The holidays are here! We are having Thanksgiving at our house tomorrow and I cannot believe it’s already the end of November. I’m ready to stuff my face, relax with my wine, and really enjoy myself this year. I’ve had my shopping lists ready for weeks and I spent the day grocery shopping so I would be prepared. Gone are the days of me scrambling around, trying to do it all at once, and unable to enjoy the excitement going on around me. Today I am sharing my favorite tips for stress free hosting during the holidays, in hopes that you can relax and enjoy them as well!
- Create a game plan. Which foods need to cook the longest? Which casseroles can cook at the same time. Does anyone have any food allergies or food requests? Figure that out ahead of time so you aren’t worrying about it the day of the dinner. Make a plan a few days before so you can tweak if needed. I sat down last week, wrote down all of the meals, what temp they cook at and for how long. This way there’s no second guessing or waiting on food.
- Make things ahead of time. I always used to fail at this part. I’d save everything for the day of and then be rushing around, stressed out, and not enjoying myself. Don’t be like me.
Now I’m smart and take care of things ahead of time. I’ve currently got three pies in the oven since those need to be kept in the fridge anyway. Next up is the casseroles and mashed potatoes. Those can be prepped and then thrown in the oven before guests start arriving.
This will save you tons of time and minimize your stress so you can enjoy yourself and have fun!
- Lay everything out the night before. I have a system in my kitchen Thanksgiving morning. I lay out my serving platters and baking pans. Then I organize each pan and platter for each food item and set them together, and place all of the non-refrigerated items into the baking pans so I am ready to go. This year I even printed out the recipes so I wouldn’t be scrambling around the day of trying to find the right ones.
- Easy appetizers. There’s nothing worse then walking into a house on Thanksgiving and the amazing smells are wafting in and out all day, but there’s no food to eat in the meantime. I feel like as a kid I used to wait to eat the entire day and I was ravenous by dinner time and ate so fast I didn’t enjoy the food. Get/make your guests a cheese plate. The easiest ever. It literally requires no work on your part except to buy a few items and throw it all onto a plate. There’s something for everyone and it keeps the hanger from you and your guests at bay.
- Have a wine bar. I like to grab a cute/fancy metal bucket and fill it with ice, then have a few bottles chilling in there for guests, with plenty of wine glasses on the table as well. This way guests can help themselves so you can focus on other important things. You could even go full bar cart and have some water and other drinks on hand too.
My favorite wine for every party I am hosting, is wine from Wente Vineyards. They are the country’s oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery, founded in 1883. At Wente Vineyards they use organic olive groves to produce certified sustainable oil, and use natural oils like cinnamon and black pepper for pest control in the vineyards. Not only does this wine taste amazing, but I love knowing I am getting it from such an amazing natural and sustainable source.
Right now you can save 25% off single vineyard or estate grown wines online, by entering the code 25TOAST during checkout!
What are your favorite tips for hosting around the holidays?