There are a lot of elements involved in planning holiday parties for your family and friends. But aside from scrubbing your house from top to bottom, adding festive decorations, and sending out Evites, you’re going to have to figure out how to feed your many guests. And planning a meal for a dozen or more invitees can definitely get a bit stressful. However, armed with a solid plan of action and a few good recipes you should have no trouble keeping the food situation under control. Here are some timely tips for planning that will ensure your festivities are delicious.
- Keep it simple. It can be tempting to try all kinds of new recipes that are full of fancy ingredients, but this is a sure-fire way to make the party planning process more complicated and stressful than it needs to be. Instead, stick to the recipes you know are incredible and select a menu that’s going to offer you the path of least resistance when you’re cooking multiple dishes for a room full of guests. And if you absolutely have to try something new, consider just one or two recipes and try making them beforehand so you’ve got the process down to a science before your holiday parties.
- Organize recipes. If you don’t want to find yourself digging through a folder full of random recipes at the eleventh hour in search of that one special holiday dish that your whole family loves, then it pays to take some time before the holidays to get your recipe collection in order. Consider using an accordion file of some sort that you can separate into sections (you can use your standard cookbook as a guide to which sections you’ll need) or even a binder with pocketed pages to hold clipped recipes of all sizes. If you need to find a recipe post haste, this will ensure that you’re not wasting precious time digging through a pile of loose-leaf pages.
- Plan a potluck. If you want to make life easier and give everyone a chance to contribute to the festivities, think about hosting a potluck party. You’ll cut down significantly on your expenditure (of both time and money), your guests will have the opportunity to receive praise for their signature dishes, and those that aren’t so hot in the kitchen can provide drinks for the occasion. Plus, everyone will likely go home with a variety of leftovers from the feast.
- Clip coupons. Throwing seasonal soirees can quickly get expensive for the host, especially where food is concerned. So track circulars for your local market and double up with store and/or manufacturer coupons. This should help you to save some dough when it comes to your holiday get-togethers.
- Stock up early. You know if you go into the grocery store the week of Thanksgiving or Christmas you’re likely to find that certain shelves have been cleared of necessary items, such as spices, canned pumpkin, and Stove Top stuffing. Luckily, there are plenty of non-perishable items that you can stock up on early in order to ensure that you don’t wind up out of luck when the holidays roll around. As a bonus, this gives you plenty of time to sift through menu items on sites likeRecipeChart.com, clip coupons, and watch for sales on the many ingredients you’ll need for your family feasts.