It might be the happiest season of all, but it could also be the most stressful, especially if you are hosting a dinner or two. Add that to shopping, rushing to parties, cleaning, and preparing gifts and these endless holiday activities are enough to stress out the best of us.
So the following tips for preparing easier holiday meals are dedicated to the person who loves to host and cook, but feels overwhelmed with the prospect of such a huge responsibility because even the most experienced cooks and hosts need time out to relax and enjoy the season.
1. Plan your menu well ahead of time, making sure you’re on top of special dietary needs – from gluten free to meatless.
2. Have a checklist for what you need for your meal in your bag, so you can always check it when you are shopping.
3. Tack recipes inside kitchen cupboards for easy reference.
4. Get as much food shopping as possible done by the beginning of December, saving fresh ingredients for last.
5. Prepare in advance by refrigerating or freezing some of the recipes where quality of the dish isn’t compromised.
6. Remember the famous saying ,“messy desk, messy mind.” The same applies to kitchen work space. Make sure your counters are clear before starting preparations.
7. Don’t over-complicate your menu. Keep to your tried and true recipes and give them a little lift with an interesting garnish.
8. Double-up on some recipes and refrigerate or freeze so family members can easily reheat in a pinch.
9. Trim and clean vegetables a day ahead. Wrap and refrigerate.
10. Ask guests to bring an appetizer, or a dessert.
If you find that you are still anxious during the holidays, a supplement may help. Pathway Relaxation Support combines a soothing blend of relaxing herbs, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Relaxation Support contains Relora®, a patented blend of Magnolia officinalis and Phellondendron amurense studied for its calming and focusing effect, as well as stress induced weight management problems. SunTheanine® is also incorporated in the formula to aid relaxation. It contains calming herbs, such as chamomile, lemon balm, valerian, skullcap, hops and passionflower.
Photo from here, with thanks.