8 Cooking Hacks that Will Save You this Holiday Season
We have the secrets to a stress-free holiday!
What if we told you that we have the secrets to a stress-free holiday? Just imagine - a holiday gathering where you can sit down and relax with your company, actually eat the food you’ve spent the last week preparing, and even...do we dare so...have fun. No, this isn’t a holiday fairytale. We’ve gathered tips and tricks from hosting experts to make your holiday cooking a breeze.
1. Keep cookies oven-fresh with white bread
There’s truly nothing like soft, chewy freshly baked cookies hot out of the oven. The secret to keeping them day-1 soft? Store them with white bread in an airtight container. Even your toughest cookie-critiques will rave over the ooey, gooey, chewy oven freshness.
2. Save too-salty soup or sauce
Added too much salt to your soup or sauce? There’s still hope! Add a few raw apple, potato or eggplant wedges to act as salt sponges. Simmer for 10-20 minutes, and then discard the pieces...and voila! Back to a balanced flavor perfection.
3. Use your slow-cooker
The beauty of a slow-cooker? Once you put all the ingredients in, your work is done! Let the machine do the cooking for you, while even freeing up some much-needed oven space. Need some inspo? Check out these 30 holiday slow cooker recipes.
4. Frozen herb cubes
The key to a stress-free holiday meal? Prep ahead! Fill up an ice tray with chopped herbs, cover each cube with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and stick the herb-filled tray in the freezer for a later date. When ready to use, simply pop out a cube or two! Herby perfection.
5. Cook your soups, stews and casseroles ahead
Speaking of meal prep, ever notice how some meals are actually better as leftovers? Casseroles, soups and stews are often best a day or two later, allowing time for the ingredients to meld and marry. Cook these dishes up to 3 days in advance, so when it’s game time all you have to do is pop it in the oven!
6. “Mis en place” in a muffin tin
The French culinary phrase “mis en place” means to have all your ingredients measured and ready, and any chef will tell you this is an essential step to efficient cooking. Mis en place your ingredients, and store the measured ingredients in separate compartments of a muffin tin. Ready to make your stuffing? Grab the stuffing muffin tin, and start cooking! Fuss free.
7. Rescue your dry turkey
Cut into your beautiful turkey to discover it’s dry? Don’t panic! Just combine a few tablespoons of olive oil with a cup of broth, and pour it over your sliced turkey, doubling or tripling the liquids as needed so it covers all the slices. Cover with foil, and warm in the oven on low (200 degrees) for 20 minutes.
8. Be easy on yourself
Remember: no one is expecting a Michelin-star performance. Take a deep breath, let go of that need for perfection, and have fun with it! If dinner isn’t on the table at 5pm on the dot, that’s okay. If your veggies are overcooked, that’s okay. Remember, the most important thing is that everyone is together.
What cooking tips and tricks keep you sane over the holidays?