Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Recipe Roundup - Easy Christmas

I don't know about all of you, but by Christmas Day I am frazzled.  I've already been to several gatherings full of rich food, I've been baking and crafting and wrapping and shopping...  We have the big gathering with my husband's family on Christmas Eve so the kids are tired and grumpy not long after the 6 a.m. (or earlier!) gift unwrapping.  And all we really want to do is hang around in our sweats and jammies and play with our new goodies and snack.  It doesn't always work out that way, but when we are able, we get a fire going in the fireplace, turn on the parades and football and old Christmas movies, and play and nap and its wonderful.
The first year, we felt guilty saying no to all the other offers.  The next year, my parents and youngest brother joined us in sweats and bedhead hair and all and we had a blast.  This year will be busier because my brother will be home visiting from out of state so we will be having a big gathering at my mom's - well worth it to have him home.

But I wanted to share this with all of you who might be frazzled and grumpy and be dealing with kids who feel the same.  Even my mom, who strives to do everything and then some and loves every minute of it, brags to people about our laid-back Christmas Day tradition and how great it has been to take a step back.  They get to sit and watch the grandkids while they are relaxed and enjoying things instead of overwhelmed by the crowd and throwing tantrums because they have just had too much.  And we get to relax and get down on the floor and play with them instead of chasing them around keeping them out of the untouchables and mediating fights with the cousins over the new toys.
So what normally happens when you say no to the rest but then stay home?  Do you spend all day in the kitchen, running back and forth to prep and serve everything?  Don't!  This day should be relaxing for you too - you deserve it!  And if you don't make it relaxing for you then you'll miss the real advantages.  So here's a roundup of easy-peasy recipes you can prep ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate or easily throw it in a pot let it simmer all day.  Many of these make great food gifts for friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. so make them in large batches and save one for your Christmas Day!  Don't miss the best parts of the season stressing about the details - create your own relaxing holiday.  So put a pot of this lovely mulled wine on the stove and slow down!

Main Dishes
Rustic Cheesy Potato Soup
Olive-Lovers Sandwich
Semi-Homemade Spaghetti
15 Bean Ham Soup
Easy Italian Bake
Rosemary Roast Beef

Munchies & Sides
Cran-Apple-Orange Relish
Rustic Applesauce
Baked Brie
Asiago Goat Cheese Toast
Smoked Salmon Cracker Spread
Herbed Goat Cheese Spread

Godiva Cake
Ultimate Fudgy Brownies
Strawberry Cream Cheese Breakfast Squares
Chocolate Graham Bark
Spiced Peach Cobbler
No-Bake Eggnog Cheesecake

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