Menus & Entertaining

Time saving holiday food ideas

Stuffed Mushroom Caps
Photography by Matthew Kimura
Image by: Stuffed Mushroom Caps <br /> Photography by Matthew Kimura Author: Canadian Living

Menus & Entertaining

Time saving holiday food ideas

Gift lists and early shopping aren’t the only way to beat the holiday rush. Our holiday food ideas for festive entertaining and menu planning will make you a successful holiday host with a well stocked freezer of make-ahead appetizers and cookies. With minimal planning, you will feel prepared and ready to enjoy the best of the entertaining season with these do-ahead holiday food ideas to make your holiday stress free.

Effectively stock your pantry
If you're a baker, pull out Grannie's recipe box and plan the baking of family favourites. Stock up on ingredients so you are prepared when you have an evening free to bake. Dry goods can all be purchased before you need them so they will be ready. Make sure you buy fresh nuts and store them in your freezer until you are ready to use them. The freezer is also a great place to store butter if you are buying ahead or if you have been overly ambitious with your butter purchases, thinking you had more time on your hands than you did!

Bake your Christmas cakes and puddings now
Now is the time to get the molds out from the back of the cupboards for Christmas cakes or pudding. These cakes benefit from aging six to eight weeks to mellow, so it's now or never! Our Century Christmas Pudding will be a hit at the end of your Christmas dinner and you won’t have needed to do a thing except pop it in a steamer and whip up the hard sauce.

Get a jump on making last minute food gifts
Gifts for the office, teacher’s gifts and hostess gifts always seem to mean last minute running around. This year, be prepared. Edible treats from your kitchen will be appreciated allowing you to be prepared and stress free for every occasion. Our most recent collection of gifts from your kitchen recipes are easy treats to prepare.

Load your freezer with make-ahead appetizers
Pastry-wrapped appetizers freeze well and need no defrosting to bake. Load up your freezer now with appetizers, like our make-and-freeze bites, you can pop into the oven and serve throughout the holiday season. Likewise, savoury pastry shells can be made and baked ready for a quick thaw to be topped with whatever you have on hand; a little cream cheese and red pepper jelly, some prepared pate or liverwurst, or some caramelized onions and roasted red peppers.

Stock up on packaging
Find great cellophane bags or pretty boxes or tins online or at a packaging store along with a roll of decorative ribbon. With packaging ready to go you always will have a last minute gift on hand to fill with cookies, appetizers, spiced nuts or to wrap up a piece of your rum scented Christmas cake.

Plan some homemade holiday cheer
Make your own homemade liquors for gift giving or entertaining. Cream liqueurs are delicious, decadent and a special treat for your guests when they find out you have made it yourself. You can serve liqueurs plain, on ice or in a mixed cocktail.

Being prepared and getting a leg up on the entertaining season will make your year end enjoyable and stress free.


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Menus & Entertaining

Time saving holiday food ideas