We wait all year for the excitement of spending time with friends and family for the holidays, but somehow once it finally arrives we mostly feel stressed. Whether it’s due to getting your home clean for guests; expenses or meal prep, ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ can quickly change to the most overwhelming. Planning a large Thanksgiving meal seems impossible to do in a small apartment kitchen.
Apartment Finder has three tips to cooking a Thanksgiving meal in your apartment. These tips will help you conquer the small kitchen challenge and avoid cooking stress this Thanksgiving, and all season long.
1) Plan ahead: Mapping out the menu a week or more in advance allows you to think of what items you can make days before the big event. Sweet potatoes and green bean casserole are two of the top 3 searched recipes nationwide, and are considered Thanksgiving staples by many. Both of these dishes can simply be mixed and prepped a couple of days in advance, leaving your only task the day of to pop them in the oven for 30 or 45 minutes. Prepping menu items like these as far in advance as allowed will give you less work on the day of the holiday and more time to take advantage of what the season is about— quality time with friends and family.
2) Crock pot recipes: Once you’ve put a huge turkey in the oven, your heat sources are limited. A toaster oven and the stove top is a great alternative for baking rolls or heating up vegetables. But, don’t forget about the age-old crock pot! Delicious holiday items, such as stuffing or mac-n-cheese, can be cooked in a slow cooker – decreasing the number of puzzle pieces that need to be finagled into the oven or stove top. In turn, eliminating one less worry you may have as to how you are going to cook all the items for your Thanksgiving meal in an apartment sized kitchen.
3) Make non-cook items: As we said, cooking space is usually limited, especially in a small apartment kitchen. To elevate some of the stresses of getting everything in the oven to serve at the perfect temperature, replace side items like sautéed vegetables with a salad. We’re not talking a basic bowl of lettuce with some cheese sprinkled on top. This carrot and chickpea recipe makes a delicious, fancy salad for your guests. This is also a dish you can make a couple of hours before serving, leaving you with less work to do at meal time when you’re wearing pot holders and juggling casseroles.
Don’t let apartment living keep you from making a Thanksgiving meal that everyone will salivate over. By planning ahead, utilizing your slow cooker, and adding dishes that don’t require a heat source, your apartment’s small kitchen becomes a cozy space, rather than a burden, for holiday meals.
We want to know your challenges and tips for hosting Thanksgiving, or any holiday meal at your apartment! Use the comments section below to tell us your stressors of the season, or Tweet us @ApartmentFinder.