Having guests over for a holiday gathering can be stressful. But don't let the duties of hosting a party ruin your holiday fun. Consider these tips to make your next get together more enjoyable for everyone:
Keep it simple.
Elaborate dishes are impressive, but they often require lots of prep time, particularly when you're cooking for a crowd. Stick to recipes with relatively few components or streamlined preparations you can handle easily.
Showcase a few high-quality ingredients.
You don't need to spend lavishly or prepare fancy recipes to impress guests. For example, buy a fresh turkey instead of one that has been frozen or extra nice produce that can be simply steamed and sprinkled with herbs for a memorable side dish.
Work in advance.
Do as much as you can ahead of time. Prepare the dessert or components of the main course long before the guests arrive. The goal is to minimize active cooking time once the party has begun.
Divvy up the duties.
Get the family involved. Make short lists and ask for help. Duties such as making sure the ice supply is adequate or help getting the table ready can easily be shared. Assign duties well in advance so everyone will be prepared to help.
Let guests help.
Be prepared to ask a few guests help you with the last minute details. Most will be more than happy to help and perhaps even flattered that you asked.