Cooking for large numbers of family and friends can seem pretty daunting if you're not used to it. But it doesn't have to be! When you're cooking for big groups, focus on cooking simple, tasty meals that you can quickly and easily prepare. Try some of Joe's hacks to make your life in the kitchen that much easier and your meal-times that much more delicious.
1 Think ahead
You can reduce your stress (and the size of your shopping bill!) by planning the meals you'll be cooking for your family in advance. Think about choosing recipes that share a number of ingredients so your shopping list stays a sensible size and nothing goes to waste.
2 Sharing is caring
Cooking for large numbers normally means one thing . . . more washing up! But some of your ingredients will happily share a pan or pot. If you're boiling pasta, you can throw some vegetables in too – just make sure you add them at the right time, you don't want over or undercooked greens!
3 Get organised
Nothing's more frustrating than discovering you've just bought an ingredient that you already had at the back of the cupboard. Make sure you keep your store cupboard neatly organised so you can avoid this annoying surprise.
4 Make the freezer a friend
There isn't always time to make things from scratch when you're cooking for a big group. But there's plenty you can cook in bulk and freeze for the next family occasion to save yourself time – sauces and soups are perfect. Don't be afraid to use your freezer to your advantage, your home-cooked food will taste just as good from frozen.
5 Here's one for summer!
Constantly reaching for a cold drink this scorching summer? Try dropping some diced summer berries, like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, into your ice cube tray before filling them up, you'll give your drinks a fruity twist and a fun splash of colour that your friends will all be talking about.