Stress Less With These Tips To Master Your Holiday Prep

Coffee naps, morning meditation, evening yoga…these are just a few tactics we use to get through the holidays.

But try as we might sometimes we end up with our face plated in a pillow instead of breathing deep in down dog.

This year we’re making a concerted effort to get ahead of the holiday craziness and cut our stress level down to zero (okay, well, as minimal as is realistic). There’s a ton to get done as we host, gift give, and celebrate and one way we’re preparing is by fueling up with Peet’s Espresso Capsules.

From a morning pick-me-up to turbocharging our meal prep, we are indulging in quality espresso to get us going. Peet’s Espresso Capsules make brewing quality espresso at home during the busy holiday season–for entertaining, for a morning pick-me-up, or holiday recipes.

Seven Tips For Making The Most Of Your Holiday

Armed with a shot (or three) of the deep dark flavor of the Peet’s Espresso, we’re ready to get after our holiday prep and decoration like never before. Here are our seven tips for mastering holiday prep from your menu planning to gift-giving.

Plan Holiday Meal Prep

From cocktail parties to holiday meals to weekend brunch, there are a lot of occasions to get in the kitchen. We do our holiday meal prep early in the day so we can get it done while we’re bright and cheery!

But it starts well before the big day. At least a week out, look at your menu and identify what can be made ahead. Sometimes it's simply a part of the recipe (like say, chopping all the onions, making the salad dressing, or preparing all the garnishes) while other recipes can be made all the way through and, like this Roasted Red Pepper Romesco Dip, get better as they sit!

Once you've identified your game plan, start making a shopping list. Anything that can be made ahead, do it up to a few days before. We split a lot of the prep for a big dinner across multiple days and say, cut all the veggies one night and then make all the sauces the next. If you do a few things before or after you prepare other meals, it'll break it up so it's less daunting.

Holiday Cookie (Meal or Gift) Swap

The cookie swap has been around since your grandma’s time and with good reason: it’s a way to socialize while getting through your to-do list. 

We say invite friends over and get more hands on deck for any and all mutually beneficial holiday prep from Christmas cookie baking or healthy meal-making to even gift-wrapping or, for really good friends, help on cleanup. 

P.S. If you need some ideas, check out these cookie recipes to swap, bake, mail, and eat this holiday season.

Holiday Table Setting

Chances are you aren’t inviting the same people to every holiday event you have so we say you can repeat your table setting without shame. 

Every season we decide on one table setting then get everything from the plates to utensils, napkins, and glassware out. We wash it all and then stack it up out of the way. 

Also, be sure to group and label all the platters and serving pieces with sticky notes to indicate what goes with each dish. That way when it’s go-time for your party, anyone can help you with table setting by merely following your pre-determined sticky notes!

Holiday Recipes

Our weeknight task this time of year? We come up with a list of all the recipes we possibly want to make and then categorize them for the occasion. There are tried and true recipes we make year after year but we try to mix it up and add in a few new ones each holiday season.

This year, we’ve made a lot of these recipes ahead so we can keep houseguests well-fed without adding more to our schedule or to our oven.

We've also been regularly making this Upside Down Baked Apple Pecan French Toast that's way less work than standard French Toast and has the added bonus of maple-espresso-glazed bacon!

Holiday Card Writing

As stationery fiends, picking out holiday cards is one of our favorite things to do this time of year. However, card writing can quickly go from fun to tedious. To avoid card-writing burnout, do it in shifts and write just a few cards each day for a few days. That way you can write something thoughtful and enjoy the process full of holiday cheer.

Houseguest Coffee Station

How do you level up your hostess skills this holiday? With unexpected details like giving your guests coffee service after a big meal. But instead of becoming a barista in the midst of a party, make a coffee shop-quality coffee station in your home.

Set out your espresso maker with a variety of espresso capsules and then let your guests have some fun. Not to mention the capsules themselves are colorful and clearly marked so you can leave them out on your coffee bar for guests when you entertain and they can pick their own espresso preference.

Sweet Retreat

Last but not least? Book some downtime for yourself. With houseguests and in-laws in town, it’s hard to sneak away, but we do our best to clock in a little me-time every day.

Curl up with a book and have an afternoon pick-me-up of espresso and a treat, be it a square of chocolate or a full-on affogato, aka an ice cream and espresso float.

Get To Know The Peet’s Coffee Espresso Capsules

The Peet’s Espresso Capsules are a whole new level of dark – rich, intense, nuanced and the perfect at-home espresso during the holiday season. There are four flavors in total ranging from bold to seriously intense and no matter how dark and deep, they’re all well balanced and just the right amount of bold.

Ricchezza – Intensity 8 

With an intensity level of 8, this is a bold espresso. With berry and brown sugar notes, this is an espresso with richness and complexity like a great red wine.

Crema Scura – Intensity 9 

One thing we go on and on about during our Salt & Wind Italy trips? That a great espresso comes down to the quality of the coffee and the quality of the crema. Inspired by the great “dark crema” that they’ve perfected in Peet’s coffee bars, the Crema Scura has a level 9 intensity and delivers with a luscious crema. This espresso offers full-bodied earthy, nutty notes balanced by a creamy enduring finish that’s as good alone as it is in our favorite coffee drinks from a Bicerin to an Affogato!

Ristretto – Intensity 10 

At an intensity level of 10, this espresso is bold and intense. We love ordering a ristretto aka a “short pull” at the coffee shop when we want a more concentrated flavor and that’s exactly what this Peet’s Coffee Espresso Capsule delivers. Delivering a truffle of flavor with crushed spice, rich fruit, and chocolate smoothness, the ristretto is our choice for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Nerissimo – Intensity 11

Black as night, sweet as brulee topping, Nerissimo is espresso’s bittersweet answer to those who say you can’t have dessert all day. We like it with a square or two of dark chocolate for an afternoon break or added to our most indulgent chocolate desserts for a dash of bitter-sweet indulgence!

Oh, and they couldn’t be easier to use. The Peet’s Coffee Espresso Capsules are aluminum and conveniently compatible with Nespresso Original machines.

Where To Buy Peet’s Coffee Espresso Capsules

Want to taste the Peet’s Espresso Capsules for yourself? We say to buy them for yourself as an early holiday gift!

The Peet’s Espresso Capsules are available at a variety of retailers including Amazon, Target, and Peets.com. Buy a sampler of all four flavors so you’ll be all set no matter the occasion! 


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Sponsored Content: This post was brought to you by Peet’s Coffee but all content, ideas, and words are our own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors who allow us to keep Salt & Wind up and running.

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