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Holiday Tips, Tricks + Recipes to Rock Your Holidays Like a Boss!

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We are sharing holiday tips, meal planning ideas, and recipes. Along with these ideas for the holidays, we are sharing cooking must haves. You will also want to see our helpful tips, meal planning and recipes for Thanksgiving dinner.

When your done with today’s post you might like to see all our easy recipes many recipes have step by step directions if you are new to cooking. You can find our treat recipes, and desserts in the drop down menu. Because everything at Christmas can be a little sweeter with a bit of planning. Right?!

We hope all these ideas will help you make your holiday planning, and cooking easier, quicker, and stress free.

Holiday Tips

Holiday cooking tips and meal plan ideas, recipes...#holidaymealplanning #cookingtips #holidaycookingtips DearCreatives.com

We are covering a lot. Just in case it’s your first holiday gathering. We are starting with basic cooking tools to make things easier. Then talking about prepping your kitchen and pantry. Cleaning your home for guests, and the holiday season. Time saving kitchen tools, meal planning, and recipes for your menu. Tutorials, and how to recipes are indicated, to help those new to cooking for the holidays. 

Later in the post is where you’ll find some of our favorite recipes for Thanksgiving, and the holidays. We hope these will help you in the kitchen over the holiday season, when hosting parties, and beyond. You can also see our entertaining, and holiday Pinterest boards created to help you too. By planning ahead you’ll be able to make your holidays less stressful.

When creating your own holiday party plans, be focused, plan ahead, and make it fabulous.

  • Stock your kitchen with basic supplies, and kitchen tools
  • Organize your space
  • Make your meal plan
  • How much food to make for your guests? We like this Thanksgiving meal plan guide for how much to serve.
  • Let family help or hire help
  • If your guests ask, let them bring something
  • For pot lucks use (above) meal plan guide, and make a check list of who is bringing what dishes
  • Don’t wait to the last minute to do it all
  • Holiday recipes, and holiday ideas at the end of post

Holiday Tips for the kitchen

Foodie Tips and tricks make cooking easier with these tips, tricks, and kitchen tools. See all the ideas, to cut down your work time, and plan better. DearCreatives.com

Let’s get started getting you ready to rock the holidays like a boss! 

The best food storage ideas

Food cover on a lemon. eco friendly kitchen tool. DearCreatives.com © 2017 DearCreatives.com

Cooking for the holidays means having food storage. It goes without saying. I have to admit, I am over saran wrap, plastics, and trying to reduce my use of them. For left overs I have a this eco friendly storage set Pyrex storage set with lids. What I love about them is that they have snap lids, are food safe and, 100% Airtight. Leak-proof,  Dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe. Perfect for storing, and heating left overs.

For smaller foods, there is always that half of onion, or lime….when I’m cooking. I purchased a set of Food Huggers. Have you ever heard of them? This just might be one of the best kitchen buys, in a long time. They are eco friendly food storage cover, 100% BPA, and Phthalate-Free. Bonus, they are dishwasher safe, and come with a lifetime warranty.

Food huggers How they work. These are eco friendly kitchen tools.

Not only can you use these for covering your onions, lemons, apples, or other fruits, and veggies. Like half eaten bananas the kids always manage to leave around. Tell me I’m not the only mom-grandma with this happening? If your like us, and cook a lot of Mexican dishes they also have food covers for avocados. This is next on my list to grab for myself. 

Food Huggers eco friendly food storage. Find more food storage, and foodie tips and tricks for the kitchen.

You can use them to reseal opened cans or jars too. See all the uses, and find out more about Food Huggers.

Start your holidays out by being prepared

Setting up your kitchen for cooking, baking, entertaining, and the holidays is important. The clock is ticking. Dive in and do it! You want your kitchen (and home) to be clean, and organized it will just help you be more productive, have more function, and efficiency. Bonus, more time for being with your guests. 

My biggest challenge is not having enough space in the kitchen. I always try to clean out my kitchen cupboards, counter, and pantry space several times of year. It’s not uncommon week’s before guests are coming that I reorganize my pantry, and give my house a deep clean. Right now is the perfect time.

If you missed it you can grab my fall home cleaning checklist here. Packed with tools, and tricks for getting your home in shape for the holidays. As the holiday gets closer only surface cleaning will need to be done, if you keep up with daily cleaning.

  1. 10 Food / Pantry Organization Must Haves +tips
  2. Why Kitchen Sheers Can Be a Cooks Best Friend
  3. Hot Cooking Trends and Tools

Potatoes ready to be peeled using the best peeler for peeling


The best peeler! 

If your like me peeling potatoes  or sweet potatoes for a crowd you need a good peeler! I’ve had several, and a few that lasted a long time. But, this peeler is hands down my favorite. It’s super sharp, and works in half the time of my old peeler. What a time saver! You can see how sharp they are, and how thinly the peeler can cut apples, where I used it in this Hand Pies Recipe post. Sorry, I have peeled potatoes but, have to edit the photo. I’ll be adding it in later. 

