Holiday Tips from the Metagenics Team
The holidays can be a stressful time of year even when things go smoothly. But the combination of travel, visiting relatives, extra expenditures, elaborate meals, and a houseful of intricate decorations is enough to drive even the most organized celebrator up a wall!
So we thought we’d help: The Metagenics team has put together a few of our favorite tips for getting through this wonderful (but tough!) time of year. Try them out for yourself!
- Don’t overschedule yourself and your family. Being overscheduled can wear you out and increase your chances of getting sick and not enjoying the holidays.
- Have pets? Send the dogs to a friend’s or family member’s house while you cook so they don’t get in the way (or steal a bite!).
- Share the load: Don’t feel obliged to provide the entire dinner. If your in-laws, adult kids, family, and friends are coming, ask them to bring something.
- If you’re making anything that can easily reheat in the oven or microwave, cook it a day (or two!) before. Having less to do the day of the event will make it less stressful and give you more time to spend with your guests.
- Set the table the day before! This can be a time-consuming chore, so get it out of the way. Be sure to put out salt and pepper shakers and water and wine glasses. Put the napkins on top of the plates overnight to prevent them from getting dusty.
- Set up two big lined trash bins outside for recycling and rubbish. This way, your guests won’t be trying to find the trash in the kitchen while you work.
- Do you send leftovers home with your kids or other guests? Pick up inexpensive containers at the 99-cent store, and you won’t have to chase down your “good” storage containers.
- Not everyone likes the same drink. Stock up and offer a variety of cocktails and nonalcoholic options for a memorable event.
- Do you find the turkey’s skin sticks to the rack? Try lining the rack with celery sticks!
- For a perfectly browned, juicy turkey, bake it breast down in an oven bag. The skin still browns, but you don’t have to turn it midway through.
- Aluminum foil! A turkey is a large piece of meat that needs separate cooking times for light and dark meat; plus, it’s hollow…so when you just stick it in the oven, it cooks unevenly, drying out the white meat before the dark is cooked to a safe 165 degrees. When you wrap a turkey in aluminum foil (completely wrap—not the wimpy, useless “tent” of foil), you keep the moisture in the bird and evenly cook the meat. In the last hour of cooking, unwrap the turkey and let it brown while basting every 15 minutes.
- Oven-baked turkey is boring and bland. Deep-fried turkey is wasteful (too much oil, expensive one-time-use cookware) and may burn your house down. Grill your turkey on a kettle grill, using the offset grilling method, and include some water-soaked wood chips. It turns boring into beautiful!
- Skip turkey altogether. Have a sustainable seafood feast!
- Shake things up! Enough of mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. Make a roasted beet salad. Or roast some Brussels sprouts. Do something that will surprise people.
After the event
- If you find you’ve made too much of one dish, make a note of it on the recipe card THAT DAY—don’t assume you’ll remember next year.
- If you notice one dish wasn’t a hit, make a note to skip it next year and add something new.
- Were you short on lighting? Was one of the tables too crowded? Did you start a new tradition that went over well? Make a note for next year that night!
Other great tips from the Metagenics team
- Always have music playing. Silence at a gathering is a surefire way to kill a party. And make sure the music is appropriate for your guests: Create a playlist with nostalgic tunes for Grandma and Grandpa as well as some current music for the young ones.
- Are you hanging stockings this year? Prefill them with wadded paper so that when you do fill them, they look fuller and like they’ve been stuffed for a while!
Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons!
Submitted by the Metagenics Marketing Team