Depending on who you ask, cooking can be a joyful way to share love and flavor with your family and friends or a dreaded chore. No matter which camp you fall into, you’ll probably agree that the task of cooking can become even more complicated when more cooks enter the kitchen. If you’re looking to share the task of creating food with a partner (or two or three sou chefs!), don’t fear — just follow a few simple steps to ensure you’re all still friends by the time the oven timer dings.

Plan Ahead

If you’re planning a large meal, like a holiday get-together, you may want to start planning very early. A few weeks before the holiday, sit down together to plan the menu. Talk about anything from breakfast to dessert and about anything that you might want for leftovers.

It’s also essential to make sure that everyone knows when they’re responsible for what will be done in the kitchen. Having everyone involved in specific tasks makes the kitchen more organized, and it allows everyone to enjoy themselves without stepping on each other’s toes.

Coordinate Groceries

Once the menu is established, break down all the dishes and figure out the ingredients you’ll need. Doing so helps avoid missing anything as it allows you to order all of your grocery items online easily, so you’re well prepared with everything you need.

Make sure that you have everything you need to make the dishes on the menu. Friends may be able to bring along a few kitchen tools that make the day easier.

Take Breaks!

Too much of a good thing can be overwhelming! Make sure everyone has time to step away from the kitchen and simply enjoy themselves or de-stress while the meal prep continues without them. Or, you may schedule breaks as a group to chat and have a glass of wine while the dish cooks.

Don’t be afraid to accept offers to help clean up.

It’s not every day that people volunteer to clean the kitchen! It may not feel like the most hospitable option, but if your friends are offering to help because you’ve been cooking away all day, let them! It’s an excellent way for your guests to show their appreciation for your efforts.