Sometimes making those huge holiday meals (like Thanksgiving dinner) can be so daunting. But, they totally don’t have to be!!
Just plan ahead, and make some easy adjustments. The dinner will be ready before you even know it, and you can enjoy time with your family.
Holiday Dinner Hacks
1) Grate your butter and then freeze it so it will be ready to easily incorporate it into your biscuits and pie crusts, where you shouldn’t touch it too much.
You can also use grated butter in your hot side dishes. It will melt faster and incorporate easily.
2) Freeze your drinks beforehand. Brew your iced tea, make your punch, whip up some Kool-Aid, and then put it in gallon sized freezer bags. Freeze them flat in the freezer, and then on Thanksgiving day, thaw them in the fridge. Throw them into pretty pitchers when you are ready to eat.
3) Utilize fresh fruit. Want to make that juice look super festive and fancy? Slice up some fresh fruit — lemons, oranges, strawberries — and add it to the pitcher. It is so easy to do, and will make everyone want your recipe for sugar water and a Kool-Aid packet.
4) Freeze juice into ice cubes. Keep from watering down those drinks by freezing some of the tea or juice into ice cube trays beforehand. Then, when you are ready to serve, drop the juicy ice cubes down into the drink pitchers to keep it cool.
Want to kick it up a notch and make it even more fancy? Freeze some fruit into the juice for pretty — and tasty — ice cube juice.
5) Wash your potatoes in the dishwasher. Yep. I’m serious. Just put them on the top rack of the dishwasher, and turn it on the rinse cycle WITHOUT SOAP. Go about making the rest of your meal, and the potatoes will be clean before you know it.
6) Make fresh cranberry sauce. It takes about 5 minutes longer than opening up that can of jellied cranberry sauce. It tastes 150 times better, and it’s super easy to make.
Just buy a bag of fresh cranberries from the stores, and the recipe will be right on the bag!!
7) Keep your gravy warm by storing it in a thermos OR a little slow cooker while you fix the rest of the meal. It’s super easy, cleanup is a breeze, and people will think you are a genius!
8) Print out your recipes and tape them at eye level so you can easily refer to them, and keep the counter clear of clutter. To make sure you don’t rip the paint off the cupboards, use painter’s tape.
9) Cook turkey on top of aluminum foil balls for a yummy roast turkey. Don’t have a roasting pan? No prolemo. Simply ball up about 4 or 5 small aluminum foil balls, and place them under your turkey while it cooks. This will allow the hot air to encircle the bird, and give you an even cook.
10) Stuff oranges and apples into the turkey while you cook it to keep it moist. I will not cook a bird without this little tip!
11) Use Turkey-Sized Oven Bags. Repeat it with me Use Turkey Bags to cook your turkey. It will cut cooking time down, there is virtually no basting, and the turkey will turn out perfect every time!
12) Boil those baked potatoes to get the skins off them. Throw that potato peeler in the trash — I hate it!! Just boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes. This is important — LET THEM COOL A BIT. Then the peels should be easy to slide right off.
13) Don’t be afraid to cheat. There, I said it. Don’t waste time making that potato salad, salad dressing, or even steamed veggies. Buy them from the store premade, and then put them into fancy dishes that make it look like you spent hours slaving over a stove to make them.
Then, go spend your time on the other dinner ingredients. You will thank me!