Don't let the holidays be stressful! Take charge and plan ahead to actually be able to enjoy the day with your friends and family. If planning and hosting is too stressful for you, then either let someone else do it or just hire help - cleaning crew, meal delivery/meal service, go out to eat, etc. If you do want to take it on, view the tips below so you can host AND have fun!
1. Make a menu. Figure out how many people will be coming, how much food you will need, round up your favorite recipes and print it out for everyone to see! You don't need a million things, focus on the basics and stick to what is easy for you.
2. Gather your serving pieces. Make sure you know how you will serve each dish and that you have everything you need. Also, check on your plates/cups/utensils/napkins so you can buy more if necessary.
3. Make your grocery list and stick to it. Go through your recipes and write down all of the ingredients you will need to cook everything. Create the list according to how your grocery store is set-up: produce, dairy, dry goods, cold/frozen, etc. Get your groceries a few days ahead of time so it isn't a stressful last minute shopping trip.
4. Arrange your fridge and pantry. Place the items you will need front and center. This will also help you to not forget anything shoved in the back!
5. Prepare ahead of time. If there are certain items on your menu that can be made ahead...do it! Anything that can be refrigerated or frozen for a day or two, or easily reheated are perfect things to make early.
6. Make a food timeline. Count backwards from when you want everything to be ready. Take into consideration what appliances you will be using, how long everything takes, and the order things need to be ready by.
7. Set the table. Get the table ready first thing so you don't have to worry about it as all of the food is finishing up and it is almost time to eat.
8. Recruit help! Ask your family and/or friends if they would be willing to help with specific tasks. This will take a lot of the pressure off of you so you can make sure everything gets done and you aren't doing it all yourself.
9. Set up snacks and drinks. This will help keep everyone satisfied until your meal is ready. Set this up outside of the kitchen to prevent the kitchen from becoming too packed.
10. Enjoy yourself and your company! Don't put so much pressure on yourself, have fun being with everyone and just relax and enjoy the products of your hard work! Remember that nothing is perfect and nobody expects it to be. Do your best and have a great time!
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I am a food loving, activity seeking health coach who resides in Franklin, TN with my husband and two sweet dogs (Lola & Penny).
I believe everyone should eat balanced and not cut food groups if you don't medically need to. All foods can fit in a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I have to avoid gluten and also limit myself with dairy, so my goal is to provide healthy, gluten-free/dairy-free recipes so EVERYONE can enjoy all foods, even if you do have to cut out certain food groups. My recipes are encouraged for everyone to eat, not just for those with sensitivities/allergies! Most of my recipes can be easily converted by using real dairy and whole-wheat in place of my allergy-free substitutes.
Looking for something specific? Everything can be found by category under the "Life" and "Recipes" sections on my website or you can search below.