10 Tips for Successful Holiday Cooking

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I’ve been prepping and getting ready for Thanksgiving mentally for a few weeks now. It is daunting for me to think about feeding 7 mouths on such a big holiday! Tom’s parents are in town and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law are in town with their son, Levi. I made my list and checked it twice (wrong holiday I know), and I think that we are almost ready for the big feast! Ironically I forgot to put toilet paper on the list so we did have to make a run to the store last night. Haha. Anyway, as I’ve been getting ready I’ve been thinking of all of the cooking tips I’ve been researching online, as well as, lessons I’ve already learned from this year. I hope these same tips help you!

10. Brine. Brine. Brine. Want the moistest juiciest turkey in town? Brine it overnight in water with kosher salt! Don’t forget to keep it in the fridge.

9. Ice water. Making deviled eggs? After they finish boiling, put them in a bowl of ice water! This will make the whole de-shelling process much easier. Works like a charm for me! Oh, and don’t forget to drink some of that ice water too. Gotta stay hydrated while you are slaving over the stove. Better yet? Stay hydrated with a glass of Beaujolais Noveau wine, which is only available around Thanksgiving every year.

8. Don’t freeze ahead. You can freeze bread dough but it’s not preferred because you basically have to let the dough rise twice. And that’s provided you didn’t kill the yeast when you put the dough in the freezer. (I accidently did this because I misread some directions… oops). Thankfully the bread still turned out fine! Freezing does save freezer space if you need it!

7. Do freeze ahead. It is better to freeze cookie dough (vs bread dough) because it will be less sticky when you roll it out! And it has a nicer texture after baked (or at least I think so).

6. Fresh is better. Fresh spices, fresh flour, fresh yeast. fresh baking powder and baking soda. All of these things will make your food and house smell and taste delicious.

5. Make ahead as much as possible. I’ve already touched on this a little bit but you should spread out the prep work as much as possible. Make the bread, cookies, pie crust, dry parts of stuffing, deviled eggs, etc. the couple days before the big day that way you can minimize your time stressing on the day you are supposed to be giving thanks for all of your blessings. If you plan ahead there will be more time for family, Macy’s day parade, and football!

4. Take risks. Always read through ALL of the directions so you don’t forget a key step. I tend to forget key steps because Im so excited to be cooking, that I have to re-do something or start over. But don’t be afraid to take a risk on a recipe. Go big or go home!

3. Adapt and overcome. Adjust for altitude (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/high-altitude-baking.html). Adjust for serving size. Adjust for preferences.

2. Know your limits and ask for help. If you simply aren’t good at something ask for help! There’s bound to be someone willing and able to taste test that cookie dough for you.

1. Relax and enjoy. Don’t worry about making mistakes. No need to stress about baking the perfect pie or finding the perfect Pinterest recipe. Your family will appreciate all the hard work you put in. Enjoy spending time with your family and appreciating what you do have, even if it doesn’t seem like much. There is always someone out there in a worse predicament than you. Trust that God will provide your daily bread and thank him for doing it every day so far! Plus, you know that if the turkey fryer spills and catches everything on fire, there’s always a Boston Market right down the road.

Good luck everyone on your cooking adventures. Wish me luck too please 🙂 God Bless you all. I am thankful for each and everyone one of you that reads this blog whether you know me or not.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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