5 Tips for a Quick Holiday Meal Theresa December 18, 2015 Cooking, Lifestyle 19 Comments Soon, Christmas is coming! It’s time for the last minute meal preparations. Hosting a holiday meal can seem overwhelming. You can make a great meal quickly with a few simple tips. These ideas will help you make a meal that tastes good without wasting your time with unnecessary steps. Check out some tips that have made a big difference for me this year. 5 Tips for a Quick Holiday Meal 1.) Buy an awesome food box. Skip the long lines in the grocery stores this holiday season. Food boxes can provide everything you need to cook a full meal. Buy a food box that ships ingredients so you can save time in the grocery store. Recently, I tried out the Hello Fresh Food Box, and I was so impressed. The food arrived packaged in three separate boxes for each of the three meals. Cooking with high quality ingredients made a huge difference. I prepared a teryaki sauce from scratch with chicken and coconut rice, a ciabatta burger and arugula salad with homemade salad dress, and a flatbread with Brie and fig preserve with arugula. My whole family was impressed. You can check out my experiences with the food box on my Instagram account. This food box made enough food for all four people in my family. It was so simple to have the ingredients delivered to my door, and I was really happy with the quality of the ingredients. 2.) Purchase pre-made desserts. Baking desserts can be incredibly time consuming. Instead of baking a multiple layer cake with homemade icing, buy one at the store. To appeal to everyone in your family, Inspired by Happiness gluten-free, three layer cakes. The taste is incredible. I tried out four cakes, and I was very satisfied. Each layer was soft, and the icing had just the right amount of sweetness. I have a hard time picking a favorite flavor because they all taste so good. Bake your trademark holiday cookies, but leave the multiple layer cake to the professionals. You’ll save a lot of time, and you won’t mind at all when you’re eating a truly delicious cake. 3.) Bake simple recipes that only use a couple ingredients. Skip the gourmet-inspired recipes that call for many ingredients. For appetizers, cook dishes that only require a couple ingredients to save time. For a simple homemade dessert treat, use Crunchies mixed fruit to make a delicious chocolate berry bark. Check out a recipe from A Taste of Dawn Magazine. First, you melt the chocolate in a double boiler so it won’t burn. Then, pour it on a non-stick surface, like parchment paper. After smoothing the chocolate out, add the freeze-dried fruit. When the dessert cools, the result is delicious! My kids love eating the mixed fruit by iteslf, so this is an easy recipe to toss together for company. 4.) Use the ingredients you already have in the cupboard. Cook with what you already own. This will save you time at the store. We always have some Crunchmaster crackers in our cupboard. Remember when I wrote a review of the crackers in my Smart Snack Ideas for Summer article? I’ve been hooked ever since. It turns out that you can make some awesome appetizers with their crackers, like mini cheese balls, and desserts, such as cranberry tarts. When I plan my grocery shopping list, I start with what I already own, and I write down everything else I need. The food in my cupboard is a huge inspiration for my cooking. 5.) When baking, use pre-made mixes instead of baking from scratch. If you are going to bake, make a simple recipe that comes from a mix. Every minute counts during the holidays. With a mix, you can bake a quality treat in less time. You can even find mixes for Paleo treats, like Chocolate Chip Cookies from Simple Mills. The taste is very authentic, and the mix is easy to make. You can also make Pumpkin Muffins, are Paleo friendly, dairy free, and gluten free. I’ve made a lot of Paleo meals from scratch, and I’ve found that the amount of ingredients needed can be overwhelming. These mixes make baking for people with varied diet requirements simple. What are your tips for making a quick holiday meal? Share below in the comments! Disclosure I received a free item, but it in no way affected my opinion! 19 Responses NYG@NaughtyYogaGirl.com December 18, 2015 I’ve heard of the Hello Fresh Food Box before, but wasn’t sure what it was. Glad you posted about it – I’m going to check it out. Thank you! Reply theresa December 18, 2015 It was so delicious and absolutely worth it. It saved so much time and was easy to cook. Reply Hannah December 18, 2015 Using simple recipes is always the way to go. I do like throwing out the mixes and premade stuff though and doing simple recipes from whole natural ingredients Reply theresa December 18, 2015 Absolutely, glad you found some useful tips! Reply Huub Ricardo December 18, 2015 I’m not a great cook, but when I invite people over, I do love to prepare the foods. So I find the baking with little ingredients to be perfect for me. Thank you for sharing 🙂 Reply theresa December 18, 2015 Thanks for stopping by, and I’m glad you found a useful tip! Reply Melissande December 18, 2015 My mother in law does paleo and I always have to think about that when she is coming. I try to cook healthy, but a lot of the time I feel like I forget certain aspects of the diet. I had no clue that there are mixes geared towards Paleo. So glad to know this! Reply theresa December 19, 2015 So glad to be able to help! Paleo is such a hard diet for that reason, but these mixes make it really simple! I’m excited to use the pizza mix to make a flatbread this week. If it’s anything like the cookies, it’s going to be great. 🙂 Reply Bev December 19, 2015 Great tips! I wouldn’t have thought to buy a food box to make a holiday meal, but I imagine it can save a ton of time! I also like the idea of making food with just a few ingredients. I made oreo truffles the other day that taste super decadent but only require three ingredients. Reply theresa December 19, 2015 I know, I wouldn’t have either, but it’s a huge help during the holiday season. Plus, it would make a great gift for a busy family. Reply Susannah December 21, 2015 These are some REALLY great tips! Anything to make the holidays easier, right? I might have to look into a food box like you mentioned in the first point! Reply theresa December 22, 2015 I can’t wait to order from the company again! They’ve got some great coupons for a certain amount off on the first purchase, so I think I’ll try one of those for my next order. Reply Lakisha December 22, 2015 Anything pre-made has me sold ! I hate cooking during the holidays lol Reply Sara December 23, 2015 I love these ideas! Buying premade desserts can really save time. Starting a dessert with a mix is also a great time saver! Reply Leslie Soto December 23, 2015 These are all great ideas! I love the idea of getting a food box! I’d never thought of that before. I try to make everything from scratch and usually end up stressing over everything getting done in time! Reply Samantha December 23, 2015 It’s so easy to get carried away and make a huge giant meal from scratch, but then you end up spending all day in the kitchen missing out on all the fun. Thanks for the great tips! Reply Kelly December 23, 2015 That certainly helps make things quicker and easier! I’ve heard of Hello Fresh but haven’t tried it yet! Reply Elanor December 23, 2015 Great tips, my old flat mate used to get a vegetable box delivered by a local farmer every two weeks, but I’d never really considered it before 🙂 Reply Christina @ Youthful Homemaker January 15, 2016 I love these ideas! I also keep meals in my freezer pretty much all the time, so that helps a lot. It’s nothing to pull out a meal in the morning and have it ready by dinnertime! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.