The holidays are finally upon us and this time of year it’s always fun to get together with family and friends for a holiday gathering. If this is your year to host, read up on these tips to prepare your kitchen for a stress free holiday party!
- Set Your Menu
First things first, establish your holiday menu. With appetizers, a main course, sides and deserts, there’s a lot of food to think about. Go through your recipes, write down all the ingredients you need and set your menu in stone.
- Organize the Pantry
Once you’ve set your menu, get to the pantry and see what you’ve got. Now is a good time to get rid of any expired or unwanted ingredients. Purchase or set aside the ingredients you’ll be needing for your entire meal. Organizing your pantry will help you feel more prepared and take away some of the stress of hosting.
- Prep your appliances
Now is a good time to go through your cabinets and see what small appliances you have stored away that may be useful. Maybe it’s a small chopper or a hand blender that you haven’t used but may be handy. This is also a great time to gather all your baking tools. Dig up those cookie cutters and colorful sprinkles you’ve stored away since last year.
- Deep clean the Kitchen
Before making a huge mess of the kitchen, it’s important to do a deep clean. This way, if your kitchen is as clean as possible to start, you won’t feel like you have as much of a mess to pick up afterwards. Another way to stay on top of the mess throughout the night is to clean as you go. Try and was a few dishes between courses, that way you wont have as larger of a dish pile in the sink.
- Designate work areas
Classic home cooked meals are a staple during the holiday season. When hosting dinner for the family, there are chances that you may have more than one chef in the kitchen. Designated work areas are going to help you control the chaos in the kitchen during meal preparation. Once way to do this is have one counter for preparing dinner and one for desert. If you have more than one person cooking at a time, it may be a good idea to lay out your tools ahead of time to make sure you have enough materials for a seamless cooking flow.
- Perfect Packaging
It’s all about the presentation during the holidays. Whether it be a dinner dish or desert, make sure it’s dressed to impress in the prettiest festive presentation. There are so many creative ways you can present a your food in a festive way. You can do something as simple as packaging cookies in a box with a bow, or go as far as layout out your antipasto in the shape of a wreath.
Once your home is clean and your appliance are prepared, its time for the finishing touches. The most fun part about the holiday season is the decorations. This time of year it’s always fun to switch things up and create a beautiful ambiance for your guests. Decorate the food table by throwing sprigs of greenery and bundles of cranberries for a fool proof, easy way to add a little decor.
Finally, its time to enjoy. Holidays are about spending quality time with the people you love most. While all the food and decor and gift giving are added bonuses, it’s important to not loose site of the memories being made along the way. Make the best of this holiday season!