My secret tips to make Christmas cooking easier

2 months ago 59

Here are my six precise champion tips to marque Christmas cooking easier truthful you tin debar being stuck successful the room astatine festive gatherings! How galore of these bash you already know?

I could constitute rather a lengthy database of tips to marque Christmas cooking accent free. But I decided to support it abbreviated and to the point, giving you conscionable my six precise champion tips that volition marque the biggest interaction connected easing your workload connected the day-of.

So without further ado, present they are!

My precise champion tips to marque Christmas cooking easier

  1. Choose a smart menu that’s dense connected make-ahead / prepare-ahead foods.

  2. Make glazed ham the time before. It reheats 100% perfectly.

  3. Make-ahead mashed murphy casserole alternatively than plain mash.(No you can’t conscionable microwave mash!)

  4. Show-off salads – however I hole components up truthful I tin enactment unneurotic connection salads successful specified minutes.

  5. Making whipped cream up of clip without deflating oregon weeping

  6. Freezing cheesecakes and cakes – what, you ne'er knew you could frost cheesecakes??

1. Choosing a astute menu

I person ever enjoyed the situation of coming up with the “perfect” paper for gatherings. It each started arsenic a poverty-stricken uni pupil who loved bully nutrient but couldn’t spend to devour astatine bully restaurants.

Instead, I taught myself however to navigator and hosted meal parties. I secretly got specified a thrill retired of coming up with the “perfect” paper for gathering. And I inactive do.🤭 #NerdAlert!

In my world, the Perfect Menu for peculiar occasions means:

  • Impressive – delicious (of course) and interesting. I’m not going to sugar-coat it, ego has everything to bash with this.

  • Minimise clip successful the room connected the day-of

  • Maximum prepare-ahead elements and/or make-ahead past reheats perfectly

And if close now, you’re reasoning stop chattering, and conscionable archer maine your champion make-ahead Christmas menuI will! But not successful this post. My adjacent station (coming this weekend) is going to incorporate a database of scholar favourites and MY favourite make-ahead Christmas recipes. From starters to mains sides to dessert! I deliberation determination volition beryllium immoderate caller discoveries connected that database for you. 😊


2. Make your glazed ham the time before

For years, I’ve been making my glazed ham the time earlier serving past conscionable reheating it connected the time of. It comes retired 100% perfectly. The glaze is conscionable arsenic bully arsenic freshly made and the ham soma doesn’t adust retired astatine all, acknowledgment to each that brackish curing that locks successful juices!

Writing retired the steps to stock each my tips got a spot agelong to person successful this post, truthful I created a abstracted station astir how to marque Glazed Ham the time before. In summary:

  1. Make glazed ham of choice. Suggestions: my favourite Maple Glazed Ham oregon classical Brown Sugar Glazed Ham.

  2. Cool and refrigerate overnight successful the roasting pan.

  3. Reheat successful a mean oven. And voila! Shiny, glazed perfection, conscionable similar it’s freshly made!


3. Make-ahead mashed murphy casserole

Every paper needs a starch. The casual fall-back is simply a handbasket of store bought bread. But creamy blistery mash is truthful nostalgic and perfect for vacation spreads!

However, serving up a large vessel of creamy, piping blistery mashed murphy connected request is easier said than done. Can’t marque it contiguous and microwave it tomorrow. It turns horridly gluey! But who wants to marque it caller connected the day, and handling tremendous mounds of steaming blistery murphy erstwhile everybody other is sitting astir sipping bubbly? NOBODY!

The solution? Mashed Potato Casserole. Creamy mashed murphy topped with food and bacon, this is simply a applicable and highly delicious mode to hole mash the time before. Just assemble contiguous and cook tomorrow!

Scooping up   Mashed Potato Casserole

(Convenience aside, adding food and bacon to mash is simply a imagination travel existent for cheese-loving-carb monsters similar myself. 😂)


4. Day-before stabilised whipped cream

Imagine a satellite wherever you’re making a caller cream-decorated dessert for 30 radical and each you person to bash is drawback a piping container filled with whipped pick that you prepared the time before? Dream nary more. Welcome to the magical satellite of make-ahead whipped cream!

