Simple steps to cooking your favorites in a fraction of the time
Precious traditions are approaching this holiday season! This is the time of year when our stoves, ovens, sinks, and dishwashers see the most love they’ll see all year. Whether you’re the faithful host, the fill-in for the original cook, or anywhere in between, you understand that this time of year is serious when it comes to the food.
Growing up, my grandmother was always in charge of thanksgiving. She’d kick everybody out of the kitchen and move rhythmically – seemingly magically – to get it all done. As the only granddaughter, I was the favorite – I’m kidding…not really – and was always invited to stay in the kitchen and learn to cook. Ironically, I hated it. I said I would never need to know how to cook because the world would evolve to instant meals when I got older – big dreams rooted in false hope because you all know how I feel about microwaves and “instant meals” now – they’re a no-go in my house.
Nonetheless, the holiday season held the most precious memories with my grandmother, cousins, neighbors, and other close relatives. To this day, we have endless inside jokes, clown-able events, and treasured dishes surrounding our festive get-togethers.
If you’ve been around for any period of time, you know I love to cook, but not live in the kitchen. If you’re looking for ways to provide delicious, holiday meals without the hours of bathing in heat and back pain, keep reading, sistah love!
First, let’s nail your process. There are simple steps you can take to cut prep time like:
- Prep your ingredients all at once (slicing, dicing, measuring, etc.)
- Don’t try to make new recipes for the first time
- Plan exactly what you’re going to cook in consecutive order
- Invest in an InstantPot (This will cut your labor in less than half!)
Now, let’s reduce the cooking time on your holiday favorites.
Instead of cooking the whole thing, cut off the legs and slice it across the chest evenly. The heat won’t take nearly as long to permeate every piece of the bird. Everything will cook evenly and have a juicy, tender finish.
Drop these puppies in the instant pot with some veggie or chicken stock for roughly twenty minutes, mash them up, and add Kerrygold butter. Done!
**Pro tip: don’t worry about peeling the potatoes. That’s where all the fiber you’ll need at the end of the night is living!
Mac N Cheese.
There are no corners to cut here. If you pre-shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, let me know! Otherwise, invite one of the many mouths at the table to volunteer their hands! That’s as pre-shredded as the good cheese gets.
I am culturally aware enough to know better than to call the veggies greens. Greens are collards, the saucy salad that hosts the bulk of the vegetables included in the meal are veggies.
Buy a pre-mixed bag of leafy vegetables, then add crunchiness, like raw broccoli, then add some sprigs of mint to surprise your guests with a delightfully unexpected burst of flavor!
Sweet Potato Pie.
Bake or steam some sweet potatoes. Once softened, remove the skin, and mash blend them with some nutmeg, allspice or cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, and butter (egg is optional).
Add it to a crust bake at 350º F until golden brown and enjoy!
What are some of your traditional holiday eats? Comment below, or tag me in them on Instagram or Facebook!
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