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7 tips for happy holiday hosting

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Chefs make the best hosts! Corporate Chef & BBQ Pitmaster, Mike Haracz, shares his top seven tips for keeping the cool in your yule for entertaining. Happy Holidays!

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7 tips for happy holiday hosting

  1. 1. 7 Tips for Happy Holiday Hosting Follow these 7 Tips for Happy Holiday Hosting by Corporate Chef & Pitmaster, Mike Haracz, to help keep your yule cool! # 1 Cook to Order As much as you want to make your own holiday favorites, remember that you are cooking for your guests. Make the effort to ask if there are any special dietary restrictions or flavor preferences ahead of time to. If you find that most of your guests would prefer a beef roast over turkey, it might be time to change the menu. #2 Plan Ahead What takes the longest to cook on your menu? What can you make quickly? What’s the easiest thing you have to make? The smartest thing you can do to make life easier when entertaining is to plan ahead. Plan out what-happens-when ahead of time in order to have everything ready at the same time! #3 Temp Wisely Do not rely on those cheap pop-up ‘doneness things’. Invest in a decent digital thermometer to get accurate readings for your food. Always keep in mind “carry over cooking” will increase the temp of most foods by 5 to 10 degrees when resting out of the oven. #4 Make It Work If you are limited on oven space but have a backyard full of grills and smokers, take advantage of what you have. The same goes for refrigerator space – pack some coolers with extra ice to store fresh ingredients and leftovers. #5 Snack Savvy The purpose of snacks and appetizers are not to fill up your guests, but to hold them over until dinner. Serve them, but if dinner is ready sooner than planned, put them away sooner than you had planned. Conversely, if you encounter problems in the kitchen, have some extra appetizers handy to serve to keep your guests happy and buy extra time! #6 Buffet Buff Food should always remain at the temperature it is meant to be eaten. Keep cold dips, sauces, spreads, and sides on ice, while serving cooked meats, casseroles, gravy, and stuffing in warming trays, crock pots, or steam table pans. Guests who return for new foods to try or second helpings will have the same tasty experience of the initial food service. #7 Quick Store Always refrigerate your leftovers as soon as possible, whether you plan on doing the dishes when you clear the table or not. You will have about two hours from the time your food is served to the time it needs to be refrigerated. Quick store leftovers in disposable to-go containers as parting gifts for your guests at the end of the evening, or have your own storage containers easily accessible ahead of time. Additional tips for keeping cold foods cold longer: Keep your serving platter in the freezer until you are ready to plate. Fill a casserole style dish with ice, tightly stretch plastic wrap over the top directly touching the ice and place your food directly on the plastic wrap. Put a decorative towel or linen napkin over the ice first if preferred. Freeze water in plastic bags for a nice flat surface to rest platters on. Place platters on reusable ice packs – the type used to ship food products. Vacuum seal ice bags when possible to avoid leakage.

Chefs make the best hosts! Corporate Chef & BBQ Pitmaster, Mike Haracz, shares his top seven tips for keeping the cool in your yule for entertaining. Happy Holidays!

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