These are words I am taking to heart this year. The days left until Christmas are limited. My energy is limited after a round of bronchitis. But the spirit IS here. Our family starts arriving this weekend. I am trying to think of easy recipes for the few meals when we will all be together.
How about you? Are you a big decorator? Do you love shopping and wrapping gifts? Do you bake elaborate recipes? If so, go for it. But I'm aiming for simple and low-key this year.
With lots of extra people here for a few days, here are a few easy recipes that I might (or might not) make. We will see how it goes the next few days go.
MAKE AHEAD RECIPES
✔Ham Delights - Delicious little ham & cheese or turkey & cheese sandwiches for a party or for supper. Put them in the freezer and you'll only have to pop them in the oven when you need them. (These are already done!)
✔Damn Good Chili - I usually make a double batch, sometimes triple and put it in the freezer in quart containers. Only takes minutes to thaw and serve.
QUICK & EASY
Old-Fashioned Potato Soup - Not the thick, loaded kind you get at restaurants. Just a simple delicious soup that my folks love.
Baked Bowties w/ Tomato & Mozzarella - One of our favorite pasta dishes. Creamy and flavorful. You can make it early in the day and have it ready to bake at dinner time. I have also frozen this after I've baked it. Just thaw in the refrigerator before heating.
Pasta Bake - It's not unusual to have "no red meat" eaters or vegetarians in the family nowadays. This is good enough to feed the meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike. One dish feeds them all. Make it early in the day. Bake it later.
Blushing Apple Juleps - Delicious and it's so pretty.
Hot Cocoa - Perfect for sipping while you watch the Christmas tree lights twinkle.
Sweet Potato Biscuits - Make them ahead and freeze them. Just bake when you're ready.
✔Corny Cornbread - Goes well with the chili or the potato soup.
Homemake Pancakes - If you measure you dry ingredients the night before, it doesn't take long to mix the batter. You might need to double or triple the recipe if you are feeding a big family.
Apple-Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal - Mix this the night before and refrigerate. All that's left to do the next morning is to bake it. This is so very good.
By Thursday, I'll have a meal plan and a grocery list. That doesn't mean that I will stick to it exactly, but the better prepared I am, the more I can relax and enjoy the company.