The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but they can also be the most stressful. And if you aren’t well prepared, you can find yourself overwhelmed before the festivities have even begun. Juggling busy home and work schedules while preparing for the holidays is no easy feat. But believe it or not, the holidays can be stress-free.
Join me in a recent interview with entertaining expert and cookbook author, Brooke Parkhurst, as she shares her secrets from how to get organized, plan ahead, and set yourself up for successful (and easy!) holiday season. Brooke will also help you spend less time fretting over gifts and preparations and have more time to spend with your friends and family. After all, that IS what the holidays are all about.
Brooke’s tips include:
Leave the cooking to someone else: Whether you have a hungry family looking for dinner or hosting a holiday party and are short on time, don’t make every dish from scratch. Add a few touches to store-bought lasagna and your guests will never know it’s not from scratch.
Shop Smart- Don’t let purchasing party supplies and décor drain your wallet. Make a list, check it twice and work within the budget you’ve created. Do your homework by searching for the best deals around town.
Edible Centerpiece– Decorating with fresh flowers can cost more than your bar bill. Instead, create centerpieces from seasonal fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, berries and fresh greenery. After the party’s over, make a meal from your centerpiece!
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice– Always have last-minute gifts on hand! Tis the season for impromptu holiday parties and no good guest should show up empty-handed. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, dedicate a small corner of your pantry to gifts like homemade jams, soaps, scrubs and exotic, well-priced bottles of wine (think Greece, Portugal, Chile for bargain buys).
ü Stock The Pantry for Baking Sessions– No one wants to make a midnight run to the baking aisle, so stock up on staples. The best basics for a busy holiday cook: flour (white & whole-wheat), butter, sugar (granulated white, brown and confectioner’s), baking powder, baking soda, yeast, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and good chocolate.
For more info and to catch the entire interview, watch video below:
Courtesy of: Stouffer’s, Dollar General, and Villa Maria Wines