Saturday, December 06, 2014

My best tips for easy meals during December

From my collection; my mother baked from one of these.  Notice the price!
 December is such a busy, festive month!  I'm sure we can all think of ways to simplify the season, and maybe even ways in which we could make our lives less busy, but we always have to eat, and to find something good to feed our families.  I have a couple of tips which some may find helpful.

1.  I first read this quote from a subscriber in the December 1995 issue of Cook & Tell.   I think of it every year about this time and try to heed the advice.  Laura White's mother was one wise woman!

"... As Christmas started to approach, my mother used to make a huge batch of escalloped hamburg, a gigantic stew, a couple of meat loaves, and soup from the Thanksgiving turkey.  They were to 'sustain' us, while she did the cookies and other Christmasy things which left her no time for creative meals.  Not a bad system."  ~ Laura White

I wholeheartedly agree!  Other things that I have found to work well are a couple of pans of lasagna, to be cut in squares and warmed as need, or a big batch of macaroni & cheese; sometimes even a large batch of potato salad to accompany sandwiches.  If you happen to find turkey or ham on a great sale, get one and cook it.  Now you have some meat for sandwiches or other quick meals.

2.  The crock pot is your secret weapon during this busy time.  I just put a tray of chicken thighs, sprinkled with seasonings and barbecue sauce, in the crock pot.  The chicken will cook happily and be ready to serve with easy accompaniments and leftover baked beans at supper time.  And the oven will be freed up for baking Christmas cookies.

Here's a post I did a few years ago on this very topic:  Recipes to Simplify the Season.  One of my favorite ways to simplify meals is to serve a soup from the slow cooker and bread from the bread machine.  This post includes a bunch of stew and soup recipes and one bread recipe, but here are 2 more bread recipes for your enjoyment!
Cheddar Cheese Bread

Cranberry Oat Bread

I hope you find these tips and recipes helpful!  They sure have been a blessing to me!

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