Monday, November 2, 2015

Cooking For Your Family at the Holidays

It's November, I am doing it!!  I am looking ahead to / and forward to the Holidays.

Let it Snow, Let everyone come over, Let's get it on!!

We've got a great fall line up at our house, Halloween, lots and lots of birthdays, Thanksgiving, visits from our out-of-state kiddos, Grandparents who are snowbirds returning, and lots and lots of extended family.

Are you stressing out already about how to feed them all, how you are going to handle all the stress? How you are going to DO it all?!  The secret is..... You don't have to do it all! 

(What are THOSE - Funny you should ask... Those are Banana Pudding Pancakes, and I made them up and they were Fantastic!!) 

You can easily prepare foods for a large family without breaking the bank. To save time, money and stress when making meals for your loved ones give one of these tips a try:

Keep it simple. Healthy and creative meals don’t have to be complicated. The simpler the menu, the less money and stress it will cost you in the end. Have a birthday dinner be soup and sandwiches, make a salad or a baked potato bar. Simple food is good food, and it is really refreshing to go someplace and have the food be comforting.

My parents attending a Halloween potluck and took a big pan of macaroni and cheese. How would you feel attending a dinner and seeing a food that you already know you loved, Awesome probably! At least in our family, the person who makes the big pot of something strange.... ends up taking their big pot of something strange back home with them.

Allow your family to help. Divide jobs among family members. Remember -- kids love to be in the kitchen! With help, you can get more done and have more time to enjoy with your family. Everyone can do something, and absolutely nobody gets to do nothing. (Unless you are having the President over - but if the President is family, I would probably still make him help)

Enjoy yourself. If you feel yourself becoming stressed, take a deep breath. (If you need to, take another one!) Have fun and enjoy spending time with those closest to you. We are all working on having our family be the focus - not the food. The holidays are actually Not about the turkey you cook, it is about the Turkeys that we claim as friends and family.

Options for the holidays. Try having a brunch. Breakfast foods like eggs are less expensive and make a great protein for the main dish. Another fun idea is to have a yogurt parfait bar, where everyone can add their favorite toppings to yogurt. Have a wildly indulgent pancake stack, or omelets with lots of veggies to put inside.

Make it a potluck. Potlucks are a great option for large families. Prepare a side dish and let each family member make the rest. It creates less work for you and allows everyone to make and sample each other’s creations. Have everyone bring their family's favorite "comfort food" - Once upon a time, there were a group of friends that would get together every Sunday afternoon and bring ALL their leftovers from the fridge and eat them up!

Just because it has always been overwhelming and expensive and stressful does not mean that it has to keep being that way.

Don't let the Holidays with your Family - Ruin...... the Holidays With Your Family!!