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Tips for reducing stress while cooking this Christmas

Tips for staying stress-free cooking this Christmas

Cooking on Christmas Day can be stressful, but with some planning and a few helpful tips, you can make the experience more enjoyable.

Here are some suggestions to help reduce stress while cooking on Christmas Day...

Plan your menu in advance

Choose dishes that you are comfortable preparing and have made plenty of times before. It's also a good idea to opt for recipes that can be partially or fully prepared ahead of time so you don't have too much to do on the day.

Create a plan

Break down your cooking tasks into a schedule with specific times and allocate certain time for each dish, including preparation and cooking time.

Prep ingredients in advance

Chop vegetables, measure ingredients, and marinate meats the day before.
You should consider using store-bought items for certain components to save time.

Delegate tasks

Don't be afraid to ask for help from family or friends. Assign specific tasks to others, such as setting the table, making drinks, or handling desserts.

Keep it simple

Consider a simpler menu with fewer intricate dishes as a way to reduce stress. Instead, focus on quality rather than quantity as your guests will enjoy this much more too.

Use time-saving appliances

Utilise your kitchen gadgets including slow cookers, air fryers, or roasters to free up stove and oven space. These appliances can also make certain dishes quicker and easier to make, which will take some pressure off on the big day.

Choose make-ahead recipes

Select recipes that can be prepared in advance and reheated on the day.
Casseroles, soups, and certain desserts often taste just as good when made at an earlier date.

Organise your workspace

Make sure your kitchen is clean and free of clutter before you start any cooking.
Gather all the necessary tools, utensils, and ingredients so they are readily available when you need them.

Accept imperfection

Remember, It's okay if everything doesn't go perfectly. Christmas is for enjoying time with family and friends, and the food is just an added bonus!

Take breaks

Schedule short breaks to rest and recharge throughout the day. Have a plan for dealing with stress, whether it's taking a brief walk or deep breathing exercises.

Enjoy the process

Remember the joy of cooking and the reason for the celebration. Play festive music, involve family members, and savour the memories you make.

Have a backup plan

Prepare for unexpected situations, such as a burnt dish or a missing ingredient.
Know which dishes can be substituted or replaced easily just in case.

The most important thing is to enjoy the holiday with your loved ones. With a bit of planning and a relaxed mindset, you can have a stress-free and enjoyable Christmas cooking experience.