Holiday Menu Planning 101

I just discovered there are only 34 days until Christmas! I am starting to feel slightly behind and unprepared. I decided to start by planning my menus for our holiday party, one turkey dinner and breakfast Christmas morning.

We host a lot over the holiday season, frankly because I love to and we never give up an opportunity to celebrate with our family and friends. I often say Christmas is CRAZY -with a big smile on my face! Even though I love this time of year it can still be overwhelming. Having a plan and following a few simple tips can make your holiday season a little easier and healthier.

Whether you’re hosting a cocktail party or a big sit down dinner:

1.      Plan your vegetables (and fruit). It doesn’t matter if you use fresh, frozen or canned. Serve at least two vegetables (three if you count potatoes) and more if you are making a vegetable tray.

·         Try new vegetable recipes (check out our squash and pumpkin recipes posted in October) or new ways to serve them.

In a short 8 oz glass spoon in some hummus and fill with vegetables. Your guests can mix and mingle and easily eat their veggies.

·         Fruit is a welcome addition. Serve fresh or dried fruit on a cheese tray or as part of dessert. For my turkey dinner I serve fruit salad and ask others to bring some of their baking to share.

2.      Which brings us to dessert - the holidays can be overloaded with sweet treats. My advice is to stick to traditional holiday fare like shortbread or gingerbread and skip the desserts and snacks you can eat year round.

3.       Be mindful of how many people you have coming and how much food you expect them to eat. Canadian Living’s website gives some great tips from estimating how big a turkey you’ll need to how much hors d’oeuvre to make per person.

4.      Last but not least – smile, breathe and remember less is more! You don’t need 15 choices of anything, two are three should do the trick.

Happy Holiday Planning!

                                                                                       Shannon RD