These tips will erase all stress from cooking your next holiday meal.
Set yourself up for success so you don’t get flustered and frustrated in the kitchen with our holiday cooking tips! We asked around Team Giadzy, and we’re sharing some of our favorite answers with you here.
1. Make dessert early. “When main dishes are coming out of the oven, and guests start sniffing around the kitchen for dinner, the last thing you want to be worrying about is dessert! Make something at least a day in advance so you can totally take that off your plate. My Pumpkin-Persimmon Slab Pie, Tiramisu, Caramel Crunch Pie or pretty much any kind of cookie are a great choice! Cheesecake and brownies are great too. Just don’t make something like a fruit tart that will get soggy while it waits!” – Giada de Laurentiis
2. Kick it off clean. “Part of my job at Giadzy is prepping, styling and shooting Giada’s recipes – and trust me, I’ve definitely learned you want to start with a clean kitchen before attempting a day full of cooking. I’m talking empty sink, empty dishwasher, and an empty trash can too. So much cooking stress comes from being surrounded by a messy kitchen – you’ll be amazed at how much a clean workspace will keep you zen.” – Lizzy Newman
3. Make space in the fridge. “Take a few minutes to clean out the fridge – especially throwing out anything that could have gone bad. You’ll be using a lot of space when you start prepping everything, so ensure that there will be room for what you make… or else you might start trying to stressfully cram stuff in there!” – Lindsey Galey
4. Stock up on the hand towels. “Keep a stack of clean hand-towels nearby for all reasons! Wiping down a messy cutting board, grabbing something how out of the oven… sling a clean one over your shoulder or stick it in the side of your apron. Even better – you’ll use less paper towels this way!” – Giada de Laurentiis
5. Wear an apron! “First of all, you don’t want whatever shirt you’re wearing to get sacrificed in the name of splattered oil or tomato sauce. Secondly, aprons are simply super practical and help with so many things in the kitchen. Any seasoned professional cook will have their towel tucked into one side, and a permanent marker and food thermometer tucked in to the top hem (not so necessary at home, but it’s never bad to be prepared!). Lastly, it’s totally a mental thing. You’re going to feel way more ready to take on the day of cooking when you don your best apron. (FYI, I LOVE these soft, feminine Japanese-style linen aprons from Amazon. The cross-back means there won’t be any pressure on your neck either, which can be a problem with more industrial-style aprons.)” – Lizzy Newman
6. Get the music going.“When I was in school at the Culinary Institute of America, our teachers did a test on us. They had us prep food with music, and then without music. Funny enough, we actually got the work done more quickly when music was playing… AND it was more enjoyable.” -Lish Steiling
7. Print and tape! “If you’re cooking recipes you found online, be sure to print them all out! It’s cumbersome to switch from cooking to looking at tabs on your phone or laptop to check the recipe – and a lot more risky for your electronics, too.” – Lindsey Galey
8. The famous post-it note tip. “Ever since Giada enlightened us with this trick, I don’t throw anytype of food related gathering without doing it. It’s as simple as pulling all your serving dishes out early, and assigning each of them a dish with a post-it note. It’s a great way to avoid the stress of looking for the perfect serving dish at the last second!” – Natasha Wynnyk