Start every day with something delicious.
Bring excitement back to your lunchbox.
Delicious dinners don’t have to be complicated.
Kick off your next party with crowd-pleasing, smile-inspiring appetizers.
End every meal on a high note with Hatfield.
You ask it before leaving for the airport on that big vacation, taking the baby to the park or submitting a resume. Some of you maybe ask it to yourself every single day – maybe even multiple times a day.
“What am I forgetting?”
You’re going to find yourself asking this a lot around the holidays, especially if you’re the one tasked with hosting a house full of loved ones. There’s a lot of personalities and a lot of individuals’ needs to keep track of. We made the list. You check it twice.
MAKE A PLAN
You won’t be able to predict everything in advance, but sitting down and thinking through everything you’ll need for your holiday dinner will help you appreciate the scope of what’s ahead of you.
NOW MAKE A CHECKLIST
Don’t let that plan overwhelm you. Turn it into a conquerable checklist. We’re not just talking about a shopping list for the grocery store. Create a to-do list, broken down by each day leading up to dinner.
CRAFT YOUR MENU
Now’s the time to dream up your ideal feast. What are the classics everyone will be looking for? Can you get your hands on the top-secret family recipes? If you need a little help putting together a full list, we’ve got some simple dishes to round out your holiday meal.
THE ULTIMATE SHOPPING LIST
This is one shopping list you’re going to not want to scribble on the back of a receipt. Once you have your full list of ingredients, do a full inventory of what you already have so you don’t overbuy.
KNOW THE NEEDS
When you’re doing the inviting, knock out another task at the same time by asking guests if they have any dietary restrictions or food allergies. You may need to prepare additional dishes or adjust ingredients based on who’s coming.
OUTSOURCE WHAT YOU CAN
One more task to complete while you have guests on the phone: delegate! It’s not unreasonable to ask guests to bring a dish if they’re willing to help. There’s also nothing wrong with rounding out your menu with already-made items. Cook your strengths and outsource the rest.
TRIPS, TRIPS, TRIPS
You don’t have to fit it all in one shopping cart on the same day. Lower your shopping stress by scheduling a few different trips so you’re not overwhelmed. Buy non-perishable foods a week ahead of time and shop for fresh ingredients closer to the holiday.
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT
To cut down on kitchen traffic, have some appetizers ready for your guests as they begin to arrive. Keep them munching and occupied so you can focus on the task at hand. Our Bacon and Cheese Dip will keep them occupied.
WHAT ABOUT THE DRINKS?
Put some thought into your drink menu. Will guests be expecting alcoholic beverages? If so, will you be providing them or requesting BYOB? Coffee or tea after dinner? Do you have coolers you can use for soft drinks so all that valuable fridge space doesn’t go to the cans?
DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?
Time to make sure you’ve got the right kitchen gadgets to pull it all off. Mixers. Crock pots. Meat thermometers. Do you need to borrow anything from a relative? Know what you need to pull it all off.
TIME TO CLOCK IN
It’s time to do a little strategizing. Timing all those dishes is a fine art. Make sure you have cooking times and temperatures organized in a way that makes the process the most efficient. It’s easy to get distracted when you’re playing catch-up with friends and family. Use your phone to set reminder alarms.
OUTSIDE THE KITCHEN
Put some thought into organizing spaces outside of the kitchen before guests arrive. Do you have enough seating? Do you have movies and games handy to occupy smaller visitors until dinner is ready? What about a designated coat room? Is there enough parking for everyone?
BREATHE. YOU’VE GOT THIS.
It might not all go according to plan, but that’s OK. Enjoy the time with your friends and family, and savor your meal together!
Share with us some stories and photos from your holiday happenings on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (@HatfieldMeats) using #SimplyHatfield.