Six Tips for Stress Free Cooking

Dear FlyLady,
This weekend I am cooking for a lot of people. Do you have any tips to help keep my kitchen from being a disaster area? Someone said you have cooked your eggs in the oven instead of boiling them. Can you really do that?

FlyBaby in Chaos

Dear Friends,

There are lots of parties that happen this time of the year: Graduations, Memorial Day, and Family Reunions.   This can be a breeze! We always have a pot luck meal and this saves me from trying to kill myself. angel eggs, broccoli salad, cranberry salad, stuffing and gravy. Oh and I almost forgot the desserts. They are in my freezer right now. We will have enough food for an army and everyone will go home with the leftovers. I have a secret. When we put all the food up, we bag it into ziplock bags and everyone takes them with them so I don’t have all those leftovers go to waste in our refrigerator.

If you have never cooked a big holiday dinner then we are here to help you. Leanne has put together a Menu Mailer that is up on our website. If you don’t won’t turkey then substitute ham. It has the grocery list and the timeline. All you have to do is read over it WELL, before you go to the grocery store. All the information is there for you in the timeline if you will not panic. So go print out the 5 parts of her Menu Mailer. You will be the hostess with the mostest!

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Angel Eggs

Leanne and I joke that I help you get the kitchen clean and she helps you put dinner on the table. There are a few little tips I want to toss out to you before you start cooking your head off.

1. Put hot soapy water in your shiny sink before you start to prepare anything. Get out clean dish cloths and towels.

2. Make sure the dishwasher is empty before you start. Hand wash as much as you can and run the dishwasher and empty it before you sit down to eat. This way you will have an empty dishwasher to put the dinner dishes in. Oh and you can run the good china in the dishwasher if you don’t put any dishwasher detergent in it. You can wash your good silver in there too. Just not the hollow handle knives.

3. Now this is a hard one for us, since we love to pretend to multi-task. The truth is we don’t really do it well. You know what happens in your kitchen when you try to do several things at once. Your kitchen looks like a bomb went off in it. Only prepare ONE recipe at a time and when you have put it together; CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF. This means getting things ready to cook not necessary putting them on the stove or in the oven. You can do things a head of time and put them in the refrigerator to wait till its scheduled time to pop in the oven or put on the stove. Leanne’s timeline will help you a lot. I actually make appointments for my oven.

4. And this is the most important tip. Put on good supportive shoes with laces. Don’t try to stand up all day and cook in cutesy shoes. Your legs deserve better than this.

5. After you put together each recipe and you have cleaned up after yourself! I want you to sit down at your table, drink a cup of tea and check things off your list. This is not a request; this is an order to help keep you from looking frazzled for your guests. You need to take breaks and drink your water!

6. Set your table the day before and cover it with a clean sheet, if you have a cat. This way you can have fun with the pretty things.

You can have fun preparing a holiday dinner; if you will just pace yourself and take breaks. It is really just a piece of cake if you will take those babysteps.

Are you ready to FLY through a stress free holiday?

FlyLady

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