How To Relax In The Kitchen This Holiday According To Shereen Pavlides - Exclusive

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Shereen Pavlides is a TikTok chef with a penchant for from-scratch cooking made easy while also elevated. Watch her channel and you'll quickly see how at home she is in the kitchen, thanks in part to her belief that from-scratch cooking becomes simple so long as you have the right ingredients. "People think scratch [cooking] is difficult. It's really not," she told Mashed in an exclusive interview. If you start with good-quality, fresh ingredients, there's not much you need to do." 

However, for a lot of home cooks, the first step to creating a delicious, from-scratch meal on their own starts with just relaxing in the kitchen and not over-thinking the sometimes seemingly overwhelming task ahead of them — especially when that task is a holiday meal for the entire fam. Curating a relaxed vibe will impact your food, Pavlides says, whether you're cooking for the family during the holidays or just for yourself. So, how can you calm down and get to cooking?

Finding your calm in the kitchen

According to Pavlides, for holiday cooking specifically, one of the best ways to ensure a calmer atmosphere is to make everything ahead of time. Not everything needs to be finished right at the last minute, she notes. You can get most of your dishes finished before your guests even arrive.

"All my side dishes are done at least an hour before my company arrives for Thanksgiving," Pavlides told Mashed. "It's all in my warming drawer. I know not everyone has a warming drawer, but you can use your oven. With new ovens today, they have that warming feature, but you can drop it all the way down to 170 [degrees Fahrenheit]. All ovens will go down to 170 and that [works as] your warming drawer."

She also noted that your turkey can be finished as much as an hour before you plan to eat. "Also, after you've taken your turkey out, it will hold its heat so much longer than people realize. Just don't cut it. If you don't cut it, it will hold its heat for a good 45 minutes, even up to an hour. It's amazing. You're almost blown away because you think, 'It's been sitting there for 45 minutes. It should be cold.' Then you cut into it and it's still piping hot. Then you can use the oven for [the warming drawer]."

"So have everything done," she summed up. "Just have it done, because you being relaxed is what's going to make your company relaxed. That energy really does pour into the food because you're chill and relaxed and you've got things together."

Check out Shereen Pavlides' new cookbook Cooking with Shereen: Rockstar Dinners and follow Pavlides on TikTok at www.tiktok.com/@cookingwithshereen.