Holiday Cooking Tips
Clean your pantry, freezer and refrigerator.
Get your refrigerator, freezer and pantry cleaned and ready to stock up on the food you will need for your holiday cooking as soon as it comes on sale. Then they’ll be ready for the store bought items and the things you will be cooking.
I use canisters to store my flour, sugar and other staple items because the canisters help keep out bugs and humidity and it is less messy to scoop things like flour or sugar out of a large canister than a bag. Get the canisters filled up and ready for your upcoming cooking and baking marathons.
I also fill up my spice containers at this time. I usually buy my spices in bulk and some of the containers they come in are large and are not easy to measure from. I keep smaller spice containers and then just fill them from the bulk packages.
Keep A Trash Can Handy
When doing a lot of baking or cooking be sure to keep the trash can or a brown paper sack near you so it’s easy to throw away trash. I often make 5-6 trips to the trash can so this simplifies the process. It also motivates you to clean as you go along. You might also keep a large bowl on the counter to dump your trash into as you work. Then, when you are done, you can take it all at once to the trash.
Graham Cracker Crumbs
It seems like half the desserts I find call for graham crackers of some sort. To make things easier, crush a whole box or more of graham crackers and store them in an airtight container. Keep a measuring scoop in the container and the next time you have a recipe that calls for graham cracker crumbs, you’ll have no mess or fuss and one less step to do.
Twisted oatmeal cookies
Use pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice in place of cinnamon in your oatmeal cookies.
Sliding cutting board
You will probably have that cutting board out all the time during the holiday cooking. To help keep it from sliding around, glue a small piece of waffle rubber shelf liner to the corners.
Sometimes it gets confusing trying to decide what kind of margarine or butter to use in baking. Always use margarine that has at least 80% fat. If you don’t, your baked goods can stick badly to the pan or spread too much and they often turn out too dry. Oils to stay away from in baking (unless otherwise stated in recipe) are vegetable oil, low fat margarine and tub margarine.
Easy Pancakes for a crowd
With out of town guests coming or when you’re preparing holiday brunches, it can mean you’ll be making lots of pancakes. To make things go faster, using about 3 cups of pancake mix to make your batter. Pour the pancake batter into a greased 15×10 inch jelly roll pan and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes until puffy and brown. Then just cut the “pancakes” into squares with a pizza cutter.
Holiday Banana Nut Bread
Give your regular banana nut bread recipe a holiday flair by adding chocolate chips and maraschino cherries to it.
Many of you will be baking hams for holiday dinners or parties. Often, we just throw away the ham juice but this year save it. Skim off the fat and then pour the juices into ice cube trays or small containers. The next time you make green beans, pea soup, boiled potatoes or green bean casserole, use a cube for flavoring.
Photo By: ccharmon