The Holiday season is upon us. Aside from sharing and caring, the most important part of the holidays is some good food. For the cooking impaired, we have come up with a list of 6 easy ways to make your holiday cooking a breeze. Read on…
If looking at recipes makes you cringe, and your oven is used as storage, you will find this a handy guide to tackling cooking during the holidays.
- Make a Plan Stan: Decide what you want to cook, make a list and save yourself the stress of missing ingredients. Don’t put off cleaning the house until the day of the event cause you think it is going to get dirty by then anyways… Do a little a day and you’ll save yourself the angst.
- Cooking for Dummies: Now is not the time to try to make a turduckin for the first time. If your meals usually consist of frozen this or prepackaged that, choose simple recipes that are fail proof. Stews are good for this, throw everything in a pot and slow cook!
- Less is More: If you are cooking for a couple of friends, you don’t need to prepare a meal for an army. Make generous portions but don’t go overboard. Also, you don’t really need 10 side dishes, a starch, and a salad are usually enough.
- Ask For Help: Chances are you are inviting people close to you to the dinner party. Ask one or two of the more cooking savvy to come help you prepare. They would probably prefer to help than to get a so-so meal.
- Make it a Pot Luck!: If everyone chips in, you all get a super meal. Ask people to bring side dishes, drinks and desserts. You provide the main dish and the location and everyone chips in. Make sure you tell people what dish they are in charge of, you want to make sure the meal is evened out.
- Order Take Out: When all else fails, order take out, but make it look really nice! If you order something homely, you can even try to fake you made it!
And as a special treat, two simple recipes that never fail, even for vegetarians!
The Cheese Board
What you need:
- A nice wood chopping board
- Cheese Knife
- Variety of cheeses, be creative, the stinkier the cheese, the better it tastes, or so say the French
- A nice fresh baguette
- Green and red grapes
Pretty fool proof, huh? Take the cheeses and arrange them in a nice way on the chopping board and garnish with grapes. Slice up the baguette and let the fun begin!
The French Onion Tart
What you need:
- Frozen puff pastry
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons should do the trick
- 3 Large Onions
- A bunch of fresh Thyme
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/3 cup of beef or vegetable stock
Roll out the puff pastry, fold the edges over to so that it looks like a picture frame. Make sure you stab the inside part of the “frame” with a fork here and there so the pastry does not puff up. Ok, part one done. Move onto your cutting board and slice up those onions. Trick I learned from a movie, when chopping onions only breathe through your nose, make sure to keep your mouth closed, this way you will avoid crying. Pre-heat your oven for the pastry (instructions and temperatures on the bag). Heat up a frying pan, add the olive oil and the onions and the thyme. Stir it up until the onions are a little brown. Slowly add the stock and stir until it feels a little thick like marmalade, add salt and pepper to taste. Time to put it in the “frame”. nicely spread the onlon marmalade on the pastry, pop that puppy in the oven, and about ten minutes later, presto! You have a delicious holiday appetizer.