Plastics Make it Possible® has compiled a few simple tips using plastic innovations in the kitchen to help home cooks keep their holiday entertaining quick, easy and fun so they can spend more time enjoying celebrations with family and friends.
- Plan Ahead: Save time by prepping as many ingredients as possible ahead of your holiday celebration and storing them in the refrigerator in air-tight plastic containers and re-sealable bags. When it’s time to begin cooking your holiday meal, much of your work is already done!
- Keep it Easy: When doing your holiday grocery shopping, check your local grocer for foods that come packaged in re-sealable plastic bags and pouches. If you only need a small amount of an ingredient for a recipe, the remaining portion will stay fresher and last longer.
Cooking and Baking
- Better Baking: From gingerbread cookies to Grandma’s famous fudge, silicone plastic is an essential tool for world renowned pastry chefs and home cooks. It can be used to prepare your favorite holiday pastries, cakes, candies and chocolates because it resists sticking and withstands high temperatures – some bakeware can handle up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Basting brushes, spatulas, oven mitts and bakeware in durable, flexible, easy-to-clean silicone plastic make baking a breeze.
- Clever Cutting: Crudités and other healthy snacks go directly from slicing to serving plate with innovative new folding plastic cutting boards. Simply chop, bend the board and slide your veggies on to the serving platter. They’re also great for slicing and sliding ingredients straight in to the cooking pot.
- Save the Skins: Keep the healthy skins when making potato and other vegetable and fruit dishes. Innovative plastic fiber scrubbing gloves gently rid fruit and veggies of debris, leaving the nutritious skins/peels intact. Then simply rinse the gloves and hang to dry … or toss them in the laundry.
- Divine Desserts: Whether you’re topping pumpkin pie with freshly whipped cream or neatly piping dips into serving bowls, take a sturdy re-sealable plastic bag filled with icing, dips or whipped toppings, cut one corner and use it as an impromptu pastry bag.
- Holiday Green: Why not add some more “green” to your holiday kitchen by using cooking and entertaining tools made from recycled plastics? Look for the new line of spatulas and spoons made from recycled water bottles (and the whole set would make a thoughtful holiday gift).
- Safe Travels: The holidays often involve transporting food to festive gatherings, so use light, easy-to-carry plastic storage containers with airtight lids to securely transport your favorite holiday dishes to family and friends for celebrations. There also are a variety of insulated carriers and solutions that incorporate plastics to keep your mashed potatoes hot and your salads perfectly chilled.
- Don’t Forget the Wine: Some of this season’s most exciting wines are now being bottled in handy, shatter-resistant plastic. They are lighter, making them easier to tote to holiday celebrations, often contain more wine (a full liter compared to a standard 750 ml glass wine bottle) and many locations accept them for recycling when the party is over.
- Flavor Saver: When freezing, store holiday leftovers in shallow plastic containers, less than two inches deep, for rapid, even cooling. Larger or deeper containers take longer to freeze or thaw. This method also will help you maintain the flavor of your favorite holiday foods.
- Holiday Freeze: Be sure stored foods are tightly wrapped. When using a sealable plastic bag, try to squeeze out as much air as possible. This will conserve space and help to prevent freezer burn.
About Holly Clegg
Holly Clegg, the “Queen of Quick,” is a best-selling cookbook author who knows how to keep things sweet and simple. She worked with the Plastics Make It Possible® campaign to highlight three quick and healthy recipes from her new book, Too Hot in the Kitchen, part of her best-selling Trim & Terrific series, to make entertaining your family and repurposing your leftovers this holiday season easy and fun.