Glowing lights, snowfall, warm cider and Christmas carols make the season bright! But if you’re Santa’s little helper — in charge of cooking, shopping, and organizing the festivities every year — Christmas can feel like humbug. So here are 10 easy ways to make the season a lot simpler and usher in the good cheer!
1. Cook an easy mess-free meal that will feed Santa, his reindeers and a crowd of elves! Turn to your slow cooker to make this delicious pork roast. Just put all the ingredients in your slow cooker and set it to low for 2.5 hours and you’ll have the perfectly cooked roast!
2. Slow cookers aren’t just for savory meals, they also work equally well for desserts. Try these warming crockpot apples that you can start on low the night before and wake up Christmas morning to the smell of sweet baked apples.
3. Baking cookies is fun when you have the time, but if you’re under the gun and need to set out Santa’s cookies ASAP, try these no-bake toffee grahams.
4. Dehydrated cocoa mixes might seem like a shortcut but they can contain preservatives, artificial colorings and more sugar then you need. Try this easy and fast hot spiced cocoa while you decorate the tree.
5. Pumpkin is a super nutritious food that’s perfect for the holiday season. Add it to your morning yogurt along with a pinch of your favorite spice, like pumpkin pie spice, ground clove or cinnamon for a healthy holiday breakfast.
6. Host a simple get together, like a Christmas pot luck, by serving an easy dip and this sparkling cocktail that just takes minutes to mix.
7. Looking for a do ahead baked good that will still be moist and delicious even days later? Try my zucchini bread or lemony fruit cake. After they cool completely on a wire rack, wrap in a layer of wax paper then in aluminum foil. Store on the countertop for up to 5 days. Slice and serve whenever unexpected guest drops in.
8. Have these three staples on hand to mix and match for a fast dip that can be served while wrapping gifts or exchanging presents. Sour cream, Parmesan, frozen artichokes, and a good quality onion dip mix. Mix sour cream with the onion dip mix and serve with veggies or make a fast hot artichoke dip by mixing 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup chopped defrosted artichokes, a few tablespoons of the onion soup mix and 1/4 cup grated parm. Warm in the toaster oven at 350°F for 10 minutes, and serve.
9. Store bought eggnog is thick and rich but so is my easy and fast eggnog recipe that won’t make your belly full of jelly.
10. Decorate your table with edible foods of the season — like citrus, apples, squash, and nuts, that you can later turn into wonderful meals when the guests have gone home.