Planning and hosting a big holiday feast can be a daunting task. Fortunately, we have the tips you need to breathe easy from start to finish. Here are the best holiday meal ideas for managing everything without getting too stressed.

1. Cook and Prep Food Ahead of Time

Many recipes can be put together a day or two before the event. Pies, casseroles, biscuits, appetizers, and more will be just fine in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours. Taste of Home has a whole collection of make-ahead holiday recipes you might enjoy.

2. Plan out Your Oven and Burner Space

The last thing you need is to start cooking and baking, only to realize you need more ovens and burners than you have available. Think this through carefully when planning your menu. Careful timing, including making some meals in advance, can help free up precious space.

3. Pick out Serving Dishes Ahead of Time

Similar to running out of oven and burner space, poor planning could leave you scrambling for serving dishes. For instance, don’t plan to bake two pies if you only have one pie plate (or go buy another one). If you have a unique serving dish you want to use for a specific entrée, write it on the recipe to make sure you don’t forget.

4. Set the Table the Day Before

This task might seem simple, but when you’re putting the finishing touches on your holiday meal, the last thing you want is to spend time setting the table. Create the perfect presentation by setting out the cutlery, linens, and centerpieces the day before.

5. Chop, Measure, and Prepare All Ingredients in the Morning

When you check the estimated completion time on a recipe, it doesn’t always include the initial preparation. Help things go smoothly by having everything chopped, measured, and prepared hours in advance. This way, when the time comes to cook, there will be no unexpected problems to slow you down. 

6. Source the Best Ingredients You Can Find

You might normally be a frugal shopper, buying off-brand products and food that’s a little less fresh to save money. Consider making an exception for this special occasion. Splurge on name brands and upgrade to fancier versions of your go-to favorites—your guests will taste the difference.

7. Grocery Shop Early

No one wants the stress of last-minute shopping chaos. As soon as you have your menu picked out, start getting the ingredients you need. The only items you should wait to buy are produce and other perishables with a short shelf life.

8. Hire Someone Else to Handle the Cleaning

You’re so busy planning, prepping, shopping, and cooking that you may not have left time for cleaning! Why not bring in a service to clean before and after the big day?

Molly Maid is the company to hire for holiday cleaning help! We’ll make sure you have more time, not only to prepare the best holiday feast ever, but to visit with friends and family who have come over for the big event. Our professional house cleaning services include dusting, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and wiping until the whole house looks great! Whether you only need help cleaning one time, or you want to set up recurring services, our flexible team can meet your needs.

Contact your local Molly Maid – 615-794-0200 or 615-603-3766,today

Ashley Farrar

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