How are you feeling about the holidays? Are you starting to feel a little harried and stressed and wishing it was over? If you are, I have a few tips to help make cooking on Christmas quick and easy.
Quick & Easy – Christmas Meal Hacks
1. Dinner in a box.
Many large grocery stores have the option of ordering a dinner in a box. You can get a ham or turkey and all the fixins. All you need to do is bring it home and warm it up. Many restaurants like Bob Evans & Cracker Barrel do the same.
2. Pre-Prep Breakfast
I love to make hash brown casserole, French toast casserole and or make-ahead breakfast casserole for breakfast. Made the day before, all 3 can go in the same oven for about an hour. And you can relax in front of the tree with your coffee while the baby plays with the gift wrap.
3. Use Fine China
Fine china of the Glad variety. I am big on using my REAL china, but last year my step-mother brought over plastic plates to use for breakfast. It never occurred to me and it was awesomely easy to move on with our day & enjoy each others company. If the idea of not doing dishes sends you into ecstasy, use disposable plates.
4. Scale down
This from the woman who cooks at least 12 things on major holidays. But you know what? My family would be just as happy with one meat, potatoes and a side. And dessert. I need dessert :).
5. Or simplify
You could also just simplify your menu. It doesn’t need to all be fancy, homemade dishes. The squash is usually cooked weeks ahead & frozen. The corn & green beans are simply from a can. I buy the rolls and only make the pumpkin pie because it needs to be dairy free.
6. Graze at Lunch
So as not to spend all day cooking we have a big breakfast (see #2), and an early-ish dinner. Like 3pm. It’s only logical that lunch is for grazing. Generally it’s a snacky lunch. For us, that means carrot sticks, pea pods, cheese, crackers, meat chunks, pickles, olives, apple slices and things like that.
I love to cook but if Christmas dinner is a point of stress for you, think about how you can lower the stress. Perhaps it is to simplify or scale down the main meal. Or plan your breakfast ahead or outsource items. Any way you slice it, there are ways to make meals on Christmas quicker & easier.
What are your Christmas dinner shortcuts?
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