Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cooking for the Holidays

With the holidays here and many upcoming celebrations, this can be a daunting time. When I think of celebrations, I think of cooking. Lots and lots of food. I want it to be easy, simple, and still tasty. The questions I'll be asking myself is how many people will I be cooking for, what foods will appeal to the general guests, and how can I prepare something that won't cost too much, take too much time and still be delicious.

I know right away, it's going to be a home-cooked meal because it's more personal that way and cheaper. Now all that's left is figuring out the foods. Did I mention I'm not even much of a cook? But my mom is and I plan to help out as much as I can. My first suggestion was finger foods/appetizers. These are my favorites, especially if there is a variety to choose from. I'm currently hunting down cookbooks and this one looks helpful, as well as this one. From the reviews, it sounds like most people found the recipes helpful and delicious. The most important thing I look for in cookbooks is nice, big photographs and easy to follow recipes. Even if a recipe sounds good, if there's no picture that's not going to help me much :(

We're thinking of going with a buffet-style, fusion type of feast. What this means is we want to have a bunch of different types of foods and inspired by different cultures. It could be a dish of curry, a bowl of seafood soup, and spring rolls. We're not sure, yet but something along the line. The good thing about this is that it'll be a little bit of something for everyone. The bad thing is that it could be a lot of work if we don't opt for easy recipes. Plus, I want the food to stay warm! I've seen buffet warmers in stores and food courts but didn't realize there were small versions made for the home. I like the look of the Oster buffet server and think it would be really useful, not just for parties but for whenever we cook many meals at one time. I know that when some types of foods gets cold, it gets bad.

I'm one of those people who gets really scared of oil splashing. When it comes to deep-frying I leave it to my mom who looks like she knows what she's doing. You won't find me near a boiling hot, oil-splashing pan! I'm in the market for a deep fryer. They look easy to use, though I suspect clean-up might be a chore. I saw a commercial for the T-fal Actifry. This sounds really handy and healthy. I'm not exactly sure how it works but I like the idea of minimizing the oil I use. When we make our own fries they are usually soaked in oil, and though they taste good I feel guilty eating them. We own several T-fal pans and pots and the quality is really good. We may have to treat ourselves soon.

When it comes to cooking I could always use a set of kitchen gadgets like these. They'll make my life easier for a non-cooker like me or even a seasoned one. It looks like this holidays, a couple of cookbooks, a new small kitchen appliance or two and we'll be set. I hope you're prepared for the holidays and whatever the feast it'll be great.