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November 15, 2018

Get Your Kitchen Ready for Holiday Entertaining

It’s about to get busy in your kitchen. With the holidays coming, you’ll be cooking and baking, whether you’re entertaining or heading out to parties and family gatherings. Before you prep your menu, get your kitchen ready for holiday entertaining, with these organization tips from Alvarez Construction Company.

Take inventory.

Go through your cabinets and pantry. Remove everything so you can sort through what you have, discard anything that has passed its expiration date, and reorganize. Herbs and spices should be replaced every year because they lose their flavor. Salad dressings have a relatively short shelf life, so check those dates.

If you have items that are still usable, but not by you, put together a box of donations for the local food pantry.

Organize every shelf. You can put all your baking staples together: flour, sugar, oils, spices, herbs, extracts, and mixes. Put all those little bottles, containers, and packets in small baskets so they’re easy to grab when you need them. Keep your canned goods in one space. Organize a space for snacks and another for breakfast foods.

If you really want to stay on top of your kitchen inventory, print out a grocery checklistand ask everyone in the household to check off anything that’s running low.

Take the time to check out your small appliances, like mixers, blenders, and food processors. Make sure they work and replace any that aren’t.

Sort and clean your tableware.

Check all of your dishes, glassware, stemware, serving pieces, and salt and pepper shakers to make sure there are no cracks, chips, or unsightly stains. Examine your table linens. It might be time to replace some or all.

Clean the workspaces.

Clear off your countertops and scrub them. If you can, find somewhere else to store the items that clutter your workspace. Clean your stovetop, oven, and microwave, getting rid of spills and messes that grow into bigger messes with all of the holiday cooking. Don’t wait until the day before Thanksgiving to run the self-cleaning feature on your oven. Do it now, wipe everything clean, and start your holidays with a sparkling kitchen.

Also clean out your refrigerator and freezer. Get rid of expired items. Toss the science experiments that were once edible. Then scrub the shelves and drawers. Clean the exterior and the rubber gaskets. Pull it away from the wall and clean behind the fridge, removing the dust on the coils, too.

Inspect the interior of your dishwasher. Bits of broken glasses and dishes can clog up the filter, along with labels that weren’t removed from jars before being washed. Make sure no small utensils have become stuck in the inner recesses of the dishwasher. Then wipe it all down with white vinegar.

Create a menu.

Get a good look at your cooking needs. Write out what you plan to make for meals and for taking to events, including giving away baked goodies. When you look at the list, you might see things that can be omitted or others to add.

Once you have a list to work from, check your newly organized pantry to see what ingredients you need to buy. Except for the perishables, shop early when the stores are well stocked.

Plan your schedule.

You can probably do some advance prep. Look at your menu and determine what can be prepared and frozen, like cookie dough and casseroles. Assign dates to certain tasks, like grocery shopping, ordering specialty items from the bakery or butcher shop. When you can see everything organized into a schedule, the whole holiday frenzy becomes less daunting.

Stock up.

Remember the chaos when people are leaving and you’re trying to find containers to send them home with leftovers? Take it easy on yourself by purchasing takeout boxes, plastic containers, and zip-lock bags in advance. Keep them easily accessible.

New year, new home?

Once you survive the holidays, think about where you will be next year. Imagine a brand new kitchen with all the features that make cooking a breeze. Alvarez Construction Company has been building communities of single-family homes near Baton Rouge for three generations. Look at the 4-bedroom Sawgrass, 3-bedroom Reed, and 3-bedroom Bamboo floor plans’ center island kitchen with both a casual breakfast nook and formal dining area—perfect for any way to want to entertain.

We currently have move-in ready homes in several communities, so you could gift yourself a new home! Take a virtual tour of the Hampshire floor plan in 10364 Belle Isle Drive in our Denham Springs community of Cella Gardens. In addition to this Alvarez Construction Company community, Grove at Ascension in Prairieville and Deer Trail Phase I and Deer Trail Phase II in Madisonville have affordable homes ready for quick move-in. The homes in these neighborhoods qualify for the USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan, so you could buy your new home with no down payment!

Talk to Matthew Petty to see what’s cooking at Alvarez Construction Company.

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