The holiday season is often synonymous with stress, but this year can be different if you adopt a positive and organized mindset. The culinary department at Carolina House has gathered a few tips to help you enjoy the holidays.
Make a simple plan and stick to it: Time management is your friend during the holidays, and simplicity is key. You can remove the uncertainty and complication from cooking by using some of your favorite recipes with familiar ingredients.
Use your freezer space: Foods such as breads, soups, and some desserts can be made ahead and frozen until they need to be served. These dishes hold their quality even after being frozen and thawed.
Ask loved ones for help: Potlucks or cooking parties with friends are fun ways to lighten your holiday responsibilities! You can assign dishes to certain people and cross those items off your to-do list.
Don’t make everything from scratch: Another way to simplify holiday prep is to ignore the pressure to make dishes just the way your grandmother did. You can save yourself time and energy by buying rolls, boxed stuffing mix, and premade pies. This will help you to relax more and focus on what is important at this time of year.
Take time for yourself: The holidays can be a difficult time to focus on yourself. However, planning a break from the madness of celebrations and to-do lists can help you care for yourself. Be sure not to ignore your personal needs just because of a hectic schedule.
Get out of the kitchen: Despite what advertisements tell us, the holidays are not all about food. You can relieve stress by starting a tradition that does not revolve around cooking. Game nights, movie nights, and sing-alongs are all great ways to spend time with loved ones without focusing on the kitchen.
Challenge perfection: Rather than comparing your holiday preparation to what you see online, try not to create expectations for yourself based on what others are doing. Put your own creative spin on ideas you take from social media.
Ditch the dishes: An easy way to avoid the stress that comes from mealtime cleanup is to use disposable baking pans, flatware, and utensils. This will allow you to sit down and enjoy your meal with loved ones rather than focusing on a mess in the kitchen.
Use those leftovers: Leftovers make great soups and sandwiches and can be used for easy lunches and dinners after the holidays. When you are doing holiday cooking, you can also double your recipe to use the same dish for another event without doubling the work you do.
Your slow cooker is your friend: We love slow cooker recipes because they are such time-savers. Slow cookers and other similar appliances are easy to set, forget, and enjoy the smells as your meal cooks on its own!