to have fun without the stress...
- Consider hosting a holiday brunch
- prepare and freeze dishes ahead so you need only heat
and serve in the morning.
- Casseroles are labor-savers
and can be dressed up for the holidays with fresh herbs
or drizzle with sauce, bread crumbs or grated cheese before
- For speedy clean up, line baking
dishes with aluminum foil. You can lift the cooked
food out of the pan easily using the edges of the foil and
will save scrubbing the dishes when done.
- When baking cookies use parchment
paper on the cookie sheet and then you throw
the sheet away when done makes clean up easy.
- When you need to grate cheese
or citrus rinds or other items that stick spray your grater
with nonstick cooking spray first to help in
quick clean up.
- When making traditional holiday
foods but you want a different look, present it differently
- garnishes of veggies, herbs or fruit help make any holiday
- When making holiday treats, make
them to double as decorations. Set out cookies,
cakes or cupcakes if they don't need to be refrigerated
and they can serve as a decoration as well as a wonderful
treat. An example would be to make cupcakes into reindeer
using pretzels as antlers, mini marshmallow eyes, red gumdrop
nose and red hot mouth on top of chocolate or light brown
frosting with brown candy sprinkles.
- Instead of making pies or cakes
large, make individual servings using a muffin
pan or tart dishes. Your guests will feel special when they
get a dessert that is made for them.
- Don't stress if you don't have
time to bake - you can take any prepared dessert
and dress it up by adding garnishes of whipped cream, drizzled
sauces, cut up candy bar pieces, fruit, etc. No one has
to know you didn't bake it your self.
- Serve cake try cutting differently
with a new look to it - cut larger squares then
cut diagonally to create triangle pieces or cut wedges instead
- Host a cookie swap to save you
time in baking because you are going to make
a lot of just one type of cookie instead of making a batch
of several types of cookies. Don't forget you don't have
to bake them - you can purchase cookies and decorate them
for the holidays too!
- Make edible place cards using
cookies (Graham crackers are great) and frosting or decorating
gel to write names on them. You can make them
stand up by using triangle shape wedges and edible glue
and place it on the back of the cookie to make it stand
up at the table.
- To crush candy, cookies or nuts
without making a big mess - place them into a
ziplock type bag and lay it on top of a towel on your counter
and another towel on top - pound with a meat mallet or rolling
- Make or purchase mini loaves
of a sweet type of bread and slice and serve on a platter.
in plastic then dressed up by using a festive napkin,
opening it up and placing the items in the center gather
napkin and tie with a pretty ribbon or bow and add a festive
- If you give a gift of homemade
jam or jelly add a loaf of bread or tea bags or crackers
to be eaten with your gift.
- When giving someone a pie for
a gift, add a pie server or if you give cheese
maybe a cheese knife.
- When giving cookies or brownies
in a jar, be sure to give baking instructions
along with fresh items like eggs or butter that need to
- Wrap food items in freezer paper
that you have decorated with stamps or marking pens
and tie with ribbon and put into a holiday stocking.
- Use individual disposable pans
to make mini loaves or cakes and after it has
cooled wrap in a tea towel and tie with a ribbon or raffia.
- When you give a gift in a jar,
add a decorative spoon to the jar with ribbon or raffia.
- Make goodie baskets by purchasing
inexpensive baskets - line with tissue or festive
napkins add your goodies and use cello to wrap and tie with
- When shipping your goodies, be
sure to pack in a gift box first then in a shipping box
that is larger with packing material all around
it and on the bottom and top to ensure that it makes it
to your destination safely.
- When packing cookies and there
is space between the cookies and the lid, add
folded festive napkins to cushion them between the lid of
the canister or box.
- Have a dessert
party or buffet
- Make party
- A frugal way to have a great
party is to make it a potluck - this helps save
you time and money and allows you to have a great variety
of foods at your party.
- Host an ornament exchange
- make a limit of $5 or $10 dollars and each person brings
it wrapped - place them all in the middle of a table and
each guest gets a turn to pick a package. Then you could
put a twist on it and the second person gets to choose the
ornament the 1st person just opened or a new package. Keep
going until the last package is opened then go around one
more time letting people steal an ornament from someone
else and giving them theirs - the last person to go has
the best advantage because they get the pick of the crop.
- Try a Holiday
Ice Breaker game to help loosen up the guests and get
- To keep your party rolling and
fun, try breaking up the night by having small
events throughout the evening like maybe a half hour or
hour after the ice breaker game stop everyone to sing a
festive song or play another quick game.
- Holiday Ideas