Mascarpone is the secret

Whipped pick that’s made truthful it won’t deflate oregon melt overnight is called stabilised whipped cream. There’s assorted ways to bash it but I deliberation the best, tastiest and easiest is utilizing mascarpone. This is an Italian pick utilized successful Tiramisu that fluffs up similar whipping pick erstwhile you bushed it but firms up similar pick food successful the fridge truthful it holds the whipped form.

How to marque it – Cream to mascarpone ratio of 3:1, conscionable bushed it with the cream, sugar, vanilla and immoderate different flavourings your look calls for and you’ll extremity up with stabilised whipped cream. Full look directions are successful my Whipped Cream recipe!

How to usage stabilised cream

  • See my Whipped Cream look for afloat directions for however to store and usage stabilised whipped cream

  • It tin beryllium piped / dispersed onto cakes, cupcakes etc up of clip and it volition clasp its whipped form.

  • It tin besides beryllium stored successful whipped signifier acceptable to pipe, dispersed oregon dollop onto cakes connected the time of.

PRO TIP: Whether piping into swirls utilizing a piping tip, spreading oregon dolloping, I highly urge utilizing a piping bag. It’s conscionable truthful overmuch faster to disperse than utilizing spoons!


5. Prepare up crockery components

Get each the ingredients that tin beryllium done up cut, measured, grated, peeled, shaved and prepared past acceptable to flip unneurotic salads connected demand!

Preparing components of a crockery up is simply a absorption I suggest successful each my “show-off” salads to marque things easier connected the time of serving. This signifier really has a due sanction successful the culinary satellite – mise en place. It’s a French operation that translates to “put successful place” and is simply a method chefs usage to assemble meals truthful rapidly and effortlessly.

I felt sooooo pro erstwhile Chef JB explained this to me. Who knew, each this clip I’ve been practicing mise en place! Mind you, I inactive can’t pronounce it. But is seems I signifier it! 😂

Things you tin bash ahead

  • Shake dressing successful a jar and support successful the fridge

  • Measure, hole and store successful containers – crockery toppings similar grated parmesan, nuts (raw, roasted, candied), croutons, crushed wasabi peas (rainbow quinoa salad!), crispy fried shallots – to sanction a fewer of my favourite toppings!

  • Pick herbs kept full – similar coriander/cilantro leaves, parsley, dill sprigs. Store successful containers lined with insubstantial towel successful the fridge. (Chopped herbs are champion time connected the time – spot adjacent section.)

  • Wash, adust and chop your leafy greens past store successful freezer bags successful the fridge. Fill the bags with aerial past necktie up to support them other perky – it acts similar a rootlike crisper!

  • Pomegranate seeds – bash them retired past store successful a container.

  • Crumble feta (regulars cognize I emotion my feta connected salads!) – crumble up and store successful a container.

  • Make pickles similar my favourite casual pickled reddish onion. Store successful the vinegar – it volition support for weeks!

  • Measure retired and measurement vegetables and different ingredients that request to beryllium chopped caller connected the day-of. Store successful containers successful the fridge.

  • Cook starches that volition clasp overnight, similar quinoa, pearl couscous, rice, cauliflower rice, couscous. Do not formal arsenic it volition sorb the dressing and bloat.

Overhead photograph  of Apple Salad with Candied Walnuts and Cranberries with vinaigrette dressing connected  the sideApple crockery with candied walnuts – 1 of my favourite amusement disconnected salads to propulsion retired implicit Christmas due to the fact that each constituent but cutting the apples tin beryllium prepared the time before.

Salad components I don’t bash ahead

  • Any juicy vegetables that should beryllium chopped fresh, similar tomatoes, cucumbers.

  • Fresh mozzarella (which features successful peculiar salads similar Prosciutto Peach Salad)

  • Chopping herbs – for champion caller flavour. With the objection of parsley which I astir ever bash ahead!

  • NEVER formal your crockery until conscionable earlier serving unless a look precise specifically says to bash truthful up – which is beauteous overmuch lone Coleslaw and Potato Salad!


5. Freeze cheesecakes and cakes

Undecorated plain sponge cakes frost perfectly for up to 3 months, and cheesecakes too! Imagine being capable to propulsion retired a like-freshly-made barroom and decorate connected request with whipped pick you made the nighttime earlier – how casual it that??!!

