We eat a lot of eggs at our house. They are a great source of protein and help keep meal prep simple and quick, which gives me time for other things on my To Do list or (heaven forbid) doing something fun!
So when Egg Farmers of Canada asked me to share some of my tips for planning ahead and simplifying eating during the holiday season, I said “With pleasure!” (And they are looking for your tips, too.)
I’m always searching online for organizing and planning ideas and have come across lots of suggestions on how to put together a large meal for a big group of people. But I find it is the time leading up to the holidays, the impromptu visits, and the in-between meals that are the trickiest to plan for. Here are my tips:
Make Baking an Event
I love having cookies and other sweet treats around during the festive season. But holiday baking is often one of the things that gets cut from my To Do list as the December days pass and time runs away from me. The only way I’m able to get it done (on the years that I do) is to make an event of it. I invite a few girlfriends over so we can bake together. Getting all the kids involved is great too. If you set a time and make it social, you can end up with an array of baked goods and have fun making them. I like to choose simple and classic recipes and stick to things like cookies (I love peanut butter cookies) and squares (these pineapple ones sound dreamy).
The Freezer is your Friend
One of the best purchases my husband and I have ever made is our chest freezer. We keep it pretty well stocked, which gives us lots of dinner making options. I especially love the freezer during the holiday season. Whether you are having a baking exchange or you’re preparing family meals early in December, make extras and freeze them. This way, when you need something in a hurry, you have reserves. Or if you have any pop-in visits, you’re ready to go. Things like these mini-quiches freeze really well and are excellent appetizers for guests. French Toast is great for freezing too. It's not hard to make plenty of extras if you're already making brunch and freeze them in batches for quick and easy anytime breakfasts.
Entertain Casually and Ask for Help
We often try to get together with friends over the holiday season. Not for an official dinner party but for a quick casual get together, let the kids exchange gifts and share a meal. I have three suggestions for making these get-togethers easy and enjoyable:
1. Make it potluck
2. Prepare simple meals
3. Brunch is best
Having brunch is great because you have so many options that the adults and kids will all enjoy. I’ll take it over dinner anytime. It is the perfect time of the day… when kids are in a great mood and not over-tired. We have plans for a waffle-off with friends later this month. The best part of this plan? The husbands man the waffle irons!
Keep the Rest Simple
During the final days of December, I find the regular meal planning more challenging than usual. We are all home spending time together, we are in and out going to many events, and days are really, really busy. Who has time to cook? But we still have to have regular healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners in between the parties. I stick to things that cook quickly, that are my go-to meals, and that use fairly standard ingredients. This way I can easily whip something up without too much thinking. Fried, hard-cooked or scrambled… eggs fit the bill.
BTW: the added bonus for me is that eggs are one of the Kid’s fave foods. At our last family get-together, he insisted that he was going to eat 20 Devilled Eggs all by himself!!
Want to share your holiday egg tips, too? And help families in need get some eggs into their tummies? And maybe win some cash for yourself? Check out this amazing contest!
This blog is proudly sponsored by our generous and
yummy friends at Egg Farmers of Canada