One of the hardest things about the holiday season is how to balance all of the “must-dos” with all of the “want-to-dos.” To create a fun and memorable holiday event, it takes weeks (and sometimes months) of advanced preparation. Women often get the short end of the stick when it comes to celebrating and having fun during holiday events because they spend most of their day cleaning or cooking.
The best way to avoid this cycle so you can truly enjoy your holiday with friends and family is to prepare in advance. Luckily, there are many things you can do in advance to make holiday events easier, from shopping, to cleaning, and even cooking.
The following dishes all freeze well, and are easy to pop out of the freezer a few days before the event. If you are a hardcore prepper, you may even have additional items you can break out during the holidays that you have stored, canned, or frozen throughout the year.
Breads are one of the best foods to make ahead of time and freeze for the big day. My family always made breakfast breads for holidays, so that we could focus on cooking the main meal on the day-of. But you can also make rolls and loves of bread in advance. Wrap the breads in foil, then surround the foil with a freezer bag to prevent the bread from freeze-burning. Place the bread in the oven for a few minutes after thawing and your bread is ready to go.
Freezing Cookies and Desserts
Desserts are another dish you can prepare several weeks or months in advance. Most pies, cookies, and desserts freeze well. Anything fruit-based or dough-based will freeze excellently. Avoid desserts with a high concentration of milk, however, as milk tends to get grainy in the freezer. Wrap the desserts in a freezer bag, and pull out a day or two ahead of each event for ready-made desserts any time.
Prepare Meat in Advance
You can even prepare meat dishes in advance if you want to really get a head start on holiday preparations. Poke pieces of meat with a fork, then soak them in your favorite marinade overnight. Cook the meat and then freeze it. Thaw the meat out about 3 days ahead of the event and warm it up for a much faster cooking time.
Freeze or Can Veggies
Frozen or canned veggies are the perfect side dish to any holiday meal. Purchase fresh veggies at the store and freeze them or can them using your favorite canning recipe. Then, when it is time to prepare the holiday meal, simply steam or cook the veggies like you normally would for hassle-free cooking.
All of these advanced cooking methods can really help cut down on the amount of time you have to spend in the kitchen preparing holiday meals. With advanced preparation, you can enjoy your holiday as much as the rest of your family.
What tips do you have for preparing holiday dishes in advance?