Holidays tend to be a stressful time around here. Thanksgiving and Easter are during crazy busy times and now with a little one, I sometimes feel like I never have enough energy for anything.
I realized, I freeze meals and desserts all the time for us, why can’t I do that for holidays? I also decided I needed to find faster recipes, or at least figure out major shortcuts because Lord knows something always goes wrong the day before a family event when I’m planning on cooking! I decided I run seed around all week for planting while chasing after my baby, I did not need to be slaving away making food for holidays. At least not while my son was so little.
It’s a terrible attitude I know. But looking back, I’m so glad I took that stress off myself for at least one year. Last Thanksgiving I decided to take that same approach to our numerous family gatherings and I can not even begin to tell you how easy it made life. And guess what! Nobody noticed! Well… except my parents and brothers, but they didn’t care!
I stuck with frozen rolls from the grocery store. All I had to do was raise the dough and cook the rolls. I like to add butter, salt and rosemary on top for extra flavor. I also made an 8 layer chip dip. After finishing our meal, the dip went strait to the refrigerator. The next night I moved the dip to a smaller dish and added more toppings. Super easy and I got two meals with the one dish. Just be careful about not leaving the food out for too long. Don’t give anyone food poisoning!
Other super easy super quick dishes- I won’t add the recipes because you can find many on Pinterest or through other searches, but here are a few ideas. To speed things up, buy diced vegetables. No one has to know 😉
Pasta Salad– cook noodles, add a salad dressing of your choice (we really like Olive Garden’s salad dressing) and diced vegetables. I also like to add shredded cheese!
Regular Garden Salad
Green Bean Casserole
Cheese Ball with Crackers- I used to do this all the time when I worked at the grocery store. Buy a cheese ball and then neatly arrange your crackers around it on a tray. I used to have tons of compliments and questions about my recipe because it was so good 🙄. I had to admit I’ve never actually made one myself….
Bread or Rolls- you can buy pre-made or frozen dough. Warm in oven and add butter for extra flavor.
Frozen or Canned Garden Produce- the year our son was born we took our frozen garden corn to everything. It was always a huge hit and all we had to do was warm it up and add butter!
Frozen Pies- did you know you can make pie months ahead of time and freeze it?! Then all you have to do is grab it from the freezer the day before to thaw!
Really, Any Frozen Dish will Do- same idea, make ahead of time and freeze. If I am making something for a family gathering, I will use a nicer dish and put a little more care into appearance, but during busy times, this is a lifesaver.
Frozen Cookies- same concept! Get out of freezer the day before or you can freeze the dough and bake fresh cookies!
Any Meat- You can have the meat cooked and ready to go when you need it! Be sure to allow extra time to thaw. We usually get out of the freezer 2 days ahead just to be safe.
These are just a few ideas of tried and tested tricks we have done. I really like to freeze things (even if it’s just for a few days) because I can cook when I have time and attend family gatherings a little less stressed. I’ve even frozen rice crispy treats for a neat little snack the week before Thanksgiving because I knew I wouldn’t have time the day before. Hint hint, almost everything freezes!! If your not sure about something, just Google it!
Get creative and find ways to cut time and reduce the amount of stress you might experience preparing food for holiday events. Happy cooking!