Holiday prep starts now!

Guilty as charged, I love to plan!

I’ve always been organized, detail-oriented, and an over-thinker. As painful as it was, I’ve had to accept not everyone else is wired in a similar fashion. My mind is already in full spin working on holiday menus, while most others are probably just enjoying the slighter cooler temperatures or a few more boat rides on Lake Norman.

Planning now for your holiday season, can save you time and money.

Let’s tackle the busiest season of the year

As for me, I’m already dividing up the menu into which desserts can ship, which are local pickup only, and which will make perfect gifts, and a million other things. I’m pretty confident every bakery is already beginning the preparation to successfully tackle (and survive) the busiest season of the year!

Tips for holiday survival

Start planning now

There’s no advantage to adopting a “wait & see” stance. We know the Delta variant is going to continue to affect the way we interact for a while longer. Start talking with your holiday guests now to determine how you will “holiday” this year, so you can carve out your plan.

Buy your sugars and spices in advance when they are on sale.

Pick a smart menu

Select items that can be purchased ahead and frozen without compromising their quality. Depending on the item, some stores will raise or lower prices as the holiday approaches. (Kind of like gas prices always increase near a major holiday). Planning now and purchasing ahead will also eliminate the frenzied panic buying at the last minute.

Begin your prep

There is always something to measure/scale, wash, chop, peel, cube, etc. Google to find out how to do this in advance for each item AND how to safely store them. Measure out all your dry ingredients for each recipe and store in a labeled Ziplock bag or container. If you are just making 1 batch label the bag with a 1X (1 times the original recipe). Use 2X if you double it and so on.

Decide in advance

What you will make yourself and what you will purchase from a bakery or restaurant. Bakeries and restaurants plan their production schedules in advance to be efficient and ensure everything is ready on the promised date. The guaranteed way to throw a wrench in the cog is to add in last minute orders.

When purchasing your holiday treats

Adhere to ordering deadlines and how to place an order. We have deadlines and ordering methods in place to stay focused, efficient, and prevent multiple supply trips. We only take orders via our website, so every order is pre-paid, entered by the customer, tracked, and accounted for. The ordering deadlines are imperative for us to ensure we have the correct supplies in the right quantity to complete the orders on schedule.

Items like butter can be purchased in advance and then frozen until needed.

Actionable Tip

Butter, flour, nut flours, nuts can all be stored in the freezer. Stock up when they go on sale now. Then you can simply defrost them in the refrigerator when you’ll need them during your holiday season.

BTW, Thanksgiving is only 9 weeks away!

Happy Baking!

Dessert photos courtesy Maria Kemp
Ingredients photos courtesy

Pastry Chef Maria Kemp – Beyond Decadence

In 2017, Maria established Beyond Decadence as Lake Norman’s first and only pop-up bakery specializing in American, gluten-free, and French desserts. As Pastry Chef and Owner of Beyond Decadence, Maria Kemp wears many hats on any given day.

In her words, “At the end of the day, awards, accolades, recognition, being a French Pastry School alumni simply don’t matter if I don’t consistently produce a remarkable product or craft a memorable private virtual baking experience. My goal is to exceed my clients’ expectations on every level and/or tantalize their taste buds. I thrive on and gain inspiration from building relationships with my clients and finding ways to share my knowledge to demystify the art of baking. I don’t deviate with every latest fad; I stay focused in areas where my skills can truly shine. I am deeply humbled and proud to have earned the privilege of becoming a thought-leader/speaker in the entrepreneurial community and private baking instructor for several corporations.”

You can connect with Maria at or contact her directly at

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