We’re gearing up on the holidays once again! This year, I’m trying things a little differently. I will be aiming to be more organized, less stressed and try to have things running more smoothly. I have partnered with De’Longhi to share with you our favorite holiday dish, with some tips to streamline your holiday prep.
Holidays are a joyous time, but they can be quite stressful. Between the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning and the all around state of frenzy, it’s no wonder we are worn out by the time the actual big day arrives! Having an extra cooking appliance on hand really makes a difference!
There are so many courses to cook and bake, and an easy way to get stressed is not enough oven space. I try to organize my cooking by preparing the parts of the meal that all cook at the same temperature all at the same time. But what often happens is that I have six items going in at 350, and one thing at 425 – and that one item takes more than double the amount of time to cook, really messing up my schedule.
My potato kugel recipe that I love making for every holiday is the biggest culprit. I like to bake it at a higher temperature, and it takes a long time too.
Having the De’Longhi Livenza convection oven in my kitchen is really making a difference to my cooking this year.
My favorite holiday dish, my delicious golden potato kugel, is also the most prep-intensive. I really need to be well-planned in order to be able to fit it in.
The Livenza Oven System makes it easier for me, by cooking faster and more evenly. It helps keep the rich flavor of the kugel intact, and hardly takes up space on my countertop.
It can cook a variety of dishes with its roast, broil, or bake features. You can prepare whole chickens, pizzas, and more with the convection cooking precision. This way, I know my kugel comes out perfectly crisp on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside every time.
7 Ways to Streamline Your Holiday Prep:
1. Plan ahead:
Make sure to make a menu plan of anything you plan to cook and serve at your holiday meals. This will help you keep track of what you still need to do, and what you need to buy. It’s a great way to clear your brain a little and to see what you need to serve at a glance.
This can also help you organize your cooking routine better, and figure out when to make what.
Use the De’Longhi Livenza dedicated recipe app (available via Google Play or the Apple App Store) to find new exciting things to work into your menu plan!
2. Prep in advance:
Advance planning also lets you prepare ahead of time.
A great way to keep your meal preparations move along at a faster rate is doing some prep work the night before. Peel and slice veggies, marinate meats, and move frozen foods to the fridge.
You can even prep your own breakfast the night before, so that you’ll have the energy to get things going the next day!
I also like to cook a week or so in advance and freeze. With my potato kugel, I cook it most of the way, and take it out just before the top gets golden and crispy.
The De’Longhi Livenza convection oven has a defrost option among its eight presets, so that I can use my freezer to its fullest without compromising on the quality of my food. I can keep with my regular cooking times, without worrying that the inside is still frozen.
3. Gain extra counter-space and cook faster:
While the convection oven sits directly on my counter-top, it actually ends up saving counter-space! Instead of having trays of food waiting for an available oven rack, I am able to utilize both my regular oven and the convection oven to work at the same time.
The oven is insulated to maintain its temperature, and the three heating areas make sure that the heat is evenly distributed! My dishes are ready faster, and I get to go to sleep at a (slightly more) normal hour.
It also has an internal temperature check so that I know my meal is cooking right.
4. Use disposables:
Yes, it’s okay to use disposables. While I love the look of pretty glass dishes, and I love doing good for the environment, when it comes holiday prep, I know I need to cut corners sometimes.
We actually recycle our aluminum pans, so that takes a little bit of the guilt away! This helps especially when you’re freezing in advance – just pop it out of the freezer and into the oven!
5. Don’t get overheated:
I love to cook, but I hate the part that comes along with it- sweating and getting overheated. Only cooking one or two things for dinner the night before the holiday?
Don’t heat up your whole kitchen. Insulated to maintain heat, the De’Longhi Livenza oven will do the job just as well (if not better!) without getting your house stuffy and hot. The pre-programmed settings help take the guesswork out of cooking and make things even simpler on a busy day.
6. Use chafing dishes:
Struggling to keep your food properly heated while serving? I’ve found chafing dishes to be the way to go. They are mess-free, and my oven doesn’t have to stay on for extended periods of time.
The De’Longhi Livenza convection oven also has a keep warm setting, which I like to use for things like my onion soup that has already been prepared in individual crocks.
7. Set timers!
How many times have you been cooking a bunch of items at the same time and forgot about one tray of vegetables roasting, and it burnt to a crisp? Not just me, then? Ok, good.
The De’Longhi Livenza Convection Oven features a built-in timer so that you can make sure you don’t forget about your favorite dish!
Ready for the recipe? The De’Longhi Livenza helps me make the most of my time and space, while cooking my potato kugel to perfection!
- 5 lb bag of potatoes
- 3 medium onions
- 2 large zucchini
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 9 extra large eggs
- 1 T salt
- 1 t pepper
- Peel and wash the potatoes, onions, and zucchini
- Shred the vegetables using the shredding blade on a food processor. Each time it fills, empty them into a large mixing bowl.
- At this point, preheat your De’Longhi Livenza convection oven to 375.
- Add the eggs, oil, and spices to the mixing bowl, and mix. (This is best done by hand).
- Pour the mixture evenly into your pans. This batch should fit into a 9×13 inch baking pan plus a loaf pan.
- Bake uncovered at 375 for an hour and a half, or until the top is a golden brown.
It’s not too hard to streamline your holiday prep, so that you have more time to make the family favorite dishes that you love!
How do you streamline your holiday prep? Comment below!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of De’Longhi. The opinions and text are all mine.