Every family has their own family traditions, especially with food. But why not try to create some new traditions. I won’t post the recipes themselves since everyone has their own preference. Not only in the ingredients but the dishes someone will make. I’m not a food blogger and I doubt I’ll be one, so I’m just talking about what I’d like to eat and what I usually do to handle Christmas cooking.
Try adding a few vegetarian dishes. Not because of the hype, but because reducing our meat intake is good for the environment and eating more veggies is good for your body as well. Staying away from red (and rare) meat will save you that heavy feeling the next day as well.
You all know the ‘classic’ Christmas dishes. You don’t need me to tell you about those. But every family has their own non-traditional, traditional dish. Something your father makes, only during Christmas. Or your grandma’s pie that she’s making every year. Try learning how to cook or bake those dishes so you can continue those traditions even when those people aren’t able to make them anymore.
I usually make tiramisu for special occasions, like Christmas. It’s been our Christmas dessert for years. My mom made it before I did and now she asks me to do it. I don’t mind, I love making it (and sneaking in some tasting!). Since my parents don’t drink alcohol, I make a virgin tiramisu, one without liquor. This is perfect for children as well. A good tiramisu doesn’t need alcohol either. Take a milder coffee so you don’t have to cancel out the bitterness.
Plan your cooking
To save time around supper, consider oven or slow cooker recipes that you don’t have to actively work on when your guests are there. Having a dessert from the fridge or freezer makes it easier as well. You can prepare them a few days in advance and the extra time cooling will only benefit the dish. You can be sure that they’re all set. And if it does fail, you’ll still have time enough to prepare something else.
One of the best tips I’ve read in the past year is to cook your food for half the time it needs in advance. Then warm it up and cook it for the rest of the time before serving. This works especially well for dishes from the oven. Cooking it halfway first instead of all the way, won’t overcook or burn your food while it saves you time on the day itself. The food you process is also less prone to spoiling.
If you’re going for a lot of dishes during the day, make a selection of cold and warm foods. The combination is going to save you time in the kitchen even when you prepare things in advance. Serve your cold hors d’oeuvres while your warm snacks are in the microwave or oven.
Stop overeating and wasting food
Plate per person so no one takes more than they should. This keeps you from wasting too much food and your guests from a food coma. If you made your dishes before, you know how much is enough for a portion. Don’t forget your side dishes either. If you decide not to plate them, take some carbs off the plate and put veggies on the table.
What are your food traditions during the holidays? Are you trying something new this year?