Katie Lee Biegel says this one item is her holiday meal must have, interview

Katie Lee Biegel uses her Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove appliances for kitchen therapy this holiday season.
Katie Lee Biegel uses her Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove appliances for kitchen therapy this holiday season. /

As the countdown to Thanksgiving and other holiday gatherings begin, many home cooks might feel the stress rising. Whether it is cooking for a small gathering or hosting the entire clan, the pressure for perfection can be overwhelming. For Katie Lee Biegel, her holiday meal must have is a simple idea that will not even be seen during the feast. But, without this key must have, the celebrated cookbook author would be at a loss.

Recently, Katie Lee partnered with Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove to give home cooks some simple advice as the holiday season approaches. While the brand partner’s recent survey found that many home cooks find cooking relaxing, that mindset of kitchen therapy may not be instantly part of the headline. Some people might see the guest list, amount of food, and all the other items as overwhelming in the moment. But, once the stove lights and the aromas reveal themselves, there can be a sense of calm taking over.

Katie Lee agreed that holiday cooking is about the “mindset.” She believes that “if you go in with the mindset of I’m really going to enjoy this cooking process, it sets the tone.” More specifically, Katie Lee called cooking her “me time.” After all the shopping, running around, and hurried moments, the time in the kitchen is where she “can just chill, relax, and carve out some time to be in the moment.”

Katie Lee Biegel for Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove
Katie Lee Biegel uses her Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove appliances for kitchen therapy this holiday season. /

Katie Lee Biegel reveals her quintessential holiday meal prep item

While her time in the kitchen is enjoyable, Katie Lee Biegel shared that the quintessential holiday meal prep item cannot be purchased. For her, everything revolves around the list. From shopping items to tasks, she would be lost without her list.

Although it might sound simple, Katie Lee said, that she is a “big believer in a game plan.” Although many people can relate to the concept of “if it’s not written down, I don’t remember it,” the list concept is efficient.

Katie Lee went onto explain that she “writes down my menu, all the ingredients needed, and does all the shopping in advance.” Luckily, she has plenty of space in her Sub-Zero fridge.

But in the event that something is missing, Katie Lee encourages home cooks to embrace the pivot. If a guest can bring a missing item, great, if not substitute an alternative ingredient. Granted, if you forgot cranberries and that item is a key ingredient, the pivot might be more substantial. Still, flexibility during the holiday meal might be a quality to adapt.

While being resourceful is helpful in the kitchen, Katie Lee said that part of her game plan is incorporating recipes that can be prepped ahead of time. One suggestion is a make ahead dessert, like her pumpkin chocolate croissant bread pudding. With that recipe, all she has to do is put it in the oven when it is time for dessert, and it allows her to spend more time with her guests during the event.

Overall, the biggest sentiment that Katie Lee wants people to remember for the holiday meal this year is to celebrate the joy that cooking and spending time together offers. That item might not be on the to-do list, but it is the ingredient that will make everything else even more special around the table. Holiday meals are not about perfection, rather they celebrate the people gathered together and that concept will make any dish flavorful.