Is it your year to host holiday dinner? Don't panic! I'm going to share some of my favorite kitchen items and pro tips that will help make cooking your dinner a little easier this year.
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Cookbook / Tablet Stand
You can find plenty of great dessert recipes right here on kickassbaker.com! Whether you like to bring up the recipes on your iPad, phone, or print them out, use this simple cookbook stand to hold your recipes upright while you prepare.
Pro tip: Whatever recipes you have planned for the big day, set aside some time, if you can, to test out some recipes. Make notes on stickies about what worked, what didn't, and what you'd change next time you make the dish. I always think I'm going to remember, but it never fails that I do not... So this system works well for me!
A good roasting pan is something you'll use both for holiday dinners and throughout the year for family meals. This is a great investment piece that will last a long time, but won't break the bank!
Pro Tip: Use this for your Holiday dinner to boil potatoes or make stock post-holiday with the turkey bones.
To make turkey stock, place the bones, skin and whatever scraps of meat may be leftover from the turkey in the stock pot and cover with water. If you won't be cooking till the next day, place in the fridge until you're ready to use.
Add a whole onion (do not peel or chop!) plus a handful of rough chopped carrots and celery. Cover and allow to simmer on low heat for 8-10 hours. Strain the solids, allow to cool then throw away.
If you'd rather not leave your stove on all day (I totally get that!), place the stock ingredients into an instant pot or slow cooker. Set on low slow cook for 8-12 hours.
Allow the stock to cool on the counter in a wide, shallow bowl (it'll cool faster this way!), then cover tightly and place in the fridge for leftover turkey noodle soup. Or, freeze in cubes to use later.
Some think the turkey is the star of the show on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we all know how important all the sides are! Having a good casserole dish for that dressing, stuffing, green bean casserole, or sweet potato pie is very important.
Wood Serving Trays
You can never have too many serving trays. This is something my mom always said and she's right!
Once that holiday turkey or ham is cooked and ready for the table, you need a serving platter on which to put it. These are large enough for serving a crowd and they'll look beautiful on your table.
Need a bowl for your salads or mashed potatoes? Don't worry! I've got some ideas for you.
Having some snacks out for people to nibble on while they're waiting for dinner to finish cooking is always a good idea!
Having the right tools to serve all the delicious food you've made is so important. When we host, we use all of them in the house. So go for a variety of sizes and uses, as you'll likely need 'em all!
Hot Pad Trivets
With all of the dishes coming out of your oven, you don't want to run out of trivets to put those hot dishes on.
You might not use your gravy boat on a frequent basis, but it adds another level to your holiday table. Not a gravy fan? Use it for caramel sauce for your desserts or for the cranberry sauce.
Use a pretty cloth tablecloth to add a bit more of a festive feel to your dinner table. A well-made tablecloth will also protect your table from spills and scratches that are sure to occur with guests visiting.
Serve your homemade bread or dinner rolls, such as my Challah Rolls, in a simple bread basket lined with a white paper napkin.
To Go Containers
If your family is anything like mine, we always make way too much food during the holidays. Half the fun is taking it home and eating it for the next 3 days! Prepare by taking out some to-go containers for your guests to help themselves to whatever leftovers they'd like before departing.