The holidays can be a whirlwind of last minute shopping and unexpected visitors. By organizing your time and preparing in advance for the season, you can spend more time doing what really counts: spending quality time with friends and loved ones.
Here are a few tips to achieve exactly that:
Freeze Baked Goods and Treats
Plan ahead for all your favorite holiday sweets by stocking up on baking essentials: flour, white and brown sugar, baking powder and soda, spices, and yeast. Create a pre- mix of dry ingredients of your favorite recipes. When it’s time to make your favorite cookies, cakes, and breads, you’re already halfway there. Spread the goodness by gifting dry mix in a jar with a festive ribbon and recipe attached to friends and family who love to bake.
Take it a step further by preparing cakes, cookies, and pies up to a month in advance. Keep your baked goods frozen and when it’s time to enjoy, thaw and decorate them. If you bake and freeze in bulk, you’ll always be prepared for a last-minute cookie swap.
If you’re tired of baked goods, ice cream will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth this holiday. A soft-freeze bin will keep ice cream frozen, but soft and creamy. Use leftover candy canes to make chocolate or vanilla ice cream more exciting. Break candy canes in a plastic bag or blend into a fine powder, and then mix directly into your ice cream. If you have candy canes to spare, use them to top sugar cookies or hot chocolate!
Prepare for Large Feasts
If you’re hosting a holiday dinner or a New Year’s Eve bash, preparation is important. Make entertaining a snap by picking up a pre-made platter; they easily store in full-width refrigerators. Similarly, stock up on frozen appetizers and charcuterie-style spreads in case of a last-minute disaster or peckish guests. Create a bar with appetizers already laid out so guests can help themselves and you can focus on dinner.
Prepare any sides the day before your party arrives. Mashed potatoes are even better reheated, and gravy and stuffing can be made ahead of time and frozen. Soup can be frozen weeks ahead of time and makes an excellent first course.
If your piece de résistance is standing rib roast or beef tenderloin, speak to your butcher early to ensure your order will be ready for your meal. The perfect roast can be achieved with a smart oven that features a convection roast mode. For less fuss, select a juicy ham, which is pre-cooked when purchased. Score the surface with a 1-inch diamond pattern and glaze 20 minutes before taking the ham out of your oven. Achieve perfect taste with a built in temp probe, which alerts you when your centerpiece is rendered and automatically reduces heat to a keep warm setting.
For a guest-filled home or a large family, a delicious way to feed the hoards is by making a breakfast casserole or strata. Layer sliced bread with your favorite meats, cheeses, and herbs and then soak in whisked eggs and spices. Refrigerate overnight and bake the next morning. Finish by sprinkling with extra cheese and broiling to create a scrumptious crunch.
An even easier breakfast is hard-boiled eggs. Use a muffin tin to make a large batch and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Or you can use hard-boiled eggs to make a delicious deviled egg appetizer. Upgrade from traditional paprika by topping your deviled eggs with smoked salmon or roe.
Dare to Decorate
You can stretch holiday joy and avoid stress by decorating a little bit every day. Breaking up your decorating will not only let you manage your time better, but also give you time to fully enjoy and appreciate each decoration.
Sit down with loved ones and plan four holiday traditions you want to tackle this season. By planning ahead, you can set realistic expectations about how you are going to celebrate this year. Map out an activity to accomplish each week in December. Plan one activity for the New Year so there is cheer left to look forward to. Picking specific activities allows you and your loved ones to focus on spending time together.
This holiday season, H&H Appliance offers Electrolux appliances that will transform any home into a gourmet kitchen. We can help you not only create a fantastic holiday meal, but ensure all your meals will be equally as delicious and worry-free.
Right now, if you buy two qualifying Electrolux kitchen appliances, you can get a FREE dishwasher or microwave! In addition, you can also save even more in our store, with an exclusive rebate you have to visit to see!
Visit us to explore our selection with an expert staff member ready to assist you in finding the perfect Electrolux kitchen appliance for this holiday season — and many more seasons to come.