It’s the most wonderful time of the year—or so they say. But maybe “they” have never had an extensive holiday meal planning for family and friends!
Meal planning is never more important than it is during the holiday season. When your days are jam-packed with visiting friends and gift shopping, it can be hard to get it all done. But with the right Christmas dinner ideas in this stress-free guide, you can get in and out of your kitchen faster, allowing you to get back to the most wonderful time of the year.
If you haven’t done so already, write it all down. Seriously. Make a list of all the dishes you want to prepare and then break them down by ingredients to make your shopping a little easier. If you want bonus points, try to take some time to plan out the logistics as well. Can you bake your pie in advance if the Christmas ham has to be in the oven for a while?
Getting organized in advance gives you much more time to pack in your grocery shopping in the run up to the big day. Don’t forget to write out (and stick to) a grocery list!
“Make a list of all the dishes you want to prepare and then break them down by ingredients to make your shopping a little easier.”
There’s no time crunch like a holiday time crunch. With last-minute shopping, home decorating, holiday events, and unexpected guests taking all of your time, you might find it harder to keep track of all you need to do. Whether you’re writing reminders on sticky notes or setting them in your phone, map out your day in advance. Reminders to head to your farmers’ market or order special foods can be a huge relief!
Prep Your Meals
Ever heard of “mise en place”? It’s a culinary term from the French for “putting in place,” and it basically boils down to getting your food and equipment ready before you start cooking. (And if you want to use it as a lifestyle choice, so much the better!) You may be cooking at home for friends and family, but this pro tip can take your cooking to the next level! Use a lazy afternoon to chop veggies, cook rice, prepare sauces, and even make easy desserts ahead of time. On the big day, lay out what you need before you dive in. You’ll thank yourself later.
Make Other Meals Easier
When you’re in the kitchen with endless access to delicious foods, it gets a little harder to avoid the cookies when hunger hits. Cut up healthy fruits and veggies and keep them in reach to avoid loading up on heavy or sugary fare instead. Don’t forget to also prep Christmas breakfast the night before as well, especially if you’re not a morning person!
With the right game plan in place, you’ll be free to focus on the things that need your attention during the holidays, like spending time with the people you love and enjoying delicious home-cooked food, of course! If you need a little more help with meal prep, there are some helpful tools in my shop to get you started.