8 Tips For Stress-Free Holiday Planning

8 Tips For Holiday Cooks From Chef Lee


Don’t you just love autumn?

Food offerings change along with the weather, in come squash and pumpkins and cold weather comfort food. It’s also the time we all get ready for some serious holiday entertaining for family and/or friends, and then we completely stress when we think about the holiday entertaining.

I’m here to tell you… don’t stress. You can do it without the crazy pressure. I’m doing a cooking class November 5 and 6 that is dedicated to holiday party cooking. If have a chance, sign up. I will send you home with a check list and game plan to keep you organized.

If you can’t come to the class, here are a few tips to get you going. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comment area below. I’m always available to answer questions.

holiday causing you kitchen stress? Here are 8 tips for a stress-free holiday dinner

Don’t worry… be happy!

  1. Organization is KEY! Have your lists made. Not just your shopping list, but a prep list, guest list and a prop list (your props will be all the decorative items you place on the table or buffet). Count your china, glassware and flatware to ensure you have enough for everyone. Also count your serving platters/ bowls and serving utensils, you would hate to have no bowl for your mashed potatoes.
  2. Shop the weekend before the holiday or at least 4 days ahead. Your turkey will take several days to thaw, depending on size. A sixteen-pound turkey will take four days to thaw in the fridge. Make sure you are aware of how much time you need to thaw your turkey.
  3. Involve the kids with the prep. There are many things that can be done without a knife being involved if you’re worried.
  4. Set the table the day before the party, if possible. This will be a BIG help on the day of the party.
  5. Chill the wine and beer. If you need to set up an auxiliary cooler for the beverages, do it the day before. You can always ask a guest to bring an additional bag of ice, or have someone in the family (hellooo husband job) grab a bag the day of the party.
  6. Buy disposable pans for cooking…..so much less cleanup.
  7. If someone offers to help clean up after dinner, let them help. They offered because they love you and WANT to help. It’s also a good way to burn off some of the food you just ate. Well, that’s what I tell myself.☺
  8. Enjoy the day. Take a moment to reflect on the year and take in all the love around you. We have an opportunity to share with family and friends and be thankful and grateful we have each other.

holiday dinner success
Here’s an extra little tip from me: If I have a party and it isn’t on a major holiday, I hire someone to help serve and cleanup. BEST MONEY I HAVE EVER SPENT! It won’t cost an arm and a leg and depending on the size of the party, it could be a major stress reliever. If I have a party with over 15 guests, I have someone help so I can enjoy my guests after dinner is served.
If you want more tips… be sure to come to my cooking class.☺

Here’s to a magical holiday season.

With aloha,
Chef Lee

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