The Holidays Are Here!

December 13, 2012

There is no greater gift during the hectic holiday season than creating new memories with family and friends.  I always try to prepare as much as possible in advance so that along with my guests, I can enjoy the party as well. Your guests will enjoy themselves more if they see you relaxed and having a good time. Remember you set the tone!

The French term mise en place or “putting in place” is essential for getting through the holidays. Basically, it refers to assembling all ingredients, tools, and pans required to prepare your meal.  Arranging  your steps and assigning priorities ahead of time will keep you sane. Mise en place is a state of mind!

Before finalizing your menu read all of your recipes all the way through. Try to have a few dishes, such as an appetizer, soup or a stew, that you can cook a day or two in advance and reheat for serving.

Break down your menu into stages; determine which components can be prepared in advance and which ones should be grouped together to make your prep time easier.

Now Get Going- Begin washing, cutting, trimming and measuring. Make sure that your ingredients are organized and ready to go.  Ramekins of various sizes come in handy to use for organizing your pre cut and measured ingredients. At this point it is extremely important to pour yourself a glass of wine! Of course you will understand if I recommend a varietal from Windsor Oaks Vineyard and Winery!

Now begin your cooking and keep things simple. Remember that the goal of mise en place is to prepare and serve a fabulous meal and to always Enjoy The Journey!


Culinary pleasures and entertaining with friends and family refreshes the soul, revives the spirit, and makes new memories


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