Planning a Christmas Menu

8.12.14


Just over 2 weeks until Christmas, what a perfect time to talk about planning a Christmas menu! It's not secret that I love to cook and bake, and so I've been in charge of the Christmas menu for the last several years. One thing that makes it easy is that the most we've ever been for Christmas is 8 people, but it's still my dream to host a massive Christmas dinner one year. Here are some over the best tips I've learned over the past couple years!


Tip #1: Get yourself a sous-chef. Not even Martha Stewart can do it alone, so don't be afraid to ask for help. I loathe doing dishes, so I usually ask for help clearing up while I trudge along. And I must admit that last year my sister and nanny really pulled through as I came down with the stomach flu and had to give instructions from the comfort of my bean bag chair.

Tip #2: Choose recipes that you can make ahead. Not everything can be made ahead, but the more prep you can do ahead the easier it is the day of.

Tip #3: Don't take on more than you can chew. I always fall into this trap and want to make every single recipe I see on Pinterest. Sometimes picking up sausage rolls from the frozen aisle is just as good.

Tip #4: Keep oven temperatures in mind. Luckily, the turkey is the only thing I'm not in charge of, but I still have to plan for it being in the oven for the majority of the afternoon. Keep that timing in mind when planning recipes, and also when temperature the oven will be at. Anything around the same you can get away with when using a convection oven.

Two Weeks Before: Finalize your head count and pull together all your recipes. I always plan for 1-2 people extra because leftovers are always awesome, and you never know who might just show up unexpectedly. For recipes, there are some family favourites that come back every year (I'm looking at you Roasted Garlic & Sweet Potato Soup), but it's nice to infuse some new ones into the mix as well. Just make sure to have a good look over them first to make sure they won't be too difficult.

One Week Before: Purchase groceries for all non-perishable items. Get as much as you can together about a week before and that gives you enough time to double check and see if you forgot anything.

Couple Days Before: Do groceries for fresh foods. Get your fruits and veggies as close to the day of as possible.

Day Before: Prep as much as you possibly can. I like to measure out dry ingredients and stick them in tupperware with sticky notes until the next day. Veggies can also be cut up, and any sauces or dips will just intensify in flavour overnight. Any recipes that are make ahead and bake the next day can now be made at this time.

Christmas Day!: HAVE FUN! It's Christmas, so don't stress about it. Things might get burnt, something may not turn out right, but the family is all together so just enjoy it!

I hope you found these tips helpful, and be sure to check out Instagram this Christmas to see what I made :)

What are your best tips for planning a special Christmas dinner?

-Kris

6 comments :

  1. I always like to take on two courses then delegate the third! So ask people to bring either canapes or dessert, as I know I will take on too much otherwise! Great tips :) x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

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    1. That's also a great idea, and then everyone brings their own unique flavour to the table!

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  2. Im so lucky I don't have to cook this year (I think I'm excused since Ill have a new baby) but I have always loved throwing dinner parties in the past.

    One of my go to dishes is flash fried Brussel Sprouts with lemon juice/capers/chillies/parmesan, Hardly any ingredients required & super easy to make.

    Hope you have a great sous chef!

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    Replies
    1. I'm not a fan of brussel sprouts, but those actually sound delicious!!

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  3. Great advice! Prepping holiday meals can be so stressful!
    http://moonlightchai.com

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    Replies
    1. It is, but that's why it's important to remember to have fun with it :)

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