Basic cook ware you need for cooking a holiday dinner

Hand mixer vs Stand mixer 

KitchenAid KSM150PS 5-Qt. Artisan Series with Pouring Shield

Last year I invested in a Kitchen Aid Stand mixer. For years, I didn’t think I needed one. I had made no space for one, and honestly thought I was doing fine with my hand mixer (although it is an awesome 9 speed hand mixer). I was wrong. The stand mixer is definitely worth cleaning the counter for, and investing in. You can get different sizes, from 4.5 up and even refurbished. Pricing for every budget.

KitchenAid 9-Speed Digital Hand Mixer with Turbo Beater II Accessories

Why do I love my stand mixer? I truly love my stand mixer, and after a year I can tell you I’ve used it to whip up many desserts, frostings, make cakes, cookies, pie dough, and sweet breads…. It’s quick, strong, and efficient.

This year I want to get an add on Pasta Rolling Set. Yea, that is the Italian in me is talking. I’d love to make homemade pasta, and lasagna noodles. Do you have a stand mixer? 

Lasagna recipes for a crowd

Lasagna Recipe |lasagna uncooked ready to go in oven side view close up

If you pressed for time, but want to make lasagna, you might like to try our easy homemade lasagna recipe to cut down the time. (view post for finished lasagna image) For this recipe you don’t have to make the sauce entirely from scratch. But, you’d never know it. 

Do have time to make the sauce from scratch? You might like to try this homemade lasagna recipe. We usually make lasagna for the holidays. Lasagna is an awesome dish to serve as the main course or as a side dish when feeding a big crowd. Some holidays I cook two.

Another prep ahead recipe that’s an easy side dish, and crowd pleaser is our homemade baked Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Excuse the images I haven’t updated it from way back, but it’s a super yummy recipe. (more recipes later in post) 
Cuisinart 7 Cup Food Processor, 600-Watt Motor, White, DLC-10SYP1

Time saving kitchen tools

Another most used kitchen tool is my 7 cup food processor. Whether I’m mixing up a graham crust for a cheese cake or chopping veggies for dips, or stuffing. During the holidays I use it a lot. If you cook often for big crowds you might like to invest in a bigger 14 cup food processor. When I don’t need my food processor, it’s stored under my counter.

For smaller chopping jobs I use my Vidalia Chop Wizard, which is great for making veggie soups, or other recipes. The trick with this tool is not over stuffing it, when closing to chop. Yes, you do have to cut the veggies smaller to fit into it but, it cuts down on the chop time, and everything is the same size. There are two sized sharp insert cut plates, and is dishwasher safe. I have found it to be a handy tool. See the veggies in this Turkey Meatball Soup Recipe

Cuisinart C77TR-3P Triple Rivet Collection 3-Piece Knife Set, 8-Inch Chef's,

You need sharp knives! There are more accidents with a dull knife vs a sharp knife. I know they are expensive, so if you only have money for a couple invest in a chef knife, and paring knife. This 3 piece knife set is a great starter set, under $30! It includes both previously mentioned plus a utility knife.

Meal Planning Help

If you are constantly trying new recipes, adapting recipes and keeping track of them on paper. You might like what I bought. This recipe planner extension. This helps keep my recipe ideas, loose recipes, and printed recipes with alterations organized. 

I have been using my new colorful dual tip markers (shown in images above) when adapting recipes, writing menus, or foodie to do lists. They come in two set options; Bold Brights or Pastels. My all time favorite pens, with erasers are my journaling pens. I use these sometimes when I’m adapting recipes too. 

Free Printables Meal Planners

InStyle Parties: The Complete Guide to Easy, Elegant Entertaining All

You might like these articles, and books for the holidays

  1. Need more help prepping your kitchen for the holidays? Find tips here: prep your kitchen for the holidays.
  2. Kitchen tips from the experts for holiday cooking.
  3. 23 Helpful Charts for Thanksgiving Planning 
  4. I have a new recipe cookbook called Sunday Suppers and party planning book called InStyle Parties I have been flipping through. I can’t wait to share a few recipes I try. And entertaining tips or tricks I learn. Both have drool worth photos. You can preview either books on Amazon. 

Sunday Suppers: Simple, Delicious Menus for Family Gatherings

Must try recipes for the holidays

We tried these recipes

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Follow Our Holiday Pinterest Boards

  1. Holiday Centerpieces
  2. Appetizers
  3. Holiday Cookies, Candies, and Treats
  4. See all our favorite pins packed with ideas for the holidays. 
Holiday Tips to make things easier when cooking, meal planning, and creating your holiday dinners. From free holiday planners to meal plan recipes and ideas. Grab these fabulous ideas, and more at DearCreatives.com
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