Ah, the holidays. What’s not to like? Friends and family dropping by, unannounced and hungry. Hosting huge dinners during the height of flu season while trying to figure out how you are going to keep Aunt Martha and cousin Jack apart all evening.
For me, the only way to survive the holidays, especially when my son was little, has been to go into the season armed and ready. If you keep your pantry stocked, nothing can throw you off kilter.
Here is a list of tips and easy recipes to help ensure you’re ready for hosting all season long:
Tip 1: Empty Your freezer
To get ready, clean your freezer out. Start cooking all of that chili and stew and do something with those chicken thighs because you are going to need to make some room.
Tip 2: Buy Puff Pastry
Puff pastry will save your life. With almost no prep, you can have a show stopping dessert or savoury appetizer when you lean on your new BFF, frozen puff pastry. If you really want to play it smart, find a brand of frozen puff pastry that is already rolled out so you just thaw and lay it out, no rolling pin required. Once you have that pastry rolled out, let your creativity shine because you kind of can’t go wrong.
Try these amazing Riesling Apple Brown Butter Ricotta Napoleons:
Tip 3: Bake Shortbread
Frozen in logs for easy slicing, I keep one savory and one sweet in the freezer, ready to bake off at the last minute. Don’t underestimate how delicious a spicy, buttery, savory shortbread can be with a bit of cheese and a glass of Prosecco.
Here's a Chai Tea Cookie recipe for inspiration:
Or check out this Spicy Cheddar Shortbread:
Tip 4: Make Meatballs
Yes, meatballs. Make a big batch of cocktail-sized meatballs like these Sticky Meatballs on a Stick. You can make them up, freeze them, defrost them (they will defrost quickly because you made them nice and small) while you make the glaze and they will be on the table in an hour. Kids will love them for the sweet, gooey glaze and you are never too old to love anything on a stick.
Nothing says holiday party like foods on a stick. Enjoy! And Happy holidays!