Holiday Cooking and Hosting Guide

By Anne Prins in Back of House
Holiday Dinner Table

Preparing meals for larger groups can cause even a seasoned chef a certain amount of stress.  But don’t worry, we’re here to help with our Holiday Cooking and Hosting Guide!

How Much Food Do You Need?

To get started you should consider how much food your party will require.  While there are lots of options for what you’re eating, here are some general rules of thumb for the most common Christmas dishes.

Main Course:

Holiday Cooking Guide - How much meat do you need when hosting a holiday dinner?

When it comes to side dishes we take a more universal approach.  Leverage a quality food scale to really portion out your delicious sides and ensure everyone gets enough!

Holiday Cooking Guide - How many sides do you need when hosting a holiday dinner?

And of course everyone’s favorite dessert!

Holiday Cooking Guide - How much dessert do you need when hosting a holiday dinner?


Meat Temperature

Targeting the proper internal temperature will ensure your cooking is the hit of the party.  The USDA does a great job of providing guidelines for these, and your favorite meat thermometer will ensure you hit them right on!  Don’t forget the rest period, your protein will continue to cook for a bit after you remove it from the heat.

Looking for a more in depth guide? Check out our Internal Cooking Temperature For Meat Guide


Making a traditional Ham? Here are some tips!

If you stick to a more traditional meal plan, we’ve got some excellent tips for you!  Follow these tips for a wonderfully delicious ham dinner.

  • Lightly scoring diamonds into the meat allows for the glaze to permeate the meat.
  • If your ham is more than 8 pounds, cover with tin foil half way through cooking.
  • Glaze your ham during the last 30 minutes of baking

Ham Cooking Time Guide: In the oven at 325F

Glaze Recipe Ideas

The true magic is in the glaze!  Pick one of our favorites and watch people request seconds!

Citrus-molasses Glaze

Simmer in a sauce pan until reduced by half:

4 oz (1/2 cup) grapefruit juice
4 oz (1/2 cup) orange juice

Then stir in these ingredients and return it to a boil:

2.5 oz (1/4 cup) molasses
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper

For a simple Sugar Glaze, combine:

7 oz (1 cup) packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar


Bourbon Glaze, combine:

5.3 oz (2/3 cup) bourbon
14 oz (2 cups) packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander


Cranberry Glaze, bring to a simmer:

1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce
5 oz (1/2 cup) maple syrup
2 oz (1/4) cup cider vinegar
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons ground mustard

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