Top 10 Holiday Meal Prep Tips

Do not have another holiday meal planning meltdown. Experts recommend that you plan ahead to save yourself time and frustration on the actual day. Here are 10 tips for holiday meal preparation that is Zen-like.

1. Do everything as far in advance as possible

It’s the same as packing for a trip. It’s like packing for a trip. If you start packing ahead of time, last-minute things will be easier to remember.

2. 2 trips to the Grocery Store

Create a master listing of all you need for grocery shopping. Next, divide it into two lists. One list will include items that can be bought in advance and the other one will contain items that are needed at the last moment. Most likely, you won’t have more that 10 items on your 2nd list. This means that if the store is packed right before the holiday, you can get in the express queue — a potential time-saver.

3. Consider preparing your own food.

Professional cooks will tell ya that just because it comes in a container, that doesn’t mean it’s inferior to fresh. The prepared version is better if there is no noticeable difference in quality.

4. A slow cooker is a good option.

A turkey breast can be cooked in a slow cooker if you are having 8 or fewer people who aren’t interested in dark meat. It tastes great when seasoned with dry broth mix. A slow cooker can also be used to make pork loin (seasoned in cranberry sauce), and pot roast. Try it out on your family for a couple of weeks to see if they like it.

5. Thermometers should be your friend.

Food thermometers are a great kitchen tool that can make your life simpler. They are very affordable and easy to use. You can keep several in your kitchen for different purposes.

6. A dual-timer is your friend, too.

A dual timer, which is also very affordable, is another useful item. This can be used to keep track of multiple items during holiday meal preparation.

7. Clean your Frig and Your Counters.

It’s a good idea to clean out your refrigerator a few days before you host a holiday dinner. A turkey will require a lot of space. You can get rid of everything that isn’t necessary to be on your kitchen countertops the night before the big day.

8. Prioritize Serving Pieces

When your guests arrive, don’t rush to find the serving bowls, platters or utensils. Instead, make small pieces of paper from the night before, write the names of the dishes on the paper, and place them in the serving dish.

9. Ask guests for last-minute assistance.

Ok, you plan everything perfectly. Then…EEK! You forgot the ice. This is where cell phones come in handy. You can call your guest if they are passing by a grocery or other store while you’re driving.

10. Schedule in Nap/Relaxation.

If you have done all you can the night before, get up early and set the table. Then, relax for an hour before the guests arrive. You’ll have an extra hour to finalize details and be as fresh as a daisy while doing it.

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