(I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom It Forward Blogger Network for National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association. I received compensation as a thank you for participating)
Now that the Christmas season has begun in earnest, it is time to start planning your annual Christmas Party(s). Whenever I plan a party I first decide who I am going to invite. Next I plan the activities. Last but certainly not lest comes the Food. Even though the food is the last thing I plan, I know it is also one of the most important. It is true the food you serve can make or break you Holiday party.
Now, I love to cook, so the prospect of making delectable morsels for my guests is something I usually enjoy. The Challenge comes with how busy my December’s usually are. I just don’t have the time I would love to spend cooking from scratch everything I want to. I have come to a satisfying compromise with my party food. Where I still love to make family favorites at holiday times, I also buy already made delectables from the frozen section of the store. These tend to be items like shrimp platters, egg rolls, Rhodes Dough Rolls, Cheese Cakes, Chicken Wings etc. All of which I just need to thaw out and either bake, or just serve.
Now you might say, “That’s cheating” or “Yes but the quality just isn’t as good.” My reply is that in most cases my guests either don’t know or don’t care. After all, these frozen foods are made with real and fresh ingredients, and prepared by expert cooks for the best end result. Add to that there are so many varieties of Frozen foods I can choose from that I can have ready to serve in a jiffy to supplement my made from scratch family favorites. They are already proper portion sized and easily customizable with what I am already making.
As you get ready for your holiday parties this Christmas season, here are a few tips to make your holiday party a smash hit in the food department without having to slave away for days in the kitchen.
1-Try to make items that you can prepare in advance like cookies, pies, candies or bars etc that you can store in containers on the shelf in the cupboard or in your freezer. This will cut down on prep time the day of your party.
2- Always use real butter, whole milk, and quality cream when baking it totally makes a difference. When it comes to baking substitutes just don’t cut it. Make sure you buy the real stuff. Luckily refrigerated foods are made from real, simple, fresh, farm-grown ingredients and can be customized to fit within a well-balanced lifestyle. Not only are these wholesome ingredients nutritious, they taste delicious and leave everyone at mealtime feeling satisfied.
3-Don’t be afraid to try new things. If you need some inspiration, then look through the dairy aisle of your local grocery store. With a variety of foods and beverages, the refrigerated dairy aisle is home to endless mealtime possibilities. From using Greek Yogurt for a soup or creating a minty cookie with coffee creamer, the refrigerated dairy aisle is a destination for culinary inspiration.
4- If you are in need of ideas for what to make then check out EasyHomeMeals.com. They have some great recipes that your friends and family will love.
5-If you are planning on buying some already prepared food, then make sure you look at the preparation information to make sure you set yourself enough time.
6-Even if you are planning on making a majority of the food for your party, buy one or two back up appetizers from the frozen foods aisle for just in case. After all if you end up not needing it now you can use it later, but if you find you do need something more (like in the case of unexpected guests) then you have something that can be ready in a jiffy.
7-Know your budget and shop wisely. It is sooo easy to spend a lot on food at this time of year. However on the other hand this is also the time of year when many stores have food on sale. Make a shopping list before you go, and then look through the adds to decide where to go.
Most of all have fun. If you aren’t having fun and you find yourself getting too stressed this holiday season, then take a step back, drink some egg nog, relax and reevaluate what you are doing that is causing you too much stress. And if needs be recruit some help.