The holiday season can be downright stressful! That’s why we reached out to our friends at W&P Design to share their tips for surviving the holidays. Based in Brooklyn, New York, they make some of our favorite products, including the Carry On Cocktail Kit, Peak Ice Trays, the Mason Shaker (and plenty of other great stuff, too). When it comes to hosting, traveling and gifting, they know their stuff.
Take it away, W&P Design!
Tip #5 Plan Your Menu
At the end of the day, one of our favorite parts of the holiday season is the food. But planning and executing a meal for a big group can be daunting. More often than not a successful gathering is the result of great planning, and after years of hosting dinner and holiday parties, we’ve developed a few menu-planning tricks to keep the stress level down and great food and drinks flowing:
1) Keep it Simple and Seasonal: By using seasonal ingredients that are at their prime, you can keep your dishes simple and let the ingredients shine. This time of year we love the colorful sea of squash, vibrant citrus and deep greens of hearty winter greens at the market.
2) Prep Ahead of Time: Try to prepare the majority of your meal before your guests start arriving, so you can get out of the kitchen and enjoy the gathering. This starts with selecting dishes you can prepare in advance and cocktails you can batch in large amounts. After all, it’s your party—you should be part of it!
3) Get Inspired: Do some brainstorming and get inspired! There are great resources out there for recipe inspiration. Here are a few of our favorites from Sur La Table:
- Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Horseradish Cream
- Roast Pork Loin with Caramelized Onions and Sherry Wine Sauce (℅ All-Clad)
- Standing Rib Roast with Roasted Garlic and Red Wine (℅ Wolf Gourmet)
- Roast Turkey with Black Truffle Butter
- Rich Turkey Pan Gravy
- Merlot Cranberry Sauce with Caramelized Shallots
- Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Thyme
- Pear, Gouda and Kale Salad with Walnuts and Sherry Vinaigrette
- Steam-Grilled Butternut Square, Burrata, Roasted Hazelnuts and Balsamic Reduction
- Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Streusel
View all the recipes here.