The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but they are also the busiest. Typically, as your holiday guest list grows, so does your grocery list in addition to the piles of laundry and dirty dishes. But there's no need to be a Grinch. Turn on the holiday cheer by taking advantage of some simple tips from the experts in Whirlpool brand's test kitchens:
1. Prepare ahead. Over-estimate the number of guests expected to attend, and bring full recipes to the grocery store to make sure every ingredient makes it home. This can help you avoid being a plate short or having to dig out old frosting for the last batch of cookies.
2. Make sure the refrigerator can handle your shopping list. French-door refrigerators offer wide shelf space to keep large cakes and deli trays fresh leading up to the big holiday meal. A side-by-side refrigerator may fit the bill if fresh ingredients typically fill the shopping cart.
3. Make it a team effort. Kids can help wash potatoes or arrange platters, and everyone can help clean up. Also, keeping recipes handy in plastic sleeves ensures everyone is on the same page.
4. Put appliances to work for you. Convection cooking allows you to bake potatoes and roast turkeys much faster than a traditional oven, while a double oven range can cook two different meals at once, toast crusty breads or keep one dish warm.
"Holiday cooks no longer have to play musical pans when trying to broil steaks and warm rolls at the same time, thanks to new double-oven ranges," says Monica Teague, senior manager, brand experience, Whirlpool. "In addition, knowing how to properly load the dishwasher can ease clean-up once everyone is stuffed. Greasy pots and pans go on the bottom rack face-down or at a slight angle for optimal cleaning, and delicate stemware stay up top, where water pressure is not as strong."
6. Don't overlook laundry as guests shuffle in and out. Pre-sorting clothes into designated baskets for lights, darks and whites can streamline the process, while some of latest features enable consumers to do laundry at times that fit their hectic holiday schedule.
7. Fit in a quick nap—and a load of laundry—before the guests arrive. That way the holiday season will feel more "Merry" than "Humbug."
The Image above is courtesy of Black Art Depot, whose line of African-American holiday greeting cards can be found at BlackArtDepot.com.