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Christmas is a wonderful time of year. But for many people, the festive season can be a nightmare. There’s the endless list of things to do, the presents to buy, the food to cook…it’s enough to make your head spin!
We’ve put together our best Christmas dinner cooking tips for a stress-free festive meal.
One of the most stressful parts of Christmas is undoubtedly the cooking. There’s so much pressure to get everything just right, and if you’re not careful it’s all too easy to end up in a right old mess.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of planning and organisation, you can take the stress out of Christmas cooking and enjoy the day without any drama. Here’s how…
- Start Early
- Plan Your Menu in Advance
- Plan your Cooking Timings
- Christmas Planner
- What can you Cook in Advance of Christmas Day?
- Can I prepare my Christmas Veg the Day Before?
- Measure out Dry Ingredients in Advance
- Delegate Where Possible
- Final Thoughts
- Christmas Planners
One of the biggest mistakes people make at Christmas is leaving everything until the last minute. If you want to avoid getting into a panic on Christmas Eve, start preparing as early as possible. Make a list of everything you need to do and start ticking things off one by one. That way, you’ll avoid that last-minute rush and you’ll be able to enjoy the build-up to Christmas without any stress.
Get organised in the kitchen too. Have a good clear-out before Christmas and make sure you have all the equipment you need. If there’s anything you need to buy, make sure you do it well in advance so you’re not scrabbling around at the last minute trying to find that particular ingredient or piece of kit. Trust us, it’s not worth it!
Plan Your Menu in Advance
Another mistake people make is leaving their Christmas menu until the last minute. Not only does this mean that you’re more likely to forget something important, but it also means that you’re more likely to get overwhelmed by all the different options. Sit down well in advance and plan your menu carefully. Once you’ve decided what you’re going to make, put together a shopping list of all the ingredients you’ll need and make sure you’ve got everything ready before Christmas Day itself.
If you’re catering for a large group of people, making sure you have enough to feed everyone can be a difficult task. A little planning in advance will help to make sure you’re not buying too much or too little of everything you need. Creating a menu plan and a shopping list to go with it will help you save money on your Christmas food bill. If you’re looking for more ways to reduce your holiday spending, we’ve put together 9 tips for saving money at Christmas to help.
If possible, try and do as much preparation in advance as possible. Many dishes can be made ahead of time and then either frozen or refrigerated until they’re needed. That way, on Christmas Day itself all you need to do is reheat them – meaning less time spent in the kitchen and more time enjoying quality time with your family and friends!
Plan your Cooking Timings
Christmas dinner is often hailed as the biggest meal of the year – but that doesn’t mean it has to take hours upon hours to prepare. With a bit of careful planning, you can come up with a menu that doesn’t take forever to cook but still tastes amazing.
Our Christmas planner includes an hourly cooking plan to fill out for planning your Christmas Day timings. Once you know what you’ll be cooking on Christmas Day, spend some time working out how long each dish will take to prepare and cook. Then, use our cooking plan to map out exactly when you need to start cooking each dish. That way, you can be sure that everything will be ready on time and you won’t have to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen! All you need to do is follow the plan and sit back and relax!
Our Christmas planner includes sections for planning out your Christmas menu as well as working out timings for the day itself.
It’s a great way tot stay on top of everything that needs doing and when to make sure nothing is missed.
What can you Cook in Advance of Christmas Day?
As we mentioned earlier, one of the best ways to reduce stress on Christmas Day is to do as much preparation in advance as possible. There are plenty of dishes that can be made ahead of time and then either frozen or refrigerated until they’re needed. Here are just a few ideas:
Gravy – this can be made up to two days in advance and then reheated on Christmas Day.
Stuffing – stuffings can usually be made a day or two in advance and then either kept in the fridge or frozen until needed.
Christmas Cake – this can be made up to two months in advance and then stored in a cool, dark place.
Mince Pies – these can be made well in advance and then frozen until needed.
Christmas Pudding – many Christmas puddings can be made weeks or even months in advance and then kept in a cool, dark place until ready.
Can I prepare my Christmas Veg the Day Before?
Many a Christmas morning has been spent peeling and chopping veg, so why not save yourself some time and do it the day before? Most vegetables can be prepared a day in advance – just make sure you store them properly in the fridge.
Most vegetables can be peeled and chopped on Christmas Eve and left in water overnight ready for cooking the next day. The only exceptions are parsnips which are best peeled just before cooking.
If you have any salad items like lettuce, tomatoes, or cucumbers, these can be chopped the day before but are best stored dry in a storage container until you want to use them. Salad items will go soggy & lose flavour if soaked in water overnight.
Measure out Dry Ingredients in Advance
Make sure you have all your dry ingredients measured out and ready to go too. That way, when it comes to cooking on Christmas Day you won’t have to waste any time measuring things out – you can just get straight on with cooking! This is good for things like homemade bread or rolls, stuffing mix, or gravy mix. Simply measure out all the dry ingredients into a storage container or zip-lock bag and then you can just add wet ingredients on Christmas Day itself.
Delegate Where Possible
One final tip for taking the stress out of Christmas cooking is learning when to delegate – and when to ask for help! Just because YOU are doing the cooking doesn’t mean that other people can’t lend a hand. Get everyone involved in preparing and cooking the meal – it’s a great way to bond as a family while getting things done at the same time! And if all else fails, don’t be afraid to call in reinforcements in the form of frozen foods or ready-made desserts from your local supermarket!
Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be a nightmare – with a bit of careful planning, organisation and delegation, you can enjoy stress-free festive dining with minimal effort! So what are you waiting for? Get started on your christmas planning today!
Check out our Christmas planners designed to make Christmas planning easy. We’ve made sure everything you need is included, from budgeting to gift lists, and more!
If you’re looking for Christmas planning tips check out our post about Christmas planning through the year. We’ve broken down all of the most important tasks into easy month-by-month tasks so you’ll be organised and ready for Christmas.