Tips for Making Holiday Cooking Less Stressful #PAMSmartTips

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray.
You guys, Thanksgiving is next week and I’m kinda freaking out about my upcoming holiday cooking!!!  I have butterflies in my stomach just writing about it!

Why the freak out session?

For the first time in my 34 year existence I will be hosting and cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  Last year I swore to my husband I was never going to cook a full Thanksgiving dinner, but my husband’s brother and his family are coming to visit for Thanksgiving.  Yay for family!  No yay for cooking a massive meal for an additional 7 people!

My sister-in-law is bringing the turkey, and I’m sure she’ll cook it so that is a load off, but still, I’m nervous about all the side dishes and dessert.  I love to cook, but I am NOT a baker.

So why, if I love to cook, am I so nervous about my holiday cooking?

Well, I like simple, healthy one or two dish meals.  I’m not great at cooking multiple dishes at one time–I tend to burn stuff when I try to do that.  This girl is not good at multitasking.

Here is a great example of what I’m good at…

It’s as simple as sautéing a few ingredients here…

Mushrooms sauteing in pan



Pour those ingredients over some nice fresh fish (don’t forget to spray the pan first, fish has a tendency to stick)…

PAM cooking spray with baked fish



And 15 minutes later…Voilà!

Baked fish with Mushroom Butter Sauce


Here is the recipe.  I told you it was simple. 😉

Baked Fish with Mushrooms
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • Approx 1 lb of fresh or frozen fish fillets (the fresher the better)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (substitute other onions if necessary)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme


  • If frozen, thaw and dry fish. Arrange in a rectangular baking pan sprayed with Pam cooking spray. Sprinkle lightly with salt (optional). Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • In a small saucepan melt butter, add mushrooms, onions, and thyme. Cook over medium heat until the mushrooms and onions are green and tender. Spoon mixture over fish.
  • Bake at 450 for 12 to 18 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

canIt is an easy, healthy, quick to prepare dinner and takes a minimum amount of multitasking.  And I know clean up will be a breeze.  I found the new PAM Cooking Spray that leaves up to 99% less residue build up at the grocery store last month and I like how I’m not left trying to scrub baked on spray off my pans.

…So, back to Thanksgiving dinner.  I’ve got to get my courage up for this one because there’s no way out of it.  So I came up with three “Smart-tips” or holiday cooking tips to help me preserve my sanity (and maybe you yours, too) while cooking this holiday season…

  1. Utilize the PAM Cooking Spray like a cooking spray ninja! Not only do I NOT want to be scraping stuck, crusty food onto my guests’ plates, but I also would like to make clean-up as easy and scrub-free as possible.
  2. Write out a schedule of what dish needs to start cooking at what time in order to get my holiday meal on the table at the desired time and ensuring nothing burns or is under cooked.
  3. Who ever doesn’t cook gets to clean up.  This includes putting food away (a massive task after a holiday meal), doing the dishes, counters, etc.  The cook needs time to enjoy the festivities too without having to worry about being stuck in the kitchen all day.
  4. Prepare whatever can be frozen and reheated the week before the holiday feast.  Oh dear, this means I need to get cooking!

Do you have any tips you’d add?  I can use all the help I can get!


PAM Cooking Spray is giving one of my readers this prize pack consists of the following (valued at $50.00):

Full size sample of PAM
Le Creuset Pie Dish

See full rules here.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of PAM Cooking Spray.
For more information, visit

