As much as we all love the holidays and the traditions that the season brings, it can also be a stressful time. Nothing brings more worry than when you have been elected host of this years annual holiday party. The task of getting hot food on the table and making everything look clean can become overwhelming. One place where most people will spend their time is the kitchen, which can also become one of the messiest places in the house. So we have found a way to have a memorable celebration without wishing the guest would all go home before the party even gets started.
Create a Guest List
Begin by developing a list of all the people who you are inviting. Did you consider significant others, children, extended family or friends who might sneak up on you? Oh and don’t forget yourself!
What will you Serve?
Review your guest list and take into consideration food allergies and preferences. Is anyone a vegetarian, gluten, nut or dairy-free? If any of these items come into question, always confirm with the guest rather than assume. This will be the difference between a thoughtful, successful holiday and a disastrous night.
Next, take a look at your kitchen. When you create the menu you must also consider the appliances you have available and countertop space to prepare appetizers and main dishes.
Tip: Consider making appetizers that you can premake in the morning, refrigerate and just set out once guests arrive.
Make Your Shopping List
One of the biggest mistakes home cooks can make is overbuying. When you make your shopping list in advance, you will create a more accurate one. By waiting the day before, or even worse, go to the store without a list, you will be left in the grocery store aisles adding items to your basket out of fear of not having enough food.
Tip: Create your shopping list by writing down every ingredient for each recipe. Then cross-check that list with what you currently have. Don’t forget to check the expiration dates as well. Take it to the next level by breaking down your list into categories such as produce, dairy, etc.
Let Your Guest Contribute
Don’t be shy and turn down an offer from your guest when they ask you if they can bring anything. A dessert is always a good item to allow your guest to contribute with. Be specific in asking for the sweet treats that will help make the menu even better, a dozen chocolate chips cookies, one pumpkin pie, etc.
Take Time for Yourself
Always remember to take a look around and remember that this is a season of spending quality time with those that you love. Focus on being with your friends and family, that’s all that you will look back on and remember in the end.