Max’s Holiday Meal Ideas
It’s that wonderful time of year when we come together for laughter, stories, gift giving and of course – food! Holiday dishes can make or break a family gathering, and when tasked with the ultra-important honor of feeding a hungry crowd, you want to feel confident about the outcome. With a little planning, you may become the new go-to destination for holidays to come.
“The Perfect Holiday Meal” inspiration
The most festive time of year often inspires us to create an elaborate holiday dinner feasts. Planning can take days, weeks or months to develop. Collecting holiday recipes and pairings to prepare the perfect holiday feast can be a large project depending on the number of guests and complexity of your vision.
- Cookbook – In our modern age of technology, it’s sometimes easy to forget about the tried and true recipes in the pages of a cookbook. If you are looking for some good old-fashioned favorites – dig one off the shelf (or ask mom for her favorite), blow off the dust and enjoy thumbing through some classics. If you are in the mood for something new, take a stroll to the closest bookstore and pick up a notable favorite such as The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond. Here are a few other cookbooks and recipes to inspire you for your great feast:
- Pinterest – A simple way to find some delectable dishes is by, no surprise here, looking on your phone. Pinterest is an easy way to find inspiration and to keep your recipes organized. Staying focused on recipes alone might not be as easy though!
- Friends – Ask your friends or co-workers what their favorite holiday dish is and if they are willing to share their recipe. Nothing like having the hard work done by people you know and trust!
Keep it organized
- If everyone is pitching in for the big day – share a google doc with family and friends who have agreed to bring a dish so everyone is on the same page and there is no duplication.
- Know your audience! Are any of your guests’ vegan or vegetarian? Do they have food allergies? These are important things to keep note of. Keep a running list of any known ones, and be sure to ask all attendees beforehand of any dietary needs.
Don’t be afraid to try something new
Move over mashed potatoes; it’s time for squash casserole! Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone and try something new. Grandma may turn up an eyebrow at first but will applaud your efforts in the end.
Just make sure you try (and like) the recipe before you serve it to your guests. Also, don’t try to tackle an overly unusual menu. Tradition is still king.
Don’t forget about breakfast
Turkey may be the star of the show, but don’t forget about early morning eats. Making a big breakfast is wonderful if you are up to it, but if you are short on time don’t forget about the crockpot! Mix up some eggs, potatoes, onion, and ham the night before and wake up to this task out of the way. Premade breakfast burritos, quiche or breakfast casseroles are some additional options to free up your time.
Favorite Holiday Dishes
Ham or turkey? Which sides are the best? Rolls or biscuits? Every family is different so you can’t please everyone, but offering choices is an excellent place to start. Start with the main dish and build your menu around that. If you are doing turkey pair it with mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce in the crockpot, and rolls on the side. Tip: try brining your turkey overnight.
If you decide on a ham, try sides such as spicy macaroni and cheese, buttered corn or biscuits. Finish off with a chocolate chess pie or apple crisp. Pumpkin pie is always a crowd pleaser.
When it comes to hosting holiday meals – ensure you have plenty of time to plan, prepare, execute, and most importantly, enjoy yourself along the way. Happy hosting!
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