Tips for Taking the Stress Out of Holiday Cooking and Baking

November 22, 2013 Editorial Staff
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(StatePoint) Anything to make entertaining easier is a welcome gift around the holiday season.

“Whether you’re a newer cook or a seasoned expert, everyone can use an ally in the kitchen” says Anne-Michele Harrington, brand director at PAM.

In fact, 21 percent of home cooks have burned part of a meal (or the whole thing!) over the holiday season, according to the results of “The Sticky Situations” survey conducted by PAM, and over a quarter of respondents have made a dessert or entrée that was stuck to the pan and wouldn’t come off.

With the avoidance of such kitchen snafus in mind, the experts at PAM are offering some tips to ease the kitchen madness so typical of holiday cooking:

• Set rules. If you are the type of cook or baker who gets irked by having too many cooks in the kitchen, the holidays can be particularly upsetting — when you may be getting feedback from parents, your in-laws and anyone else who happens to be standing around.

Avoid this headache by keeping guests out of the kitchen entirely, or by assigning helpers specific tasks.

• Healthfully add a touch of flavor to your dishes and sweets by working with a good cooking spray, which is great for loaf pans, cookie sheets and Bundt pans, as well as for sautés and roasts.

• Stick to what you know. The day you cook a big meal for an extended group of friends and family is not the day to stray too far outside your comfort zone.

“Save the experimentation for another time, or do a practice run in advance of the big day,” says Harrington.

• Make cleanup a cinch by coating pans and utensils, such as knives and pastry cutters with a specially formulated, non-stick cooking spray first, such as PAM, which now offers cooking spray that leaves up to 99 percent less residue than margarine or bargain-brand alternatives. Opt for PAM Original, Butter and Baking sprays to save time during prep and clean up.

Nearly 40 percent of survey respondents spend over 45 minutes washing dishes during or after a holiday meal, but that doesn’t have to be you.

• Plan ahead. If you’ll be baking for friends, neighbors and your children’s teachers, get an early start on goodies that can keep well in the freezer.

More kitchen prep and clean up tips can be found at

This holiday season say “so long” to the hitches and glitches that tripped up your kitchen in the past.

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