The hustle bustle is tuning up, and soon moms across the world will have to-do lists longer than their arms. Please let me give your bustle a little less hustle with planned out meals for the holiday season.
Daily Dinner Plan – with Crockpot options
Pork Chops with Caramelized Onions, Apples and Thyme, Quick Roasted Asparagus
Diner Comfort Food – Cheesesteak Style or Patty Melt Sandwiches
One Pot Chicken and Rice – you’ll have leftovers, so you won’t have to worry about hubby’s lunch tomorrow or the rice for next week’s soup
Baked Chicken Parmesan or this yummy looking Milanese (less cheese, more calories for cookies) An even easier version is this chicken parmesan casserole you could assemble ahead.
Paula Deen’s Pulled Pork Stuffed into Baked Potatoes (make a double batch of the pork, and you’re ready for next week)
Chicken Cordon Bleu with Steamed or Roasted Veggies and a Green Salad
Baked white fish sliders with not-your-normal cole slaw and oven fries
Shredded Beef Tacos or mix it up with these Korean Style Lettuce Wraps (both of these yield awesome leftovers)
Chicken and Rice Soup
Stuffed Pasta Shells (add in sautéed dark greens instead of meat and make this dish for Meatless Monday) A great reason to make a big pot of marinara and freeze for another busy night.
Texas Chili Bar – no beans here! (brown the meat , onion and garlic, then pop in the crockpot with all the other ingredients so it’s ready when you are)
Tonight is family game night, and make your own bowls of chili couldn’t be easier! Save the extra cornbread for next week’s stuffed peppers.
Mediterranean Style One Dish Herb Chicken Bake
BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches (this is actually leftover pork from the baked potato night that I froze for a super quick meal)
Veggie Lo Mein
Tis this season for family and friends, so why not make Taco Tuesday an event? Grab a holiday flick or make an impromptu craft or gift wrapping party. Try these Seven Layer Tostadas
Pioneer Woman’s Pork Chops with Pineapple fried rice
Chicken and Cornbread Stuffed Peppers OR My Stuffed Bell Peppers
My Potato Soup – a nod to my family heritage — so easy and yummy
Broiled Salmon and roasted veggies
Whisky BBQ Meatballs ( I use my BBQ sauce recipe, then add mashed potatoes (or steamed veggies, or herbed noodles – the side options are endless)
Kid’s Night – Bake cookies, make treats, watch your favorite holiday movie, let them invite friends over for a sleepless slumber party – the kids hang out, then everyone goes home and goes to their own beds for sleeping
Dinner cooked in muffin tins makes everything easy to divide and easy to eat – Mary Beth’s Knock Your Socks off Meatloaf and Mac and Cheese Cups
Soup – easy dinner so you can get to those last minute items on your list
In Texas, Christmas brings Tamales – order some, or try these cheats
December 24 & 25
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day are not included since everyone has their own traditions
With new toys to try and games to play, try one of these breakfast casseroles to start, or end , your day
Supreme Pizza Pasta (toss in the slow cooker or even freeze ahead)
Grilled Venison Backstrap with Gingered Carrots
Pioneer Woman’s Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup
Stay in Date Nite – going out when you have young children is rare; I don’t want to spend it with crowds
Chicken Marsala with Garlic Whipped Potatoes & Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots
Forget the bubbly, this year I’m making these bourbon Blizzards.
Keep in the Freezer for One of Those Really Long Days – seriously, you don’t even need a side!
- Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas
- Super Simple Chicken Pot Pie – okay, this one isn’t made, but you could…I keep the pie crust, some shreeded roasted chicken, and a bag of mixed veggies for a quick assemble dinner
Make a Bunch and Save for Lunch
Pioneer Woman’s Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork – In the oven or slow cooker, this make it and leave it dish is great on slider rolls with sliced gouda or piled in tortillas with cilantro, queso fresco, sliced avocado, and a lime wedge for quick pork tacos – Plus there are usually plenty of leftovers to freeze and use again*
Pecan Crusted Chicken – these take some prep up front, but they are easy to make and freeze great
Browned & seasoned ground beef, bison, or turkey (use in tacos, quesadillas, as pizza toppings)
Chicken Fajita meat – try this marinade to elevate them beyond normal week night.
Bring a Little Holiday Spirit into Your Kitchen
Gingerbread Waffles – I haven’t made these yet, but they are on my must try list
Hosting Guests? These touches are sure to impress
For their room:
- Recently I stayed at my brothers’ and one of the most welcome treats was their selection of pillows. Doesn’t sound like much, but with everyone having their own preference, being able to choose was a luxury. Of course, I picked them all!
- Have an extra throw blanket in the room, especially for those who travel across the country, the climate change can be shocking
In the Morning:
- Create a coffee and tea station next to a bowl of fruit so early risers can serve themselves and relax.
- Your guests will be convinced they’re at a B&B with these breakfasts-Homemade donuts – these puppies are all baked so you can indulge without standing over the frypan or having guilt-Blueberry Baked Oatmeal or Bobby’s Oatmeal Stuffed Apples
- Baked egg boats would be restaurant worthy
- Set a loaf of bread to make overnight, so you wake to Fresh Bread machine with make ahead berry butter spread
- Save some time with this gourmet casserole
Stock Ahead for Comfy Touches:
- make sure the bar is stocked, grab an extra bottle of wine to mull (awesome on the day guests are arriving), have some bottled sparkling water or ginger ale on hand
- early in the month, check dry goods in your pantry so you are prepared for last minute at home meals that come with an unexpected winter storm front
- make cookie dough and freeze, so fresh baked cookies are quick to whip up
Fix-Aead Dinners that Feed a Crowd:
- Pioneer Woman’s Baked Ziti
- Paula Deen’s Pulled Pork