Disclosure: This post is funded by The Beef Checkoff and brought to you by The Motherhood. All opinions in this post are my own.
It’s arguably the most important meal you’ll eat all year long: Christmas dinner. It marks the end of the most festive time of year…after a month (or two) of preparations, parties, shopping, and other holiday activities, when everyone’s expectations for a warm, close-knit family celebration is at an all-time high, we are on the hook for a delicious dinner of Norman Rockwell expectations. No wonder the idea of cooking Christmas dinner stresses most of us out.
Fortunately, cooking Christmas dinner doesn’t have to be as nerve-racking as it sounds. Simply follow these 4 easy steps, and you’ll have a Christmas dinner that is sure to make wonderful memories.
If you’re worried about having to cook dinner for a large crowd (or even just for a few), calm your mind by planning ahead. If you take a few minutes to write out your menu and to plan just how long you’ll need to prepare each dish, you’ll have lifted a big worry off your mind.
When planning out your menu, you’ll probably want to take some time to look through some recipe sites or food blogs in order to get some ideas. This handy recipe guide from The Beef Checkoff will give you several ideas for the perfect appetizers, main course, and potluck dishes to make the celebrate the holidays. The Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine Sauce looks like something that I’ll have to try making…such an impressive dish, but so easy to make!
To many of us, the idea of making the traditional beef roast for Christmas dinner is intimidating, especially if we’ve never made one before. But as you’ll see in this video tutorial on how to make a Maple Glazed Rib Roast, there’s nothing easier to make, because it requires only a few simple steps:
After you decide what to serve for your Christmas dinner, make out your grocery list, so that you’ll be sure to get everything you need to make each recipe.
Shop ahead for your Christmas dinner ingredients
We all know that when we wait until the last minute to head to the grocery store for ingredients for our holiday meals, we have to deal with the big crowds of people that had the same idea 😉
Instead of having to fight your way through the aisles of the grocery store and wait in long lines at the check-out, shop early. This chore will also be a little easier, since you’ll already have your grocery list all ready to go.
The good news is that beef prices are down almost 10% this season from their highest point in late 2014, making the cost of Christmas dinner easy on your wallet. You should see lower prices on items like beef roasts, steaks and ground beef at your local grocery store, which is especially nice at this time of year!
If you’re confused about which roast to buy for your guests, check out the Interactive Butcher Counter. This is especially helpful if you aren’t familiar with all the different cuts of beef, or if your recipe calls for a particular name of cut, but your local area has a different name for it. (I’ve run into that many times, being from California and now living in Maryland!)
Take help where you can get it
One of the most helpful things I learned as a new wife was from Rachel Ray, when she said on her show, “Take help where you can get it.”
You don’t have to be superwoman in the kitchen while preparing Christmas dinner…take some help from the grocery store with pre-washed vegetables, boxed mixes, or pre-cooked mashed potatoes. These items will save you lots of time and energy, taking some of the pressure off as well
Ask people to bring something
If you are having a big group of people over for dinner (or even a small group!), ask them to bring a dish or two so that the responsibility for preparing everything doesn’t fall to you.
Most people are more than happy to bring an appetizer or side dish to share with the group. Ask your friends to bring something like these Citrus-Marinated Beef and Fruit Kabobs or Beef Stuffing with Apples and Cranberries to add to the meal, so that you can focus on the main course.
Enjoy your Christmas dinner
After all the hustle and bustle of the season, not to mention the work in preparing a meal, take time to really enjoy the meal and the company of your family and friends. That’s what the Christmas season is all about…celebrating life and love with a delicious feast!