As a Christmas day host, you want to make the best impression. How do you create that festive atmosphere for your guests with less stress, and less of that panicky feeling you get when the kitchen’s getting a little bit behind the eight ball?
Here are a few excellent holiday hacks that will help you to optimize what you do in the kitchen on a big holiday. Try these Christmas cooking hacks to get more out of your table this holiday season.
Christmas Cooking Hacks – Festive Appetizers
Creating a few neat appetizers doesn’t have to overwhelm you while you’re cooking. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a cast-iron pan to heat up some quality ingredients for an oven-to-table approach – while you are getting everything else set up, including the bird or the ham or whatever the centerpiece is for your Christmas meal. (We like Lodge cast iron!)
The possibilities are endless – you can use more common staples like bread and cheese, or vegetable/seafood combos. You can create small appetizers in ramekins, or simply cut up something flat into amuse-bouche pieces and layer on the toppings. If you’re looking to reduce your clean-up, try disposable ramekins!
For example, an easy focaccia bread comes out of the oven hot, smells good, and is ready to serve. Pair with a spinach dip, or try one of these festive choices, to up your kitchen game this year.
Holiday Cooking Hacks: The Wreath
Here’s another festive one of our holiday cooking hacks that gets attention from hungry visitors!
For the holidays, consider an edible centerpiece that features a culinary wreath, something round that your guests cut into and take slices of.
It can be, again, something like a round bread roll with a cheese ball in the middle. Or it can be that classic delicacy of the holidays: baked brie. You can use greens or sprigs of rosemary for the wreath’s foliage. Experiment with bold, complementary tastes, and you’ll have your dining audience eating out of your hand. Not literally. But seriously, a wreath evokes that Christmas feeling quite well, to adorn your table on an exciting day.
Keep Dessert Simple
You have a lot to cook on the big day, so consider having a dessert that doesn’t need to also go in the oven or require rolling pins, and other gear.
Cookies are a simple dessert. They only require a couple of kitchen tools, like a baking sheet and mixing bowl. They are also very traditional! It’s relatively easy to set a plate of chocolate candy or candy canes on the table, too.
Since diners will likely be stuffed, they’re not likely to need an elaborate dessert plate.
Another Hack: Outsource Some Food
In the traditional Norman Rockwell sense of “holiday cooking,” people assume that everything was made at home.
A couple of generations later, it’s a lot easier and often more practical to source high-quality food from shops. A more dynamic on-demand marketplace facilitates the delivery of all kinds of fresh food to you, with economies of scale that eliminate some of that hard work that everyone has to do just to make one of something…
One of the most commonly cited examples is pumpkin pie. If you can get a delicious grand pie for less than the ingredients you would buy at the store to make one, the math looks pretty simple. But also, being able to outsource some of your cooking gives you something even more valuable – time with family during the day.
In fact, that’s what the holidays are all about – enjoying time together with loved ones. These holiday cooking hacks can help. Take a look at the Chefs’ Toys catalog for more tools and resources this holiday season.