Christmas Countdown ~ Day 18

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AGH! One week to go!

Sorry about that, just had to let that out.  Kinda like a steam kettle, you have to let the pressure out once in a while to be able to continue on.

Today is all about P & P

Planning & Preparation

Have you undertaken an ambitious menu?  Your Freezer and Fridge are your best friends this time of year.  Some of your menu items can be prepared ahead of time and either par-baked or frozen and baked when you need them on the big day.  Right now my freezer is stuffed to the rafters, hubby keeps offering to make room for me though – what a sweetheart he is, so thoughtful!

Taking the time to plan out what can be done in the days leading up to Christmas helps to minimize that frazzled, harried feeling the day of.  Here are a few tips to help you get through the next week in the kitchen.

Planning on Cinnamon Buns Christmas morning?  Prepare the dough and fill the pans ready for baking but instead of baking, immediately put them in the freezer.  These can be made up to a week ahead of time.  Then, the night before, take them out of the freezer and put them in the fridge to thaw overnight and rise.  Then you just pop them in the oven and in 15 minutes, you have warm, heavenly, ooey-gooey, sticky cinnamon buns.

Casserole & side dishes can be prepared and assembled a day or two in advance and kept refrigerated until you need them.  Even smashed taters can be done ahead of time.  With a little research and planning, you can pretty much make everything ahead of time.  No one wants to spend the entire day in the kitchen on Christmas Day, advanced prep allows you to enjoy the day with family.

Planning on a turkey?  Brining is the in-rage right now.  Brining takes anywhere from 12-24 hours.  So make sure you allocate enought time for brining AND roasting.  For more info on brining and roasting, click here.

Desserts need not be fancy either.  Have you already made oodles of Christmas cookies and treats?  Grab a large platter and fill it with an assortment of sweets, this way people can pick what they want or nothing at all, especially if they have managed to stuff themselves like the turkey.

And there you have it.  If you follow the P & P mantra above, you should be able to come away from a hectic but satisfying meal with a smile on your face and hopefully leftovers!

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