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About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. Have everyone do something...even if it seems small.
  2. michelle warner says
    #1 tip for less holiday stress smile, cause a smile is contagious, if you smile at someone, they may smile back at you, being in a good mood or being happy makes things go a little easier, i think. take it easy, go a little slower dont be in such a rush to get so much done all at once.
  3. I try to plan ahead as much as possible. I also cook what I know. No new recipes on a stressful holiday!
  4. Mippy/Sabrina says
    My #1 tip that hasn't been mentioned already would be to: Order out! ;)
  5. I do alot of planning and prep as much ahead of time as I can! Thank you for the chance to win!!
  6. I do a lot of planning and make easy meals that I am familiar with. One year I tried to make something to complicated and it was a disaster. I use my tried and true recipes that always turn out!
  7. plan in advance
  8. Plan to bake twice as much as you think you'll need -so if one is a disaster you'll have a backup :)
  9. Bake ahead of time and freeze. That way you are ready for company and/or parties.
  10. everyone bring a dish
  11. sandra davis says
    bake and cook ahead whatever you possible can.
  12. Prep all you can the day before to help out on the day of!
  13. I second prepping the day before so all you have to do is the actual cooking. Also, keep the menu simple. As long as you have the major dishes (turkey, stuffing, some sort of potato dish, a vegetable or salad, bread, and dessert) everyone will be happy. And don't be afraid to buy some of those dishes; not everything has to be homemade!
  14. My husband is an excellent cook! So we do it together! :)
  15. My short cut is making cookies in advance and then freezing them, I also tend to do that with scones, fruit pies and pound cakes as well! I also admit sometimes when I am short on time to using ready made frosting.
  16. I like thing I can make in advance like this DELICIOUS pie my whole family loves that is meant to sit in the fridge over night:
  17. Wanda McHenry says
    Bake cookies and treats on different days so you're not overwhelmed and plan your holiday menu so you know exactly what you are going to be preparing!
  18. i plan ahead!
  19. Starr Greenwell says
    Try to keep in mind that the holiday is about love and being together not how much you spend or do. Keep balance and smile.
  20. Jeana O'donnell-Murphy says
    plan, prep, and have everyone help and or have someone bring something
  21. I try to make some things the day before so I'm not so busy. Typically I do the pies and sweet potatoes the night before.
  22. My tip is to make everything possible ahead of time.
  23. My tip for less stress holiday cooking is to prepare as much food as possible. I bake many of my Christmas cookies early and freeze them for later use. Nobody even notices that they were previously frozen.
  24. My tip is make you favorite dishes and then ask others to make the rest.
  25. Robin Wilson says
    I try to make anything and everything that will freeze in advance so I don't have so much to do come those last couple of weeks. Already have quite a few things from sausage balls to cookies in the freezer now!
  26. Make some of the foods ahead of time and freeze them for cooking or reheating on the Holiday.
  27. Plan ahead, shop ahead and make as much ahead as possible
  28. My number 1 tip is to to as much pre preparation as you can & to wash dishes as you go. When you finish you will be very glad you did. :)
  29. Lots of music and wine!
  30. Get ahead early! Start cooking early to enjoy it more!
  31. Plan ahead, and keep it as simple as possible.
  32. Plan ahead and don't be afraid to ask for help.
  33. My #1 tip is this: Don't make anything you're not comfortable with. Know every recipe you're going to make, so you won't have any surprises--or at least you'll know how to handle them if you do.
  34. My tip is to ask for help!
  35. Beth Klocinski says
    Less stress holiday cooking - find make ahead and freeze and reheat reciepes
  36. Scale back to include only those things everyone really loves.
  37. Plenty of planning ahead. Writing down grocery lists before shopping so you don't forget anything. On the big day write down what you have to do and in what order and stick to your plan as much as possible.
  38. I prepare as much as I can ahead of time and the day before so I am not so stressed
  39. My biggest way of reducing stress with holiday cooking is that I make some of the sides a day ahead. So on the actual holiday, I can just worry about the turkey/ham or whatever the main meat is, and then just heat up the sides.
  40. My tip for less stress cooking is to preplan and buy all ingredients a few days ahead.
  41. Kellie Conklin says
    Make sure you have plenty of staple ingredients on hand and double check your recipes before you start cooking! It's so stressful to find out you're missing an ingredient halfway through! Taking time to check your ingredients will definitely keep the busy holiday cooking stress free.
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