The holidays will soon be upon us, and while your time with your kids and family can be a source of great excitement and fun, the stress of planning and entertaining can be overwhelming if you’re not prepared to tackle the challenges of the season.
With Dream Dinners’ 15 years of experience helping families spend more time together through assembled meals, they’ve learned a few stress-free holiday entertaining tricks along the way. Here are a few that may help you relax and enjoy the festivities:
- Choose menu items that can be made ahead, like soups and stews – which are perfect cold-weather food, too. Quiches and tarts freeze well, and can be made well ahead of time.
- Save time on outdoor décor by choosing standout pieces. An eye-catching wreath on the front door or potted evergreens on the front stoop work well and give you back the hours you would have spent stringing twinkle lights.
- Buy gifts in bulk. Buy a case of wine or champagne and send each of your guests home with a bottle. You can also double your batches of cookies, and send guests home with a tin of your favorites.
- When it comes to decorating the house, keep it simple. Fill glass bowls and containers of varying shapes and sizes with vintage ornaments or twinkle lights. It’s simple, beautiful and keeps your décor looking cohesive throughout the house.
- Create a budget and a gift list before you leave the house. Then, organize your list by categories such as clothes, electronics, toys. This way you only have to make one quick trip to each store.
- Set your table the night before your holiday party or dinner so there is no last-minute table styling stress. Label serving dishes with Post-its, pairing utensils with them in advance. This makes it easy to ensure you’ve accounted for each dish, and keeps you organized in the rush before dinner is served.
- Consider serving dinner as a buffet instead, so you can enjoy the party you worked so hard to create. Just be sure to pull the buffet away from the wall. This allows your guests to serve themselves from all sides of the table, and prevents lines from forming.
- Have fun with a “recipe remix” and turn your favorite recipes into easy appetizers. Make your meatloaf recipe into meatballs, or try something new like skewering strips of your Dream Dinners’ Herb Crusted Flank Steak.
“We get so busy during the holiday season that we lose sight of what the holidays are about, which is spending time with friends and family,” said Stephanie Allen, co-founder and president of Dream Dinners. “It’s Dream Dinners’ goal to make dinnertime possible, so families can make quality time with each other a priority. No matter how busy the holidays are, when families make the effort to create memories and spend more time together, the payoff is priceless.”
For Dream Dinners info, or to browse current menu offerings, visit dreamdinners.com.
Written by: Stephanie Allen
Stephanie Allen, Co-Founder and President of Dream Dinners, is a recognized pioneer in the meal assembly industry. Combining an in-depth knowledge of the needs of busy families with personal and practical innovation, Allen leads the company’s growth and strategic direction. In addition, she oversees menu and product development, franchise recruitment, and general operations.
Allen brings an extensive background in the food industry including 18 years of recipe development and catering, as well as a broad range of business management expertise. Prior to launching Dream Dinners in 2002, Allen owned and operated a successful Seattle-area catering business for more than 12 years.