I really enjoy planning for holidays meals. It’s a time to get together with family, friends, and loved ones. Whether you’re hosting (or going as a guest) here are some tips to organize your holiday menus.

  1. Plan Early – Know what dishes you are serving and have the ingredients on hand. Stores are crowded this time of year, so get your shopping done in fewer stops. Create a master list that has all of the items needed, and which stores to go to.
  2. Make Ahead – Prepare dishes early that can be made a day or two ahead. If you are bringing a dish to a party that needs warming, ask your host ahead of time if s/he can accommodate the dish in the oven or on the stove.
  3. Timeline – The timing of hosting is always difficult. Start backwards from the time you want to serve your main meal, and start plugging in numbers. Add in your oven and stove timing (with temperatures) to make sure that your items have enough time to cook.
  4. Prep – Chop, mix, and measure ahead of time. The amount of time these things take oftentimes gets overlooked.
  5. Delegate – Write a list of tasks that you can have certain guests help with. People want to help, so let them! Have guests set the table, freshen drinks and appetizers, and wash dishes.

Remember, we are coming up on a time of year that focuses on love, laughter, and quality time together. Let’s not forget these things as we prepare for the festivities.