Do you struggle with planning holiday menus like I do? Cooking is not my favorite thing to do and I am always afraid to try new dishes (not sure how they will actually turn out). My stress level is always at it's highest when I think of how many people will be visiting during the holidays and how much cooking will be involved. It makes me want to send everyone to IHOP and run in the other direction! Just kidding while sending everyone out and running for the hills sounds great we all know it is not very realistic! I have found some helpful holiday menu planning tips that I have started using over the years and wanted to share them with you to hopefully relieve some of your stress!
1. Start planning your menu now! We have included this Holiday Menu Planner to help you get started. Stop procrastinating and get that menu started! It doesn't have to be perfect but getting it started will help take some stress away the closer we get to go time.
2. Look up some easy and fun recipes and TRY them! If you know how easy (OR DIFFICULT) a recipe is you can plan ahead of time to add it or get rid of it in time for the holidays. I normally start trying recipes the first week of November and try one new recipe each week. This gives me time to add menu items for Thanksgiving and then continue the ideas into Christmas and even New Years. Try recipes that can get the family involved. We have included some Great Recipes for you to look at to help make your search a little easier!
3. Don't be afraid to order some items! For years I made myself believe that we had to make everything from scratch! No shortcuts, it is the holiday season after all! Well I have FINALLY realized that ordering some side dishes and even fruit trays or appetizers can help tremendously when you have a house full of guests. I have found some great options at my local specialty stores and groceries that help cut down cooking time but are still great crowd pleasers! Imagine the time you can save by not making that cheese ball or cutting up all of those fruits and vegetables. It seems like a small amount of time but it adds up quickly!
Hopefully these tips will help you as much as they have helped me over the years!