Plan Ahead for Tasty Holiday Meals

| December 4, 2012

dog and gingerbread cookiesThere’s no season like the holidays to usher in visitors. But if you don’t plan well, it can become a burden, especially if you’ve got nothing to feed them.

Take some time this holiday season to plan out some dishes and snacks. Retailers and food establishments in your community can help you come up with more ideas. DexKnows is ready to help find businesses in your neighborhood.

Christmas desserts

The holidays are a good time to have some desserts handy just in case. You can offer them up after a holiday meal or share them with someone just stopping by.

You can choose gingerbread cookies to get in the Christmas spirit. There are also old reliables like chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies.

Want to try something new? Food and Wine suggests ginger-studded sugar cookies. Check out the recipe and set aside at least two hours to make them, including an hour for the preparation and an hour for baking. The Food and Wine website also offers other Christmas cookie recipes.

Holiday snacks

Snacks are also good to have on hand. Stock up on some cashews or pistachio nuts. Crackers and dip are another possibility.

The website Serious Eats offers up more than 60 snacks that can be made in less than 20 minutes, such as smoked salmon spread, roasted pepper dip and whipped ricotta. Rock UR Party also has seasonal suggestions.

Christmas dinner

You don’t want to let your guests down, but time’s at a premium during the holidays. Southern Living shares a recipe for lasagna. That’s a meal you can make the day before and just put in the oven within enough time to be done for dinner.

Need more suggestions? The Food Network has cooked up its own list of suggestions, even splitting it up into separate Christmas meals throughout the holiday. There’s glazed ham for dinner, hot cocoa and pancakes for that morning’s breakfast and an Italian dish with risotto and seafood for Christmas Eve.

Holiday eating tips

Whatever the dish, make sure you have the right utensils before you start making it. There’s nothing more annoying than getting halfway through a meal and then remembering you never got that 12-by-9-inch cake pan back from your cousin last Christmas.

In today’s health-conscious society, it’s wise to keep good healthy habits in mind when planning your holiday meal. WebMD suggests preparing favorite dips with fat-free sour cream or yogurt, roasting vegetables to bring out their natural flavor and using canola oil instead of butter or margarine.

The Mayo Clinic also shares its healthy holiday menu with links to suggested recipes.

Have a backup plan

No matter how much you plan, things come up. Maybe you had to work late to get the holidays off or your child came down with the flu.

Search out caterers in your community who can help you come up with a pleasant holiday meal for everyone. Call ahead because they are likely to have a busy schedule during the Christmas season. Share any dietary concerns, including if a member of your expected dinner party is allergic to anything like nuts.

Whatever option you choose, stock up with supplies and food in enough time to prepare. If you need more information on how to find caterers, grocery stores and cooking supplies, visit DexKnows for suggestions.

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Category: Holiday Entertaining

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Central Ohio journalist with 15 years experience at daily newspapers. Freelance writer and amateur photographer. Storytellers are my heroes, poets my idols and photographers my looking glass.