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. 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.