4 Strategies To Dress Up Your Holiday Meal Regardless Of The Prep Time

The holidays are synonymous to eating, drinking, shopping, singing, dancing and eating some more. And, to create the most hearty holiday meal, Americans slave (some more than others), in the kitchen in an attempt to satiate the taste buds of family, friends in-laws and guests.

Food researchers at Del Monte asked 2,500 Americans to describe how long it takes them to prepare the typical holiday meal. While some spend 3 hours, others spend as many as 7. Of the top 25 States ranked, Florida came in at number 15 with Floridians spending an average of 5.5 hours preparing their most dedicated holiday meal.

So which States spend the most time in the kitchen?

#1: Mississippi (7.1 hours spent on holiday meal preparation)
#2: Kentucky (6.9 hours)
#3: Alabama (6.7 hours)
#4: Georgia (6.5 hours)
#5: Texas (6.5 hours)
#6: Virginia (6.5 hours)

According to Delmonte, these States spend the least amount of time preparing their holiday meals:

#1: Kansas (3.6 hours)
#2: Iowa (3.7 hours)
#3: Delaware (3.8 hours)
#4: North Dakota (3.9 hours)
#5: New Mexico (4 hours)

But whether you’re a “Sluggish Snail” and spend 7 or a “Rapid Reindeer” and spend 3 hours in the kitchen, experts in the Del Monte holiday food kitchen say these four mouthwatering strategies will help you keep it simple, yet impressive.

STRATEGY #1: FAKE THE FANCY
Presentation is important. Dress up your dishes with a garnish to make them look more spectacular. Line your meat platter with lemon leaves, clusters of rosemary sprigs, and citrus wedges and voila you’ve created an irresistible spread.

STRATEGY #2: HAVE A SECRET INGREDIENT
The magic is in the secret. Add a special ingredient to reinvent your favorite dish. Adding apple cider to your gravy for that sweet change up or adding cranberries to your horseradish sauce for that tangy twist are great ways to spruce or change it up.

STRATEGY #3: WORK IN TECHNICOLOR
A kaleidoscope of colors can make the table come alive. Draw people to your holiday dinner table by introducing different and surprising and radiant colors into your traditional holiday menu – like the Del Monte Cheddar Corn Casserole.

STRATEGY #4: TWIST YOUR TRADITION
Certain ingredients can add a good twist to your favorite holiday staples. Don’t be afraid of experimenting with simple ways to enhance your holiday staples. Bacon makes almost everything taste good. You could add crispy bacon to your green bean casserole; stir some caramelized onions into your mashed potatoes, or make a double-nut pie by combining both pecans and walnuts.

Just in case you want to add a radiant yellow to your holiday table, here’s Delmonte’s easy on the eyes (and mouth) Cheddar Corn Casserole. Click here for the recipe.

Happy Holidays from our Family to Yours!

About the Author:

Monica Victor is a copywriter for consolidatedcredit.org. Her writings seek to help consumers successfully manage their hard earned dollars and cents, encourage folks to live debt-free and to improve or otherwise maintain a healthy financial outlook.