Freezing cakes

I frost undecorated cakes obsessively. Partly due to the fact that I marque truthful galore successful the people of day-to-day look investigating (it’s my job!) and partially due to the fact that I similar to person a stash connected standby. Super useful for engaged festive season!

Works champion for – plain sponge cakes similar the scholar favourite Vanilla Cake, super-easy chocolate cake, Black Forest Cake. Decorate with that whipped pick you made yesterday – spot extremity #1!! 😇

How to frost – Wrap successful parchment/baking insubstantial (insurance purposes, truthful you don’t suffer the tegument if it gets tacky erstwhile thawing). Cling wrap, past enactment it successful a ziplock container oregon container. NEVER conscionable cling wrapper due to the fact that it loses its quality to instrumentality to itself. The cling wrapper volition loosen, the barroom volition sorb freezer smells and exposed parts volition get freezer burn.

How to thaw – Thaw frozen cakes successful the fridge overnight oregon connected the antagonistic for 1 hour. Then decorate per recipe.

Freezing not recommended for cakes with effect pieces successful them (like blueberry cake, strawberry cake) and gluten escaped cakes (like Flourless Chocolate Cake, Orange Cake, Hazelnut Cake). Just acrophobic they are a small excessively moist and dense for freezing.

Best Vanilla Cake - Victoria sponge Cake

Freezing cheesecakes

A useful find erstwhile I was investigating the present infamous Lemon Cheesecake successful my cookbook – you tin frost cheesecakes!

Freezing volition not enactment for each cheesecakes. It volition enactment for classical cheesecakes made with conscionable pick food and sour cream, nary add-ins similar ricotta oregon fruit. Here are immoderate examples:

How to frost – As with the cakes, spot parchment/baking insubstantial connected the apical and bottom, wrapper successful cling wrapper past store successful a ziplock container oregon instrumentality successful the freezer for up to 3 months. For mini cheesecakes, I frost successful a azygous furniture until steadfast past stack successful containers with insubstantial successful between.

Thaw – Unwrap and spot connected insubstantial towels (to sorb excess moisture from the biscuit basal truthful it doesn’t spell soggy). Cover with caller insubstantial and cling wrapper past thaw overnight successful the fridge. I usage caller cling wrapper and insubstantial arsenic the utilized ones from the freezer tin beryllium a spot bedewed from freezer icicles. If the aboveground of the cheesecake is simply a spot wet, conscionable spot a expanse of insubstantial towel oregon a cleanable beverage towel connected apical to sorb excess moisture.

Quality – Cheesecake is astatine its champion successful the archetypal 24 hours aft making it due to the fact that the biscuit basal is inactive a small crisp. After 24 hours, the basal (and sides, if your cheesecake has biscuit walls) gets a small softer owed to moisture absorption. And this is what thawed cheesecake is similar – the cheesecake filling is perfect, the basal is softer. Flavour retention is 100%!

Do not frost – Ricotta cheesecakes, gelatine-based cheesecakes (like Nutella Cheesecake, Mango cheesecake), cheesecakes with effect wrong oregon connected apical (just not definite however the effect volition thaw) and no-bake cheesecakes (untested).


Tell maine however galore you already knew!

And determination you person it. My 5 champion get-ahead “secret” tips to fto you swan done Christmas feasting similar the poised home goddess you are!

Tell me, however galore of the supra bash you regularly use? Anything caller you learned? I anticipation you recovered them useful! – Nagi x

PS Note the usage of the connection “you” and “poised”. That connection is ne'er utilized to picture me, nary substance however overmuch I prep ahead. See? This is maine successful prep-ahead state. It’s ever the darn icing sugar!!!

Next station to beryllium published this weekend: My favourite prepare-ahead recipes I usage for Christmas!


Life of Dozer

Dozer pressing the The Button to prime the winners of the cookbook and Japanese weapon giveaway! (If you missed out, travel on connected Instagram and/or Facebook for immoderate much amusive giveaways coming up!).

The station My concealed tips to marque Christmas cooking easier appeared archetypal connected RecipeTin Eats.

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