5 Time-Saving Tips for the Holiday Kitchen
Sharing special meals, opening presents, and visiting with friends and family all come with the inevitable tasks of cooking, cleaning, shopping, wrapping and decorating. Even for time-management superheroes, the holidays are a struggle while maintaining work and family demands.
To help you pull it off with grace, here are 5 time-saving tips for your holiday kitchen. Consider it a little gift from your friends at Pyrex® glassware.
TIME-SAVING TIP 1
Make weekday meals in advance. The holiday hustle and bustle makes it difficult to get healthy meals on the table the weeks leading up to big celebrations. The solution is simple. Say no to take-out or fast food and yes to fix and freeze meals. Pack casseroles, lasagna or soup into freezable storage containers like PYREX® STORAGE PLUS™ 18-PC SET W/ COLORED LIDS so you can quickly pull out healthy meals on hectic nights, freeing you up to shop, clean, decorate or take care of other important tasks, like those once-a-year Christmas specials.
TIME-SAVING TIP 2
Clean out the freezer. You’ll need extra room in the freezer both before and after holiday meals to store things like cookie dough and pie crust. Now is a great time to free up space. Use up foods that have been forgotten at the back of the freezer, toss last summer’s freezer-burned Popsicles and most importantly, throw out anything that has expired.
TIME-SAVING TIP 3
Write a complete and detailed shopping list. That last-minute morning run to the supermarket for butter and milk is never fun, especially on a holiday. It’s what turns busy mornings into frenzied ones. To make sure nothing gets overlooked, read through the holiday recipes you’ll be using and compare them to what’s in your pantry and cabinets. Be sure to stock up on drinks, milk, butter and other basics you know you’ll be using more than usual.
TIME-SAVING TIP 4
Get dishes and bakeware ready to go. It’s a good idea to decide in advance what dishes you’ll use for serving. That way you can know ahead of time whether you have what you need—and that they’re clean. PYREX® EASY GRAB™ bakeware is especially useful during the holiday season because you can cook, serve and freeze in the same dish. It goes from the oven to the table to the freezer beautifully. You’ll probably need a variety of other stovetop and prep dishes as well, so get them washed and stacked up before the cooking begins…or add those one or two extra pieces that will make things much more efficient.
It’s also helpful to clean as you go, washing pots, pans and glass bakeware when you’re done with them. Finally, make sure the dishwasher is empty before the holiday dinner. It will be ready to be loaded up after the meal, giving you more time to enjoy the day with friends and family.
TIME-SAVING TIP 5
Plan for food storage. After the holidays, you’ll almost certainly be left with an abundance of leftovers. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard without enough storage containers. Have a set of containers like PYREX® NO-LEAK LIDS™ ready to fill up with your special holiday foods. And don’t forget to make sure all the containers have matching lids!
It’s also helpful to think about what food you’ll freeze, what gets stored in the fridge and what you’ll send home with others. If you plan to send some home with guests, set aside containers with your name on the lid and container.
By incorporating these simple time-saving ideas into your kitchen routine, you’ll stress less—which helps make the holidays much more merry.
What tricks do you use to save time preparing holiday meals?