*Select the food you will be preparing. There are several wonderful magazines out just for the holiday season (Southern Lady & Celebrate the Season are two of my favorites) filled with easy recipes to make your party success. Websites like Life & Style with Colin Cowie is filled with unique ideas as well. Also include family favorites and your “go-to” recipe for any party.
*Also, this is a good time to make sure that you have all the dishes you need for your guests. It’s rather awkward and even chaotic to set the table on Thanksgiving and realize that you forgot Aunt Sally and her husband.
|A Beautiful buffet from notjustrockets.com|
|Martha Stewart always has beautiful suggestions for the table on her website!|
|I love the mini-pumkin filled vases found at weddings.com|
*Complete your grocery shopping.
*Make any dips, sauces, chutneys, etc that you have planned. These can be sealed and placed in the refrigerator, perfectly chilled for appetizers and your meal.
*Go ahead and make your pie crusts and place in your pie dishes. Cover and keep chilled as well.
*Lay out the items you intend to serve food in with the proper serving-ware. Using sticky notes, label what will go in each dish. This will keep you focused and allow others to help you in the kitchen without too many questions the day of your event.
*Bake your cakes. Do not ice and wrap securely in Saran Wrap and refrigerate.
The day before:
*Marinate the meat dish, if needed.
*Assemble the cornbread dressing or stuffing and place in a dish ready to bake; do not bake. COver & place in the refrigerator.
*Chop or peel any vegetables that you are planning to use. This is when those plastic Gladware containers really come in handy! Chop, cover and store.
*Bake your pies, cover and store appropriately. This is a good time to whip up some heavy cream to top those pies with as well.
*Ice your cakes and cover. I use a cake stand with a top.
*Refrigerate wines that need chilling, make tea, and prepare the coffee pot.
*Set the table.
The big day has arrived:
*Bake the dressing. Set it aside and reheat just before serving.
*Prepare your main dish/meat and put it in the oven, allowing for the proper time to cook. If you plan to stuff a turkey, don’t stuff it until just before baking.
*If your pies were refrigerated, remove up to two hours before the meal.
*If you are setting up a table of appetizers, set it up about an hour before guests arrive.
*While the oven is full of your main dish, cook your vegetables.
*While your meat is resting to be carved, reheat your dressing and prepare your gravy.
Greet your guests with a beautiful smile and enjoy your day!