Sunday, December 23, 2012

Organizing your Recipies While Cooking Christmas Dinner

One of the hardest parts about hosting and cooking for your family on a big holiday is organization. Almost every year, whether I'm hosting or traveling to another family member's house, at least one of my dishes has an omitted ingredient-and not on purpose.

I have been pretty lucky that said omitted ingredient was never anything that would have ruined the dish. I am trying to out-do myself this year, and in order to do that, I know I need to be very organized and plan ahead.

So, in my quest for being as near-perfectly in food execution and I will ever be, I have come up with five tips and suggestions that can help you!

Tip #1: Write out a list of every dish "name" that you are going to prepare. I found this pretty example, but color pictures aren't necessary :-)

Tip #2: Write a list of every ingredient you will need for all the recipes you will follow. This will keep your "grocery list" in one place instead of in different places with the recipes you will need. Just don't forget the list...

Tip #3: On separate pieces of paper or note cards, write out every recipe you will be using to cook and bake the foods you are preparing. This will eliminate the need for flipping through one or more cook books and/or using an electronic to pull up recipes online. By writing out each recipe you also will be able to mark off ingredients as you have added and used them so you can double check that you actually put everything in it. *I have used my electronics in the kitchen before and I have been lucky so far, but there are huge risks involved with cooking near your computer!

Tip #4: If you are using fresh fruits or vegetables, try and buy them the day before the big meal, and try to prepare them all for the dish tehy will be used in ahead of time. This will allow you to clean up the mess from washing and cutting far before your company arrives.

Tip #5: Since you are prepared and did some of the dirty prep work already, make sure you stay on top of keeping your kitchen clean. Nothing is more impressive to your dinner guests than a bunch of obviously home made food but no dirty pans, counters or trays. This will also save you time cleaning after the meal so you can spend the time with your family! AND if you are additionally lucky, if the kitchen was clean to begin with, your guests might be much more willing to pitch in to help with the serving bowl and dish clean up because larger bowls and trays hardly ever get put in the dishwasher.

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