Enjoy more time with family and keep things simple on Christmas with these meal shortcuts and tips from our kitchens:
Go with the casserole: A large casserole dish can feed 9-12 people with a main course. This can include everything from enchiladas and lasagne to your great Aunt's famous chicken recipe.
Salads as sides: Not only is salad healthier than, say, mashed potatoes, it's much easier to make, leaving your hands free for fun. To really save yourself some time, purchase a pre-made bagged salad that comes complete with toppings and dressing.
No Bake Zone: Christmas is not a day for baking in our house. It is a day for relaxing and grazing while we help the kids put together their new toys. Set up a dessert buffet in the afternoon with purchased pies, cookies and other seasonal treats like dates and ribbon candy.
Pods are your friends: Coffee Pods, that is. So that you don't have to keep refilling the coffee maker all day, keep a selection of pods, cream and sugar handy on your buffet, right where guests can help themselves.
Cocktail/Mocktail Easy Bar: Avoid having a cooler of drinks and ice to deal with by using this minimalist bar approach: Serve just one Cocktail and one Mocktail, pre-made, with backup refills in the fridge. This way you don't have to play bartender. Don't forget to include water and coffee at your bar as well!
Appetizers Cheat Sheet: Fill pretty bowls with store bought dips and surround with crackers and veggies. Throw a few boxes of frozen appetizers into the toaster oven to round out your selection. That's it!
Christmas should be as relaxing as possible. Leave all the complicated kitchen work for Thanksgiving!
Shown: 16 Pc Vintage Flatware Set in Rose.