With these tips for keeping cooking manageable, you really can rise above the stress of the season and focus on the fun. After all, ‘tis the season to be jolly!
- First things first, figure out how much food you’ll need to feed your crowd so that you can avoid last-minute panic. Learn how to build your menu and do correct menu math right here in the article about How to Succeed at Hosting (Without Really Trying).
- Make ahead where and when you can, especially if you want to pull out all the stops. With a menu in hand – easy to do with the list of recipes above – it’s simple enough to figure out which dishes can get made ahead of time. Having your Green Bean Casserole or Holiday-Tree-Shaped Cheese Ball stashed in the fridge will give you peace of mind and keep cooking from becoming a chore.
- Making ahead can go beyond the food, we love setting up our table a day or two in advance of the event, that way we can have fun decorating. It can also be helpful to pull out your favorite casserole dishes, pie plates, cake stands, and other unique serving dishes and cooking utensils. Making sure they’re washed and ready to go saves time the day of the party.
- Plan for your big-deal dish, especially if you’re serving a large cut of meat that needs thawing. Turkeys in the 20-24 pound range can take up to five days to thaw in the fridge, which is the food safe way. Find out how long you’ll need by consulting our handy poultry thawing chart. If you plan to brine your bird, you’ll need to do this up to two days ahead of time. Planning, so your meat's thawed and prepped is just another way to cut some time off your day of cooking, time that’ll be better spent enjoying your loved ones.
- Finally, keep this timetable for roasting meats handy to help you out the day of and ensure your main dish turns out as succulent and tender as it can be.
Have these tips for hosting Christmas dinner got you inspired? We hope so and remember there are plenty more recipes to make merry with among Betty’s Christmas recipes.