredients, spices etc.
2. Choose Your Recipes
This will be helpful in making sure you’re not running to the store the day of for last minute supplies because you forgot the ingredients for apple pie. More importantly, it will let you plan your day. By scheduling recipes according to the length of time it takes them to cook you can insure that everything is done on time and piping hot when it’s placed on the table.
3. Create a Master Shopping List
If you’re like me, you learned most of your holiday meal recipes by watching your family members make them year after year. I couldn’t tell you exactly how to make most of the delicious things that fill our holiday table in terms other than “a pinch of this, a dash of that, cook until it looks right.” But I can break them down to create a master shopping list. Actually you will need to make a few list. First, go through each recipe you will be making write down the required ingredients, then create a list. Cross off items you wont need to buy duplicates off and then cross off anything you already have in your pantry. Now make your official shopping list.
4. Prep the Night Before
Many ingredients can be measured, cut, chopped, peeled, rolled, partially baked and stored the night before your holiday meal. My grandma makes her pie fillings, preps all of her spices, chops the veggies and cleans the kitchen the night before her holiday meal. It saves so much time the day of and that’s more time we get to spend with family.
5. Use the Right Tools
The right tools help get the job done quickly and easily. For instance, I have this pairing knife that I use for just about everything. It’s tack sharp and can get just about any cutting job done. One of the greatest gifts I received for my wedding was a Kitchen Aid mixer. I can’t tell you how much work that bad girl does around the holidays. She makes my job so much easier. And now it turns out, KitchenAid has an new line of products at Best Buy that include ranges and refrigerators.
The all new slide-in ranges fit the traditional freestanding cut-out but they do so much more with things like Even-Heat™ Technology, Steam Rack and Steam Bake cooking options and a Baking Drawer for cooking flexibility to keep dishes warm, slow cook or simply bake at a different temperature than the main oven cavity. The line of refrigerators is equally impressive. The EW French Door Refrigeration Configuration offers more drawers, while the Five Door Refrigerator boasts the ultimate in flexibility, organized storage and easier access to food. The new 36” French Door Bottom Mount Built-in Refrigerator offers platinum interior design, ooooo….ahhhhh.
Just in time to get you ready for the holidays, you can get a free 10-pc Painted Stainless-Steel KitchenAid Cookware Set w/ the Purchase of Any KitchenAid Range or OTR Pair. Expires 10/31. Save an additional 5% with the purchase of 3 or more Kitchen Aid Major Kitchen Appliances. Expires 10/31