Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

When someone has the job of cooking for a crowd, whether by choice or by family election, there is often times a lot of stress that comes along with it. But cooking for a crowd does not always have to end up with the cook in tears and everything a mess. It is very simple to get this big job done with the right game plan and the proper follow through with the plan. The bigger the crowd, the bigger the dishes but that is nothing to worry about. Making large amounts of stuffing is no different then making a little bit of stuffing. Generally, there is not a lot of extra time that has to be given up.Where a lot of the time gets wasted when cooking for a crowd is the confusion and break down of the cook, as they did not mentally prepare themselves for the occasion. If you are able to pass out things to do to friends and family, then do it. When someone asks you, is there something that they can do to help, do not be the overly polite hostess and say no, put them to work. Even if it is as simple as bringing the drinks to the dinner, let them help out. Even getting the smallest of items and chores to do off of your list will save you a lot of time.

Ask For Help

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When cooking for a crowd, do not be afraid to ask for help whether it is actually preparing a few things, helping with setting arrangements, or planning the meal and the structured times for things to begin cooking. The more people who you have helping you, the better off that the meal will be a success and that you will still be in one piece after cooking for a crowd. You want someone who is reliable too as the last thing you want is to have someone designated to something extremely important and then they fail to follow through.

When you are all finished cooking for a crowd, you must take the time to sit back and relax so that you may enjoy all of the hard work you put into the meal. Sit back and enjoy the meal while looking through the eyes of your guests. Do not be too hard on yourself, as they will not so as critical of you as you are of yourself. Now that you are done cooking for a crowd, have a few people from that crowd help you pick up. There is nothing wrong in asking for a little bit of help. Even though you may not ask for them to wash your dishes, picking up their own plates and helping to clear the table is an excellent way to help end the day.

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Creating a progressive dinner routine is an excellent way to bring neighbors, friends and even families together. By spreading the work and cooking around to many people, these dinners present an excellent, relatively trouble-free way for folks to get to know each other better while enjoying a fun experience.

Progressive dinners typically involve multi-course meals that take place in different homes. They are generally hosted within neighborhoods, on a single block or even in apartment or condo complexes. The basic neighborhood setting tends to lend itself very well to walking between courses rather than driving. This can be especially beneficial if cocktails and nightcaps are included in the course lineup. There is nothing that prevents having courses take place further distances away, however. Just plan smart and omit these “courses” or designate a driver or two.

While a progressive dinner event can take place as a one-time thing, many participants find they enjoy them enough to start a tradition. For example, some people plan dinners on a monthly or every-other-month basis with very specific themes in mind. Others prefer to allow an anything-goes styling for meal planning, but keep the dinner tradition going on a fairly regular basis, passing cooking duties along to different hosts as they go.

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If you’d like to get a progressive dinner tradition going in your neighborhood or with your friends and family, the effort doesn’t really involve all that much work. Pick an evening, enlist a few cooks and make a guest list. Make sure all the cooks involved know how many to expect. This can greatly impact the planning on their part, as well. If a theme is desired, select and share this in advance too.

The courses that are assigned or selected by participants during progressive dinners can be very extensive or quite basic. Options to consider include before-dinner drinks and hor d’ oeuvres, more substantial appetizers, soup and salad, main course with sides, desserts and then nightcaps.

If themes are desired, they can run the gamut. They might include such things as holiday fare, ethnic favorites, barbecue, picnic and more. The sky is really the limit.
Progressive dinners provide an interesting way for families to get closer or neighbors to get to know each other better. By providing a tasty way to socialize, these dinners are becoming staples of social life in many areas. Since they spread the work around, they are often adored by participants, as well.

Kitchen renovation

The kitchen is and always has been the heart of your home. It is where your family gathers in the morning for breakfast, and it is where your family gathers for dinner to share events of their day. It is the place where all of your friends and family feel most comfortable and at home.

Designing your kitchen can be a fun and exciting time however it can also be very stressful. You will have to deal with contractors and financial issues as well as try to maintain your family’s routine; it can be overwhelming.

When you first decide your kitchen needs a make over, it is important that you have all of your budget in order. Only should you decide to build your dream kitchen.

To start out with, if you are a novice, it is advisable to consult a designer who has the experience to create a showplace for the budget that you have.

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Choosing the right colors for your kitchen is very important. You need to choose soft warm colors that reflect your personality and style.

When it comes to choosing countertops, you want to choose something that is durable and stylish. Many people choose marble or granite countertops because the last a long time, are easy to clean and come in many different styles, patterns, and colors.

It can be really exciting when you renovate your kitchen, and no renovation would be complete without new appliances. This can be quite an expense, however when you see the choices that you have, you will be astounded.

You can choose from a conventional oven or convection, a wall mounted microwave of countertop, or if your budget allows, you can have all of these in one appliance. Stovetops have almost as many choices, conventional or drop in countertop, gas or electric, with a grill or without. Renovating your kitchen is really one of the best experiences you will ever have, and when someone you know decides to renovate, you will have the right advice to assist them in their choices.

Tying everything together is not a difficult thing to do if you have a good designer. He or she is trained to bring out the best in each room and with each piece of furniture that you choose. It is important to check references of the designers that you choose and ask for pictures of past projects.

The flooring should be the last thing that you choose. Many designers have computer programs that allow you to see your choices in a finished setting to allow you to make changes before the work even begins. Technology is wonderful, and when you are renovating your kitchen, you should take full advantage of it.

Kitchen organization tips

When you are cooking, the last thing that you want to do is to leave what you are doing to find an ingredient or a utensil.

Organizing your kitchen is very important, it can save you a lot of time and also avoid possible injury. It is important that you have everything right at your fingertips.

When you are reorganizing your kitchen, there are many things that you need to take into consideration before you begin.

Stocking your kitchen with the right cooking utensils is very important. You should have the basics such as knives, a meat fork with two prongs, a wooden cutting board as well as a durable plastic cutting board, several different sizes of wooden and steel spoons, spatulas whisks, measuring cups, both liquid and solid (you need both because each one is slightly different in measurement amounts) measuring spoons, a hand held mixer, (This is essential) meat thermometer, and the most important tool in the kitchen is your cookware. If you want to create wonderful culinary delights, you need to have good quality cookware. The cheap stuff will not have the same result. 18/10 steel is recommended for anyone who loves to cook.

Your appliances are also very important; to start out with you should have a food processor, blender, microwave, and a mixer. With these tools, you can create just about anything.

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On thing that is very important is knowing how to operate your appliances. Reading the instruction manual is very important to your safety. Equally important is that you know how to maintain them to get the maximum amount of life out of them.

Try to create an area where you can store your appliances without them getting in the way of your preparations. This can be difficult if space is limited, however, it can be done. Purchasing a portable cupboard is an excellent way to create space.

When it comes to spices, we all have too many of them but cannot bring ourselves to toss any of them.

It is very easy to find small aluminum containers to store spices in. They are fairly cheap and you can use Velcro to attach them to the doors of your portable cupboard.

There will be times when your kitchen is the hub of activity. Keeping it clutter free will also assist you in maintaining an organized kitchen. Being able to move around can help you to stay accident free.

When you have all the right tools, you will be able to create just about anything; you are only limited by your imagination. Keeping your kitchen organized can create a place where family and friends will want to gather to socialize. It creates an atmosphere that is warm and inviting.