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6 Tips to Prep Your Kitchen for Holiday Cooking

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This holiday season, you'll be doing a lot of cooking. From the Christmas ham to the holiday cookies, your kitchen is going to get a lot of action in the next couple of weeks.

Fret no more about those dirty dishes, cluttered counters and overly eager in-laws - make your holiday cooking time a little bit easier by following these tips for keeping your kitchen in check before your celebration.

1. Set Your Menu
Before you can start digging out your turkey tray or locating your great aunt's potato recipe, you've got to set a menu. Sitting down and writing out exactly which dishes you're going to prepare allows you to get a better mental grasp on which tools you'll need cleaned and roughly how much space you'll need to prepare ingredients. If you're looking to get extra crafty, consider picking up a chalkboard that allows you to write out each meal your guests can expect.

2. Clean Your Counters
Your counters can house some pretty nasty bacteria, so start scrubbing down these surfaces before you begin chopping vegetables or prepping meats. This also gives you the opportunity to get rid of those appliances you haven't used in weeks, leaving more space for your current feast.

You'll be grateful for those clean surfaces once you start cooking.

3. Arrange Your Tools
Are you going to need that turkey baster? Probably. Will you use the pizza cutter? Doubtful. Rearrange your cooking utensils so that the tools you'll need while prepping are within reach. This will not only prevent you from fumbling in your utensil drawer, but also make the prep process go much more smoothly.

4. Leave Space for Your Appliances
After you clean your counters, leave room for your big appliances that you anticipate using on the actual day. You'll want to leave enough room for your slow cooker, your food processor and your mixer, for when you make dessert.

"Save time by dressing your dining table the evening before your guests arrive."

5. Set the Table in Advance 
Don't waste your precious cooking time by frantically setting out placemats and silverware. Dress your dining table the evening before guests arrive, as this allows you to take as much time as you want properly setting up the table to your specifications.

6. Clean Out the Fridge
Whether you need room for all those fresh ingredients or you anticipate the leftovers, cleaning out your fridge is a must before a big feast. Keep plenty of space cleared, especially if you plan on making dishes in advance.



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