In commercials and movies, Christmas Day entails a warm, cozy night spent opening gifts, eating turkey and drinking cider with family. In reality, it’s a lot more hectic – and stressful – than that. Guests arrive too early or too late, forgotten food burns on the stove, dishes are dropped, the dog tears wrapping paper off the gifts. No one wants to spend the day stressing out instead of enjoying food and family, which is why Michael Carr of Rastelli Direct says you should plan ahead.

There are certain things that can be cooked in advance – like lasagna and pie crusts, which are good in the freezer for up to a month – and things that can’t. Even soups, salads, and some sides can be made a day or so ahead and heated up the next day to reduce stress.

“A lot of people like to order their turkey and other gourmet foods online,” said Carr, whose company offers everything from beef to seafood, heat and serve sides to desserts. “It eliminates the need for food shopping in crowded grocery stores and helps you avoid forgetting ingredients.” Rastelli Direct provides the added bonus of donating a meal to a major food bank for every single item ordered from their site. “Lots of families are struggling, especially this time of year and it’s a perfect way for people to help out when they don’t have much time.”

Carr’s additional thoughts:

Making appetizers in advance, like bruschetta, crostini, and tartlets, helps to keep guests warm and satisfied so you can finish making the meal pressure-free.
Listing each food to be prepared and making a timeline of when to prepare them means you won’t forget to put out the green bean casserole and your crock pot recipe will surely be done in time.

About The Author

Hayden Walker
Executive Editor | Co-Publisher
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Hayden Walker is the Editor in Chief and Director of Operations for Austin Food Magazine

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