Time-Saving Tips for the Holiday Season with Lifestyle Expert, Brooke Parkhurst – Interview
The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but they can also be the most stressful. And if you aren’t well prepared, you can find yourself overwhelmed before the festivities have even begun. Juggling busy home and work schedules while preparing for the holidays is no easy feat. But believe it or not, the holidays can be stress-free.
Join me in a recent interview with entertaining expert and cookbook author, Brooke Parkhurst, as she shares her secrets from how to get organized, plan ahead, and set yourself up for successful (and easy!) holiday season. Brooke will also help you spend less time fretting over gifts and preparations and have more time to spend with your friends and family. After all, that IS what the holidays are all about.
Brooke’s tips include:
Leave the cooking to someone else: Whether you have a hungry family looking for dinner or hosting a holiday party and are short on time, don’t make every dish from scratch. Add a few touches to store-bought lasagna and your guests will never know it’s not from scratch.
Shop Smart- Don’t let purchasing party supplies and décor drain your wallet. Make a list, check it twice and work within the budget you’ve created. Do your homework by searching for the best deals around town.
Edible Centerpiece– Decorating with fresh flowers can cost more than your bar bill. Instead, create centerpieces from seasonal fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, berries and fresh greenery. After the party’s over, make a meal from your centerpiece!
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice– Always have last-minute gifts on hand! Tis the season for impromptu holiday parties and no good guest should show up empty-handed. From Thanksgiving through New Year’s, dedicate a small corner of your pantry to gifts like homemade jams, soaps, scrubs and exotic, well-priced bottles of wine (think Greece, Portugal, Chile for bargain buys).
ü Stock The Pantry for Baking Sessions– No one wants to make a midnight run to the baking aisle, so stock up on staples. The best basics for a busy holiday cook: flour (white & whole-wheat), butter, sugar (granulated white, brown and confectioner’s), baking powder, baking soda, yeast, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and good chocolate.
For more info and to catch the entire interview, watch video below:
Brooke is a mother, writer and cook. Tying the knot with her husband James rocked her world and gave her the most delicious morsel of all- daughter, Parker Lee. With their daughter and debut cookbook, Just Married & Cooking, out in the world, Brooke developed into a culinary, entertaining and wine expert with recurring appearances on and writing gigs for: NBC Today Show; CBS New York, The Couch; Fox, Fox & Friends, People.com, Redbook.com and WomensDay.com But that’s no surprise because writing and cooking (and cheese) have always been central to Brooke’s life. Her debut novel with recipes, Belle in the Big Apple features a small town Southern girl who moves to New York City in search of a career—and a good meal. Brooke penned the online food column, Full Plate, (think Carrie Bradshaw-cum-June Cleaver) for the New York Daily News and hosted the ABC digital food series, Eat & Greet. She also served as the lifestyle/cooking correspondent for Conde Nast’s debut web network. Together, James and Brooke are the voice of young couples and families looking for answers to the nightly cooking challenge. They work with everyone from corporate clients, to neighborhood friends to the new couples they meet every week during their Date Night Couples Cooking classes at the Institute of Culinary Education. They’d love to cook with you and make your life a little more delicious.
Courtesy of: Stouffer’s, Dollar General, and Villa Maria Wines